Best RV Thermostats: Controlling The Temperature Inside Your RV!

RV Talk may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

If you camp year-round in your RV in varying weather conditions, you might be using the furnace or air conditioning unit in your RV often. However, not every camper knows this crucial fact: keeping your rig livable in both the summer and winter is not done by your heating and cooling systems alone. They are powerless without an RV thermostat, which serves as a controller. The best RV thermostat will allow you to conveniently set the desired temperature and maintain a livable, comfortable interior living space. You’re already camping in an RV instead of a tent anyway, so make sure you get the best out of living in your home on wheels.

Your RV thermostat plays a role in your temperature control experience. Most thermostats have a service life of 10 to 15 years, and when they turn faulty, they will affect the operation of your rig’s A/C unit and furnace, and you will need a replacement unit. The world of camper thermostat is vast and diverse, with a sea of varying products to choose from, from digital RV thermostats to smart, wifi-connected RV thermostats. But our handpicked list of the very best RV thermostats will make your purchasing experience as smooth as possible.

The list includes all the top rated products based on specifications and in-depth reviews by experts and full-time RVers. There is a good variety to suit different needs and budgets of any camper, so you can have your pick. To help you make an informed decision, this guide also provides all the crucial information about thermostat for RV: how they work, the different types, important buying criteria, major brands, troubleshooting and installation, and answers to FAQs.


Quick Recommendations

if you’re in a hurry, please check out this quick list of our favorites, or continue scrolling to see our in-depth reviews on top-rated RV thermostat units below:

9.8
Honeywell TH5110D1006/U

Honeywell TH5110D1006 BEST OVERALL RV thermostat

Best RV digital thermostat. Easy-to see and read. Large, clear backlit digital display. Dual-powered (battery and/or hardwire). Provides electronic control of 24 Vac conventional and heat pump systems or 750 mV heating systems.
9.7
Coleman RV Thermostat

Coleman 7330G3351 editor's choice

Convenient wall thermostat; Provide complete control of your A/C, heat pump, gas, hydronic or electric strip heating and fans; The thermistor air temperature sensor will activate heating or cooling as needed to maintain your ideal environment. 
9.5
DOMETIC 3106995.032

Dometic 3106995.032 Best Value

Duo-therm wall-mounted analog thermostats; Control heating and cooling systems from one convenient location. The unit operates automatically or manually and works with standard or ducted rooftop or basement installations.
Source: Amazon

Understanding RV Thermostats Basics

What is an RV thermostat?

In a rig with a cooling and heating system, you can crank the A/C when it gets hot and humid, or and turn up the heat when it gets chilly. But to control your RV’s interior temperature via the HVAC system and furnace, you need one crucial component: an RV thermostat. Without it, you won’t be able to access any part of the on-board HVAC system. 

A thermostat is a system that can sense the ambient temperature inside a recreational vehicle, and communicate with the cooling or heating system to make adjustments, so that the temperature inside your motorhome is maintained at a desired level.

Another way to describe an RV thermostat’s role is that it serves as an intermediary interface between you and your on-board furnace and HVAC system. Based on the temperature information that it gathers from the sensors, the thermostat can tell these systems to turn on when the ambient temperature is higher or lower than your preset levels or turn off when that level is reached. 

The most technologically advanced type of RV thermostats can even change temperatures on its own per your preset preferences to better maintain a comfortable interior temperature at all times while saving energy.

How does it work?

An RV thermostat is typically hard-wired to your furnace and air conditioner through your motorhome’s 12-volt electrical system.

First, for everything to kick in, you must set a certain temperature level that you wish to maintain inside your motorhome. Using the built-in sensors, the thermostat can detect whether the temperature inside your rig is different from the desirable level that you previously selected. When a temperature gap occurs, the thermostat will send a signal to the air conditioning unit or furnace to turn on. 

The furnace or A/C will work to make the rig warmer or cooler, and when the same sensors detect that the preset temperature is achieved, it will cycle off the furnace or A/C. This mechanism means that you won’t have to manually turn your air conditioner or furnace on and off, but let the RV thermostat automatically work to keep you and your companions comfortable at all times.

Residential thermostats vs thermostat for RV 

A common question by fellow campers is whether a residential thermostat can be installed in an RV. The short answer is no, you cannot use a typical residential thermostat in a recreational vehicle. The reason is that due to their size, recreational vehicles tend to have simpler and less powerful heating and cooling systems, so they often use smaller thermostats. In addition, a thermostat for travel trailers will typically have a high/low fan speed to better control the interior temperature. 

And most residential thermostats are designed to use 24 volt AC power, while the power source in RVs are different. These vehicles run on the 12-volt DC system to charge the battery and power the engine’s electrical components, while the 120-volt AC system powers all electrical appliances and power outlets.

That said, you might come across a few thermostat units that can work with both. If for whatever reasons you’re looking for such a double-duty thermostat, double-check the product’s specifications as well as taking some time browsing the reviews to see if a particular model does function properly in both the home and the motorhome.

Why an RV thermostat is worth it

  • Comfortable living: Unless you can be sure that you will always be camping in mild climate and perfect weather, which is very unlikely, you will definitely be using your A/C on the hotter days and the furnace on the chilly days. And you must have the best RV thermostat to make both systems work. Even if you can live without them during the day, being too hot or too cold can mean loss of sleep at night.
  • Energy efficient: The great news is that many recent, more advanced models of RV thermostats come with microprocessors to allow you to set the temperature not only while you’re at home but also when you’re asleep or away. This means that these will save a lot of energy and cut down your electricity costs by, for instance, cranking down the A/C for 8 hours during your sleep. A one-degree reduction in one hour will save energy by around 1%, which would add up more quickly than you might think. 

Another energy-efficient feature of a typical RV thermostat is a high/low fan speed option. The high speed option allows you to heat or cool your rig quickly, and then when the desired temperature is achieved, you can turn the fan to low just to maintain that temperature while saving on electricity. This also means that the best RV thermostats can keep the interior temperature close to your desired level with minimal fluctuations for utmost comfort.

  • Compatible with any RV system: If you have a heating system only, you can opt for an economical thermostat for furnace or get a thermostat that works with both a heating and cooling system. Whatever your rig has, you can get a versatile thermostat that is compatible with any system.
  • Built to last: Getting the best RV thermostat and even having it installed by a professional can run you a few hundreds dollars, but this is an investment that will benefit you for at least a decade to come. The best RV thermostats on the market can last up to 15 years with proper use and maintenance and usually offer decent warranties, so your initial investment will pay for itself very soon down the road.

Types Of Thermostats For RV

RV thermostats indeed come in all shapes of sizes but the market ‘s models could be categorized into four types: analog, digital, communicating and programmable. Which type would be ideal for your HVAC system depends on your needs for temperature control.

Analog Thermostats

Basic and practical, analog thermostats are compatible with almost any recreational vehicle. In addition, models of the type are affordable, making them popular with first-time campers and budget travelers. The downside is once it comes to the accuracy of temperature reading, analog thermostats often fall behind their digital counterparts. 

What’s lacking in these thermostats is they don’t set a precise temperature but more of a temperature range instead, since they use sliders as a means for temperature selection. This might not be a problem for many campers though, as long as the thermostat can crank the A/C when it’s hot and turn on the furnace when it gets chilly, so analog models are still widely used. These simple, easy-to-use devices will work for many different RVs, and will never go out of style.

