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Should I Leave Vents Open When Using My RV's Roof Air Conditioner

by Colin
(BC, Canada)

Why You Should Keep Your RV’s Roof Vents Closed When Running Your RV’s Air Conditioner

Why You Should Keep Your RV’s Roof Vents Closed When Running Your RV’s Air Conditioner

My motorhome has ducted AC vents in the ceiling. The cold air goes down of course. My question is, "should I leave the roof vents open to exhaust the hot air?"

ANSWER: Hi Colin, No you should keep all windows and vents closed when operating your RV's Air Conditioner. Now if your RV is super hot on the inside and it is cooler outside, you may want to open up some windows, vents, doors, etc. before turning on the AC unit. Once the excess heat is out of the RV you can close everything up and turn on the Air Conditioner.

Now if your RV was equipped with a Swamp Cooler instead of an air conditioner, then the answer to your question would be yes because swamp coolers cool more efficiently when some windows and doors are open and the humidity level is low.

So if keeping windows/vents and doors open works for a swamp cooler; why won't it work for an Air Conditioner? Simply because just like its name implies an RV Air Conditioner conditions the air inside your RV and works more efficiently with windows/vents and doors closed.

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Air conditioning units are designed to distribute the correct quantity and quality of air to the interior of your RV. Leaving vents/windows open will actually make your RV's air conditioner work harder and your RV will not get cooled down.

Air conditioners also remove humidity from the air inside of your RV. This prevents dampness and condensation in the RV, which makes the RV more comfortable for everyone. Leaving vents open especially on humid days will reintroduce moisture to the AC system and the RV, again making the AC unit work harder than it really has to.

One of the key ways of making sure that your RVs Air Conditioning unit will continue working efficiently is by performing routine maintenance. RV AC units require both annual and monthly maintenance such as replacing the filter to keep them in tip top shape. The video below will outline these maintenance steps.


I hope that this information has been helpful to you.

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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To TV air problems
by: Anonymous

Sounds more like you are over budget on maps. First thing we had to learn was what to shut off and what to leave on. Lots of folk think bvb they can run their appliances in b.c. the RV like they do at home. Not so! You have to turn the ac off if you want to use the microwave or a hairdryer or maybe even the coffee pot. From your comments it sounded like you were running the refrigerator on shore power as well. If so switch it to gas when possible. It uses very little propane. Or another solution I've used when running short on gas is the plug the fridge into the 15 amp plug with an extension cord into the parks 110 plug that most have right next to the 30 amp plug in the breaker box. Something to keep in mind is that the ac is pulling 15-20 ramps and that doesn't leave much for other things. Run the water heater on gas to if able. My 1999 Prowler can't run the ac with any other appliances running except the coffee pot. If you want microwave popcorn you're gonna be warm for a few minutes till it's done. One last thing to consider is camper placement in the park. If you're at the end of the line and everyone else is running full tilt boogie in the summer your 30 amp site is not getting a full 30 amps of power. Just learn to budget your power and things will get better. Also switch out all incandescent bulbs with LEDs and that leaves more amps for the ac to work with. All of these things I learned about the hard way! Good luck and Happy Camping!

RV air problems
by: Anonymous

Hi we are having air conditioning problems in our 202 hornet trailer..We. have had it about 4 years with no problem until now.When we run the air,tv, ice maker the air kicks out. My husband thought it might be a circuit breaker because they were pretty hot. He replaced them and it still doing the same thing. When we have nothing on like the tv, ice maker or microwave it seems to run like its suppose to..we are camping ne are in the sunlight. Also when nothing else is going accept the air which is cooling really good the minute we turn a light on it seems to kick it out also..Right now I have the tv on and the air is running like its suppose to. The only other thing that is running is the refrigerator. Can you please help us. We dont know what it could be anymore.thanks

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