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RV Air Conditioner Maintenance Tips

Published on June 30th, 2022 by Lucinda Belden

You might let slip maintaining your air conditioner(s) if you are fortunate enough to travel through nice cool weather states.  But if you are hitting weather like the 100+ degree summer weather we get sometimes in Texas…well, you are going to wish you had been doing the maintenance.  When you need them most, you don’t need them giving up on you. 

Why and When to Do RV Air Conditioner Maintenance

RV air conditioners can be self-maintaining but it is still important to check up on them at least once a year.  What do you look for?  You will need to check the RV air conditioner inside and outside for proper maintenance.

RV air conditioners can last three to five years but regular maintenance and attention to use can extend their life to ten years or longer.  So, let’s get started on proper RV air conditioner maintenance.

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RV air conditioner maintenance tips
Survive summer with these RV air conditioner maintenance tips

Inside Air Conditioner Maintenance

Start with the inside on maintenance.  This is a good time to utilize a bad weather day! (But not hot).

  • Turn off the power to your air conditioner(s) before servicing.
  • Remove the screws on the outside plastic cover on the ceiling.
  • Where you find foam parts, these can be washed with warm soapy water and reused.
  • Use your vacuum or handheld vacuum to clean out the ductwork
  • Try inserting SoftStart for RVs.  This can help your air conditioner work better with the power systems of your RV by reducing the demand required by your A/C to start up.

Outside Air Conditioner Maintenance

There are a lot of ‘do-it-yourself’ items we can take care of on servicing our A/C’s, but it doesn’t mean we can or want to.  Getting on the roof can be dangerous for some of us.  It is important you do not neglect your air conditioner though.  Seek outside help or assistance.  Paying for this service can be less costly than replacing a whole unit.

If you are OK doing it yourself, you will need a good ladder.  Secure it to the roof!  I’ve heard too many stories of people climbing up to work on the roof and the wind blows the ladder over.  Oops.  (You might want to carry your cell phone with you.) Here are the things you will check while you are up there.

  • Turn off the power to your air conditioners so you don’t know anything about while it is running.
  • Check to make sure the A/C plastic cover is in good condition and is not letting in the elements or breaking down because of the sun.
  • If you find leaks, fill them in with the right materials for the roof and replace any gaskets.
  • If you happen to have a black A/C cover, you might want to paint it white or get a new white cover.  This can help your air conditioner not work so hard.
  • Remove the insects that decide to take residence and leave behind their debris.
  • You can replace the starting capacitor for the compressor motor.  So, if it does not seem to be blowing air, you can try replacing that part.  (Watch YouTube videos for instructions).

Air Conditioning and Amperage

How many air conditioners do you run
How many air conditioners do you run?

This is more than an annual maintenance.  It is a step you need to think about every time you go to run your air conditioning.  No A/C will last long if you try to run it without adequate amperage.  Portable generators should be at least around 3,000 watts. If you are using shore power, you need at least 30 amps to run one A/C.  Do not even consider running more than one air conditioner unless you are on 50 amp.  You also need to be aware that running A/Cs are usually your biggest power draws.  You do not want to run more than one large appliance while running your air conditioner.  Appliances like microwaves, blenders, blow dryers, etc., can shed the power for your A/C.  You can’t recharge an RV air conditioner so take care of the one(s) you have!

Make sure you have the right tools handing before starting maintenance
Make sure you have the right tools handing before starting maintenance

RV Air Conditioner Maintenance Tracking

It is great you are doing all the manual maintenance, but you will also want to keep track of changes you are making you on your next maintenance schedule.  Let RV LIFE Maintenance help with this important task. You will have an idea of where to start and what the problem areas have been in the past, so you are prepared to address them during your next scheduled maintenance. You will get familiar with your unit and what problem areas there are so you can keep important replacement parts on hand in emergencies.

This post may contain affiliate links or mention our own products, please check out our disclosure policy here.

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5 thoughts on “RV Air Conditioner Maintenance Tips”

  1. A small fan blowing air on me works out quite nicely. But just one won’t cut it, would need in varus locations, not necessarily turned on if no one is close. But one will work fine, with your choice of a cold drink, or hot coffee or hot tea. Yes, hot, cause you to sweat a little, which makes the fan blowing on you feel cooler. Learned this before most of you were even born. A/Cs are ok, but expensive to buy, need maintenance, expensive repair if they go kablooey, and nowhere near as easily replaced as a fan that bites the dust. I prefer keeping things simple, so there will be no A/Cs in my van conversion.


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