As we get further into May, the weather in Dallas is starting to heat up. With more heat comes a need for one of the modern world’s greatest inventions – air conditioning. RV air conditioning, usually located in the rooftop of vehicles, has been developed over the years into lasting, dependable machines. The most important way to keep them functioning well over time is by maintaining them. No good thing lasts forever, but if cared for and well maintained, RV air conditioners can last an incredibly long time.
Repairing and maintenance for RV air conditioning units can be relatively simple to understand. They aren’t, however, easy to execute without some background knowledge of how AC units in RV’s work. Let’s take a look at how your AC system works before we talk about troubleshooting and maintaining your RV’s air conditioning in Dallas.
Understanding How Your RV Air Conditioning Works
Since the invention of RV’s in the 1960s, the heating and cooling air systems have not received much of an upgrade. The summertime is the most popular time for RV’ers to get out on the road. Some RVs can be small enough where there really is not a lot of space for things other than a place to eat, sleep, and sit. The air conditioner vents are typically located in the ceiling of RVs, with the air conditioning system running off AC power. This power usually comes from a 120-volt socket attached to a generator. Some gas generators can be quite expensive, so many RV owners are beginning to switch to cleaner and more affordable energy source like solar power.
Essentially, the air conditioning system in your RV uses a compressor to circulate cooling fluids such as Freon. These fluids move through the coils and the fins of a condenser and fan blow chilled air through the interior of your RV. Because the air vents for the air conditioners are located on the roof of an RV, the cooling power is stronger and works well whether the vehicle is parked or moving down the highway.
Identifying Issues with Your RV Air Conditioner
Because the air conditioner in an RV is typically only used during the summer months, some common problems can arise that are worth troubleshooting. Taking a long time to kick in, shutting off randomly, or even shutting off permanently are just a few common problems RV owners see when prepping their RV for the summer months. Often, when these problems show up, the best place to check first is the electrical system. There can be minor problems or resets putting the electrical system out of order causing these problems. It is best to check this feature first before deciding if more serious elements such as the compressor or entire unit need to be replaced. Some common areas to check before rebuilding or replacing an entire air conditioning unit are:
- Thermostat Power
- Control Board
- Fan Motor
- Bolts in the Roof AC
- Freon Levels
Try to envision these areas in a flow chart. Check one area off the list as “okay,” and move through the rest until you find what is causing the AC on your RV to malfunction. If the unit is not turning on at all and isn’t reacting to anything, the best first place to start would be with its power source. Any fans or compressors refusing to start as well could mean it is necessary to check the capacitors. There are a lot of steps but going through this list and checking off things on this list will help you quickly determine the status of your AC and help you determine your plan of action for repair and maintenance.
Maintaining Your RV’s Air Conditioning
As mentioned earlier, nothing can last forever; but you can help things last quite a long time if you properly care for them. Maintaining your RV’s AC will give it a longer lifespan and help it run more efficiently. When you first purchase an RV and start using the AC, you will love how great the air conditioning runs. But after a few seasons of use, things can start to slow down. Your motorhome may not cool down as fast as it used to. While cleaning the filters is a great place to start with maintenance, more will have to be done to keep your AC running smoothly.
Cleaning AC Coils
Over time, the Texas climate can start to get to your RV. The evaporator and condenser coils will become covered with hardened dirt and soot. The cleaner you can get these coils, the more efficiently it will run. Most home cleaners will be able to get the grime off the coils, but special cleaners like ZEP Foaming Coil Cleaner are made for cleaning AC coils so as not to harm them. Using a fin comb, you can also fix any bent coil fins to increase air flow.
Cleaning Fan Motors
After removing the AC cover, cleaning the fan motor and the fan itself is a great way to maintain the AC. One important thing to remember is that no matter the brand of your RV’s AC unit, there will one fan motor turning a squirrel-cage fan and a heat exhausting fan. After you’ve cleaned the units in the fan motor, you should oil the motor as well. Whether your fan motor has regular bearings or sleeves, oiling is still important. The oil you apply will soak further inside and extend the fan motors life.
Invest in a Cover
Probably one of the most important ways to maintain your RV’s AC unit is to keep it covered. During the off-seasons, and any time you are not driving your RV, you should use a cover. Covers help protect units from extreme temperature changes, rain, moisture, small animals like mice and birds, insects, and other debris that can get into the unit while moving.
No one wants to take a summer vacation RVing through Dallas, Texas without air conditioning. Coach Specialists wants to make sure you know all about fixing and maintaining RV air conditioning to get the most out of this season.
Do you have questions about RV air conditioning systems in RV’s? Have you recently damaged your AC unit? Reach out! Coach Specialists is always looking to help out new and returning customers with all things RV repair. We’re only one click away!