When Should You Charge RV Air Conditioner?

You can recharge and get the air conditioner unit up and running by recharging the refrigerant in it. Air conditioners don’t work when the coolant runs out. You can very easily recharge the AC unit by opening the compartment and putting in the appropriate refrigerant liquid.



When Should You Charge Your RV Air Conditioner?

If your AC unit stops working or stops cooling the air, your first thought should not be that it is broken. Most of the time that happens because it runs out of refrigerant or coolant after about 5-10 years of use.

If your air conditioner stops working you should check the gauge to see if it needs refrigerant or not. If so then you should charge it. Another time is when your AC unit might need a top-up. A top-up is when you add in a little bit of refrigerant rather than filling an empty chamber. Filling an empty chamber is known as a full charge.

If you suddenly notice that your RV air conditioner is not working as efficiently as before. If you see that it is not cooling the air as much as it used to, it might need a top-up. This is another instance of when you should proceed to charge your RV air conditioner.


Steps To Recharge Your RV Air Conditioner


Step 1: Kill The Power Supply To Your Air Conditioner Unit

The first step is to kill the power supply to your RV AC unit. You do not want to tinker around on a fully active AC. That can be very dangerous. But RV AC units in RVs are not like domestic AC units. So, you can’t just locate the plug and unplug them.

You will have to cut power through the circuit breaker panel. The panel should be somewhere beneath the floor under a board. You can consult the manual of your RV to locate the panel. After you locate the panel cut off lines.

Step 2: Remove The Plastic Casing

Now that your air conditioner unit is fully turned off you can continue to open up the body of it. You need to remove the casing to go any further. While this step is vital, I am sadly not able to provide you with the exact instructions here. That is because each RV AC unit is quite different.

What I can tell you, however, is to follow the manual. You can easily take the plastic casing off if you follow the manual of your RV. This step depends on that so you really should not be doing this without the manual

Step 3: Check The Refrigerant Levels

Now you need to check if your AC unit has enough refrigerant or not. You do not want to overflow the air conditioner unit. You can check the levels easily with a gauge. Your RV may already have a gauge preinstalled. But if it does not you can install a line tap.

A line tap puts a small hole in the refrigerant line and allows you to install a gauge to check the levels. You need to be very careful about this because even the smallest mistake can ruin the AC. it’s better to take it to a professional to install a line tap.

After you have installed a gauge you need to take the readings into account. You should just fill it up if you see it’s entirely empty. But if it is not entirely empty then consult the manual on what levels the refrigerant should be at and add in refrigerant accordingly to that amount.

Step 4: Put In The Refrigerant

Now that you have determined that your air conditioner indeed needs refrigerant and you have figured out how much it needs. It is time to put the refrigerant liquid into the chamber. Do not put it in all at once, do it slowly.

Be careful and slowly keep adding refrigerant to the chamber and monitor the temperature. You should begin to see a difference between the air in your RV and the air conditioner unit. When you are done putting enough the difference between the two should be about 20 degrees Fahrenheit

Step 5: Run And Test The Air Conditioner Unit

Now that you have put enough refrigerant in the chamber it is time to test out the air conditioner unit. You should put the lid back on. Put the plastic casing back up. And finally, restore the power supply to the air conditioner unit.

You should wait a while to see if it works properly or not. It may take a few minutes for the AC to run at full capacity once again, so, wait until then. But if it does not work properly even after a while then you should consult a mechanic as there might be other issues.

And that is all there is to it. Your RV air conditioner is now fully charged. While there may be off chances that you may have other issues with the unit. But in most cases charging the chamber with refrigerant is enough to get it back to running smoothly in no time.

Pick The Right Refrigerant

With all that talk about filling the chamber, let’s talk a bit about what you are filling it up with too. In a refrigeration cycle, an air conditioner uses this refrigerant unit in an evaporation cycle to cool the air. This is the most vital substance to your AC that makes sure that it cools the air.

So, can you put any refrigerant or coolant in your RV air conditioner unit? Absolutely not! While the most common element of these coolants is the gas Freon, not all of these coolant mixtures are created in the same way.

There are a lot of refrigerant mixtures available in the market and not all air conditioner units support all kinds of coolant liquids. You need to make sure you are putting the right kind in the right AC unit before starting the entire process of charging.

You can once again consult your owner’s manual to check what kind of refrigerant liquid is specified for your air conditioner. And then you should procure high-quality coolant liquid that matches those specifications.

Charging your RV’s air conditioner unit can fix most issues with the unit. All you need to do is kill the power, open up the casing, and fill up the chamber with appropriate liquid.


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