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Air Conditioner Does Not Keep RV Cool

by Lewis
(Austin Texas)

How to Make Your RV A/C Cool Again

How to Make Your RV A/C Cool Again

When it is 102 outside my temperature inside is 85. Is this normal and if not what can I do about it?

ANSWER: Hi Lewis, Unfortunately RV Air Conditioners are not as efficient as Air Conditioning in most homes. The main reason is that most RVs are not as well insulated as the average home. So in an area with very high temperatures and high humidity the AC units will have problems keeping up and to top that off ducted RV Air Conditioners depending on duct design may be less efficient then non-ducted RV Air Conditioners at keeping an RV Cool.

The general rule of thumb for RV Air Conditioners is that they will keep the RV 20 degrees Fahrenheit cooler then the outside ambient air temperature. If the RV is in direct sunlight on a hot day the AC unit will have a hard time keeping up. A shaded RV campsite will help improve the cooling efficiency of the Air Conditioner.

Since you do not tell me how old your RV is; I am going to assume that it is at least 3 or 4 years old which means that you may be able to improve the cooling efficiency of your RV's Air Conditioner by performing some routine maintenance as outlined below.

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1. Clean the AC filters. Dirty AC filters can reduce the cooling capacity and efficiency of your Air Conditioner/s. The filters for RV Roof air conditioners are located inside the RV under the air distribution bezel on the AC unit.

AC filters

Most RV Air Conditioner filters (like the one pictured above) are made of washable materials and should be washed in warm water carefully and thoroughly. Let them air
dry before you replace them. If the filter is torn or will not clean up you should replace the RV Air Conditioner Filtericon. You should check and clean these filters at least once a month.

2. Once the filter/s is removed on most RV Air Conditioning units you will be able to see the evaporator coils. Get a flashlight and look at those coils to see if there is any type of accumulation of dirt or debris present, if there is use a very soft bristle vacuum attachment to carefully remove the dust and dirt.

3. If you are comfortable going on the roof of your RV you should also clean the outside condenser coils on your Air Conditioner/s. This will require removing the shroud on the air conditioner which is normally held on with several screws.

Once the shroud is removed you can use some compressed air to blow out debris that may have gotten into the Condenser Coils. Remember to blow the air from the inside out (that’s why you have to remove the shroud). This should be done at least once a year.

Below is a video by Professor Of RVing Jim Twamley that demonstrates everything that I just outlined above.

Once you have completed this routine maintenance try running your AC again and see if the cooling has improved. If you are still experiencing cooling problems you should take your Motorhome in and have a Certified RV Technician check out the AC system/s on your RV.

I hope this helped.

Do you have any suggestions or comments on this topic? You can add them to this page by clicking on the "Click Here To Post Comments" link located near the bottom of this page.

Happy RVing

RVing Al

Comments for Air Conditioner Does Not Keep RV Cool

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A-frame A/C
by: Anonymous

We have a Forest River a-frame, with a heat pump under the bed. Even with the insulated hard walls, the unit was ridiculously inefficient. After one trip I realized that the intake and outflow were next to each other under the bed, and therefore no cold air ever reached the rest of the trailer. I went to work with 4" flexible duct material, and created outlets in various places away from the intake, and everything changed - now the unit is as icy as we want it, regardless of the heat. We also added a HEPA filter, so that pollen from woodsy campgrounds could be easily removed in a few minutes.

RV - AC cooling help
by: Steve

Foam Tape

Also check inside at the ceiling filter cover for arch ac unit to make sure the plastic cover is air tite.

A clue to a loose / leaky internal inside the coach ac filter cover is a dirty / dusty line around the outside edge which means the air is recirculating around the cover up on the ceiling thus decreasing the cooling effect.

For a clean cosmetic seal use stick door foam roll tape to re-seal the outer perimeter edge of the cover or in a boondock pinch use Gorrila type duct tape to seal the outside visual edge. I hope this tip was helpful

Tent the RV
by: Richard

My TT is 19ft when possible we have tarp awning over the entire top. The frame is PCV pipe. You won't believe the difference

Av Oma
by: AnonymousRobkeeler

absolutely doing the PMs on your air-conditioning units for your RV is the most important thing where we go camping the temperature is always right around about 119° we found by putting a oscillating fan inside the coach to help motivate the air it kept a lot cooler just an idea great job guys

Cooling Off
by: Anonymous

We thought we'd have to get a second unit, but with electric retiring required it was too cost prohibitive. We bought the quietest portable AC unit we could find. We vent it out under the storage area under the dinette. He made a very professional cover around where it exits and we plug it into the outside extra power plug so it's not too much for the trailer power. This works like a charm. It gets a few degrees warmer during the day, but it's a lot better.

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