RV Air Conditioner

How to Clean RV Air Conditioner Filter

RVs provide you and your family with a great vacation experience without the nuisance of checking in and out of multiple hotels. You can wake up and walk right out into the great outdoors, and you’ll really benefit from the close proximity bonding time. 

Traveling with an RV is best done in the summer so that you don’t have to worry about bringing dozens of blankets with you. However, we also recommend ensuring that your air conditioner filter is cleaned and ready to go if you don’t want to be stuck in a baking oven for the entirety of your summer trip. 

Today we’ll be taking you through the easy steps of how to clean your air conditioner filter to make sure that you can enjoy the cooling air without any hassle. However, we’ll also walk you through what to look for when you suspect that your filter is too far gone for salvation.

How to clean an RV air conditioner filter? 

If your filter is a reusable model it was designed to be cleaned periodically so that you don’t have to replace it.

The majority of RVs come with reusable filters, but it’s worth checking to make sure that you’re not wasting your time cleaning a disposable filter. 

Now that you’ve established that your filter is reusable and washable, there are five steps that you need to take to improve the quality of your air conditioning unit. 

Step One: Removing the Filter

Removing the filter from your Rv is relatively simple, but you have to remember to turn the main power off beforehand.

Once the electric is off, remove the filter cover to expose the filter. You might need a screwdriver to do this, so make sure that you have both a Phillips and a flat screwdriver to hand. 

You can often find the instructions on how to remove the filter in the RV or the AC unit’s handbook. However, if you don’t have these the task is not too difficult to work out. Keep the main power off for the entire duration of cleaning the filter so that you don’t damage the AC unit. 

Step Two: Vacuuming the Filter

If you don’t want to make your RV dirty during the cleaning process, take the filter outside and clean it in an open space. Carefully vacuum the dust and debris from the filter, ensuring that you don’t use too much pressure so that it breaks. 

The vacuuming process is not the most effective so don’t put too much pressure on the filter when you cannot see too much happening. However, vacuuming is still an important step to make the rest of the cleaning process easier. 

We would advise that you use the hose on your vacuum so that you don’t unknowingly break the filter. You can also use the vacuum cleaner on a lower setting to prevent accidents. 

Step Three: Washing the Filter

Once you’ve taken all of the large bits of dirt off of the filter, you can now wash it with warm, soapy water.

Make sure that there are a reasonable amount of bubbles - this will ensure you that you’ve used enough soap. Don’t use harsh detergents as this could damage the filter. 

Fill a bucket large enough to hold the filter with water and soap and soak the filter for 10 minutes to an hour, depending on how dirty it is.

Once the filter has been soaked, take a soft-bristled brush and push away the dirt. Then rinse the filter with clean water. 

Step Four: Disinfecting the Filter

As you only used a mild soap to clean the filter, there will likely be germs and bacteria still residing on it.

To remove this, the easiest method is to spray a diluted vinegar solution onto the filter. Mix one part water with one part vinegar in a spray bottle.

Spray both sides of the filter. You don’t want your entire RV to smell of vinegar so leave it to dry for around 10 minutes and then rinse with clean water. 

Step Five: Replacing the Filter

Your filter has to be completely dry before being put back into your AC unit, so leave it in a warm area to air dry.

After a few hours it should be ready to be put back into the AC unit, so place it back in its original position and install the cover back over it.

That’s it! Cleaning your filter should not take longer than a day and you’ll be left with a much more effective AC unit - enjoy! 

When should you replace the filter?

Sometimes you need to know when to give up and accept defeat. Reusable filters last longer than disposable filters, but they still don’t last forever.

You’ll need to replace the filter if there are any holes or rips in the filter. Using a ripped filter will do nothing for the temperature and waste money, so make sure to replace the filter when needed. 

RV AC unit filters should be changed yearly to ensure that they remain efficient and working to the best of their ability. A Dometic RV air conditioner filter is the ideal option if you needed to replace your filter.

You can opt for this model in multipacks to save you money, and it allows you to breathe easier without pollutants flying around inside your RV. 


Overall, cleaning your RV air conditioner filter is very simple and won’t take you longer than a couple of hours, start to finish.

If you notice that your AC unit is not working as well as it used to, you might want to remove it and see whether it needs cleaning. 

If there are any rips or tears you’ll need to replace the filter. However, if it’s just dirty you should vacuum it, clean it, disinfect, and dry it thoroughly before returning it back to the AC unit.

Once you do all of these steps you should see an immediate change in the quality of your air conditioning unit. 

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