Digital Thermostats

Being built with advanced features for modern requirements, digital thermostats boast first-class functions and excellent reading precision. RV digital thermostats have very similar working mechanisms to the old analog type, except they are electronic and are very accurate at detecting ambient temperature. These models have microprocessors that compare the actual temperature of the rig to the preset desired temperature. Models of the type cost more than analog thermostats though. And while analog models are simple, digital models have different and more complicated interfaces.

Programmable Thermostats

Programmable RV thermostats are a later invention, and allow you to program your desired settings into the thermostats memory. This means they are more convenient and easier to use. If this functionality is what you’re looking for, but find communicating thermostats (the most advanced type) too expensive, then a programmable thermostat is probably the best RV thermostat for you. 

As the name suggests, programmable thermostats can be programmed and optimized to the liking of individual campers. With these models, you don’t get all the features a communicating thermostat provides. However, with the memory system, all you have to do is set your desired temperature once and you’re good to go, without having to spend much time adjusting your thermostat. Waking up to and coming back to a comfortable home on wheels is never easier. Needless to say, models of the type earn a shower of praise from those that favor both convenience and living comfort. 

Communicating Thermostats

The communicating RV thermostats are the most advanced of the bunch, and multi-system communicating thermostats can be integrated with automated systems. These thermostats give the user complete temperature control via a wireless communication system, hence their name. Communicating thermostats allow you to regulate temperature remotely from any point in your RV. Also, many models of the type have phone apps that you could use to get updates about temperature and make changes in times of need from outside your rig. 

However, the technology is relatively new, so the offerings on the market might not have as many reviews as thermostats of the other types for you to rely on when shopping for the best RV thermostat for your rig. And surely they are the most expensive too.


The Best Thermostats For RVs: An In-Depth Review

Without further ado, below is our carefully selected list of the very best RV thermostat models for the money. There is something for every camper here, whether you’re looking for a basic, economical analog model, or a handy digital or programmable thermostat for better temperature control.

That said, if you’re not familiar with the different types of RV thermostats, or don’t know what to look for, skip to the next section to learn more about the pros and cons of each type of thermostat and the important buying criteria.

NoTop-Rated RV ThermostatsPricesOur Ratings
1Honeywell TH5110D1006$$*****
2Dometic 3106995.032$*****
3Coleman 7330G3351$$$*****
4Suburban 161154$****
5Coleman 8330-3362$$$*****
6ICM Controls SC1600L$*****
7Coleman 8530-3481$$$$*****
8Radio Thermostat CT50$$$***
9Atwood 38453$****
10Dometic 3109228.001$$$$****
11Lux Products DMH110$****
12Emerson 1E78-140$****
13Dometic 3314082.000$$$$***
14Dometic 3316230.000$$$$****
15Emerson 1C20-101$***
1

Honeywell TH5110D1006

Best Overall Thermostats
Best RV Thermostats: Controlling The Temperature Inside Your RV! 1
Check prices and reviews

Specifications And Characteristics:

  • Dimensions: 1.3 x 4.5 x 3.4 Inches 
  • Weight: 0.4 Pound
  • Back lighting 
  • Digital display 
  • Push-button 

Why This Is The Best: 

Being both light and compact, TH5110D1006 of Honeywell could be put to good use in all kinds of settings. With an easy-to-see digital display, the Honeywell thermostat allows RVers to grasp the current temperature at a glance. In addition, the display of TH5110D1006 incorporates back lighting so people could check out readings in low light conditions. As a result, those that often have to travel at night and don’t want to deal with obscure readings think of Honeywell TH5110D1006 as the best RV thermostat. 

In use, the robust push-button control interface of the thermostat made by Honeywell means adjusting the interior temperature is a walk in the park. With TH5110D1006 by your side, you would be able to set the temperature inside your rig to your liking. As for power, TH5110D1006 of Honeywell is designed with two options: batteries and hardwire. The battery compartment of the thermostat from Honeywell proves to be highly accessible, thus, it’s a breeze to swap batteries in times of need.

Regarding post-purchase support, Honeywell backs its digital thermostat for campers with a five-year warranty. Hence, if your TH5110D1006 fails due to defects, you could claim a free replacement.

This is an upgrade to my Flagstaff camper. It was very easy to replace and it is maintaining an even temperature in the rig. As a result, it is using less propane than the inaccurate Coleman-Mach that came as OE. As a bonus, it will operate the air and heat automatically, switching from one to the other as outside temperatures dictate. As a mod for a camper, you can only have one fan speed without adding an additional switch, however I kept the high fan and taped off the low fan wire and haven’t missed a thing. There are videos that can help you through the modification if you need the assist. This is less expensive than the OE replacements and a far superior product.

Shared by Samantha Harrell
Things We Like
  • Bright display
  • Intuitive operation
  • Versatile and long-lasting
Things We Don’t Like
  • Delivery service needs some work
  • A couple of users report problems about sensitivity
2

Dometic 3106995.032

Best Value
Dometic 3106995.032
Check prices and reviews

Specifications And Characteristics:

  • Dimensions: 4.2 x 2.5 x 1.1 Inches
  • Weight: 0.1 Pound
  • Dual-control 
  • Analog 
  • Sliders 

Why It’s The Best Value:

Despite its rather plain appearance, Dometic 3106995.032 is still a solid thermostat that never fails to match the needs of RVers. Possessing dual-control, 3106995.032 could manipulate cooling as well as the heating appliances of recreational vehicles. Because of that, with the thermostat from Dometic, you don’t have to move all over your rig to operate the furnace and air conditioner. Moreover, the control interface of 3106995.032 of Dometic features convenient sliders so you should have no trouble applying adjustments to temperature. 

Thanks to its small build, the thermostat of Dometic occupies little space which is why finding a spot for it is a piece of cake. Besides that, the setup process of 3106995 is straightforward too and only takes minutes to complete. Needless to say, RVers that need to replace broken thermostats in a hurry usually deem Dometic 3106995.032 to be the best RV thermostat in the market. As the Dometic RV thermostat replacement is also quite inexpensive, its purchase would likely have negligible impacts on your spending plan. 

In terms of maintenance, 3106995.032 of Dometic just needs rudimentary care to stay in working order so you could focus your attention on more important tasks. As proof of confidence, Dometic offers everyone that picks up its thermostat a two-year warranty that covers manufacturing defects. 

I ordered this thermostat to replace an identical thermostat in my 2005 Keystone Sprinter. The original device would start the furnace only if set at 90 degrees. I needed two screwdrivers: one to remove the old device from the wall, and another to loosen the screws that secure the wires in the connectors. I taped the wiring diagram to the wall and donned my headlamp. Less than 10 minutes later, I had the new thermostat mounted to the wall and the wires connected. Now the furnace starts and stops and cycles correctly. It was a quick, easy repair that didn’t require a service call from a very expensive RV service.

