RV Air Conditioner Leaks When It Rains

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Rain droplets on a window

One of the most significant issues that RV owners experience is trouble with their roof leaking. Roof damage to your RV can be costly to repair, and it involves a lot of work. While some repairs may be simple enough for you to do on your own, many will require you to hire a professional for assistance.

If you have never had a leaky roof with your RV in the past, it can be easy to mistake a roof leak with an air conditioner leak. The good news is a leaky RV air conditioner is much easier to solve than a leaky roof. While it may be less of a problem, it is still essential that you look into the issue if your RV air conditioner is leaking every time it rains.

Reasons Why Your RV Air Conditioner May Leak When It Rains

If your RV’s air conditioner leaks when it rains, there are a few reasons why this may be happening. You could have loose or missing bolts, a broken or missing shroud, broken or faulty rubber gaskets, or roofing and caulking that is damaged or deteriorated.

Now that you have a better understanding of why your A/C is leaking when it rains, it is time to determine what is causing your RV’s air conditioner to leak and the best solution for resolving this issue.

Why Your RV Air Conditioner is Leaking and How to Fix It

Anytime you notice something is not quite right with your RV’s air conditioner, the first thing you should do is try to figure out why. Identifying the leading cause of the issue is essential if you want to find the ideal solution to fix the issue quickly.

Finding the right solution will save you both time and money because you will not be doing a lot of trial and error repairs that do not fix the main problem.

Here are the main reasons your air conditioner may be leaking and tips on what you should do to resolve the issue.

A Broken or Missing Shroud

If your air conditioner has a broken or missing shroud, it is one of the simplest issues to fix. The shroud is the cover that goes around your air conditioner. It provides a protective barrier that keeps out leaves, debris, dirt, and water.

If the shroud is broken or cracked, water can get inside parts of your A/C unit anytime it rains. That will not only cause a leak to occur, but it could also cause damage to your air conditioner over time.

Diagnosing this issue is simple, but it will require you to climb up on the roof of your RV to investigate the condition of the shroud. Once you are there, take a look at the A/C unit to see if there are any visible cracks or chips.

If there is damage to your unit’s shroud, you will need to replace it. Fortunately, this is a simple fix. First, you will need to look in your owner’s manual to determine what shroud is compatible with your specific A/C unit. You can also do a Google search with your RV’s make and model to get this information.

Loose or Missing Mounting Bolts

If you inspected your shroud and didn’t find any issues, the next thing you should do is check the mounting bolts’ condition. The mounting bolts that hold your air conditioner in place can cause leaks to occur when it rains if they are loose or missing.

To check these bolts, you will have to climb back on your roof once again and take a look underneath your air conditioner. The bolts that help secure your unit should compress the rubber gasket that goes around the edges of your air conditioner and seals it.

You should see a half-inch gasket around the sides of your air conditioner if the bolts are tightened down correctly.

If you think your bolts are not tight or secure enough, you will need to access them from the inside of your RV. Remove your unit’s interior panel to gain access to all the bolts. Then check if these bolts are snug and secure.

Be sure to check all the bolts; most air conditioners inside RVs will have three or four bolts to help the unit stay in place.

If these bolts need to be tightened, be sure to turn each bolt once and do it slowly, this will help you check for the tightness of each bolt. Be sure while you are tightening them that you do not overtighten the bolts. That’s because overtightening them will cause the gaskets to compress too much. That will lead to issues with broken or faulty rubber gaskets.

Broken or Damaged Rubber Gasket

The gasket that goes around your air conditioner unit and seals it to prevent leaks is a critical component that will keep your A/C unit protected. If there is too much compression, the condensation created whenever your air conditioner operates will not have anywhere to go. That is why the gasket needs to be compressed half its normal size when installing your RV’s air conditioner.

While you are on the roof checking the shroud and the gasket’s compression, you should also check the gasket itself for any issues or damage. Air conditioner gaskets can become damaged over time, causing them to become brittle or dried out.

That makes them to susceptible to cracking. And a cracked rubber gasket will cause your air conditioner unit to leak whenever it rains.

If you believe your rubber gasket is damaged, you will need to replace it. To do this, you will need to remove your air conditioner unit, remove the gasket and replace it with a brand new one.

Since you have to go through all the trouble of completely removing your air conditioner, you will want to make sure the gasket is damaged or cracked before you start this process.

Fortunately, this is a relatively simple process once you have the A/C unit removed. Still, if you have never removed an RV’s air conditioner before, it may be best to hire a professional for assistance.

A Deteriorated or Damaged Roof

Perhaps the worst-case scenario in this situation would be a damaged or deteriorated roof that is causing leaks to occur whenever it rains. Even if it looks like the water is coming from your air conditioner, there could still be some damage to your RV’s roof.

That is especially true if you have checked all of the above for possible issues and found no problems with any of them.

Roof damage can be expensive and time-consuming if you need a total roof replacement. However, sometimes your roof damage may be minimal such as the roof sealant being cracked or worn.

If you think this could be the cause of leaks whenever it rains, you will need to do a thorough inspection of your roof. While doing so, pay attention to the edges when the roof of your RV meets the walls.

If there are any noticeable cracks where water can seep inside, you need to apply a new roof sealant to the cracks.

If there is any noticeable sagging in your RV’s roof, that is a clear sign that water has gotten inside and compromised your roofing material, and, in most cases, you will need a full roof replacement to resolve the issue.

Depending on where you travel to in your RV, you may not need your air conditioner very much. But whether you use it on rare occasions or every day, it’s essential to know if there are any issues with leaks.

Failure to repair these leaks can lead to severe damages that can be much more expensive to repair. If you know water is dripping from your air conditioner whenever it rains and not from a leak in your RV’s roof, you can avoid a lot of issues in the future if you address this problem quickly.

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