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A Step-by-Step Guide to RV AC Maintenance

RV AC Maintenance

Are you planning a summer road trip in your RV? The last thing you need is for your AC to go out while you're on the road.

That's why you have to perform regular RV AC maintenance throughout the year. That means cleaning the filter and climbing on the roof to inspect the unit itself. You'll also have to give the coils a good scrubbing.

Are you not sure how to get started? Check out this quick RV maintenance guide to learn how to keep the AC going strong.

Turn Off the System

Before you start working on your RV HVAC system, it's crucial to turn off the power supply. You don't want the fan to turn on while your fingers are near the blades.

Removing the filter while the power is still going could also allow dust particles to enter the motor. This could end up clogging the entire system.

Clean the Filter

Now that you've turned off the power, you can start cleaning. Begin with the filter.

RV air filters can be replaced or cleaned, depending on what type they are. You must perform this RV care step at least once a year to keep the system working as it should.

A clogged filter will prevent airflow, which will make things quickly heat up in your RV. Again, something that's best to avoid during the hot summer months.


A vacuum can take care of the bulk of the dirt and debris caked onto your filter. Of course, you will need to be careful.

If the suction is too high, it could destroy the delicate screen. Be sure to use a low setting only.


If the layer of dust and debris on your filter is too thick, it will be too much for the vacuum to handle. You'll have no choice but to wash the filter instead.

In most cases, you can soak the filter in a mixture of mild detergent and warm water for about ten minutes before rinsing it off. If the grime is particularly stubborn, you can use a soft-bristled brush to knock it loose.

Kick Bacteria to the Curb

Washing your filter won't be enough to get rid of harmful bacteria. If inhaled, it could make you and your family sick. That's enough to put a damper on any road trip!

To get rid of the bacteria, you can spray both sides of the screen with an antibacterial solution. If you don't have an antibacterial solution, vinegar and water work fine.

After spraying the filter, leave it alone for about ten minutes to let the cleaning solution do its job. From there, rewash the filter to prevent your entire RV from smelling like vinegar later when you turn the AC back on.

Dry It

If you put your filter back while it's still wet, it will damage the motor. You can't towel dry a filter the same way that you would do yourself or a pet. Instead, you'll have to play the waiting game.

Due to the thick fibers that most filters are made of, this could take a while. You can place the filter in the sun to speed things along. Once it's dry to the touch, put it back the same way you took it out.

Head to the Roof

After cleaning your filters, put on a pair of non-slip shoes and get on the roof. Most RV AC units have a shroud surrounding them to protect them from moisture.

You'll need to take yours off to inspect the unit. Before doing so, check it for cracks. If the structure is compromised, it will allow rainwater and debris to get to your unit.

If the shroud looks fine, remove it and continue with your inspection. Clear any debris or insect nests away from the unit. Practice caution because wasps love to build nests near or on AC units.

Note that while you're cleaning the outer unit, the one inside may drip water and debris. To avoid making a mess out of your RV floor, stick a towel in the filter compartment.

Clean the Coils

While you have the shroud cover off, take a moment to clean the condenser and evaporator coils. To do this, you'll need to invest in a specialty comb. Using it, you'll be able to remove large pieces of debris and straighten any bent cords out.

After going over the coils with your comb, blow compressed air around the coils. This will get rid of any remaining dirt and debris. Finish up by spraying the coils with coil cleaner.

Apply Oil to the Fan Motor

Most fan motors have a small cap on them. You'll need to remove this cap once a year to oil the motor.

It only takes about four drops of oil to keep the fan going strong for the entire year.

Put the Shroud Back On

Once your condenser coils dry, you can put the shroud cover back on. Remove the towel from the filter compartment inside and wipe out any rogue debris.

Straighten the Cooling Fins

The last step of RV air conditioner maintenance is to check the cooling fins. They're the thing that allows cool air to circulate through your RV setup. If they're bent, it will cause a clog.

To fix this problem, all you need to do is pick up a fin comb and run it over the fins.

Watch Your Power Consumption

Performing the maintenance steps listed above will take pressure off your unit and help reduce your power consumption. It will also lengthen the lifespan of your RV's AC unit.

While operating your RV, keep an eye on the health of your capacitor. Using soft starters will help you cut back on the amount of power you use during start-up.

Essential RV AC Maintenance Steps

The last thing you want is for your RV air conditioner to go out while you're in the middle of a summer road trip. That's why it's important to perform regular RV AC maintenance steps throughout the year.

Keep your unit clean, watch your power conception, and keep those coils clean. This will allow you to enjoy Canopy Luxury RV Resort without sweating. Contact us to book your summer trip!


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