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How Do I Put Freon In The Air Conditioner On My Travel Trailer?

by Viiola Rodriguez
(rio grande city texas)

How do I put Freon on a Travel Trailer?

ANSWER: Greetings Viola thanks for submitting your question on our Ask An RV Question Page.

I assume that you are talking about charging your Travel Trailer's Air Conditioners with Freon. Since you do not tell me the year of your Travel Trailer I cannot tell you what type of Freon your A/C takes.

If your Travel Trailer is older it was probably designed to take R22 Freon, if it is newer it may take one of the newer types of Freon.

I do not know the exact amount of Refrigerant your travel trailer takes. But I am going to take this opportunity to emphasize my feelings on whether a do-it-yourselfer should recharge their own RV air conditioners. I do not believe it is advisable for you to recharge your own air conditioner for the reasons I have listed below.

1. The old type R22 refrigerant is not as readily available as it used to be due to US Environmental Regulations. The cost of R22 Refrigerant has gone up dramatically.

2. There is a reason that your air conditioner is no longer blowing cold air. Unless you have the proper equipment to diagnose the reason, you may be wasting Freon especially if there is leak that has not been repaired. If the problems with the air conditioner are not repaired you are going to be spending a lot of money on Freon that may just leak out into the atmosphere. The money you waste could have been spent to hire a professional to do the job right the first time.

3. When it comes to using the old R-22 Freon, whether you believe in global warming or not there is solid scientific evidence that when the chemicals used in the old Freon are released into the atmosphere they are a contributing factor in the deterioration of the earth's ozone layer.

4. As RVers we have an opportunity to experience all of the natural wonders of the world. As RVers we are also charged with the responsibility of not ruining the environment we visit. We pick up our trash, we dump our holding tanks in the designated areas and when we leave; our camping area should look as if we were not even there. We do this so that future RVers will be able to experience nature at its best.

When we start dumping hazardous chemicals into the atmosphere, because we are trying to do something we are not trained to do safely then we are not acting like responsible RVers.

Don't get me wrong as I am a firm believer in do-it-yourself RV repairs; in fact I still have an air conditioner recharge kit that I bought about 30 years ago and up until about four years ago I was still recharging my RV's and car's A/C systems. I also had a couple of times that I was responsible for releasing some old Freon into the atmosphere. Once I found out how my actions were affecting the environment I stopped doing it.

I know that this was not the answer you were looking for, but it is the answer I am giving.

Bottom Line In all likelihood if you have a trained technician diagnose and fix the problem with your air conditioner you will actually end up saving money in the long run because the proper repairs will be done right the first time and more importantly, you will not affect the environment that we all RV in negatively.

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 How Do I Put Freon In The Air Conditioner On My Travel Trailer?

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"EPA" certified
by: Mike Goodman

Words from a trained HVAC/R tech.

Anyone who can cough up 100 bucks and pass a basic 100 question multiple choice test can become "EPA" certified. All the cert means is that you are certified by the EPA to purchase refrigerant.

Furthermore, the 100 questions is in 4 25 question segments. pass any 1 or 2 segments and you can buy half of the refrigerants on the market.

Go through 5 years of union apprenticeship as well as 7200 documented hours of on the job training and you are certified in the view of the industry as a master tech.


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Words from a licensed commercial HVAC/R tech
by: Mike Goodman

As a licensed journeyman HVAC/R tech (5 years of school through a UA organized union school) I can say the only way to properly recharge an RV system is to have the proper tools and parts. The quality tools and equipment to perform this procedure to industry standards cost over $5000.00 to purchase. Saddle valves are hack and will leak. Brazing schrader valve ports at the proper locations is the only industry accepted standard way of doing this. from there, a properly trained tech can pressurize a system with nitrogen and trace gas to find any leaks, make repairs, vacuum system to 400 microns, charge system to proper level by weight with proper refrigerant,(most likely R22 or R410A if a newer unit) If you put R134A or any other incorrect refrigerant into a system you will quickly damage and or destroy the unit all together. From there a properly trained tech will also test sub-cooling, super-heat, supply and return delta, and compare amp line draw to specs on the machine. Anyone who does not know what the 5 things are that I mentioned in the previous sentence to check are not properly trained refrigeration techs.

A/C repair is so expensive because as Journeyman techs we have to invest in thousands of dollars in tools, 5 years of school 2 nights a week on top of 7200 hours of documented on the job training to become certified in our trade.

The high cost of quality A/C repair done correctly usually results in purchasing a new replacement unit as the cheapest solution to a failed RV unit from a loss of refrigerant or failed compressor.

If one chooses to go a cheap less than standard route of repair, you will ultimately be throwing your money away.

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Deceit
by: Anonymous

I believe units are sealed to take advantage of unknowing customers, thinking they have replace the entire unit, plus the unscrupulous RV "techs" that advise they have no options but to replace!

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Can my Coleman ac unit be recharged with freon?
by: Anonymous

I've had two rV repair people here that have told me I CANNOT charge my Coleman ac unit. That they have to be replaced. Is this true?

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Find me an rv ac tech
by: Anonymous

How do i find a lic tec to come to my rv

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Ac freon
by: Anonymous

What type of freon can I put in my rv unit.

