Dometic rv ac freon

Dometic rv ac freon DEFAULT

How to Recharge an RV Air Conditioner: Helpful Guide + Tips

RVs are a good vacation option.They help you bring a little of your home with you when you leave your home. They have extra room, home necessities and of course, a little air conditioning. Air conditioning while on the road is almost a must. You need to learn how to care for it to get all the full benefits from an RV air conditioner

How to Recharge an RV Air Conditioner:RV air conditioners run on the same principle as many home air conditioning units. To recharge an RV air conditioning unit, you just need to replace the coolant.

Having an air conditioner in your RV helps make your vacation more enjoyable. To keep it working at top levels so your vacation is not ruined, just continue to read our article. It is filled with tips and helpful hints to keep your RV unit in top working order.

Tip #1; before you add a second air conditioner, make sure you have the space and the right materials to vent it properly. Also, make sure you upgrade your fuses so you do not lose power at the wrong time

Tip #2: Direct sunlight will heat up the air temperature inside the AC unit and your RV. Make sure to park in the shade so you get accurate temperature readings

Can I Recharge my RV Air Conditioner

It is possible to recharge your RV air conditioner. The thing you have to watch out for is the coolant levels. If the unit is not completely empty, then you may only have to add a little coolant to get the air conditioner at peak levels.

Here are 5 steps to take to recharge your RV air conditioning unit:

  • First, lower the power being sent to your RV’s air conditioner
  • Second, check your RV’s owner manual to find out the specific brand of coolant you need top use. You can’t mix and match
  • Third, remove the plastic lid guarding the air conditioner. Lift straight up so you do not damage the coils
  • Fourth, get a coolant gauge to measure the level of the coolant inside. Once you know the levels unscrew the port using a wrench. Then add the coolant and tighten the port back down
  • Fifth, take your time and slowly add the coolant. Monitor the temperature levels of the air in the AC and the air in your RV. When you have reached full, the temperature difference between the air in your RV and AC should be about 20 degrees F
  • Finally, put the plastic case back on and restore the power to the AC unit. Continue to monitor the air temperature to make sure you did it all correctly. Once that has been done, tighten the plastic lid down securely

Tip #3: If you only need to add a little coolant, that is called topping up. If you need to fill an empty chamber, that is called recharging

Does RV Air Conditioner Need Freon

Not necessarily. Different Air conditioning units use different types of coolant to lower the air temperature. You would have to check your owner’s manual to see the exact coolant specifications your RV air conditioner uses before buying freon.

But in most cases, RV air conditioners are designed to be a one use system. That means that for the most part, they do not come with the ports and other attachments needed to recharge them with coolant.

To recharge your RV in most cases, you would need to have valves installed. Usually the RV air conditioner is hermetically sealed. That means you have to break the seal in order to recharge it., That can be costly and if the technician doesn’t know what they are doing, you may have to replace the unit

Put Freon in RV Rooftop Air Conditioner

When you are putting freon in your RV’s AC you need to be careful. It is not a job for those who do not have patience and are not careful when they work. You have to be careful because there are a lot of fragile parts inside.

The ports you need to use are usually located on the side with the largest copper tubing. Attach the manifold gauge to the suction side of the unit, this is the large copper tubing.

Turn the air conditioner on by putting it on the lowest setting possible. Read the gauge to make sure you need to top up or recharge. Once you see that it does, attach the coolant container to the suction tubing and open it up.

It should only take about 1 minute to fill your RV’s coolant chamber. For best results, you may want a professional mechanic to handle the process.

Tip #4: if you are not mechanically inclined then it is not recommended that you handle this issue yourself. Take it to a professional mechanic who has the experience and knowledge to do a good job.

RV Air Conditioner Recharge Kit

It is possible to get a RV recharge kit. That is if you want to do it yourself and save a little money. Inside these kits you should have a valve, a hose and several cans of coolant. The hose is easy to use and should attach to the AC port with a click of the handle.

On the hose is the AC pressure gauge. This gauge will let you know if your AC unit is full, needs topping up or needs to be recharged. Once you learn the AC coolant level then you know how much coolant you should put in the chamber.

Make sure you hook the hose and gauge to the correct valve or you will not get an accurate reading. If you do not find any ports on your RV AC unit, then that means it was not designed to be recharged.

When you are in this situation, you will have to think about replacing the unit with a new one.

Tip #5: before you rush out and buy your AC recharge kit, make sure you know your RV’s make, model, engine and location. Different RVs have different levels of charges needed to fill up the unit.

RV Air Conditioner Freon Type

Most RVs come with sealed Ac units. That means that the coolant inside is designed to last the lifetime of the AC unit. This is not always going to be the case because things happen and leaks develop,

When you are going to add or replace the freon inside your RV AC unit, you will want to use freon R-22. The good news is that this freon is common. The bad news is that there are strict regulations governing its handling.

You need one of 3 licenses to buy and handle R-22 coolant. In brief, here are those licenses:

  • Certified Refrigerant Technicians approved by the E.P.A.
  • A buyer of refrigerant for resale to a Certified Refrigerant Technician
  • Automotive Certified Refrigerant Technicians approved by the E.P.A.
  • There are some exceptions but those exceptions do not authorize you to purchase R-22. It is best to check the regulations in your area but the safe way to go is to hire a professional to handle the recharging task.
  • Other types of freon used in RVs are R-134a, R-410A.

RV Air Conditioner Freon Capacity

The amount of freon or any coolant you put in your RV’s AC depends a lot on the make,model and engine type or its location. There is not a one size fits all capacity that simplifies this process.

Each RV has its own capacity with some using the same amount. Also, they may not use the exact same type of coolant. The range of charge needed to recharge your empty AC unit is quite wide.

