The Ultimate Guide to RV Furnaces Maintenance Troubleshooting and Buying Tips

When it comes to staying warm during your RV adventures, a reliable and efficient furnace is essential. Whether you’re camping in the mountains or traveling during the colder months, a properly functioning RV furnace can make a world of difference in your comfort level. However, like any other appliance, RV furnaces require regular maintenance and occasional troubleshooting to ensure they operate smoothly. In this comprehensive guide, we will cover everything you need to know about RV furnace maintenance, troubleshooting common issues, and provide tips for purchasing a new furnace.

Maintaining your RV furnace is crucial to its longevity and efficiency. Regular maintenance not only ensures that your furnace operates properly, but it can also help prevent costly repairs down the road. We will discuss the steps you can take to keep your furnace in top condition, from cleaning the air intake and exhaust vents to lubricating the blower motor. We will also provide a checklist of maintenance tasks you should perform before each camping season to ensure your furnace is ready to go when you need it.

Unfortunately, even with proper maintenance, RV furnaces can experience issues from time to time. From the furnace not igniting to the blower motor running continuously, we will guide you through the troubleshooting process step by step. We will cover common problems and their potential causes, as well as offer solutions to help you get your furnace back up and running as quickly as possible. Additionally, we will provide tips on when to call a professional if the issue is beyond your expertise.

If you find yourself in need of a new RV furnace or upgrading from your current one, we have you covered. With so many options available on the market, choosing the right furnace can be overwhelming. We will walk you through the different types of furnaces, their features, and the factors to consider when making your purchase. Whether you’re looking for a more energy-efficient model or one with advanced features such as a programmable thermostat, our buying tips will help you make an informed decision that meets your RV heating needs.

Section 1: Maintenance

In order to keep your RV furnace running smoothly and efficiently, regular maintenance is key. Here are a few important maintenance tasks you should perform:

Task Description
Regular Cleaning Make sure to clean the exterior of the furnace regularly to remove any dirt or debris that can obstruct the airflow and affect its performance.
Filter Replacement Check and replace the furnace filter regularly to ensure that it is free from dust and other particles. Clogged filters can reduce airflow and strain the furnace, leading to inefficient heating.
Lubrication of Moving Parts Keep the moving parts of the furnace well lubricated to prevent them from wearing out or becoming noisy. Use a lubricant recommended by the manufacturer for best results.

By performing these maintenance tasks on a regular basis, you can extend the lifespan of your RV furnace and ensure that it operates at its optimal performance level. It is also a good idea to refer to the manufacturer’s manual for specific instructions on maintenance procedures.

Regular Cleaning

Regular cleaning of your RV furnace is essential to ensure its proper functioning and longevity. Dust, dirt, and debris can accumulate in the furnace over time, hindering its performance and causing potential damage. By performing regular cleaning, you can prevent these issues and maintain a reliable heating system in your RV.

Here are some steps you can follow to effectively clean your RV furnace:

  1. Turn off the furnace: Before starting the cleaning process, make sure to turn off the furnace and disconnect it from any power source. This is crucial to avoid accidents or injuries.
  2. Remove the exterior cover: Locate and remove the exterior cover of the furnace. This will give you access to the internal components that need to be cleaned.
  3. Use compressed air: Use a can of compressed air to blow out any dust or debris that may have accumulated inside the furnace. Pay close attention to the burner assembly, blower, and ventilation system.
  4. Clean the burner assembly: The burner assembly is a critical component that needs to be cleaned regularly. Use a brush or a soft cloth to gently remove any dirt or debris from the burner ports and surfaces. Be careful not to damage any components or disturb the burner alignment.
  5. Check the blower motor: Inspect the blower motor for any dirt or debris. Clean it using a vacuum cleaner or a brush, ensuring that the fan blades are free from any obstructions. Lubricate the motor if necessary, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  6. Clean or replace the air filter: The air filter in your RV furnace plays a crucial role in trapping dust and debris. Clean or replace the filter according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. A dirty or clogged filter can significantly reduce the furnace’s efficiency.
  7. Reassemble and test: Once you have cleaned all the internal components, reassemble the furnace cover and reconnect it to the power source. Test the furnace to ensure it is working properly.

Regular cleaning should be performed at least once a year or more frequently if you frequently use your RV furnace. It is also recommended to schedule a professional inspection and cleaning from time to time to ensure everything is in proper working order.

By following these cleaning steps, you can maintain an efficient and reliable RV furnace that provides comfortable heating during your camping adventures.

Filter Replacement

Regular filter replacement is an essential part of maintaining your RV furnace. The filter plays a crucial role in ensuring clean air circulation and preventing dust and debris from entering the furnace components.

