Troubleshooting and Maintaining Your RV’s Air Conditioner

Updated on January 24, 2019
Randy Godwin profile image

Randy is a lifelong lover of the outdoors and especially camping. His articles are intended to help the RVer save money and time on repairs.

A new Coleman 13,500 BTU A/C unit ready to install.
A new Coleman 13,500 BTU A/C unit ready to install. | Source

The rooftop air conditioners used on motorhomes are made to give many years of dependable cooling efficiency, especially if you maintain them.

This article has two parts: first, how to troubleshoot your AC and decide which parts to replace or service; and second, how to maintain your AC.

These repair and maintenance tips are very simple to follow, even for those without much hands-on experience.

Part 1: Troubleshooting

Some Background: How Your AC Works

If you are unfamiliar with how a motorhome air conditioning system works, this companion article will help you understand which parts of the motorhome rooftop air conditioner unit to check, service, and repair.

Briefly, your air conditioner, which may be combined with a heating system, includes a compressor—to circulate a cooling fluid like Freon through the coils and fins of the condenser—and a fan, to blow cooled air through the RV. The fan and compressor are turned on and off by a thermostat—a switch attached to a thermometer—and kick-started by one or more capacitors. The thermostat and other controls are run by the vehicle's 12-volt electrical system.

Where to Start Investigating

Many problems your air conditioner might have—sluggish behavior, turning off prematurely--can be resolved by checking out the electrical system in order, going first through the possibilities that are easiest to resolve. These easier choices often solve the problem. If they don't, you can investigate further so you can decide if you need to replace the big items like the fan and the compressor or get a whole new AC unit.

First, we'll address the common electrical issues.

A Precaution

Before attempting any maintenance or repairs on the rooftop AC unit, be sure to switch off the electrical supply to the unit, either by tripping the breaker or by unplugging the motorhome from the electrical receptacle.

RV AC Issues You Can Troubleshoot Yourself

  • If your AC does nothing and makes no noise, make sure your unit and its controls are getting power.
  • If your AC fan or compressor is slow to start, doesn't blow any air, blows weakly, blows only warm air, stops after a while, dims your lights, or trips your breaker, you should first check your capacitors and replace them if needed. 

  • If there's no air blowing, check the fan capacitor; if there's no cooling, check the compressor capacitor.
  • If the capacitor is okay, you should look at whether the thermostat is getting power by checking whether the 12-volt appliaces work.
  • You can check the function of the thermostat if it's wall-mounted. If the unit only works when thermostat wires are touching, the thermostat is bad. The thermostat is easy to replace.

  • If the capacitor and thermostat are okay, the control board may be bad.
  • If the control board is okay, you may have to replace the fan motor or the compressor.

  • If the fan only works at certain speeds, the fan motor may be bad.
  • You can have the fan motor rebuilt (if it's not the sleeved-bearing type). Or you can replace the fan motor yourself if the unit is in good shape otherwise.
  • If the compressor is bad, it should probably be replaced, not fixed.
  • If your system drips or overheats, the coils may need cleaning.
  • If the roof AC leaks, the bolts may be loose or the gasket may be leaking.
  • If the system is very cold or ice builds up, it may be low on Freon.
  • If the unit is noisy, something out of place may be interfering with its motors; you can check by removing the shroud.

The First Step: Is There Power?

If your unit does not react at all—does not go on and does not make noise—you will want to make sure it is getting power. Look in the 12-volt panel and check that the fuse has not blown or the breaker has not tripped. The 12-volt power system runs the controls to the AC including the thermostat.

Running the AC unit itself draws a lot of higher-voltage power, maybe too much for a 15-amp power pole, and if there are two modern rooftop units they may draw too much for the 30-amp power supply provided at many campgrounds. If the unit draws more than the system can provide, the breaker or fuse will shut off. Fortunately, many campgrounds and RV parks now provide 50-amp service for modern multi-unit AC systems.

The thermostat is run by 12-volt power, like your motor home's lights and vent fans. If these accessories aren't working either, there is something wrong with the 12-volt power. A breaker may be bad or there may be a loose connection in the breaker box. Occasionally the power converter that converts your higher-voltage power to 12-volt power is bad.

