RV thermostat

Best RV Thermostat to Regulate Temperature

Want your camping season to be comfortable and are looking for the best RV thermostat?

If you are having RV thermostat problems, now is the time to replace your unit, so your RV air conditioner or heater works flawlessly for the many camping seasons to come.

So how do you know which RV thermostat is the right one for you?

Read this guide to the learn about our picks for the best RV thermostats!

Down below we go over:

  • Exactly what an RV thermostat does
  • Why you need a thermostat in your camper
  • The types of RV thermostats available
  • What features to look for in an RV thermostat

Stick around, because, after that, we finish with our review with all the details so you can make a more informed choice.

If you’re in a hurry and just want the best, we recommend the Honeywell TH5110D1006 Non-Programmable Thermostat for overall performance, features, and value.

Honeywell TH5110D1006 Honeywell Non-Programmable Thermostat,...
  • Easy-to see and read. large, clear backlit...
  • Standard display size 1.5 square inches
  • Easy-access battery replacement door
  • 1 Heat/1 Cool Conventional and Heat Pump
  • Dual-powered (battery and/or hardwire)

How Does an RV Thermostat Work?

To understand which RV thermostat is best for your RV, you’ll need to know how it functions.

The thermostat in your RV is a device that detects the interior temperature of your camper and will turn on your furnace when it gets too cold. Many RV thermostats do dual-duty and control your air conditioner as well.

The thermostat is hard-wired to your furnace and air conditioner typically through your RV’s 12-volt system.

When sensors inside the thermostat read a temperature different by plus or minus a set amount of degrees from the temperature you select it will send a signal to the furnace or air conditioner to kick it on.

When the same sensors detect the RV interior temperature has hit the setting you enter, it will cycle off the appliance.

In this way, the RV thermostat works to automatically keep you comfortable, without you having to manually turn on and off your air conditioner, furnace, or fan.

Why You Need an RV Thermostat

Gray nest thermostat

You need a thermostat inside your RV to regulate the temperature so you can enjoy your camping adventures. RV specific thermostats are made to wire into a 12-volt system, and most can be replacement units for popular thermostat brands that manufacturers install in recreational vehicles.

Replacement RV thermostats will have the most common wiring like two- or six- wire options so you can quickly replace a faulty unit if troubleshooting gets in the way of your relaxation.

Another feature of an RV thermostat is a fan speed option for high or low, so you can quickly heat or cool your camper by placing it on high, then maintain the temperature by turning the fan speed to low.

RV thermostats keep the heat and cold near the setting you choose with no significant fluctuations in temperature. By running your furnace or air conditioner at its most efficient level, you will save on energy costs.

The Types of RV Thermostats Available

There are three main types of RV thermostats on the market:

  • Analog
  • Digital/Electronic
  • Programmable

Let’s discuss the differences between them.

Analog

Most older RV thermostats are analog. An analog RV thermostat can function for only heat or both heating and cooling, but the way it sets the temperature can cause some issues.

Analog thermostats employ a sliding switch that moves between temperature notches on the indicator bar. There is no way to set the temperature to an exact number, only a very close range to that number.

While analog thermostats are falling out of fashion, the simplicity of these units makes them a very reliable way to control your RV heating and cooling systems.

Digital or Electronic

Electrical thermostat

Electronic RV thermostats (also known as digital) work like analog thermostats, but the electronic microprocessors inside can detect a more accurate temperature reading which will start and stop your furnace or air conditioner more effectively.

People like these units because they can see the actual room temperature and then set the temperature they desire without fuss. Digital or electronic RV thermostats look more modern and will have a display screen to see not only exact temperature setting numbers, but the function (like heat, cool, or fan only) it is running at the moment.

Programmable

Programmable RV thermostats are a step above non-programmable electronic models and are the easiest to use.

A programmable thermostat will let you place your temperature settings into the memory of the unit, and you can change the settings for different times of the day for the most comfort.

Do you like it colder in your RV when you are sleeping? You can set a programmable RV thermostat to turn down the furnace or turn up the air conditioner during select nighttime hours, then return to daytime settings without ever needing to touch the thermostat.

What to Look for When Buying an RV Thermostat

Young man staying in RV

Now let’s look at the important factors that will determine what functions you will need in your RV thermostat.

Ease of Use

Some people want an RV thermostat that will control only the heat. Some people want all the latest technology in a thermostat that will control both cooling and heating.

Decide how much manual effort you want to invest in running your furnace or air conditioner.

