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An air conditioner is a must-have item for a comfortable and climate-controlled RV. However, if you need to replace your AC, you may have questions about the cost. We researched average estimates for replacing an RV air conditioner to help you better gauge your budget. Learn here a little bit more about your RVs air conditioner and average lifespan.
The cost to replace an RV air conditioner depends on the brand and the class of your RV. The unit itself may cost between $700 to $1,400, not including the price of labor. Overall, installation may run between $1,000 to $2,000. Consider what size air conditioner is suitable for your RV class, as this will impact the cost of professional installation services.
- Class A – Spend around $1,000 or more for a unit measuring 40.5 x 29 x 11.25 inches for 13,500 BTUs.
- Class B – Choose a mid-range AC unit with 15.500 BTUs, at $700 to $1,000, and 36 x 30 x 21 inches.
- Class C – Spend $600 to $900 for a powerful, small AC with 13,500 BTUs, 72 lbs., and 12.7 inches tall.
Stay cool and comfortable with a choice RV air conditioner that is built to last.
RV Air Conditioners
An air conditioner comes standard with an RV. It is helpful to familiarize yourself with how it works for troubleshooting, maintenance, and proper operations to prevent damage and extend its life. However, older RVs may need some figuring out or deserve an upgraded AC. The vehicle’s price point dictates any standard AC unit for an RV and available square footage to adequately keep it cool.
Keep in mind, if your RV is greater than 32 feet, you will want to invest in more than one air conditioner. The weight and dimension of your AC unit will add to drag and require more fuel as you go along. Some units may not be powerful enough to offset humidity, high heat and will struggle to cool your RV. When possible, there is nothing wrong with installing two air conditioners, especially if they are both ductless. Think about the aerodynamics of your AC unit and how to improve airflow for comfort and efficiency.
Can RV Air Conditioners Be Repaired?
Before you decide to replace your air conditioner, ask yourself it can be repaired and salvaged. A dependable AC for your RV is a must, but units may have trouble turning on, leak, are noisy, or might not be blowing cold air. You can usually troubleshoot these problems without resorting to replacement. Sometimes an RV air conditioner unit needs a reset to function normally again. Consult a professional if you are uncomfortable with rebuilding and installing the fan motor. There are problems with the circuit board, coils need cleaning, or if the compressor is an issue.
Simple fixes include refilling the AC unit with Freon, tightening bolts, and ensuring the thermostat wires are connected. Also, make sure your unit is getting enough power to function.
One RV and camper repair service offers annual RV AC unit servicing for $249 plus the cost of parts. Installation of a roof-mounted RV AC retails for $250 plus parts. An RV inspection runs between $250 to $300 to assess for problems and is a good measure before making a purchase.
Replace Your AC Unit
If you feel a replacement is in order for your RV, consider the following points.
- How will the unit work with the RVs aerodynamics?
- Is there sufficient space for the AC unit, and where will it be housed?
- What type of electrical source is required for the AC unit?
- Do you need a duct or ductless system?
Ductless AC units are suitable when you have little space to hide ducts. They collect less dust and make an excellent second AC unit. An AC unit with ducts is better in high humidity, offers improved airflow, and is less expensive to repair. Plugging into a campground electrical source will supply power to your AC unit. Otherwise, you will need an inverter generator or can use solar power.
After you have thought things over, you can make a better decision for your RV and wallet. Some RV AC models that you can more easily install yourself include, but are not limited to the following.
If you opt to hire a professional, according to one Phoenix, AZ location, installation for a rooftop RV AC unit is $180 per unit with an hourly labor rate of $120. A diagnostic for a rooftop AC unit is $84. Coleman is a trusted brand in RV air conditioners, offering units priced between $655 for 13.5 BTU to around $1,500 for 13,500 BTU of cooling power.
How Long Does An RV Air Conditioner Last?
Most quality brands of RV air conditioners last between three to five years. The life of an RV air conditioner pretty much depends on how often you use it, the brand quality, receiving routine maintenance, and how hot it is outside when it’s being run. Some RV owners boast about their air conditioner running ten years or longer. Ensure the life of your AC unit by following the manufacturer’s recommendations, maintenance, and choosing a unit that is meant for your RV size and layout.
Do RV AC Units Need To Be Recharged?
If you want the AC unit in an RV to run correctly, it will need to be recharged. Read over your owner’s manual before handling your AC unit. If you need to open it up, you can risk damaging the AC if you’re not careful. Make sure to purchase the correct type of refrigerant for the unit and lower the power until it’s off before beginning work.
Remove the lid and slowly add in the cooling agent until it is level. Conduct temperature checks as you go along to make sure the AC unit is outputting a difference of 20 degrees between the RV’s temperature.
Put the AC unit back together and ensure everything is screwed back into place. Raise the power and run the AC to check that it is running properly. Remember, if you are topping off the AC unit, you’ll be adding a scant amount of refrigerant. When you need to replace the coolant, it is a complete recharge. While you’re at it, consider cleaning the filter when recharging the unit to optimize its effective cooling power.
We hope you discovered some helpful information regarding the cost of RV air conditioners. You can take steps to prolong the life of your AC and troubleshoot problems along the way. Maintaining and installing a quality air conditioner that is the right fit for your class of RV is ideal and may reduce incurring constant issues.
Usually, you can repair a noisy or leaky air conditioner without rushing to replace it. If you feel a replacement is necessary, make sure the unit is appropriate for your RV class and is a trustworthy, quality brand. If you don’t feel confident about a DIY installation or repair, hire a professional. Most RV air conditioners last an average of three to five years, but some may hang on ten years or longer.
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