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Dometic air conditioners replace your RV roof vent with an aerodynamic cooling unit, and the entire installation process is easily completed with basic tools. The roof vent already exists, so you'll simply swap the vent for your air conditioning unit. Having air conditioning in your RV creates a much more pleasant situation in hot weather. When you use a unit that maintains a comfortable temperature, you won't have to worry about having your trip ruined by suffering through a night sweating and tossing in your sleep.
Removing the Vent
Before installing the new air-conditioning unit, you must remove the skylight or old unit and prep the space for the new install. First, remove all the screws from the vent. Pry off the vent with a flathead screwdriver and use a paint scraper to clean the sealant off the surface. For existing air-conditioning units, you must remove the bolts from the camper interior as well. The unit is secured with four to six primary bolts and has an exterior and interior assembly. Always remove the interior assembly first. Lay a blanket on the roof before pulling the old unit upward. The blanket will protect your roof from possible damage and scratches when you pull out the unit. Having an extra person standing by to help will also come in handy when you need to remove and lower the unit off the roof without causing damage. Clean the opening thoroughly to ensure that the new unit seals well when installed.
The new unit will have a rubber gasket to seal against the opening. Align the unit with the shorter end facing the front of your camper. The aerodynamic design lessens drag to help minimize fuel consumption. Gently drop the unit in the opening so the gasket aligns perfectly with the opening. Install the bolts from the top, then enter the interior to install the fan and interior assembly. Tighten the nuts to secure the assembly against the interior ceiling.
Existing units will already have the wiring prepared, which means that you'll simply unplug the wiring from the old unit and connect the new wiring. If your RV is not wired for the unit, you must have new wiring installed. This is a job for a professional electrician or an RV repair expert. You'll need to disconnect all power before beginning installation of the color-coded wiring to your electrical system.
Zach Lazzari is a freelance outdoor writer specializing in hunting, fly fishing and the general outdoors. He guided fly fishing trips for 10 years in Colorado, Alaska, Montana and Patagonia-Chile. Zach lives in Montana and splits time between the river and keyboard.