RV Air Conditioner Maintenance

Performing annual RV air conditioner maintenance will enable you to keep your cool on those hot summer camping trips.  Even if you are not a certified air conditioning technician there  are a few simple common sense things any one can do to increase the reliability and life of your rooftop air conditioner.

I do strongly recommend having a certified technician check your system every three to five years.  This will help you determine if the refrigerant is at the right level and if any major components are showing signs of break down.

Annual RV Air Conditioner Maintenance

Many people like to do things to try and save a few dollars on repair bills and I am no exception.  Air conditioning is not one place to do that.  There are far too many potential hazards that can cause damage to your trailer or injury to you.

With that being said, there are some RV air conditioner maintenance items you can do to keep your unit running efficiently without the help of a technician. 

  1. The first thing is to clean the filter inside the cabin.  This is easily done by opening the filter door and removing the washable filter from the tray. Rinse the filter with tap water from your faucet, then gently wring the water from the filter, allow a couple minutes to dry, reinstall in the tray, and close the tray door.
  2. Before starting your AC, climb on the roof of your trailer and remove the shroud from the the air conditioner.  The air conditioner should not be operating, it is a good practice not to have the trailer plugged into any electrical outlets at this point.
  3. Check for debris, burned wires, spin the fan by hand to make sure it turns freely, and make sure the drain is clear.   Wipe the base using a clean cloth and 409 or another low odor non abrasive cleaner.
  4. After that, take a soft brush and clean the dirt off the outside coil.  Once that is done take a flashlight, shine it through both coils, and see if the beam is visible on the other side of the coils.  Once that is finished, reinstall the shroud making sure it is properly refastened to the frame. 
  5. Before climbing down, clean the shroud using another clean cloth and the same cleaners that you used on the base.
  • If you find burned wires, a sticking fan, or the coils are extremely dirty, schedule an appointment with your local RV service facility.

Do a Test Run

Now that you have checked over your RV air conditioner, if you have not found any visible problems you can do a test run.

  1. Plug the power cord of your trailer into a power outlet.
  2. Turn the unit to fan and check each of the fan speeds to ensure they all operate properly. 
  3. Next, with the thermostat in the warmest position turn the unit to cooling and adjust the thermostat to the coldest position to verify the thermostat is also working properly.
  4. Finally, allow the air conditioner to run for a while to see if it cools and drains properly.
  5. Finally, allow the air conditioner to run for a while to see if it cools and drains properly.
  • As stated earlier, if any problems are detected , contact your local RV service facility and schedule an appointment for the appropriate repairs.

If you will take a the brief amount of time it takes to perform RV air conditioner maintenance, the chances that your unit will function when needed increases greatly.  Plus, this gives you the benefit of knowing that your trailer will operate as it's expected to.

Written By: Scott (Certified HVAC-R)


The information on this page was written for informational purposes only and is provided for all exploringtraveltrailers.com friends.

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