Monday, August 20, 2012

Cleaning the Roof Air Conditioner

As promised, today's post is about cleaning the Roof Air Conditioner on the RV.

Whether you have a pop up, travel trailer, ClassB, C or A RV, if it has an air conditioner. It needs cleaned.

And keep those filters cleaned as well.

Mine is a mounted roof air unit. I don't have ducted air, so really don't have any experience in that venue.

Twice a year, I get up on my roof & take the shroud off of  my air conditioner. I also carry some cleaning cloths so I can really wipe down the unit under that shroud. And I take up a little whisk broom so I can also clean out the drain paths & such. And I clean the inside of the shroud.

A few months ago, I did this while on my trip. In May. I got to DeGray Lake in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. I was enjoying my stay there, then the next day, the power took a dive. Then my a/c acted up. It acted up bad. I heard this awful loud noise & thought someone was working on their boat there somewhere. Then I realized that the noise was coming from INSIDE of my rig! Yikes! Not good!

So, I shut it down, took some things up to the roof with me (cleaning rags, a few tools, cell phone -- might fall off the roof y'know. )  Once up there, I noticed that a lot of my fins were smashed down. We had a hail storm about a month before I left, so that was probably the culprit. Really, I should have done this maintenance BEFORE I left for my trip! And while it was still cool outside! But noooo, why do that when it's convienient. After all, I'm at a campground with nothing to do except get an order finished of custom beaded strands that were due in a few days!

Mind you, it's also 95 degrees outside as I'm up on that roof. No shade. I have fans going inside of the RV with windows open now for the poor dogs.

I kind of figured someone would see me up there & offer up some help. But nope.

So first thing I notice are the smashed fins. I sat up there & straightened up each & every single one. With my thumbnail. I probably could have counted the fins. I should have. Then I could have had a contest here. Oh well. Too late, so nobody wins anything. HA!

OK, got the fins seperated & they look pretty good. I go down, start the a/c back up. Screeeeeeeeeeetch!! Crap. No good. Not the problem, but that needed fixing anyhow.

Shut down a/c. Go back to roof. Take off shroud. Clean the unit up really well. Clean tracks. Inspect it to see if there is anything that looks awry. Nothing looks odd. Clean shroud & return it. Go back down. Turn on a/c. Screeeeeeeeeeeeeeeetch!! ARGH! So now what? It's memorial weekend. No one can help. A few RVer's help by taking a look & listen. (after I asked for help). They think it's my fan motor going out. Bummer & not good. So on Monday morning, I head out, looking for RV places to help me. No one can! Waaaaaaaaaaahhhhh! So I kept going, finally  stopping for the night somewhere. Then when I get to my destination the next day, I take the RV to a place. I beg them to take a look. We could die in the heat without a/c! So they reluctantly go in & listen. No more problems. Go figure. So at best guess, a mud dauber must have built a nest in there & the drive up there broke it up? Don't know. It still wants to squeal just a tad at times, then quits squealing. Anyone know what that's about?

Anyhow, this post is supposed to be about cleaning the A/C, not my problems with it. But sneaking it in if anyone can answer doesn't hurt, right?

I keep my filters clean all the time. When I went to the RV place, the guy sneers at me & spouts out that the filters MUST ALWAYS BE CLEAN! HA! He pulls them out & looks surprised. Yea, they are clean. Lets move on ok? HA! Back at ya!

Ok, back to cleaning.

So since I did the external cleaning in Arkansas at a campground, unscheduled cleaning at that. I decided to clean the rest today. Since I took the inside cover off yesterday to photograph the model numbers & all, I decided to clean it today. I thought logging a photographic file of the numbers would be a good idea so I'd not have to take the cover off if I needed them again any time soon.

What my a/c looks like on the inside of the RV without the cover on.

I got my shop vac, I love my little shop vac! I use it all the time for things. It stays stored in my van usually since I use it so much. I missed it on my trip!

Oh yea, I took my shop vac, put an attachment on the end & blew the heck out of the a/c! Then I made a mess all over the inside of the RV. So be prepared when you do this. Dust & stuff flies all over the place. So do this when you need to clean anyhow. Then I put it on the vacuum side & vacuumed what I could of the a/c as well. I have attachments that fit pretty well into crevices & such.

