RV air conditioner leaks when it rains

Troubleshooting RV Air Conditioner Leaks When It Rains

Chris Coleman

RV air conditioner leaks when it rains is a problem faced by a large number of RVers.

According to the RV AC experts, various things can be responsible for this annoying issue. Hence, users should find the actual cause of it and fix it immediately.

This write-up will discuss the most common causes of why the leakage occurs in the RV air conditioner when it rains.

Does it mean internal damage in the AC system? Or, other problems in the RV structure are affecting the air conditioner’s operation?

Read the article till the end to learn why the leaks occur and get sure-shot solutions to resolve this problem.

RV Air Conditioner Leaks When It Rains: Causes and Solutions

Let’s discuss what causes leaks in the RV air conditioner and how you can stop them from happening. Here are the top four reasons and their solutions:

1# Improperly Fitted RV Air Conditioner Bolts

In situations like a leak in the AC system, the first thing to check is the mounting bolts of the AC unit. An AC unit installation includes sealing the roof with a compressible sponge rubber gasket that demands regular maintenance. Four or more mounting bolts compress the rubber gasket, and all are easily accessible from the RV interior.

RV AC leaks when it rains
Check the AC from inside the RV.

When the air conditioner leaks, examine the rubber gasket to see if there is a minimum half-inch gap between the gasket and the AC. If not, then check the tightness of the mounting bolts by removing the AC grill from the inside of the RV. These bolts should be fitted tightly.

Turn each bolt slowly to check how hard these bolts turn. This action will stop the RV AC water leakage by compressing the rubber gasket about half of its size.

WARNING: Opposed to popular beliefs, caulking or sealing the perimeter area of the air conditioner is a terrible idea. An AC with a sealed perimeter leaves no room for the condensation to escape, resulting in leakage inside RV.

No matter what, a gap is essential between the base of the AC unit and the RV roof to ensure seamless condensation draining when the AC runs.

2# Outdated Rubber Gasket

The rubber gasket is a crucial part of the camper air conditioner system. Over the years, the gasket becomes brittle. It fails to keep the opening closed, giving way to the water to leak. Therefore, checking the rubber gasket is compulsory if the air conditioner unit leaks.

Replacing the old and outdated gasket will surely resolve the problem of RV air conditioner leaks when it rains, but the gasket isn’t always accessible. At times, it might not even be visible.

In those cases, users have to remove the AC from the roof of the RV. Since the air conditioner is a sophisticated system, you should hire a professional if you do not have experience in replacing a rubber gasket.

3# Cracked Roof Caulking

Even if you experience water leakage in the RV during rain, the AC unit may not be responsible at all for this nuisance. The water on the RV roof surface may fall through the sidewalls or get inside through the nearest exits, such as the vent or AC hole.

Thoroughly inspect your RV roof and watch out for any leaks. Some key areas to search are the perimeters around the roof, the Satellite dish antennas, ladders, plumbing vents, marker lights, etc.

When the RV roof is dry, carefully observe the caulking on the roof. Even the slightest caulking crack can be responsible for water leaking inside, so do not ignore any cracks.

Paint chips on the roof can also be responsible for RV leakage. So, make sure to search for cracks or damages on roof paint and fix it.

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4# Deteriorated Roof Condition

Sometimes, the RV roof deteriorates due to varying reasons, causing the RV air conditioner leaks when it rains. Usually, the area beneath the air conditioner is prone to deterioration because of sagging. As a result, leakage can develop on the roof of the RV around the air conditioner.

Pulling a string sidewise across the roof is a technique to check if it is suffering from a sag. If it is bulging downwards, you have to raise the AC to prevent sagging.

One or two gasket installation and removal of the shimmed area between the RV roof and its frame are two reliable methods of uplifting the RV air conditioner.

rv ac
Roof condition could be a problem too.

Tips for Preventing the Problem of RV Air Conditioner Leaks When It Rains

Till now, we have discussed the causes and solutions to the RV air conditioner leaking issues. But what if the problem appears again? It is possible to stop this issue from recurring with the help of some simple preventive measures.

The first measure is to check up the air conditioner regularly by professional technicians. This inspection will confirm that all components of the system are in good shape. The checkup should take place once a year, and the best time for the inspection would be before the summertime or off-peak season.

Regular checking of the RV roof could be another preventive measure. Sometimes, a deteriorated roof is the main culprit, and frequent check-ups will help you detect roof problems at the earliest possible time.

Lastly, keep an eye on the caulking and painting of the rooftop. It’s easy to prevent leaks in the AC system by making sure that the caulking is not faulty.

rv in the rain
Regular checking of the RV roof could be a preventive measure.

Concluding Thoughts

Many RV users face the problem of RV air conditioner leaks when it rains. If you are dealing with the same issue, you have valid reasons to be worried.

The RV air conditioning unit is an expensive product, and a leaking AC during rain may damage the RV interior, further adding to the repair expenses.

We have discussed some common reasons behind such problems and also explained in detail how to fix these issues permanently. Follow these guidelines and preventive measures to say goodbye to this annoying trouble and stay worry-free.

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