Saturday, December 10, 2022


Reminder: Tighten your (hidden) air conditioner bolts


By Russ and Tiña De Maris

As Federal Highway Administration funds get tighter, the condition of America’s roads reflects this budgetary bulimia: Potholes and rough roads abound, and you and your RV are the recipients. Those washboard workouts are not only hard on your dentures, but your RV gets thoroughly rattled as well.

One area not often thought about: the RV air conditioner. Sitting up there on the roof, all by its little lonesome, the AC unit is subject to vibration and rattle like everything else. And buried under the “inside cover” are four bolts that hold all that machinery tight on the roof. Those bolts, sadly enough, can get shaken (not stirred) by rough roads and vibration from running. In time they can loosen, and may first make you aware of the situation by allowing the passage of precipitation from the roof to fall into your rig. Not a happy situation!

What’s to do? Remove the inside housing of your air conditioner and carefully check the tension of the four bolts that hold the unit in place. Torque them down carefully and live without rain another day. After weeks of frustration, and long days with the rig covered with a blue tarp, the light came on: We torqued ours and a couple of days later, Maw Nature put it to the test: Rain, rain, rain, all night long, and not a drop inside. Now the family RV tech feels like an old fool, but at least he’s a dry old fool.


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Russ DeMaris
6 years ago

How tight? Duo Therm recommends 40 to 50 INCH pounds. This will compress the roof gasket about a half inch, keeping all things weather tight.

Kurt Shoemaker
6 years ago

Is there a certain number the torque wrench should be set to when tightening these four bolts ?

David Kaiser
6 years ago

Dry camping in southern Nevada a few years ago taught us this, after an all day drizzle the a/c was leaking. Took the inside cover off and discovered only one bolt holding on to the unit. Good tip.