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5 Best RV Thermostats and How to Use Them

5 Best RV Thermostats and How to Use Them

Being comfortable is one of the benefits of camping with an RV. If the weather outside is muggy or bone-chilling, controlling the temperature inside your home on wheels is important. Having a working and accurate RV thermostat can help you stay comfortable and cozy while on the road. 

What Is an RV Thermostat?

An RV thermostat works with the air conditioner and furnace in your RV. You’ll find a variety of options, including analog, digital, and pre-programmable.

How To Upgrade Your RV Thermostat (DIY: Honeywell)

How Does an RV Thermostat Work?

An RV thermostat functions much like one in a traditional home. You can adjust the settings directly on it as needed. Typically a single thermostat will control both the cooling and heating functions in your RV. They can also help your unit automatically turn on and off to maintain appropriate temperatures.

Dometic thermostat close up.
Control both the cooling and heating functions in your RV with an RV thermostat.

Do You Need a Special Type of Thermostat for an RV?

RVs have very different electrical components and capacities than a standard home. The voltage and wiring are all different from what you may have seen. 

So while people can use their electrical skills to install standard thermostats in some cases, it isn’t generally recommended. Thermostats designed for RVs will make for a smooth install and yield the best results. 

Heating control panel for RV thermostat.
Depending on the electrical system in your RV, different thermostats will work better for you.

Types of RV Thermostats

Not all RV thermostats are the same. Once you’ve decided you need to swap out your thermostat, you’ll need to determine what style fits your situation the best. Here are a few options to keep in mind as you begin your search. 

Analog

An analog RV thermostat is the most basic one you can install but a dependable option. If you don’t need something fancy and want to keep it budget-friendly, an analog option is often a great choice. With an analog unit, you can change the settings with a slider. 

Analog units work by using a heat-sensitive metal that bends when it changes temperatures. This makes contact with a switch to turn on heating and cooling. These thermostats do not need any electrical power to operate.

Analog RV thermostat
This is the inside of an analog RV thermostat, note the coiled metal wire that senses the temp

Digital

Digital thermostats allow you to quickly and accurately see your settings at a glance. You don’t have to second-guess what temperature you’ve set. They also allow you to change your settings with confidence and set precise numbers easily. 

Digital thermostats use electrical temperature sensors and need power to operate. Usually power is provided on the wires to the furnace.

Close up image of RV thermostat.
Consider whether you want a digital or an analog thermostat.

Programmable

A programmable RV thermostat allows you to choose when you want your settings to go into effect. This enables you to have your unit kick on at a predetermined time, so you’ll have a comfortable RV after a day out exploring. A programmable unit can save you money as you won’t heat or cool your RV when you aren’t there. 

Smart Thermostats

Smart thermostats can change based on your preferences and external conditions. This saves on electricity costs as it learns how and when to adjust and work effectively. A smart thermostat allows you to set your desired temperature and forget about it. They also have smartphone apps, so you can monitor or change your RV’s temperature remotely.

White Dometic RV thermostat.
Smart thermostats change based on personal preferences and external conditions.

Pro Tip: If you’re putting your RV into storage for the cold winter months, you should use one of these 5 Best RV Air Conditioner Covers.

The 5 Best RV Thermostats

With so many great options, it can feel a bit overwhelming when looking for your new thermostat. We’ve gathered some of our top choices to help you get started. 

1. Dometic 38453 RV Thermostat

Type: Analog

About: This easy-to-install thermostat keeps things simple. It is budget-friendly and yet gets the job done. You can change the settings by simply adjusting a slider as needed. The Dometic 38453 is an analog RV thermostat that’s easy to use. 

Price: $25.84

Dometic RV Thermostat Basics
Sale
Dometic (38453) Off White Thermostat
  • User-friendly controls
  • Made from quality materials
  • Please ensure part will fit before ordering

2. Coleman 83303862 Digital Thermostat

Type: Digital

About: The Coleman 83303862 Digital Thermostat gives you the convenience of a digital thermostat while keeping it simple. You can see the temperature readings on the digital screen and adjust as needed. Users can easily switch between cooling, heating, and fan with toggle switches. 

