How Do Typical Thermostats Work in RVs?

While traveling in your RV, one of the biggest problems you might run into is how to keep the interior temperature comfortable without using a crazy amount of energy. Whether you are traveling in the winter and need the heater on or are driving through the desert in July, there are some tricks to know to efficiently maintain the temperature of the RV. One of the first tips is to use digital RV thermostat.

Digital Versus Analog Thermostats

Most RVs come standard with an analog thermostat. The problem with this is that the temperature of the cab will vary through the cycle of the thermostat. The reason for this is that it is not very good at maintaining a set temperature. The A/C or furnace will typically not cycle on or off until the temperature reading has varied as much as 5 degrees Fahrenheit from the set temperature. This can cause the temperature of the RV to fluctuate drastically which can be uncomfortable.

A digital RV thermostat on the other hand is much more likely to stay within 1 degree Fahrenheit of the set temperature. It uses electronics to control the temperature which keeps it much more accurate. Additionally, a digital RV thermostat is programmable. This can help save you money on energy usage.

Temperature Sensors

One thing that is different about an RV thermostat from a home thermostat is that the temperature sensor is not built in to it. Instead, the sensor is located somewhere else in the RV. To make the most of your thermostat, it is best to locate the sensor and use its location to set the temperature. For example, if the sensor is located right above the furnace register, you might need to set the temperature higher than you normally would to compensate for it.

Heat Pump Versus Furnace

To efficiently heat the RV, and not burn through multiple tanks of propane, you need to understand the difference between the heat pump and furnace. A heat pump is typically built into the AC and can do a great job of heating your RV. However, if temperatures drop below 45 degrees Fahrenheit, the pump will not work. In this case, you will want to use the furnace. Be careful not to crank the heat pump up right away. Instead, you should slowly increase the temperature setting by 4 degrees. This avoids having the pump and furnace kick on at the same time.

Using your RV to travel can be great, if you know how to properly cool and heat it without waste. Learning how to properly use the thermostat and using a digital RV thermostat can help you travel in comfort.

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