RV Air Conditioner Repair

I learned a lot about RV air conditioners over the last month.  The fan wouldn’t start up and that renders the air conditioner useless.  It would hum like it was trying to start but no movement.  Once again, I browsed all sorts of stuff on the internet and learned you should lubricate the fan shaft periodically.  I’d never done that.  After watching YouTube videos to get an idea of the steps required to do this, I climbed up on the roof and commenced to take the cover of the A/C unit.  The fan motor was exposed once the cover was off.

RV Fan Motor
What it looks like inside

I amazed me that the little motor has a shaft running through the middle of it with a squirrel cage fan on one end and a regular bladed fan on the other.  This little fellow does an awful lot. I spun the shaft with my hand it barely budged.  I doused the shaft with three in one oil a few times and kept spinning it by hand.  Suddenly it spun freely.  Plugged the RV back into electricity and turned on the fan and it worked!  Tried the A/C and the in-house breaker couldn’t handle it.

I was not convinced that A/C would work so we took a short overnight  trip in one hundred degree weather.  A/C worked on a 30 amp hookup all night.  Sounds like the end of the story, but wait.

We are planning a long trip that will require having A/C so I hooked it up again at home to see if it would work. Not even the fan would run. More internet searches suggested the fan motor was bad.  I hastily called the RV service guys who said they could get me in in 2 weeks. My wife says “that’s too late, can’t you change the motor?” . “I sure can on the roof of my RV in one hundred degree weather” was my reply.  It really turned out not to be too big of a job to change the motor, thanks to some good YouTube videos.  The fan worked fine, but the A/C still wouldn’t run on a 20 amp breaker at my house.  More research revealed that the run capacitor and the start capacitor might be the cause. Since the total cost for both was only about thirty dollars, I decided to order them and try it out.  Again, the install took about ten minutes, very simple.  Started the A/C and viola! it ran. The only injury sustained during the repair was when I almost broke my arm patting myself on the back. It all cost only about one hundred thirty dollars. It would have easily been three hundred at the dealer.

Author: Dan Thomure

Retired Technical worker in the Financial Services Industry.

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