When the filter becomes dirty or clogged, it restricts airflow and causes the furnace to work harder, leading to decreased efficiency and potential damage to the unit. Therefore, it’s important to replace the filter regularly to ensure optimal performance and extend the lifespan of your RV furnace.

Here are some steps to follow when replacing the filter:

1. Turn off the furnace and disconnect the power source to ensure safety.

2. Locate the furnace’s air intake system. The filter is usually located near this area. Consult your furnace manual if you are unsure where to find it.

3. Remove the filter by sliding it out of its slot or opening the filter compartment door. Be careful not to damage any delicate components surrounding the filter.

4. Inspect the old filter for any signs of dirt, debris, or damage. If the filter appears dirty or damaged, it’s time for a replacement. Even if the filter looks clean, it’s still recommended to replace it regularly according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.

5. Choose a replacement filter that is compatible with your furnace model. There are various types of filters available, including fiberglass, pleated, and electrostatic filters. Consider the level of filtration you need based on your RV’s usage and the environmental conditions you typically encounter.

6. Insert the new filter into the filter slot or compartment. Ensure that the filter is properly aligned and fits snugly without any gaps or air leaks.

7. Close the filter compartment door or slide the filter back into its slot, securing it in place.

8. Turn on the furnace and monitor its operation to ensure proper airflow and functionality. If you notice any issues or unusual noises, it’s recommended to consult a professional technician for further inspection.

Remember to schedule regular filter replacements as part of your RV furnace maintenance routine. By keeping the filter clean and in good condition, you can enjoy efficient heating and prolong the life of your RV furnace.

Lubrication of Moving Parts

Regular lubrication of the moving parts in your RV furnace is essential to keep it running smoothly and efficiently. Lack of proper lubrication can lead to excess wear and tear on the components, causing them to malfunction or break down.

When lubricating the moving parts, it is important to use the right type of lubricant. Check the manufacturer’s recommendations or consult the furnace’s manual to find out which lubricant is most suitable for your specific model.

Start by turning off the furnace and allowing it to cool down completely. This will prevent any accidents or injuries during the lubrication process. Once the furnace is cool, locate the moving parts that require lubrication.

Apply a small amount of lubricant to each moving part, ensuring that it is evenly coated. Use a small brush or cloth to spread the lubricant if necessary. Be careful not to over-lubricate, as this can attract dirt and debris, causing further damage.

Pay attention to the blower motor and bearings, as these are often the most important moving parts in the furnace. Apply lubricant to the bearings and ensure that the blower motor is well-lubricated.

After lubricating all the necessary parts, turn the furnace back on and observe if the moving parts are functioning smoothly. If you notice any unusual noises or resistance, it may indicate that additional lubrication is required or that there is an underlying issue with the furnace.

It is recommended to lubricate the moving parts of your RV furnace at least once a year or as per the manufacturer’s instructions. Regular lubrication will help extend the lifespan of the furnace and ensure its optimal performance.

Remember, proper maintenance of your RV furnace, including regular lubrication of the moving parts, is crucial for its efficient operation and your overall comfort while on the road.

Section 2: Troubleshooting

When it comes to RV furnaces, there can be various issues that may arise. One common troubleshooting area is ignition issues. If your furnace is not igniting properly, it could be due to a few different reasons.

One possibility is that the propane supply is low or completely empty. Check the propane tank and make sure it has enough fuel. If the tank is empty, you will need to refill it before the furnace can ignite.

Another potential issue is a blocked burner orifice. Over time, dirt and debris can accumulate in the orifice, causing it to become clogged. This can prevent the furnace from igniting. In this case, you will need to clean the orifice using a small brush or compressed air to remove any obstructions.

A faulty thermocouple could also be the cause of ignition problems. The thermocouple is a safety device that senses the presence of a flame. If it is not functioning properly, it may not send the correct signal to the ignition system, preventing the furnace from lighting. In this case, you will need to replace the thermocouple.

Pilot light problems are another common issue with RV furnaces. The pilot light is a small flame that ignites the main burner. If the pilot light won’t stay lit, there are a few potential causes.

One possibility is a dirty pilot tube. Over time, dust and debris can accumulate in the pilot tube, causing the flame to be weak or go out completely. To fix this issue, you will need to clean the pilot tube with a small wire or brush to remove any obstructions.

An improperly adjusted pilot light can also cause problems. If the flame is too weak or too strong, it may not ignite the main burner correctly. You can adjust the pilot light using the adjustment screw located near the pilot assembly.

