How to Choose the Right RV Furnace for Cold Nights


  1. When embarking on a cold-weather RV trip, choosing the right RV furnace is of utmost importance. Not only can it make your trip more comfortable, but it can also prevent potential health hazards from exposure to extreme temperatures. Therefore, selecting the proper furnace is crucial to ensure you have a warm and safe experience.
  2. The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the various types of RV furnaces, their operation, and the pros and cons of each option.

Types of RV Furnaces

  1. Forced Air Furnaces Forced air furnaces use a fan to blow hot air throughout the RV. The furnace heats the air via a propane burner, which then travels through a heat exchanger, and is then circulated throughout the RV. These types of furnaces tend to be the most popular in RVs due to their efficient heating and ability to provide warmth quickly.

Pros: Forced air furnaces are relatively easy to install and maintain, and they heat up the RV quickly. They can also be equipped with a thermostat for precise temperature control.

Cons: Forced air furnaces are noisy and can drain your RV’s battery quickly due to their power consumption.

  1. Catalytic Heaters Catalytic heaters are a more efficient and quieter alternative to forced air furnaces. They use a catalytic process to heat the air and do not require a fan to circulate it throughout the RV. Instead, they emit radiant heat that warms up the surrounding air.

Pros: Catalytic heaters are much quieter than forced air furnaces and consume less power, making them ideal for off-grid trips. They are also more fuel-efficient and provide even heat distribution.

Cons: Catalytic heaters can take longer to warm up the RV and do not provide instantaneous heat like forced air furnaces. Additionally, they do not come equipped with a thermostat, so temperature control can be more challenging.

  1. Radiant Heaters Radiant heaters use infrared technology to heat up the surrounding objects in the RV, including people and furniture. They work similarly to catalytic heaters, emitting heat without using a fan or ductwork. These types of heaters are less common in RVs but can be useful in certain situations.

Pros: Radiant heaters provide even heat distribution and are very quiet. They also consume less power than forced air furnaces and are ideal for small RVs.

Cons: Radiant heaters do not heat up the air, so it may take longer to feel warm in the RV. They also do not have a thermostat, so temperature control is more challenging. Additionally, they can be more expensive than other types of furnaces.

III. Factors to Consider When Choosing an RV Furnace

  1. When selecting an RV furnace, size and heating capacity are critical factors to consider. You need to ensure that the furnace you choose is appropriately sized for your RV to provide enough heat to keep you comfortable during cold nights.
  2. Fuel type is another important consideration. Most RV furnaces use propane, which is an efficient fuel source. However, some RVs may have different fuel sources, such as diesel or electric, so it’s essential to choose a furnace that is compatible with your RV’s fuel source.
  3. Energy efficiency is crucial when it comes to RV furnaces. A furnace that is energy efficient will consume less power and propane, ultimately saving you money in the long run.
  4. Noise level is also an important factor to consider, particularly if you plan to use your RV furnace during the night. Forced air furnaces tend to be noisier than catalytic or radiant heaters, so if noise is an issue, consider the quieter alternatives.
  5. Lastly, maintenance and service are essential when it comes to RV furnaces. It’s crucial to choose a furnace that is easy to maintain and service, with replacement parts readily available.

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Additional Tips for Staying Warm in an RV

  1. Insulation and Sealing: Proper insulation and sealing are crucial to keeping the warm air inside your RV and the cold air outside. Check for any air leaks around windows, doors, and vents, and seal them with weatherstripping or caulk. Additionally, consider adding extra insulation to your RV walls, floor, and ceiling to retain more heat.
  2. Layering and Warm Bedding: Layering your clothing and using warm bedding is an effective way to stay warm in your RV. Wear thermal underwear, thick socks, and warm sweaters or jackets, and use blankets or a down comforter to keep you cozy at night.
  3. Ventilation and Moisture Control: While it may seem counterintuitive, proper ventilation is essential for staying warm in an RV. Proper ventilation helps to remove moisture and condensation, which can cause dampness and make it harder to stay warm. Use a dehumidifier or crack a window to keep the air circulating and prevent moisture buildup.

Overall, staying warm and comfortable in an RV during cold nights requires a combination of proper heating, insulation, and ventilation. By following these additional tips, you can make your RV feel more like home and ensure a cozy and enjoyable trip.


  1. In summary, choosing the right RV furnace for cold nights is essential to ensure your comfort and safety during your RV trip. The article has discussed the different types of RV furnaces, their operation, and the pros and cons of each option. Additionally, it has highlighted the critical factors to consider when choosing an RV furnace, including size, fuel type, energy efficiency, noise level, and maintenance.
  2. Final thoughts include considering your specific needs and preferences when choosing an RV furnace, as there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Take into account the size of your RV, your power consumption needs, and the level of noise you can tolerate.
  3. Ultimately, the importance of staying warm and comfortable while RVing during cold nights cannot be overstated. By choosing the right RV furnace, you can ensure that your trip is both enjoyable and safe.

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