One of the great gifts for summertime RVing is that rooftop air conditioner. It can turn a blisteringly hot, miserably muggy day into a whole new ball game. But sometimes these RV chillers come with unwelcome surprises: Dripping air. Dripping? Raindrops keep falling on your head—inside your RV!
The “raindrops” you’re experiencing aren’t coming from outdoor precipitation, but are the byproduct of the humidity you’re trying to get rid of. Your air conditioner is a big pump. It pulls that nasty, muggy humidity out the inside of your RV and pumps it outside. In the process it produces a condensate—water. That water has to go somewhere.
When all’s right with the world of your air conditioner, that water goes into a drain pan in the bottom of your air conditioner. From there, gravity takes it to drain holes in the pan, where it’s unceremoniously dumped onto your RV roof. It then rolls off the roof. You may see this water rolling down the side of your rig, or perhaps off your awning. That’s all normal.
What’s not normal is when you have a dripping air conditioner dumping that water inside your RV. The most likely cause of this unwelcome pitter-patter is clogged drain holes in the air conditioner pan. Dirt, leaves, and other debris can make its way into your a/c unit and clog the drains. The condensate level builds up—and it’s gotta go somewhere. That’s when it can come back into your RV.
An easy fix
Got a dripping air conditioner? Here’s how to fix the problem. First, turn off the air conditioner. Then, with that “safety first” ethic in mind, disconnect your shore power cord from the pedestal or generator. You don’t want someone to turn on the a/c unit while you’re working on it. Next, make a careful climb up to the roof level. As we’ve mentioned before, it’s best not to walk on your RV roof unless you use boards to more evenly distribute your weight. Hands and knees are safer.
You’ll need to remove the air conditioner cover—shroud—from the unit. You’ll find a bunch of screws or other fasteners running around the lower edge of the unit. Remove them all, then gently work the shroud off the unit. Look for unwelcome crud in the unit, particularly in the bottom area. Clear it all out and look for holes in the pan. Make sure they’re clear, and your dripping air conditioner problems should be gone. Pop the cover back on, and align the shroud with the holes so you can put the mounting hardware back in place. It’s cool, man!
Tune in next week for more “Know Your RV” tips. And if there’s something about your RV that you’d like to know, drop us a line. Use the form below, and insert “Know Your RV” on the subject line.