OCT 26 2022    
Protect your RV Furnace this Winter
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Protect your RV Furnace this Winter

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If you plan on RV camping this winter, you want to make sure you are warm and toasty! Before setting out on that cold weather trek, you will want to be sure that your RV furnace is in good, working order.

An RV furnace is the main heat source for your camper. A typical RV will be equipped with a propane furnace, but some buyers opt for heat pumps instead. Heat pumps aren’t your best option if you plan to go cold weather camping as they cannot handle warming in freezing temperatures. 

Because propane furnaces are the most common and work well in freezing temperatures, we’re here to help you keep your propane furnace healthy. We promise you will want to check this one out as you don’t want to skip this maintenance before winter camping!

This is not to say the need for professional maintenance is eliminated altogether. It is still vital that the delivery line pressure be measured and adjusted, the regulator be tested, and a deeper cleaning than what can be done at home be done periodically. If you haven’t had professional maintenance done in a while, it may be time. But there are some regular maintenance opportunities from home that will save you some hard earned money and keep you out of the shop outside of regular necessary maintenance!

Vacuum your furnace

This is an easy first step to keeping a healthy RV propane furnace. Vacuuming your furnace regularly will make all the difference.

When vacuuming, start with wiping down and vacuuming the parts you can see. Next, vacuum in and around all areas of the furnace compartment and the floor ducts. Removing all dust possible is the goal. 

Check exterior vents

Checking your exterior intake and exhaust vents is not a step you want to skip. Obstructions of any kind are a fire risk to your furnace. Be sure to make sure there are no nests or any other sorts of obstructions before taking your next RV trip.

Ductwork checks

If your motorhome is equipped with flex ductwork, it will be found above the flooring hidden in cabinets and tucked under and behind different pieces inside the RV. 

When inspecting your ductwork make sure there are not pinched or collapsed ducts along with any heat duct obstructions. Also be sure to clean the ducts if there is dust buildup inside of them.

To reduce the chance of a short-cycling sequence, inspect the adjustable heat outlet registers making sure most are open. 

Ensure all avenues of airflow are not obstructed

All forced-air furnaces require a certain amount of fresh air be returned to the furnace enclosure to ensure proper functioning. 

Make sure to check the grille used to return fresh air is not obstructed in any way or any other form of air returns are not blocked. Check throughout your motorhome diligently so that you know where all are located and can check to make sure nothing has fallen into or obstructed the airflow. Check out this video for a visual.

Check your carbon monoxide and propane detector

If you maintain your furnace regularly, propane tanks are known to be very safe. Even with proper maintenance, you will need a working propane detector and a working carbon monoxide detector in the RV. Before going out on a cold weather trip, be sure to check your detectors. This is vital for safety, so do not skip this step.

A quick note: RV owners should never remove any component of the sealed system that is held in place with a gasket. Breaking the seal on any gasket can cause a dangerous carbon monoxide leak. 

DC voltage supply

One of the most important things to check is that the proper amount of DC voltage is supporting your propane furnace. Too high of voltage can cause issues and too low of voltage won’t support your furnace. The average voltage most furnaces operate between is 10.5 and 13.5 volts DC. Here is a video to help you understand how to check your RV battery voltage so you can avoid these issues. 

If you plan on camping in extremely cold temperatures, it is best to have an inspection performed by a certified RV repair technician before leaving on your trek. You don’t want to be subject to below freezing temperatures when it could have been avoided! 

We hope this post helps you understand how to better maintain your RV furnace for optimal performance in the winter months. Happy camping!

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