Next: Consider the Capacitors

If the fan or the compressor fail to start, it is possible the starting capacitor is malfunctioning. A bad capacitor can cause a variety of symptoms: the AC unit merely hums and "tries" to start, it runs a few minutes then trips a breaker, the fan won't start without a push, or it blows only hot air because the compressor can't start.

The capacitor stores electricity to give both the fan motor and the compressor an extra boost whenever the RV AC unit starts. It is not unusual for the capacitor to go bad, especially if the RV sits unused for a while, and not be able to provide that little push that gets the motors going. On occasion a bad capacitor will explode with a puff of smoke without damaging the rest of the unit.

There may be one capacitor for both compressor and fan, two capacitors (one for each part), or even three or more all together. A capacitor is often shaped like a small battery, flask, or button.

If you have a multimeter in your tool kit, you can use it to test the capacitor. A good capacitor should show a random value on the multimeter that slowly decreases the longer you keep the probes in place.

A bad capacitor is easy to replace. Check the required voltage and model numbers on the old capacitor when ordering a new one.

When replacing it, make sure the power is off. Observe which wires go into it where, and make a note so you can install the new one exactly the same way. Don't touch its terminals with your bare hands. Before you throw the old capacitor away, drain out its electrical charge by connecting its terminals with a screwdriver (make sure the screwdriver handle you are holding is insulated).

Very often, your AC unit will start and run fine after you replace a capacitor.

A capacitor.  Often a cylindrical container, but yours may differ.
A capacitor. Often a cylindrical container, but yours may differ. | Source

Next: Check the Thermostat and Switches

A bad thermostat is another possibility. If you have a wall-mounted thermostat, you can check it by checking its voltage with your multimeter. If the unit only goes on when you touch the thermostat wires to each other, the thermostat is definitely bad.

If the thermostat and capacitors are all okay but the AC still doesn't work, you may have a bad control board.

Thermostats and switches may be purchased online by finding the correct model and serial numbers before ordering the new parts. These items are easy to replace in most cases. As always, make note of and remember the wiring connections when replacing these electrical components.

Is Your Fan or Your Compressor Bad?

If after you check these electrical items your AC still doesn't blow out air, or it blows only at certain speeds, your fan motor may be bad. If your AC blows but only hot air comes out, your compressor may be bad. Sometimes—not necessarily—a fan or compressor smokes or leaks oil when it goes bad.

A compressor that is working should turn on audibly and feel warm to the touch. You can test a compressor with a clamp-on ammeter, if you can rent or borrow one. Check how many amps the compressor is drawing. If it draws much more current than the amp rating written on the unit or on a nearby plate, the compressor is toast.

You May Be Able to Rebuild or Replace Your Fan Motor

Oiling your fan motor, as shown in Part 2 of this article below, will help it run more easily. If your AC fan motor is slow to start even after oiling, or needs a nudge to get it going, or only runs at certain speeds, or doesn't run at all, it will need to be rebuilt or replaced.

Fan motors come in two types: with exposed bearings which may be lubricated easily or with sleeved bearings (see the last photo in the article). The first type of fan motor may be rebuilt fairly cheaply and will last for many more years. But not so a sleeved-bearing AC fan motor.

Unlike fan motors with bearings, a fan motor with sleeves cannot be rebuilt economically, and must be replaced with a new one if it goes bad.

If your AC unit seems to be in pretty good shape otherwise, you can order a new AC fan motor to fit your particular unit. There are many sizes and models to choose from. Check the numbers on your old motor. By looking at pictures and descriptions on Amazon you may be able to identify a universal motor that will fit your unit.

Replacement of the AC fan motor is a simple job requiring only a few tools. If the electrical connection to the motor isnt a simple plug-in, mark down the colors of the wires before removing the old fan motor.

Test the new fan motor, before replacing the AC shroud, to check for proper alignment and fan clearance.

Removing and Replacing the Fan Motor

RV AC fan motor with retaining screws removed from AC chassis.  Your RV AC model may be different.
RV AC fan motor with retaining screws removed from AC chassis. Your RV AC model may be different.
Model and serial numbers on RV AC fan motor
Model and serial numbers on RV AC fan motor

A Bad Compressor Isn't Usually Worth Fixing

Compressor
Compressor

If, after you determine that the switches, capacitor, and relays are not at fault, the RV AC compressor fails to operate correctly and cool your air, it is usually better to just junk the unit and buy a new one.

