Even though they are small, RV air conditioners are durable and can handle much wear and tear atop your RV. However, they still experience issues and will break down if problems are not immediately and appropriately addressed.
Coach Specialists is a premier RV repair shop in the Dallas-Fort Worth Area, and we answer the most common RV air conditioner repair questions in this blog. Keep reading to gain expert insights on properly maintaining the AC of your recreational vehicle.
Do RV Air Conditioners run on Freon?
Unlike air conditioners used to cool a house or a car, an RV air conditioner is very different in how it cools. RV air conditioners work more like refrigerators that use chemical refrigerants like Freon.
RV Air conditioners are hermetically sealed, meaning they are not designed to be opened and repaired. Therefore, if there is a need for repairs, the services are often very costly.
How long should an RV Air Conditioner last?
The life expectancy of RV air conditioners depends mainly on the model and how it is used. However, generally, ACs are expected to last between three to five years.
If your camper’s AC has some years on it and it’s already showing signs of wear, most experts will recommend a replacement as it is often cheaper to replace one than to have the unit mended.
Why is my RV Air Conditioner not cooling properly?
The most common RV air conditioner issue is that it is not cooling enough. There are many reasons this issue can occur, but the following are the most widespread reasons this happens.
First, your RV AC is not big enough in BTUs, especially on a hot day when your air conditioner could be outmatched. If you are constantly running into this issue, you might consider getting another AC installed or upgrading your current unit, so you get a consistent cool on every part of your vehicle.
The second most common reason is that your AC lacks maintenance. Like any other parts of your RV, the air conditioner also needs to be regularly maintained. By just performing essential maintenance work, you can improve the unit’s performance and make it last for a longer time.
Basic RV Air Conditioner Maintenance Tips
Improve efficiency by performing the following essential maintenance tips on your AC.
Be sure to clean your RV air conditioner’s air filters every two to four weeks, depending on how often you run it—failing to do so results in a decreased airflow, leading to insufficient cooling in the vehicle. This is especially problematic during hot days.
If you ignore your air filters for an extended period, it causes the unit to work harder, using more power that drastically shortens its life expectancy.
Condenser fins are something you should avoid messing with (call an RV air conditioner service), but it’s good to know a little about them to know what to look for when maintaining your air conditioner.
If the condenser fins are very dirty, remove the filter on the inside of the ceiling. Get a flashlight and look up at the condenser fins; they should be clean and clear.
If the condenser fins are poorly maintained, it could be because your filter is not covering the intake area entirely as it should and needs to be replaced with the correct size. NO dirt should be able to get by this filter.
Inspect your condenser fins occasionally to check if they are bent. If they are, you can straighten any bent condenser fins on your air conditioner with a fin comb that you can purchase at any auto part store.
Clean the outside condenser coil as needed. This is not an obligatory maintenance concern, but it will help your AC perform to its full potential.
The coil is located at the back of the AC unit and can be accessed from the outside on the roof. You can blow out any debris collected on the coil with an air compressor. Since the AC fan pulls air in through the back of the coil and exhausts it from the sides of the shroud, it is best to blow compressed air from the inside out. You may also wash this coil with water if you choose to do so. Don’t forget to disconnect all power leading to the air conditioner first.
Each AC unit has a pan to collect the water due to condensation and directs the water out onto the RV roof through a small hose. Some of these drains on the pans have small openings and can be easily blocked, causing the water to leak into the RV. The holes can be cleaned out with a wire carefully and blown clear with air.
Is my RV Air Conditioner receiving the wrong amount of power?
Whenever your RV air conditioner receives too much or too little power, it is at risk of some significant damage. Unfortunately, there are many ways you could be receiving the wrong amount of energy, including the following:
Your generator might be fluctuating too much, meaning you might have an internal problem with your generator. If you are plugged in at a campground, and it is a hot day, most people could be using their air conditioners. This would affect how much power you receive from the shore power outlet and potentially harm your air conditioner.
Is it OK for RV AC to run all day?
Letting the AC run 24/7 in your camper won’t be a problem, but you have to adjust your thermostat slightly lower so your compressor can still cycle on and off effectively. It’s also ideal to have two units in your trailer so that you can alternate the front and rear air conditioner to give each a break.
How much does it cost to replace an RV Air Conditioner?
The cost of an AC replacement depends on the type of RV you have. Most units may cost between $700 to $1,500 with installation fees ranging from $1,000 to $2,000. These numbers are just estimates, so if you want to get a concrete price, it’s best to contact RV AC repair experts in Dallas, TX.
Contact Coach Specialists today! We offer RV mechanical systems repairs, renovations, collision repairs, roof replacements, etc. Reach us by filling out this online form, and our team will be more than happy to answer any of your RV air conditioner repair questions and service inquiries.