Shared by Gatos4
Things We Like
  • Reasonable price 
  • Sturdy and stable
  • Instantaneous installation 
Things We Don’t Like
  • Quality control still leaves something to be desired  
  • People notice several inconsistencies between units 
3

Coleman 7330G3351

Editor’s Choice
Coleman 7330G3351
Check prices and reviews

Specifications And Characteristics:

  • Dimensions: 4.6 x 3.7 x 5.0 Inches
  • Weight: 0.2Pound
  • High and low speed control 
  • Single-stage 
  • Auto/on 

Why It’s An Editor’s Choice:

With a user-oriented design, Coleman 7330G3351 permits fast and effortless adjustments to temperature in the interior of recreational vehicles. The thermostat made by Coleman is capable of controlling pretty much every system used by RVers to regulate temperature from air conditioners to heat pumps. After you set your temperature, 7330G3351 would automatically activate heating and cooling appliances to keep temperature from going above or dropping below the set level. So if you add 7330G3351 of Coleman to your RV, you could manage temperature inside your rig as you like.

Since 7330G3351 is an analog model, it boasts uncomplicated installation and no-nonsense maintenance requirements. Naturally, the Coleman thermostat is held in high esteem by RVing enthusiasts that wish more time on enjoying themselves and less time struggling with equipment. It’s worth pointing out that 7330G3351 of Coleman is hardwired directly into the power system of recreational vehicles too. If you opt to purchase 7330G3351, you don’t have to bother with battery swaps in the course of operation. 

Though Coleman 7330G3351 indeed costs a bit more than many of its contemporaries on the market nowadays, the values it provides justify its price tag. The thermostat for RV of Coleman is even backed with a two-year manufacturer warranty. To plenty of cautious owners of recreational vehicles that seek a sound insurance policy, 7330G3351 is the best RV thermostat. 

This is a 12 volt, dual function (a/c and furnace) control unit made for RVs that have Coleman-Mach thermostats. I live in a 2000/01 Arctic Fox 26X travel trailer and recently replaced the furnace, but the thermostat wasn’t working correctly before I replaced the furnace and has not worked correctly with the new furnace (which had a bad fan but was old so I replaced the entire thing since cost to repair was so high). With the old Coleman-Mach, the original thermostat, it would not turn off the furnace sometimes when the set temperature was reached. This was the only reasonable manual thermostat and I was told that if you have a Coleman-Mach, you MUST use a Coleman-Mach replacement or face rewiring issues etc. This one comes with excellent instructions, but essentially was 6 colored wires which were almost the same as the old. Backplate used same screw holes as the old one. Vendor sent it out immediately and it is working correctly and I am very happy. This should work on most older units and if you order here, it is a lot cheaper than ordering from the RV companies, most of whom don’e even carry this thermostat. I considered buying a second one just in case, but hopefully I won’t be living in this trailer such a long time that this one will fail! Good deal!

Shared by Ewokinco
Things We Like
  • Economical
  • Timely shipping 
  • Simple to set up 
Things We Don’t Like
  • Particular units arrive damaged 
4

Suburban 161154

Suburban 161154
Check prices and reviews

Specifications And Characteristics:

  • Dimensions: 2.7 x 1.2 x 3.5 Inches
  • Weight: 0.2 Pound
  • Mechanical readout
  • Snap switch 
  • Heat-only 

Why We Love It:

Engineered for reliability and built to last, 161154 of Suburban is known as a must-have for people that travel extensively. Employing high endurance mechanical readout, 161154 guarantees a decent level of reading accuracy in numerous environments. As the thermostat from Suburban happens to be a heat-only unit, it could only control heating appliances in use. By integrating a handy snap switch, Suburban 161154 lets RVers adjust temperature in the interior at short notice which is by all accounts a big plus.

Owing to its resilient assembly, the thermostat made by Suburban holds together well if exposed to mild bumps and hits. Suburban 161154 is highly portable as well so moving it into position and setting it up should be child’s play. Furthermore, 161154 is low-priced and that means people don’t have to cut key expenses in order to afford it. Unsurprisingly, the Suburban thermostat is widely regarded as the best RV thermostat for cost-conscious RVing enthusiasts that have to work with limited shopping budgets. 

Upon purchase, the thermostat of Suburban is accompanied by a two-year warranty that certainly speaks volumes about its quality. So in the case that you experience issues caused by defects while using 161154, you would have something to count on. 

Things We Like
  • Lightweight 
  • Compact body 
  • Fair cost 
Things We Don’t Like
  • Installation screws should be lengthened 
  • A number of RVers complain about missing markings 
5

Coleman 8330-3362

Coleman 8330-3362
Check prices and reviews

Specifications And Characteristics:

  • Dimensions: 5.5 x 3.7 x 1.2 Inches
  • Weight: 0.4 Pound
  • Heating and cooling 
  • Digital display 
  • Adjustment buttons and sliders 

Why We Love It:

As an all-inclusive thermostat that could pair with heating and cooling appliances, Coleman 8330-3362 is well-received by RVing enthusiasts, novices as well as veterans. With an intuitive interface that contains adjustment buttons and sliders, the thermostat of Coleman makes it simple for RVers to regulate temperature in the interior. Additionally, being created with a flush digital display, 8330-3362 keeps the users up to date about the temperature inside recreational vehicles. By taking a glance at the display of Coleman 8330-3362, you could determine the current temperature and make changes if necessary. 

About installation, 8330-3362 is created with screw termination for connection so its setup process lasts mere minutes and involves basic tools. After the thermostat from Coleman is properly secured and wired, there is no need to give it special treatment to keep it in working order. From time to time, you only need to clean Coleman 8330-3362 so as to remove the build-up of foreign materials. Assuming that you don’t push 8330-3362 to the extreme, it would be years before you need to consider getting a new thermostat for your RV.  

Available at a price that owners of recreational vehicles could accept, Coleman 8330-3362 is relatively affordable. To reassure potential customers, Coleman willingly backs its thermostat with a two-year manufacturer warranty.

Things We Like
  • Inexpensive 
  • Well-made and rugged 
  • Undemanding maintenance 
Things We Don’t Like
  • Precision of reading require improvements 
  • Packaging is mediocre 
6

ICM Controls SC1600L

ICM Controls SC1600L
Check prices and reviews

Specifications And Characteristics:

  • Dimensions: 3.7 x 4.6 x 1.1 Inches
  • Weight: 0.3 Pound
  • Battery-powered
  • Terminal block
  • Freeze protection

Why We Love It:

Able to work with gas, oil and hydronic systems, ICM Controls SC1600L meets the expectations of RVers that wish to have a tight grip on temperature in the interior. Boasting all-around freeze protection, SC1600L remains uncompromised as the weather becomes extremely cold. Because of that, for winter travel, the thermostat from  ICM Controls is an excellent choice. Moreover, since ICM Controls SC1600L is battery-powered, its installation takes moments to complete and could be done by anyone with basic electricity skills.

In terms of control, the thermostat of ICM Controls packs a user-friendly interface with two buttons for temperature adjustment and slider heat/off switch. Thus, with SC1600L, managing operation of heating appliances is a walk in the park. Located next to the adjustment buttons of ICM Controls SC1600L is the temperature display so you can easily determine the temperature inside your RV. The display possesses back lighting, hence, you can make out readings in low-light conditions.

