I have owned my Class C motorhome for about 14 years. During the first 10 years when I would have the rooftop AC on the AC from time to time would pause for a few seconds, like running at half speed. For the most part, the AC worked fine, so I wasn’t really too concerned. Then one day three or four years ago I was in the electrical control box, I don’t remember why, and I happened to put a screwdriver on the screw to the AC hot lead in the circuit breaker. This screw was loose. Since the day I tighten it, the AC never paused again.
That is something that all RVers should consider doing from time to time: tighten all electrical connections in the AC breaker box. Those boxes were designed for residential use, and not for the high vibration environment in an RV. Thanks for the tip and reminder!
It’s easy to do! Just unplug the RV from shore power and make sure your inverter is off (if you have one). Remove the cover from the AC breaker panel and use a screwdriver to make sure that all the screws on breakers and buss bars are tight. It’s something you should do every few years, or if you experience odd operation of an AC outlet or appliance.
We just replaced our Norcold refrigerator on a used RV we just purchased with only 23,000 miles on it. Ugh! Do you recommend leaving it on while plugged in at home between trips, or will that wear out the refrigerator quicker?
Thank you so much,
RV absorption fridges are designed for intermittent use, so it’s fine to turn it off when the RV is not being used. Make sure you get all the food out and prop the door open so air can circulate. Start the fridge a day ahead of time to give it a chance to cool down before loading food for a trip.
These fridges operate on an absorption system that depends on convection and gravity to move the refrigerant around inside the cooling unit. For that reason, they’re very sensitive to off-level operation. If you travel with your fridge on, be aware that a brief stop at a rest stop or store parking lot where the RV is not level can damage the fridge in as little as 15 to 20 minutes. This damage is cumulative and is a leading cause of premature fridge failure. Anytime the fridge is running, the RV needs to be reasonably level. (Reasonably level means no more than 1/2 a bubble off on a typical RV level gauge). If you need to park for a short time in an off-level situation, shut the fridge off until you leave.
Did you know that there’s an RV gadget out there that will protect your fridge from damage if you inadvertently run it off-level? It’s called the ARP, and you can check it out at www.arprv.com. I have one and really like it! No more worries about whether or not the fridge is “level enough.” Here’s a link to a product review I did some years ago.
I have a 2005 cougar 290 5th wheel, A/C seems to work fine but will trip breaker (20A) many times in hot weather. I put an amp meter on it with access door removed and it pulls between 11 and 15 amps at different times while running. I left access door off for about two weeks while checking amps and it never tripped while door was removed. I replaced the access door and it tripped twice the day I put it back on. The fan is running inside the switch box but apparently is not cooling sufficiently. What else should I check?
It’s possible that the circuit breaker for the A/C is going bad, they do fail, and since breakers operate on temperature, being in a warm area doesn’t help. Since the fan for that box is running, try replacing the breaker with a new one with the same rating, and if that doesn’t help, the A/C unit may need some work. In cases like yours, I’d suggest replacing the compressor start capacitor first, they are inexpensive and easy to replace. Sometimes that capacitor will go bad over time, and it can cause the compressor to draw more start-up current than normal. If all that doesn’t cure it, it’s time to have the A/C unit inspected and serviced.
I have a question re: my 1999 Gulfstream RV. I noticed the last couple of times I removed the cap to hook my sewer line up a small amount of water has leaked out. I suspect this is coming from the black water tank as it was blue the last time and I use the blue tablets when camper is not in use. What could this possibly be and how do I go about repairing it?
Thank you for your help, Diane
It sounds like your black water tank dump valve is leaking. Sometimes it’s a bit of foreign material stuck in the valve, and that can usually be flushed out with lots of freshwater, but given the age of your rig, I suspect the valve is wearing out. If flushing doesn’t fix it, you’ll need to replace the valve. If you can access the valve, they aren’t all that hard to replace, it’s just 4 bolts. However, you may prefer to have it done at a repair shop, most folks do. Either way, you will need to drain and thoroughly flush out the tanks before starting the work. As a short term solution, you can purchase a 3” dump valve that’s designed to attach to your sewer hose connector on the RV. This will give you another valve to close to prevent unpleasant surprises when you take the cap off.
It’s not a permanent fix, but will get you down the road until you can fix the problem.