Informational Guide

How to Recharge RV AC

Recharging freon in RV units can be difficult. Learn how to easily charge your AC so you can keep cool on the road.

by Josh M

If your RV isn’t getting as cold as it once did, you might need an RV AC recharge. Can RV air conditioners be recharged? Just like you can add refrigerant to your home air conditioning and your automobile, it’s also possible to learn how to recharge an RV AC unit.

In this guide, we look closer at recharging RV air conditioning systems.

RV Camper Night
  • Dirty Filter
    If the air filters are dirty, they can present the same symptoms as if the RV needed to be recharged. Dust and dirt can stop air from flowing through the filters, causing a drastic reduction in cooling.
  • Freezing Up
    If the air conditioning system isn’t circulating correctly, it can freeze up some of the vital components. To run normally again, the parts must first be defrosted. This problem will look similar to when the air conditioning needs to be recharged.
  • Air Leaks
    The RV air conditioning system contains several hoses and parts that can leak when they become worn out. If there is a crack or leak in the system, you will think it needs a recharge, but this won’t solve the problem because the refrigerant will just leak back out.
  • AC Blowing Warm Air
    If the other problems aren’t present and the air conditioning is blowing warm, you might only need to perform a recharge. If you want to fix the problem, you just need to know how to recharge the RV AC.

What Refrigerant Is Used In RV AC Units?

What type of Freon should you use when recharging RV air conditioners? Most modern air conditioning units use R-410A Freon. This refrigerant can be sold under different names, so you must make sure you get the right type. R-410A has replaced R-22 Freon, which was used in most older units.

Recreational Travel Camping with an RV

How To Recharge RV Air Conditioner (Freon Guide)

Do RV air conditioners need to be recharged? There may be a time when you need to add more Freon to the air conditioning system to keep it running cold. Before you learn how to charge an RV air conditioner, gather these supplies.

  • Refrigerant
  • Refrigerant gauge
  • Line tap
  • Household tools

The most important supply needed is refrigerant. However, you need to make sure you get the right kind before you try to figure out how to charge an RV AC unit. This information can be found in the service manual, or you can ask your local RV dealer.

Learning how to charge an RV roof AC system requires you to follow these instructions:

  1. Turn off any power going to the air conditioner. You want to switch off the breaker supplying power to the AC system.
  2. Remove the plastic housing over the air conditioner. The AC cover is attached to the roof in various ways, depending on the brand. Some manufacturers use screws, and others rely on clips. You should be able to remove it with generic household tools; just use caution so you don’t break anything.
  3. With your refrigerant gauge, you can tell what level the AC is at.
  4. If the refrigerant needs to be recharged, install it into the system slowly until it reaches the desired level.
  5. Replace the air conditioner cover.
  6. Turn on the breakers and plug your power back in.
  7. Test the air conditioning system to ensure you followed the steps showing how to recharge a camper AC.

If you aren’t sure what you are doing, it’s best to hire a professional for the AC service. The cost to repair broken parts isn’t worth the few dollars you will save doing it yourself.

Can Dometic RV Air Conditioners be Recharged?

You can still perform a Dometic RV Air conditioner recharge by yourself. While Dometic makes on-roof air conditioners, you may also have one of the split units or one found under the bench. With either of these designs, the overall method remains the same.

Make sure you read the owner’s manual from the manufacturer. In this guide, you should find all of the steps. Most importantly, you want to make sure all power is off to the air conditioner and that you have the appropriate Freon type before beginning.

coleman rv air conditioner

People Also Ask (FAQ)

How much Freon does an RV take?

It depends on the type of air conditioner you have and how low the system is. Use your refrigerant gauges to determine how much Freon you need to add for a cooler environment.

How long does Freon last on RV AC?

Unless there is a leak in the system, you shouldn’t go through much Freon. However, just like with a car, it’s wise to have air conditioning service performed once a year before it gets hot.

How do I know what kind of Freon my air conditioner uses?

The majority of new air conditioners rely on R-410A Freon. This form has replaced the older R-22 Freon. Read the service manual on the air conditioner to determine what to buy.

How cold should an RV get with AC running?

During a normal day, your RV should be able to achieve indoor temperatures that are 20 degrees Fahrenheit lower than the outdoor temperatures. If not, you might need to recharge the AC.

How much does it cost to recharge the RV air conditioner in a shop?

The average cost to recharge an RV AC would be around $250 or more. If any parts are needed to repair the air conditioning system, the price could be much higher.

Conclusion

You can perform an RV AC Freon charge on your own with a bit of experience. If you have the right tools, it makes sense to do this basic task on your own.

Josh M

My name is Josh and I am obsessed with the HVAC industry. I created this website to help HVAC techs of all levels get the best out of their heating & cooling systems. I have spent thousands of hours studying air conditioners, heaters and home air products so you can learn & buy with confidence. Learn more about the team here.

Top