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MaxxAir MaxxFan 5100K: Product Review

We purchased the MaxxAir Maxxfan 5100K to use for our campervan ventilation. The ability to circulate air in our van not only provides moisture and temperature control, but also critical airflow for safely operating our propane camp-stove.

The fan carries a pretty hefty price tag (for a fan), but we find it to be easily worth its price. Below, we outline the features and evaluate its performance in our complete MaxxFan 5100K review.

This post may contain affiliate links. Disclosure policy.

We were drawn to the MaxxAir Maxxfan 5100K because it’s the best value in the Maxxfan deluxe lineup.  It has all the features that we value most and at a really competitive price.

And it matches our white van really nicely.

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For help installing a Maxxfan, check out our installation video on YouTube.

Primary Features | MaxxFan 5100K

  • Built-in Rain Cover
  • Exhaust and Intake
  • 10 speeds
  • Highly efficient 12v power
  • Automatic Thermostat Settings
  • Fits all standard 14” x 14” vent openings
  • Removable bug screen

Built-In Rain Cover

All of the Maxxfan deluxe models come with a built-in rain cover, and it’s definitely one of the main selling points.  The Maxxfan’s main competitor, Fantastic Fan, costs about the same, but lacks this important feature.  

When there is rain or snow, it’s usually accompanied by moisture in the air.  So being able to use the fan during precipitation is key for combatting moisture build-up.

And the rain cover can be left open while driving, so we basically always leave it open. That gives us peace of mind that our fan is always ready to go whenever we need it.

10 Speeds

It has 10 speeds that can accommodate the perfect level of air movement for any situation.  The lowest setting is nearly whisper quiet and uses only a fraction of an amp. And the highest setting, while somewhat loud, can move air at 900 CFM (cubic feet per minute).  Emily loves sleeping with a little white noise, and the medium/high settings are perfect for that.


The exhaust mode is great for moving the hot air that collects up around the ceiling.  We also use it when cooking to exhaust moisture, heat, and odors. It also provides adequate air circulation to ensure safe usage of our propane stove.  And when we open a door or window, the exhaust mode can really quickly move the air through.


The intake mode is great for really hot weather when you want to force fresh air into the van.  We find that the air doesn’t blow straight down, but rather spreads out in all directions. This is nice for creating a breeze no matter where we are sitting in the van.

Or the fan can also be run on intake mode with the rain cover closed. This makes the fan function as a ceiling fan, circulating air without actually drawing in any new air from outside.

Efficient 12-Volt Power

The Maxxfan runs very efficiently on 12-volt power.  We run it for hours at a time without worrying about draining our batteries.  We basically run it all night, every night since moving into our campervan 6 months ago.  On speed 1 it uses only 0.1 amps, and on speed 10 it uses around 3 amps.

Automatic Temperature Control

This feature is nice to have if you need to control the temperature of your van while you’re away from the van or asleep.  On auto, it can be set to a specific temperature and then it turns on and off automatically and maintains the set temperature.

At least in theory, that’s how it works.  The issue is that obviously this setting only works for keeping the van cool, since it can’t actually warm it up.  And there is definitely a limit on how cool it can keep a van when the weather is really hot outside. Like if we set it to 70° F and its 100° F outside, it will keep running at full blast and never actually reaching 70° F.

So within reason, it’s a nice feature to have.  We use it when we have stored our van in a storage yard while taking trips without the van.  The van is parked in Denver at an RV storage yard and this feature can help keep the van from getting insanely hot while we are gone. 

We figure as long as it’s over 70 degrees, then there’s probably plenty of sunshine to provide the solar power needed to supply the fan.

And it can be especially useful for people with pets who want to have some control over the climate inside their van while they are away.  But I would recommend running some tests before putting your pet’s lives on the line.  That way you know the temperatures that it is capable of maintaining.

Automatic Shutoff

The fan has an automatic shutoff feature that will turn the fan off if the motor comes under too much stress.  For example, if we forget to turn the fan off before driving on a highway, the fan will shut off automatically.  This is to protect the motor from being overworked by fighting against the strong air current flowing in the other direction.

What’s Missing

The only features that the 5100K model doesn’t have, compared to the top-of-the-line models, (7000K and 7500K) is the electronic lid opener and remote control.  

But, it only takes a couple of turns of the knob to manually open the vent.  Additionally, you can leave the vent fully open while driving, so we leave it open nearly 100% of the time.  We only close it sometimes when it’s really cold, or when we need to clean the bug screen.

And since our van is such a small space, we’ve found that we can live without the remote control. The buttons are within arm’s reach from almost anywhere in the van. So we are totally happy saving a little money without those features.

But in some instances, you may really appreciate the added convenience of the powered lid.  Particularly if your fan is installed far towards the front or back of a long or tall van or RV, when reaching the buttons might be more difficult.  Or if you plan on opening and closing the rain cover often.


The keypad on our Maxxfan started malfunctioning after 2 years.  The buttons weren’t as responsive, requiring a “special touch” sometimes to get them to work.

But Maxxfan sent us a replacement keypad for free, and they are also available from third-party sellers.

{Read: How To Replace Keypad On Maxxfan

When the automatic shutoff feature engages, we have to manually disconnect power to the fan in order to restore its functionality. We do this by resetting the fuse in our fuse box. It’s not a huge issue, but still mildly annoying.

In a small number of fans, customers notice a squeaking noise develop over time.  For some, running the fan on high for 24 hours was enough to fix the problem.

And if not, Maxxair’s customer service has been reported very eager to send out replacement motors to keep customers happy.  While others have been able to disassemble the motor and clean out buildup themselves. Just something worth mentioning in our MaxxFan 5100K review.

Installation Notes

While the fan fits into a standard 14” x 14” hole, it does require an extra 8” of space to the rear of the hole to accommodate the rain cover.  So just be mindful of this if you have other things on your roof like solar panels, racks, etc.

The fan comes with everything you need to install, except sealants. So just be aware that those need to be purchased separately. We recommend butyl tape and 3M 4200 sealant.

Our Verdict | MaxxFan 5100K Review

We love our Maxxfan 5100K. After using it every day for over 6 months, we are very pleased.  It has really stood up to the test of full-time van lifers. We run the fan all night, every night, and we run for at least a couple of hours during most days.  All of that adds up to hundreds of hours of use. And it still keeps working great without many issues.

It’s a top-of-the-line product that works as advertised and is very reliable.  The 10 different speeds mean that we can always find a setting that is just right for any situation. 

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Campervan interior that shows the Maxxfan 5100K installed in the cedar plank ceiling

But the huge selling point for us is the built-in rain cover.  It means that we can keep running the fan rain or shine without any worries.

We spend lots of time in our campervan, and the Maxxfan always keeps the air fresh and comfortable. Whether it’s hot, cold, or mild, the Maxxfann 5100K is up for the job.  It has been money well spent to keep us living happily and comfortably in our van.

For help installing a Maxxfan, check out our installation video on Youtube.

A Screenshot of the Two Roaming Souls Youtube Video of Installing a Maxxfan in Van Roof

But a vent fan is just one piece of the puzzle.

For more information, read our article that covers all aspects about Campervan Ventilation.

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