Why an RV Air Conditioner Turns On and Off Repeatedly?

Why an RV Air Conditioner Turns On and Off Repeatedly?

Why an RV Air Conditioner Turns On and Off Repeatedly?
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An air conditioning unit is a great asset to any recreational vehicle. You will understand that if you are a full-time RVer or love to spend time on the road frequently. But just like any other electronic devices and home appliances, this machine also shows many problems and needs regular maintenance. RV air conditioner turns on and off repeatedly is one of those pestering issues that need immediate attention.

However, fixing this issue at home is possible given that you have the proper mechanical knowledge and use the right tools.

RV Air Conditioner Turns On and Off Repeatedly: The Causes

So, your RV air conditioner compressor kicks on and off and continues this cycle until you turn it off. You may think of several reasons like the unit running for long hours, hot temperatures, or ice being formed on the condenser. But what could the actual reasons be? Let’s find out.

Connection Troubles

If there is a loose or burnt connection, it will arc and turn hot, which may cause the on and off problem. Such a connection transmits enough power to run the fan but not enough to power up the compressor. The whole system shuts off whenever the compressor comes on.

rv air conditioner compressor kicks on and off
Loose connection is a valid reason for this on and off cycle.

This problem needs to be addressed as soon as possible because it poses the risk of damaging the system components or a fire hazard.

Bad Thermostat

Normally, the air con’s thermostat is set to the ‘Automatic’ mode, and it is supposed to work fine without any intervention. However, the RV air conditioner turns on and off repeatedly when the thermostat does not function properly.

Failing Control Board

A malfunctioning control board can also cause the same symptoms. If you suspect that the control board is the culprit, consult a certified RV technician to diagnose the problem.

Frozen AC Evaporator Coils

If the on and off cycle occurs mostly at nights or on humid days, it could be because of frozen AC evaporator coils. There are two ways to unfreeze them: running the system in the ‘Fan Only’ mode or keeping it off until the coils are back to their normal state.

rv air conditioner turns on and off repeatedly
Evaporator coils could be the source of the problem.

However, these are only temporary solutions. A permanent solution to this freezing problem will be to operate the air con at a higher temperature. Another way is to change the filter and make sure that there is no buildup or dirt in the coils.

Other Problems

There are a few other issues for which the RV air conditioner turns on and off repeatedly. Two more reasons for this symptom are a malfunctioning start capacitor or a bad pressure switch on the compressor.

You have to be careful when diagnosing the RV air conditioning system. The upper part of the system always carries strong voltage even after unplugging from the electrical outlet. Touching that part without wearing insulated gloves can cause serious injury.

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