How I Replaced my Roadtrek Air Conditioner

It is the middle of July, and it is hot. Living in an RV when it is this hot out is very uncomfortable. There is no breeze to come through the windows, and when there is, it is too hot to cool you. I do have a house air conditioner, but it has not worked since I accidentally turned it on in February. It was time to replace my Roadtrek air conditioner.

The Research Begins

While having this great idea is easy, I was sure that performing the replacement was not going to be. My first phone call was to my friend Tom. If it is something mechanical and there is a solution, he will find it. The air conditioning unit that is in the house portion of my Roadtrek looks like the inside of a window house air conditioner. Would it really be that simple?

We watched a couple of videos and discussed a strategy. We decided on a window unit with a remote control. I will get into why that decision was made in a few minutes. It had to be large enough to cool the space but also budget-friendly.

Taking the top off the unit at the back and taking a look at how it is set into the space and wired would be our first job. In the YouTube videos we watched, the Roadtreks had a power outlet in the cupboard above the back seat beside the air conditioning unit. Mine did not. We had to figure out how we were going to get power to the a/c unit.

Off to Home Depot to search for supplies. I decided on an LG 6000 BTU air conditioner with a remote control. This would save us from trying to figure out how to wire the new unit into the control panel of the thermostate. I can do all the functions with the remote. The panel that is in front of the air conditioner on the inside of the RV restricts you from using the buttons. A remote control is the best way to go.

Removal of the Existing Air Conditioner

The unit that was in the Roadtrek is a 13000 BTU Duotherm. It was a large unit that took up most of the space. I did not think I needed 13000 BTU (British Thermal Unit) to keep me cool. Not to mention, the more BTU, the more expensive the unit. We need to be cost-effective as well as cool-effective. The air conditioning unit I was buying was much smaller. We would need filler to keep it stable.

For filler around the air conditioning unit, we used 1″ rigid insulated styrofoam, which just happened to be purple, so I knew we had the right stuff. We would cut these pieces to size and fill the space around the air-conditioner. The unit needs to be secure during movement.

Pulling the old unit out was almost the hardest part. It was darn heavy! Undoing any wires and pulling it back on the slides that are provided was pretty smooth. Lifting it down on the ladder was a three man job.

Ready to Install my new Roadtrek Air Conditioner

We were ready to install. One more issue. How are we going to power it? Tom put a regular power plug box and mounted it to the side of the a/c compartment. Connecting the wires that powered the existing unit to the new plug allowed me to tie into the 110V power I would need to run the unit.

Once that was done the new unit was put in place.

We used the purple styrofoam to pack around the air conditioning unit, and it was ready to power up. Remember the importance of the remote? The opening in the house portion is not big enough to fit the front of the A/C unit. When I took the plastic front off the air conditioner space, there is a fibreglass wall with a small opening. In the videos we watched, they cut that opening to size. I really did not want to do that. If I got a unit with a remote, I did not have to cut it to size. I can use the remote through the plastic facade to work the air conditioner.

The opening is too small for the face of the A/C unit

We Have Cold Air

All ready to go, we plugged in the power, hit the power button on the remote and Ahhhh! What a beautiful feeling. Just an FYI. This is the first home I have ever had that has air conditioning. I do not have a generator so I have to be plugged in to use the air conditioning, but when it is so hot that I am sweating because I made coffee, I will find a plug! Lol!

Hopefully soon the weather will improve and I can finish the paint and decorations on the outside. When she is all done I will do a video tour on all the changes I have made in the last few weeks. In the meantime I will make a coffee, write a blog in the comfort of my air-conditioned home.

Helpful Cooling Tips for Keeping Your RV Cool
  • Park on grass not pavement. Pavement reflects heat but grass absorbs it.
  • Use your fantastic fan to draw air through your RV. Reversing the flow of air to draw air out and opening the windows creates a flow of air from the outside.
  • Acquire a 12 volt fan. My small 12 volt clip-on fan is a wonderful relief from the heat. The fan uses a small amount of electricity and can be mounted anywhere. It is also handy for keeping the bugs at bay while sitting outside the door of the van. Just mount it to the inside door panel and place your lawn chair outside the door and let the fan blow away the bugs.

Next week I am headed to Tweed Ontario in my 69 Econoline to play with my friends! Off on a Chipmunk Adventure in my cottage van! Hahaha!

Thanks for coming along on my Chipmunk Adventure!

See you next week!


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