Some units take as little a 1 1/4 pounds while others will need up to 8 pounds. There are quite a few in the 4 and 5 pound capacity range. If you want a look at a more specific chart to see where your RV lies,click here

You do not want to come to your recharge duty unprepared and not knowing how much freon to put inside the unit.

Dometic RV Air Conditioner Recharge

When trying to do a dometic recharge, you need t be aware of the cost involved. It is quite high and may be the same price as buying a new Air conditioning unit. But with that said you can buy bullet piercing valves to help do the job.

The thing about using bullet piercing taps is that they might spring a leak or tow after you have installed them. You need to be very careful when you tap the air conditioning line to install those valves.

Then if you do not have a license top buy the freon you won’t be able to recharge it. Yet, if you can get R-410A, then it must be recharged in liquid form. The attempts to recharge this type of RV air conditioning unit are not brand specific.

There are no other tricks to use if you have a different brand than a family friend has in their RV. Each one needs an access valve installed to recharge it properly. When it comes to recharging this type of RV air conditioner or any other model, you want to check the other parts first.

It may be a simple issue that stops the air conditioner from doing its cooling job properly.

Duo Therm RV Air Conditioner Recharge

This model is like any other RV air conditioner model. If you do not have a license to buy the freon then it is going to be difficult to recharge it yourself. To get an A/C tech to do the job, you may be looking at some very high labor costs

Those costs make the price to replace the unit a lot more attractive. If you still want to recharge your Duo Therm Av unit, then you need to know it is a sealed system and you need to install access valves,

Coleman RV Air Conditioner Recharge

As has been stated already, most RV air conditioners are designed to not be recharged. They are sealed systems and the freon inside is made to last the life time of the unit. That is if it doesn’t spring a leak.

Coleman is also a sealed system and the only way to recharge them is to buy access valves and a RV air conditioner recharge kit. Then you will need the right license to purchase the freon.

Going to a professional RC AC technician may cost you more than you want to spend. RV air conditioners are not like other air conditioners. Why it is this way is anyone’s guess.

Other Reasons why an RV AC Blow Warm Air

Most people who own an RV come to the conclusion that it must be the freon that is the problem when their air conditioner starts blowing warm or hot air. While it may be people’s first thought, it may not be the first reason for that situation.

When your air conditioner stops blowing cold air, there are other parts that may have broken or worn out. Some of these reasons could be the air filter is dirty and clogged. The amp fuse is not the right size, the capacitor has broken, the condenser fins are not straight and on it goes.

A lot of these issues are easy and inexpensive to fix. They should be checked first before assuming you are low or out of freon.

Some Final Comments

Addressing air conditioner issues in your RV is not going to be the same as doing it for your car or your home air conditioner. These units are built differently and normal home or car fixes may not apply.

With the closed system employed by RV manufacturers, it may be easier and cheaper to replace the AC unit than it is to try to top up or recharge the old one. With government regulations concerning freon so strict, you may have to hire a professional to make sure you get the right coolant inside.

Save yourself a lot of time and frustration and let the professionals handle your RV air conditioner repairs.


Have you ever wondered what type of freon goes in RV air conditioner?

Your RV air conditioner works by having a chemical known as a refrigerant in it. This chemical is often called Freon which, technically, is a brand name.

While it is rare that you will need to do this, there may eventually come a point where you need to replace the Freon in your RV’s air conditioner. If you are going to be doing this properly, then you need to know what Freon was in the air conditioner in the first place. That is what we want to talk about on this page.

So what type of freon goes in a RV air conditioner? Nowadays, chances are that your RV’s air conditioner will use R-410A. However, it is sold under a variety of different brand names, so you will want to make sure that you get the right one for your air conditioner.

In the past, it always would have been R-22 Freon. So, if you have an RV air conditioner that is more than a few years old, then chances are that it will have R-22 Freon in it. In fact, the term ‘Freon’ can only really apply to R-22.

What Type of Freon Goes in an RV Air Conditioner?

If you have an RV air conditioner that is more than a few years old, then chances are that it will have R-22 Freon in it. In fact, the term ‘Freon’ can only really apply to R-22.

Of course, it was discovered that the chemicals in this Freon were contributing towards global warming quite significantly and, as a result, R-22 Freon was banned from production (we will discuss that more in a second)

If you want to find out what type of refrigerant that your RV’s air conditioner takes, then you need to look in the instruction manual.

It will tell you exactly what you need to buy. It is vital that you are only buying what the manual suggests. The various refrigerants are not cross-compatible. 

👉 Purchase: You can purchase this Air Conditioning Refrigerant Filler Kit with Stand R410a today! Just follow the link to Amazon where you can see current pricing.

Why is R-22 Freon Tough To Find in the United States?

Since 2020, it has been illegal to produce any product that contains R-22 in the United States. This means that old Freon is no longer made. If you have an older air conditioner, then, as time goes on, you will actually find it more and more difficult to purchase replacement Freon for it.

Any of the Freon that you find on the market nowadays has either been recovered from air conditioner systems that have been dismantled or the Freon was produced before the ban came into effect.

Obviously, R-22 Freon was starting to be phased out a long time before 2020, which means that the supply was already starting to fall.

Since nobody is making it now, and no air conditioners in the last few years have used R-22 Freon, it is difficult to find. In fact, give it a year or two, and you probably won’t be able to find R-22 Freon for sale at all.

Read also: RV Propane Refill Near Me – Stations & Locations [UPDATED]

What Does Freon Do?

We do not want to get too technical here. This is because you don’t actually need to know how Freon works in order for you to use an air conditioning system. However, some people are interested in the process, so we figured that we would take the time to give you a brief overview.

