We installed the Sirocco II Fan in our van motorhome which we lived in full time. The below is a real review, based solely on our thoughts after months of daily use.
Ok, so lets get straight to the point – here is our verdict in a nutshell.
If you are looking for a way to circulate air in your RV or van, cool down the room temperature and assist in ventilation, then the Sirocco II fan is one of the better products in the market. It is a well made, high quality fan that stood the test of time in our van. Its 360 degree swivel and robust design makes it a good choice for cooling down your van on your vanlife adventures. We ran it for multiple hours every single day. Most nights it was on continuously as we slept. It performed flawlessly.
We think it is right up there with some of the top “must haves” when living on the road.
STARS: 4 out of 5
PROS AND CONS OF SIROCCO II FAN
- The 3-axis 360 degrees gimbal design is a definite winner. It allows the airflow from the fan to be directed in any direction you choose. Up, down, forwards, backwards, at an angle … you name it.
- The timer allows you to set it to turn off after 3/ 6/ 9/ 12 hours. Very handy for evening use when you want to fall asleep with a fan on, but not leave it on the whole night.
- Its compact design allows it to be folded against the wall, taking up far less space in the van when not in use compared to other fixed fans.
- Low power draw – like super low. When on its lowest setting, it is 0.12A. Medium is 0.22A and high is 0.35A.
- High quality, robust design. We went on all sorts of bumpy roads, and never once did the Sirocco fan come loose, or rattle around. The fan can be rotated to different angles, and it never slipped from the angled position it was set at.
- Made in Canada, it comes with a 2 year warranty. We never needed to use it, but it did give us peace of mind with the purchase.
- When set to high speed, it’s a little noisy. It is probably as quiet as a fan can be, but it’s worth mentioning. Luckily we found the low and medium speeds good enough to keep us cool, and rarely found the need to leave it on high.
- The blue light that indicates the auto off timer is annoying at night, especially if the fan is placed near the bed (ours was!). It’s easy enough to fix if you put a bit of tape over the light, but it’s a bit of an annoying feature nonetheless.
- There’s no remote included. This isn’t a deal breaker though, as in tight spaces such as vans, you don’t have to travel too far to reach the fan anyway!
Who makes the Sirocco II fan?
Sirocco Fans are produced by Canadian manufacturer Caframo. Caframo are a specialised company that focuses on manufacturing fans for the Marine industry.
However, while their primary market is the marine industry, their products have actually taken off within the van conversion, caravan and RV markets. This makes sense considering that all of the same positives of a great marine fan are directly relatable to a living on the road in an RV of van.
Who is the Sirocco II fan for?
When it comes to keeping cool on the road, everyone’s needs are different. There are so many variables between people and their vans, that it’s not really a case of one product fits all. For instance, not everyone needs or wants a bulky air conditioning unit or even a roof fan in their van.
However, we think that it’s one of those products that can actually be incredibly beneficial to practically all van lifers, from people cheaply converting station-wagons, through to fully fitted school busses.
A well placed Sirocco II fan can be a great solution to cooling air, assisting with ventilation within the van, and can be the difference between a good night and a bad night’s sleep.
We have taken into consideration that everyone’s vehicle is different, but we feel that this product truly does have merit in practically any van conversion scenario.
For instance, in our own case, we had a roof fan (MaxxFan Deluxe) and an air-conditioning unit installed (Dometic IBIS 4) and we found that we still utilised the Sirocco II fan on every hot day. It was our first point of call for cooling down the van, and due to its effectiveness we didn’t need to use our rooftop fan or air con nearly as much as we thought we would.
If we did decide to run our Dometic air conditioner, we would also turn the Sirocco II Fan on to help circulate the colder, conditioned air throughout the van. This would mean we could have the air-conditioner’s fan speed on lower, as it was being supplemented by the Sirocco II.
It was a similar story when we ran our MaxxFan Deluxe. We would concurrently run the Sirocco II to help distribute airflow around the van.
Key features of the Sirocco Fan
In reality, this fan is a pretty simple device. There is no great technological trickery going on, just good old fashioned clever design.
The key feature of the design is its 30 degree swivel. It’s brilliant as it allows you to direct the airflow from the fan to wherever you choose.
In our van, we had it positioned around halfway down the length of the van interior. This enabled the airflow from the fan to reach practically every single corner of the living space within our van.
Another great strength is its low power draw. On the low setting the fan consumes as little as 0.12A in a single hour. This is remarkably low and means that the fan could stay on all day, every day and would have very little negative impact on your battery supply.
The fan features an auto turn off timer of 3, 6, 9 and 12 hours. Great for creating a comfortable cooling breeze to fall asleep to, and then auto turning off before the breeze becomes too cool and wakes you up! This is exactly how we would use the Sirocco II Fan in our van. We would turn the fan on as we fell asleep, but by mid morning it would end up cooling the van too much. So we’d set it for 3 hours only, and voila, a perfect night’s sleep!
