How Does an RV Propane Furnace Work?

Among adventurous campers who prefer to stay close to home, recreational vehicles have seen a revival in popularity in recent years. Even though RV owners have to deal with cold temperatures, they usually store their vehicles in their garages.

Even in cold weather, RV is possible! The RV propane furnace makes it possible. Let’s read this complete guide where you learn how does an RV propane furnace work?

How Does an RV Propane Furnace Work?

A propane heater is an integral part of every RV. Electric and propane heaters are available. The main function of propane is to provide heat.

RV furnaces do not heat the elements with electricity, although it is needed to operate them. A blower is used to circulate hot air throughout the RV during ignition and to run the blower when the RV is running.

RVs that have higher temperatures than their thermostats are activated by the blower motor. Over time, your RV becomes warmer as the heater burns propane to produce hot air, which is blown through the ductwork.

For example, RV heaters and camping propane heaters are forced-air heaters. While it may seem complicated, forced-air systems are actually very straightforward. The RV is heated when the air temperature drops, which is done by forcing hot air into it.

Camper propane furnaces not only keep RVs warm, but also prevent pipe and tank bursting.

Blower motors, thermostats, sail switches, modules, air intake ducts, and exhaust ducts are typical parts of propane furnaces.

Some Disadvantages:

In comparison with propane RV furnaces which have ducts, their designs are typically box-shaped, making them easily portable. While these have some advantages, they also have some shortcomings.

The safety features built into electric heaters, like automatic overheating and tip-over protection, help ensure their efficiency. This possibility still exists, however.

A propane-powered RV furnace is never at risk of a fire accident because it is very safe to use. It’s not like propane furnaces are silent, either, so you might not like the sound electric furnaces make depending on your model.

To make sure you’re getting the best propane heater for your RV, you should check user reviews before buying it.

You should also check our guide on How to Test An RV Propane Detector?

How to Turn on My RV Furnaces?

Following these steps to turn on RV furnaces:

  • In order to start a camper with electronic ignition, the first thing you need to do is plug it in.
  • After turning on your propane, you will need to make sure that you have enough fuel in your tank.
  • As soon as you are inside the camper, turn on the heater and adjust the temperature to your liking.
  • Once the heat comes on, you will hear it. By turning the heat on and off on its own, the furnace maintains the desired temperature in the camper.

Travel Trailer Furnace Operation:

  • Propane should be allowed to pass into the furnace slowly by opening our propane valve.
  • The temperature should then be adjusted according to your preferences. Through the ON/OFF switch, the relay receives air current whenever the thermostat is called. That air current then travels through the heater coil within the relay circuit. The thermostat on the circuit board of the module is automatically activated when the module is powered on, and then the fan starts.

Read also RV Propane Detector Keeps Going Off?

Noted: A motor will not start if the voltage is too low.

  • In order to ignite the furnace, the sail switch closes when the set temperature is reached and sufficient air is flowing through the blower. The contacts within the sail switch open as soon as the temperature setting exceeds the set temperature, shutting off the ignition.
  • A pre-purge cycle allows the combustion chamber to purge for approximately 15 seconds.
  • After the electrode has been lit for 7 seconds with electricity, the gas valve will be triggered. The gas valve and blower motor continue to operate after the module board verifies the main burner is light.
  • After 7 seconds, if no flame is detected by the module board, a second 15-second purge cycle is performed before a second Trial-For-Ignition cycle is performed.
  • A gas valve will be de-energized after three attempts to ignite the main burner before the blower is terminated in a lockout mode if the main burner does not ignite after 3 trial attempts.
  • The limit switch closes during the heating cycle. The gas valve will close once it has opened and remains open for a while while the blower motor continues to run.
  • Once the flame reaches the required temperature, the gas valve is de-energized, and the flame goes out. There is a 90-second post-purge period thereafter, after which the blower ceases.


How long will RV furnace run on propane?

Depending on how much propane gas you have, the rv furnace can run for approximately three hours if you have 20 pounds of propane gas.

Does RV furnace run off propane?

If it runs out of propane, a propane-powered RV furnace will lose pressure and eventually stop working.

An empty gas tank can lead to a leaky tank, an airlock, rust buildup inside the tank, and malfunctioning brakes. Propane tanks should be kept full at all times to protect your RV.

Can you run an RV furnace without electricity?

There is no problem running an RV furnace without electricity. You can just run it temporarily. Powering up the RV requires a small battery.


When you are on a road trip or camping with your friends or family during a cold winter night, you should ensure that your RV does not freeze. You will not have to worry about chilly nights again if you invest in a quality RV Propane Heater with Thermostat.

Leave a Comment