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OZONE
by: Pat

We came here to get advice about RV AC...
Al are you for real? I haven't heard anything about the hole in the Ozone layer since I was a kid in high school 30 years ago until I read this post. The amount of freon that could be released is infinitesimal compared to the pollution China pukes out daily. I guess as long as your doing your part it excuses the ignorance that you spew about the boogie men named "Global Warming" and "Hole in the Ozone."
You're better than this Al. At least I hoped you were.

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Coleman Mach 3 15k Btu Freon leak
by: LVTbus

Hello,
Have 2 coleman mach 3 15k btu Ac units on my bus. One lasted about 900 hours and leaked the freon last year (stopped blowing cold, sticky puddle on Ac and running out on side of roof makes me assume its leaked freon), second gave out last week at 1150 hours on counter, same symptoms. Had the first one replaced last year, easy self replacement and kept old unit in garage. Willing to buy a new unit again, wonder though if I can DIY refill or get it done and use the old one or maybe install it as a 3rd unit. Is it worth it to refill, or will it leak again? Where would the leak most commonly be, how to fix it and how to refill and where get the parts? Is a 1000 hour average life span good for these $750 units and why did both break the same way?
Thank, any input appreciated. LVTbus

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Valve install
by: Buckeye4x4

This valve can be purchased through Granger for about $4.00. Refrigerant can be bought at Auto Zone for about $45.00. The DYI is a piece of cake and beats the heck out of spending $800 to 1400 for a new install or $300 to $400 for a repair if you can even find someone to do the repair. If the A/C unit is producing cool air then there is probably no need to evacuate to recharge the coolant.

I am perfectly willing to recharge every year as long as the A/C stays cool during the summer season. You can successfully use modern coolant in with the older type and do it successfully, I do it all the time and it works. This A/C business has a built in customer abuse system and I for one am tired of having it stuck to me.

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Leave it to a pro.
by: Donald carsonAnonymous

As a licensed HVACR Tech I agree with RVingAl post above. Give a Hoot Don't pollute . I do not agree with adding a saddle valve service port as shown in Video. My experience as service tech for 38 yrs. is that saddle valves leak. Brazed in schader valves are the best. New liquid line dryer installed. Unit should be pressurized with nitrogen and leaks repaired. Unit should be evacuated with with a refrigeration vacuum pump to remove all moisture and atmosphere. Lastly unit should be recharged with proper REFRIGERANT not freon. freon is the name of DuPont old R12. Its like calling all soap including bath soap ,laundry detergent and baby shampoo by the name Palmolive. Anything less than I have written is a irresponsible repair to your fellow inhabitants of this planet. Don Carson

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Saddle valve
by: Anonymous

A saddle valve can be added to your system and when installed will not release anything from your system. Gauges can then be used to determine pressure and your system can be serviced. This was done to mine over 7 years ago and have no problems with it or any additional needs in over 7 years.

Go to this link and watch the video on how it is done. A good friend of mine who owns his own HVAC business did mine for me.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GzowQ9Lgbhg

This is not complicated.

Notes From RVing Al: The video referred to in this comment is located below.

Let The Good Sam Extended Service Plan Pay Your RV Repair Bills


IMPORTANT!!!: You need to install the valve on the low side Suction of the Air Conditioner Unit (if you have no idea what I am talking about, then you need to get someone who is familiar with air conditioners to install the valve for you). This installation was done on an AC unit that uses R-22 Refrigerant.

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RV AC's have NO ports to attach gauges
by: Anonymous

RV air conditioners are not like automotive ones, they are like window units. There is no place to put a gauge to measure pressure and no place to connect a hose to add coolant.

If someone has an RV they are selling and they say, "it does not cool and needs coolant" that means you need a new air conditioner or that one repaired professionally.

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can be fixed, no one will bother
by: Alan.

I had a fairly new roof top AC quit putting out cool air. Took it to a reputable shop and was told the valves in the compressor failed. I didn't agree with them, but bought a new AC and took the old one home. Decided to drill a very small hole in the freon line (so I could cap it, the also do not come with pressure ports)and found no freon gas in the system. Took it back to the shop and they told me that since they couldn't find a leak it couldn't be repaired. I have the gauges for 134 auto freon so brazed on a fitting and put in 12 ounces of freon. That was 5 years ago and the unit still has pressure and cools fine. My motor home has 2 units and this one almost never got used, also the ducting is common so can't say if it ever worked. With the EPA laws the common person gets the shaft as we are at the mercy of the repair folks who rather sell you a new one as to fix an older one. Another solution is if one is south take to a repair shop in Mexico. They will fix it

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not serviceable
by: Anonymous

Almost all rootop AC units are sealed units meaning they cannot be serviced or re-charged.

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Charging
by: Anonymous

Rv rooftop ac units do not have service ports to recharge them. It is not as easy as most people think. The ports have to be welded in.

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Recharging your a/c
by: Anonymous

As to recharging your a/c, it is not hard or do you need to be professional. You just need a set of gauges know what type of refrigerant you system uses and the correct pressures. Just look up the specs on your a/c and it should have all the info. As far as if there is more wrong with it such as leaks don't worry. More than likely it will be a small leak and well with in the aloud amount of the e.p.a. and isn't going to causes the polar ice caps to melt. I've worked on a/c and these systems for years and I'm E.P.A certified so if you have any ?'s let me know.

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