The whole purpose of an air conditioner, as the name implies, is to “condition” the air. The unit does this by both cooling the air and removing excess humidity from the air. The cooled air is then blown indoors. When the air conditioner moves the humidity from indoors to outdoors it creates condensation. If you are camping in an area with higher humidity, the condensation amount will increase. In dryer areas, or areas with hotter temperatures, the condensation will be less or may even evaporate, likely causing you not to even notice this condensation. Seeing a small amount of water dripping from the roof of your RV is nothing to be alarmed about as it is likely simply this condensation and your RV is made for this to happen. In fact, there is usually a pan at the base of the air conditioner in which the coils sit in which catches this water. This pan has a small hole in it allowing the water to drip onto the roof and subsequently off the side of the RV.
Although normal dripping of condensation down the side of your rig can be expected in the summer months when running the A/C, water dripping inside your RV is not supposed to happen and can obviously cause some major problems with the interior of the RV if not addressed. Nine times out of ten, if you see dripping inside of your RV and it is not raining outside (eliminating the possibility of a leak elsewhere), it is from the air conditioning unit.
One common reason why folks see their A/C unit leaking into their RV is because they have taken silicon or some other sealing agent and sealed the A/C to the roof of the RV. You may think to do this first if you feel the A/C unit is causing the leak, but by doing so, you likely will only enhance the problem. The reason for this is because when the air conditioner creates the condensation, the condensation has nowhere to runoff if it is sealed. Also, check to make sure that the rubber gasket which seals the A/C unit to your roof is tight (also check to see if it is in need of replacement if it is older as a bad gasket can cause leaks as well). You don’t want to over tighten if of course, but do make sure it is snug. In addition, make sure that there is some space between the A/C unit and the roof allowing enough room for the water to escape.
Another common culprit of leaking from the air conditioner into your RV is a clogged drain pan. As mentioned above, the drain pan has a small hole in it allowing the water to drip out. Sometimes the drain pan gets clogged with dirt, leaves and other debris, prohibiting the water from draining through the small hole in the pan and onto the roof. When the water does not drain onto the roof it can actually overflow over the pan and into your RV. Should this happen it is an easy fix and just requires a bit of clean out. To clean out the pan, first turn the power off so that the A/C does not turn on while you are cleaning it. Next, all you have to do is to remove the shroud covering your air conditioner, clear any debris from the pan, and then replace the shroud. Hopefully once this is done, you will see an end to the leaking inside your RV.
Like anything else air conditioners require occasional maintenance. If you happen to see a leak in your RV, check the A/C unit first. If you need help, by all means, get to any convenient ExploreUSA RV Supercenter.