RV and Camper Rooftop Air Conditioner Maintenance, Troubleshooting, and Repair

Updated on November 21, 2017
Randy Godwin profile image

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

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Camper Trailer and Motorhome RV AC Servicing

Since the majority of motor homes, camper trailer, or RV A/C systems are used during the hottest time of the year, it is a must to keep them in good operating order. Merely cleaning and replacing the filter is not good enough to maintain your RV AC in tip-top condition.

There are certain procedures for guaranteeing the maximum efficiency of your motorhome or camper trailer A/C unit. These steps are not as difficult to perform as you might think and will save you money and inconvenience as well.

Cleaning the condenser and evaporator annually will make a huge difference in the cooling ability of the motorhome or camper trailer RV unit. Lubricating the A/C fan motor may help extend the life and performance of the unit itself.

You will also learn a little about how these RV cooling units differ from regular household units by following the tips in this article. Be sure and check the many actual questions and answers in the comments at the bottom of this page to find a problem similar to yours if the info in not found in the main text.

Gaining Access To The RV AC Unit

Removing the shroud from a Coleman rooftop AC.
Removing the shroud from a Coleman rooftop AC. | Source

Keeping Your AC Cool

Airstream Sovereign With Coleman Mach Rooftop AC
Airstream Sovereign With Coleman Mach Rooftop AC

Brands and Models of Rooftop RV AC Units

There are several main producers of rooftop units. Coleman RV air conditioners are common on many of the best equipped motorhomes and camper trailers. The same can be said for Carrier AC units, as well as Duo Therm A/Cs. Dometic made one of the first rooftop air conditioners, as well as, camper refrigerators and ice machines.

Thankfully, all of these units are similar in function and design. Some of these cooling units may even be identical under the shroud.. Being familiar with household AC units will aid you greatly in servicing and repairing your air condition system, but there are a few differences as you will see.

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Troubleshooting RV AC Units

Before beginning any repair or maintenance step, it is helpful to familiarize yourself with the main components of the rooftop AC unit itself. A fan motor circulates the air from the interior of the motorhome or camper trailer through the RV AC unit where it is cooled and then returned into the RV interior.

The compressor performs the job of circulating the Freon through the condenser and evaporator coils cooling fins and the cycle is repeated as the thermostat setting deems it necessary.

Both the compressor and the fan motor use capacitors to provide a high voltage charge to get them moving and a lesser charge to keep them running.

Often, only one capacitor is used for both fan and compressor. It the capacitor goes bad, neither the fan nor the compressor will start. This part is easily replaced and is not very expensive to purchase in most cases.

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Rooftop A/C Shroud

The AC shroud showing retaining screw holes
The AC shroud showing retaining screw holes

Rooftop RV AC Shroud Removal

In order to clean or repair the RV AC unit, it is necessary to remove the shroud from atop the unit. Ordinarily this is a simple job requiring only a Phillips screwdriver or small wrench. Remove the four screws or nuts from the AC shroud and carefully slide it up off of the unit.

If the shroud is old, it may be cracked around the retaining screws or the vent holes on the sides and back. Now is the time to repair the bad spots before replacing the shroud.

A good quality epoxy cement, or other glue made for plastic repairs, should be used to reinforce the weak or broken place before replacing the shroud. It is also advisable to use wider washers on the shroud retaining screws to prevent further cracking.

If the damage seems too bad to repair, a new RV shroud may be the only option. A broken RV A/C shroud will decrease cooling efficiency plus pose a danger of flying off while the camper is in transit .

Accessing the Fan Motor and Fans

The Coleman Mach  A/C Fan Motor made by Fasco
The Coleman Mach A/C Fan Motor made by Fasco
The rooftop unit With Condenser Cover removed
The rooftop unit With Condenser Cover removed

Servicing and Repairing the RV A/C Fan Motor

With the shroud removed, it is easy to inspect the fan motor for any repairs or maintenance needed. Before doing any repairs or maintenance to the rooftop RV AC be sure to turn the electrical breaker off or unplug the motorhome or camper trailer from the electrical power source. The starting capacitor may be still charged with high voltage, so be sure not to touch it with the bare hands.