Someone should clean this thing...

Now I have the cover to clean. The filters are ok, but I wash them anyhow. Took the cover outside & washed it down as well. Then set it in the sun to dry all day since the a/c will remain off for awhile anyhow.

Yukky poos, we be dirties!

Now it's all nice, clean & ready to reassemble. Or rather ready to be screwed back onto the ceiling. But wait. I can't do that yet. Because I'm a pathetic perfectionist & now I must also wash the ceiling. Will do that tomorrow morning while it's a little cooler outside.

So I hope my little episode of cleaning the RV's air conditioner helps someone that wonders how to do this. They are pretty much sealed, but it doesn't hurt to get any extra dust & debris off of them. I don't know how mud daubers can get inside? But I'm not going to unassemble it to find out either. Mine also has a heater attached to it, so other's may look different if they don't have that. Mine is also a Carrier AirV. Carrier no longer makes a/c's for RV's. Oh well, it's really a great air conditioner when I can use it!

Oh and another thing. One day when I turned off my a/c & unplugged the shore power & left to drive, the a/c peed on my floor. Inside of my RV!!! So when I stopped for the day, I took off the cover & found one of the mounting bolts on the inside came loose. Those are an easy fix. Just screw them back down tightly. They come loose sometimes with all the road rattles. I wish they'd take those rattles out of the roads. They are annoying.

Also if any of these RV places or insurance companies tell me that I need to maintain my RV, my blog is proof that I do. So there :-p```
And I'm happy to share my experiences & maintenance with ya'll too. Even if you want to come help maintain.
I sometimes think it would be great if we had a central place to meet & help each other with our RV fixes & suches. Wouldn't that be great!?
Well I can dream....

~As always, be kind to your pets, clean up after them on your travels & respect your neighbor~


  1. Hope your A/C hangs in there and keeps working for you.

    1. Thanks, I just wish I could use it here. Power is bad, we have to find out what to do with the power first...

  2. TexCyn, a little tip I got from an RV repairman. To straighten bent fins he uses a straight comb and just runs it down the face of the fins. Hope it doesn't happen again so you don't need this tip, but there you are.

    1. Thanks John, guess I should go buy a plastic comb. You never know when you'll need one! Actually, I need a new shroud & I think when I get one, I'll add some kind of screen over that opening to prevent any future hail damage. Of course, you know all about the damages of hail, so I can't complain!

  3. I agree on a place to meet! How awesome that would be... just sayin'. I tried to dis-assemble the a/c in my Baby Blue but didn't get very far. Someone had cross wired the filters in or some such thing. Thanks for the info!

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  5. “We had a hail storm about a month before I left, so that was probably the culprit.” – You’re definitely right about this. That’s why, it is advisable to always check upon your AC unit after a hail storm, thunder storm, and whatever storm there is. It is most essential in your case, since you have a roof-mounted unit type. One quick tip for cleaning: the removable filter must be washed every two weeks. ;)

    Jamaal Milner

  6. After a bad weather, it is important to make rounds on your piece of equipment in your house. You can also have it checked by a reliable technician. The earlier the better! Don’t wait for a week or month to pass before checking up on them.

    -Mechteld Abelli

  7. “Whether you have a pop up, travel trailer, ClassB, C or A RV, if it has an air conditioner. It needs cleaned.” You’re right. Cleaning the AC is imperative if you own one. Actually, t does not only apply to air conditioning units, but also to all machinery and equipment, so they will be able to last longer.

    Darryl Iorio

  8. It's good to clean the air conditioner from time to time to maximize performance. Another is that if it is having a hard time running, it requires more gas or electricity to run at “full efficiency”. This can simply be avoided by cleaning it regularly.

    Mignon Her

  9. I love the feeling of a newly cleaned AC! It performs so well and it's so relaxing! The air conditioning is another important thing to be maintained in an RV aside from the machine itself, especially if you are scheduled for a long trip.

    Kurt Verdejo

  10. This is my first opportunity to visit this website. I found some interesting things and I will apply to the development of my blog. Thanks for sharing useful information.
    AC Repair Palm Beach

  11. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


Please feel free to leave comments, I do read them and sometimes, I even learn something!

I do not allow spam links or spam comments. Those get deleted.

Have a good one and Live the Life you Love!