RV Air Conditioner Replacement: A Step-by-Step Guide 2023

RV Air Conditioner Replacement: A Step-by-Step Guide 2023

Is your RV air conditioner on its last legs, leaving you sweating through those hot summer days? Fear not, cool-seeking road trippers! In this article, we present the ultimate 2023 step-by-step guide to replace a ducted RV air conditioner, restoring those blissful breezes you’ve been longing for.

We’ll walk you through the entire process, from choosing the right replacement unit to safely installing it in your home on wheels. So grab your tools and get ready for a refreshingly cool adventure that’ll make your RV the coolest spot on the campground!

Replacing a ducted RV air conditioner may seem like a daunting task, but with the right tools and knowledge, it can be done easily. A ducted RV air conditioner is a type of AC unit that is designed to cool the entire RV

through a series of ducts and vents. Most RV air conditioners are ducted, meaning they have a series of ducts that run throughout the RV to distribute cool air evenly.

When replacing a ducted RV air conditioner, several factors must be considered. The first thing you need to determine is what type of unit you have.

There are two main types: Dometic units and Coleman units. Once you know what kind of unit you have, you need to locate the evaporator coil. This is usually located inside the RV near the ceiling.

If your RV has ducted return air, you must consider this when replacing your AC unit. Ducted return air means that there are additional ducts that bring in outside air into the system for cooling purposes.

One important thing to note before beginning this process is safety precautions should be taken seriously at all times, as working on top of an RV roof can be dangerous if not handled properly.

Replacing a ducted RV air conditioner typically involves:

  • Removing the old unit from the roof by unscrewing bolts or screws.
  • Holding it in place.
  • Disconnecting any electrical wires.

After removal, clean up any debris left behind from the previous installation, such as caulking or sealant around the access hole.

Before installing the new unit, ensure the rubber gasket fits snugly over the opening where the old one was removed so water does not leak into rv during rainstorms while driving down the highway causing damage inside rv such as mold growth or water damage.

Once the new rubber gasket is securely placed over the opening where the old one was removed, install the new ac unit by placing it onto the rubber gasket and securing it with bolts or screws.

Next, connect electrical wires to the new unit and seal around the access hole with caulking or sealant.

One thing to keep in mind is that the installation process may vary depending on the specific model of your RV air conditioner.

Therefore, it’s always a good idea to consult the manufacturer’s instructions before beginning any installation process.

Understanding the Basics of Replacing a Ducted RV Air Conditioner

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Turning off the Power Supply

Before replacing a ducted RV air conditioner, turning off the power supply is crucial. This step ensures you won’t get electrocuted while working on the unit.

To do this, locate the circuit breaker for your air conditioner and switch it off. If you’re unsure which circuit breaker controls your air conditioner, turn off all of them to be safe.

Measuring the Size of the Old Unit

The next step in replacing a ducted RV air conditioner is measuring the size of your old unit. It’s essential to ensure that you purchase a replacement unit that fits perfectly into the space vacated by your old unit.

You can measure your old unit by looking at its model number or physically measuring its dimensions.

Installing a New Unit

Once you have purchased a new air conditioning unit that fits perfectly into your RV’s roof, it’s time to install it.

The installation process may require cutting a larger hole in your RV’s roof to accommodate the new unit. Ensure that you follow manufacturer instructions when installing your new AC unit.

Sealing and Insulation

Proper sealing and insulation are essential when replacing a ducted RV air conditioner. Links can occur without adequate sealing and insulation, leading to energy inefficiency and other problems. Ensure you install your new AC unit with high-quality sealant and insulation materials.

Hiring a Professional

Replacing a ducted RV air conditioner can be complex and potentially dangerous if not done correctly.

Therefore, hiring a professional with experience with these types of installations is recommended. A professional will ensure that everything is installed correctly, preventing any potential problems down the line.

Parts Needed for Camper Air Conditioner Replacement and Installation Steps

New camper air conditioner units can provide a refreshing and comfortable environment during hot summer days.

However, replacing an old or damaged unit requires proper knowledge of the necessary parts and installation steps. This section will discuss the essential elements needed for camper air conditioner replacement and the steps to ensure a successful and safe installation.

Parts Needed for Camper Air Conditioner Replacement

Replacing a ducted RV air conditioner requires several essential parts to ensure proper installation. Here are some of the necessary parts you need to replace your RV’s air conditioning unit:

  • New Unit: You first need a new unit that fits your RV’s specifications. Make sure to choose an AC unit that has enough cooling power based on your RV’s size.
  • Mounting Hardware: You also need bolts, screws, brackets, and gaskets with the new AC unit.
  • Electrical Wiring: Electrical wiring is another crucial part of replacing an RV’s AC unit. Make sure to check if your existing wiring is compatible with the new AC unit or if it needs rewiring.
  • Thermostat: Lastly, you need a new thermostat that matches the new AC unit.