The fan should spin easily when turned by hand. Even so, it is a good idea to oil the bearings and clean the accumulated debris from both front and rear fan blades. It may be necessary to loosen the fan motor from its mountings to fully access both ends of the motor bearings.

If the RV fan motor has oil tubes to lubricate the fan, then simply put a few drops of machine oil in the tubes on either end of the motor. If the motor has sleeves instead of ball bearings, you may still dribble a small amount of oil on the sleeves where they contact the fan motor shafts. Even a small amount of oil will do wonders for these types of fan motors.

If the AC fan motor still seems to start slowly or needs a nudge to start working, it is recommended that you replace it with a new one. If the fan motor has oil tubes evident on each end of the motor, it may be rebuilt and replaced for much less than buying a new one. It all depends on the particular unit on your camper.

If either the fan motor or compressor fails to start a new starting capacitor may solve the problem. Be sure to order the right size and voltage for your rooftop unit. These capacitors may be found at your local AC parts dealer or you may find them online for greater savings. Be careful when handling these capacitors as they may still hold some electrical charge.

This Condenser Needs Cleaning

Spray cleaner and a shop-vac will do the job.
Spray cleaner and a shop-vac will do the job.

Cleaning the RV AC Condenser and Evaporator

It is recommended that you clean the condenser and evaporator fins every couple of years to maintain the efficiency of your RV air conditioner. Eventually, the cooling fins on these units will become clogged with dirt and dust.

Use a good spray or foaming cleaner, such as those shown here, to loosen the debris and then use a wet/dry shop vac to remove the loosened dirt and dust. Be sure to cover the vent leading down into the interior to keep the grime from seeping down inside.

Be careful not to bend these fine fins as they will bend easily. A special fin comb tool made just for straightening these fins may be purchased from an RV AC parts dealer or through links on this page. Once again, be careful when performing this maintenance procedure.

Bent fins inhibit the flow of air through the unit, so be sure to keep them as straight as possible using the fin comb. You may need to use a fin straightening tool to align any bent fins in the evaporator or condenser coils.

Oh No! Not A Bad Compressor

A bad capacitor is often the problem if the compressor won't start.
A bad capacitor is often the problem if the compressor won't start.

RV AC Compressor Repair or Replacement

The most costly and difficult part of an RV AC unit to replace or repair is the compressor. In many cases it is advisable to simply replace the unit instead of trying to replace the compressor. With a new unit costing about $500 to $600, spending $300 to $400 dollars for compressor replacement doesn’t make much sense.

The labor involved, plus the prohibitive cost of the compressor, can almost pay for a new RV rooftop unit. These units are very easily replaced and will have a new warranty to cover future repairs for a few years. This is usually the correct option when the compressor goes bad.

The alternative is to find a used compressor. Unless you are skilled in replacing the compressor and are able to recharge the unit with freon, this is not advisable. This step is entirely up to your skills and pocketbook. There are used RV A/C parts available online and locally in some cases.

FAQS about RV AC Repairs

Be sure and check the many questions and answers in the comment section below. Feel free to ask a question if you don't see a similar question and answer, or simply ask the question if you don't have time to peruse all of the comments.

If you've encountered a strange problem and/or solution, please leave a comment below so others may learn from it. Thanks for any advice you may have to offer too! Thanks for relating any odd problem with your camper A/C and or the solution.

Now, Enjoy Your Camping Trip

If properly maintained and serviced, your motorhome or camper trailer A/C will last for many years of camping excursions. Most maintenance can be performed by the owners if they have basic mechanical skills. Understanding how an AC unit works may just save that camping trip you have been looking forward to for so long.

Be careful and take photos of the unit before removing any parts which may cause confusion during reassembly. Be sure to protect the roof of your RV while servicing your rooftop unit. Good luck with your repairs and maintenance.

Questions & Answers

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      • Randy Godwin profile image
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        Randy Godwin 4 hours ago from Southern Georgia

        Larry, I hope the unit is still under warranty as this sounds like a factory defect with the compressor. The only way to know for sure is to use an amp meter to see if the compressor is requiring more amps than normal.

        Randy

      • Randy Godwin profile image
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        Randy Godwin 4 hours ago from Southern Georgia

        Roy, apparently there's a short in one of the circuits. Turn all of the breakers off in the 110 system and, starting with the main, flip each breaker on until you find the circuit causing the problem. From here you'll have to check everything on the circuit until you find the culprit.

