Life's Sweet Journey: Replacing a Dometic RV AC Unit

Friday, May 29, 2020

Replacing a Dometic RV AC Unit

Summer is upon us and here in Florida it is already H-O-T, HOT! 
Knowing that and getting ready to plan more adventures makes me all the more thankful for our new AC unit in the RV! Replacing our RV AC ourselves was actually a lot easier to do that I thought it would be, so here are a few tips if you are looking at a Summer filled with warm blowing air from your own RV AC unit. 

We spent the beginning of our full-time RV adventure in much cooler weather, so we did not need to use the AC in our 2011 Keystone Cougar. The previous owners had taken great care of it, but it spent most of it's time in Florida and that takes a toll on a rooftop AC unit trying to cool a 34ft 5th wheel. We were in Kanab, Utah when things started to heat up and we realized our Dometic AC unit just wasn't keeping up and was mostly blowing warm air through the rig. We looked into all kinds of options, but found out that ultimately it would cost just as much to recharge the current one (and may not even work) than it would be to just replace it. Trying to wait for an RV repair man can take a long time and we were not staying in one place; we couldn't take it anywhere and leave it, because where would we live. So, replacing the ac unit became our first big RV DIY project- you can see an in-depth walk through in the video below with step-by-step ways to replace it or read through some of our tips to tackle it too! It definitely saved us a ton of money doing it ourselves than if we had paid to have it done. 

Replacing a RV Dometic AC Unit

Equipment Needed:
- AC Duct Tape (HVAC silver tape) 
- Screwdriver 

Tip #1: We did call the manufacturer to make sure the new unit we were getting was compatible with the thermostat we have in our rig (we did not replace that, just the actual rooftop ac unit) before making our purchase. 

Tip #2: After unscrewing the old unit from the rig it's best to push up from the bottom to loosen it first, before sliding it out at the top. 

Tip #3: We were't originally going to do any duct work, but when we took the old unit out Babe noticed a ton of spots that weren't properly sealed meaning even when the cold air was blowing we were loosing some of it in the living space and we need the full cooler air to reach the bedroom. If you watch towards the middle of the video you can see where he applied a lot more duct tape (the silver foil kind, not to be confused with the heavy gray stuff) to allow the air to carry more evenly throughout the camper. 

Replacing RV AC Unit
Replacing Dometic RV AC Unit
Replacing RV AC Unit

Tip #4: Leave the new unit in the box when carrying to the top of the camper; it made it a lot easier to handle and also was somewhat better protected in case we did drop it. 

I'm definitely thankful for such a handy guy, because when I say we replaced it ourselves what I mostly mean is he replaced it! I helped, but he was definitely the heavy lifting. However, it only took about 3 hours with him videoing it, so if you were just working straight through it shouldn't take more than a few hours to replace your old AC unit with the new one. We went with the Dometic unit similar to one we had and it has now been going strong for two years and even survived two Florida summers!

Stay Cool Fellow Travelers! 
Any questions just let us know (I'll ask Baba- haha)!
Have you had an RV DIY repairs?!

Check out more RV DIY in our Replacing RV Slide Out Seals post or

Replace Dometic RV AC


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