Interesting RV A/C trick/hack/fix

I was doing some cleaning of the return air filters for the A/C. After removing the filters and housings I noticed the duct work to have collapsed to nearly close off the duct in spots. I checked the A/C outlets as well and found a similar situation. Since these are cardboard, there’s not much rigidity to the ducts. This probably explains the low air flow from some of the vents further away from the A/C unit.

I’d heard about some people inserting PVC piping into the ducts to open them back up, but that can be a bit challenging since the openings are small and the PVC doesn’t bend. I thought about maybe using a smaller sized “pool noodle” since those could more easily slide into the ducts.

As I was searching for options I ran across this tip from a fellow Vanleigh owner: RV low airflow fix . It’s pretty ingenious in its simplicity, and quite inexpensive (less than $10). I picked up a bag of practice golf balls (the type with holes) and will be placing them in the ducting to keep them from collapsing.

I’m thinking this simple trick should improve the A/C airflow and efficiency. Once I’ve had a chance to see them in action I can share the results.

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I have heard of many corrections that folks have tried, from pool noodles, pizza box holders and floral foam blocks. The PVC is the option I went with. I cut the 1.5 OD PVC into 5.5" sections that allowed it to pop up into the holes of the returns. This has worked fairly for me over the past 3 years. Taking a large section and scoring it at 5" so it “folds in” will allow you to open up the ducts all the way down. Vanleigh placed seems in random places that will also collapse midway and not just at the return points.

Last year while touring a keystone facility in Elkhart I ran across the same ductwork that VL used being used in the Montanas. They however patented a plastic insert that fits into the ductwork that keeps it rigid and from collapsing. They have been allowing other manufacturer’s to use this same method and saw it used in subsequent plant tours I took. Although this would be impossible to retrofit.


Thanks for that info Ryan. I hadn’t thought about scoring the PVC as you indicated to allow for longer runs, that’s pretty cool! If the golf ball experiment doesn’t return the results I’m hoping for, I’ll probably duplicate your solution. Did you place the PVC in the center or offset in the ducts?

That keystone modification sounds like the best solution on new installs. Too bad it wouldn’t be viable on existing models without a major teardown.

Interesting solutions for sure. Another option to throw into the search fodder mix:

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Thanks Beerdude for link to other forum!

I have 3 ac units in the 2021 Beacon 41FLB. The floor plan has 3 steps up to rear headroom & 3 steps up to front living room.

Originally had 3 Furrion heat pumps but when bought it second hand the middle & front heat pumps were shot & replaced with 2 Furrion FACR 14SA-BL 14.5 BTU AC. This due to supply chain issues for heat pumps being unavailable!

The galley is down at step entry level & has more cubic feet to cool plus the ceiling vents are different than the other ceiling vents which are louvered & galley vents are not.

With all 3 units on & in high fan mode seems to cool ok. However if just the middle unit is on I don’t feel any air out of galley ceiling vents. Also I’ve not figured out how to remove them - the nut does not turn!

I’ll check to see if there is a collapsed vent in galley ceiling & report back

The cold air duct is not blocked. Photo is from bedroom vent to the front living room vent. Seems ok & no collapse

However the return vent in galley is collapsed between living room & bedroom. So I have to select a method to open it plus add a deflector in galley cold air vents if I can get the covers off!

Hey Taj, those cap nuts on the metal air outlets and returns should turn. They can be a little difficult to remove as I found out when I removed a couple of mine.

I found if applying downward pressure while turning it helped break them free. One thing to note is the way they were attached makes it even more difficult to re-assemble. Those cap nuts attach to a threaded bolt that is attached to a metal cross brace in the duct. On mine that threaded bolt wasn’t held onto that cross brace with anything other than gravity, which made it nearly impossible trying to reattach the cap nut. I’d suggest wrapping the bolt head with tape (or maybe gluing) where it attaches to the cross brace to hold it in place while reattaching the cap nut. Once the nut is started on the threads it’s much easier to get it secured down the rest of the way.

They do look nice, but there are a PITA to remove and put back IMO. At least there are only 4 of them! :wink: .

Thanks for a great tip Stuart!

I’m always a little nervous about cranking on cap nuts.


I glued mine. Now replacing the cap nuts is no issue. I also only finger tight the cap nuts.


That metal insert looks exactly like what Tish put into my return lines to open them up.

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