        Randy

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        Larry Minter 6 hours ago

        I just bought and installe a Coleman Mach 3 rooftop air conditioner on my RV. It replaced the same correct model for this unit. When I first turn it on, it runs cool air, but after an hour it warms up. The compressor was too hot to touch. Does anyone have any ideas for me to try?

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        Roy 9 hours ago

        Why does my breaker keep tripping

      • Randy Godwin profile image
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        Randy Godwin 3 days ago from Southern Georgia

        Steve, have the capacitors checked first and the thermostat. Are you sure the coils are clean as dirty coils will cause the compressor to shut off because of overheating.

        Randy

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        Steve 3 days ago

        My roof top runs and cools when I first start up after a couple of hours running it stops blowing .

      • Randy Godwin profile image
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        Randy Godwin 4 days ago from Southern Georgia

        Matt, any AC repairman can do the job for you.

        Randy

      • Randy Godwin profile image
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        Randy Godwin 4 days ago from Southern Georgia

        Jo, running the AC on low amperage may have damaged the capacitor. An easy and relatively inexpensive job to replace.

        Randy

      • Randy Godwin profile image
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        Randy Godwin 4 days ago from Southern Georgia

        frontierjeanne, yes try replacing the capacitor(s) first.

        Randy

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        Matt 4 days ago

        Who can service my a/c unit on my 2008 streamline for gulfstream?

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        Jo Leene Rychlik 5 days ago

        Just bought a used 2006 Jayco Jay Flight TT. It has a 13.5 Roof mounted AC-not sure of brand. When the guy delivered it, we plugged in to my home outside outlet as that was only way to test AC.He had an adapter, I guess to drop it from 30 amps to 15. He didn't say don't run it long with that plugged in. It was nice and cold then. I spent some time in it, cleaning out fridge and stuff, turned off ac when left. Grandkid wanted to spend nite in it next day so we did with AC running. It didnt feel as cold then as it could be...Now it doesn't feel cold at all. What could be the issue? I have unplugged it from home power.

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        frontierjeanne 7 days ago

        Help! Parked the camper with working AC six months ago. Now, when we turn it on we hear it attempt to blow, but that's all. Inside filter is spotless. This is a 2005 KEYSTONE with a Duotherm model 57915.541. I see capacitor may be problem?

      • Randy Godwin profile image
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        Randy Godwin 3 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

        Mcarthtl, yes you can add Freon with a piercing valve found at a AC service dealer or online.

        Randy

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        Mcarthtl 3 weeks ago

        Can you add Freon to these units? Mine keep freezing up. I think I may be low on Freon but I didn’t know if these were sealed units or if you can put gauges on them to Check levels.

      • Randy Godwin profile image
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        Randy Godwin 4 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

        Tim, if the furnace won't respond then it could be a 12 volt system problem. Is the furnace thermostat the same as the AC thermostat?

        Randy

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        Tim 4 weeks ago

        Great article, thank you. 2015 Jayco Eagle Fiver here. Main (original) Coleman Mach 15k unit will not respond nor will the the furnace respond to the analog thermostat. Replaced the thermostat with original model and still no luck. Possibly the control board? Having a Mobile AC repairman come out today. This worries me because S Florida is known for over pricing any type of AC repairs.

      • Randy Godwin profile image
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        Randy Godwin 4 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

        Joshua, have the capacitor(s) checked and/or replaced if you're sure there's power to the unit and the thermostat is operating properly.

        Normally an easy and inexpensive repair job.

        Randy

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        Joshua 4 weeks ago

        My ac wont turn on i just replaced the thermostat to see if that was the case but it still wont turn on what possibly could be the problem?

      • Randy Godwin profile image
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        Randy Godwin 5 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

        David, this may be a bad capacitor which starts the fan and compressor. An inexpensive and easy fix in most cases.

        Randy

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        David Mata 5 weeks ago

        When I try to turn on the AC it only hums. I tried to turn the fan on for the AC, it won’t come on, using the digital T-Stat of course. I tried both Lo and hi speed, no good. Does the blower for the furnace and ac use the same blower? Help

      • Randy Godwin profile image
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        Randy Godwin 6 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

        Thais, check the fan capacitor just to be sure it's not going bad. You can change the fan motor out if it is the problem.

