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RV Air Conditioner Does Not Keep RV Cool Enough

by Troy
(Aberdeen, SD)

Why Your RV A/C Doesn't Keep Your RV Cool

Why Your RV A/C Doesn't Keep Your RV Cool

I have a 1994 Terry 5th wheel camper which is 31 ft long. The AC is ducted throughout the ceiling and blows well thru vent closest to rear, but the other 3 vents have little air flow.

The AC unit is functioning well and blows very cold. But when it's extremely warm, it doesn't keep the camper cool.

Can I add a 2nd ac unit, or perhaps a bigger unit? I'm not sure how many BTU's this unit is, and I'm not sure how to find out.

ANSWER: Hi Troy the first thing you need to understand about RV Air Conditionersicon is that they are not as efficient as Air Conditioning in most homes. The simple 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 than 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 than 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.

Adding a second RV Air Conditioner or buying a larger unit may help to cool your RV more efficiently, but before you go to that expense read on for some more cost effective tips on how you may be able to resolve this problem.

The cooling efficiency of your Air Conditioner may also be improved by performing some routine maintenance on the AC unit. For more information on this routine maintenance read my article How to Maintain an RV Air Conditioner (opens in new window). While you are on the roof of your 5th wheel performing this maintenance you can get the model number of your AC unit to determine its BTU output.

If after you have performed this maintenance you are still not satisfied with the performance of the AC unit on your RV you may want to take your RV in and have a Certified RV Technician take a look at to see if there is a problem with AC unit itself or possibly a problem with ducts or a problem with the return air system on the AC unit.

I hope that this has been helpful.

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

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