Coleman RV Air Conditioner Repair
There are several main producers of rooftop units. Coleman RV air conditioners are common on many of the best equipped motorhomes and camper trailers. The same can be said for Carrier AC units, as well as Duo Therm A/Cs. Dometic made one of the first rooftop air conditioners, as well as, camper refrigerators and ice machines.
Thankfully, all of these units are similar in function and design. Some of these cooling units may even be identical under the shroud.. Being familiar with household AC units will aid you greatly in servicing and repairing your air condition system, but there are a few differences as you will see.
Troubleshooting RV AC Units
Before beginning any repair or maintenance step, it is helpful to familiarize yourself with the main components of the rooftop AC unit itself. A fan motor circulates the air from the interior of the motorhome or camper trailer through the RV AC unit where it is cooled and then returned into the RV interior.
The compressor performs the job of circulating the Freon through the condenser and evaporator coils cooling fins and the cycle is repeated as the thermostat setting deems it necessary.
Both the compressor and the fan motor use capacitors to provide a high voltage charge to get them moving and a lesser charge to keep them running.
Often, only one capacitor is used for both fan and compressor. It the capacitor goes bad, neither the fan nor the compressor will start. This part is easily replaced and is not very expensive to purchase in most cases.
Rooftop RV AC Shroud Removal
In order to clean or repair the RV AC unit, it is necessary to remove the shroud from atop the unit. Ordinarily this is a simple job requiring only a Phillips screwdriver or small wrench. Remove the four screws or nuts from the AC shroud and carefully slide it up off of the unit.
If the shroud is old, it may be cracked around the retaining screws or the vent holes on the sides and back. Now is the time to repair the bad spots before replacing the shroud.
A good quality epoxy cement, or other glue made for plastic repairs, should be used to reinforce the weak or broken place before replacing the shroud. It is also advisable to use wider washers on the shroud retaining screws to prevent further cracking.
If the damage seems too bad to repair, a new RV shroud may be the only option. A broken RV A/C shroud will decrease cooling efficiency plus pose a danger of flying off while the camper is in transit .
Servicing and Repairing the RV A/C Fan Motor
With the shroud removed, it is easy to inspect the fan motor for any repairs or maintenance needed. Before doing any repairs or maintenance to the rooftop RV AC be sure to turn the electrical breaker off or unplug the motorhome or camper trailer from the electrical power source. The starting capacitor may be still charged with high voltage, so be sure not to touch it with the bare hands.
The fan should spin easily when turned by hand. Even so, it is a good idea to oil the bearings and clean the accumulated debris from both front and rear fan blades. It may be necessary to loosen the fan motor from its mountings to fully access both ends of the motor bearings.
If the RV fan motor has oil tubes to lubricate the fan, then simply put a few drops of machine oil in the tubes on either end of the motor. If the motor has sleeves instead of ball bearings, you may still dribble a small amount of oil on the sleeves where they contact the fan motor shafts. Even a small amount of oil will do wonders for these types of fan motors.
If the AC fan motor still seems to start slowly or needs a nudge to start working, it is recommended that you replace it with a new one. If the fan motor has oil tubes evident on each end of the motor, it may be rebuilt and replaced for much less than buying a new one. It all depends on the particular unit on your camper.