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Old 01-17-2020, 07:56 AM   #1
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Maxx Fan

Sleeping away here in an RV park with our ceramic heater on low and the bathroom vent open for ventilation (bathroom door was open). Our Maxx fan cover was not open. At 5:00am, the Maxx fan turned on at its highest speed. I jumped up to turn it off and, nada ... wouldn't respond to the controls. Couldn't turn it off nor would it respond to the speed controls. Opened the cover (manually) and then turned off the breakers which stopped the fan. When I flipped the breakers back on, the fan didn't come back on (whew). I'm thinking condensation on the cover must have dripped onto something (which doesn't give me a good feeling) but thought I'd ask for some thoughts, especially when one can't keep the fan opened because of rain.
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Old 01-17-2020, 08:54 AM   #2
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I always thought the MaxxFan was ideal for use in the rain as it has it's own rain shroud. I have always used it in the rain, on exhaust, with a window or vent cracked. As far as what happened to yours, perhaps a surge of some kind?
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Old 01-17-2020, 10:05 AM   #3
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Possible. I believe the ceramic heater came on at the same time (so startled by the fan, I couldn't be sure) so there could have been a connection. Will be watching closely for a while.
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Old 01-17-2020, 11:20 AM   #4
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Seems to me there has been some lengthy discussions about the circuit board on the Maxx fans failing due to moisture. I recall some use of Conformal coating the control board. There have been several threads on the topic. Too many to list.
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Old 01-17-2020, 11:33 AM   #5
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Thank you. I tried searching the forum but it's nearly impossible on my smart phone. Will check when I can get to a computer.
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Old 01-17-2020, 01:14 PM   #6
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Are you camped near area 51?
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Old 01-17-2020, 04:35 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fudge_brownie View Post
Seems to me there has been some lengthy discussions about the circuit board on the Maxx fans failing due to moisture. I recall some use of Conformal coating the control board. There have been several threads on the topic. Too many to list.
Coating the control board with a conformal coating helps along with sealing the place where the fan motor leads go through the housing just above the control board.
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Old 01-20-2020, 06:32 PM   #8
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Similar issues, replaced system board (under warranty) and all is good.
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Old 01-20-2020, 09:13 PM   #9
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Will call Escape tomorrow as we just had a repeat of the problem -- only this time it was a little more stressful. Eating dinner with our little ceramic heater on low when, all of a sudden, Maxx Fan came on (high). Tried resetting the breakers to no avail. Tried turning off the battery disconnect and nothing happened (the 12V lights didn't even turn off). Disconnected from shore power, switched off the fuses plus the battery disconnect and, finally, the fan shut off. Hopefully, a new board will take care of the problem. Thanks to all who responded.
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Old 01-20-2020, 09:14 PM   #10
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Peter .... now that's a thought. Hmmmm ........
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Old 01-21-2020, 08:30 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by CADreamin View Post
Tried turning off the battery disconnect and nothing happened (the 12V lights didn't even turn off). Disconnected from shore power, switched off the fuses plus the battery disconnect and, finally, the fan shut off. Hopefully, a new board will take care of the problem. Thanks to all who responded.
The MaxxFan is powered by 12V DC. If you were plugged in to shore power it makes sense that the fan continued to run when you turned off the battery disconnect switch. This is because the converter was doing its job of converting 120V AC to 12V DC to supply the loads in the trailer. Find the 12V fuse that serves the MaxxFan and then you will know which one to pull if you have continued issues before the repair to the board can be made.

Do you have solar programmed to an equalization voltage that is quite high (15V+)? Some owners have reported that higher voltages than devices are made to handle could also be the cause of issues.
http://www.escapeforum.org/forums/f8...tml#post278553
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Old 01-21-2020, 07:45 PM   #12
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Thanks, Rubicon, for confirming the shore power conundrum. What was confusing was that, the first time it happened, we were plugged into shore power as well; however, flipping the top two fuses stopped the fan that time. Checked the solar (many times as we were 'dry camping' for the first six days) and our voltage never exceeded 13.4 so not too high and, in fact, low enough to make us think about another solar panel .... Now that we're home, will contact Escape and get their opinion and (most likely) a new board. Thanks again for all your inputs!
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Old 01-21-2020, 09:27 PM   #13
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What was confusing was that, the first time it happened, we were plugged into shore power as well; however, flipping the top two fuses stopped the fan that time.
The top fuse is the main which would kill power to the entire trailer, including the converter. Second fuse might be the converter. If either of these was flipped off after the battery disconnect was already switched off then it would have stopped the fan because you killed the other source of 12V power that was coming via the converter.
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Old 01-22-2020, 01:40 AM   #14
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May be silly but the fan isn’t set for automatic temp controls. I think factory default is around 70 degrees. Since it only comes on when your heater is on? Just a thought.
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Old 01-22-2020, 07:24 AM   #15
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May be silly but the fan isn’t set for automatic temp controls. I think factory default is around 70 degrees. Since it only comes on when your heater is on? Just a thought.
Interesting thought but it doesn't explain not being able to turn the fan off with the power button. Also just an FYI the factory default for auto is 78F.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg MaxxFan auto mode.JPG (128.4 KB, 10 views)
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Old 01-22-2020, 07:29 AM   #16
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May be silly but the fan isn’t set for automatic temp controls. I think factory default is around 70 degrees. Since it only comes on when your heater is on? Just a thought.
I just tested this idea on my fan and it doesn't solve the problem. For the temp control to start the fan the cover must be open, the fan switched on, and the speed control on. If any of those things is missing the fan won't start at any temp setting. And, in any case, the fan doesn't automatically jump to the max speed.