The fan is available in two colours only. White and black. We had the white variety. It doesn’t look too shiny and cheap and suited the light white interior of our van.
There were really only a couple of places where we found the fan let us down a little bit.
The first was in the installation of the fan. We installed our fan on our side wall, but our side wall had a slight bow in it. Really slight… But, the fan didn’t like that, and I had to end up living with the fact that there was a slight gap below the base of the fan, and that it didn’t sit super flush to the wall. This is more of a poor installation choice on our end, as in where we installed it, but still something to note.
The second, small negative is the small blue light that illuminates when a timer is chosen. This blue light seems small and irrelevant in the day time, but at night, in a small space such as a van, we found the light could be distracting to sleep with. That being said, we just taped over the light and the problem was solved.
The reason we bought the Sirocco II fan was because of the sheer amount of positive reviews online. We never actually saw it in person in a shop. Here are a few reviews we have collated from various places to give you a wide range of opinions that are varying from our own considerations of the fan.
This fan has been brilliant. The first one I’ve had going for over three years, and the last six months it’s ran almost 24/7. So good I recently bought another one and I leave it running all day. I’m an auto electrician and they are so far ahead of other fans in current draw. You have to be very careful cleaning dust from it as it is easy to put the fan out of balance. I’m yet to see better. You get what you pay for.
Sirocco fan fail
published 4 years ago
These are a great low energy fan for RV use, we had this one 2 years before it failed like most reviews it still has blue lights come on but fan stops working due to flawed internal connection. This is a manufacturing fail that should be looked at for customer satisfaction. At $200. It is an expensive fan to fail so quickly,
I would stil (sic) buy another one as it is essential in warn (sic) climate touring in the middle of Australia but very disappointed in construction to fail on electrical issues.
We were very happy with our Sirocco II Fan. We ran it pretty constantly during hot weather, and it’s 360 degree swivel was a lifesaver as it could push the air exactly where we needed it to go. It packs a punch for it’s compact size, and works well on it’s own or in collaboration with a roof fan or air conditioning unit.
We give the fan ⅘ stars It is a great choice.
What are the best alternatives to a Sirocco II fan?
Ok, we reckon the Sirocco II Fan is a great purchase, but there is no doubt it is a little pricey. So, with the price point in mind, let’s look at 3 alternatives to the Sirocco II that don’t hurt the wallet as much.
The boundless breeze is certainly a cheaper option than the Sirocco. Though typically with a cheaper price comes a multitude of tradeoffs.
- It has three speeds that run a 12 inch rotary fan consisting of 10 blades. My assumption is that this 12 inch fan diameter would be able to push a serious amount of air around your van or RV.
- Another benefit over the Sirocco is that it is portable. So you could position it outside your van when you are relaxing, and have it create a nice breeze for you.
- It is freestanding, which means it never needs to be mounted at all. Some may see this as a positive. Even though it is freestanding, it can still swivel due to it’s swivel base.
- 3 speed settings.
- The boundless breeze fan doesn’t allow for wall mounting. This is a SERIOUS positive of the Sirocco II Fan, as it can be mounted up high to allow you to direct the airflow into more parts of the van. Hell, you could mount the Sirocco on the ceiling if you thought best.
- According to reviews I scoured on Amazon, the boundless breeze isn’t the quietest fan around. I’m sure it is liveable, but it could be a dealbreaker for some. All fans are going to make noise though, so I’m not sure how much weight to put into this when making your purchase decision.
- It is a larger fan. Much larger than the Sirocco II Fan. And because it doesn’t fold down like the Sirocco does, you may find this clumsily getting in the way more often than not.
The makers of the Sirocco II fan also have a cheaper option – the Caframo Bora. It’s the Sirocco’s smaller brother.
- It is a 7 inch fan just like the Sirocco II, so it would be fair to say that it will also create as much air flow as it’s big brother.
- It is roughly as compact as the Sirocco II Fan.
- Fully guarded just like the SIrocco II.
- Angle is adjustable. Though not as much as the 360 degree swivel of the Sirocco II.
- Consumes less energy than the Sirocco II.
Bora – Low = 0.15, Medium = 0.18 and High = 0.27amps.
Sirocco – Low = 0.12, Medium = 0.22 and High = 0.35amps.
These numbers are so low, that it’s negligible either way.
- It doesn’t have the same 360 degree swivel that the Sirocco II has.
- The fan is only mounted through one central small, central baseplate, whereas the Sirocco has a much wider baseplate. This means that it could be damaged more easily when bumped. There are a few reviews on Amazon saying as much, so be aware.
This is by far at the cheaper end of the spectrum. At least $125 dollars cheaper than the Sirocco II. That’s a lot and makes this option worth looking closer at.
