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You are driving your RV under the scorching sun and suddenly realize that the interior has turned into an oven. Upon a close inspection, it seems that the RV air conditioner compressor not coming on. The performance of the AC system depends on its components and the compressor is a vital one. You can figure out the source of the trouble and fix by yourself if you know where to look into.
The compressor does the job of compressing the antifreeze, which then goes into the condenser in that concentrated form. This is how the air-flowing cycle in an AC system starts. It means that the air conditioner can be useless when the RV AC compressor not starting.
You might want to check the article Best RV Air Conditioner to have a further understanding on how to choose a good quality AC unit for your RV and avoid this such frustrating situation when the AC is broken on your camping trip!
Since you are dealing with an electrical device, ensure that you have taken all the safety measures. Disconnect the A/C from the power grid or just shut down everything with the main breaker, just to be safe. Insulated gloves, multimeter and electrical tester are strongly recommended. Remember that you should only perform the repair if you have certain knowledge about how the machine works. If you don’t feel very confident, invite HVAC technicians and let them take over.
Almost all air conditioners have the same mechanism, consisting of a power supply, compressor, and coils. Issues with several components can lead to the compressor malfunction.
The trouble could be with the power supply if the AC does not switch on. Check the RV fuse and breaker to see if anything is blown out or tripped. Replacing the blown fuse or fixing the tripped breaker will solve the problem. Turning the air conditioner on and off frequently may cause this problem.
Loose, frayed, or unsecured terminal connections could also be the reason for RV air conditioner compressor not coming on. The terminals are most likely to be the culprits if the AC compressor behaves in an erratic fashion (keeps switching on and off frequently).
Check the connections to see they are not loose or worn out. Sometimes, too much dirt and grime accumulation interrupt the operation of the terminals. Check them to find out the actual problem and fix it. Also, regular maintenance and cleaning will keep them functional for a long time.
A faulty capacitor can also be the reason for the RV air conditioner compressor not coming on. When you switch on the air conditioning, the capacitor supplies the required electricity for running the compressor and the A/C fan. You can check the compressor with a voltmeter to see if there is AC voltage on it when the A/C system starts. It is definitely a defective capacitor if the compressor vibrates but does not turn on.
Replacing the capacitor is a simple task. You just have to purchase a new one that matches the model and voltage specs of the old one and install it. The compressor is likely to back to its normal operation.
If the voltmeter reading does not show the presence of voltage, the trouble could be with several parts:
A damaged or malfunctioning start relay can mess up with the power supply and affect the compressor. If other components turn out fine, check for a loose connection or burn marks to be sure that the problem is with the relay. However, you can just change the relay if you have been using the air conditioner for a long time. It does not cost much and it is likely to solve the compressor problem given that other components are working fine.
It is really easy to spot if the issue is with the valve. With a failing or damaged valve, the compressor will still work (most likely) but the air conditioner will not blow any cold air. It happens because, with a faulty valve, the refrigerant still reaches the compressor but the air is not cold because it remains liquid instead of being in the gas form.
The liquid refrigerant cuts on the air conditioning cycle and interferes with the compressor’s performance. However, you can just replace the defective valve with a new one and the problem will be solved.
If all these components are working fine, then you might be looking at a faulty or failed compressor. It is bad news because you have to either replace the compressor or discard the whole AC unit. Find out which option is going to cost you less before taking the decision.
Coleman is a popular brand for manufacturing AC units and plenty of RVers use their products. So, many people might be curious to know how troubles with Coleman AC compressors can be solved. Well, since all the RV air conditioning units have almost similar components, the troubleshooting procedure will also be the same. You have to check the terminal connections, power supply, and other components to find out the source of the trouble. Just look into the product’s user manual if you are confused about anything. If you really need an assistance, Coleman customer service is responsive and they can even get a technician on the scene.
And that would be most of the basic thing to try when RV air conditioner compressor not coming on. A/C is probably some of the best things to use when the weather is hot. That is why if the machine compressor broke down, we all want to fix it right away to regain access to coolness. So if you possess enough information about A/c operation, you can try t fix it on your own by using the guide above.
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Carlos Perry’s passion for outdoor activities can be traced back to 5 years ago when he spent a significant time to conquer beautiful pristine lands and experience different cultures with his best friends. Currently working as a blogger, he takes pride in providing comprehensive contents about camping knowledge, survival skills based on his own experience. A lot of his work was published on well-known travel magazines like: Travel+Leisure, Thrillist