Inside of your air conditioner is a compressor. The compressor will ‘compress’ the Freon until it becomes hot.

The Freon will then be forced through the air conditioner. As it does, it starts to turn into a liquid. This is because the heat of the Freon is reduced.

At the end of process, the Freon is cooled down drastically. This causes it to evaporate. As this happens, the Freon will pass through a series of coils located close to the air going into the air conditioner.

The gas will then absorb all of the heat from this air, cooling it down. 

Basically, if you do not have Freon, or some other refridgerant in an air conditioner, then it simply wouldn’t work. The temperature of the air going in would be exactly the same as the temperature of the air going out. 

Read also:What is a Non-ducted RV Air Conditioner? (Ducted vs. Non-ducted)

How do I Know If My RV AC is Low on Freon?

Now, air conditioners do a decent job of sealing the Freon inside of them. It is very, very rare that Freon will drop quickly. In fact, some people may not have to replace any Freon for years.

👉 However, because the Freon is constantly being heated up then cooled down, small amounts of Freon will start to disappear.

Leaks may also start to appear on the air conditioner which will allow small amounts of Freon to escape from the unit. As a result, it is important that you know how to tell whether the Freon levels are getting too low.

👉 Perhaps the biggest indicator is that Freon is hitting very low levels is if some of the air is coming out of the air conditioner without being cooled. You may also find that the air conditioner is having a tougher time cooling down your RV.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that there is an issue with the Freon. There is a whole host of things that can cause temperature issues with the air conditioner, but it is one of the bigger causes.

👉 If you notice that ice has started to appear in the air conditioner, then this is a surefire sign that you will need to replace the Freon quickly.

Ice is never a good thing and, if you continue to run the air conditioner like this, you will end up damaging the system.

👉 Even if you do not notice that there is ice in the system, ice may have started to appear inside of the pipes.

You can tell that this is the case if air is not flowing out as efficiently as it did in the past i.e. if the air conditioner vents seem to have a lower amount of air coming out, there is a good chance that there is ice blocking the inside of the system somewhere.

If you look in the instruction manual for your air condtioner, it will likely give you a ton of advice on how you can check Freon levels yourself.

Some Tools You might need:

Rechargeable Lights

Wire Striper

Safety Glasses

Cable Cutter

Cable Crimper

Fluke Multi Meter 

Testing Freon Level In An RV Air Conditioner >> Check out the video below:

Can You Replace Freon Yourself?

You can, at least in most RV air conditioners. There will be some that are completely sealed units. However, you shouldn’t really have to be replacing the Freon all that frequently.

If you find that the Freon is leaking out at a rapid rate, then you shouldn’t really be trying to refill it yourself.

As we said before, Freon is pretty expensive. If you have a leak, then you will probably want to patch it up quickly, otherwise, you are just going to be loading tons and tons of freon into an air conditioner that is only going to let it escape.

To be honest, even if you feel as if there are no leaks on the air conditioner, you should probably still get in touch with an expert to replace the Freon. This way, you will be able to ensure that it is done perfectly.

Read also: Can You Use A Portable Air Conditioner in an RV or Camper?


If you want to know what type of Freon needs to go into your air conditioner, you will have to check the instruction manual.

In most cases, it will either be R-22 or R410-A. Make sure that you put the right one in, otherwise the system won’t work. 


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How Do I Put Freon In The Air Conditioner On My Travel Trailer?

by Viiola Rodriguez
(rio grande city texas)

How do I put Freon on a Travel Trailer?

ANSWER: Greetings Viola thanks for submitting your question on our Ask An RV Question Page.

I assume that you are talking about charging your Travel Trailer's Air Conditioners with Freon. Since you do not tell me the year of your Travel Trailer I cannot tell you what type of Freon your A/C takes.

If your Travel Trailer is older it was probably designed to take R22 Freon, if it is newer it may take one of the newer types of Freon.

I do not know the exact amount of Refrigerant your travel trailer takes. But I am going to take this opportunity to emphasize my feelings on whether a do-it-yourselfer should recharge their own RV air conditioners. I do not believe it is advisable for you to recharge your own air conditioner for the reasons I have listed below.

1. The old type R22 refrigerant is not as readily available as it used to be due to US Environmental Regulations. The cost of R22 Refrigerant has gone up dramatically.

2. There is a reason that your air conditioner is no longer blowing cold air. Unless you have the proper equipment to diagnose the reason, you may be wasting Freon especially if there is leak that has not been repaired. If the problems with the air conditioner are not repaired you are going to be spending a lot of money on Freon that may just leak out into the atmosphere. The money you waste could have been spent to hire a professional to do the job right the first time.

3. When it comes to using the old R-22 Freon, whether you believe in global warming or not there is solid scientific evidence that when the chemicals used in the old Freon are released into the atmosphere they are a contributing factor in the

deterioration of the earth's ozone layer.

4. As RVers we have an opportunity to experience all of the natural wonders of the world. As RVers we are also charged with the responsibility of not ruining the environment we visit. We pick up our trash, we dump our holding tanks in the designated areas and when we leave; our camping area should look as if we were not even there. We do this so that future RVers will be able to experience nature at its best.

When we start dumping hazardous chemicals into the atmosphere, because we are trying to do something we are not trained to do safely then we are not acting like responsible RVers.

Don't get me wrong as I am a firm believer in do-it-yourself RV repairs; in fact I still have an air conditioner recharge kit that I bought about 30 years ago and up until about four years ago I was still recharging my RV's and car's A/C systems. I also had a couple of times that I was responsible for releasing some old Freon into the atmosphere. Once I found out how my actions were affecting the environment I stopped doing it.

