There’s a fairly common misunderstanding about the capabilities of RV A/C units in the sense that many RVers expect them to cool a hot vehicle in no time flat. After returning from a hike on a 95-degree day, my RV should be cool and comfortable as soon as I kick on the A/C, right?
That would be pretty great, but it’s an unrealistic fantasy. The fact is, that’s not how air conditioning works. In this lesson, we dispel the myth of the magical RV A/C unit, teach you how these appliances actually operate, and give you a few important tips for making your unit run a little more efficiently.
What Goes on in Your RV A/C Unit?
To help you better understand how your RV A/C unit works, RV maintenance expert Dave Solberg and RVIA Master Technician Steve Albright walk you through a quick overview of the types and functionality of the air conditioning units found on most vehicles. Whether you opt for a roof-mounted, duct-driven unit or a newer model that sits underneath the carriage of your motorhome, it operates in generally the same the way.
There are four major components that make up an RV A/C unit, each of which Steve inspects on a demonstration model. The evaporator is the most essential part in the cooling process, responsible for pulling warm air out of the vehicle and slowly recirculating it to drop the temperature by small increments.
Making Your Unit More Efficient
Addressing the belief that A/C units should be able to instantly cool a space, Dave and Steve talk about the limited capabilities of all units, regardless of quality, cost, and type. There’s simply no way to make the temperature plummet. So what can you do to help your RV A/C unit run more efficiently and expedite the cooling process? First and foremost, get your vehicle under shade—stat! Limiting sun exposure will keep your baseline temperature lower, and you’ll get comfortable much quicker! Keep your RV in the shade as much as possible throughout the day.