Unless you have access to a used compressor and have the means to replace it and recharge the system yourself, it will likely be too expensive a repair. Under normal circumstances a compressor will last much longer than its warranty.

It May Be Simpler to Replace the Whole AC

If after investigating these possibilities you decide your old RV AC unit has enough problems to need replacing, please see my article on how to install a new rooftop RV AC unit. Replacing your old unit with a more efficient RV AC unit is a very simple and quick procedure you can do yourself.

Some Miscellaneous AC Problems and What May Cause Them

If your AC does run, but only with problems—overheating, dripping, being way too cold—you can address these problems too.

  • Overheating may be due to a simple failure to clean the coils—something I show you how to do in the second half of this article. When the coils are clean they can disperse excess heat into the air.
  • If water leaks into your unit and seems to come from the AC, investigate to see where it is coming from. The leak may come from the gasket between the unit and the roof; if so, it's easy to address. Tighten the bolts carefully, and if that doesn't work, replace the gasket.
  • Dripping from the unit itself may be caused by water condensing in the wrong place (in the pan under the air conditioner) instead of being evaporated by the fan. Such water buildup may be due to dirty coils, and if so, you can cure it by cleaning the coils.
  • If your unit blows very cold and builds up ice—and especially if it later stops cooling at all—it may be low on Freon. Sometimes you can see a visible oily residue around a Freon leak. You may be able to add Freon to your system yourself with a self-piercing valve.
  • If your motor is noisy, you can investigate the problem by taking the shroud (the cover) off the roof AC unit and seeing if everything is in place. The rubber shock absorbers on the compressor and fan may be interfering with the motion of the unit.

Part 2: Maintenance

Accessing the Condenser and Evaporator Coils to Clean Them

Removing the RV AC shroud retaining bolts
Removing the RV AC shroud retaining bolts

Maintenance gives your AC longer life and better efficiency. Roof air conditioning units on motorhomes are the same as ones used on other types of RV campers such as travel trailers and pop-up campers. These repair and maintenance procedures are identical for all these types of campers.

After a few seasons of use, it isn’t unusual for the AC unit to not cool the motorhome as quickly or as efficiently as it once did. Even if you clean the filters regularly, the evaporator and condenser coils will eventually become coated with dirt and grime, which inhibits airflow and cooling efficiency.

Before attempting any maintenance or repairs on the rooftop AC unit, be sure to switch off the electrical supply to the unit, either by tripping the breaker or by unplugging the motorhome from the electrical receptacle. You are now ready to remove the RV AC shroud (above) by unscrewing the four bolts securing it to the RV AC unit itself.

How To Clean the RV AC Coils

This coil is badly in need of cleaning
This coil is badly in need of cleaning
These coils are badly in need of cleaning too.
These coils are badly in need of cleaning too. | Source

After removing the AC shroud you will be able to see the evaporator and condenser coils on either end of the RV AC unit.

If they appear similar to those in the photos above then they need a thorough cleaning to allow unrestricted airflow through them.

Although regular household cleaners may clean the coils to a certain extent, AC coil cleaners made especially for the purpose, like ZEP Foaming Coil Cleaner, will remove the grime build-up much more efficiently and will not harm the coils themselves.

Follow the instructions carefully for the best results. A good wet/dry Shop Vac will help you clean up afterward and remove any excess cleaner or grime from the RV AC unit.

Use a coil fin comb to straighten any bent fins because they too will keep the airflow from moving through the AC coils efficiently.

These fin combs are very inexpensive and may be used many times in the future on both RV and home AC coil fins.

Air Conditioner Fin Comb
Air Conditioner Fin Comb

Straighten out those bent coil fins and increase the efficiency of your A/C unit.

 

Maintaining the AC Fan Motor

RV AC fan motor with a sleeved bearing.
RV AC fan motor with a sleeved bearing.

While the RV AC shroud is removed, it is a good time to service the fan motor and clean the fan itself. Whether your RV AC unit is made by Coleman, Carrier, Duotherm, or Dometic, it will have one fan motor which turns both the squirrel-cage fan and the heat exhausting fan.

This motor should be oiled at this time.

If your RV AC fan motor has regular bearings, there will be oiling ports at each end of the motor. It may be necessary to remove the metal sheeting over the top of the fan motor, plus a few sheet metal screws, to access the bearing oiling ports.

