RV AC Duct Flow: How To Clean, Repair, And Boost AC Duct

When it gets hot out, you want the best AC coverage you can get. Most RVs are well equipped with good AC systems and ducts that make sure you keep your cool when the weather outside is not keeping its cool. Keeping the duct system clean is vital to a good RV vacation.

When you go to repairing the AC duct system or want to block vents, you have to be careful not to overdo it. It is possible you could end up keeping a lot of cold air in the wrong place and freezing your coils and then the AC won’t work.

To learn more about how to clean, repair and boost AC airflow through your duct system, just continue to read our article. It has the information you need to make sure you do the task the right way. take a few minutes and get up to speed on AC duct cleaning and repair.

Common RV AC Air Flow Problems

There are many problems all RVers experience no matter the make and model of their RV. These common problems are usually easy to fix and sometimes they may be the source for different airflow issues.

  • The compressor is: slow to start, blows warm air only, has weak airflow, trips your breaker, dims your lights, or simply stops working after a short time then you should check your capacitors and replace them if faulty.
  • No airflow - then it may be your fan capacitor or compressor capacitor that has malfunctioned. Again, you would have to replace those items.
  • No cooling air - there may be a problem with the thermostat. Check to see if the power is reaching that device. Check for loose wires, broken wires, or bad connections and replace or repair accordingly. The thermostat could be broken and in need of repair.
  • Control board may be malfunctioning - if it isn’t the capacitors and the thermostat, then your airflow problems could be the result of something wrong with your control board.
  • Bad compressor or fan motor - these items are also common problems as they can get old, lose power, and so on. They may be repairable but that depends on how bad the damage is.
  • Low fan speed - or one fan speed indicates that the fan motor is going out on you and needs either repairing or fixing.
  • Leaking AC - this happens when the seals or gaskets break or get damaged in some way. Leaks will take away your airflow.
  • Lower power supply - AC units need lots of power to work correctly. Yours may not be getting the power it needs to produce the airflow you want. Check your power supplies to make sure they are producing enough power to run the AC unit.

RV AC Duct Repair


When you have a problem with the duct system itself, the best repair is always replacing the bad section. This is not a step you would do every time but if you want great airflow it is always on the table as a viable option.

Often, some DIY RVers turn to duct tape to repair many of their issues with their duct system. Duct tape does a great job when used in moderation and can provide you with sensational temporary solutions.

However, some people take duct tape’s repair reputation a little too far and overuse this solution. Then because RVs vibrate, bounce around and take a lot of bumps while on the road, you should look for dents, leaks, or loose duct connections.

These can be fixed by using screws or other methods to tighten up those leaks and holes.

How to Remove RV AC Duct Covers


Some people have found where workmen have left pieces of styrofoam behind in the duct system and those pieces block the airflow. Some parts seem to be common across the RV models. That design makes getting those pieces and other duct blocking items out quite easy.

One of those parts is the AC vent covers. Generally, all you have to do is grab both ends of the vent with both hands. Then gently, but firmly pull down. The AC cover should pull out of position and make cleaning inside the duct easy.

Just make sure to pull straight down. If you pull in any other direction you run the risk of damaging the AC covers. If you can’t grab your AC covers with your hand, then you would need to use a flat head screwdriver and simply pry the cover off.

These covers are made to snap off and then snap back into place when you are done working on your ducts.

How to Clean RV AC Ducts


RV Ac ducts are known to be small and hard to get your hand and arm inside. This design makes it very difficult to clean unless you know a little trick that makes cleaning very simple and quick.

This is a trick borrowed from the plumbing industry and you use the same tool to clean your ducts as plumbers use to unclog drains and pipes. It is called the plumber’s snake. Just make sure to use a clean one when you do this.

All you have to do is wrap a clean cloth around the tip of the snake and duct tape it into place so it stays there. Make the rag big enough so that it will reach all sides of the ducts.

Next, just put the snake into your duct system and go as far as you can. Then turn the handle to rewind the snake. The rag should clean as you rewind. Take the rag off when you are done and wash it with your regular laundry.

RV AC Duct Booster


There may be times when your AC unit is a bit overmatched and the manufacturer put too many ducts into your RV. This can slow down your airflow somewhat and keep you from feeling comfortable on those hot summer days.

One way to change this situation is to install a nice booster. This is not a device that adds more power to your AC unit. Instead, it is a simple fan that is installed inside your ducts and boosts the amount of airflow.

They are electrically powered with a ground plug and come with a 6-inch bracket in some cases. Plus, these fan boosters are designed to work all day every day so you do not have to worry about them breaking any time soon.

They work well as extra ventilation fans when you need a boost in clearing out some bad air.

RV AC Vent Open Or Closed?


This is a long-held debate and you may find good arguments on both sides. However, when the weather is hot outside, you do run the risk of drawing that hot air inside by leaving the vents open.

Some people think that since hot air rises, that air will simply go out the open vents but that is not always the case. Leaving the vents open makes your AC work harder and that can end up badly for you.

The consensus is that when you first turn on your AC unit, you should open the roof vents until you start feeling the room get a little cooler. At that point, you need to close the vents and let the AC do its job without the fear of being overworked.

On a hot, windy day open vents allow more air to enter than it lets out so balance the two options and then close the vents when it is time to do so.

RV AC Vent Leaking Water When it Rains


There are some common sources for this problem as well. Your seals, gaskets, or bolts have worked their way loose, become broken, or lost their seal is just one issue that can let the rainwater inside.

This situation comes from traveling bumpy roads, or roads that cause a lot of vibration. You are going to have to reseal everything that is loose or replace bad gaskets, etc.

Next, your roof could have been damaged in some way. Water finds the easiest path to flow which means that where you spot the leak is not the location of the hole. You will have to search your roof to find the leak and patch it up.

Finally, look for damaged caulking and cracks in your roof. Remove the bad caulking and reseal those areas as well as seal up the cracks.

Some Final Words

Cleaning and repairing your AC ducts can be a bit difficult. That is due to their smaller size and location in your RV. But with the right information, you should be able to do both tasks without spending a lot on a repairman.

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