Moto Van Build - Roof vent the cargo area?

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2/2/2021 5:25 AM

A few months ago I ordered a new Ford Transit which should be delivered sometime next month so I am starting to finalize plans for my moto van build out. I'm for sure doing a custom, sealed partition by an upfit company. One thing I'm undecided on is whether a roof vent for the cargo area is necessary. The upfit company is recommending it, but I'm not sure it's necessary. For you guys that have done similar builds, did you do a roof vent? What made you decide to do it or not to do it? For reference, most often I'll be carrying my Husky 450, my son's KTM 50 and a 5 gallon Matrix Concepts gas can for each. How worried should I be about gas fumes or general comfort in the summer?

Thanks in advance for your input.

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2/2/2021 5:29 AM
Edited Date/Time: 2/2/2021 5:31 AM

I'm planning on adding one soon in my Metris. My bike is in there full time since I don't have a garage and the gas smell in the summer can get pretty bad according to my passengers. My wife and I must be used to it because I don't smell it at all anymore, but one of those Maxxfans can move like 200 cubic feet a minute which would be pretty much all the air in my van. Depending on how sealed your partition is you may get away with it, but we don't have a partition.

The fans are also great for keeping moisture at bay on the inside of the van, which is probably why the up-fitter is recommending it.

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2/2/2021 5:31 AM

We used to travel to the races in a van and the gas fumes were terrible. I would recommend the vent.

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2/2/2021 5:34 AM

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2/2/2021 5:42 AM

I never needed one in my promaster high roof van. Never had any odor issues.

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Indecision is a choice

2/2/2021 6:28 AM

A must for fumes
Seal the floor seams and walls in case of spills or leaks and will allow you to
wash out if needed if using rubber flooring

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2/2/2021 6:31 AM

I'm currently looking at doing the same thing in my van. One maxxifan in the front is a must and thinking of added one in the rear. I personally don't smell any of the fumes but my van is naturally vented with rusted out quarters haha

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2/2/2021 7:23 AM

What about a small hitch carrier to put the fuel jugs on the outside?

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2/2/2021 7:28 AM
Edited Date/Time: 2/2/2021 7:30 AM

I have a transit passenger van I haul my bike in. I only go ride for the day but usually spend 4-6hrs driving for the day. I never notice any fuel smells. Especially if you have a good sealed fuel can. My bike is fuel injected so that helps for sure but I have no reason for a vent right now.

If you are running a cargo van though and you don’t have to worry about a headliner I would probably add one to the back, it definitely can’t hurt. You would also get the benefit of moving the hot air out in the summer if you wanted to change out or sleep in the back.

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2/2/2021 7:29 AM

crusher773 wrote:

What about a small hitch carrier to put the fuel jugs on the outside?

Maybe I've watched to many movies but I considered that until I thought about getting rear ended with 10 gallons of fuel hanging off the back of my vehicle lol.

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2/2/2021 8:00 AM

I would install one of these, about $50. Pops up, you can leave it open when it's raining and it will stay dry inside, in case you forget to close it which is easy to do. Only 8" opening required, much smaller than the popular MaxxFans.Photo

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step derp, step step derp - my signature dance move

2/2/2021 8:13 AM

Curious who manufactures or sells the round 8" vent. I like the idea of smaller.

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2/2/2021 8:29 AM

My friend drilled a couple 1” holes near the back doors in his van to combat the fumes. We usually bring 3 fuel size bikes, 2 fuel jugs, and a pitbike and the smell doesn’t get to us or anyone else we may bring along.

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Unleaded tastes a little tangy. Supreme is kinda sour, and diesel tastes pretty good.

2/2/2021 9:37 AM

I installed this mini maxx air between the last 2 ribs which happen to be the correct width cut out needed. This vent is a lower profile to the regular maxx air. Not gas fumes with this and I like the built in LED light.
https://www.etrailer.com/RV-Vents-and-Fans/Maxxair/MA00-03801.html

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2/2/2021 11:49 AM

VP is stanky! Just sayin'.

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2/2/2021 11:55 AM

You need it also to get rid of moisture. Air intake at the side of the van, behind wheels, and a solar powered fan across the space at the roof creates drag.

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2/2/2021 12:24 PM

Definitely get a vent, preferable a maxx air vent. If not I'd suggest carrying fuel outside on a hitch carrier or something. You can't completely seal off the partitioned area, fumes will still come through.

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2/2/2021 12:59 PM

On a related topic, can anyone recommend a gas can that is good for keeping the fumes minimal?