Powered by any standard vehicle 12 volt socket, this kind of fan is most likely used for truck and RV drivers cabins, more than living spaces.
This fan oscillates 90 degrees on its own, allowing the airflow direction to cover more area. This is something the Sirocco II does not do. Pretty nifty really.
It comes with clamps which allow for easy placement, as you can clip on the fan wherever you need it in your van. It also comes with screws for a more permanent attachment.
- Because the supplied cable is connected to a 12v socket plug, the cable will have to be cut in order to be hardwired into your van power. Not a big deal, but some people may not be comfortable doing this.
- The on/off switch isn’t on the fan itself, but rather it is down the wire. This is a bit of an ugly solution, especially if you are going for a minimalist, streamlined van interior.
- The fan is smaller than the Sirocco II Fan. This means it won’t be generating the same amount of airflow.
- According to some of the reviews on Amazon, it is prone to vibration. This could just be due to the clamping mount, as that would be more susceptible to creating noise from vibration.
How to install the Sirocco II fan in your van
Let’s look at the process for installing a Sirocco II fan in your van. It is a pretty straightforward process to get this fan installed and up and running.
Before you install the fan, let’s look at your mounting options. Everybody’s van setup will be different. There is no “one size fits all” to a vans interior space. Because of this, it’s worth being aware of the many ways you can mount the Sirocco II Fan so that it does the best job for your space.
The first, and most common mounting option is to screw the fan to a wall, floor or ceiling in the exact permanent place you want it. This is a stationary mount, and cannot be moved once wired in.
There are other options worth considering too.
You could connect a cigarette plug to the fan wiring. This would give it a portability factor. The Sirocco II would need to be screwed down to some sort of board though (like a chopping board), to stop it tipping over.
Another idea we have come across is to connect pole clips to the fan. This allows the fan to go under your awning or annex. Great for when you are relaxing outside the van. This would need an extension cord created with a cigarette plug end.
You could also mount the fan to a retractable computer monitor arm or tv bracket. This arm would then be mounted to the wall. This would allow the fan even further reach and airflow possibilities while retaining a single mounting spot on your wall – though there would be a certain loss of aesthetic with this option.
Sirocco II fan installation instructions
This installation process should take about 15 minutes all up.
These instructions will explain how we wired the Sirocco II up to the 12 volt battery system in our van home.
The Sirocco II Fan comes with supplied with –
- Double sided tape
- 2 screws
- 2 steel nuts
- 2 brass nuts
- 2 lock washers
Tools you will need to complete installation –
- 6 x #6 screws
- Phillips head screwdriver
The supplied wiring has about 750mm of wire. One end of the wire has eyelets that attach to the fan terminal ends. The other end of the wire is pre-stripped for easy connecting to your 12v circuit.
We mounted our Sirocco II Fan to our wall. This is what I will use as the example for this install going forward.
- Choose your mounting position.
It’s worth thinking very hard about where you want the airflow of the fan to go, remembering that the 360 degree swivelling head gives the fan the ability to push airflow in any direction from its position. Don’t install the fan next to a cupboard that will block its ability to circulate air.
- Run enough wiring from your fuse box to reach your fan position.
Once you have chosen your mounting position, you will need to make sure your van wiring
has been run from your fuse box, to the mounting position. Remember, the supplied wiring is only 750mm long, so you will need additional wiring to complete the circuit to your fusebox and back. This wiring is run behind the wall to the location you want the fan to be. A hole must be cut in the wall to allow access to the wiring.
NOTE – wire size – the size of wiring needed will depend on the distance your fan is from your fuse box. But, as a guide, we had 4 meters of wiring (2 meters to and from the fan) and used 1.84MM2 wiring (between AWG 14 to 16 equivalent).
- Feed the wiring that came with the fan through the mounting base plate.
Connect the fan wiring to your own wiring (that came from the fuse box). Make this connection on the wall side of the mounting plate. The flat side of the mounting plate should face towards the wall.
- Mount the backing plate.
Place 2 nuts in the hex holes.
Use double sided tape supplied to attach the base plate to the wall in the exact position you want it to stay. The flat side of the mounting plate should face the wall.
- Secure the backing plate in position.
This is where you will need the 6x #6 screws. These screws don’t come with the fan. Screw the fan base plate to the wall.
Now your backing plate is in place, and your wiring is ready to connect to the fan itself.
- Attach the provided wire to the fan.
Place the positive marked wire to the positive screw. Secure with the lug washer then the brass nut, and tighten well with pliers. Repeat by attaching the negative wire to the screw with the lug washer and brass nut and then tighten.
- Connect fan to base plate.
Place the fan into the holes of the base and slide to lock the fan base onto the secure base plate.
Secure the fan to the backing plate using the two screws provided.
That’s it. Now the only thing left is to enjoy the breeze.
Thanks for reading our review of the Sirocco II fan. We hope it helped in some small way!