How To Install a Ceiling Fan In an RV (Wattage, How To Hang)

One of the keys to this project will be picking the right ceiling fan whose design fits the space as well as the decor. Having clashing items in your interior is not going to make the space very relaxing or good to look at

Another key to an electrical project is to make sure that you use the right gauge of wire. Also, you need to route the wires where they will not be at risk of damage or come in contact with other electrical wiring. To do otherwise would put yourself and your family at risk.

To learn more about this project and get it done correctly, just continue to read our article. It has the information you want to know about so you can tackle this project with confidence. Take a few minutes to get this helpful information.

Can I Install a Ceiling Fan in My RV?


Yes, it is possible to do this project. There are companies that make RV-specific ceiling fans that should work in many RV or trailer models. While it is possible, it is not always probable due to ceiling height and other factors.

The first step in deciding if you can do this installation or not is to check the size of your RV or trailer. Not every model made is compatible with having a ceiling fan installed.

Then there are other considerations to factor in. One is the type of power source you will need to run the ceiling fan. Keep in mind that you will need an inverter or shore power, or a generator to run a 120-volt ceiling fan.

If you do not have those items, when you boondock, you won’t be able to use the fan. And even if you do, you have to manage your power use. Luckily, there are 12-volt RV ceiling fans available from different manufacturers.

Another factor to consider will be the weight of the fan. You have to add the total weight of the fan and the assembly to your cargo weight. Then you have to see if you need to sacrifice another item to make room for this one.

Don’t forget that the mount type is important as well. As you can see, it is possible but not always the best move to make.

Are RV Ceiling Fans 12 Volts or 110v?

There are different power models for RV ceiling fans. You can install a traditional home’s 120-volt fan in your RV but the problem described above would come into effect.

There are regular RV 120-volt ceiling fans as well. They will need shore power or a good generator to work. We do know that Keystone installs the third option which is a 12-volt ceiling fan.

These may be more prevalent in the RV world as most people want to have the option of running their ceiling fan no matter how they camp. But there is also a 4th option you can consider buying.

This option is for smaller, more portable ceiling fans and they are powered by a USB cable. These models do not permanently attach to your RV’s or trailer’s ceiling but can be placed on a hook and move the air around till you change rooms.

They also come with in-line controls as well as 3 to 6 blades. These are handy if you have a smaller RV or trailer and need a lot of air movement while it is still hot outside. The good thing is, they are very affordable as they are priced well below $50.

How Many Watts Does an RV Ceiling Fan Use?

This will depend on the type of ceiling fan you buy and install. The portable, USB-driven types may use between 5 and 10 watts depending on if they are multiple speeds or not.

These models may be the most economical power-wise. The other options for power use will depend on their size. You are looking at using between 18 and 35 watts approx.

The number of watts that you will use will also depend on if there is a light attached and if they are multi-speed as well. Even if they use between 50 and 100 watts per day, you are spending less than $1 on electricity for convenience and fresh air.

The 12-volt models will fit into that 18 to 35-watt scale as well. Usually, around the 20-watt range. This usage will depend on the model and the features it was given. It will also depend on how often you use your ceiling fan.

If you like running it all night, then expect to use more watts per day than those who only use it during warm daytime hours.

How Much Will An RV Ceiling Fan Drain From My Battery?


This will depend on the type of battery you own and use. The energy capacity of different types of batteries is not all the same. For example, if you use a deep cycle lead-acid battery, you may have on the label 110 amp hours. But you should not discharge the power more than 50%.

That means you only have about 55 amp hours to use. The average 12-volt ceiling fan needs 2 amps of power and depending on how much you use the fan, you may not have a lot of power left for other features.

Then amps are not all equal. I amp of shore power equals about 10 to 11 amps of battery power. So you really should not be figuring out your amp use and instead use watts. This is the most consistent unit across voltage.

To figure the amount of amps you are using you need to know- the voltage rating, average wattage, and time used of every appliance or load before you can figure out if you have enough battery capacity to power the ceiling fan and other items.

How Much Does an RV Ceiling Fan Cost?

The USB-driven models seem to be priced about the same as some 12-volt models. You can easily get these models through Amazon for under $50. The prices will vary depending on the vendor, the quality of the fan, and so on.

The 12-volt models also priced through Amazon, can range between $20 and $100 with dual-powered ceiling fans running about $149. If you have room and power to spare, then a regular home ceiling fan will run you over $150 depending on the model.

These prices all come from Amazon and you may find better prices at other outlets or find something you like on sale. Your cost will also depend on the brand you buy.

Some comparison shop[ping for the style you like is in order and make sure to have a 2nd and 3rd choice just in case your 1st choice is too expensive or out of stock. If you own a small trailer or RV, those USB models may fit the ceiling space you have available.

But be forewarned, those smaller trailers do not provide you with a lot of headroom and ceiling fans may be a luxury you cannot install.

How To Install a Ceiling Fan in an RV

They say you cannot directly place a ceiling fan on your RV ceiling. You need an electric box and some ceiling joists to attach to that box to hold the weight of the fan while it is rotating.