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2/2/2021 1:14 PM

Thanks guys. Sounds like the consensus recommendation is to install the vent. Appreciate all the input.

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2/2/2021 1:39 PM

fullfloater wrote:

On a related topic, can anyone recommend a gas can that is good for keeping the fumes minimal?

Metal VP can but they still let fumes out in the summer heat.

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2/2/2021 1:46 PM

fullfloater wrote:

On a related topic, can anyone recommend a gas can that is good for keeping the fumes minimal?

I have a plastic VP can with a DIY spout and I don't have problems with fumes. I was tighten the vent when it leaves the garage as well.

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Unleaded tastes a little tangy. Supreme is kinda sour, and diesel tastes pretty good.

2/2/2021 1:56 PM

Even if you put your fuel outside the van, fumes will seep right out of the plastic tank on the bike. It is vented to the atmosphere on top also.

Any plastic jug will seep fumes. VP cans seep fumes at the plastic spout. Steel fuel cans that seal tight with a steel cap are the only type of can I have seen that is fume proof.

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Powerband in every gear !

2/2/2021 2:00 PM

fullfloater wrote:

On a related topic, can anyone recommend a gas can that is good for keeping the fumes minimal?

I just bought the Risk Racing EZ5 can after 15 years of having several shitty leaky VP cans. So much better... (alloy plugs, hose bender, three handles, floor mount. Very happy with it.

Also, in the box they sent me a 15% off coupon for my next purchase. Here you go... MOTO 15.

https://riskracing.com/pages/utility-jugs-and-accessories

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2/2/2021 2:30 PM

I have a Ford Transit high roof - you can check out my build here (along with a lot of other cool vans) if you're interested: https://www.vitalmx.com/forums/Moto-Related,20/Lets-See-those-Sprinter-Setups,1381172

I built the partition wall myself, and I did not put a vent in the cargo area. I've never had a problem with fumes in the front area, however I still have a carbon monoxide and fire detector up there just in case. Even on hot summer days I'll sometimes smell fumes in the cargo area when I first open the doors, but I never smell anything up front. Now I'm not saying that fumes aren't an issue, just that I don't notice them and I tend to be fairly sensitive to that, I'll get a headache real quick if the fumes are bad. YMMV.

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Only dead fish go with the flow

2/2/2021 3:25 PM

No experience with this, but with fuel vapor being heavier than air, would a vent lower near the floor be an option?

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2/2/2021 4:03 PM

I've got a Transit that has a DIY partitioned wall (not very well sealed), i don't have a vent. I run VP T4 which has a pretty strong odor, i dont notice any gas odor when the fuel is just in the VP cans. If fuel is in a container that has a vent (the bikes gas tank, or my generator) and sits for a while (like overnight) i will notice the fuel smell.

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2/2/2021 4:29 PM
Edited Date/Time: 2/2/2021 4:30 PM

I have a 2017 Ford Transit with a wall in the middle. Even though the wall is caulked all the way around, there are still cavities on the sidewalls and ceiling that allow gas fumes to travel upfront. I installed a Maxx Air vent in the passenger compartment and in the "garage". Just having the vent open easily handles all the fume problems and if you wash your bike at the track or load up moist gear, having the fan to move air around is great too. And having a ceiling fan upfront is a lifesaver on warm summer nights.

Oh! And if you are going to install a vent, these adapters are a must.

Good luck with whatever option you choose.

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2/2/2021 5:00 PM

fullfloater wrote:

On a related topic, can anyone recommend a gas can that is good for keeping the fumes minimal?

Crossup wrote:

I just bought the Risk Racing EZ5 can after 15 years of having several shitty leaky VP cans. So much better... (alloy plugs, hose bender, three handles, floor mount. Very happy with it.

Also, in the box they sent me a 15% off coupon for my next purchase. Here you go... MOTO 15.

https://riskracing.com/pages/utility-jugs-and-accessories

That is slick. I like the floor mount and hose.

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2/2/2021 6:06 PM

Whyyyy is everyone so scared of a little gas smelll. Just dont tip the fucker over and yull be fine. Jeeeeebuzzz

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Don't be a Pussy...

2/2/2021 6:08 PM
Edited Date/Time: 2/2/2021 6:09 PM

I built a moto van 4 yrs ago, we ride every week in 30-105F weather, I don’t have a vent/fan in the garage area. I used 1/2” to 2” thick insulation on the walls and roof, then enclosed that with 1/4” plywood on the walls and sheets of aluminum on the roof, but the real secret is to leave an air barrier between the wall and the insulation, this is the same tech that a modern cooler uses, it works great and the back of my van never gets hot

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