How Do I Test My RV’s Air Conditioner?

Fleet Truck & RV Repair is happy to inspect and test your RV’s air conditioner before your next outing, but if you’d prefer to do it yourself, there are ways you can do so. Keep in mind, you’ll get better results if you are able to test your RV’s AC under certain conditions. We’ll list what those conditions are below and the steps you can take to test your RV’s AC.

Before You Test the RV’s AC

Your family’s next RV vacation relies on comfort in order to keep everyone happy. You don’t want hot and whiny children in the back while you drive to the campsite, not to mention your spouse in a mood beside you. The get the best test results, wait until the outdoor temperature is over 75 degrees Fahrenheit and turn off all RV power. You don’t want the RV’s air conditioner to come during the first phase of the test, which is the next so keep reading.

Phase One – Clean the Unit

This is more of a maintenance check than a test, but you’ll see how it will benefit your RV’s air conditioning system and its operation during your trip. While it’s hot outside and with no power to the RV, inspect the air conditioning filters to ensure they don’t need replacement prior to your trip. If they do, clean filters that can be cleaned and replace filters that must be replaced before your test your air-conditioning unit. The unit will not run efficiently with a dirty filter.

Next, check the air-conditioner condenser coils for dirt, grime, and damage. You’re inspecting the fins, actually, and as with the filters, they must be clean and in good condition for your AC to work properly. Here’s how you check the condenser coil fins:

  • Carefully climb up to the roof of your RV
  • Remove the air conditioner cover
  • Find the AC condenser which faces your RV’s tail end
  • Clean the condenser coil fins very gently with a soft brush

If any coil fins are bent, let a professional straighten them. you should also leave cleaning the evaporator coil to the professionals. To avoid dirty coil fins, keep your air conditioner filters clean at all times. Clean filters extend the life of the coils.

Phase Two – Test the Unit

Turn on your RV’s power source. You should have a 120-volt power supply that properly powers your RV’s accessories including the AC. Turn the RV’s air conditioner to the high setting and allow it to run for 15 minutes. Grab a thermometer – you can purchase a simple one at the auto parts store – and place it in front of AC return. Check the temperature inside the RV after the 15 minutes. If it 15-to-25-degrees cooler than outside, your AC is working just fine. Make sure all the vents are open for this test.

If your AC did not cool the RV 15-degrees cooler than the outside temperature, bring your RV into Fleet Truck & RV Repair in Great Falls, MT. You can contact us for an appointment any time.