I know that this was not the answer you were looking for, but it is the answer I am giving.

Bottom Line In all likelihood if you have a trained technician diagnose and fix the problem with your air conditioner you will actually end up saving money in the long run because the proper repairs will be done right the first time and more importantly, you will not affect the environment that we all RV in negatively.

Do you have any suggestions or comments on this topic? You can add them to this page by clicking on the "Click Here To Post Comments" link located near the bottom of this page.

Happy RVing

RVing Al
Air Conditioner service port installation on sealed systems

How to Put Freon in an RV Air Conditioner

by Robert Sylvus

motorcoach,motorhome,rv image by Greg Pickens from

An air conditioner in a RV uses refrigerant to chill air passing over an evaporator coil. RV Air conditioning systems with low refrigerant levels need to have refrigerant added to operate at maximum efficiency. Systems that still have some refrigerant in them can have the refrigerant level topped-off, while systems in need of recharging have leaked out all of their refrigerant. Freon, DuPont's brand name for some types of refrigerant, has become the generic term for most types of refrigerant.

Step 1

Identify the correct refrigerant type as marked on the air conditioning unit's specification tag. Use only the type of refrigerant labeled.

Step 2

Remove the air conditioner's cover. They usually have four to six bolts found along a rib near the RV's roof. Use the correct size socket to remove the bolts. Lift the cover straight up to avoid damaging the condensing coil.

Step 3

Remove the RV air conditioner's refrigerant service port cap on the suction side with an adjustable wrench. The suction side has the large copper tube running from the compressor down into the RV, which eventually goes to the evaporator coil. The smaller copper tube runs from the compressor to the exposed condensing coil.

Step 4

Connect the suction side hose on a set of refrigeration manifold gauges to the service port. The hose will screw onto the service port and release a needle valve in the port. The suction side gauge, found on the left, has pressure and temperature readings for several different types of refrigerants.

Step 5

Connect a bottle of the correct refrigerant to the middle hose on the refrigerant gauges. Open the bottle's valve. Purge the middle hose by quickly opening and closing the right hand valve on the manifold.

Step 6

Turn the RV air conditioner on and set the thermostat to its coldest setting. Check the ambient air temperature in the RV in a spot away from the air conditioning vents.

Step 7

Use the pressure-temperature chart located on the RV air conditioner's lid to find the correct refrigerant pressure for the ambient air. The chart will have a row of temperature readings printed next to a row of corresponding refrigerant pressures.

Step 8

Open the suction side valve on the manifold for 60 seconds. This releases refrigerant into the system.

Step 9

Check the suction side gauge pressure at least 60 seconds after closing the valve. Add refrigerant as needed.

Close the refrigerant bottle's valve and remove the charging hose. Disconnect the hose from the service port and reinstall the cap. Carefully slide the air conditioner's lid into place and secure it with the bolts.



  • If possible, service the air conditioner out of direct sunlight. Direct sunlight can artificially increase refrigerant pressure.

Things You'll Need

  • Socket set
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Refrigerant manifold gauges
  • Thermometer

Writer Bio

Based out of Central Florida, Robert Sylvus has been writing how-to and outdoor sports articles for various online publications since 2008. Sylvus has been a home improvement contractor since 1992. He is a certified HVAC universal technician.

More Articles


Ac freon rv dometic

Can you add Freon to an RV air conditioner?

The air conditioner works by passing air over an evaporator coil, which is cooled by the use of a refrigerant. To put Freon in, a charging port would have to welded into the system by an expert. It is possible to put Freon into some RV rooftop air conditioners.

How do you charge an RV air conditioner?

Recharging a Camper Air Conditioner

  1. Purchase Refrigerant. Before you begin recharging your camper’s air conditioning unit, first identify what refrigerant your unit takes.
  2. Cut off the Power Supply.
  3. Remove the Plastic Casing.
  4. Check Refrigerant Levels.

What kind of Freon does a RV AC take?

So what type of freon goes in a RV air conditioner? Nowadays, chances are that your RV’s air conditioner will use R-410A. However, it is sold under a variety of different brand names, so you will want to make sure that you get the right one for your air conditioner. In the past, it always would have been R-22 Freon.

Can you recharge a Dometic RV air conditioner?

Yes, your air conditioner, just like your RV, requires charging now and then! This is because your RV air conditioner uses refrigerant for cooling the air when it passes over your evaporating coil. The refrigerant would maximize your A/C’s efficiency, and if low, you can refill it to the necessary levels.

How much does it cost to replace an RV air conditioner?

How much does an RV Air Conditioner Installation Cost? A Rooftop Air Conditioner unit can cost between $700 to $1,400 and the labor cost can start from $200 to $600 depending on the location and labor experience. So in total around $1000 to $2000.

How long do RV air conditioners last?

But in general it is safe to say that you can expect an RV air conditioner to last you between 3 to 5 years. Give or take a year or two.

Can I leave my RV AC on all the time?

Its OK to let the AC run, just adjust the thermostat down a little so the compressor can cycle on and off. Thank you Don.

What is the best rv rooftop air conditioner?

Best RV Air Conditioners In 2021 (Comparison)

  • Best RV Air Conditioner In 2021: Dometic Brisk II.
  • Best RV AC Unit With 5,600 BTU Heating: Coleman Mach 15.
  • Best Small RV Air Conditioner: Airxcel Mach 3 Plus.
  • Most Powerful RV Air Conditioner: Furrion CHILL.
  • Cheapest RV AC Unit: Advent ACM150.

How do you maintain an RV air conditioner?

