RV AC Not Cooling? Here's What You Need to Do

RV AC Not Cooling? Here’s What You Need to Do

Welcome to the world of RV adventures, where your rolling oasis sometimes throws a curveball like an AC refusing to cool. But don’t sweat it, literally! This guide will unravel the mystery of your RV AC not cooling problem.

Spoiler alert: it’s often a simple maintenance issue or a quick fix, and you can usually do it yourself. So, stick around as we dive into the root causes, troubleshooting steps, and preventative measures to keep your RV as frosty as an igloo, even in the hottest summer. So, now let’s embark on this cool journey together.

RV AC Not Cooling: Troubleshooting Tips for Your Air Conditioning System

RV air conditioners are crucial to any RV, especially during hot weather. They work by removing heat and moisture from the air inside your RV and expelling it outside. 

There are different types of RV AC units, including rooftop air conditioners and portable air conditioning systems. 

However, if your RV AC unit is not blowing cold air, it could be due to issues with the condenser coils or evaporator coils.

The condenser coil releases heat from the refrigerant, while the evaporator coil absorbs heat from the air inside the RV. 

Regular maintenance of your RV’s air conditioning system, such as cleaning the coils and changing filters, can help prevent issues with cooling.

Suppose you’re experiencing problems with your RV AC unit not cooling appropriately. In that case, there are several troubleshooting tips that you can try before calling in a professional.

Firstly, check to see if your thermostat is set correctly. Sometimes a simple adjustment to the temperature settings can make all the difference. 

If that doesn’t work, try cleaning or replacing your air filter. A dirty filter can restrict airflow and reduce cooling efficiency.

Another common issue is low refrigerant levels. Again, this could be due to leaks in the system or simply low levels over time. Furthermore, you may need a professional to inspect and recharge your system.

It’s also essential to check for any obstructions around your RV’s exterior unit, such as leaves or debris blocking airflow. Ensure at least two feet of clearance around the unit for proper ventilation.

Suppose none of these troubleshooting tips solve the problem with your RV AC not cooling properly. In that case, it may be time to call a professional technician specializing in repairing or replacing RV air conditioning systems.

Understanding Your RV AC

How Your RV AC Works

Your RV air conditioning (AC) system is an electrical system that requires adequate power to function correctly. Therefore, voltage plays a crucial role in the performance of your RV AC. 

Therefore, it is essential to ensure that your RV has a sufficient power supply to avoid issues with the AC.

The RV AC draws warm air from inside the vehicle and passes it over evaporator coils filled with refrigerant gas. 

The gas cools the air, which is then blown back into the RV through ducts or vents. The hot refrigerant gas is then compressed and cooled down before being circulated back through the evaporator coils, repeating the cycle.

Importance of Proper Functioning of Your RV AC

Proper functioning of your RV AC is essential for a comfortable and enjoyable camping experience. 

Without adequate cooling, you may feel uncomfortable, irritable, and unable to sleep well at night. This can ruin your entire trip.

In addition to keeping you cool, proper functioning of your RV AC can also help prevent mold growth and moisture buildup inside your vehicle. 

Mold thrives in damp environments, so if your AC isn’t working correctly, it could lead to mold growth on walls or furniture.

Another issue when there’s insufficient power supply for your RV’s electrical system is that appliances won’t work as they should. 

For example, suppose you’re running multiple appliances simultaneously while using the air conditioner on low-voltage settings. In that case, it may cause them not to operate efficiently or even damage them.

Common Causes of RV AC Not Cooling

Inadequate Air Flow: A Common Culprit

One of the most common reasons RV ACs fail to cool appropriately is inadequate airflow. Various factors, including dirty filters and coils, can cause this. 

For example, when air filters become clogged with dirt and debris, they restrict airflow, causing warm air to blow out of the AC unit. 

Similarly, if the coils in your RV AC are dirty or covered in debris, they can also reduce airflow and cause the AC to blow warm air.

