Thursday, February 2, 2023


RV furnace operation and preventive maintenance

By Cheri Sicard
Mark Polk of RV Education 101® has produced an invaluable video about your RV’s furnace, how it operates and preventive maintenance tips to keep it running efficiently.

In the heat of summer, we may not think much about our RV’s furnace, but as the weather turns colder, the more vital this RV appliance becomes.

Mark begins with a detailed explanation of exactly how the RV furnace works. Most RV furnaces are direct spark-forced air furnaces with a sealed combustion chamber that is vented outside. It operates on 12-volt DC power, or from the RV’s converter when it is plugged into shore power. A thermostat inside the coach controls the entire operation.

After thoroughly explaining the way the furnace takes cold air and converts it to heat, Mark goes into quick and easy things that all of us can do to optimize our furnace’s operation.

RV furnace maintenance tips include:

  • Inspect the vents for any obstructions. Also be aware that some insects, especially spiders, are attracted to the smell of propane, so you need to be sure the vents are free of webs or nests. (This information will help.)
  • How to inspect the exhaust vent for signs of incomplete combustion. This is important because incomplete combustion can expose you to dangerous carbon monoxide. If you see signs of black soot in the vents, do NOT use the furnace until you can get it checked out.
  • Inspecting and cleaning the fresh air return grill inside the RV.

These are simple tasks that anyone can do, but as with all RV maintenance, catching potential problems early can make them a whole lot less costly to repair. But in the case of an RV furnace, it can also make it a whole lot less dangerous, too.



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Bob M
2 months ago

While it may be a good idea to get the furnace serviced yearly. It’s a nightmare getting anything done at the rv dealer. you never really have to get much done with your homes gas furnace. They put junk furnaces in RV’s which seem like they would be a nightmare to get to and service.

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