The outer cover of SC1600L is constructed using top-notch materials that give it impressive endurance compared to the average thermostats for recreational vehicles. Besides that, the elegant color of the cover allows the thermostat made by ICM Controls to match multiple interior themes

Things We Like
  • Low-priced 
  • Hassle-free setup process 
  • Display is large and bright 
Things We Don’t Like
  • Some people detect fluctuations in readings 
  • Mediocre quality control 
7

Coleman 8530-3481

Coleman 8530-3481
Check prices and reviews

Specifications And Characteristics:

  • Dimensions: 3.7 x 1.2 x 5.5 Inches
  • Weight: 0.4 Pound
  • Hard-wired 
  • Push-buttons and sliders
  • Single-stage

Why We Love It:

You don’t want to keep swapping the batteries of your thermostat on the road? In that case, 8530-3481 of Coleman could be what you need. Made to be directly hardwired into the power system of RV,  8530-3481 draws electricity from the battery bank of your rig in order to run. That means the thermostat of Coleman could keep regulating interior temperature for as long as the onboard batteries still have charges. Coleman 8530-3481 is highly compact as well so moving it into position and securing it would be a piece of cake. 

The thermostat made by Coleman is compatible with an assortment of single-stage appliances from heat pumps to gas furnaces. Using the push-buttons and sliders on the control interface of 8530-3481, it’s a breeze to bring the temperature inside your rig to desired levels. Aside from that, equipped with a digital display, Coleman 8530-3481 permits RVers to monitor the temperature. Finally, the RV thermostat from Coleman falls well within the shopping budget of owners of recreational vehicles so its affordability is considered to be sublime. 

As for maintenance, since 8530-3481 is a sealed model, it needs nothing more than intermittent cleaning in the course of operation. Obviously, the Coleman thermostat gets a lot of compliments from RVing enthusiasts that prioritize resilience.

Things We Like
  • Nice price 
  • Fast installation 
  • Flush interface 
Things We Don’t Like
  • Reading sometimes deviate from actual temperature 
  • RVers must splice wires
8

Radio Thermostat CT50

Radio Thermostat CT50
Check prices and reviews

Specifications And Characteristics:

  • Dimensions: 4.5 x 1.2 x 4.5 Inches
  • Weight: 0.4 Pound
  • Programmable
  • Touchscreen display 
  • Energy-saving 

Why We Love It:

If you seek a thermostat that runs the HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air conditioning) system of your rig based on preset patterns, you would come to like Radio Thermostat CT50. As a programmable RV thermostat, CT50 lets you set up operating schedules for your appliances. With the thermostat made by Radio Thermostat, you could decide how your appliances should run for seven days with up to four periods per day. Radio Thermostat CT50 is compatible with single-stage and multi-stage systems, hence, it adapts well to lots of arrangements.

Boasting a touchscreen display with back lighting, the Radio Thermostat model ensures that your users check up on temperature and adjust it at any time. Since CT50 comes with its own phone app, you would have an easy time managing temperature in the interior of your rig from distant locations. Depending on the situation, it’s possible for you to share control of CT50 of Radio Thermostat with family and friends through the phone app. That is why the thermostat of Radio Thermostat tends to be called the best RV thermostat for big-party RVing. 

For power, CT50 could run on batteries but if needed, you always have the option of hardwiring it to the power system of your RV. 

Things We Like
  • Enduring 
  • Slim and sleek 
  • Convenient interface 
Things We Don’t Like
  • Mediocre tech support 
  • Report about connectivity issues show up on occasions
9

Atwood 38453

Atwood 38453
Check prices and reviews

Specifications And Characteristics:

  • Dimensions: 3.1 x 3.1 x 1.5 Inches
  • Weight: 0.2 Pound
  • Heat-only 
  • Two circuits 
  • Mounting screws 

Why We Love It:

Put together with an emphasis on practicality, Atwood 38453 works superbly in a wide range of operating conditions and that is advantageous in full-time RVing. Packing a linear readout with markings in Fahrenheit as well as Celcius, the thermostat made by Atwood allows RVers to monitor temperature in the interior at the measurement unit they understand. In addition to that, since it’s distributed with a mount and screws, 38453 could be installed in just a flash. As a result, you don’t have to spend too much time and effort to get Atwood 38453 up and running.

Being a heat-only thermostat, 38453 is particularly well-suited for owners of recreational vehicles that often deal with cold weather and need to manage furnaces. As temperature inside the rig changes, the Atwood thermostat opens/closes its two circuits that deliver power to the furnaces. Thus, by putting Atwood 38453 on your RV, you should have no trouble preserving interior temperature at a reasonable level as outside temperature rises and falls. Also, 38453 is a breeze to maintain so keeping in top shape is essentially a cakewalk. 

About affordability, the thermostat of Atwood is released to the market at an economical price. For cost-conscious RVers that desire a thermostat for RV furnace, Atwood 38453 is the best RV thermostat money can buy. 

Things We Like
  • Space-saving 
  • Budget-friendly 
  • Setup process is uncomplicated 
Things We Don’t Like
  • Certain parts should be reinforced
  • Quality control requires overhauls
10

Dometic 3109228.001

Dometic 3109228.001
Check prices and reviews

Specifications And Characteristics:

  • Dimensions: 8.0 x 0.5 x 3.0 Inches
  • Weight: 0.2 Pound
  • LCD display 
  • Button interface 
  • Fahrenheit and Celcius 

Why We Love It:

Featuring a combination of LCD display and button interface, Dometic 3109228.001 is superior to traditional thermostats for RV once it comes to ease of use. If you own 3109228.001, you could casually supervise and increase/decrease temperature inside your rig at will. Furthermore, the RV-rated thermostat made by Dometic possesses internal memory which remembers all of the settings entered by users. Because of that, 3109228 of Dometic.001 is able to eliminate the need to reprogram the settings after a sudden power failure.

With the ability to create four climate zones from one location, the thermostat of Dometic permits enthusiasts of RVing to set temperature to individual liking. Needless to say, for family RVing, 3109228.001 is considered to be one of the leading models. It’s noteworthy that Dometic 3109228.001 is made with two measurement units (Fahrenheit and Celcius) so you can get the temperature readings to be displayed in the unit that you prefer. Last but not least, the installation of the Dometic thermostat is child’s play and takes several minutes to complete.

Compared to its competitors, Dometic 3109228.001 indeed appears to be pretty expensive but it’s nonetheless a good buy for those that want thorough temperature management and have money to spend. The maintenance requirements of 109228.001 happen to be undemanding too, therefore, it’s sought after by owners of recreational vehicles that frown at maintenance-intensive devices.

Things We Like
  • Excellent durability
  • Reliable and consistent
  • Easy to maintain
Things We Don’t Like
  • Steep price
  • Some units experience sporadic errors in use
11

Lux Products DMH110

Lux Products DMH110
Check prices and reviews

Specifications And Characteristics:

  • Dimensions: 1.3 x 8.0 x 10.5 Inches
  • Weight: 0.4 Pound
  • Lighted display 
  • Energy saving 
  • Multi-stage

Why We Love It:

Optimized to tackle temperature variations, Lux Products DMH110 proves to be an ideal companion for RVing enthusiasts that want to explore the outdoors in comfort. With a sizable display that is lighted, the Lux Products thermostat makes it easy for owners of recreational vehicles to supervise temperature in the interior. In times of need, RVers could apply immediate adjustments to temperature inside their rig through the push buttons of DMH110. Also, Lux Products DMH110 contains handy sliders for mode changes. 