If no oil ports are evident, then your motor has sleeves instead of bearings. You may still oil the shaft at the point where the sleeves enter the fan motor housing. The oil will seep inside and help the fan motor last much longer.

Covering Your Motorhome AC Unit in the Off-Season

Your motorhome AC unit should give you many seasons of dependable operation if serviced annually. It's good to put a cover over the AC unit during the times when the motorhome is not in use.

These inexpensive RV AC covers protect the unit from moisture, extreme cold or hot temperatures, and debris from storms, birds, and insects. They will more than pay for their cost over time.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

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    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      1 minute ago from Southern Georgia

      Clyde, check the capacitors as one may be weak.

      Randy

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      2 minutes ago from Southern Georgia

      Marion, the cord may be too small for the length you are using it, but it could also be a weak capacitor.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Clyde L. 

      68 minutes ago

      Hi Randy,

      I have a 2015 travel trailer with a Dometic A/C, recently the blower motor will stop for about 3-5 seconds and then start back up and run fine, may happen a couple times an hour. The unit cools well and only seem to do this late evening or at night. I've heard the fan could be switching from high to low speed but I have never heard it do this in the past. Any thoughts?

      Thanks

    • profile image

      Marlon 

      101 minutes ago

      The A/C fan works on hi and low speed. The thermostat seems to be working properly also. Trouble is when the compressor kicks on is may run for 5 minutes and everything will stop. Before it stops you can tell it will start running sluggish but does not trip any breakers or fuses. I am a distance to the nearest electrical outlet, so for approx 30 ft I am running a 12 gauge extension cord. Is the distance to far? Or is my cord too small that is supplying pier to the unit?

      Thanks

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      3 hours ago from Southern Georgia

      Ken, this either a thermostat r control board issue. Check the stat first.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Ken 

      4 hours ago

      2016 puma. Fan will not run on high or low or in auto mode. Ac does work in the low position. Cold air. Took cover off. Fan spins perfectly. Bad thermostat? Or bad fan? Thanks.

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      3 days ago from Southern Georgia

      Mike, unless both units operate on the same control board, the control board may be bad in the one with the issues.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Mike Williams 

      3 days ago

      My 2000 Fleetwood has 2 airs the rear one works good . the front one will not shut off . I have the control on off the air conditioner breaker off and the unit runs until I turn off the breakers on the generator .Do you have any ideas?

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      3 days ago from Southern Georgia

      Ashlee, unless you are schooled in electronics, you don't.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Ashlee 

      3 days ago

      How do I know if my control board is bad? I have check all the breakers, fuses, and power supply and have replaced the capacitor. Next step is control board, but how do I test it?

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      5 days ago from Southern Georgia

      Raphael, if both units are doing the same, then it's either a thermostat or control board issue. Check the stat first before replacing the control board.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Raphael D 

      5 days ago

      Randy,

      My Coleman Mack rooftop unit will work in fan only at high and low speeds. The AC will not come on (entire system shuts down - does not trip a breaker.) the same thing happens with the heat - system will stop working. Takes about 30-60 minutes for the fan to even work again after a failure. Suggestions?

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      5 days ago from Southern Georgia

      Valarie try giving the coils a good cleaning with some spray no-rinse coil cleaner, You can find it online on Amazon or at a local ACE Hardware.

      When the coils get clogged with debris over the years this allows the compressor to overheat and trip the breaker.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Valerie 

      5 days ago

      I have a rv air conditioner that cools great early in the mornings and after the sun goes down, but it the middle of the day my air conditioner trips the breaker.. Any suggestions?!?!?

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      5 days ago from Southern Georgia

      Curtis, this may be a control board problem if you know the thermostat is operating properly.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Curtis 

      5 days ago

      Posting again on ac blower motor not operating compressor does, now in for two capacitors and a new blower motor . Coleman dual shaft motor installed ran for about 1 minute turned all off last night tickled it finally blew air. Today putting all back together tested again fan will not turn, compressor still humming away....help

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      6 days ago from Southern Georgia

      Andy, pleased to hear the new board fixed the problem. Glad to help! :)

      Randy

    • profile image

      Andy 

      6 days ago

      just wanted to say ty, i replaced the control board and my refrigerator work's Perfectly now.