Inspect Your Air Conditioner From Inside Too Under the plastic shroud on the ceiling of your RV, you’ll find one or two foam filter elements. These can be washed with warm soapy water and reused. While you have the shroud off you should vacuum the area, trying to clean as far into any ductwork as possible.

Do RV air conditioners need to be recharged?

In order to operate effectively your camper air conditioner must be recharged with Freon when necessary. Luckily, you can recharge your RV air conditioner! However, it may be easier or more difficult depending on the type of A/C unit you have in your RV and where it is located.

Why Is My RV AC not blowing cold air?

If you’re the RV’s air conditioner system not blowing cold air or overheats easily, the coils and fins may need to be cleaned and dusted. With a minor compressor issue, like a low freon level, or dirty cooling fins, you might be able to fix it yourself.

How do you know if the compressor is bad on a AC unit?

A Change in Air Flow or Temperature Instead of blowing cold air, a bad compressor is no longer regulating the refrigerant flow, and so warm air comes out instead. If you notice weakening airflow or warmer temperatures in the homes, your compressor may be failing.

Diagnosing Dometic AC Not Cooling

Dometic RV Air Conditioner Not Blowing Cold Air – What to Do?

Rooftop air conditioners are used in many motorhomes, fifth-wheel campers, and large travel trailers. When the RV air conditioner not cooling, it means you have something that goes wrong with your device.

One of the most common is the AC stops blowing cold air, and either your vacation or worse, if you are a full-time RVer, the temperatures can rise.

If you have noticed your RV’s air conditioner isn’t blowing cold air like it used to, or the temperatures are getting warmer by a few degrees, there are some things you can do.

rv aircon on top

Before you call a professional, it is worth checking some of the components of your AC to make sure it isn’t something simple. (Learn How to Clean Underside of Camper Awning)

In our guide, you can learn how an RV air conditioner works and what you need to check as part of your Dometic RV air conditioner troubleshooting to find out why it’s not working.

By the end, you’ll have a much better understanding of what to do after you conclude your Dometic duo therm air conditioner troubleshooting and why your RV air conditioner can’t keep you cold.

How Do I Reset My Dometic RV Air Conditioner?

One of the key things you can go through is resetting your RV air conditioner. It could be nothing more than the settings that stop your RV AC unit from cooling. Here are the steps to reset your Dometic RV Air conditioner.

  1. Press the “+” or “―” button to change the temperature set-point. You will see the temperature set-point displayed as two digits on the LCD screen.
  2. Press the “+” button to increase and the “―” to decrease the temperature setpoint. You can discover, the maximum set-point for your system is 90º F, and the active operating mode will determine the minimum set-point.

Heating has a minimum of 40º Fahrenheit, and the minimum you can set for cooling is 55º F.

“Off” – Off Mode

When selected, the LCD will be blank, and the Off green LED will turn on for 15 seconds, then it will turn off.

“Cool” – Cool Mode

The system cycles the compressor On and Off according to the room air temperature and the temperature set-point shown on the Single Zone LCD thermostat in Cool air mode.

The fan turns on first and is followed by the compressor after around 2 -minutes. Here, you can find 3 fan speed selections:

Lo – (LOW): Your fan operates at low speed as the compressor cycles ON and OFF.

Hi – (HIGH): The blower motor and fan operates at high speed as the compressor cycles ON and OFF.

Au – (AUTO): When the auto fan is selected, the fan speed varies based on any difference between the temperature set-point and the room air temperature. In this auto fan mode, the compressor and fan cycle On and Off using the thermostat.

Why is My AC Running But Not Cooling?

You can have simple issues like the thermostat set incorrectly or a dirty filter. It could lead to something more drastic such as needing to replace components. Here are the key things that stop your AC from cooling as it should. (Learn How to Prepare For Full Time RV Living)


Incorrect Set Thermostat

Check your thermostat settings and make sure it’s set to cool and not to blow hot air. If your thermostat is set to cool, check the temperature and see if it has been changed.

If it has been turned off or set for a constant fan, switch it back to the cooling operation. Once your system kicks in, wait a few minutes, and check you have cold air blowing rather than warm air. If it’s cold, you have resolved the problem.

If your air conditioner not blowing cold air now, carry on with the following fixes or check the relay board.

Dirty Air Filters

Your RV AC unit could include air filters situated in or around your indoor air handler unit. It is the filter’s job to catch dirt and other airborne particles before entering the air handler unit. Doing this keeps the components of the system working and staying clean.

A dirty air filter can block cool air airflow and reduce cooling, or it could lead to your AC system shutting down. You can clean your filer weekly with soap and water to fix this issue.

Condenser Unit is Blocked

Your air conditioning system has outdoor condenser coils. The exterior of your condenser unit will have a large coil that wraps around the outside of the unit. The coil includes the thin metal “fins” that help cool the unit. If your RV air conditioner is running but not cooling, you could have a blocked or clogged condenser coil. (Read Refrigerators For Campers)

When correctly working, the condenser fan draws air into the unit through the condenser coil and pulls heat from your RV.

Damaged Heat Pumps

In some cases, an outdoor unit could include a heat pump. These appear to be like an AC unit but with different components to let them cool and heat your home.

In cooling operation, they work like an AC’s condenser unit and are subject to the same issues such as dirty, clogged coils, frozen, or refrigerant leaks, among others. (Learn How To Paint RV Exterior Fiberglass)

If your heat pump system doesn’t cool, check the thermostat, air filter, and condenser unit for the above. If all these are okay, you may need an AC specialist to repair your RV AC.

Frozen Evaporator Coil

The indoor side of your central air conditioning system includes an evaporator coil. Warm indoor air will pass through the evaporator coil as heat and humidity are removed from the air. Cooler air is then circulated back to your RV.