One interesting thing about DMH110 is that it contains an energy-saving button that lets people cut down power consumption. Naturally, the thermostat of Lux Products is well-liked by those that like to preserve electricity and reduce utility bills. In terms of power, Lux Products DMH110 is created to run on batteries and power from battery banks of RV. As a result, DMH110 works rather well with many arrangements and as power runs low, it’s going to warn the users through the display. 

 Lux Products backs its thermostat with a one-year limited warranty so if your DMH110 fails due to defects in the warranty period, Lux Products would be willing to repair/replace it free of charge. Obviously, to many RVing enthusiasts that like to play it safe, the thermostat from Lux Products is a decent model. 

Things We Like
  • Resilient 
  • Setup process is straightforward 
  • Ergonomic control interface 
Things We Don’t Like
  • Users complain about tripped breakers now and then 
  • A number of units arrive with mismatched owner’s manuals
12

Emerson 1E78-140

Emerson 1E78-140
Check prices and reviews

Specifications And Characteristics:

  • Dimensions: 1.1 x 3.2  x 5.3 Inches
  • Weight: 0.2 Pound
  • Non-programmable
  • Heat-only 
  • Digital display with back lighting 

Why We Love It:

If all you need is a thermostat to control the heating system of your rig, it’s strongly recommended that you check out Emerson 1E78-140. Being compatible with single-stage heating appliances, the thermostat stat of Emerson lets you keep your interior warm and cozy in a lot of conditions. Besides that, as it packs a low-profile body, 1E78-140 is simple to position and set up in recreational vehicles. In the usual cases, 1E78-140 of Emerson could be installed in a matter of moments. 

Equipped with two buttons to raise/drop temperature and a slider heat/off switch, 1E78-140 receives plenty of positive remarks for its hassle-free interface. The thermostat made by Emerson employs a digital display with back lighting as well so you would seldom have issues with making out temperature readings. With Emerson 1E78-140, you would have total and precise control of temperature in the interior. For optimal comfort you can adjust the temperature inside your rig at an increment of one degree Fahrenheit with 1E78-140. 

As for post-purchase support, 1E78-140 of Emerson is backed with a three-year warranty. So if you like to have something to count on, you should add the thermostat from Emerson to your shortlist. 

Things We Like
  • High endurance
  • Great owner’s manual 
  • Accurate temperature reading
Things We Don’t Like
  • Responsiveness of the buttons needs to be boosted 
  • RVers sometimes complain about getting inoperable units 
13

Dometic 3314082.000

Best RV Thermostats: Controlling The Temperature Inside Your RV! 2
Check prices and reviews

Specifications And Characteristics:

  • Dimensions: 7.8 x 0.6 x 2.5 Inches
  • Weight: 0.3 Pound
  • Built-in sensor
  • Internal memory
  • Multi-button interface 

Why We Love It:

Designed with a focus on simplicity and accessibility, Dometic 3314082.000 gives a good account of itself in all kinds of climates. Thanks to the advanced built-in sensor, 3314082.000 could measure ambient temperature with outstanding precision and provide its findings to users through the front-mounted display. Additionally, the thermostat for recreational vehicles from Dometic boasts a straightforward multi-button interface that facilitates the programming of settings. As a result, adapting Dometic 3314082.000 to personal preferences is just a walk in the park.

The Dometic thermostat features internal memory so you don’t have to bother reprogramming it in the course of operation. With 3314082, it’s also possible for you to heat up and cool down a number of zones inside your rig. Aside from that, since Dometic 3314082.000 is engineered with integrated error codes, it’s a breeze to determine what went wrong if unexpected problems take place. Hence, the thermostat of Dometic is popular with RVers that lack the patience for draw-out troubleshooting when equipment malfunctions.

As it’s a low-maintenance thermostat for RV, Dometic 3314082.000 works reliably while requiring minimal attention from enthusiasts of RVing. Thus, 3314082.000 would serve its owners well for many seasons before it needs to be replaced. Though it’s a bit pricey, the thermostat made by Dometic remains second to none in terms of cost-values. 

Things We Like
  • Adaptable 
  • Basic maintenance 
  • Quick setup process 
Things We Don’t Like
  • Owner’s manual should be rewritten 
  • Delivery service is mediocre 
14

Dometic 3316230.000

Dometic 3316230.000
Check prices and reviews

Specifications And Characteristics:

  • Dimensions: 8.0 x 2.0 x 4.0 Inches
  • Weight: 1.6 Pound
  • Touch control 
  • LCD display 
  • Back lighting 

Why We Love It:

Instead of using buttons in the interface like other thermostats on the market, Dometic 3316230.000 utilizes innovative touch control that permits smooth adjustments of operational settings. With the thermostat made by Dometic, all you have to do to access temperature, mode and set point is to gently tap the input areas. Therefore, regarding convenience, 3316230.000 outmatches various models at its price range. Moreover, Dometic 3316230.000 contains a huge display with back lighting so it’s easy to check up on the temperature readings.

Depending on the wish of owners of recreational vehicles, 3316230 could show readings in Fahrenheit as well as Celsius which ease the monitoring of interior temperature. As the thermostat of Dometic comes with memory retention, it automatically reverts to previous settings in case of power loss. That is why it’s unnecessary for RVers to reprogram 3316230.000 of Dometic once power returns. If required, 3316230 is capable of displaying system diagnostics and that allows people to keep a close eye on the situation. 

As temperature fluctuates, Dometic 3316230.000 would activate heating and cooling appliances on its own in order to maintain interior temperature at the level that RVers want. That means after people set the temperature, 3316230.000 requires no interaction. The thermostat for RV from Dometic is kind of costly though so some calculations may be needed to squeeze it to your spending plan.

Things We Like
  • Commendable ruggedness 
  • Easy installation
  • User-friendly interface 
Things We Don’t Like
  • High cost 
  • Several units arrive without owner’s manual 
15

Emerson 1C20-101

Emerson 1C20-101
Check prices and reviews

Specifications And Characteristics:

  • Dimensions: 8.0 x 2.0 x 4.0 Inches
  • Weight: 1.6 Pound
  • Snap-action contacts
  • Adjustable heat anticipator
  • Mercury-free

Why We Love It:

Tough and versatile, 1C20-101 of Emerson lasts a long time in use and operates consistently in an assortment of environments. Being a mercury-free model, 1C20-101 is the number one choice for owners of recreational vehicles that favor safety nowadays. Possessing snap-action contacts and adjustable heat anticipator, the Emerson thermostat guarantees high reading precision in the course of operation and takes moments to install. In addition, the mechanical readout Emerson 1C20-101 lets enthusiasts of RVing comfortably monitor interior temperature. 

As the thermostat made by Emerson is a heat-only model, it’s the best bet for RVers that must manage heating a number of heating appliances to secure warmth. So with 1C20-101, you rarely get to feel cold in the interior of your rig as outside temperature abruptly drops. The maintenance of Emerson 1C20-101 is simple, hence, you don’t have to dedicate too much of your time and effort to keep it running. Unsurprisingly, the thermostat of Emerson could last a long time. 

