Venting Thoughts // Roof Vents

After fitting bitumen flashing on all the walls, I thought I’d splash out on the Silenet Coat, 2mm panels for the roof. I still get flashbacks to staying in my nan’s caravan and the racket that used to make on the roof, so let’s dampen that noise as much as possible.

But that shit’s expensive bro!

So I don’t want to stick on the ceiling, only to cut it out down the line when putting in the roof lights/vents.

Ok, so let’s figure out where to put the rooflight.

So, what size do they come in? Which one to get? Well that was a whole separate escapade, available here

Roof window TL:DR – The DOMETIC MINI HEKI has been bought, and I’m still debating a second one of these, or the Fiamma Turbo 160 or 28…

But roof vents restrict your roof area… for solar panels…

So, what size do they come in? How much power do I need? How many panels? Well that was a whole separate debacle, available here

Solar Panel TL:DR – I don’t know yet. My preference for the vent location leaves a 1400 (van width) x 1130 (between vent facias), and I calculated I need at least 160W panel.

Most large panels come in 1640 x 990 – so that’s a problem…

Yingli 48 Cell range comes in 1310 x 991 at 180W-220W range, but I think these are 5 years old and hard to come by. Alternatively I could get 2 x 100W flex panels.

Or move where I want the roof vents.

With that in mind, the window vent choices were narrowed down to:


Spec: 400 x 400 aperture, w/o forced ventilation. 43-60mm ceiling depth

Highly recommended by my campervan-building friend Troopy, you’d have thought it’d be easy to find… Whilst cheaper alternatives do exist, this vent offers an unobscured dome window, a huge angle of opening, bad weather ventilation mode and includes both a flynet and blind.

Old vs New Design?

So many places have images of the vent with a light blue-tint, vs. the Dometic website which shows a light grey/transparent tint.

For my two cents, I think the blue colour is old stock, but uses the same body, opening to 3 positions (fully and half and bad weather) – maybe expect to see this get cheaper in 2018 and the grey tint to become more common.

RRP is £121 in October 2017, but you can pick it else where, like here, for £20-£30 less.


Very similar in style, my guess is the ‘S’ is for ‘Slim’. It offers 5 open positions, ie it can tilt front/back, left/right and bad weather, so with this, maybe you can open it so as to get the most wind blowing in through the window?

Just watch out you don’t drive with it open to the front – perhaps this is why it opens to a more shallow angle than it’s brother above.

ONE FOR THE FUTURE: The Fiamma 160 Crystal Turbo Premium – £200

Spec: 400 x 400 aperture, w/o forced ventilation. 43-60mm ceiling depth

Another roof vent at 400 x 400mm, but hooked up to the electric, its fan can not only extract the air from inside to out, but pull in air from the outside – I don’t entirely know why you’d need the second, but cool!

It does have fixed ventilation, which is designed for static caravans and can cause whistling whilst driving, but is still a common choice for many van conversions I have seen.

It features a mosquito net, but the blind is an extra, available for around £25 – WTF right?

WATCHOUT: Fiamma 160 Crystal Turbo – £190

Identical to the Premium, BUT, it uses knobs and dials in each corner to set the van, rather than the corner set of touch buttons on the premium. For such a minimal difference in price, why not get the premium at this stage if you’re spending nearly £200 for a roof window.

ALTERNATIVE: Fiamma 28 Turbo

Much smaller, at 280 x 280, this may solve my solar panel arrangement dilemma, whilst still providing a fan to extract heat.

Design for bathrooms, it probably won’t provide the light I would like, but that may not be an issue if I end up installing a side window in order to reclass the van to a motorhome on the V5.

Final Thoughts

Until my solar panel plans are more clear, I’m going to start with the Dometic, to get some ventilation into the van before insulatiing.

Insulating with what? I still don’t know either… Celatex or Fibre…


By J.Molkenthin

James Molkenthin is an enthusiastic and energetic British Designer, with a background in Graphics, Website and Product Design.

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