How to Clean Your Caravan's Air Conditioning Unit

Author: Tahlia Maynard   Date Posted:7 December 2016 

Let’s run through the basic steps involved in cleaning your caravan’s air conditioning unit. Especially before it gets a good workout this summer!

Our prized possessions always demand a little extra care, and a caravan’s air conditioning unit is no exception. But the good news is that cleaning and maintaining your caravan’s air conditioner is in fact quite simple. Plus, it’s a small price to pay for the world of luxury that your caravan aircon introduces into your camping lifestyle. 

How often should I clean my caravan’s air conditioner?

Caravan air conditioners need deep cleaning roughly every couple of years. This deep clean covers the coils of the condenser and evaporator, which collect a whole lot of dirt over time, regardless of how much you inspect the rooftop shroud for gaps and cracks. In addition to this deep clean, you would also need to clean the AC filters every few months. This particular exercise is no different from cleaning the filters of your home air conditioner, and as such, we’ll just move on to discussing the deep cleaning process in detail.

Important precautions

Before you begin cleaning your caravan’s air conditioner, make sure that its power supply is turned off. It is always best to additionally unplug the air con from the power source. Next, cover the AC vents opening into the interior of your caravan with a plastic sheet. Then proceed to check the strength of your caravan’s roof. Since you’ll need to climb up on to the roof to access the condenser and evaporator coils, make sure that it’s sturdy enough to take your weight. In case of any doubt, use a wide plank or piece of plywood to create a working platform, so that your weight isn’t directly applied to the roof surface.

Cleaning the coils

Remove the protective shroud that conceals the air conditioning unit on your caravan’s roof. The evaporator and condenser coils will now be visible, and you’ll be able to see exactly how much dirt and debris they’ve accumulated. You can use either a dedicated AC coil cleaning solution or a regular household cleaning agent to clean the coils. Spray a generous amount of solution on the coils, and allow it to sit for some time. After about 15-20 minutes, gently hose out the coils with water to remove the debris. Care should be taken to avoid spraying or hosing any wiring or electrical attachments. As an added precaution, you can cover these with plastic sheets or polybags to keep them dry.

Once you’re done hosing out the debris, use a wet/dry shop-vac to soak up any moisture still present on the condenser and evaporator coils. You can then use a fan or blower to dry out the area completely, or just leave it to dry in the sun for a few hours before replacing the protective shroud.

Cleaning the fan motor

Sometimes, the caravan air conditioner’s fan needs a little cleaning and servicing as well. The process remains pretty much the same. Remove the protective shroud and inspect the fan blades. If they seem to have collected a significant amount of dirt, clean them with the same solution or cleaning agent. Dry the blades with a wet/dry shop-vac and blower. Lubricate the bearings or sleeves of the fan motor with a little machine oil (a few drops should suffice). Replace the protective shroud, reconnect the AC to your power supply, and you’re good to go.

A clean and well-oiled air conditioning unit will keep your caravan’s interior at pleasant temperatures throughout your summer camping trips. ACs that are regularly cleaned and serviced also lend to last much longer. So take a day off every few seasons to give your caravan AC a deep clean, and help it serve you better!