Monthly Archives: August 2012

Endless Breezes

On our cross country trip we often stopped at a rest area for a lunch break. This saves a great deal of money and time when traveling. One thing we found right away that the trailer was really hot and stuffy. Since we were just stopped without any electrical hookup we could not use the a/c. Sure we turned on our fantastic vent in the rear of the trailer and cracked a front window. This worked well, but was not quite enough.

My wife mentioned it would be nice if we had a portable fan. At the next truck stop I found a 12vdc fan that would be perfect. It was a little more costly than I thought it should be for what it is. I think I paid around $25 for it. It worked ok, kinda small. Nothing to write home about.

I decided to see if there was something better. Where is the best place to go for mobile fans, Fantastic Vent of course. Years ago when I restored the Ambassador, Fantastic Vent contributed a ceiling vent. They are still the best vents out there. I browsed their website and found two things. The first was an accessory for the ceiling fans, the second was a portable Fantastic Fan. They sent me both products for review.

One of the issues I have with the Fantastic Vents is that the screens are held on with eight screws which make it difficult to clean the screen and fan. It’s funny that the original Ambassador vents screens came off easily by just popping off the handles. Fantastic Vent is going vintage so to speak with the Pop ‘N Lock Screens. Like the original Ambassador vent screens, these new Pop ‘N Lock screens, which replace the screw in screens, pop off easily for servicing. They look good and come two to a pack.

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The Endless Breeze fan from Fantastic Vent is a great fan with some nice options. The fan itself is what you would expect from them, a highly efficient and high breeze. The Endless Breeze has a fold out stand with rubber feet to help lower noise transfer. The fan itself is around 14.25″H x 13.5″W x 3.625D. The fan comes with a 5′ dc power cord with a cigarette lighter style plug.

There are three speeds, low, medium and high. I measured the current draw and it’s pretty good for the amount of air movement you get. I measured 1.4a, 2.2a, and 3.1a for the high setting.

When compared to the generic fan, there was really no comparison. The Endless Breeze was larger, and it really moves a large amount of air. I’d compare the air movement to a standard household fan, which is saying a lot for this compact package.

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One last thing. The folks at Fantastic Vent had a simple but effective idea for pet owners. The fan had two small flip out brackets under the handle that allow the fan to attach to a pet kennel. What a nice idea for your pet.

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Thanks again to Fantastic Vent for sending me these review products. Remember if you decide to buy anything based on hearing about it from theVAP, let the company know!

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Hughs Autoformer

On theVAP Episode 166 we talked about low voltage problems at some RV campgrounds. Low AC voltage can cause problems with your appliances such as microwaves and air conditioners. Typically the problem is the result of undersized utilities serving the campground. Prolonged use of your appliances especially your air conditioner can damage them.

I decided to look over the Internet to see if there was a solution to this. What I found was the Hughs Autoformer. Hughs sent me a unit to evaluate. They offer two models, one for 30 amp service and another for 50.

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The basic setup is you plug the Autoformer into the park service and plug your trailer into the Autoformer. There are two lights on the Autoformer, an amber and a red. The amber indicates that the utility power is wired ok. If the amber light stays on, it’s safe to plug in the trailer. The red light indicates the Autoformer is in boost mode. Boost mode is when the utility power is low and the Autoformer is actively boosting the voltage to the trailer to keep it in a safe range.

Since I’m not at a campground, I just tried it on my home service which is wired correctly and has proper voltage, but it let me go through the steps. First thing was to check the voltage in my trailer while connected directly to the utility.

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I setup the Autoformer inline with my trailer and rechecked.

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Even though the lights on the Autoformer were indicating non-boost mode, the voltage did raise a moderate 3VAC. I’m sure that’s the lowest residual amount.

This is about all I can test until I get back on the road with it. It looks to be a heavy duty quality built unit. I can’t wait to find a park with poor power!

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