Earlier in this blog, we posted a great how-to tutorial on air conditioner vents and filter maintenance and cleaning. This article pairs by showing you how to inspect and maintain the rooftop components of your RV air conditioning system. Here’s another helpful how-to guide that will walk you through from getting on the roof to making sure your RV motorhome of towable RV’s air conditioner remains near perfect efficiency.
Get Up on the Roof
RV air conditioner units are mounted on the roof which can present an issue if you’re a bit squeemish with heights or your physically incapable. Getting onto the roof isn’t for everybody. So, if you’re not up to the task, hire a professional.
IMPORTANT: Before your or anyone sets foot on your roof, ensure your RV and all rooftop components are not located near any low hanging power lines.
We highly recommend wearing non-skid shoes and laces are tied securely. This is not the time to be wearing your Tommy Bahama flip flops. Its a good idea to inspect the bottoms of your shoes to ensure no grit or gravel are stuck in the treads before stepping foot on your ladder. You certainly don’t want to rip, gouge or snag your roof’s rubber membrane. If you hire a professional, we see no harm in asking if you can check the bottoms of their shoes before climbing the ladder. Remember, it’s YOUR RV.
Be extremely cautious of your footing while climbing the ladder or walking on the RV’s roof. One wrong step can and will result in serious injury…or worse.
Inspecting and Maintaining Your RV Air Conditioner
Ensure the rooftop unit is not energized and cannot be energized while you conduct your maintenance checks. Carefully remove the protective cowling of the rooftop unit to inspect for debris, bee’s nests, dirt, dust, etc.
The cooling fins should be free of dirt, not bent and in good condition. If the fins are dirty use a prescribed air conditioning brush and some mild soapy water to clean them. Be aware, you do not want to use a stiff bristle brush as it will damage or bend the fins.
Inspect the fan blades for stress fractures and excessive dirt and dust that could throw the blades out of balance. Again, make certain you gently clean with the same brush above anything that may hinder proper function.
Inspect the base plate of the rooftop unit to ensure weep holes are not plugged and that they allow condensation to drain from the unit. We found using straw cleaning brushes are great for cleaning tubes, hoses and small holes.
Next, you’ll want to carefully inspect the copper lines of the unit for rust, corrosion and leaks. This may help you in identifying potential issues before a catastrophic failure happens thus leaving you with no air conditioning on a hot day.
Finally, ensure the wiring diagrams, schematic drawings and serial number are still applied and ledgible. If you need to contact to rooftop unit’s manufacturer for service or parts you will need all of the above information. I will take a photo of it and keep it in a file on my digital devices and phone for information that may be needed later.
Finally, work every function on your RV Air Conditioner’s thermostat. Make certain the fan, and different AC zones work correctly.
While you’re up on the roof…
Don’t let the opportunity of already being on your roof preclude you from doing further inspection on your roof itself. Inspect the roof membrane, fittings, caulking, etc. Clean and recaulk any degraded caulk.
RV Maintenance Tip: Knowing your RV Roof material will dictate what caulking product to use. Its always a good idea to have a Roof Repair Kit:
When you’re safely off the roof…
And lastly, we also recommend you get into the habit of conducting monthly air conditioner interior vent(s) and filter(s) inspection and cleaning.
Maintaining and inspecting all of your RV air conditioning components will allow your cool air system to perform at peak efficiency for years to come.
Don’t forget to check out our other RV Preventative Maintenance Tips.
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