RV A/C Maintenance Starts on Top
Your RV air conditioner is a vital part of your RV. Proper maintenance and operation are needed to ensure it keeps you cool.
Roof-mounted and in full exposure to the elements, RV air conditioners are vulnerable. Should you be protecting your RV air conditioner with a cover?
All About RV Air Conditioner Covers
Air conditioner covers provide protection from the elements while not in use. They are generally made of vinyl and are held in place by an elastic base or drawstring.
There are multiple manufacturers of RV air conditioners, however, air conditioner covers are a somewhat universal fit. They are not made for your specific RV, rather the brand or size of the air conditioner you have.
For this reason, there are not a lot of different options for RV air conditioner covers other than slight differences in quality.
The price will vary on quality but RV air conditioner covers are generally very cheap to purchase and are readily available online or at RV stores. You can expect to pay between $15 and $30 for your air conditioner cover.
Who needs one?
RV air conditioner covers provide a couple of functions. Firstly, they protect your air conditioner from the elements. All RV air conditioners come with a plastic shroud cover for protection, so why do you need an extra cover?
Air conditioner covers are for use while the unit is not operating only. The plastic shroud is vented for the operation to allow for airflow. This leaves open space for leaves, rain, snow, and road debris to enter. An air conditioner cover prevents anything from possibly entering the unit.
While your RV is not in use and in storage, the elements are still there. Dirt, leaves, sap from trees, and of course the sun, are all still potential problems.
Plastic covers are easily dried out from continuous exposure to the sun. Having a cover can extend the life of your air conditioner shroud.
Secondly, RV air conditioner covers can be used in colder weather to help stop the draft of cold air through your air conditioner unit into your RV.
If you camp in cooler weather and especially if you camp year-round and through winter months with cold weather and snow, an air conditioner cover can be very beneficial.
Will you use it?
How many things have you purchased and not used or used once and stored away?
RV air conditioner covers, as mentioned previously, cannot be used while the air conditioner is in use. This means that they have to be installed and removed as needed.
This installation and removal will take place on the roof of your RV of course. Will you take the time to climb up and install or remove the cover as needed? Many RVs do not have ladders for roof access. This means the use of a step ladder to get on the roof.
In many cases, people only use their air conditioner cover while their RV is stored for the off-season. This requires only two trips to the roof per year.
Do you really need an RV air conditioner cover?
No, you don’t need an RV air conditioner cover and many RVers don’t use them. However, the small purchase price and ease of storage won’t hurt.
Are you are someone who uses your RV in colder weather? if so you will most likely want to have a cover to help with drafts.
If your RV is stored for long periods of time, especially in direct sun or near trees, or if you travel long distances, the possibility of road debris and exposure to the elements may make the purchase worthwhile.
Should you decide to purchase an air conditioner cover, be sure to look for one with a UV and mildew-resistant material and a good securing system.
Whether you decide to use an RV air conditioner cover or not, don’t forget to maintain your air conditioner.
Make sure you keep track of all your RV maintenance and repairs with an online tool such as RV LIFE Maintenance. Not only can you keep all of your documents in one place, but you’ll also receive timely reminders when maintenance is due to help you avoid costly repairs and potentially serious accidents.
More Reading About RV Air Conditioner Maintenance
- Summer Camping Is Here: How Will You Stay Cool?
- Run Your A/C Units On 30-Amps & Keep Cool While Boondocking With SoftStartRV
Kendall lives with his wife and their two cocker spaniels full-time in their RV currently in Mexico. He is one half of DashboardDrifters.com and the co-founder of RVSpotDrop, a web service for full-time RVers.
Stew Benedict says
I bought one after my daughter borrowed the RV and fired up the AC to a horrible racket, hundreds of miles away. Seems mud daubers built a nice little mud home inside that was interfering with the fan rotation. She was able to clean it up enough to use the AC and I finished the cleanup when she got back, and installed a cover to keep them out in the future.
Joseph Brown says
YES! I have two, for each of our 5th wheel’s A/C units! If you live as we do in an area with lots of hornets, if you don’t cover the units they’ll become hornet condos! I also have no issues getting on the Jayco’s roof for maintenance, these covers, and keeping the roof cleaned and conditioned.
John M says
I live where were have cold weather and snow in the winter. I always cover my AC for the winter storage to keep it dry and out of the elements
Richard Hotop says
How do you get drafts thru a/c
Glenn Schulz says
You don’t get drafts through an AC unit. People don’t know what they are talking about. The AC unit is similar to fridge. It only recirculates inside air. The air conditioner cools the air by circulating the air through a radiator system that transfers the heat inside to the outside. There is a coil inside and outside. It’s a sealed system. Poor information in this article.