Best small roof vents?

Hi all,

I was wondering if anyone has experience with small roof vents, I don’t want to put a large 14’x14’ fan in the roof (I’m already installing a dometic RTX2000 for those hot humid nights in the tropics).
So I want something small and low profile that will do an OK job not be too noisy, I’ve seen the Dometic Gy11 as well as some solar powered options that have significantly lower airflow.

What I like about them is there size only requiring a small ~10-15cm hole. I was planning to install 2 of them in the to boost the overall performance.

I’m starting to convert my van, its a mercedes vito 115cdi (the people mover version of the panel van).
I’ve built myself a sliding bed frame and splurged on a custom pocket spring mattress, I’m a sucker for a good nights sleep. I’m currently planning out roof placements and electronics before insulating and finishing. I’m hoping to make a solid little adventure van to take on weekend trips or longer trips around the country, climbing and motorbike riding with friends. my plan is to have it be “scalable” to match the intention of the trip, either more stealth or full adventure or something in the middle.

Thanks in advance,

Greetings & Welcome!

The best roof vents are no roof vents. Since you have a passenger van, hopefully you have opening windows all the around, which are a much better choice than roof vents. A cheap fan pointed outward can quickly draw air in and through the van from all other open windows.

If I am returning to a hot van, I will turn a fan on in a back window, then open both front windows, and it will cool the van to the outside temperature very quickly. If I want it cooler, I will then turn on my air cooler to keep me comfortable.

Of course parking in the shade is the best first line of defense against the heat.


"Fuel powered everything for the win, preferably hydrogen." ~ JustTheFacts

Thanks Van_Dweller,

Unfortunately even though my van is a passenger van the rear windows only crack open (about 50mm) so not enough to promote good airflow but I can open both sliding doors and boot which would air the van out quickly.
The main reason I’m looking for vents is for at night while sleeping, specifically on nights where running the aircon would be overkill and pulling fresh air in would be enough to keep the van comfortable.

thanks for the reply,


My windows only tilt out an inch or two also. I went to Walmart and got a clear plastic under bed storage box slightly larger than my window. I cut a hole in the bottom of it to fit my 10" fan, and cut the center out of the lid, keeping just 1" around the edges to secure a screen to the top. I have 2 binder clips stuck in where the headliner meets the side wall that this hangs from which allows it to be tilted out to open/close the window. The window opening is enough to handle anything the fan can push/pull, and on high creates a large breeze through the whole van.

I’m not real familiar with that particular A/C unit, but many have an in/out fan only mode. If it does, you may not even need any extra vents or fans, and just be able to crack some windows… Multiple roof vents will usually only cool right at the ceiling, leaving the rest of the van hot. To be successful in fan only mode, the air needs to circulate through the whole van.


"Fuel powered everything for the win, preferably hydrogen." ~ JustTheFacts

Great advice! I used the $$$ I would have dropped on a “fan” instead on a front / rear camera (for security reasons)

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Would you mind posting some pictures of your setup van_dweller I have some idea of what your talking about but some images would help. So you have any fly screens installed in that system? Mosquitoes can be very vicious especially in the warmer months.


I’m not currently using that system, so it’s not set up, and I don’t have a camera. Basically you get a large plastic container, that’s shallow, but slightly larger than your window. An under the bed storage box worked perfectly for me. My fan was 10" and round, so I cut a matching hole in the bottom of the box for the fan. Then I cut the center out of the lid of the box, leaving an inch or two all around the outside. With the remaining lid ring off, I stretched screen over the opening, then replaced the lid ring, to secure the screen in place.

My normal window screens just have magnetic tape all the way round, and just stick to the metal around my windows. Normally I put mine on the inside, but the could be used on the outside as well if you didn’t have the metal around your windows on the inside.

My front window screens are made from rain gutter leaf guards. Directions:

Good luck & if you need more clarification, just holler…


"Fuel powered everything for the win, preferably hydrogen." ~ JustTheFacts