A Short? Buzzing Sound from RV Air Conditioner Compressor That Used To Pop Breaker

by Marc Seguin
(Quebec City)

Question: Hi, My air conditioner worked fine for about two trips then would start popping the RV 20 amp breaker. the more we used it the quicker it used to pop the breaker until eventually the breaker popped as soon as the compressor would engage. I changed the breaker which remedied the immediate popping of the breaker but now when the compressor wants to engage there is an audible loud buzzing sound coming from inside the AC followed by a complete shutdown, but the RV breaker doesn't pop.

I believe it is a short at the compressor, any thoughts? Or have you ever heard of this and can tell me where to look first?



Robbie: I would be wondering how old the AC was, because of what you're saying, it sounds like a compressor has gone bad. Normally if any other parts fail the compressor just won't come on. If the AC is over 10 years old, or close, then I'd advise replacing it.

You might have trouble finding people to replace the compressor because the AC is a closed system and not to many repair facilities can tap and recharge your system. I used to do it and don't anymore because the cost of the repair isn't that much cheaper than replacing the unit. If you do have it repaired the warranty won't be much compared to a year on a new unit. You might have it tested by a tech before replacing it, but if its old I'd say replace it.

Good luck,

Comments for A Short? Buzzing Sound from RV Air Conditioner Compressor That Used To Pop Breaker

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Jul 28, 2011
by: Marc

Hi again, my camper is a 2009, the AC really doesn't have any more then 20-30 hours of use. i opened it up to see if i can find burn marks on the wires but couldn't see anything out of the ordinary. the compressor doesn't come on at all.

Anyhow i will be bringing it to a specialist for repair. I just hate the fact that it happened a year after the 1 year warranty... typical.


Jun 26, 2015
air conditioner only works when it is not too hot outdoors
by: Chris

We recently bought a 2011 never used RV with a roof top AC that works great when it is not too hot outside nor inside-gets really cold indoors-almost too cold. But when it is hot outdoors & we come home from work & turn it on,it pops the breaker. We cool the RV down with fans for 3 or so hours & if the indoor temperature drops, as well as the outdoor temperature it works fine. If it is a weekend & we run the AC in the day we have no problem, as it does not get too hot inside the RV. Is this normal?

Oct 01, 2015
Air conditioner
by: Chris

We had a mobile repair fellow check out our air conditioner & it turns out that we had problems because we were closing the ceilings vents off to cool down one room instead of all. As soon as the all the vents were open, the AC worked fine throughout the rest of the summer. Thanks to all of you who gave comments about this.

Jul 03, 2016
opening all vents to make ac work?!?!?!
by: Bobby Graham

The comment about opening all the vents to make rv air cond. Work????? That just don't make sense to me. Not being critical just logical! Seems like that would make your ad work continueally. It would seem to be more of an air leak to me. Could someone explain please as we have had breaker tripping problems all this year!Thanks in advance for your help.Sincerely Bobby Graham

Jul 03, 2016
Air conditioner
by: Chris

One thing we learned is not to close the AC vents in one room to better cool down a warmer room. In our RV, vents need to be open in all rooms when the Ac is on. The direction of the cool air flow can be changed, but all vents must be open.

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Robbie Warford, San Diego RV Repair

Hi, I'm Robbie. Welcome to Money-Saving-RV-Repair.com!

Like the name implies, this site is all about helping you save money while keeping your RV in tip-top shape--and that is all about you having the knowledge to do so.

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But I also love empowering RVers with the knowledge they need to make the right decision on repairs, or to make the fix themselves--and that, my friend, is the reason for this website. I hope you enjoy.

Or, learn more about me, my RV service practice, & this website here.