If you want a super-reliable thermostat and are not overly concerned with getting an accurate temperature reading, an analog RV thermostat will be the best choice for your camper and your wallet.

Want to set your RV temperatures once and then forget about it? A programmable electronic RV thermostat is for you.

Want to save some money yet easily set the thermostat in your camper to an exact temperature and be able to read the display day and night? Choose a non-programmable digital model.

While more technology means better overall efficiency, it also means there are more components inside your thermostat that can malfunction, leaving you out in the cold or sweltering in the heat until you can fix the issue.

Looks

Older recreational vehicles with original thermostats do look a bit dated. Any analog thermostat will appear less modern, even the newest versions.

If you want your RV interior to look fresh, an electronic thermostat with a nice backlight feature will update the decor.

Many thermostats for RVs come in white, cream, or black so you can match them to your decorating esthetic and is a nice touch to keep the thermostat from sticking out like a sore thumb.

Quality and Service

Expect all thermostats at any price point to be made of a plastic housing and interior components that can be electronic and have an array of tiny wires. Look for quality materials that won’t crack, break, or come loose.

A thermostat should run for years without the need for service outside of an occasional battery exchange if you have a model that uses them.

Don’t buy a thermostat for your RV from a company that won’t stand behind their products. Excellent customer service is essential when you have a question on installation, programming, or general operation.

Luckily, most thermostats sold for recreational vehicles come from companies with years of experience in the thermostat and camping industry.

Best RV Thermostats: Our Reviews

When you need an RV thermostat upgrade, look no further! We list the top five best thermostats for recreational vehicles right here.

In this section, we review the best programmable and non-programmable RV thermostats with pertinent information and the pros and cons of each model. We also explain which type of RV or camping style best suits each RV thermostat.

BEST FOR – Any RVer on a budget that needs a basic RV thermostat to get the job done for both heating and cooling.

PROS:

  • Affordable
  • Controls both heat and cool
  • Straightforward operation

CONS:

  • Analog

The Coleman RV Camper Thermostat is a great choice when you are looking for an analog RV thermostat for your camper.

The simple design makes quick work of setting your heating or cooling options with no fussy digital readouts to worry about. When you’re installing a new RV thermostat, the white color and clean design will fit well into any recreational vehicle interior.

This non-programmable thermostat is a reliable, low-cost option to run your heater or air conditioner. The built-in thermistor air temperature sensor runs the unit automatically. You’ll also like the ability to adjust the fan speed to suit your needs.

Another plus for this Coleman RV thermostat model is the color-coded wiring that makes it easy to match up when upgrading your RV thermostat, even when doing it yourself.

The only thing I could find wrong with this unit is that the slide indicator to set the temperature is not as precise as on a digital RV thermostat.

BEST FOR – Any RVer who only needs a conventional thermostat to run their RV heating system and doesn’t want to invest much money.

Atwood 38453 Thermostat
  • Brand New
  • Comes with manufacturer warranty
  • International shipping available
  • Fits various makes and models
  • Carefully check vehicle fitment before...

PROS:

  • Fits many RVs
  • Budget-friendly
  • Easy to install

CONS:

  • Heat control only
  • Analog
  • On/off switch hard to move

The Atwood (Dometic) Thermostat is a quality RV thermostat when you only need to control the heat inside your camper.

The analog thermostat is stress-free so you can slide the indicator to your preferred temperature setting and let it run. You can also manually turn on and off the heating option.

This thermostat fits a variety of camper-makes and models and is super easy to install. You’ll appreciate the no-nonsense operation, with the temperature setting guide easy to see.

You’ll also love how efficient this affordable RV thermostat is for keeping the heat in your RV at a comfortable temperature.

On the downside, this Atwood thermostat model has only an option for controlling heat, so you must either have no air conditioner in your camper or have an A/C unit that you can control separately. The ON/OFF switch is also hard to move, which made me worry that the plastic toggle could break if you’re not careful.

BEST FOR – RVers who have a compatible Dometic RV thermostat wiring in their camper and who desire an easy-to-operate, digital, programmable RV thermostat for heating and cooling.

Sale
Dometic 3109228.001 Comfort Control Center for...
  • FULL CONTROL - Digital system creates up to...
  • USER FRIENDLY - SureTouch control panel...
  • LCD PANEL - See readouts in degrees...
  • COMPATIBILITY - Use with 630035/630515/630516...

