Can You Put Freon in an RV Air Conditioner?

rv ac freon lg

RV air conditioners are expensive to repair or replace. Over time, you may notice that your RV air conditioning system becomes less efficient and does not cool you down like it used to. But can you put Freon in an RV air conditioner?

It is possible to put Freon in an RV air conditioner by welding a charging port into the air conditioning system. This is a highly skilled job, and it can be expensive. So if an RV AC system is leaking and requires frequent refilling, repairing or replacing the unit is a better long-term solution.

The ease and cost of this procedure depend on your type of air conditioning unit and where the unit is located in your RV.

Freon is a refrigerant that your AC unit uses to cool down your RV.

Over time, the levels of refrigerant in your RV can drop. Let’s have a look at how you can recharge your RV air conditioner, how to know when your AC is low on Freon, and how to improve the performance of your current AC unit.

Can RV air conditioners be recharged?

You can recharge your RV air conditioner with refrigerant; however, it is not as easy as recharging a normal portable AC unit you may have at home. Some RV air conditioners have to be recharged more frequently than others. A well-maintained air conditioner won’t need recharging as frequently.

Some RV air conditioners are easy to recharge, some are difficult, and some are almost impossible unless you’re an expert. It all depends on the type of air conditioner you have and where it is located in your RV. Let’s have a look at how you can recharge your RV refrigerant.

Firstly, make sure you have the right refrigerant – you can check this by using the owner’s manual of your RV. Then turn off the power for safety reasons.

After turning the breaker off, begin dismantling your AC.

RV AC units are hard to open, unlike home AC units. That’s because they are not designed to be opened. You will have to look at your owner’s manual for the AC or check on YouTube. Another great way to get tips for your specific AC unit is to check on forums with people that own the same AC unit as you.

Once you’re in, check the current levels of refrigerant. 

Most RV AC units don’t have a specific place where you can check the levels of refrigerant. Therefore, you may have to buy a line tap, to which you attack your refrigerant gauge to check.

After that, check your AC user manual to find out how much refrigerant your AC unit should hold. Then add your refrigerant by unscrewing the refrigerant port (sometimes called coolant port) and slowly adding the refrigerant until you have reached the levels stated in the user manual.

Finally, reassemble the unit, go back inside your RV, and run the AC to test it.

How do I know if my RV AC is low on Freon?

You can check if your RV AC is low on Freon by opening the AC, attaching a line tap to a refrigerant gauge, and then checking the reading and comparing it to what the AC user manual says it should be.

Some signs your RV AC is low on Freon include the AC taking a long time to cool down your RV, the vents inside your AC are not blowing cold air as fast as they used to, and your AC is using more energy.

When there is not enough refrigerant in your RV AC unit, the performance decreases. This means your RV has to use more energy to cool you down, as an RV AC with less refrigerant is less efficient than one with sufficient levels.

The biggest giveaway of low Freon levels is that the RV doesn’t cool down as much as it used to, or it takes a longer time for the RV to cool down.

Let’s have a look at some other problems with RV AC units and how to improve the performance of your AC. Not all RV AC units run on Freon. Some brands run on other refrigerants.

But if you have to replace your AC unit, is one brand better than another?

If you want to learn more about the best RV AC brands, check out this recent article on my site, where I explain what the most high-performance and efficient RV AC units are.

Just click that link to read it on my site.

How do I make my RV air conditioner colder?

To make your RV air conditioner colder, you should ensure it is well-maintained. Clean the filter of the AC, ensure there are no air leaks, tidy up and replace old and damaged wires, clean the part of the AC unit that is outside the RV, and check if there is no rust, dust, and debris in the unit.

If the filter of your AC unit is covered in dust, it can cause electrical problems, and reduce airflow, so your AC won’t cool you down as fast. Also, dust in the filter can cause respiratory problems and worsen asthma symptoms.

Make sure your AC is not leaking air. 

Again, if there is air leaking, you are wasting energy. You need to check the ducts and vents of the AC. If you notice there are holes anywhere, or if things are not fitted tightly together, you can simply turn off the power, screw things back together, and cover holes with a strong, high-quality duct tape.

If you have had your RV AC for a few years, you should check that the wiring is in good condition. Wires that are worn out or that are damaged from accidents won’t be able to carry the power to the unit, as well as new wires in optimum condition.

To make your RV air conditioner colder, you should also get on top of your RV, open the cover, and remove dust, debris, and leaves from the air conditioner. These all reduce airflow, making the AC less efficient.

You can also park in the shade, make sure all windows are closed, and close the curtains to make sure no heat comes into your RV while your AC is on.

As a final point, make sure to be careful running your AC if you aren’t connected to shore power. 

Check out this recent article on my site where I talk about how long you can run your RV AC off batteries or a generator.

Just click that link to read it on my site.

Do they sell an RV air conditioner recharge kit?

You can buy an RV air conditioner recharge kit online. It is important to select the right refrigerant for you and make sure the kit is easy to use.

RV air conditioner units can have hard-to-reach charging ports, so selecting a refrigerant recharge kit that has a long hose is essential.

My favorite kit is the AC Pro Car Air Conditioner refrigerant kit. It has everything you need – a long hose, a great trigger, a reusable dispenser, and even a built-in pressure gauge.

It’s the real deal in a simple package, and like most things, you can buy it today on Amazon.

How much Freon does an RV AC take?

RV AC units require 2-4 lbs of refrigerant per ton of power. So, if you have a small unit with 2 tons of power, you will need at least 4 lbs of refrigerant. If you have a unit with 4 tons of power, you will need about 8 lbs of refrigerant.

The only way to be certain of how much Freon your RV AC needs is to consult your owner’s manual and then check the refrigerant levels in your AC unit using the method we discussed previously.

RV AC Overview: How Cooling Units Work


Most RV air conditioners can be recharged with refrigerant. However, recharging an RV AC is not as easy as recharging a household AC unit. To recharge your RV AC, you have to use the correct refrigerant and recharging kit.

The main giveaway that your AC is low on refrigerant is that the performance of your AC decreases. To make your RV AC colder, check the refrigerant levels, clean your filter, ensure there are no air leaks, park in the shade, and keep windows closed when the AC is running.

Most of the time, campgrounds have at least 30-amp service, if not 50-amp. But what happens if they only have a standard 15 or 20 amp household outlet and breaker?

Check out this recent article on my site about RV campground power pedestals and what the minimum requirements would be for powering an AC unit.

Just click that link to read it on my site.

Image by Siggy Nowak from Pixabay

Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell travels on and off with his 3 daughters in a Newmar Baystar Class A Motorhome. He writes extensively on both RVs, campgrounds, parenting on the road tips, remote learning & schooling, and much more!

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