If you are experiencing inconsistent heating from your RV furnace, there are a few potential reasons for this issue. One possibility is a dirty or clogged air filter. A dirty filter can restrict airflow, which can result in uneven heating. Make sure to regularly clean or replace the air filter to ensure proper airflow.

Another potential cause of inconsistent heating is a malfunctioning blower motor. The blower motor is responsible for circulating the heated air throughout the RV. If it is not working correctly, it may not distribute the heat evenly. In this case, you will need to replace the blower motor.

In conclusion, troubleshooting RV furnaces can sometimes be a bit challenging, but by addressing common issues like ignition problems, pilot light problems, and inconsistent heating, you can keep your furnace in optimal condition and ensure a comfortable living space in your RV.

Ignition Issues

Ignition issues are a common problem that RV furnace owners may encounter. If your furnace is not igniting properly, it can lead to a lack of heat inside your RV, which can be especially problematic during cold weather.

There are several potential causes for ignition issues. One common issue is a dirty or damaged igniter. Over time, the igniter can become covered in dirt or debris, preventing it from producing a strong spark to ignite the gas. In some cases, the igniter may need to be cleaned or replaced in order to resolve the issue.

Another potential cause of ignition issues is a faulty gas valve. The gas valve controls the flow of gas to the igniter, and if it is not functioning properly, the igniter will not receive the necessary fuel to produce a spark. In this case, the gas valve may need to be repaired or replaced.

Additionally, ignition issues can also be caused by a malfunctioning control board. The control board is responsible for regulating the furnace’s operation, and if it is not working correctly, it may not be sending the proper signals to the igniter to initiate the ignition process. Troubleshooting or replacing the control board may be necessary to resolve this issue.

If you are experiencing ignition issues with your RV furnace, it is important to address the problem promptly. Ignition issues can not only leave you without heat, but they can also be a safety hazard. It is recommended to consult the manufacturer’s manual or contact a professional RV technician for assistance in diagnosing and resolving the issue.

Regular maintenance, such as cleaning and inspecting the igniter, gas valve, and control board, can help prevent ignition issues from occurring. It is also important to ensure that the furnace is properly installed and vented, as improper installation or ventilation can contribute to ignition problems.

By taking proactive measures and addressing ignition issues promptly, you can ensure that your RV furnace operates reliably and provides the necessary heat during your travels.

Pilot Light Problems

The pilot light is a small flame that is responsible for igniting the main burner of your RV furnace. If you are experiencing pilot light problems, it can be a frustrating issue to deal with. Here are some common pilot light problems and how to troubleshoot them:

1. Pilot light won’t stay lit: If your pilot light won’t stay lit, there may be an issue with the thermocouple. The thermocouple is a safety device that detects whether the pilot light is lit. If the thermocouple is faulty, it may not be allowing the gas valve to stay open. To fix this issue, you can try cleaning the thermocouple with a soft cloth or replacing it if necessary.

2. Weak or yellow pilot flame: A weak or yellow pilot flame can indicate a dirty or clogged pilot orifice. The pilot orifice is a small opening that allows gas to flow to the pilot light. If it becomes dirty or clogged, it can affect the quality of the flame. To solve this problem, you can use a small wire brush to clean the orifice or replace it if needed.

3. Pilot light won’t ignite: If the pilot light won’t ignite at all, there may be an issue with the gas supply. Check to make sure that the gas valve is turned on and that there is sufficient gas pressure. If the gas supply is fine, the problem may be with the ignition system. It could be a faulty ignition electrode or a problem with the spark ignition module. In this case, it may be necessary to call a professional for repair.

4. Pilot light keeps going out: If your pilot light keeps going out, it could be due to a draft or airflow issue. Check for any obstructions around the furnace intake and exhaust vents. Make sure that they are clear of debris and not blocked by objects. Additionally, check for any cracks or openings in the furnace cabinet that could be causing a draft. Sealing these openings can help prevent the pilot light from going out.

Remember, if you are unsure about how to troubleshoot or fix pilot light problems, it is always best to consult a professional RV technician. They have the knowledge and experience to diagnose and repair furnace issues safely and effectively.

Inconsistent Heating

If you’re experiencing inconsistent heating in your RV furnace, there could be a few potential causes. Here are some troubleshooting tips to help you identify and fix the problem:

1. Check the thermostat: Make sure your thermostat is set to the desired temperature and that it’s functioning properly. If it’s not calibrated correctly, it can result in inconsistent heating.

2. Inspect the ductwork: Check the ductwork for any leaks or obstructions. Cracks or holes in the ducts can cause the hot air to escape, leading to inconsistent heating. Additionally, if the ducts are blocked by debris or other objects, it can restrict airflow and affect the heat distribution.