        Randy

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        Thais Jarrett 6 weeks ago

        I think maybe the fan is going out on my rooftop air conditioner on my fifth wheel travel trailer it seems to be blowing cold air and the girl I bought it from just replace the compressor a year and two months ago but now it's barely blowing my husband said it was blowing harder but I feel it barely blowing at all do you know what I could do

      • Randy Godwin profile image
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        Randy Godwin 2 months ago from Southern Georgia

        Heather, this could be either the thermostat or the control board causing the problem. Does the compressor ever shut off during the cycle?

        Randy

      • Randy Godwin profile image
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        Randy Godwin 2 months ago from Southern Georgia

        Hey Ken. I'm not sure if I answered your question or not as get so many on my different articles. If so I apologize.

        Have you looked under the shroud to be sure there's not some debris from the storm causing the noise? Strong winds can force pine needles or leaves through the vents.

        At any rate, the fan should be checked out. Let me know what you find out if you will.

        Randy

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        Ken Garrett 2 months ago

        Randy, Did you receive our question about our A/C making a high pitched shrill sound when we turn it on? It is cooling great and everything seems fine except for that sound. We evacuated ahead of Hurricane Harvey but left the RV. We tightened the bolts that holds it in place,they were loosened because of the high winds but now it is noisey. After a while the sound softens considerably. Thanks. Ken

      • Randy Godwin profile image
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        Randy Godwin 2 months ago from Southern Georgia

        Becca, have capacitors checked first. You may have one or two depending on the model. You can check them yourself if you know how to use a multimeter.

        Or you can take them to any electric motor or AC repair shop and they'll check them for you. Just do not touch the terminals until the capacitor is discharged.

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        Becca 2 months ago

        We bought 2004fleetwood niagara rooftop ac mach unit. Don't know model. Turn on fan nothing happens. Turn to low cool or high cool air comes out not cold compressor kicks on and off makes humming sound when it kicks off. Do i need to replace whole unit. Help

      • Randy Godwin profile image
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        Randy Godwin 2 months ago from Southern Georgia

        Tim, this does seem like a stat problem but it could also be the control board malfunctioning. Hopefully the new stat will solve the problem for you. If not, you may to take advantage of the warranty.

        Randy

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        Tim 2 months ago

        Randy, I have a new 2018 Thor Windsport with dual AC's. Bedroom unit is a ceiling mount AC with cooling function only and a rotary dial stat - works great. Living room rotary stat controls both furnace and AC. Stat calls for heat & furnace fires up & blows hot & steady. However, when I call for AC, the fan blows strong, but the compressor doesn't start. This is in "low" or "high" mode. "High" and "low" do not vary in fan speed, either. When I switch the stat to "auto", the entire unit(fan included) shuts off. Have to wait 15 seconds to restart in any mode when this happens. Under warranty, but the dealer is a few hours away. I have a new digital stat I'd like to install, and perhaps that will solve my problem. If not, advice on solutions besides returning to dealer?

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        Rick 2 months ago

        Dawn, I had that issue. what it was was the dam between the intake and exhaust was leaking and was causing the board to think it was cold enough and would freeze up. just double up on some duct tape up there and you should be good to go.

      • Randy Godwin profile image
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        Randy Godwin 2 months ago from Southern Georgia

        Yes Mark, every ten years as a rule.

        Randy

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        mark 2 months ago

        should a/c gaskets every be replaced as a matter of maintenence

      • Randy Godwin profile image
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        Randy Godwin 3 months ago from Southern Georgia

        Gary, this sounds more like a bad capacitor than a fan bearing. I'd replace the capacitor(s) first--around $20 and an easy fix--first before replacing the fan.

        Randy

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        Gary5454 3 months ago

        Randy I have a 2017 coachman c class, the roof air will start normal then run for maybe 45 minutes, then the fan will stop and compressor will hum for a few seconds then the fan will startup but run at much slower speed, could it be freezing up. Thanks

      • Randy Godwin profile image
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        Randy Godwin 3 months ago from Southern Georgia

        Slim, it may be a bad capacitor causing the problem. Around 20-30 dollars to replace.

