The last thing you need on your travels is sudden hiccups from your HVAC system that let the weather get the best of you. Thankfully, by regularly tackling simple DIY RV repair and maintenance tasks on your own, you can decrease the risk of problems arising. That way, your heat and air conditioning will continue serving you well as you go on adventure after adventure year-round. To help you get started, here’s how to best care for the HVAC system for your RV.
Understand Your HVAC Equipment
Your air conditioner, heater, and ventilation ducts all come together to create the HVAC system for your RV. Not all RVs have AC, however, while the largest models might have two full-size units. You will want to check to see just what your vehicle has installed. If your RV does have an AC, you can rest assured that it runs on electricity.
Furnaces used in RVs, on the other hand, can run on either electricity or propane. Beyond that, the furnaces may use ducts to deliver warm air throughout the vehicle or just directly blow it out through a central vent. The same goes for the AC. If both systems use central vents, then you do not have any ducts to worry about.
Getting to know what type of HVAC equipment is used in your vehicle can go a long way in helping you master its DIY maintenance and repair needs. So, take the time to check it out and write down the brands and model numbers while you’re at it. That’ll help you look up its service intervals, repair processes, and order parts.
Complete All Maintenance on Schedule
As with your home HVAC system, the equipment in your RV needs attention at least once per season. Remember to turn off the power to your equipment before doing any DIY repairs and maintenance tasks to avoid a shock.
Your RV furnace does not need as much attention as the one at home. But you should regularly wipe it down and vacuum in and around its surround. Most of these furnaces do not have a filter, so you likely do not have to worry about that. But make sure to avoid nasty surprises down the road.
Also, take a moment to check all the wiring to see if it’s in good shape. If you note any melted connectors or wires, they will need immediate attention before you continue on your travels.
The AC system is a bit more demanding. Most RV AC systems attach to the roof, leaving their cases exposed to the elements. They have a seal around the edge to keep water from leaking inside, but that only works if it’s in good condition.
So, be sure to check the seal often and verify the unit is still securely mounted. Before you seal it back up, clean off the condenser coils with a specialized cleaner. Then, put it back together and wipe down the outside of the AC unit with a damp rag.
After that, go inside and pull out the AC filters. You can usually wash them and reuse them once dry, though they may need to be replaced. While you wait for the filters to dry, vacuum off the evaporator coils.
If you have ventilation ducts, use a flashlight to look deep inside for any critters that have set up shop. Everything from rodents to insects find the cozy ducts habitable and can block airflow in an instant. While you’re doing the inspection, look for pinches or breaks in the ducts that could decrease the efficiency of your system.
Fully Diagnose Faults to Find the Right Repairs
Once you are done with your HVAC maintenance tasks, check that your systems work as expected in heating up and cooling down your RV. If not, then you’ll have to go through the diagnostic steps to see what’s wrong. You can find the diagnostic steps for your equipment by looking up its model number and briefly describing its problem.
If you can find a how-to that’s easy to follow, move forward with the steps. Just make sure to always use high-quality replacement parts and the right tools for the job. If you feel like the task is outside your wheelhouse, look for a reputable RV service centre that can help you out. Either way, remember to test the HVAC system for your RV in full before you hit the road on your next adventure.