Mastering Roof-Top AC Maintenance for RV Owners: A Step-by-Step Guide

Are you ready to take control of your RV's rooftop air conditioner maintenance? Today, we're diving into the nitty-gritty of how to keep your AC unit in top shape so you can camp better and hit the open road with peace of mind. Bart and Matt are here to guide you through the process, so let's get started!

Safety First: Before You Begin

Before you embark on this maintenance journey, Bart and Matt emphasize the importance of safety. While maintaining your rooftop AC can be a DIY project, it involves being on the roof, so caution is key. Ensure the roof is dry, and if your RV has a walkable roof, exercise care and proper footing. If unsure, consult Keystone RV’s Owner Relations for guidance. For added protection, place a 4 x 4 piece of plywood on non-walkable roofs to distribute your weight.

Additionally, make sure your step ladder is on stable ground, and always disconnect the RV from shore power and turn off the 12-volt battery disconnect before proceeding. Safety is non-negotiable, so keep these precautions in mind!

Gathering the Tools

Let's take a look at the tools you'll need for this maintenance mission:

  1. Compressed air (canister type if necessary)
  2. Screw gun with Philips bit or square #2, depending on your AC unit
  3. Fin comb (rarely, but possibly)
  4. Condenser cleaner
  5. Clean water in a spray bottle
  6. Vacuum
  7. Old towel or sheet
  8. Shop rags
  9. Foil tape

Once you've gathered these tools, you're ready to take on the maintenance like a pro.

Hoisting Supplies and Architectural Flair

But wait, how do you get all these tools up on the roof? Bart and Matt have a quirky solution: the "old-fashioned Roman way of construction." Using a rope tied to a bucket, they hoist their supplies up. It's simple and effective, just like moon pies on Jupiter – or at least, that's what Bart says! With your supplies ready, let's move on to the actual maintenance process.

Rooftop AC Maintenance Steps

  1. Removing the Shroud and Cleaning the AC Unit Begin by removing the shroud of the AC unit. If your AC has a foam evaporator cover, remove that as well. Check for debris, leaves, or any unwanted material inside the unit. Place a towel inside to block intake air. Use a fin comb to straighten any bent fins gently. Clean the parts with soap and water and inspect the condensation track.
  2. Vacuuming and Wiping Down If needed, vacuum the unit or use compressed air to clean hard-to-reach areas. Wipe down all the parts to remove any lingering debris, ensuring the AC is pristine and ready for action.
  3. Reassembling the Unit With the cleaning complete, reassemble the AC unit. Put the shroud back in place and secure it properly. Your AC is now ready to keep you cool during your adventures.

Checking the AC Filter and More Inside

Descending from the roof, it's time to check the AC filter inside the RV. Bart and Matt recommend using a ladder for safety. While you're inside, check the foil tape to ensure it's intact and free from leaks. After cleaning or replacing the filter, how often should you perform this maintenance? Typically, when you open your unit in spring and close it in the fall. If you're in a dusty or windy location, more frequent checks may be necessary. Remember, regular maintenance ensures efficient operation and minimizes repair needs.

Conclusion: Camp Better with a Well-Maintained Roof AC

And there you have it! Bart and Matt's comprehensive guide to rooftop AC maintenance ensures that your RV will remain cool and comfortable throughout your travels. With the right tools, a bit of architectural flair, and some safety precautions, you're all set to embark on a journey of efficient RV adventures.