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      6 days ago from Southern Georgia

      Aaron, is this old thermostat or a new one?

      Randy

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      6 days ago from Southern Georgia

      CC, more than likely this is a control board problem.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Aaron 

      6 days ago

      When the T-stat is not wired I have 12v but when I wire in the t-stat I loose dc voltage. The unit wont run

    • profile image

      ccnixon 

      6 days ago

      I have a 2006 Fleetwood bumper pull camper trailer....it is setup in a permanent location near a lake and used year round - when I purchased it the previous owner stated that it needed a new thermostat because the air fan will not turn off and the heat will not come on...I installed a new thermostat and still have the same problem...no matter what the temp is set at the fan continues to run - compressor will go off but fan runs - heat will not activate at all. What could be the issue?

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      6 days ago from Southern Georgia

      Phil, if the unit is new I cannot advise you to try and repair it because you'll ruin the warranty.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Phil Raisig 

      6 days ago

      Brand new A/C not working

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      7 days ago from Southern Georgia

      Good luck with the repairs, Rad! Pleased to help. :)

      Randy

    • profile image

      RAd Rick 

      7 days ago

      Randy, Ok, I'll start checking these things. Also the control board is only like $70, so that's not too bad.

      Thanks for your time!!

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      7 days ago from Southern Georgia

      Rick, I'd have the capacitors checked first of all to see if they're weak and not providing the proper starting voltage. If this isn't the problem, then the thermostat or control board may be the issue. Check the stat first.

      Randy

    • profile image

      RAd Rick 

      7 days ago

      Hello,

      I have a 2003 Forrest river wildcat 28' 5th wheel, it has a new rooftop unit and when you plug in the 5th wheel to 110volts the a/c acts like it wants to start. The thermostat is in the off position and the only way to stop it from trying to come on is to flip the breaker. After its plugged in you can turn the A/C on and it will start to blow cold, but you have to keep it on low or it will kick out, like it stops blowing cold air. Sometimes it will kick out on low too.

      What are your thoughts??

      Thanks Rad Rick

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      7 days ago from Southern Georgia

      Ken, are speaking of the compressor or fan motor? Either way, it could be a bad run capacitor. Easy to replace and fairly cheap. 25 to 30 bucks in most cases.

      Randy

      Randy

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      7 days ago from Southern Georgia

      Kim, you may go in through the bottom depending on what sort of underpinning you have.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Ken valk 

      7 days ago

      Randy, my heat pump units seem to start and cool fine but while running the motor seems to speed up, making noises then slows back down again. This happens several times while cooling.

    • profile image

      Kim Goldbach 

      7 days ago

      Randy it must be a water line or drain line makes carpet wet! How would I find the line do I have to tear floor up in living room or is there another way to get to it?

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      7 days ago from Southern Georgia

      Kerry, this may be a capacitor problem rather than a low Freon charge. Have the caps checked before tying to recharge the unit.

      You'll need to pull a vacuum on the system before recharging it, so it'd probably cheaper to have an AC repairman charge it up for you. By the time you bought the necessary gauges and vacuum pump, that is.

      Randy

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      7 days ago from Southern Georgia

      Kim, usually a wet spot at the door entrance is due to water getting in around the door flashing from the top down during a rain. If this isn't the case, it may be there's a water or drain line leaking in this area.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Kerry 

      8 days ago

      We have a 1996 Southwind trailer and we are having a problem with the air conditioner. It is a duo therm air conditioner and it is no longer cooling. My husband cleaned the coils but still no luck. It has a 3/8" screw connection for a charge kit if that is the issue but not sure where to purchase the charge kit. Any advice?

    • profile image

      Kim 

      8 days ago

      We suddenly have a wet spot that comes in living room as soon as we walk in door! Bathroom to left of it kitchen to right! Nothing coming from roof! We have no clue where this is coming from! When water is off the spot dries up!

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      8 days ago from Southern Georgia

      Lee, this sounds like a thermostat or control board issue. Check the stat first before replacing the control board.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Lee Potter 

      8 days ago

      The bedroom ac unit blows cold but little air comes out. Air speed does not change when selected ( low, med, high, or auto) by the thermostat.