Introduced at a price that fits the wallet of RVers, Emerson 1C20-101 is a fantastic model for those that have to work with tight wallets.  Thus, there is no need for you to cut back key expenses to grab 1C20-101.

Things We Like
  • Affordable 
  • Structural integrity is commendable 
  • Helpful and informative owner’s manual 
Things We Don’t Like
  • Barely acceptable shipping 
  • Users complain about unit arriving broken sometimes 

How To Get The Best RV Thermostat: Buying Criteria

Does it control both the furnace and A/C?

The best RV thermostats usually allow you to control both the furnace and the A/C. However, more basic and affordable models might control only heat like a thermostat for RV furnace OR control only cool air, like an RV air conditioner thermostat. If your RV doesn’t have an air conditioning unit, you’ll want to consider the heat-only models. Do double-check the specifications of a particular product to make sure you get what you need. 

Interface for easy temperature selection

One of the most critical criteria for the best RV thermostat is the temperature selection, that is whether a model allows you to, with a high degree of precision, choose how warm or cool you’d like your interior to be. Especially if you often camp in extreme heat or cold, you’d want to apply quick and precise adjustments to the temperature in the interior of your rig through the thermostat. Because of that, a user-friendly interface that also offers precise temperature selection is key when you’re looking for the best RV thermostat. 

Analog thermostats tend to use sliders for temperature adjustments, which are very easy to use and adjust but not very precise. Meanwhile, digital thermostats allow for precision, thanks to display screens or dials that let you select an exact temperature. Both types have unique pros and cons, but just note that more precise temperature selection is extra helpful if you’re camping in extreme weather. When it’s freezing, you’d want the furnace to blast out heat fast so you can feel your feet again.

That said, the last thing you need is an unnecessarily complicated thermostat with a confusing control layout that prevents you from easily setting the temperature to your preferences. Take some time to browse the review section to see what other users have to say about the user-friendliness of a model.

Functionality/ Ease of use

If you want to set your preferences once and then forget about it, a digital programmable thermostat would prove to be very handy. If you want to be able to adjust the temperature from anywhere inside your rig and even from outside, a communicating thermostat would be ideal. 

That said, while these later, more advanced models offer precision and convenience, it also means there are more components that can malfunction, which can leave you freezing or melting until you have the unit fixed. If you can sacrifice a little bit of convenience to get a simpler, more reliable model that will be of good service for many years to come, an analog or a non-programmable digital thermostat might offer great value for money. An analog model would be the most reliable, while a digital model offers more precise temperature adjustments.

Power

In order to operate as designed, a typical RV thermostat needs to be supplied with a constant amount of electricity. Thermostats for recreational vehicles nowadays tend to work with one of two power source options, either on batteries or hardwired directly into the wall and the onboard HVAC system. 

Take aspects of your travels and your rig into account to decide the source of power your thermostat should use. You’ll want to opt for the power source that best suits your needs. Battery-powered thermostats are very energy-efficient and usually include smart features, but as the batteries can run down quickly, you need to always stock up on batteries. Hardwired thermostats aren’t as energy-efficient but they are very reliable, although the major downside is they’re more complicated to install yourself and might require professional installation. 

Ease Of Installation

You don’t have to be an expert electrician to set up thermostats for RV but to avoid potential headaches, it’s a good idea to make ease of installation one of your top considerations. Normally, by reading the accompanying owner’s manual, you can gain insight into the complexity of the setup process of a certain model. 

Also double-check the installation steps and requirements before buying to ensure a model will fit your RV, wire to your system properly, and be easy to install. It’s suggested that you read reviews of other RVers and see what they say. That is going to help you reach an objective conclusion. You can also seek assistance from the brand’s customer service, or ask questions on Amazon to get answers from both the brand’s representatives and experienced buyers. 

Connectivity for smart thermostat

Before picking out an expensive hi-tech communicating thermostat for your rig, make sure you have the right kind of connectivity, typically either a Wi-Fi connection or connectivity via a smartphone app. Also remember that while basic analog models have been around for ages and hardly change at all over the years, fancy programmable or communicating thermostats are the newest, and that means new models with more advanced technology will be coming out regularly. You may need to replace a smart thermostat pretty soon to keep up with technology’s pace.

Reliability over the years

Generally, it’s ill-advised to subject electronics like thermostats to rough use but RVing regularly involves shocks and vibration. Hence, while looking for the best RV thermostat, you need to give ruggedness some thoughts. In the usual cases, you can determine how well particular models hold together by checking out their materials, designs, and fitness between parts.

All thermostats, no matter what type and how expensive, come with a plastic housing and electronic interior components and an array of tiny wires. Look for one made from heavy-duty materials that won’t crack, break, or come loose from all the shocks and widely varying temperatures down the road.

A thermostat should run for up to 10 years, even 15 years with the best RV thermostats, with little servicing, except for changing the battery exchange for certain types. You can rely on the warranty as some basis for a particular model’s reliability and longevity, and take some time browsing the review to see if the manufacturer actually honors the warranty and provide satisfactory after-sale services. 

The major brands with the best RV thermostats usually offer longer warranty, and this should speak volumes about how reliable a model is.  Don’t buy a thermostat for your RV from a company that won’t stand behind their products. 

All in all, when it comes to reliability, analog RV thermostats are probably the best, since they have far fewer moving parts and very straightforward internal working mechanism, making them a suitable option for campers who do not want the hassle of having to look for a new unit anytime soon.

Price

Unless you happen to have sophisticated demands, it’s unnecessary to empty your wallet on a costly premium-grade thermostat. The market is filled with affordable and quality models so you don’t have to spend big bucks on thermostats. 

Nonetheless, it’s extremely important that you stay away from dirt-cheap models even if they seem to let you save a lot of money. Thermostats that come at unbelievably cheap prices rarely last long so the money you save from buying them would soon be lost to continuous replacements. For your reference, the price ranges for RV thermostats are as follows:

  • Under $25: You will typically find basic, reliable analog thermostats in this price range. Nothing fancy, but they get the job done and are long-lasting.
  • $25 to $50: The majority of RV thermostats today fall into this price range, including analog, digital, and programmable thermostats. 
  • $50 and more: The most advanced digital, programmable and communicating thermostats will cost you north of $50. Some smart models can even cost more than $100.
  • Including professional installation cost: Some units are best left to an electrician. A DIY thermostat upgrade can cost you anywhere from $25 to $150 for parts, or fall between $300 and $400 for both parts and labor if you have it installed by a professional.

Aesthetics

All analog thermostats, even the newest models, will appear quite outdated and can stick out like a sore thumb. This might be a small source of concern for some folks, and you might find that a modern-looking electronic thermostat with a nice backlight feature will blend in better with the rig’s decor. Most RV thermostats for RVs come in white, cream, gray or black so you can match them to your RV’s aesthetic.


Well-Regarded Brands Of RV Thermostats

Numerous manufacturers make thermostats for recreational vehicles but in terms of reputability, several names clearly stand out from the rest:

Dometic

Owing to substantial experience in producing goods for outdoor applications, Dometic knows exactly how to meet the expectations of RVers. That is why thermostats made by Dometic last a long time and give a splendid account of themselves in use. 

