When the temperature drops and you need to turn on your RV furnace, it’s essential to know where exactly it is located. Knowing the location of your furnace can save you time, energy, and money if something goes wrong. In this article, we’ll walk you through the basic steps of locating an RV furnace to make sure that your family stays warm and comfortable during camping trips.
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If you are having a tough time finding the location of your heater, the good news is that there are common areas that all travel trailer manufacturers need to follow. Why? Because since a heater has certain elements, such as hot air and exhaust, it will likely not be placed in the middle of the camper.
Knowing the limitations of where a heater can be placed will let you find any heater in any camper.
Found the thermostat? That is a good starting point as the thermostat will not be near the heater. That is because you don’t want the initial hot air blowing near the thermostat, which will shut the RV heater sooner. And this will give cold spots in your camper. Plus, your thermostat is likely centralized, near the center of the room. Which you will learn a furnace will likely not be.
Some furnaces even offer remote access so you can control the temperature from outside your rig.
Did you know that an RV heater runs on combustion? And with combustion, you will have a fuel source (propane) and an exhaust. Usually, your propane source is located at the front of your travel trailer, with a gas line supplying all of your RV appliances.
The combustion process requires a few key components including a burner and an ignition source for starting the flame. The flame then rises through the burner tube and creates hot air which passes out of the furnace via ducts or vents throughout your RV.
With the RV heater needing to get rid of combustion gases, it will likely be located at an exterior wall. As you walk around your travel trailer, you will see a furnace exhaust. Not sure what this exhaust vent looks like? It will have a blower fan forcing hot air out and be noted with some “caution”.
It is also important to note to keep this exhaust port free from debris. With all the heat generated at this vent, it could either cause a fire, more or even damage your RV heater.
Now that you know the furnace location by the exterior exhaust vent, the RV heater should be nearby on the interior. This may not be so obvious at first glance. The reason is that campers are designed to use every square inch as much as possible. And hiding a heater is no different.
The furnace compartment is likely behind a vent or another RV appliance, such as a refrigerator or stove. The compartment is usually floor level, so look for vents or openings where anything could be concealed. Why would this be an open vent or grille, keep reading to find out.
Return air is simply the air that is returned to the furnace after being heated up. This heated air helps keep your RV comfortable by providing warm circulation throughout the entire space.
The interior of your heater will be an open vent. The reason is that this is the return air for your furnace. Just like a house furnace, the cold air in a space is turned into warm air. And the way this is done is by circulating the air and exhausting the incomplete combustion. Since an RV is limited in space, the ducts only supply air with the return air, all going through the one vent right to the heater.
The vent is held together by screws. Remove the screws, which should open you up to the location of the furnace.
It is also essential to keep this vent area clear as this keeps the combustion chamber open and the air circulating to create the needed heat in your camper.
Where is my RV furnace located? With some basics on where it can be located, you should have no trouble finding it. You learned that the heater will likely not be a thermostat to prevent cold spots. Also, knowing there will be hot air and an exhaust vent, it is easily located from the exterior. And that in the interior of your camper, you will find an open vent that will act as a return air supplying the necessary circulation for heat.
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.