The MaxxAir fan is great, but it can’t do its job if the rest of the van is sealed up. It needs a flow of air in/out of the vehicle. We’ve thought about replacing the window behind the driver with an aftermarket vented one, or making another hole in the floor or step area to act as a vent.
Before we did that though, we wanted to try these slide-in metal vents from EuroCampers. They fit in the driver’s and co-driver’s windows and are held in place when you roll the window glass up.
First impressions are that they are functional but not the type of quality you might expect for the cost.
The vents are cut from sheet aluminum (at least, a non-ferrous metal), with a formed lower edge and riveted inner piece to accommodate the window glass. The top edge is folded over to hold the mesh bug screen in place behind the louvers. An extra piece of metal has been added to hold the back edge of the mesh at the point where the folded piece was cut off.
The curved corners of the vents (top left and right) are not radiused. Instead, it looks like they were cut out with shears using several straight snips to approximate a curve. There are rough spots and a couple of sharp corners.
The added piece of metal along the top of the vent is punched in place. We don’t know how long it will stay there.
These vents are obviously hand-made, and not necessarily in a good way!
Using the vent
You install the vent by lowering the window, pushing the back corner of the vent into the gap in the window seal, then pushing the front corner up to the top of the window opening. When you raise the window again, it slides the whole vent up to the top of the window opening and holds it in place. The window glass slots in to the formed edge at the bottom of the vent.
On our 2015 van, there’s a little gap at the rear edge of the window, where the glass curves down lower than the vent metal.
The vent works fine still, but it’s this kind of attention to detail that’s missing. Interestingly, despite the EuroCampers site saying that the vents are for 2007+ vans, the package says 2006-2013. Europe got the NCV3 vans one year earlier than the USA, so that is why it starts in 2006. Mercedes did a minor body refresh in 2014. We wonder whether part of that was different cab door window glass?
You can buy this product from the EuroCampers site if you’re in the USA. If you’re in Europe, it’s sold by Reimo. EuroCampers’ mark-up is probably fair, considering they have to import, stock, and re-ship the vents.
The window vents on their own don’t move air through the van. You could potentially bolt a computer fan on to them to help with this, but we think they are best as an addition to a roof vent fan like the MaxxAir that we added.
We will probably need to make a bag to hold these things when we’re not using them. They rattle around annoyingly.
They are not super-high quality. They are suitable for their job, and they are probably secure enough, but they have more rough edges (literally!) than we’d expect for the price.
If you have access to sheet aluminum and a louver press, you could knock a pair of these vents out in an afternoon with at least the same level of quality as the store-bought version. The thing is, louver presses are relatively rare and we have plenty of other DIY projects to do on the van.
Overall, the EuroCampers/Reimo vents meet our needs and are more convenient than the other options we considered. We wouldn’t unequivocally recommend them though because the build quality doesn’t match the price.