The first step is to cut a hole in your ceiling the size of the electric box and mount it to the extra support system. Once installed, test the strength before adding the ceiling fan.

Next, turn the power off to the section of your RV you are doing this work. Then make your wire connections and you can hide these in the ceiling or along the wall.

Once that is done, install the mount and you may have 3 lug bolts to make the mount secure. There should be instructions included in the box with the ceiling fan. Use washers and good screws as well to make the installation secure.

Finally, attach the blades to the assembly, the instruction sheet should have these instructions as well. Go carefully and do one blade at a time. Once you are done, do a test to see how the fan works.

Make any adjustments you need to after you do this test. Unfortunately, you are limited to the type of ceiling fan you can install. The ceilings are generally 7 to 8 feet high and that means you need a flush mount model and not a drop-down rod model.

How To Hang a Ceiling Fan in an RV


If you go with a temporary installation, in which the portable models would be the most compatible, then using strong hooks is the best way to hang your new ceiling fan.

The portable models are usually not that tall so a good-sized hook that can handle the weight of the fan will suffice. These hooks will need a good eye bolt drilled into one of the ceiling joists to be secure and able to hold the weight.

Then once the eye bolt is in place, slip the hook through the eye and attach the portable ceiling fan. The other models of ceiling fans, the 120 and 12-volt options, will come with their own mounting hardware.

However, those units may be too heavy to directly mount the fan to your RV’s ceiling. You will need to find a good strong central joist to secure the ceiling fan.

The best part of using a ceiling fan is that it can cool your RV down and save on power use by keeping your AC unit off. In many areas of the country, you do not need an AC unit most of the time anyways so save while you can.

RV Ceiling Fan Wiring Diagram

Generally, ceiling fan wiring is quite simple. You have a black, green, and red wire to work with. Then you simply attach the wires to their corresponding colored wires and you should have power.

Of course, the USB models will not have nor need a wiring diagram. The only wiring you are doing is connecting the USB plug to the USB port. They are simple and inexpensive options when you do not want to go through the installation process.

For the other models, here are two wiring diagrams to give you a good idea of what to expect if you do go through the installation process.




As you can see, there is nothing complicated about wiring these electrical devices. The only problem you may encounter is if your RV brand decided to use different colored wires for power, negative, and ground.

This is often the case as some RV owners have found out. Just make sure to follow all instructions and if in doubt, keep your multimeter or circuit tester handy to find the power and negative wires.

The last thing you want to do is cross-wire the ceiling fan and create a bigger electrical project for yourself.

Tips For Installing a Ceiling Fan In an RV

1. Check the structure of your RV or trailer’s roofing material. Make sure the timbers used are strong enough to hold the weight of the ceiling fan

2. Pick a suitable location and this may not be easy as the layout of the joists etc., may not be compatible with your chosen location. Have a couple of locations in mind in case one or more do not work out for you.

3. Use proper gauge wire when adding wire to your RV. This will prevent electrical problems in the future and protect the fan and your RV from damage.

4. Hide those wires in the ceiling if you can. But do not leave them bare. Use ducting, PVC, or similar pipe to protect the wires from any possible damage that can happen.

5. Pick a ceiling fan that is not too large or too small for your space. Watch the headroom so that means eliminating drop-down models from your list of potential ceiling fans.

6. Brand & construction- pick the brand you trust the most but do not be surprised if it is not the best option you could have bought. Make sure the fan is made from durable materials so it will last.

Also, do some comparison shopping as the most expensive ceiling fan may not be the best for your RV or trailer’s floor plan. The cheapest may not be the most durable. Find a good fan that fits your decor as well as the space you have available.

That could mean paying somewhere in the middle of the price range for the type of ceiling fan you want.

Replace Your RV Ceiling Fan


Once the ceiling fan has been installed, most of the hard work will have been done and you won’t have to re-do it. That is unless something was damaged over the years and you need to replace wires or the electrical box.

With the wires and electrical box still in place, all this task has to be done is the removal of the old fan and the quick installation of the new one.

One thing you should be wary of is the weight of the new fan. You really should not go above the weight of the old fan as everything is secure.

The joists in the ceiling can handle that weight and if you go heavier, you may be adding too much weight and the joist may crack, etc. Also, any additional weight on the new fan means you have to subtract some items from your cargo to compensate.

Is It Safe To Use a Ceiling Fan In an RV

This is a valid question as many people are not sure about how a ceiling fan will work in such a small area. But if placed in a good spot and all manufacturer installation instructions have been followed, then it is safe to use the ceiling fan.

The thing to watch out for is when you stretch or reach up with your arms. You may inadvertently hit the blades and hurt yourself or damage the fan. If you secured the fan properly, then it should not fall on you at any time.

These fans are safe to use and they will help you cut down on your energy use. They can replace your AC unit in some situations which will help you save some money.

Some Additional Words

It is possible to install a ceiling fan in your RV or trailer. You may not have a lot of good locations to use but they do add to the look of your RV’s etc., interior and help you save money.

The key is to find the right design and model of the ceiling fan so you can shut the AC unit off and enjoy your evenings, and so on. Just make sure you get qualified help to install the fan if you are not a great DIY person.

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