Refrigerant Leaks

Refrigerant is vital for the cooling process as it changes from a liquid to a gas and draws heat energy and humidity from indoor your RV’s air and pushes it outside.

The extent of a refrigerant leak could contribute to an AC system not blowing cold air. Your system may run for longer periods of time without adequately cooling your home, or it can cause a damaged or failed compressor and complete system shutdown. (Learn How To Run RV Refrigerator Operation While Driving)

white rv

How Do You Reset an RV Air Conditioner?

You often find there aren’t many differences between air conditioner brands for how they are configured for various RV models.

One of the more common is Dometic Air Conditioners. To troubleshoot your AC problems requires some mechanical and electrical knowledge and your AC owners’ manual and thermostat owners’ manual.

Make sure your AC circuit breakers are not tripped? If they have, you can reset these by turning them off and then putting them back on. If your air conditioner not blowing cold air after this, check the following.

Next, remove the AC cover for the filter. Turn on your air conditioner and see if you can smell or see anything that isn’t normal. Check the thermostat, carefully remove the thermostat from the wall, and see if it is possible to disconnect the cable.

One area it could be is the capacitor. Remember capacitors keep charge in them when mains power is turned off.

  1. Make sure the power is off to the device.
  2. Follow the wires and note which one goes where.
  3. Drain any lingering charge from the old capacitor. The way to do this is to wear insulated gloves and connect both ends of the terminals with a screwdriver.
  4. Remove the capacitor and insert a new one.
  5. Turn on your power and try to turn the RV’s rooftop air conditioner back on.

How Do I Know If My RV AC is Low on Freon?

There are a few signs your AC can be losing refrigerant.

  1. It takes ages for your RV to cool off.
  2. Vents don’t blow cool air.
  3. Your rooftop AC can’t reach the set temperature.
  4. You can see ice on refrigerant lines.
  5. Water leaks around your heater.

Another thing to know is the refrigerant an air conditioner uses. AC’s a few years old use R-22 or Freon, although modern air conditioners use the R-438A refrigerant.

You will find RVs have two main parts, the sealed refrigeration system and the air handling system.

Most RVs on R-22 systems are typically sealed units and come without charging ports. The ban on R-22 refrigerant began in 2010. Any leaks of this nature need a professional and you may need parts replaced.

Leaks can be in the form of a small hole and affect the flow of cold air. Leaks in AC intake components and exhaust lead to all sorts of issues in your trailer.

Wires poking from the RV air conditioner intake duct of your trailer can cause this. Seal them up with foil tape so hot air can’t leak into the intake.

If seals between the exhaust ducts and rooftop air conditioner wear, cool air can blow through the ducts and in your trailer roof rather than into your RV.

Dirty in your compressor can prevent normal operation. Your RV’s maintenance schedule should include cleaning any areas around the compressor. If your RV is parked up, cover the rooftop AC unit. (Find the Best Portable Air Conditioners For RV)

Hot weather can be one reason your air conditioner not blowing cold air. Many RVs don’t have particularly good insulation, and if your RV is directly under the sun in hot weather. Interior heat can be far more than what your AC can push out.

Dometic RV Air Conditioner Not Blowing Cold Air - What to Do (2)

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Summer is an excellent season for camping, since the weather is warmer, rainy days are fewer, and there are more recreational activities to enjoy in the great outdoors.

Not surprisingly, most people go camping in the summertime, but this can lead to campgrounds being busier and more booked, and you need to plan ahead in order to have a relaxing, stress-free camping trip. 

When you’re camping in an RV or trailer, your home away from home also has more conveniences and comforts to make camping even more enjoyable during the warm season.

Chief among these is probably your air conditioner—what better way to relax after a long, hot day in the sun than to step inside your camper and crank up the A/C?

But what happens when your RV air conditioner stops working? Can you recharge an RV air conditioner?

In order to operate effectively your camper air conditioner must be recharged with Freon when necessary. Luckily, you can recharge your RV air conditioner! However, it may be easier or more difficult depending on the type of A/C unit you have in your RV and where it is located.

In this article, I’ll cover how to recharge your air conditioning unit, the other different types of issues that you may encounter with your RV air conditioning system, and RV A/C maintenance tips.

How To Recharge Your RV’s Air Conditioner

If you have an air conditioning unit at home, recharging the one in your RV may be a bit more difficult and complicated because RV A/C units are not usually designed to be opened and fiddled with.

In fact, you may cause damage to the A/C mechanisms or unit casing if you open it, depending on the model and its location in your camper. 

If you’re simply adding more refrigerant to your A/C unit, it’s considered a top-off, whereas replacing and or filling up an empty coolant tank is considered a full recharge of your RV air conditioning system. 

The level of the coolant or refrigerant liquid can affect the A/C unit’s operating efficiency, so a top-off may solve any problems.

To refill the refrigerant and recharge your RV’s air conditioner, follow these steps:

  1. Shut off the power to your RV A/C unit. You should always turn off the electrical power to the air conditioner before working on it. Find your camper’s breaker panel, and shut off any breaker that supplies power (or might supply power) to your RV A/C.

  2. Check the owner manual for your RV to find the right brand of refrigerant or coolant to use. A popular type is A/C Pro ACP-100, but your RV may require a different brand or type. (Note: Do NOT mix and match brands, since doing so could cause irreparable damage to your unit).

  3. Get on top of your RV to remove the plastic lid or cover for your air conditioner, and lift straight up so that you don’t bump or damage the system coils. Be careful to watch for any bees or wasps exiting the unit, since these insects commonly like to make nests inside. If you find a nest, you’ll need to remove it as soon as possible.