        Randy

      • Randy Godwin profile image
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        Randy Godwin 3 months ago from Southern Georgia

        Jakki, it depends on if you want to try doing it yourself. Around $200 if you hire it done.

        Randy

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        Jakki 3 months ago

        Hi,

        How hard and costly is it to replace a fan motor? I cannot seem to find a place to price a 2004 Wilderness Yukon.

        Love this site and thank you!

      • Randy Godwin profile image
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        Randy Godwin 3 months ago from Southern Georgia

        Dawn, it could be a bad thermostat or possibly a control board issue.

        Randy

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        Dawn 3 months ago

        My ac will shut off on its own even though the thermostat is still on. I shut off the thermostat and wait a few minutes, turn the thermostat back on and the ac kicks on. Then, later, it does it all over again. Happened once a month ago but now it’s happening all the time.

      • Randy Godwin profile image
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        Randy Godwin 4 months ago from Southern Georgia

        Check the local junkyards, Doug. Many have wrecked RVs they sell parts from.

        Randy

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        Doug 4 months ago

        my RV Pilgrim A/C Shrould has blown off of my coachman van and I need to know where I can buy a used one

      • Randy Godwin profile image
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        Randy Godwin 5 months ago from Southern Georgia

        Hi Dave, sorry to be so late responding but I've had a death in the family.

        This sounds like a low Freon charge even though there's no evidence of leaks. As you said, if it's not a low charge this is a mystery. If you discover the solution I'd be pleased to know what it was.

        Randy

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        Dave 5 months ago

        Randy, I have a challenging one for you. I have a 2011 27' Trail Runner TT. 30amp. My Coleman Mach a/c is not cooling. Both Fan and Compressor are coming on. Compressor High pressure line is warms up, low pressure side not cooling off. Coils are clean, for good measures - I replaced the cap for the compressor, verified 110V to compressor, ohmed compressor no opens, no burned wires seen, replaced analog thermostat with digital - still not cooling down. I didn't see any type of leaks during my inspections.

        Was working with no issues 6mths ago. Any ideas of things to check next? I am at my wits end.

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        Tom 5 months ago

        Thanks

        Would it be the run or start capacitor?

      • Randy Godwin profile image
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        Randy Godwin 5 months ago from Southern Georgia

        Tom, it's more than likely a bad capacitor. An easy and relatively cheap replacement job.

        Randy

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        Tom 5 months ago

        Randy

        RV roof top AC

        When you first turn the unit on the compressor and the fan both comes on The fan stays running but the compressor kick off after 5 seconds then the compressor keeps trying to come on every few seconds but never does but the fan stays running Unit is 12 years old but not used alot

      • Randy Godwin profile image
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        Randy Godwin 6 months ago from Southern Georgia

        Jolenna, the area where the AC pulls in air is normally covered by the filter. Have the capacitors checked and replace if necessary. Around $20 apiece to replace them or you may have only one which operates both fan and compressor.

        Randy

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        Jolenna 6 months ago

        My ac just stopped turning on. The sides with the grates on it, is that where the air sucks threw or blows?

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        Daniella 6 months ago

        Thank you, Randy...I'll have them checked!

      • Randy Godwin profile image
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        Randy Godwin 6 months ago from Southern Georgia

        Daniella, I'd have the capacitors checked and replaced if they show being weak or bad first of all. It may be necessary to remove the shroud to see what's causing the "clunking" sound if replacing the caps doesn't solve the problem.

        Randy

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        Daniella 6 months ago

        I have a Starcraft pop up with a rooftop a/c. It works well, never has had any problems until today. When I first turned it on, you could hear it humming, but nothing was happening in both fan and cooling modes, I turned it off and tried again and it worked. Got it home, opened it up and same thing. It makes a clunking sound when it does come all the way on. Any ideas?

      • Randy Godwin profile image
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        Randy Godwin 6 months ago from Southern Georgia

        Mandy, more than likely a bad thermostat.

        Randy

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        Mandy 6 months ago

        My ac unit will run and keep the camper cool but it won't ever shut off. Any ideas what the problem could be?