3. Clean or replace the furnace burner: Over time, the furnace burner can accumulate dirt and debris, affecting its performance. Clean the burner thoroughly to remove any build-up that may be causing the inconsistency. If cleaning doesn’t solve the issue, you may need to replace the burner.

4. Check the propane supply: Low propane levels or a faulty propane regulator can result in inconsistent heating. Ensure that your propane tank is adequately filled and that the regulator is functioning correctly.

5. Verify the blower motor: The blower motor is responsible for distributing the heated air throughout your RV. If it’s malfunctioning or not working at its full capacity, it can lead to inconsistent heating. Inspect the blower motor for any signs of damage and replace it if necessary.

6. Insulate your RV: Poor insulation can cause heat loss, making it difficult to maintain a consistent temperature inside your RV. Ensure that your RV is properly insulated, especially in areas where heat can escape, such as windows, doors, and vents.

7. Consult a professional: If you’ve tried these troubleshooting tips and are still experiencing inconsistent heating, it’s recommended to seek assistance from a professional RV technician. They have the expertise to diagnose and repair complex furnace issues.

By following these troubleshooting tips, you can improve the performance of your RV furnace and ensure consistent heating throughout your vehicle.


What is an RV furnace and how does it work?

An RV furnace is a heating system specifically designed for use in recreational vehicles. It usually runs on propane and operates by burning the propane to produce heat. This heat is then distributed throughout the RV via ducts and vents.

How often should I maintain my RV furnace?

It is recommended to perform maintenance on your RV furnace at least once a year. This includes cleaning the furnace, inspecting and replacing any worn out parts, and ensuring proper ventilation.

What are some common problems with RV furnaces?

Some common problems with RV furnaces include ignition failure, inadequate heat production, and a malfunctioning thermostat. These issues can often be resolved through troubleshooting or by seeking professional help if needed.

What are the signs that my RV furnace needs repair?

Some signs that your RV furnace may need repair include strange noises during operation, inconsistent or weak heat output, and a noticeable increase in fuel consumption. If you notice any of these signs, it is best to have your furnace inspected by a professional.

What should I consider when buying a new RV furnace?

When buying a new RV furnace, it is important to consider factors such as its size and compatibility with your RV, energy efficiency, noise level, and ease of installation. It is also recommended to read reviews and compare different models to find the best furnace for your needs.

How often should I perform maintenance on my RV furnace?

You should perform maintenance on your RV furnace at least once a year, preferably before the start of the heating season.

What are some common issues that can occur with RV furnaces?

Some common issues that can occur with RV furnaces include ignition problems, burner issues, and thermostat malfunctions.

How can I troubleshoot a RV furnace that is not producing heat?

If your RV furnace is not producing heat, you can troubleshoot by checking the propane supply, inspecting the burner for any blockages, and ensuring that the thermostat is set correctly.

What should I consider when buying a new RV furnace?

When buying a new RV furnace, you should consider the BTU output, fuel type compatibility, size and weight, and any additional features or warranty options.

Is it possible to replace the RV furnace myself?

While it is technically possible to replace the RV furnace yourself, it is recommended to hire a professional for this task, as it can be complex and potentially dangerous if not done correctly.

How often should I maintain my RV furnace?

It is recommended to have your RV furnace maintained at least once a year to ensure it operates efficiently and to prevent any potential issues.

What are some common troubleshooting tips for RV furnaces?

Some common troubleshooting tips for RV furnaces include checking the thermostat settings, ensuring there is ample fuel supply, and checking for any obstructions in the vents or air intake.

What are some signs that my RV furnace may need repairs?

Some signs that your RV furnace may need repairs include a lack of heat, unusual noises, strong odors, or frequent cycling on and off.

What should I consider when buying a new RV furnace?

When buying a new RV furnace, you should consider the size and BTU rating to ensure it is compatible with your RV, the energy source (propane, electric, or both), and any additional features such as a thermostat or programmable settings.

Can I perform maintenance and repairs on my RV furnace myself?

While some basic maintenance tasks such as cleaning the furnace and replacing air filters can be done by RV owners, it is generally recommended to leave major repairs and servicing to professionals to avoid any potential hazards or further damage to the furnace.

What is an RV furnace?

An RV furnace is a heating system specifically designed for recreational vehicles (RVs) to provide warmth and comfort during cold weather camping. It typically runs on propane gas or electricity.

How does an RV furnace work?

An RV furnace works by burning propane gas or using electricity to create heat. The furnace then uses a blower motor to circulate the warm air throughout the RV through ducts and vents, providing heating to the living areas.

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