Installation Steps

Once you have all the necessary parts ready, it’s time to install your new camper air conditioner. Here are some of the basic steps involved in installing a ducted RV air conditioner:

  1. Turn off Power: Before starting any work on your RV’s electrical system, turn off all power sources from shore power and batteries.
  2. Remove Old Unit: Remove the old AC unit by unscrewing the bolts holding it in place.
  3. Mount New Unit: Install mounting hardware onto your new AC unit before placing it on your roof.
  4. Connect Electrical Wiring and Ductwork: Connect electrical wires according to manufacturer instructions and connect ductwork from the new unit to the RV’s existing ductwork.
  5. Test New Unit: After completing the installation, test your new AC unit by turning it on and checking if it’s working correctly.

Safety Guidelines

Replacing an RV’s air conditioning unit requires following manufacturer instructions and safety guidelines to ensure proper installation and avoid potential hazards.

Use appropriate safety gear such as gloves, goggles, and face masks when handling electrical wiring or refrigerant.

How to Replace a Ducted RV Air Conditioner

Turning off the Power Supply

Before replacing your old duo therm RV air conditioner, turn off the power supply. This is an essential safety measure that should not be overlooked.

You can do this by switching off the circuit breaker or unplugging the RV from the power source. Failure to do so may result in electrocution or damage to your new rear air conditioner.

Checking Compatibility

It’s crucial to check the compatibility of your new rear air conditioner with your RV’s ducted system before purchasing. Not all air conditioners are created equal, and you want to ensure that you get one that fits perfectly into your existing system.

Check with the manufacturer or a professional technician if you need help determining which unit suits you.

Following Manufacturer’s Instructions

Once you have purchased a compatible unit, follow the manufacturer’s instructions when installing it. Each model has its unique installation process, so don’t assume that what worked for another brand will work for yours.

In addition, skipping steps or taking shortcuts may damage or malfunction your new rear air conditioner.

Using Appropriate Tools and Safety Gear

Replacing a ducted RV air conditioner requires specific tools and safety gear. These include gloves, goggles, screwdrivers, pliers, and a ladder.

Ensure you have everything you need before starting the project to avoid any accidents or injuries.

Testing Thoroughly

After installing your new rear air conditioner, test it thoroughly to ensure it’s working correctly. Next, turn on both cooling and heating functions and let them run for at least 30 minutes each to see if there are any issues with temperature control or airflow.

If everything checks out fine, then congratulations! You’ve successfully replaced your old duo therm RV air conditioner with a brand-new one.

Correctly Placing the New Air Conditioner and Choosing the Right Type

Now that you have successfully removed your old unit, it’s time to install the new one. Again, proper installation is crucial for ensuring your air conditioner functions efficiently and effectively.

Firstly, ensure you have chosen the correct type of air conditioner for your RV. When selecting, consider factors such as size, cooling capacity, and energy efficiency.

Ensure the new unit has the same model number as the old one to avoid compatibility issues.

Start by positioning the ceiling assembly in place and securing it with screws. Next, connect all necessary wiring from the control box to the ceiling assembly and thermostat.

Be sure to follow the proper wiring procedures outlined in your installation manual.

Once everything is wired correctly, carefully lift your new unit onto its mounting plate on your RV roof.

Ensure that it is securely fastened with bolts or screws and that all connections have proper tension.

Finally, install an outside air conditioner cover over your new unit to protect it from weather damage or debris buildup.

With these steps completed correctly, you can enjoy a relaxed and comfortable RV experience with a properly installed air conditioning system.

Remember to refer to your installation manuals for additional guidance or troubleshooting tips along the way.


Is it hard to replace an RV air conditioner?

Replacing an RV air conditioner can be moderately challenging but doable with the right tools, knowledge, and some patience. Carefully following a step-by-step guide will simplify the process.

Can I install my own ducted air conditioner?

Yes, you can install your own ducted air conditioner if you’re comfortable with DIY tasks and have basic electrical and mechanical knowledge. However, if in doubt, consult a professional.

Can you replace a Domestic AC with a Coleman AC?

Yes, you can replace a Domestic AC with a Coleman AC as long as the new unit is compatible with your RV’s existing ductwork, electrical system, and mounting dimensions.

What is the lifespan of a ducted air conditioner?

The lifespan of a ducted air conditioner typically ranges from 10 to 15 years, depending on factors like usage, maintenance, and environmental conditions. Regular upkeep can extend its life.


Our team at HighwayDI is a group of passionate RV owners, mechanics, and industry experts who have come together to create the ultimate resource for RV troubleshooting and maintenance. We believe that the best way to learn is through hands-on experience, and we're committed to sharing our expertise with you.