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      8 days ago from Southern Georgia

      Yes Kim, I'll do my best to answer your questions on any phase of RV problems. I have numerous articles on particular RV issues.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Kim Goldbach 

      8 days ago

      Is there a place here to ask other question about my rv

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      12 days ago from Southern Georgia

      Edward, remove the shroud and you should be able to see the capacitors. If you don't know what they look like look on Amazon for different examples of them.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Edward Cookenham 

      12 days ago

      Randy, my Dometic Duo-Therm 620515.321 runs for about 5 min then slows or stops and then back to normal then continues that cycle. Plenty of cold air after a few minutes of operation. Squirrel cages manually turn but don’t spin freely. I’m unable to find any parts diagram or part numbers or where the capacitors might be. Very little info on line.

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      12 days ago from Southern Georgia

      Stewart, can you tell if the compressors are working properly?

      Randy

    • profile image

      Stewart 

      12 days ago

      So I have two AC units on top of my trailer and seem to run fine they are not keeping my trailer cool at all, do I need to replace them or do I need to recharge them and how would I go about recharging them if that is what they need?

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      2 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Linda, more than likely a bad switch.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Linda 

      2 weeks ago

      diesel pusher - dash AC Fan stays on - air works and is perfect - why would the fan stay on?

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      2 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Andy, check the exhaust vent as it may be clogged with some sort of debris. It may also be a control board issue.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Andy 

      2 weeks ago

      the check light comes on my dometic refrigerator after a few mins of running with either gas or electric what should i check first or buy a new one.lol

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      2 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Roxane, probably a bad capacitor. About $25 or so and easy to replace. Let me know if this isn't the problem.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Roxane 

      2 weeks ago

      When i turn it on it makes a fairly loud noise but nothing else happens no fan no air just the noise

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      2 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Jason, have you checked the voltage at the stat to see if it may be too high?

      Randy

    • profile image

      Jason Dillon 

      2 weeks ago

      What would make your thermostats keep going bad, they will run for a few days and then all of a sudden start shutting on and off until you get a e1 on the thermostat

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      2 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Jody, if the compressor running and the caps are good, then this may be either a restriction in the system or a low Freon charge.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Jodynonie 

      2 weeks ago

      Now that the capacitor tested good any idea what i should do next Randy?

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      2 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Tom, first have the capacitors checked at any loca AC or electric motor repair service. They can also replace the caps if their weak or bad,

      Let me know if this doesn't solve the problem.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Tom 

      2 weeks ago

      On our Airxcel, Roof A/C, 48000 Series I tried to turn on the AC and just heard a click - it sounded like it was coming from the unit (same thing with the fan). I did check the breaker and it was OK (I had issues with levelers and generator circuit breakers being tripped this year). Thanks

    • profile image

      Jodynonie 

      2 weeks ago

      The capacitor tested good.

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      2 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      No problem, Brian. I learn from my readers as well. :)

      Randy

    • profile image

      Brian 

      2 weeks ago

      Cool & thank you again for pointing me in the right direction... I’ll let you know how it turns out...

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      2 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Brian, this could also be a restriction in the system, but I lean towards a low charge since it was working properly before.

      It's up to you, but a service port will tell you something about the charge or restriction.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Brian 

      2 weeks ago

      Thanks for the feedback Randy,

      This is a new issue it used to cool well last summer, this winter we did some cold weather camping and did not use the A/C...

      I do not see any evidence of an oily residue, on any of the lines or connections... unit and coils are pretty clean... no obvious leaks...

      There is a small bit of ice on the top eval coils, just about a Square inch... unit has been running for over 16 hours... humidity is 75% outside...

      Would you recommend a clamp on service port and a 410 recharge, or any other recommendations or ideas?

      Thank you very much for your help...

      -Brian

    • profile image

      Jodynonie 

      2 weeks ago

      Thank you Randy! Guess ill try that next.

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      2 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Jody, use the ohms setting as well. A bad cap will not store a proper charge to start the compressor up.

      Randy

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      2 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Brian, has the unit always been this way? Did it once do the job or is this something new?

      If this is new, then it sounds like a low Freon charge. Did you notice any oily spots on the lines or around the coil connections?

      Randy

    • profile image

      Jodynonie 

      2 weeks ago

      So dont just use the capacitor test settings on the meter?. All i have is a digital multimeter. Would a capacitor problem cause it to not draw as much current as normal on start up? Sounds like theres no load against the compressor or something

    • profile image

      Brian 

      2 weeks ago

      Hey Randy,

      Thank you for all the information...

