Dave Solberg

RV Furnace Basics and What to Look For

Dave Solberg
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One of the best parts about camping in an RV instead of a tent is that you can do it all year round. While in a tent you’re subject to the whims of Mother Nature, but your RV will always be cozy because of insulation and a working furnace. Much like a house furnace, an RV furnace has a central spot that creates the heat and a series of ducts or tubes that carry the warm air into the various parts of the interior. This basic design exists whether you’ve got a large motor home or a smaller trailer version.

Like any other system, your RV furnace needs occasional maintenance, but it’s a minimal contribution for this appliance. There’s not much that can go wrong on an RV furnace that’s actually fixable by the average owner, so checking for problems is going to be your biggest chore and contribution.

In this video, you’ll see how to access the furnace underneath your RV body. You’ll see visuals of how the different types of duct work transports the warm air to the colder parts of the interior. An RV furnace needs both battery power and a fuel, such as propane to function. We’ll also talk about the minimum amount of battery power needed to keep your RV furnace running. If your RV furnace isn’t working right, there are things to check, and you’ll learn about them here. Find out how to troubleshoot problems with the exhaust, and even how to take apart the thermostat and cross wires to double check the sparking mechanism that starts the furnace underneath.

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17 Responses to “RV Furnace Basics and What to Look For”

  1. Karen

    We have a 2017 2650rl mpg travel trailer. Furnace comes on several times and then stops coming on at all without reaching temperature. Help! Don’t like being cold!

  2. anthony

    furnace comes on and runningabout every 5 seconds pulls down electric then back to normal and keeps doing it first lighting this year

  3. Allyson

    I have a 2007 Winnebago view with a suburban furnace sitting directly under the bed in the rear of the RV. I was wondering if there was a way to insulate the area the furnace is in to reduce the noise. Any ideas would be helpful. Thanks you.

  4. Jon

    I have a 2018 coachman chaparral 336tsik. I set to desired temp, motor kicks on, then after about ten seconds kicks back off. I have propane. Stove comes on but no heat from furnace

  5. Charlotte Dooley

    I have a 2000 fifth wheel Catalina my heat keeps running on the propane how do I run it on the electricity I m hooked up to

  6. Bernie Amig

    Have an Atwood 8940-III furnace in a Rushmore 5th wheel. Sometimes the furnace works ok. Sometimes it blows the 15 amp fuse. Sometimes it's running and the fan slows down and drops the sail switch. If I lower the thermostat it goes into cool down mode and the fan speeds right up to normal. I measured the fan amperage at 9 amps when it's running fast. Didn't get to measure it when it's slow. Measured the input voltage to the furnace. Normally 12 + volts. Fan running slow it drops to 6 or 7. Replaced the converter - didn't help.

  7. Denise

    We have a 2005 Jayco 3100SS. Just filled the lp gas and turned my remote that operates unit to furnace. Waited a minute or two and no heat. Turned unit to cool (a/c) and it comes right on. Currently RV is parked at my home, plugged up to house electric (15 amp). Was away this weekend, plugged into a 30amp and furnace still wouldn’t work. Haven’t used the furnace in a year or two since we usually use RV during warmer months. Any ideas/thoughts on why this is happening?

  8. Time kinder

    I have a 2017 Winnebago 37fl .my gas heater works great until it drizzles.then it furnace will start run a shot time the gas shuts off and the fan runs. As soon as the weather improves then furnace works great. Any ideas?

  9. Kathy ROARK

    I bought a used weekend warrior toyhauler with Suburban/Duo-therm unit. On attempt to turn on heat, a horrible screeching began and continued even after I turned it off at the thermostat.


    we have never use our furnace. I bought a 1994 sportsmens travel trailer. everything else works great. but we have no idea how to turn on the furnace. any help in this area is most welcome. God Bless

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