As an RVgoer, you may have asked yourself: “Can I run my RV furnace on 110?”. It’s a common concern among RV owners who want to make sure they’re heating their home away from home while on the road. Fortunately, there are several options for running your RV furnace, depending on whether you have access to shore power or rely solely on battery power.
Because your RV furnace runs on different power and fuel sources, the answer is not quite so simple.
Have you ever heard the term “shore power” and wondered what it meant? Shore power refers to an electrical system that provides 120V ac power from a fixed land-based source. It’s often used in places such as marinas, RV parks, and other areas with access to electrical power from a land-based source.
When we talk about 110 volt or 120 volt, it is usually a reference to plug-in power that is received at the campground. By plugging in your RV at a campsite, usually by a 30 amp or 50 amp plug, you are getting 110 or 120 volt to your RV.
Your RV furnace similarly provides heat to your home furnace. You have a heat source, which is propane. And you have electricity, which operates the fan in the heater to blow the warm air. The difference in an RV is that you also have a battery source, which many appliances do run off of. Let’s keep digging and see if an RV furnace can just run on 110.
Propane is the fuel source for your RV heater. It is the energy that is burned up to provide heat.
Propane is an excellent choice for RVgoers due to its availability and affordability. It can be found at most gas stations and convenience stores and is relatively inexpensive compared to other fuels such as diesel or gasoline.
Propane also burns cleanly and efficiently, making it an excellent choice for those who are environmentally conscious. Additionally, there are no special storage requirements for propane, so you don’t need any additional equipment as you do with other fuels.
However, even with propane as your fuel source, you will still need a power source for your RV heater. This power source will power the blower fan and push out the hot air into your camper.
Can I run my RV Furance on 110
As you read above, when asking about 110 v or 120 v, we are talking about shore power or regular household electricity SInce you are usually connected to electricity, it’s good to know if you will have heat with just the 110. As you read above, the 110 is a power source, while the propane is a fuel source.
With an RV furnace, you will always need a fuel source, such as propane. So just having 110 power, you will likely not be able to get the hot air you need from your heater. The fan motor will still run, but you will not get any hot air on 110 shore power. See my post on what happens when your RV furnace runs out of propane for more info.
As you know, you have an RV battery. This battery performs many functions for your camper, even when plugged into shore power. Many motors and appliances run on 12v battery power. And your RV Furnace is one of those appliances.
Will RV Furnace Run on Battery
What is interesting is that your RV heater blower motor is mostly a 12V motor. That means that your power source, and what drives the blower fan, is powered by your RV battery.
A 120v to 12v converter works by taking in the higher voltage and then outputting the lower voltage. Inside the unit, there is an internal transformer that reduces both voltage and amperage through magnetic induction. The output of this device is regulated at DC 12V with a maximum wattage rating dependent on the model’s specifications.
This can be used in many different scenarios, such as powering appliances that need just 12 volts or connecting a car battery charger to a wall outlet.
Since many of your RV appliances run on 12V battery power, such as a water pump, you have a converter that changes the shore power of 110V to the needed 12V for power. And since your RV heater motor is a 12V motor, the answer is yes, that your RV Furnace will run on battery. However, you still need a fuel source, such as propane, to provide the fuel source for the hot air.
There is a difference between an inverter and a converter. An inverter is a device that converts direct current (DC) into alternating current (AC). This device is typically used in solar panel or battery applications where DC power needs to be converted into AC power. The output from an inverter is usually more stable than that of a converter, making it ideal for powering sensitive electronics and appliances.
As you read above, you need propane and 12v power (even when plugged into your campsite) to get hot air from your RV Furnace. If your goal is to get heat to your camper by only using 110, with no other power or fuel, your best bet is to get electrical space heaters. These space heaters provide the fuel and power needed through regular electricity from an outlet.
Your RV furnace is an outstanding appliance to keep you warm in the colder months. It provides heat throughout your RV, comforting you and your loved ones. Your RV furnace will operate on both a fuel source, such as propane and with a power source, such as electricity. The key to knowing is that your RV Furnace motor is a 12V motor that gets its power from taking the 110 electricity and converting it to the needed 12V (powered by your battery). Stay Warm!
Tony is an avid camper and RV traveler. He fell in love with camping on his first RV trip with his wife over 25 years ago. Tony loves sharing lessons learned and tips about RV maintenance and safe traveling.