      I have a 2018 Grand design Imagine with a 15000BTU Dometic A/C on it and a square black Dometic Thermostat... the A/C blows but is only a few degrees cooler coming out of the unit. I have taken the shroud off and the capacitor looks good, and when starting up the fan starts right up and a few seconds later the compressor starts up... the unit appears to be sealed pretty tight, no visible air leaks...

      It cools good at night, but can’t keep up during the day, when outside temps are in the mid-80’s...

      Thanks

      -Brian

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      2 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Jody. when testing the capacitor with the meter set on ohms, it should give a random number which decreases in value as you hold the probes on the terminals. A steady number indicates the cap is bad.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Jodynonie 

      2 weeks ago

      No cold air. When the compressor comes on it doesn't draw a lot of power at first like it used to judging by the sound i hear. I can hear the compressor running and it gets warm but the high side and low side lines stay nearly the same temps. Tested the compressor capacitor with a digital multimeter and farads were 64.1 on a 60 farad capacitor with a plus or minus 3. Seems like higher capacitance would be ok and its not that much higher. What do you think the problem may be?

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      2 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Albert, this isn't normal. Something is wired incorrectly.

      Randy.

    • profile image

      Albert 

      2 weeks ago

      New AC unit in my RV. The only control that I have is : if I turn the control switch clockwise the fan run in 3 positions. Un-clockwise the cooling system position are : low med and high.

      Even in low, med or high I can lower the fan like I can if I only use the fan without cooling.

      My question can I add another switch to reduce the fan speed without blow the cooling system.

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      3 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Anthony, the type used should be on or near the compressor or on a plate attached to the unit.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Anthony Johnson 

      3 weeks ago

      What kind of freon does a sunsport rv take

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      3 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Ashley, this may be an alarm of some kind. Is the unit working when the sounds starts? A bit more info may help.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Ashley 

      3 weeks ago

      Hi Randy,

      2010 Keystone Raptor - we recently moved it for the first time since owning it & it was working perfectly before. Now when you turn it on, there is a siren-like sound coming from the outside unit. Very loud! Could it be a bad capacitor? Compressor? I don't believe it would be the thermostat.

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      3 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Mark, it depends on the unit. You can probably find a replacement on Amazon.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Mark 

      3 weeks ago

      Randy is the control board expensive, the trailer is a 2017

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      3 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Mark, yes the thermostat may be the issue, but if the compressor isn't running it could also be a bad capacitor, or even worse, a bad control board.

      Randy

      .

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      3 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Jack, sounds like a weak compressor capacitor. Any AC or electric motor repair service can check it and replace it. Or you can check yourself with a multimeter.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Mark 

      3 weeks ago

      My unit runs and blows air but its not cooling. Could the thermostat be the issue?

    • profile image

      jack 

      3 weeks ago

      My roof top rv ac units take a minute or two before the compressor kicks in. when it does the compressor rumbles a bit then stops and run fine, but repeats on next cycle

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      3 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Wade, more than likely a weak capacitor causing this issue. Any local AC or electrical repair can check or replace it for you. About $25 or so normally.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Kevin 

      3 weeks ago

      My AC hasn't been used in a year or longer. The thermostat seems to work normally for both zones, but upon setting the mode to "cool", the

      AC unit never starts up and about 30 to 60 seconds later the thermostat gets a "blank" screen that is still back-lit. If I turn off the entire thermostat unit, and then turn it back on, it lights up normally but AC units never kick on and the thermostat goes "blank" again after 30 to 60 seconds. Any ideas? Thanks!

    • profile image

      Wade 

      3 weeks ago

      I have a 30 ft trailer with a roof top a/c unit. Its blowing the breaker at the house. My extension cord is 10 gauge and 50 ft. It runs for 15 minutes and then trips. Had no issue last year. No issues when i have the fan only on. Im gonna take the cover off and start with inspection and cleaning... any advise? Thank you.

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      3 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Kerri, more than likely the smell is from a bad compressor capacitor. About $25 and easy to replace.