      • Randy Godwin profile image
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        Randy Godwin 6 months ago from Southern Georgia

        Ron, replacing a rooftop AC is an easy job in most cases. Simply a matter of getting the old unit off and putting the new unit on top and connecting a few wires. You should have no problems doing the job yourself.

        Randy

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        Ron Lankford 6 months ago

        I have a 2000 National Surf Side that has a bad ac unit I am thinking of replacing it myself...have excellent mechanical background... it's a Coleman unit ...don't know model what are things to look for doing this myself vs a repair shop

      • Randy Godwin profile image
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        Randy Godwin 6 months ago from Southern Georgia

        Eric, sounds like you've covered all the bases trying to find the problem. The only thing I can think of is perhaps removing the furnace affected the thermostat in some manner. Did the same thermostat operate both furnace and AC?

        Randy

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        Eric Ingle 6 months ago

        We have a 2005 28' dutchmen lite RV. We purchased used from an individual not knowing much about RV's. So after a lot of remodeling & repairs it's perfect for us. With the exception of the AC click. The unit is a dometic duo-therm 13,500 btu. We completely removed the furnace, it doesn't trip any breakers, just makes clicking noise then sounds like it's sluggish. Then it's going again. We have cleaned the coils & squirrel cage, replaced hard start capacitor & running capacitor. Tried changing out thermostat but not sure about the wiring. It keeps it cool, just not able to sleep good with the clicking & not knowing what it is doing. Any suggestions

      • Randy Godwin profile image
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        Randy Godwin 6 months ago from Southern Georgia

        Michael, the filter coil is where the air is going through the AC.

        Randy

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        Michael 6 months ago

        Should the air moving through the condenser coils blow out of the unit or be sucker into it I have a carrier 15000 but remote controlled unit

      • Randy Godwin profile image
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        Randy Godwin 6 months ago from Southern Georgia

        Hi Maegan, you'll need to remove the shroud from the AC to see what is causing the noise. It could be bad compressor shock absorbers which keep the compressor from shaking the entire unit. They are small rubber cushions which do wear out over time. Another possibility is bad fan bearings or an unbalanced fan. An unbalanced fan can be caused by a blade breaking off or even by a mud dauber nest being built on the fan itself. I've observed the latter on a few occasions and the former several times. Feel free to ask for more info if needed.

        Randy

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        Maegan 6 months ago

        Hey Randy. I have an Advent roof top air conditioner. Well it was running just fine then all of a sudden it started making this HORRIBLE roaring noise and shaking the whole camper. I turned it off and tried it again and the same noise and shaking happened. It still turns on just makes a noise so loud and shakes so bad you can’t leave it on. What could be the cause?

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        Randy Godwin 6 months ago from Southern Georgia

        Sarah, thanks for the good words re my article. As for the limited airflow from the ducts, a good cleaning of the coils may help somewhat but often overhead ducts will collapse after a time. Try removing the vent covers to see if this is indeed the case, and if so, try using some sort of flexible pole or stick and see if you can open the ducts a bit wider by running the stick/pole inside the ducts.

        Randy

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        sarah 6 months ago

        This is very helpful info. Thank you for sharing. I have a roof top ac/heating unit on my 30' coachmen. I have recently purchased this camper. I plan to do basic service as outlined above as I am sure the unit has never been cleaned. At any rate, the bunk area does not seem to cool very well. I have noticed very limited air flow out of the ceiling ducts throughout the camper. Any suggestions at to what could be the problem? Thanks!

      • Randy Godwin profile image
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        Randy Godwin 6 months ago from Southern Georgia

        John, check the capacitors first of all, and if this doesn't help get back to me.

        Randy

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        John 6 months ago

        My ac and heat stopped working, the fans run but no heat or cool.

      • Randy Godwin profile image
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        Randy Godwin 6 months ago from Southern Georgia

        I meant inexpensive replacement, Stacy. :)

      • Randy Godwin profile image
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        Randy Godwin 6 months ago from Southern Georgia

        Stacy, check the capacitor(s). An easy and relatively easy replacement.

        Randy

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        Stacy 6 months ago

        Aç was working fine before a storm hit.. Now it doesn't seem to cool as good. Any suggestions?

      • Randy Godwin profile image
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        Randy Godwin 6 months ago from Southern Georgia

        Bob, it depends on the thermostat setting.

