How to Troubleshoot an RV AC

How to Troubleshoot an RV AC
Traveling in an RV during the summer can necessitate air conditioning. With their metal skin and thin insulation, RVs can soak up heat, particularly in direct sunlight. As such, a non-functioning air conditioning unit can really ruin your trip. There are a variety of possible problems that can occur, but some are more common than others, allowing you to pinpoint the problem and deal with it as efficiently as possible


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Voltmeter
  • Compressed Air
  • Sink
  • String
Step 1
Always begin by checking the connection at your particular campsite. Air conditioning is a power-intensive operation, making it one of the first systems to stop functioning in an inadequate power situation. Check the camp connection with a voltmeter. Typically 120 volts is enough, with many common roof-mounted air conditioning systems requiring 110 volts of electricity.
Step 2
Turn off other systems. Begin by noting the operational condition of your air conditioning, whether it's blowing cold air slowly or not at all. Then turn off other electrical systems inside your RV, such as appliances and lights. If air conditioning function improves, then slowly turn necessary systems back on until you discover the threshold at which your air conditioning suffers.
Step 3
Clean the filter on your air conditioning unit. Filters should be cleaned in a sink and allowed to air dry. With constant summer use, air conditioning units require more care than many people suspect. If you are not cleaning your filter every week, it is likely a contributing factor in the unit's poor performance.
Step 4
Blow compressed air through the shroud vents. The shroud is the plastic cover over your roof-top units. The slits in the shroud can easily get gunked up with leaves or dead bugs. Use a can of compressed air to blow these slits clear, allowing air flow to continue.
Step 5
Check the base of your air conditioning unit. Roof-mounted units need to be able to intake air and release excess water and hot air. This typically occurs through channels along the air conditioning system's base. Many people make the mistake of sealing the air conditioning unit too tightly on the roof, preventing the flow of water runoff and pooling water inside the air conditioning box. One way to be sure that the main channel or groove is clear is by running string through. The string should go easily through to the other side of the unit.

Article Written By Louie Doverspike

Based in Seattle, Louie Doverspike has been a professional writer since 2004. His work has appeared in various publications, including "AntiqueWeek" magazine, the "Prague Post" and "Seattle Represent!" Doverspike holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Hamilton College.

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