Coleman

By constantly updating its technologies as well as production techniques, Coleman is capable of offering multi-functional and budget-friendly products to enthusiasts of RVing. Your budget is tight but you still wish to have a decent thermostat for RV? Then Coleman is undoubtedly going to be your best bet. 

Honeywell

Honeywell is a major manufacturer of various systems for the home as well as recreational vehicles, including heating and cooling systems, air quality and humidity control systems and security systems. They have some of the best RV thermostats around, including standard heat-only thermostats, analog, non-programmable, programmable and smart Wi-fi models. Their models often boast at least 4.5 stars overall rating on Amazon, with at least a few hundred reviews per product to thousands of reviews for the best-selling models, so you have an excellent source of information there to pick out the best RV thermostat for your needs.

Emerson

Dependable and reliable, thermostats of Emerson work well in plenty of environments and prove to be a breeze to maintain. Naturally, Emerson is held in high esteem by full-time RVers that value consistency but don’t really have much time to care for equipment.  

Atwood

Considered to be one of the leading manufacturers of appliances for RV and associated accessories, Atwood is well-respected among RV communities around the globe. Thermostats of Atwood place emphasis on practicality as a result, they never fail to please. 

Suburban

Suburban is a household name in the arena for RV furnaces, water heaters and parts, as well as analog RV thermostats. Although they only offer a few analog thermostats, including standard heat-only models, they receive raving reviews on Amazon, Walmart and other platforms for affordability, ease of use and installation as well as reliability over the years.


How To Tell If An RV Thermostat Is Bad

Most thermostats have a service life of up to 10 years, with the very best RV thermostats lasting up to 15 years. Like everything else, thermostats can malfunction due to old wiring, or a poor wiring job on a replacement unit. To make sure you detect an old or malfunctioning thermostat early on for timely diagnosis and replacement, you’ll need to be wary of the following scenarios: 

The A/C or furnace not switching on

If the A/C or furnace does not switch on, it might be that the thermostat is not sending and receiving the electrical signals it needs. If there is no power going to the thermostat, then it could be due to dead batteries in the unit, worn or damage to the wiring or harness, or wiring defects. 

To inspect the wiring for damage, you’ll need to remove the thermostat from the housing. If the wiring and harness are intact, you have just replaced the battery recently, and you’ve only had the thermostat for a few years, your best course of action is to take the unit to a professional electrician for testing.

The A/C or furnace refusing to turn off

If you find your heater or A/C unit running all the time without switching off even when the rig is already very cool or warm, especially even after you’ve pressed the power button, the culprit might be frayed wiring. Another reason is the thermostat unit might not have the correct calibration.

In this case, you’ll also need to remove the thermostat from the housing to inspect the wiring harness for damage.  If you find no apparent damage, take the unit to a professional electrician for diagnosis.

The unit not turning on

Another common malfunction of RV thermostats is when the unit has no power and does not turn on. You may also notice that there’s no change in the rig’s ambient temperature when adjusting the settings on your thermostat. The reasons for a thermostat not switching on can be loose wiring, loss of connection to the electrical circuit, or wiring being disconnected due to physical shocks and vibrations while traveling on rough terrains. 

As a result, the thermostat does not switch on or cannot identify the current room temperature. In the case that the unit does switch on but the display is dim, there might be damage to the screen, which might affect the unit’s ability to adjust the temperature setting.

Some thermostats are battery-powered. If after inspection, you’re sure that your electrical system is not the culprit, then it may be due to dying batteries. All you need to do is replacing the battery. But if replacing the battery doesn’t resolve the problem, the unit might be broken and needs to be replaced.

While we’re on this, do not buy used thermostats. While they might be more affordable, it’s not worth it. You don’t know how long they have been used, if they have been abused, and they also rarely come with a warranty, so in the worst case that they break down not long after, you will need to get another unit again. Always buy a new thermostat directly from the manufacturer or an agent that comes with a warranty.

The temperature in the rig not matching the setting

If you turn the heater up or crank down the A/C but don’t feel any change in the interior temperature, then it’s a sign that your RVs thermostat is on the fritz and may need recalibration to function properly again. 

Calibration of your thermostat is easy and should be done once a year, typically in the fall, before winter hits. Even with the more advanced types of thermostats, they still need to be calibrated to the correct temperature from time to time to ensure accuracy.

To do so, tape a thermometer rated for high accuracy on the wall next to your thermometer. Wait 15 minutes and check the temperature reading on both devices. A slight difference of +/- 3˚F is generally acceptable, but anything outside that range means your thermostat needs servicing.

Different models have different calibration techniques, so consult your owner’s manual. For instance, some screw-type thermostats can be tuned for accuracy using a small screw located on a coil inside the unit. 


How To Install A New RV Thermostat 

An RV thermostat is not a simple replacement in most RV units; it will take a little bit of handiwork and finagling. It’s best left to the pros. But if you have a little bit of wiring know-how, and also you’ll have a library of online video tutorials to ease your steps, you can try to install it yourself. Expect to spend $300-$400 for both parts and labor if you have the work done for you by an HVAC professional. 

Before you start, you should consider a few things:

  • Voiding your product warranty: Some thermostat manufacturers will void a thermostat’s warranty if you install it yourself in order to protect themselves from warranty claims caused by user negligence. Warranties can come in handy so that you won’t have to pay out of pocket should your unit malfunction before the common 10-year mark.
  • Risks: Improper setup can result in electric shocks, accidentally blowing a circuit breaker, or causing damage to the thermostat unit, the electrical system or even the AC/furnace unit itself.
  • Saving money vs later repairs: While the DIY route might be economical, any saving on installation will be offset by high heating and cooling bills or repairs to your rig’s HVAC system or the thermostat itself due to improper installation.
  • Newer systems are complicated: Advanced systems will be more complicated to set up. Over the last few decades, RV thermostat has come a long way with marked changes, so configuring and wiring of these newer thermostats demand knowledge in electrical wiring. 

If you think you can handle it though, the process would look something like this for a digital thermostat, but of course, it’s crucial to follow your owner’s manual down to the letter:

  • Tools: You will need a small precision screwdriver to loosen the screws in the thermostat. A set would only cost you around $20 for a high quality, top rated one.
  • Safety first: When working with anything electrical, always remember to make sure you are not connected to shore power, turn off the breaker or disconnect power to any device before servicing it. Also disconnect the negative cable from your main batteries. 
  • Remove the old thermostat: Pop the cover off and loosen the screws that hold the unit in place. You’ll see a set of color-coded RV wires ires connected to the thermostat. Using a precision screwdriver, disconnect the wires from the thermostat. Use tape to cover the blue and red wires as they will not be used. It’s important to make sure the wires do not touch each other during this entire process. 
  • Wire in the new thermostat: Ensure the correct color-coded RV wires are connected to the correct numbered thermostat terminals. Normally, the terminals will have a screwdriver slot for securing the wires. 

Usually, it’s black wire to G (terminal 1, typically ground to the vehicle’s neutral system), white wire to W (terminal 8, typically the supply wire to the vehicle’s furnace or electrical heater), yellow wire to Y (terminal 5, typically the supply wire to the vehicle’s AC compressor), green wire to Rh (terminal 6, typically the supply wire to the blower fan’s high speed), and the other green wire to Rc (terminal 7, typically the supply wire to the blower fan’s low speed). 

