How to Fix RV Air Conditioner Leaks When It Rains?

Last Updated on May 31, 2021 by Ted Mosby

Your RV electrical system is complicated, but only for those who are new to RVing or do not want to learn basic electrical troubleshooting to fix minor issues of their RV by DIY. One of the common problems that most RV owners were complaining about is their RV air conditioner leaks when it rains.

I have browsed through hundreds of RV blogs and discussion forums and realized that this is one of the most discussed issues by different RV owners. Since the water leaks inside the RV when you are camping, it is not ideal for any RVer when camping because it will damage your RV’s expensive interior, which will cost you hundreds of dollars to get fixed.

If you are also one of those RVers experiencing this issue and wondering how to fix RV air conditioner leaks when it rains, then this piece of post is tailored to you.

Below, I’m going to outline each and everything related to RV air conditioner leaks that you desperately want to know. I sincerely believe that after reading this post, you will get rid of this frustrating issue to enjoy your camping period to its fullest.

How to Fix RV Air Conditioner Leaks When It Rains?

So, let’s get started!

What Cause Air Conditioner Leakage When It Rains?

Before we move to RV AC leaking solutions, it is important to identify the culprits that cause the problem. It will not only help you to fix the problem by yourself but will also let you prevent it from happening ever again. Here are the typical culprits that can cause RV AC to leak when it rains.

  • It could be due to the rubber gasket and mounting bolts.
  • Roof deterioration.
  • There are gaps between AC units and the roof.
  • Clogged drain holes.
  • RV evaporator coil is dirty.

Now, let’s discuss each of the issues mentioned above in detail and how to fix RV air conditioner leaks.

How to Fix RV Air Conditioner Leaks When It Rains?

1. Check Rubber Gaskets and Mounting Bolts

When you install an AC unit onto the roof of your recreational vehicle, you know that you will have to use rubber gaskets and mounting bolts to properly fixed it into the place. However, either one of both can be damaged over time, which causes the RV air conditioner to dripping water inside the RV.

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Since the rubber gasket is clamped between the top of your RV roof and the RV air conditioning unit, it prevents water leakage that otherwise can sneak through the connection points or seals. However, the rubber gasket wears out over time due to weather conditions and other constant exposures.

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So, how to fix the RV AC leakage issue if it is because of rubber gaskets?

Well, you should check the rubber gasket to see if it is damaged. If you found it less flexible, it means it cannot prevent water from sneaking in through the seals. In that case, you’ll have to replace it as soon as possible.

On the other end, the mounting bolts are intended to hold the rubber gasket in its place. However, when you drive on bumpy roads might loosen the bolts, which means the water can easily sneak in through. Make sure that they are tightly attached.

This will help you fix RV AC leaks when it rains and help you reduce the noise of the RV AC when running.

2. Check RV Roof Damage

RV Roof Damage

When you are dealing with the RV leakage issue, it doesn’t always mean that it is occurring because of the gasket and bolts only. You have to consider other parts of the roof as well. It might be hard for you to discern the exact spot of the leakage from the RV ceiling. Due to the orientation of the RV Roof, water often sneaks into the roof and then runs down to the lowest spot to find an escape point.

In that case, you will have to inspect the entire roof of your RV to see if there are any damaged caulking and cracks. Moreover, other culprits that could cause RV AC leaking issues include plumbing vents, ladder mounts, antenna connections, and other roof components. You should check all these points to find out the culprit so that you can fix the issue.

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3. Check for Roof Deterioration

Another common reason that could cause RV air conditioner leakage is your RV’s roof deterioration. The common cause of roof deterioration is water leakage for extend periods that weakens the roof material. However, this could also be due to age. If you figure out that the AC unit is snagging, it means there is a condensed water pool near the RV air conditioning unit.

Now, to check this, you will need a string. Once you have it, pull it across the RV roof from one side to another tightly. If the AC unit is still snagging beneath the string, you could try another way by raising the AC unit a bit more. In this regard, you can consider installing another gasket, shim up the AC unit, or building a platform for it.

4. Check Drain Holes

Another common reason for RV air conditioner dripping water inside is the plugged drain holes. In that case, the RV air conditioning unit will start leaking as soon as you run it. However, spotting a plugged drain hole and fixing it is easy and can be done by DIY.

Moreover, if your RV AC leaks when it rains, then it might not be the plugged-up drains. However, you should still check them to make sure they are clean.

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5. Check the Evaporator Coil

Yet another reason why your RV air conditioner leaking water inside is due to the dirty evaporator coil. If this is the case, the AC evaporator coil will block the way of draining water. You can find the evaporator coil at the front of the RV, while the condenser coil can be found in the back.

Now, how to access the evaporator coil?

Well, to access the evaporator coil, you will have to remove the cover and the sheet metal shroud from your RV air conditioner unit. Once you’ve removed it, you can just vacuum the coils to clean them up. Or use a degreaser solution like Formula 409 to get rid of the gunk.

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6. Maintain a Gap Between The RV Roof and Air Conditioner

You should consider having a gap between your RV roof and the air conditioning unit to let the condensation out of the bottom, and that is why all the rooftop AC units are designed to keep this in mind. These AC units reside inside the drain pan that is intended to collect condensed water while also have tiny gaps that let the water drain out.

Check your AC and RV roof, and if there is no gap between them, the water will flow down, causing the RV air condition leakage issue.

Wrapping Up

Although water is everything but not when it starts creating problems for you. There are some places we don’t want to let the water in. One such place is your RV. If your RV air condition dripping water inside, it will damage your expensive RV interior. In that case, instead, you enjoy your camping trip, you will waste your fixing the issue. RV air condition dripping water inside means there is something wrong, and you have to fix it before it gets worse. Above I have listed the most common issues that can cause this problem, as well as how you can solve the issue. If you have any further queries in your bucket regarding RV AC water leakage, do not hesitate to write a comment below.


What are some common reasons for RV AC leakage when it rains?

The most common reason why an RV AC leaks when it rains is deteriorating RV roof, plugged drain holes, rubber gaskets, and mounting bolts. Regardless of who the culprit is, you can follow the above guide to fix the issue by yourself.

Can I turn on my RV AC when it is leaking?

Although you can turn on the RV AC even when it is leaking, but it might damage your RV interior. Usually, the leakage occurs when the drains are clogged, or the drip pan gets cracked. However, you should avoid running AC until you fix the RV leakage issue.

How to protect the AC unit when it rains?

When it is raining outside, you can use a tarp to protect your RV AC unit, but make sure that the drain lines don’t get clogged.

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About Ted Mosby

I am Ted Mosby from Cleveland, Ohio. I am a Freelance Architect. I live in New Jersey, USA right now and I take my RV every alternate weekend. I own a Forest River Berkshire XLT Diesel 45A Class A Motorhome. As I am a Freelancer I can work anywhere so most of my work is done inside my camper remotely.