When looking to buy a used RV AC unit for your rig, there are several things you should keep in mind. Although used is generally more cost-effective, remember that pre-owned appliances are always a toss-up; you can only know what kind of shape a unit’s in by doing a thorough inspection and running a comprehensive test. Don’t take their word, do your homework!
In this quick lesson, RV maintenance expert Dave Solberg and RVIA Master Technician Steve Albright pop open a used RV AC unit to demonstrate a step-by-step inspection. They point out all the components you need to check, and explain why you ought to ensure every aspect of the cooling unit are up to snuff prior to installation.
Inspecting an RV AC Unit
First things first, Dave and Steve recommend taking your new old RV AC unit to a certified technician to have all components properly inspected. Like a home inspector nitpicks to find hidden issues that could become costly later on, an RV appliance inspector knows what to look for to save you money and hassle. Here’s just a taste of what that they’ll inspect on your cooling unit: surface cleanliness, damage, and structural integrity of the evaporator, evaporator coil, divider dam, motor, capacitors, and condenser. Certified technicians will also check for hindrances to motor operation, as well as pesky leaks and burnt wires.
Furthermore, your technician will look for tampering in the unit, guaranteeing that it was and remains properly sealed. They’ll evacuate the system to extract all moisture, and suggest that you hook up an amp meter and run the unit for an hour, measuring indoor/return air and amp draw. Once your RV AC unit is installed, they can also check the quality of the installation, again looking for any leaks, weak spots or inconsistencies in the unit’s operation. Sounds like a lot to do, right? Trust us, it’s worth it. Put in the time and invest the necessary expenses, and you won’t have to worry further down the line!