RV AC Maintenance

As temperatures begin to cool down around North America, some RVers continue to travel with the seasons, meaning that they prefer to avoid weather that is too hot or too cold. Because of this, some travelers may still occasionally use their RV AC year round. 

RV air conditioner units are one of the most important systems on board. These units can be expensive to repair if they break down, and they also take up a lot of space in your RV. Therefore it is very important to maintain this system by performing regular maintenance. This blog post will go into detail about what steps are necessary for proper RV AC maintenance so that you don’t have any problems with your unit down the line, as well as how often these steps should be performed. Feeling overwhelmed? Don’t fret, Harvest Hosts has you covered. As the primary time for using air conditioning winds down, it’s the perfect time to perform some maintenance. Let’s dive in!

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When climbing on your RV’s roof, always use caution. Never venture up there if it’s rained recently, and always wear proper shoes. In addition, be sure to turn off your AC and flip the breaker for safety. 

Check the cover

The AC cover isn’t just for looks,: it also helps protect your unit from dirt, debris, and weather damage. The outer cover is made of a durable plastic, but UV rays from the sun can weaken the plastic over time. Thoroughly check your cover(s) for any signs of wear or cracking. Be sure to clean the covers with a gentle cleaner and remove any stuck debris. Always take care when driving under trees so that your cover doesn’t become damaged. If your cover becomes cracked or damaged, be sure to replace it to help protect your expensive air conditioner unit from inclement weather. 

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Check the seals

While the covers help to protect the unit, the seals around the air conditioner help to keep water out of your RV. Most RVers know how damaging water leaks can be, and we all know that water + electrical units don’t mix. Check thoroughly around the unit to ensure the seals are in still good condition. Some RV A/C units come with foam gaskets as well. Be sure to check those to ensure they’re in good condition. If your seals are weak or your gaskets are damaged, they can be fixed. Check out Harvest Hosts helpful article on simple roof repairs to learn more. 

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Check the fins

Similar to your fridge at home or to your home AC units, there are cooling fins or condenser coils on your RV’s air conditioner. Check to ensure that these are in good condition and are not bent or damaged. If any of the find are bent, they can be gently bent back into place using a butter knife or comb. They should also be cleaned very gently using either a spray bottle, hose, or condensed air. 

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Check the interior unit(s)

For the indoor ceiling AC unit, unscrew the four screws and carefully pull down the cover. Wash out the openings of the plastic cover with warm, soapy water. Then do the same with any other exposed parts, being careful not to saturate the areas where the wires connect. There should be at least one foam filter in there. If you use your rig full-time or if anyone in your group family suffers from allergies or asthma, it is best to replace the filter with a higher quality one. Alternatively, clean the stock filters in warm, soapy water by repeatedly ringing out the dirty water and rinsing it with fresh water. Lay these out to dry for about thirty minutes after wringing them out well.

Once you remove the filters, the air conditioner evaporator and condenser coils should be exposed. Carefully brush these off with a cleaning brush and use compressed air if necessary. These can easily be bent and crushed, so proceed with caution and a light touch, no elbow grease necessary. 

Vent Covers and Vents

Any vents and vent covers in the RV need a bit of TLC as well. This is especially important for the vents close to the floor or any intake vents. Dirt and debris can enter these more easily than through the ones on the ceiling. Most vent covers can be carefully removed with a flat, standard screwdriver, but some may need to be unscrewed. Once the vent cover is off, clean it in warm, soapy water, and set it aside to dry. 

The circular vents in the ceiling can be removed by carefully prying them off with a standard screwdriver. These also contain foam filters behind them that can also either be replaced or thoroughly rinsed out. The vent covers need to be washed in warm, soapy water and set aside to dry as well.

The exhaust fan vents need to be removed with a Phillips screwdriver in order to be cleaned thoroughly. Once removed, use warm, soapy water and a cleaning brush to wash away any debris from the screen, and wipe away dirt on the fan blades. When cleaning out the actual vents, use a long duster to reach up and clean out any dirt. If the duster is reusable, it may need to be rinsed or shook out between uses depending on the age of the rig and the last time the vents were cleaned. 

Final Thoughts

With these tips, you should be able to avoid any problems with your RV AC system. If you have any questions about how often or what steps are necessary for maintenance of the unit, please don’t hesitate to contact an RV professional. We hope this blog post was helpful in teaching you more about proper RV air conditioning maintenance to ensure a long-lasting investment.

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What steps do you take to maintain your RV’s AC system? Do you keep a regular maintenance schedule? Feel free to share in the comments below!

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