My Carrier Air V Is Leaking

The Air V is an after-market, rooftop air conditioner unit designed and manufactured by the Carrier Corporation. Some models provide dual use as both a heater and air conditioner. As of December 2009, Carrier has ceased production of all recreational vehicle products, but some units remain in dealers' inventories.

About the Product

The Air V is an after-market, ceiling-mounted unit that puts out 13,500 BTUs, which would be comparable to a large window-mounted unit in a home. The output from the Air V is sufficient to cool up to 600 square feet. The unit features a slinger wheel that recycles condensation back into the condenser, thus reducing water runoff on the roof and down the sides of the vehicle.


Carrier has voluntarily recalled some of its Air V ceiling units manufactured between May 2007 and July 2009. Model numbers of the recalled units are 68RV0010BA, 68RV0012CA and 68RV0010E with serial numbers (first 5 digits) ranging from 1807Y through 3009Y. The reason for the recall is that the heater assembly in the ceiling unit could potentially create a fire hazard. Carrier has promised to retrofit the heater assembly at no charge.

Rooftop AC Units

A rooftop air conditioner -- just like a normal car air conditioner or a home unit -- generates condensation as the humidity in the air is attracted to the cooling pipes of the evaporator portion of the unit. The humidity gathers on the pipes and drains away. In the case of a car AC unit, the resulting condensation can be seen as a puddle under the car. For an RV unit, it is important to determine if the leak is from condensation or rain. A rain test can be conducted by spraying the vehicle with a hose (around the Air V unit) while having the air conditioning turned off.

Common Leak Causes

A rooftop AC unit is flush mounted with a sponge rubber mounting gasket between the unit and the roof. A slight gap exists between the bottom of the unit and roof. This gap is by design and allows condensation to drain away. Attempts by vehicle owners to seal the gap with caulk or other products will result in trapping the condensation; the condensation will then find another way out, most often through the bolts securing the unit to the ceiling.

Additional Possibilities

Just like a home air conditioner, the leak could be the result of a clogged condensation drain. Depending on conditions and usage, mold and fungus can grow in the condensation drain, causing a backflow. In addition, dirt and sand can cause the same problem. Performing the maintenance is simple. Remove the shroud and the evaporator cover and examine the drain pan. Clean out any clogged drains using household cleaning products. Take extra care in rinsing the area off, as the AC unit without its weatherproof shroud can easily allow water to leak into the vehicle.

© Demand Media 2011