RV Furnace Buyers Guide

RV Furnaces

The furnace is the main heating source for your RV. It is important to select a furnace that is compatible and adequate for your RV. The first thing you will want to look at it is its size. You will need to match your existing cut out or measure how much room you have available to install your furnace. This will ensure that your newly selected furnace will fit in your RV. If you do not want to install or take up space with a built in furnace you can always use a portable heater to keep your trailer warm.


There are two options available as to how your furnace will circulate heat throughout your RV. You will have the choice between direct discharge and a ducted furnace. 


Direct Discharge: Usually more compact and lightweight and install easily since they require no ducting. These units feature faceplates that can be seen from the inside of the RV and are the source from where the heat begins its circulation. Even with their small size these furnaces are capable of heating sizeable living areas quickly and efficiently.


Ducted Furnace: These types of furnaces can be a little bit more involved as far as the install goes but have some great features to offer. A ducted furnace is one that pushes heat through “ducts” or “vents” located throughout the RV. This allows the heat to be dispersed more evenly throughout the RV. This also gives the user more control of where they want the heat to go by the ability to open and close separate vents.


Suburban NT-SE - 2017APW, 2021APW

  Atwood Everest Star - 36548, 36545, 36542, 36551


Another key point to look at when choosing an RV furnace is its BTU rating. “A British thermal unit is a unit of heat energy. One Btu is the amount of heat required to raise one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. The higher the Btu rating, the greater the heating capacity of the system.”  Please be advised that bigger is not always better. When replacing a furnace, try to stay as close to the original manufacture supplied unit’s BTU rating. Oversized furnaces will "short-cycle". This means that the unit will cycle on and off more frequently. Short cycling will limit your comfort due to limited control over the furnace.


My current furnace needs to be replaced. What BTU size should I buy to replace it?

Check your furnace data plate for BTU input. The replacement should be the same BTU size or a close equivalent. Do not oversize your furnace. Too much heating capacity leads to rapid cycling and reduced comfort levels. If you do choose a larger BTU furnace, your installer must make sure the installation requirements meet or exceed installation requirements for ducting, return air, clearances and gas pipe size.


Always remember, too much heating leads to rapid cycling, temperature swings and reduced comfort levels.

When installing a new unit it is always advised to have your system looked over and installed by a licensed specialist as it could produce problems with any warranties later on down the road if this rule is not followed. They will also be able to give you further instruction and more detailed advice on what size furnace would be right for your space.

Click here to view all the RV furnaces we carry.