How to Solve RV AC Clicks But Won’t Turn On Problem?


After turning on the RV AC, you hear the clicks and expect to feel cool. Unfortunately, your RV AC is not out of the problem. If it is not working, you will feel uncomfortable on the road, especially during hot weather. Don’t assume that all hope is lost because the solution to the RV AC clicks but won’t turn on is straightforward.

Such a problem involves a malfunctioning thermostat, bad control board, broken contactor, and defective capacitor. Sometimes, the tripped circuit breaker is another common reason. 

A lot of people think that the whole unit needs replacement when a problem occurs with the RV AC. Happily, you can follow a few things: identify the reasons and solve the problem.

RV AC Clicks But Won’t Turn On

RV AC Clicks But Won’t Turn On – Troubleshooting Tips

If you’re experiencing an issue with your RV AC where it clicks but won’t turn on, read on for troubleshooting tips.

Reason 01: Malfunctioning Thermostat

Sometimes it is normal to hear a faint clicking noise after adjusting the thermostat’s settings. The sound is generated by a small component named a relay. This part is responsible for opening and closing to turn the RV AC on and off.

However, you mayn’t hear the faint noise if the thermostat is correctly installed on the wall. But, in case you hear a loud click and the AC won’t respond, be sure, the thermostat is malfunctioning.

Wondering why the thermostat goes bad. It occurs because of the below 2 reasons.

  • Broken relay
  • Worn or frayed wires

Diagnosing Process:

Try to understand the location of the clicking. Is it coming near the thermostat? If yes, the problem is with the thermostat.

In this case, contact an HVAC professional. They will thoroughly inspect the thermostat and suggest effective solutions.

Read Also: RV AC Freeze Sensor Location [Complete Guide to a Freeze Sensor]

Reason 02: Malfunctioned Control Board

The thermostat sends a command to the control board. By receiving the command, it sends electrical signals to the AC parts, like the blower, telling it to turn on or off.

Unfortunately, the electrical component of the control board can become glitchy quite often. It causes a relay to timeout and fails. As a result, you hear the clicking noise.

Diagnosing Process:

Is the clicking noise coming from the AC indoor unit? For a positive answer, the issue could be with the control board. Let a professional inspect the control board. They will find out the root cause and help you sort out the error.

Reason 03: Unclean Components

If not cleaned periodically, dirt and dust can easily accumulate in components like evaporators, condensers, filters, etc. These are the primary sources of errors like trailer AC clicks but won’t turn on.

This issue can easily be prevented by ensuring regular inspection and cleaning. In fact, periodic cleaning is the most effective method to keep your RV AC in tip-top condition.

Check whether your RV AC has filters. If yes, replace them once they are dirty according to the user manual schedule.

Read Also: 6 Reasons Why Does RV AC Compressor Start and Then Stop

Is Resetting Solve RV AC Click but Won’t Turn On?

Well, you should try resetting the RV AC if it clicks but won’t turn on. However, the resetting process varies based on the AC make and model.

Method 01: Using the Reset Button

A few RV ACs feature a reset button, making the task convenient.

RV AC reset buttons are easy to find. In most models, the button is colored as “Red.” You will find them at the back and bottom of the unit.

For some models, the reset button is available on the side of the unit. Remember to turn the breaker off while looking for the RESET button.

Follow the below steps.

Step 01: Switch the unit off.

Step 02: Press the Reset button continuously for 3-5 seconds.

Step 03: Wait for 10-15 seconds.

Step 04: Hit the Reset button again and hold it for 3 seconds.

Step 05: Now, switch the unit On. Thus, your RV AC will Reset. Check if the AC turns on.

Read Also: Adding Second AC to 50 Amp RV: A Complete DIY Guide

Method 02: Manual Reset

All trailer air conditioners don’t have the reset button. In this case, manual reset is the best option. No worries! The RV AC Manual reset process is also straightforward. You don’t have to be a skilled person for this. All you need to do is, follow the guidelines below.

Step 01: Switch the AC off

Cut the power supply first to switch off the trailer AC. It is essential because if you work with the power supply on, you may lead into an unwanted situation.

Step 02: Turn the Device Off at the Breaker

Find out the RV circuit breaker. Generally, RV circuit breakers are available on a wall and near the floor. Once identified, locate the HVAC system power switch to turn it off.

While accomplishing this step, you will be able to know whether the breaker is tripped. The switch of a tripped breaker is placed between the “on” and “off” locations.

Step 03: Switch the Unit Back on After Waiting for 30 Minutes

Wait for 1 minute before turning the breaker back on. Then, you will have to turn the RV AC on after 30 minutes. Make sure the thermostat is set to “cool.” This way, the internal system will get time to dissipate power, increasing the chance of a successful reset.

Read Also: RV AC Unit Humming But Fan Not Running – Why & How To Fix?

Routine Maintenance to Keep the RV AC Problem-Free

Who doesn’t want to extend their RV AC life? Keeping your RV AC problem-free is crucial. Happily, anyone can ensure regular maintenance of the trailer AC without hassle. Here are a few tips for you.

  • The air conditioner cleaning process is easy. The outer shield needs to be removed. Then, prepare a mixture of water and soap. Soak a soft and clean cloth into the mixture and clean the inner components thoroughly. The same procedure needs to be followed when cleaning the filters.
  • Accumulation of ice on your RV AC during winter can cause premature damage. If you notice that the fan starts to freeze, turn the fan high. Ice will be unable to form by doing so.
  • Inspect your trailer AC at least once a year. Call a professional and let them check the inside and outside of the AC. Make sure debris, cracks, worn spots, etc., are unavailable in the RV AC.

Read Also: RV AC Soft Start Vs Easy Start Kit | Which One is Worth it?


Does RV AC need to be recharged?

Yes, RV ACs need to be recharged to let them operate appropriately. Recharge your RV AC with refrigerant. When your camper AC requires recharging, it will show the below signs.

  • Slow cooling
  • Blowing warm air
  • Excessive electric bills
  • Hissing sounds

I recommend checking the refrigerant level regularly. This will help you prevent problems related to AC operations.

Can you add freon to a trailer AC?

Freon is a type of refrigerant suitable to be added to a trailer AC. Adding freon to your RV is simple, as you can do it yourself. You will need a few tools named hand gloves, a thermometer, a coolant, a coolant gauge, and a socket wrench.

How long does RV AC last?

The life expectancy of a trailer AC depends on a few factors: your traveling distance and the usability of the AC. The expected lifespan is 3-5 years when proper maintenance is ensured. But the life expectancy can be longer or shorter based on your model and usage.

Closing Words

Dealing with an RV AC that clicks but won’t turn on can be frustrating, especially when you’re on a road trip and need to stay cool. 

However, understanding the common causes of this issue and how to troubleshoot them can help you get your AC up and running again. 

First, check the power source and ensure enough electricity to power your RV AC. 

If that’s not the issue, then checking the thermostat, circuit breakers, and capacitors can help diagnose the problem. With some basic DIY skills and tools, you can fix the problem and enjoy a comfortable and cool trip.

Read Also: Ducted vs. Non-Ducted RV AC: What Should Be Your Choice?

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