How to Replace RV AC

How to Replace RV AC

An RV AC unit is an essential component for ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable camping experience. However, over time, these units may malfunction or become outdated, necessitating a replacement. If you find yourself in this situation, here is a step-by-step guide on how to replace your RV AC.

Step 1: Determine the Right Replacement Unit
Before replacing your RV AC, you need to know the specifications of your current unit. This includes the BTU (British Thermal Unit) rating and the size of the air conditioner. These details can be found on the label of your current AC unit or in your RV’s owner’s manual. Once you have this information, you can search for a suitable replacement unit that matches the specifications.

Step 2: Gather the Necessary Tools
To replace your RV AC, you will need a few tools, including a screwdriver, pliers, wire cutters, wire strippers, a voltage tester, and a wrench. Ensure you have these tools readily available before beginning the replacement process.

Step 3: Disconnect the Power
Before starting any work, it is crucial to disconnect the power supply to the RV. This can be done by turning off the AC breaker on the RV’s electrical panel or by unplugging the RV from the power source.

Step 4: Remove the Old AC Unit
To remove the old AC unit, you will need to access the rooftop of your RV. Remove any screws or bolts securing the unit to the roof. Once the unit is loose, carefully disconnect the electrical wires and the control cables. Lift the old AC unit off the roof and set it aside.

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Step 5: Install the New AC Unit
Place the new AC unit on the rooftop and align it with the existing mounting holes. Secure it in place by inserting the screws and tightening them with a screwdriver or a wrench. Connect the electrical wires and the control cables to the respective terminals on the new unit. Ensure all connections are secure and tight.

Step 6: Test the New AC Unit
Once the installation is complete, reconnect the power supply to the RV and turn on the AC breaker. Allow the new unit to run for a few minutes to ensure it is functioning correctly. Feel the airflow and check for any unusual noises or vibrations. If everything appears to be in order, your new AC unit is ready for use.


Q1: How long does it take to replace an RV AC unit?
A1: The time required for replacing an RV AC unit depends on various factors, such as the complexity of the installation and the experience of the person performing the replacement. On average, it can take between 2 to 4 hours.

Q2: Can I replace my RV AC unit myself, or should I hire a professional?
A2: If you have some experience with electrical work and are comfortable working on your RV’s rooftop, you can replace the AC unit yourself. However, if you are unsure or not confident in your abilities, it is always recommended to hire a professional to ensure a safe and proper installation.

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Q3: Can I install a higher BTU-rated AC unit on my RV?
A3: It is not advisable to install an AC unit with a higher BTU rating than what your RV is designed for. The RV’s electrical system and insulation are designed to handle a specific BTU capacity. Installing a higher-rated unit may overload the electrical system and cause damage.

Q4: How often should I replace my RV AC unit?
A4: The lifespan of an RV AC unit can vary depending on usage and maintenance. On average, AC units can last between 8 to 12 years. However, if your unit is showing signs of malfunction or inefficiency, it may be time for a replacement.

Q5: Can I replace just the compressor of my RV AC unit instead of the entire unit?
A5: In some cases, replacing only the compressor may be possible. However, it is recommended to consult with a professional technician to determine if this is a viable option for your specific AC unit.

Q6: Are there any routine maintenance tasks I can perform to prolong the lifespan of my RV AC unit?
A6: Yes, regular maintenance tasks such as cleaning the filters, removing debris from the unit, and checking the refrigerant levels can help extend the lifespan of your RV AC unit. Refer to the manufacturer’s manual for specific maintenance guidelines.

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Q7: Can I use a residential AC unit instead of an RV AC unit?
A7: It is not recommended to use a residential AC unit in an RV. RV AC units are specifically designed to withstand the vibrations and movements associated with traveling and provide efficient cooling in a smaller space. Residential units may not be suitable for these conditions and may not fit properly in the RV’s existing AC housing.

In conclusion, replacing an RV AC unit can be a straightforward process if you have the right tools, knowledge, and patience. By following the step-by-step guide outlined above and considering these frequently asked questions, you can successfully replace your RV AC unit and ensure a comfortable camping experience.