Skip to content

RV AC Clicks but Won’t Turn On: Troubleshooting Guide

Are you experiencing the frustrating issue of your RV AC clicking but not turning on?

You’re not alone!

Many RV owners encounter this problem, which can be quite perplexing and inconvenient, especially during hot summer days.

In this comprehensive troubleshooting guide, we will explore the possible causes behind this issue and provide you with practical solutions to get your RV AC up and running again.

So, let’s dive in and tackle the mystery of why your RV AC clicks but won’t turn on!

RV AC Clicks but Won’t Turn On

Picture this scenario: you’re ready to escape the scorching heat by turning on your RV’s air conditioning, but instead of a refreshing blast of cool air, all you hear is a clicking sound.

You try adjusting the thermostat, but nothing happens.

What could be causing this frustrating problem?

Let’s explore some common reasons why your RV AC might click but refuse to turn on.

Possible Causes of RV AC Clicking but Not Turning On

1. Insufficient Power Supply

One of the most common causes of an RV AC clicking but failing to turn on is an insufficient power supply.

Your AC unit requires a stable and adequate power source to function properly.

If the power supply is weak or inconsistent, it can lead to clicking noises without the unit actually turning on.

So, before diving into more complex issues, let’s start by checking the power supply.

How to Check the Power Supply?

To check if your RV AC is receiving sufficient power, follow these steps:

  1. Ensure your RV is plugged into a reliable power source or has a fully charged battery.
  2. Check the circuit breaker panel in your RV. Look for any tripped breakers and reset them if necessary.
  3. Inspect the fuses associated with the AC system and replace any blown fuses.
  4. If you’re using a generator, make sure it’s running smoothly and providing enough power for the AC unit.

2. Faulty Capacitor

Another common culprit behind a clicking RV AC is a faulty capacitor.

The capacitor plays a vital role in starting the compressor motor of the AC unit.

If the capacitor malfunctions, it can prevent the AC from turning on while still producing the clicking sound.

How to Diagnose a Faulty Capacitor?

To check if the capacitor is the source of the problem, follow these steps:

  1. Turn off the power supply to the AC unit.
  2. Locate the capacitor, typically found in the outdoor unit near the compressor.
  3. Inspect the capacitor for any visible signs of damage, such as bulging or leaking.
  4. Use a multimeter to test the capacitor’s continuity and capacitance. If the readings are outside the normal range, the capacitor is likely faulty and needs to be replaced.

3. Defective Thermostat

A malfunctioning thermostat can also contribute to the issue of your RV AC clicking but not turning on.

The thermostat is responsible for sensing the temperature and sending signals to the AC unit to initiate the cooling process.

If the thermostat is faulty, it may fail to send the necessary signals, resulting in the AC not turning on.

How to Verify a Defective Thermostat?

To determine if the thermostat is causing the problem, try the following steps:

  1. Set the thermostat to a temperature lower than the current room temperature.
  2. Listen for a clicking sound as you adjust the thermostat. If you hear a click, it indicates that the thermostat is functioning properly.
  3. If you don’t hear a click, or the AC still doesn’t turn on, consider replacing the thermostat.

4. Blown Fuse

A blown fuse can disrupt the electrical flow to your RV AC and prevent it from starting.

When a fuse blows, it interrupts the circuit and protects the AC system from electrical damage.

If your RV AC clicks but won’t turn on, it’s worth checking the fuses to ensure they’re intact.

How to Check for Blown Fuses?

To inspect the fuses and determine if any are blown, follow these steps:

  1. Locate the AC fuse box in your RV. It’s usually situated near the AC unit or in the electrical control panel.
  2. Open the fuse box and inspect each fuse for signs of damage, such as a broken filament or discoloration.
  3. Replace any blown fuses with new ones of the same rating.

5. Compressor Issues

Problems with the compressor can also be responsible for the RV AC clicking but failing to turn on.

The compressor is the heart of the air conditioning system, and if it encounters issues, it can prevent the unit from functioning correctly.

How to Identify Compressor Issues?

To determine if the compressor is causing the problem, you can perform the following checks:

  1. Turn off the AC unit and let it rest for a few minutes.
  2. Turn the AC back on and listen for any unusual sounds coming from the compressor, such as grinding or screeching noises.
  3. If you suspect compressor issues, it’s best to contact a professional RV technician to diagnose and repair the problem.

FAQs about RV AC Clicking but Not Turning On

Why does my RV AC click but not turn on?

Several potential causes include insufficient power supply, a faulty capacitor, a defective thermostat, blown fuses, or compressor issues.

How can I fix my RV AC when it clicks but won’t turn on?

Start by checking the power supply, inspecting the capacitor, verifying the thermostat’s functionality, and examining the fuses. If the issue persists, consult a professional technician.

Can a blown fuse cause my RV AC to click but not start?

Yes, a blown fuse can interrupt the electrical flow and prevent the AC from turning on. Checking and replacing blown fuses is a crucial troubleshooting step.

Is it possible to replace a faulty capacitor myself?

While replacing a capacitor can be done as a DIY project, it’s recommended to have a qualified technician perform the task to ensure safety and proper installation.

How much does it cost to repair a faulty compressor in an RV AC?

The cost of repairing a faulty compressor can vary depending on the extent of the damage and the specific RV model. It’s best to obtain a quote from a trusted RV service center.

Can a defective thermostat cause my RV AC to click but not turn on?

Yes, a malfunctioning thermostat can fail to send the necessary signals to the AC unit, preventing it from turning on. Consider replacing the thermostat if other troubleshooting steps don’t resolve the issue.


Dealing with an RV AC that clicks but won’t turn on can be frustrating, especially when you’re in need of some cool relief.

By following the troubleshooting steps outlined in this guide, you can diagnose the problem and potentially resolve it on your own.

Remember to check the power supply, inspect the capacitor, verify the thermostat’s functionality, and examine the fuses.

If the issue persists or if you’re uncertain about performing repairs yourself, it’s always best to seek professional assistance from an experienced RV technician.