RV AC Fan Not Working – What To Do?

It's a hot summer day so, you want to cool down. You go to turn on the RV's air conditioner. But, it's not working! No matter what you try, it does not seem to give in and turn on. So, if you are wondering what could be causing this mess, let's find out! 

There are several reasons why your RV's AC is not working. Each problem will require you to perform different troubleshooting methods. The issues you could be facing are:

  • Thermostat placement
  • Not waiting long enough for the AC to start
  • Problems with the internal parts of the AC (capacitors)
  • AC is not getting enough power

Knowing what could be causing the problem is the first step to finding the solution. However, to do that, you will have to find out how to troubleshoot the problem. Lastly, you will have to find out what conditions fit your situation! So, if you are ready to remedy the problem, keep reading ahead. 

Caucasian RV Caravaning Technician Replacing Air Condition Filter Inside Travel Trailer. Recreational Vehicles and Travel Industry. RV AC Fan Not Working - What To Do

What Causes The Fan to Stop Working On an RV Air Conditioner?

Let us start with one of the problems that are hard to ignore. The fans have a crucial role in an AC. In most cases, it will stop working. But, there are situations where it will turn on and quickly turn off. 

Thermostat Placement

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The first step is to check where your thermostat is set. If it is in a poor spot, move it to an area without direct sunlight, air vents, or doors. This way, it can get an accurate reading of the inside of the RV. 

Not Waiting Long Enough

If you have a digital thermostat, some users suggest you may not be waiting long enough. As they claim, it can take as long as 6 minutes until it shows signs that it is functioning. The reason being that this process ensures the compressor will not short cycle if power is lost.

Problems With Internal Parts of the AC


Click here to see this capacitor on Amazon.

The next step in troubleshooting is checking if the capacitors are functioning. To do this, first, turn off the power for your RVs AC unit. Head onto the roof and use a tool to spin the blade. As it spins, turn the power back on and observe. 

If the fan starts to slow down, the capacitor might be at fault. Meaning, you will have to get a replacement for the faulty capacitor. Though, this is only the start to addressing the problem. 

The way the fan works is through distinct processes. It needs an initial jolt to start spinning. Once it starts, it will use a lower amount of energy to keep running. So, let's bring it all together. 

If the fan keeps spinning after, with your help at the start, you might have a bad starter motor. However, if it doesn't run at all, the fan motor will need to be replaced. 

Check For Deformities

Since we can now conclude the capacitors are causing the problem, we will need to make sure it is the case. In general, you should not mess with electrical equipment as it can shock you even if you shut the power off. In any case, open the service panel and look for the fan capacitors. 

Capacitors are cylinder-shaped objects with three prongs on the top. Depending on how long you have gone without using it, it can vary visually. If it hasn't worked in some time, you will see dried fluid around the capacitor. It may also look swollen at the top. 

In recent cases, the capacitors will leak fluid and show corrosion at the bottom. So, if these are some signs you see, you will need to contact a professional to replace the capacitor. 

AC Is Not Getting Enough Power

Capacitors are an essential factor in getting the AC fan to work. If you have tried to start it for hours, you may have accidentally caused more damage to the inside. Since the capacitor is not functioning, the compressor will continue to attempt to access it. This situation presents a problem because it will not get the energy it requires. So, it overheats. 

As it keeps attempting, it can lead the other components to burn out. In this case, you will also have to replace the parts that have burned out. 

Why is My RV Air Conditioner Humming?

RV Recreational Vehicle Air Conditioner Installation. Caucasian Technician Installing Cooling Unit Inside Modern Camper Van.

If your RV air conditioner is producing a humming noise, it could indicate several problems. However, we first have to address if it is a humming noise we are hearing. The other noises you could mistake the humming for are: 

  • Buzzing - indicates a problem with the electrical side.
  • Banging/Rattling - a part within the unit has come loose. 
  • Clicking - the air conditioners relays might have a problem.
  • Screeching - if the noise is unbearable, turn off the AC and call a repair shop to check it out. 

If none of these situations apply to you, there are three causes for the humming noise. The first, as some suggest, is a bad start capacitor. The second cause could be frozen or dirty coils. If it has ice on them, you will need to melt it before using the AC unit. 

Otherwise, if the coils are dirty, you will need to clean up the dirt surrounding them. 

How Do I Know If My RV Fan Motor is Bad?

RV Air Conditioner Check. Man Checking Camping Motorhome Appliances Before Summer Travel Season.

Five key signs can signal a bad fan motor. They are:

  • A rattling or buzzing noise is present when the AC is on.
  • The fan does not rotate fast enough.
  • When the AC is on, the fans do not turn on. 
  • After you shut off the AC, the fans do not turn off. 
  • The fans run irregularly.

When the fans do not turn on when you turn the AC on, you must turn off the AC. It is a clear sign that there is a problem with the motor. So, since the fan is not spinning, there is no air circulation going on. This can lead to frozen coils and more damage down the line. 

Slow Rotation

If the fan is not rotating fast enough, two issues will need to be addressed. First, check if the speed setting is low. If it is not, it could mean there is a problem with the run capacitor. The run capacitor is in charge of providing sufficient energy for the fan to spin continuously. Otherwise, it might be time to oil the motor bearings. 

Fan Continues To Spin

The most likely cause of a fan that continues to spin is a stuck relay switch. The relay switch is in charge of providing and stopping power from getting to the fan motor. If it is stuck, it does not stop giving the fan power. Thus, it will continue to spin. 

Irregular Intervals

If the fan is showing irregularities, the motor may be overheating. The other case could be that the wiring is malfunctioning. In this case, you should seek the help of a professional to fix the problem. 

Buzzing Noise

A buzzing noise can indicate several things for the motor. First, it can be a sign that the fan motors are reaching the end of their lifespan. If that is not the case, there might be some debris stuck in the condensing unit. 

What To Do If the RV AC Fan is Not Working?

Combining everything we have covered, there are several options you can take if your RV AC fan is not working. Some problems require simple solutions like cleaning up dirt on some components. Other issues will need professional help. More specifically, electrical concerns should be handled by a qualified person. 

Unless you have adequate knowledge of wiring, it is best for your safety to get electricians or HVAC technicians to help. 

Final Takeaway

It is essential to learn what could be causing problems in our RV's AC fan. As mentioned above, some instances can lead to further problems if you are not careful! Overall, we hope the solutions presented can help you get your AC running again! 

Before you go, do you have other RV concerns? If you are wondering why the dash gauges are not working, check out our post here

Are you having problems with a Dometic fridge? We can also offer some advice in that area. For more information, check out our post here. Until next time! 

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  1. I bought a new 12 volt ceiling fan I wired it throw the switch it turn like it is magnified and stops and doesn’t run if you turn it it goes back and stop thought the fan was bad returned it got a new one it has the same deal . Do you have any idea what it could be the old fan runs great please help me if you can thank you much

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