To prevent these issues from occurring, it’s essential to change or clean your RV’s air filters regularly. 

Doing so will help ensure that your RV’s AC system can circulate cool air throughout your vehicle without obstructions. In addition, inspecting the coils in your RV AC regularly and cleaning them as needed is a good idea.

Refrigerant Leaks: Another Common Cause

Another common reason why RV ACs may fail to cool correctly is refrigerant leaks. Refrigerant is what cools the air inside your RV’s AC unit, so if there isn’t enough refrigerant due to a leak, you’ll likely experience warm or hot air blowing out of your vents instead of cool air.

Suppose you suspect that your RV’s AC system has a refrigerant leak. In that case, it’s essential to have it inspected by a professional as soon as possible. 

Not only can low refrigerant levels cause poor cooling performance, but they can also damage other components within your vehicle’s HVAC system over time.

Electrical Issues: A Third Culprit

Finally, electrical issues such as faulty wiring or a malfunctioning thermostat can also contribute to poor RV AC performance. 

For example, suppose there is an issue with the wiring in your vehicle’s HVAC system or the thermostat isn’t functioning correctly. 

In that case, you may experience problems with temperature regulation and overall cooling performance.

To diagnose electrical issues with your RV’s AC system, it’s best to consult a professional who can thoroughly inspect and make any necessary repairs or replacements. 

Trying to diagnose and fix electrical issues on your own can be dangerous. In addition, it may lead to further damage to your vehicle’s HVAC system.

How to Troubleshoot Your RV AC Step-by-step guide

Checking the Air Filter: Keeping Your RV AC Running Smoothly

One of the most important things you can do to keep your RV air conditioning unit running smoothly is regularly checking and cleaning or replacing the air filter. 

Over time, dust, dirt, and other debris can accumulate in the filter, reducing its effectiveness and causing your AC unit to work harder than it needs to. This can lead to higher energy bills and even damage to your system.

To check your air filter, turn off your AC unit and locate the filter compartment. Depending on the make and model of your RV AC unit, this may be located inside or outside of your vehicle. 

Once you have found the compartment, carefully remove the filter and inspect it for any signs of clogs or debris.

If your air filter is dirty or clogged, it’s time for a cleaning or replacement. To clean your filter, use a soft brush or vacuum cleaner to gently remove any dust or debris. 

If your filter is damaged beyond repair or too dirty to clean effectively, it’s best to replace it with a new one.

Inspecting for Refrigerant Leaks: Keeping Your RV Cool

Another common issue that can cause problems with your RV air conditioning system is refrigerant leaks. Refrigerant cools the air in your AC unit. If not enough of it is circulating through the system, you’ll likely notice that your RV should be cooler.

To inspect refrigerant leaks, start by turning off your AC unit and checking all the coils and connections for signs of damage or wear. 

Look for any cracks or holes in the coils and any loose connections that could allow refrigerant to escape.

Suppose you find a leak in one of these areas. In that case, addressing it immediately before more severe damage occurs is essential. 

In some cases, you may need to replace damaged coils or connections; in others, a simple repair may be required.

Checking Electrical Connections: Keeping Your RV Safe

In addition to checking your air filter and inspecting for refrigerant leaks, it’s also essential to regularly check all of the electrical connections in your RV AC system. 

Loose or damaged connections can cause issues, including reduced cooling power, higher energy bills, and even electrical fires.

To check your electrical connections, start by turning off your AC unit and carefully inspecting all wires and connectors for signs of damage or wear. Look for any frayed wires or loose connectors that could be causing problems.

Suppose you do find any issues with your electrical connections. In that case, it’s best to have them repaired by a professional as soon as possible. 

Attempting to fix these problems on your own can be dangerous and could lead to further damage if not done correctly.

Testing the Thermostat: Keeping Your RV Comfortable

Finally, it’s essential to regularly test your thermostat to ensure it is calibrated correctly and working properly. 