Edit. I have an older fan that does not have the auto mode shown in Rubicon's attachment.
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Old 01-24-2020, 02:06 PM   #17
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Well, this just gets better and better. I heard back from ETI and they said it was a condensation issue and to leave the vent cracked and the fan running on low while we were in the trailer. They also suggested that we contact Airxcel (MaxxFan mfg) so they would be aware of the issue.

Called Airxcel and spoke with a gentleman named Mike, who talked with me even though they are only supposed to deal with 'certified' technicians .... Mike told me if it were condensation dripping on the board, we would not be able to turn the fan back on because the board would be fried. He also said that since 2003, their circuit boards have been coated to prevent such water issues because of some fans installed over dog-washing stations that were shorting out, etc., etc. His take is that it's a voltage issue -- that the MaxxFan is set to work between 10.8 - 13.2 volts (I confirmed that range twice with him) and that if it jumps to 13.7 or higher for 30 seconds, the fan will turn on automatically (the link to the earlier post helped understand this). He suggested using a voltage meter to test the fan with and without the ceramic heater running and go from there.

I'm letting Escape know about the Airxcel response, we'll test with a voltage meter and then have our 'certified technician' deal with it since everything is still under warranty.

(Note: Maybe this thread and the previously cited thread http://www.escapeforum.org/forums/f8...tor-14667.html should be combined for others experiencing this problem .... )
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Old 01-24-2020, 02:48 PM   #18
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His take is that it's a voltage issue -- that the MaxxFan is set to work between 10.8 - 13.2 volts (I confirmed that range twice with him) and that if it jumps to 13.7 or higher for 30 seconds, the fan will turn on automatically (the link to the earlier post helped understand this). He suggested using a voltage meter to test the fan with and without the ceramic heater running and go from there.
This is interesting. Never had this problem with our original MaxxFan Deluxe 5100K and a replacement model 6200K I installed in 2016 (lift arm broke on the original and I wanted the smoke cover anyway). The max voltage they can tolerate is interesting. I see from the other thread that tdf-texas reported that newer MaxxFan's are designed for 14.4V which is better than the 13.7, but I'm surprised Mike from AirXcel is still quoting the lower voltage.

We don't have solar so I know we are not exceeding what the converter can produce. With my replacement Progressive Dynamics PD4655LMBA WildKat main board that is 14.4V which is the same as a WFCO (on paper). The WFCO is probably rarely charging there according to reports. So according to what Mike is saying everyone that has a WFCO converter and a MaxxFan would (theoretically) have an issue. That is probably hundreds of thousands of RV's. I think the boards can handle at least 14.4V as reported by Tom otherwise we would be hearing about many more issues. The high equalization voltages set on many of the solar controllers are likely contributing to the problem but its really weird because you said your initial problem was while sleeping at 5am. Solar couldn't have been the contributor on that occasion. I'm not sure how running a ceramic heater on 120V AC plays into the situation. That could just be coincidence. Possibly your converter is putting out a higher voltage than specified?
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Old 01-24-2020, 05:32 PM   #19
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Heard back from Dave at ETI who said that a number of people have received new circuit boards from Airxcel because of this problem so, perhaps, Mike at Airxcel doesn't have his thumb on the pulse when it comes to this issue. Dave suggested calling back and getting another operator which I will do. Dave also told me, because we have a solar controller, we shouldn't need to test with a voltage meter. I did look at the controller after the second incident and remember it was about 13.5 so ... The crazy thing is, we've had the trailer since September 2018, have been out many times, have used the ceramic heater many times and never had this problem before. Unfortunately, electric issues aren't our forte so it's frustrating to have something like this going on but we do have a good RV service tech and a good electrician who installs solar. We truly appreciate all who responded and especially Rubicon for your input/help/suggestions. Thank you.
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Old 01-24-2020, 07:40 PM   #20
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Heard back from Dave at ETI who said that a number of people have received new circuit boards from Airxcel because of this problem so, perhaps, Mike at Airxcel doesn't have his thumb on the pulse when it comes to this issue. Dave suggested calling back and getting another operator which I will do. Dave also told me, because we have a solar controller, we shouldn't need to test with a voltage meter. I did look at the controller after the second incident and remember it was about 13.5 so ... The crazy thing is, we've had the trailer since September 2018, have been out many times, have used the ceramic heater many times and never had this problem before. Unfortunately, electric issues aren't our forte so it's frustrating to have something like this going on but we do have a good RV service tech and a good electrician who installs solar. We truly appreciate all who responded and especially Rubicon for your input/help/suggestions. Thank you.
The lower voltage limit the Airxcel tech mentioned would be for the earlier board version - since he would not know what version you have, he went with the voltage limit for the earlier ones


The boards don't seem to fail on the first overvoltage condition but after multiple exposures to overvoltage. My board didn't fail until two years of service. The only given is it will fail eventually if it is subjected to voltages over it's spec voltage. A voltage regulator helps prevent failures

The latest board version is V3.9. I would insist on this version if I was replacing the board as each revision has improved the board voltage rating.
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