Holy condensation! possible roof fan question

On a cross country trip doing a mix of GFC camping and staying with friends. Just slept three nights in the GFC in eastern Kentucky in a pretty humid place, night-time temps were in the 20s to 40s. Condensation is almost unbearable. The entire roof, tent is completely soaked in the morning so if you want to get out of camp before the sun can dry it out you gotta wipe the whole thing down with a towel which I would say only works OK. We are sleeping with the windows open either all the way or at least halfway, have the v2 tent, not sleeping by a creek or water source.

For anyone who has made the cut and put a ceiling fan in, has this in any way helped with condensation? Is my only option a diesel heater to get some warm dry air? Any other thoughts?

Sincerely,
Soaked in Kentucky

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Build 591 here. I am worried about this as well once my build is done since I am from the PNW. I read on some forums that the V1 tent material caused more condensation. Concerning that you have the V2 tent material and are having issues. I was under the impression that the V2 tent material while not as strong as V1, was more breathable. I was planning on cutting into the roof and installing a fan regardless but I am also curios about its effectiveness from others who have done so. Plan on using a buddy heater but concerned that a fan wouldn’t be enough.

Have you tried just using a portable fan? I just picked up my camper last weekend and haven’t used it yet, but was going to give that a try before actually cutting a hole in the roof

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I haven’t yet. I do have one but not sure I can position it in a way that will pull rising moist air.

Long story short. Yes! The fan helps/prevents almost all of my condensation issues.
We ran our fan on low for a few nights at 40°F outside. No issues at all. Before the fan it was raining in there in the morning and my dog who sleeps at the wedge was soaked.
Add the fan. No dog should be wet in the morning.

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Thanks man! Will probably make the chop soon then. Can’t take the rain!

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It’s super easy.
PM me on TW if you need any help or have questions.

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@2ayne, any idea what kind of amperage it draws? I don’t have a dual battery setup, but definitely plan to install a fan.

The paperwork/website says the Maxxfan mini pulls 5amps. Assuming that’s on high fan speed but it has 4 settings if I remember right.

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After our first night in the GFC in early October we woke to heavy frost on the ceiling and walls. But with 2 people and 2 dogs it wasn’t unexpected. It got down to 18 deg that night.

So the second night I rigged this up with my cheapo battery powered fan from Amazon hooked up to my usb battery pack.

It actually worked pretty well. Only light frost on ceiling the second morning. I am thinking of making a simple fan shroud (out of foam) to hopefully create more suction.

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Had this issue with V1 fabric. 1st night slept in it with windows closed and two people and a dog, created rain on the inside. 2nd night left the two triangle windows cracked and no condensation. Low temps were in the high 20s and low 30s that weekend. Ever since I haven’t had issues with just leaving the two windows cracked. I have a warranty replacement V2 in my garage waiting to get put on, but don’t expect anything too different; V1 fabric is much less breathable. Personally won’t be getting a fan because I run tight trails and already have scars on the roof; fan will just break from a branch, etc. I’ve been happy with just cracking the windows. I’ll be camping this weekend in colder temps this weekend solo; 15F without windchill. Will just crack the windows again. If you don’t have any wind movement you probably will need a small fan though.

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Thanks ZKzr2 for the input here. This is the first post I have seen someone provide feedback on using the GFC in well below freezing conditions so it is reassuring. Out of curiosity are you running a Buddy Heater in the below freezing temps an if so, has it been comfortable when it has been 15F out? In addition to using my future setup for snowboarding, I am making the trek to MT in late Feb to pick up the GFC and then I am driving to Chicago to meet a friend who is building out the back. Given the time of year I am a little anxious about sleeping in the back with the mid-west winter weather.

Thanks-

I’ve spent a few nights in mine in the high teens/low 20’s with a buddy heater. It doesn’t work great to heat up the truck bed but once you get “upstairs” its super warm. I guess heat does rise after all. We’ll just leave a square out of the way until we’re ready to sleep and leave the heater down in the truck bed. We unzip the small windows about half way for ventilation. Haven’t had any issues with condensation but its dry af here in Utah.

When we go to sleep we shut off the heater and get straight into our bags. You still need a solid sleeping bag to stay comfortable throughout the night though. At the end of the day you are still sleeping in a tent.

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I’ve had good luck just cracking the smaller windows here in the mountains of Appalachia (humid and wet), even in rain events, and having only small amounts of condensation form on the inside, down into the 20’s. I have the first gen heavy duty fabric. I’ve spent a lot of time in various tents and haven’t met one yet that doesn’t get some condensation in my region of the world. The nice thing about the GFC roof and 1st gen fabric is i can wipe any condensation off in about 20 seconds and go on about my day with zero worry closing the camper and heading down the road. As people have said before, this setup is much better to deal with than putting away a wet RTT and having to go home and immediately air it out after a trip. I think a fan would be a nice option but I’m not in a rush to buy one and install it based on my experience thus far.

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I live in Detroit area btw. Most my trips are to the UP. As for running a heater I opted to not due to condensation build up. I’d rather have a warm sleeping bag and bundle up in it than run a heater and wake up to rain. I have a couple 0 degree bags and just layer up and call it good. Hasn’t failed me yet.

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Looking forward to hitting the trails and seeing the GFC in the snow.

man i guess i just must have more humid breath or something. we had the windows almost fully open one night with a decent breeze and everything was soaked. to the point where there are drops coming off the ceiling at times. i’m surely not saying it’s worse than a true RTT but I’m definitely looking to improve our experience. Also agree with the idea that with a good sleeping bag it’s good to go. My first night in the GFC after picking it up around NYE last year was in the low teens with a foot of snow overnight! survived just fine but the ceiling and tent had a nice layer of frost!

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this is a great idea before making the full investment to cut and do the fan… sounds like everyone has a much different story depending on where they are at so it’s hard to say what works and what doesn’t.

I will be trying this out though.

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I did try a fan that size for summer time. It doesn’t work much at all. Better to hang out in cabana mode. Might work in winter? Personally I think the fantastic or other version is the best way if you are going to do it. I just know that where I offroad it’s only a matter of time before I destroy it [the roof] or the fan. Not worth the risk in my opinion. Parts are hard to come by at a reasonable shipping time frame and a bit expensive due it being custom everything.

I’m super interested to see if anyone comes across a fan with a slimmer profile than the MaxxFan Mini. One of the reasons I went with GFC was for its low profile, and the fan adds quite a few extra inches to the top of the tent.

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