        Randy

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        Bob decatur 6 months ago

        What should the air temp be coming out of the a c

      • Randy Godwin profile image
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        Randy Godwin 6 months ago from Southern Georgia

        Gabriel, do you have a generator to supply power to the AC when it's not connected to shore power?

        Randy

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        Gabriel Flores 6 months ago

        Hey Randy needing some help, when the unit is plugged up to 110v runs and works great, as soon as we unplug the unit it stops working, doesn't run even when the RV is on or driving, any ideas

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        Randy Godwin 7 months ago from Southern Georgia

        Janet, is the AC operating off of the engine or are you using a the generator?

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        janet 7 months ago

        when we go down the road and the air condition is on in the middle of the coach and the front control on the dash is off there is hot air coming out of the vents on the floor

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        Randy Godwin 7 months ago from Southern Georgia

        Diana/Joe, not if you have someone who knows how to install a piercing valve on the low pressure side of the system and can pull a vacuum before adding more Freon. You'll probably need to use a leak checking dye to see where the former Freon charge escaped.

        Randy

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        Cca410 7 months ago

        Randy, yeah we keep it turned down all the way. Can't get the compressor to run as often as we do while the suns out. It stays fairly cool but not as much as we like because it seems as the thermostat just needs an extra notch to keep the compressor running a little longer to get a little cooler. I only notice this while is cooler outside, when it's blazing hot outside it will run almost be cold in the room. I have 2 newer campers and both of these smaller units are bedroom units and they both do this.

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        Diana/Joe 7 months ago

        Does recharging the Freon on a sealed unit require to be done professionally? And if so do know approx reasonable fee?

        PS Camping at the moment and from bed can hear ice hitting the floor.

      • Randy Godwin profile image
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        Randy Godwin 7 months ago from Southern Georgia

        Diana/Joe, It does indeed sound as if the Freon charge is getting low in your AC. Normally icing is caused by the thermostat being turned to low or dirty coils contributing to the icing. But when an AC gets low on Freon it will get really cold--ergo the icing--just before the Freon runs out. Your unit can be recharged if all the other components are still working well.

        Randy

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        Randy Godwin 7 months ago from Southern Georgia

        Cca410, I'm not sure about the outside temp sensor being the problem as the inside temp should control the thermostat function. Have you tried turning the temp setting down at night and does this allow the compressor to run longer?

        Randy

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        Cca410 7 months ago

        I have 2 newer Coleman 13.5 btu units with knob control. Once the outside temp cools off it keeps the compressor from kicking on as often. During the day when the sun is out they're perfect, on a cool night we sweat in here because the compressor won't kick on. This happens on 2 different units with the same type of ac. Was told it was outside temp sensor keeping them from coming on. Do you know if this is true and how to override this?

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        Diana/Joe 7 months ago

        Hey Randy,

        We have basically the same issues as Ana posted below regarding recharging. The routine checks have been done, the coils are clean, but as the day gets hotter, the unit cannot cool our camper. And now we are having problems with the unit icing up. We afraid we are going to be looking at replacing the unit, and our travel trailer is only 3 years old.

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        Randy Godwin 7 months ago from Southern Georgia

        The low pressure tube should be larger than the high pressure, Michael.

        Randy

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        Michael Simmons 7 months ago

        Which is the high pressure, and low pressure tubes on a Coleman mach roof ac?

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        Randy Godwin 7 months ago from Southern Georgia

        If the thermostat is good then the control board may be at fault. The thermostat sends the signals to the control board for the compressor to turn on and off.

        Randy

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        Marty Schindler 7 months ago

        My Dometic AC compressor stays on when fan shuts down. Has new thermostat.

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        Randy Godwin 7 months ago from Southern Georgia

        Bruce, check the capacitors first. They are cheap--around $20--and easy to replace. Any electric motor repair business can check them or you can do it yourself if you're electronic savvy and have a digital multimeter.

        Randy

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        Bruce H Peters 7 months ago

        I have a 1984 Ford F 350 26foot motorhome when I turn on the air conditioner it runs for a little bit and then automatic turns itself off can you give me any help to what I might be looking for

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        Randy Godwin 7 months ago from Southern Georgia

        Ana, yes these units can be recharged under certain conditions. Are you sure the coils don't need cleaning?

