It is not fun to walk into your RV and have water drip on your head. RV air conditioner water leaks dripping down from your ceiling can ruin a camping trip. It can also stain carpets and furniture or make your bed a pool of wetness. This problem can be prevented with a little preventative maintenance.
First, an air conditioning unit does not leak. The outside is a completely sealed off from the inside. The leaks come from water on the roof leaking in under the air conditioner. The most common water leak is water coming in between the roof and the sealing gasket that is between the air conditioner and the roof. This gasket acts as a cushion and a seal.
The first step to take if you have a leak OR better yet, before you have a leak is very simple. For this common fix, you do not even have to go up on the roof. You work inside your RV. Remove the inside plastic cover from your air conditioner. Pull the knobs off. These are usually just pulled off, but may have a setscrew that holds them on tight. Next, remove the screws that holds the cover on. Hold the cover in place so it does not drop or crack as you work. Remove the cover.
Look up and you will see three or four large headed bolts. Mine touch metal. Some are spring mounted, or have a spring between them and the metal. Tighten these bolts. These bolts pull the air condition down tight against the gasket. You want them tight, but do not tighten them as tight as you can. When they are snug, tighten then another turn or two.
This simple procedure fixed our leaking air conditioner problem. When I checked the bolts holding my air conditioner down, they were loose and I was able to finger tighten them.
This past weekend was raining, New Eve Years 2006, where we were camped. I saw a camper on top of his roof putting a cover on his air conditioner. Suspecting a leak, I walked down and told him about this simple procedure. The guy tightened the hold-down bolts. Later it poured rain. His leak stopped. Simply tightening the bolts saved his weekend.
If you have an older RV, it could be that the gasket foam is so old it is totally flattened and deteriorating. This means replacing the gasket. I will write another page on this procedure later.
One serious air conditioner leak problem is hard to detect. In fact, you may not find it unless you decide to replace the gasket. My 1988 Bounder has an aluminum roof. All around under the air conditioner edges, the aluminum was eaten. It looked like termites had been eating the aluminum. Electrolysis had eaten holes in the aluminum. These holes in the roof were my first leak problem. Again, I will write another article detailing this problem.
Assuming you do not have any major holes or other damage, the two easier
leaking air conditioner problems are solved by either tightening bolts or
replacing an old gasket. Tight those bolts regularly. Age of the gasket
material compresses it. Bouncing down the highway loosens bolts. If you
keep the bolts tightened, you may never have a leak dripping on your head.