A malfunctioning thermostat can cause various issues with your RV AC system, including inconsistent cooling temperatures and higher energy bills.

To test your thermostat, turn on your AC unit and set the temperature at least 5 degrees cooler than the current room temperature. 

Then, wait a few minutes for the system to adjust before rechecking the temperature. Notice that the temperature has stayed the same or seems too cold or warm in different parts of your RV. It may be time to recalibrate or replace your thermostat.

By following these simple steps for troubleshooting common issues with your RV air conditioning system, you can help keep yourself cool and comfortable no matter where you travel. 

Always prioritize safety when working with electrical components and seek professional help if you need help with how to proceed.

When to Call a Professional

RV AC units are essential to any RV, especially during the hot summer. However, like any other mechanical system, they can break down and require repairs. 

While the owner can fix minor issues, more complex problems need professional help. In this section, we will discuss when involving a professional is crucial and the risks of fixing complex AC problems without professional help.

Why You Need a Professional

Calling a professional is crucial when dealing with complex AC problems that require technical expertise. Fixing AC problems without professional help can lead to risks such as damaging the compressor or other system parts. 

Also, you have tried troubleshooting the problem, and it still doesn’t work. In that case, it may be time to involve a professional.

A professional can diagnose the problem accurately and recommend the best course of action, saving you time and money in the long run. 

Online tutorials may not provide a comprehensive understanding of the problem. In addition, they may not apply to your specific RV AC product. 

Working with electrical components inside an RV can be dangerous, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the process. However, a professional has the necessary training and equipment to handle these situations safely.

Risks of Not Calling a Professional

If you notice any unusual sounds or smells coming from your RV AC unit or if your RV AC breaker keeps tripping, it should be addressed by a professional before it breaks down completely. 

Ignoring these warning signs could cause further damage to your unit or even pose safety hazards.

Moreover, regular maintenance by a professional can help prevent breakdowns and extend the lifespan of your RV AC unit. Therefore, having your RV AC serviced at least once a year is recommended. 

Neglecting regular maintenance could result in expensive repairs or even replacement costs in extreme cases.

Prevention Tips for RV AC Problems

Taking care of your recreational vehicle, including appliances such as the air conditioning unit, is essential. For example, camping during the summer can be unbearable without a properly functioning AC system. 

To avoid any issues with your RV AC, there are a few things you can do to ensure it stays in good condition.

Regular maintenance is critical to preventing damage to the components of your RV AC. First, you should check the air filter regularly and clean or replace it as needed. 

A dirty filter can cause inadequate airflow, leading to poor cooling performance. Inspecting the vents and roof for damage or blockages will help maintain proper airflow.

Another way to prevent issues with your RV AC is to address minor problems before they escalate into bigger ones. If you notice an issue with your AC unit, it’s a good idea to take care of it right away instead of waiting for it to worsen. 

This could mean checking for refrigerant leaks or electrical issues that affect the performance of your motorhome’s air conditioning system.

It’s also essential to have a professional repair any complex issues with your RV AC. Attempting to fix these problems on your own could result in further damage or even injury if not done correctly. 

By involving a professional, you’ll be able to avoid any risks associated with trying to repair something beyond your expertise.


Why is my RV AC running but not cooling?

The issue could stem from a dirty filter, evaporator, or condenser. It might also be due to a faulty thermostat, low refrigerant, or poor airflow. Regular maintenance can prevent these issues.

Why is my AC running not blowing cold?

Several factors can cause this, including a dirty air filter, low refrigerant, or an issue with the compressor. Regular servicing can ensure your AC is always ready to beat the heat.

Do RV AC units need to be recharged?

Typically, RV AC units are closed systems and don’t require recharging. However, if you suspect a refrigerant leak or your AC is not cooling effectively, it might be time to consult a professional.

Why is my RV air conditioner blowing hot air?

This could be due to a thermostat issue, low refrigerant levels, or a problem with the compressor. Regular checks and maintenance of your AC unit can help avoid this problem.


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.