Keep the jumper between Rh and Rc in place to allow the furnace and A/C to operate with the fan on the low setting. If your thermostat doesn’t have a High/Low fan switch, you can disregard this.

  • Secure the new thermostat: Mount the back plate of the new unit to the wall using as many screws as needed while making sure it is level (this is important, as you will see in the next section). Then just pop the new thermostat into place. Before putting in the batteries, open the doors on the unit to make sure the switch is set to OFF.
  • Reconnect power: Reconnect the negative cable to your batteries and plug in to shore power again. Press the power button until the display blinks and press the up or down arrow to increase or decrease the temperature setting. Once it shows the temperature you want, release the buttons and the display will stop blinking. 
  • Set to AUTO: Then set the fan to AUTO and select either HEAT or COOL and you are good to go. Make sure you stock up on spare batteries before every long trip because if your batteries die, you won’t be able to operate your A/C and furnace.

How To Fix A Malfunctioning RV Thermostat

The Step-by-Step Guide
Follow these following steps to fix a malfunctioning thermostat for your RV:
Check the setting
This step might seem obvious, but that’s why it’s overlooked by many puzzled RV owners. You’ll need to ensure that the thermostat is on the heater setting in the winter or the cool setting during the summertime.

Also note that if you leave the setting as ON, your heater or A/C unit will be continuously running without cycling on and off to save energy. Find the control panel on the thermostat and switch it to “AUTO” so that the thermostat will automatically and most efficiently turn the furnace or A/C on and off as needed. With the auto mode, the A/C or furnace only blows air when the system is heating or cooling the air inside the RV.
Check the level
Certain types of thermostats contain a small vial of mercury that must be level to ensure proper temperature control. This can be confirmed with a standard carpenter’s level. If the measurement is off, adjust the placement of the thermostat itself until it’s straight.
Turn the thermostat up or down
You might find that there’s little change in the ambient temperature. It might be that you’re forcing your furnace or A/C to work too hard. It’s better to set the temperature to 5 degrees lower than the outside temperature in the summer, and 5-degrees above the outside temperature in the winter to save energy. 5 degrees will also make a big difference in terms of your comfort. When turning the thermostat settings up or down, you should hear a clicking sound, then you will hear the supply register vents blowing or sucking in air from inside the rig.
Check the heat anticipator
If your furnace cycles on and off too frequently, adjust the heat anticipator. The heat anticipator is a small slider or lever below a scale with an arrow marked “longer” or something to that effect. Moving the level in either direction will increase or decrease the length of your HVAC system’s cycling time. Shorter cycling time though is better at maintaining the interior temperature close to your preset level.
Clean it the thermostat from time to time
You might have an older mechanical or analog thermostat in your pre-owned motorhome. This type of thermostats are prone to dust accumulation, which can jam the mechanical parts and cause the unit to malfunction. They require cleaning from time to time to maintain accuracy. 

If you purchase a pre-owned rig with an analog thermostat, malfunction might be due to the unit being clogged with dust. Take the cover off and blow it clean using an air compressor, or brush away any dust using a soft brush or a piece of cloth or even Q-tip. And if you see any surface corrosion, use an electrical contact cleaner to clean it, like the common WD-40 that can be purchased at any auto parts store or online.

FAQs About RV Thermostats

1. Can you use a residential thermostat in an RV?

No. Residential thermostats are designed to regulate temperature in large spaces and they run on high voltages. Most residential thermostats are designed to use 24 volt AC power. Meanwhile recreational vehicles run on the 12-volt DC system to charge the battery and power the engine’s electrical components, as well as the 120-volt AC system to power all electrical appliances and power outlets. While a few residential thermostat models are compatible with use in RVs as well, you need to double check the specifications, or else you’d risk paring an incompatible thermostat with your rig.

2. What happens to thermostats if their batteries run low?

If the battery in the unit is totally dead, you won’t be able to switch the unit on. And as their battery power is depleting, they will lose the ability to efficiently detect and regulate interior temperature. Because of that, you need to always have spare batteries on hand, or swap in new batteries around once a year.

3. How long do RV thermostats last?

The best RV thermostats on the market are reported to last 10 years or longer with proper care, with many models still being reliable after up to 15 years. Do note that thermostats might require regular calibration and servicing to restore their capacity for precise temperature selection.

4. How do I reset my RV thermostat?

With a digital thermostat, press and hold the “+” button and at the same time, press and hold the On/Off Mode button for three seconds. The LCD screen will show ― ― . Press the On/Off Mode button again to turn the system off. This will reset the unit.

With an analog model, switch it off, then turn off the breaker that powers your HVAC system for 30 seconds and turn the breaker back on. Then turn your thermostat back on. It is now reset.

5. How to maintain your thermostat?

Different models usually have different calibration and maintenance requirements, so do consult your owner’s manual. Analog thermostats need to be cleaned or blown clean from dust buildup from time to time. The other types of thermostats would need recalibration to ensure accuracy. 

6. What temperature should I set on my thermostat?

A good rule of thumb for energy-saving heating in the winter is to set your thermostat at 67° F to 70° F (about 20°C), as recommended by the U.S. Department of Energy. If you still find it cold, try increasing the temperature by only 1 or 2 degrees at a time. To stay cool and save money in the summer, you should set your thermostat to 78°F (26°C), and turn the temperature down only 1 or 2 degrees at a time.

The better way to save energy is to set back the temperature of your rig at least 8° F for 8 hours or longer while you sleep. For every degree that you lower the thermostat, you can save 1% on your heating bill. This applies to cooling as well, since it takes less cooling and heating to keep you comfortable while sleeping.

7. What is the dial inside my thermostat?

That dial is the heat anticipator, which orders the thermostat to stop calling for heat before the ambient temperature gets too high.

8. Is it a good idea to purchase RV thermostats online?

So you don’t want to go out of your way to visit a store and pick up a thermostat? In that case, you could visit an online retailer, choose a model that you believe to suit your needs and have it delivered to you. Of course, to stay on the safe side, you should consider sticking to popular names such as Amazon,…

You can also find other in-depth reviews and buyer’s guides on best RV tire pressure monitoring system, best RV backup camera, best TV for RV, best portable satellite dish for RV, best RV TV antenna, best Wifi boosters for RV, best cell phone booster for RV, best RV stereo, best pet temperature monitor for RV, best RV GPS, best RV security system, best trailer brake controller and best TV mount for RV  in RV Electronics category where we provide you the handpicked list of top-rated products on the market with specific reviews, pros and cons to help you easily choose the best products for your needs and preference.

Chris Coleman is an interesting travel blogger and outdoor photographer with a great sense of humor. He owns an RV Accessories shop in New York City so he has the knowledge necessary to provide thorough reviews and give advice on how to choose the right products for RV travel. He puts all that RV knowledge and experience to good use in his sharing posts. Besides product buying guides/reviews, Chris also writes informative articles, how-to articles and RV camping guide in his own interesting viewpoint. Chris’s blog is one of the most reliable information sources for RV campers no matter if you're an expert or a determined beginner.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

RV Talk
Logo
Enable registration in settings - general