PROS:

  • Control four climate zones in Celcius or Farhenheit
  • Internal memory keeps settings after power loss
  • Three fan speeds for peak comfort
  • Large LCD display
  • Backlight for night
  • Intuitive control panel

CONS:

  • Can only replace specific Dometic models

The Dometic Comfort Control Center is the best programmable RV thermostat for both heating and cooling with the ability to just set it and forget it.

The large, digital LCD screen has a backlight for easy-to-read nighttime viewing. The SureTouch controls make it user-friendly, and the internal memory will store your settings, even after a power failure.

You’ll love the reasonable pricing for this programmable RV thermostat and the many options for fan speed and auto functions — you can create as many as four different climate zones by using this model.

Unfortunately, you can only upgrade to this Dometic model if you are replacing one of the three compatible Dometic models in your camper.

BEST FOR – Any RVer who wants a digital RV thermostat that will automatically switch between heating and cooling so their camper will always remain at a comfortable temperature.

Honeywell TH5110D1006 Honeywell Non-Programmable Thermostat,...
  • Easy-to see and read. large, clear backlit...
  • Standard display size 1.5 square inches
  • Easy-access battery replacement door
  • 1 Heat/1 Cool Conventional and Heat Pump
  • Dual-powered (battery and/or hardwire)

PROS:

  • Simple installation and set-up
  • Affordable
  • Conventional heat/cool or heat pump
  • Backlit digital display
  • Dual-powered
  • Set exact temperature

CONS:

  • Screen size is misleading/smaller than pictures
  • Professional installation is advised

The Honeywell Non-Programmable Thermostat is the top pick for an RV thermostat that will perform reliably whether in the heating or cooling mode and provides other user-friendly features at an economical price point.

The easy-to-see and read backlit digital display lets you set the temperature and fan settings in a snap. This electronic RV thermostat can run conventional heating (furnace) and cooling (air conditioner) and a heat pump.

Customers find the system’s features easy to control and like the convenient access to the battery replacement door. They also like that this model has a battery to power the thermostat display and does not need a direct power wire to work.

Customers find this thermostat keeps the interior temperature of their RV more stable due to the fact they can set the exact number they wish on the digital display.

While many people choose to install this RV thermostat themselves, the manufacturer recommends you hire a professional for best results and to maintain the warranty.

BEST FOR – RVers who want an affordable, universal fit digital RV thermostat that only has a heat function.

ICM Controls SC1600L Simple Comfort Non-Programmable Heat...
  • Non Programmable
  • Single-Stage, heat only (no fan output)
  • Elegant design
  • New ICM patented Thermal Intrusion Barrier
  • Manual Changeover

PROS:

  • Affordable
  • Universal fit for two-wire thermostat replacement
  • Streamline design
  • Low battery indicator
  • Precise temperature sensing
  • Backlit display
  • Attentive customer service
  • Easy to follow instructions

CONS:

  • Non-programmable
  • Heat only
  • No fan output

The ICM Controls SC1600L Non-Programmable Thermostat is a strong contender for top pick for an RV thermostat that has a heat-only function due to the compatability with a wide array of motorhome, travel trailer, fifth-wheel, or other camper models that need an RV thermostat replacement.

Customers like the digital display with backlighting and the ability to see the current room temperature before setting the temperature they desire. Customers love the reliable, simple-to-operate, low-cost thermostat, and how responsive customer service is when they have questions.

The most feature customers appreciate most is the amazingly fast two-wire installation to connect to the heating system and the battery that powers the unit. This thermostat even has a low battery indicator so you have peace of mind that you can keep it functioning correctly.

Of course, customers note that this is a heat only RV thermostat and it may not be the right model for every camper’s needs.

Conclusion

When you need to install or replace your RV thermostat, upgrading to a model that performs best for your needs will make your camping trips much more enjoyable.

I hope you found this guide to the top five best RV thermostats helpful in your search for a new unit to control the heating or cooling in your camper.

Watch this short video to learn more about the different types of RV thermostats and how to replace a unit inside your camper.

When it’s time for an RV thermostat upgrade the Honeywell TH5110D1006 Non-Programmable Thermostat is the overall winner to keep your camper at an optimal comfort level.

Honeywell TH5110D1006 Honeywell Non-Programmable Thermostat,...
  • Easy-to see and read. large, clear backlit...
  • Standard display size 1.5 square inches
  • Easy-access battery replacement door
  • 1 Heat/1 Cool Conventional and Heat Pump
  • Dual-powered (battery and/or hardwire)

What thermostat is in your RV and do you recommend it? Share your answer below!

Product data was last updated on 2019-08-20 at 09:52.

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