  4. Using a coolant gauge, find out what level the existing refrigerant is at. This may be easier said than done with some A/C models. If there’s no easy way to check the refrigerant levels, you may need to install a line tap, which is a mechanism that allows you to open the coolant line and attach a gauge. Once you’re able to check your refrigerant levels, you can find out if it is low or empty. If your gauge registers below 30 or 40 degrees for the refrigerant evaporation temperature, it’s probably low and needs a top-off or recharge. If the levels are not below normal, there may be another issue with the RV air conditioner.

  5. Add the coolant. Turn your air conditioner on, and have a friend stand inside the RV to monitor the air temperature levels while you add the coolant. Use a wrench to unscrew the coolant port, and add the refrigerant slowly until it is full. Before you add the refrigerant, check to find out how much coolant your A/C unit should hold, and be sure to check refrigerant levels as you add the fluid. When you’re done, your friend should notice cooler air inside the RV. There should be a difference of about 20 degrees between the air in your RV and the air in the A/C unit.

  6. Reassemble the unit. Use a wrench to screw the coolant port cap tightly, and put the plastic cover back onto the RV air conditioning unit.

  7. Power on and test. Restore power to your A/C unit, turn it on, and monitor temperatures over several hours to make sure it’s now working properly.

If recharging the unit did not fix the issue, you may need to have a mechanic or RV technician take a look.

However, there may be another common issue affecting the air conditioner’s ability to work properly.

Other Common Issues with RV Air Conditioners & How to Fix Them

Before you take your RV air conditioner apart to recharge it, you may find that your air conditioner is experiencing one of these common issues that affect the unit’s efficiency.

A Dirty Air Conditioner Filter

Luckily, one of the most common issues that causes an RV air conditioner to have problems is a dirty filter, which can often be cleaned or is inexpensive and easy to replace if you need to.

You might have a dirty filter if there’s lack of airflow inside your RV, the A/C unit is freezing up (I’ll discuss this next), or the A/C isn’t putting out enough cold air, even when you have the power cranked up.

It’s important to clean or replace a dirty filter when you notice a problem, since it can cause electrical problems that may damage your RV air conditioner or spread allergens or germs throughout your RV. 

Whether you’re cleaning or replacing your RV’s air conditioning filter, you’ll need to first turn off the electrical power to the unit and remove the plastic cover on top.

Check the user manual for your RV’s A/C unit before you remove the filter to avoid damaging it or the A/C system, and never turn on the air conditioner without a filter. 

If your filter is reusable, you can try the following methods to clean it:

  • Vacuum – Use a vacuum cleaner on a medium or low setting, and aim the nozzle or brush at any visible dust or grime spots. Don’t press too hard to avoid denting or breaking it.
  • Submerge – Give the filter a bath in a sudsy mixture of lukewarm water and mild detergent or dish soap. Submerge the filter and move it around a little bit so that it is completely covered, then leave it to sit for about 10 minutes (1-2 hours if it’s especially grimy). If needed, use a soft brush to gently scrub the surface of the filter.
  • Disinfect – There may be bacteria still on the filter, which you don’t want contaminating the air quality inside your RV. To disinfect the filter, prepare a solution of equal parts white vinegar and water, and use it to spray down both sides of the filter. Let the filter sit fr about 10 minutes before rinsing it down.

Once you’re done cleaning your filter, be sure to let it air dry for several hours before you put it back in your RV air conditioning unit.

6 Reasons Your RV Air Conditioner Freezes Up

Some air conditioner issues can cause the unit to “freeze up” or develop frozen chunks of ice around the vents or inside the unit (you may notice water or condensation forming and dripping).

RV A/C freezing is a problem that you need to address when you notice it, and can be caused by a few different things:

  • Low or empty refrigerant or coolant levels
  • Dirty air filters
  • High humidity in your environment
  • Bad flow dividers
  • Dirty condenser or evaporator coils
  • Broken thermostat

Too Much Humidity May Cause Ice to Develop

If there is too much humidity in your environment, your air conditioner may freeze up.

This is because the A/C unit cannot keep up with the amount of moisture in the air, and the condensation created can start to freeze.

However, there are some things you can do to prevent this or address it if the unit does freeze up:

  1. Run your fan on high when you’re in high humidity climates, or place additional fans throughout the RV to keep the airflow going. 

  2. Clean your air conditioner if you haven’t done so recently.

  3. If you camp in humid locations often, invest in a dehumidifier to take the moisture out of the air inside your RV.

Bad Flow Dividers May Cause the A/C Unit to Freeze Up

Another cause of freezing up is bad flow dividers. Flow dividers are also called baffles, and keep the hot air separate from the cold.

When the flow divider is poorly sealed or positioned improperly, cold air can leak into the hot air inlet and cause ice to form on your A/C unit.

The best way to fix it is to reposition the flow divider and reseal it with HVAC foil tape.

Dirty Evaporator or Condenser Coils May Cause Freezing

Most causes of freezing up with RV air conditioners has to do with airflow, and most airflow problems are caused by dirty condenser or evaporator coils.

You need to clean these coils regularly to prevent issues. Dirty coils will require your A/C unit to work harder to transfer heat out of your RV (condenser coils) and cool the air inside (evaporator coils).

To clean your condenser and evaporator coils, follow these steps:

  1. Shut off the power. Unplug your RV from your campsite’s electrical hookup, turn off your generator and disconnect your batteries, or simply turn off the breaker for your air conditioner. The key is to make sure there’s no power going to the A/C unit.

  2. Remove the covers. Get on top of your RV and remove the plastic cover for the air conditioner – be careful, since wasps and bees like to build nests in these units. Once the main cover is removed, you will find the condenser coils at the back of the unit and the evaporator coils at the front (covered with a sheet metal housing). Use a screwdriver to remove the housing, and be careful not to damage the gasket, which keeps water from getting into your RV.

