Traveler's Test

Useful Tips for Choosing the Right Thermostat for Your RV

Useful Tips for Choosing the Right Thermostat for Your RV

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The importance of regulating your vehicle’s temperature while driving or when you’ve set camp somewhere should not be overlooked, especially if you’re heading to a cold destination. Just like you would with your thermostat at home, you need to choose the best air conditioning system for your vehicle if you enjoy hitting the road in your RV. Here we share some useful tips for choosing the right thermostat for your RV.

Consider the Power Supply and Your Needs

If you’ve ever been camping alone or in a group, there’s a chance that you weren’t fully prepared for the experience. As most RV owners may know by now, camping feels much more pleasant when you’re able to sleep in a comfortable vehicle rather than inside a tent. However, contrary to popular belief, you cannot use a regular home thermostat and slap it onto your recreational vehicle. 

Almost all home thermostats are manufactured to run on 24V, and RV thermostats are designed to run on a 12V power supply. As you may have expected, an RV thermostat is connected to both the heater and the air conditioner system inside the vehicle to allow proper control over them once you’ve parked and set camp for the day.

In addition, some newcomers to the hobby may purchase an RV that’s already equipped with an analog thermostat. While most manufacturers prioritize adding these due to cost, they’re barely adjustable and are known for being inaccurate. At this point, they’re an old-fashioned option compared to what’s available on the market for a replacement. In most cases, they’re easy to replace. However, there are some considerations you should keep in mind before opening your wallet.

Set a Realistic Budget

Choosing the right thermostat for your RV means you need to set your expectations according to your budget and knowledge. When you’re browsing and comparing available RV thermostats, you may need to spend between $75 and $150 if you have the necessary skills to upgrade it yourself; otherwise, the costs will jump to $300 or even $400 if you choose to hire a professional. You should also be very thorough when searching for your new thermostat and carefully check that it will work with your specific heater and air-conditioner before purchasing just any model.

Invest in a Programmable Thermostat

Most enthusiasts would advise getting a programmable thermostat due to the better accuracy of the settings and the customization being offered in some models for activating the air conditioner during fixed hours of the day. Some thermostats can even connect via Wi-Fi so that you can use your smartphone to change their configurations. Another aspect to consider is that your annual maintenance can save you costs down the line, especially if you suspect any malfunction from the thermostat. In this case, buying a new thermostat is an investment that pays itself over time.

What Will You Get from Choosing the Right Thermostat?

One of the biggest advantages of preferring recreational vehicles over tent camping is the climate control you get for warm and cold weather. When you choose the perfect thermostat for your RV, you take the worry off your list and focus on relaxing and enjoying the journey. With more modern models, the thermostat can automatically switch between cooling and heating once you configured it. Having full control of the vehicle’s temperature brings another comfort level that you cannot have otherwise.

Most RV owners see their vehicle as a long-term investment, even if they’re not constantly on the road, and being able to hang out inside without worrying about drastic temperature changes is part of the charm. Besides, recreational vehicles require much more maintenance and care than an average car due to their unique features. Ensuring that the RV runs all its parts and systems properly before any trip is just part of the routine.

While most people agree that some items are not worth upgrading, the truth is that the thermostat should be a top priority on your list, especially if you plan on taking your RV on a long trip. Upgrading the heating and cooling system is not only about the comfort of the passengers; it’s also about saving costs and preventing major breakdowns that may require expensive repairs or replacements down the line. 

Camping in an RV may require an initial investment to ensure your vehicle is ready for anything you might experience on the road, but for those who appreciate the benefits of being out there in nature with such a level of comfort, the time, effort, and money invested is always worth it.

Photo by Hanson Lu on Unsplash