Old AC unit! AC compressor comes on but cuts out and does not cool

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May 1, 2021
Hello!! I’m new to this forum so I hope I’m doing this right!! We just bought a 1984 Jayco J Series Camper (we don’t know the exact model). We were told the AC worked and when you hold your hand right in front of the blower vent it feels cold! We just went camping this weekend for the first time and the AC fan blew but the camper never got cold. You could hear the compressor kick on and off. Nothing happened on “low cool” but the air blew on medium and high cool. I’ve looked online but can’t find any help with the old ac units! So I opened it up and it was SUPER dirty (roach poop and a thickkk layer of dust), I have since cleaned it out. There is also no air filter like I noticed all other ac units have. Any thoughts on what to check next or whether cleaning it out and adding an air filter would help?
(Pics are after I cleaned it-I also didn’t check under the rooftop portion bc we don’t have a ladder that tall)





Jan 11, 2022
Looking at your picture your thermostat is set to warmer. I would also take the handle off and use some pliers to rotate that thermostat all the way to the right. This is just to make sure that metal know is actually turning down to cooler. Sometimes those knobs strip out and are not functioning.Most of those RV AC units are sealed and not able to put in freon in them. A new filter won't help it if it is not cooling as filters protect the motor from the dust etc which makes the unit run longer. One other thing to check possibly. Does it have a starting capacitor. It should be an oval or round silver item probably appox 6 inches long and probably located on the roof under the big white shroud. I am not sure if that model would have one or not. One last thought ,, It might need to be ran for awhile to get the freon moving through the system. I hope you find the problem and good luck.


RVF Regular
Mar 13, 2021
RV Year
RV Make
Forest River
RV Model
Wildwood XL 253 RLXL
RV Length
25 ft or so
Chev 2011 Silverado Crew Cab LTZ
Regarding AC's ........ "Most of those RV AC units are sealed and not able to put in freon in them." This is pure BS! Any decent AC tech can silver solder in a Schrader valve, evacuate the system, and then re-charge it with refrigerant. Now you may say "why" because the refrigerant leaked out. Ideally, it should never leak. But over years, it will leak. Just have the AC tech check for leaks. Due to the age of the unit, I'd say there is no major leak. Besides, having to add refrigerant every couple of years is a LOT less expensive than the cost of a replacement. We had a Schrader valve added to ours and re-charged last year for $145 and it was done here at the house.