  3. Vacuum the coils. Be sure to block any air openings going into your RV to stop any debris from getting inside, then gently vacuum both sets of coils with a soft brush attachment.

  4. Clean the coils. Mix dish soap and water in a spray bottle and spray down both coils until they are wet. Let them sit for several minutes, then wipe them down with a cloth or a soft brush. Finally, give them a final once-over with the vacuum cleaner to remove any remaining debris. You may need to repeat steps three and four if the coils were especially dirty.

  5. Inspect, dry and reassemble. After your evaporator and condenser coils are good and clean, inspect the fins for any bent or damaged areas. You can straighten them with a screwdriver or knife, or use a fin comb. After the coils are dry, you can scrub down the inside of the plastic cover for the A/C unit to make sure it’s nice and clean as well. Then, replace the sheet metal casing for the evaporator coils and restore the (now) clean plastic cover.

A Broken Thermostat May Be the Cause of Your A/C Freezing Up

Your RV air conditioner may freeze up if you have a broken thermostat, which you can usually identify as the problem if your A/C only works when you continue to turn down the thermostat.

You may need to replace your thermostat if it’s broken or old. To check your thermostat reading to learn if it’s accurate, check it with the reading from a thermometer, then compare the two readings.

If they are the same or very similar, your A/C issue isn’t a problem with the thermostat, but if they are different, you may need to replace your thermostat.

Air Leaks Can Cause Air Conditioner Issues

Again, since airflow issues are the most common causes of problems with an RV’s air conditioner, air leaks can be one of the issues you’ll find as the cause when your A/C isn’t working properly.

If the A/C unit doesn’t put out a strong airflow, there may be a leak in the air duct system.

You can usually find the leak if you remove the cover and inspect the air ducts for any holes or cracks. By covering them with HVAC tape, you can quickly and easily solve the problem.

Damage to Wiring May Reduce A/C Unit Efficiency or Operability

If you have checked all of the other common issues I’ve listed, you may have an electrical issue and the air conditioner’s wiring may need attention.

Things that can cause wiring problems include water damage, overheating, animals chewing on the wires, or normal wear-and-tear.

If some of the plugs stop working, you can remove the plastic cover on top of your RV to see if any of the wires are damaged.

You can replace them yourself, but it may be better to call an RV technician or electrician if you’re not sure. 

If all of the do-it-yourself options here have failed to fix the air conditioner, you may need to call a service technician to find and address the problem with your RV’s air conditioner.

Defrosting Your RV Air Conditioner

I already went over what to do if your refrigerant is low and how to replace a dirty air filter. Before you can fix most of these other problems, you’ll need to defrost your RV air conditioner:

  • Step One: Remove the cover of the A/C inside your RV and turn on the fan (not the cooling feature).
  • Step Two: Let the fan run on high to melt the ice build up (may take a few hours), and place a bucket and towels below to catch any dripping water. 
  • Step Three: Once the ice is gone and the A/C is defrosted, let it dry overnight (leave the towels and bucket to catch any remaining drips).

Maintenance Tips for Your RV Air Conditioner

As you read through the different problems that could cause your air conditioner to stop working or function inefficiently, you probably noticed some things that seem like maintenance.

If you plan regular maintenance for your RV’s air conditioner, you can actually avoid these problems from happening.

It’s a good idea to do maintenance before or after each trip, especially if you’re only using your RV for a trip or two each summer.

Regardless, as long as you check the air conditioner and other key systems before and after your camping trip, you can find lots of common issues before they happen or at least before they become more serious problems. 

Clean the A/C Filters

As I discussed earlier, a dirty air filter in your A/C unit can be the cause of lots of problems, including freezing up, poor air quality, and a dysfunctional air conditioner, itself.

It’s also one of the easiest and most inexpensive fixes you can make to keep your air conditioner running at peak efficiency. 

When checking the filter for your A/C, be sure to check the one inside your RV as well as the filter that’s beneath the plastic cover on your camper’s roof.

Follow the steps we listed above to vacuum, clean and disinfect the filter on a semi regular basis (at least once per camping season).

When it starts to break down or it gets damaged, replace it as soon as you can.

Clean the A/C Unit

Earlier in this article, I went over how to clean your air conditioner’s evaporator and condenser coils. 

It’s a good idea to regularly clean these and other parts of the upper rooftop compartment of your air conditioning unit, since water, grime, insects, and other little critters can get inside and may affect the unit’s functionality or efficiency. 

It is important to keep the condenser and evaporator coils clean, since clean aluminum fins within the coils will allow air to pass through more easily. 

After you’ve cleaned your evaporator and condenser coils, you should also check and clean other parts of your rooftop air conditioning unit such as the motor, fan and fluid lines.

These parts collect rust, moisture, dirt and other debris as you travel.

First, clean any dirt or grime from the unit, and apply some lubricant to your A/C unit’s motor bearing (but never spin it yourself, since you could cause damage). 

Next, remove any debris or grime from the fan and fluid lines, and treat any rusted areas. When you’re done, reseal the air conditioning unit and you’re ready to hit the road.

Last Updated on by Aaron Richardson


Aaron Richardson

Aaron and his wife Evelyn have lived on the road since 2017, traveling the country in their Keystone Fuzion. They’ve sought adventure together for 5 years now and have done a lot of international traveling, including RVing in Mexico. Aaron is the co-founder of RVing Know How, where he shares their experiences and RV-related tips to make life better for other RV owners. If you’re looking for Aaron, chances are you’ll find him either pedaling the backroads or hiking to sunset spots.


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