      Any AC repair or electric motor repair shop can test it and sell you a replacement. Otherwise, you can find it on Amazon.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Kerri Relford 

      3 weeks ago

      We have 2002 Coleman pop up camper. It has not been set up for 2yrs today when we set it up the ac worked a Coleman Mach. But it stopped working shortly after. Husband flipped the breaker and an instant burnt smell came from the unit. We unplugged the unit and plugged straight into the electrical post and the ac came on but the compressor tried to kick on but again smelled like burnt plastic. Any ideas??!!

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      3 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Dwight, more than likely a thermostat issue, If not the stat it's probably the control board. Check the stat first.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Dwight Wuerth 

      3 weeks ago

      My 2012 dometic rv a/c has an E5 code and it has been off for two days , it will clear or restart

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      3 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Andy, this may be due to a weak capacitor. About $25 and easy to replace.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Andy2004 

      3 weeks ago

      Randy i went camping this weekend and my A/C kept tripping the breaker, i have a 2005 cougar 5th wheel and i replaced the A/c unit this year with a 2017 unit I know run like new. what could the problem be. Could it have been the draw on the electric at the camp grounds because it was in the mid 90's.

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      3 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Jimmy, some units have the fan operating continuously as long as the unit is on. My camper has such an AC. If yours is supposed to cycle off, then the thermostat or control board may be the issue.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Jimmy Evans 

      3 weeks ago

      Randy i have recently purchased a 5th wheel due to Hurricane Michael. I am located in panama city Fl which explains our type of weather. But anyway i have 2 dometic units one forward in bedroom one in main living area. My question being in the main living area the on this unit runs continuous never shutting off. It is operated by thermostat mounted on wall at main entry to trailer. As i am asking you but this does not seem correct to me. Ithink it should cycle on and off when reaching temperature setting. Can you please advise is this correct or maybe what i can do to correct the situation. As i am concerned about just actually more wear on the fan and actually electric billing. Thanks Jimmy

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      4 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Amy, I do believe they have separate ducts for different areas of the RV. You can probably have offending ducts vacuumed out.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Amy Braxton 

      4 weeks ago

      Thank you, Randy, for that prompt reply. after turning off the ac thermostat that controls the bedroom and leaving on the living room ac, I went to check and the unit is running in the bedroom too. I thought they were two different units since they are two different control panels. Are they two different hoses/vents running from the ac unit to each room in my 5th wheel? If so, seeing there is no urine smell in the front half, would it be easier to pinpoint the smell in the AC unit thats routed to the rear? I will have someone get up and look but I just wish I knew how the unit disburses air.

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      4 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Amy, you'll need to remove the shroud on the roof and try vacuuming the unit itself. If the mice are in the vents you may have to use a vacuum to clean them as well.

      Randy.

    • profile image

      Amy Braxton 

      4 weeks ago

      Just bought 2006 Montego Bay 5th wheel last Nov. Turned on the air conditioner recently and it smells like urine. I have googled it and it says that it may be mice urine but can't find any solutions. How do I check the vents and/or change the filter? I have all my windows open and the ac on full blast to blow the smell out but not sure it is doing any good. The front room ac vents have no smell, just the bedroom vents. Please help. Thank you

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      4 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Brad, this is either thermostat or control board issue. Check the stat first.

      Randy

    • profile image

      brad jordan 

      4 weeks ago

      I have a Coleman Mach 3 / Airxcel 48203C966 rooftop AC unit. Bought it 3 years ago and not had a problem until this year. Unit only works when selector switch is set to high fan or high ac. Have swapped out OEM replacement selector switch, along with both capacitors with no luck. Coils are in very good shape and very clean. Fan motor blade turns with ease. Ran high AC last night and thermostat seemed to be working because I was able to adjust the coldness. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      4 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Bobbie, sounds like a bad compressor capacitor. Cost around $25. Usually easy to change out as well.

      Randy

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      4 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Joe, if you have a lot of mud daubers in your area, it's possible one built a nest inside the squirrel cage fan. It may have thrown the fan motor out of balance causing it to overload and shut down for a bit.

      It's possible the nest came loose and the fan isn't out of balance any longer. Let me know if it happens again and we'll go from there.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Bobbie 

      4 weeks ago

      We have a 2018 crusader lite 29fl Fifth wheel. I turned air on today to do some stuff in the rv and the air temp coming out of vents is only 70 degrees and hasn't gotten any lower. What could be the problem. Thanks

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