Loose and rusty screws holding the inside A/C screen

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Well-known member
Nov 9, 2018
Molalla, Oregon
I am still a bit of a newbie with RV's.  I have 3 questions about my A/C system regarding the cover and screen that are on the inside ceiling.  My owner's manual is not specific regarding some of my questions.

After owning the RV for 12 months I finally decided to take off this screen to see if I need to clean a filter. 
1.  I noticed that one screw was missing from the plastic cover and another was just hanging on because it was "stripped" inside.  I recall reading another post that suggested putting Elmer's glue on the interior hole, drill a pilot hole, and then re-set the screws.  Does this sound like a good solution?  My other idea is to get larger screws.
2.  Several of the screws were rusty (on the thread part).  However I saw no evidence of a water leak when I pulled off the cover and screen.  My rig is older (a 2003) and there is no evidence of a water leak anywhere in the coach.  Should I "dig in" further into the unit to see if I have a problem?  After taking off the plastic cover and a small foam-like filter I see a piece of sheet metal set with removable screws.  I did not take off this sheet metal.  Should I and look further?
3.  When I pull off the plastic cover there is only a thin piece of filter-like foam.  I believe this is the only filter that I should be concerned with cleaning.  Am I correct?

Thanks in advance for your help.
Yes that foam is your filter. Wash it warm soapy water, rinse it good and let it air dry. The screws may have rusted because of high humidity. I would just go with larger screws.
There often isn't much in the ceiling for those screws to go into to. Sometimes there is just a small pad or block and the screw has to be aimed just right to hit it. And of course they can strip out whatever they fasten into.  Use an ice pick or scratch-awl to poke around in the ceiling holes to try to determine what you have. Sticking Elmers or whatever into a space that is just cloth and insulation won't help - you need to find the more solid part.

Elmers is not what I would call a great screw hole filler - too soft by itself.  Usually you put in a wood peg along with some glue to hold it in place. For screws up to about #10, a wooden match stick or splinter off a board is usually sufficient.
Or drill out the hole and install a ribbed drywall anchor and screw:


Push the plastic anchor in place so it's a snug fit, then it expands and takes a firmer set when you thread the screw into it.

Although you're not setting it in drywall, I'd think this would hold better than using a matchstick or something similar to patch the existing hole ... especially if you'll be removing the screw multiple times in the future.

When I had a roof a/c, I did exactly what Lou suggests. While you have the grille off, snug up the 4 screws in the corners. Those are what holds your a/c to the roof and need to be snugged periodically.

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