        Randy

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        Ana Miller 7 months ago

        Can these units be re charged with freno or are they sealed units

        Ours is cooling mildly in the AM but towards the heat of the day it blows foolish air and won't shut off until nightime

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        Randy Godwin 7 months ago from Southern Georgia

        Andrew, the cap is a small battery looking item with two or more terminals on it. If you're not sure you can look on Amazon for AC capacitors to see what they look like. you may have a capacitor each for the fan and compressor or sometimes only one which start/run both. Check the cap with the power to the AC off, being careful not to touch the terminals with your bare skin.

        Randy

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        Andrew bruno 7 months ago

        Awesome, thanks Randy! And where exactly is the cap located? I'm guessing it's accesses via the roof, I've already got the shroud off but not seeing it. Is it in a box of some sort? Mounted to the Freon tank? Where exactly should I look? And test it with ac on in cool mode correct?

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        Randy Godwin 7 months ago from Southern Georgia

        Hey Andrew, this sounds like a bad capacitor. You can check it putting your meter on OHMS and placing the probes on the terminals. If the cap is good you will get a random number which decreases in value the longer you touch the terminals. If you get a steady or no number the cap is bad. A cheap replacement in most cases.

        Randy

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        Andrew bruno 7 months ago

        Randy-

        I have two Dometic 15. 5 BTU AC units in my country coach. Odly enough the old one in the front which gets the most use works great but the new one that was replaced a year ago in the bedroom is only kicking on the fan no different in cool mode then in fan. Is it safe to say the thermostat is not the problem since it is still controlling the front unit just fine? Is there anyway to bypass the capacitor using a battery or hot wiring it somehow to try and get the compressor to kick on that's rolling out a bad compressor? I have an voltage meter where would I check to make sure the proper signal or voltage is coming through would that be on the thermostat side or at the AC unit itself and which wires? Thank you so much in advance for your time, I appreciate good ole boys like you lending a hand, cheers!

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        Randy Godwin 7 months ago from Southern Georgia

        Mike, I suggest you consult with the thermostat maker as I have no wiring diagrams to compare your to. There should be a website to assist you with the problem. Sorry I cannot help you.

        Randy

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        Mike 7 months ago

        I have not. I have a new thermostat installed (Honeywell programable, that takes 2 Aaa batteries, unless it's hooked up wrong, I have the two red and whit wires for heat,

        Then the wires for the AC unit I have a black, brown, green, and white wire.

        The wires on the control board to the thermostat is

        Black to Y

        Brown to GL

        Green to GH

        White to B

        On the thermostat it's

        Black to Y

        Brown to G

        Green to O

        And White to B

        Then then two for the heat that works fine.

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        Randy Godwin 7 months ago from Southern Georgia

        More than likely the thermostat isn't sending the correct signal to the control board, Mike. Have you checked the voltage at the thermostat?

        Randy

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        Mike 7 months ago

        I just got a brand new AC unit, new Thermostat, but not a new ceiling assembly, my old unit, the compressor would not kick on, and I am having the same issue with this new one with the compressor not kicking on. The fan comes on on both, but nothing else, not ever a surge that would signal the compressor trying to start up. What would be the best thing to do to get my New AC unit to work as it should? I have 124v going to the AC unit so it's not a power supply issue.

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        Randy Godwin 7 months ago from Southern Georgia

        Renee, if the unit is 12 yrs old then it is due for a good cleaning of the coils. Dirty coils can make the compressor overheat and shut down for awhile. Get some good no-rinse spray coil cleaner and see if this helps. You can find it at ACE Hardware or from Amazon.

        Randy

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        Renee' 7 months ago

        my A/C is ~12 yrs old. It doesn't cool as well as it used to. We are in a hot spell, and it has started turning itself off like it has reached the requested temperature, even though it is 10-15 degrees above the requested temperature. Voltage is fine. Air from vent is cool. Any ideas?

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        Randy Godwin 7 months ago from Southern Georgia

        Leigh, any rooftop AC will work as they all fit the same size roof opening. I usually recommend Amazon for obtaining a new AC as they have a good return policy.

        Randy

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