Price: $76.21

How to replace Manual Coleman Mach RV thermostat with a modern DIGITAL PRECISE unit.
Coleman 83303862 Digital Thermostat
  • T-Stat Wall Analog Heat/Cool
  • Brand: Airxcel
  • Part Number: 8330-3862

3. Honeywell TH5110D1006/U Non-Programmable Thermostat

Type: Programmable

About: If you want an affordable digital RV thermostat that performs flawlessly, this is it. With the large backlit digital display, you’ll easily make a note of your settings and current indoor conditions. You can toggle between heating and cooling systems with an easy push of a button. Plus, it has an easy-access battery replacement door.

Price: $41.86

RV Thermostat Upgrade Mod - Honeywell FocusPRO 5000
Honeywell TH5110D1006/U Non-Programmable...
  • Easy-to see and read. large, clear backlit digital display
  • Standard display size 1.5 square inches
  • Easy-access battery replacement door

4. Dometic 3314082 Duo Therm Comfort Control 2

Type: Programmable

About: The Dometic 3314082 Duo Therm Comfort Control 2 is the perfect upgrade for someone looking to switch from an analog model. It has a digital display giving you an easy-to-read screen while still allowing you to use buttons to make setting changes. The large buttons help you control the temperature and mode. This display also features a clock function which you might find helpful while you travel. 

Price: $122.27

Setting Up your Dometic Thermostat

5. Micro-Air Easy Touch Wireless RV Thermostat

Type: Smart

About: If you want a unit with all the bells and whistles, the Micro-Air Easy Touch Wireless RV thermostat is it. This all-digital display brings the best in technology and efficiency. You can see your settings and make adjustments all on the large and clear digital display. You can program it as you need, and it has a smartphone application for remote access. This allows you to make adjustments on the go as your needs change.

Price: $259.00

Wirelessly Control Your RV Thermostat from ANYWHERE — Micro-Air EasyTouch RV Thermostat
Hutch Mountain Micro-Air EasyTouch Digital RV...
  • 🌡️ NOT SURE WHICH MODEL TO CHOOSE (There are 12 different...
  • 🌡️ REPLACES ALL DIGITAL RV THERMOSTATS including Dometic &...
  • 🌡️ FREE SMARTPHONE APPLICATION for remote access. Free...

How Do You Know if Your RV Thermostat Is Bad?

If you find that the indoor temperature doesn’t seem to line up with what your thermostat shows, you likely have a faulty one. If your air conditioner and furnace don’t respond to your thermostat, you will want to troubleshoot to confirm if the problem is with your thermostat or your heating and cooling units. 

Pro Tip: One way to heat your RV in colder months is to use an RV furnace. Since there’s a lot to learn about furnaces, we put together The Beginner’s Guide to RV Furnaces.

The Best RV Winter Setup: How to RV in Winter and the Gear That Will Keep You Cozy Warm!

RV Thermostats for Convenience and Comfort

Reaching over and adjusting your RV’s thermostat settings should be an easy task giving you a comfortable RV interior. If you find yourself frustrated with the effort it takes to keep your RV at a comfortable temperature, you aren’t alone. Before you start the expensive process of replacing your air conditioner or furnace, you will want to investigate to ensure it isn’t a faulty thermostat first.

Have you replaced your RV’s thermostat? Which unit did you choose? Drop a comment below!

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Roger West

Thursday 3rd of November 2022

When my factory installed Coleman thermostat failed last winter, I decided to advance the thermostat into the 21st century. Surprisingly, the upgrade was not more expensive and was easy to install myself. I went with the new Micro-Air EasyTouch. Their website helped me identify which model to purchase. After using it now through all seasons (air conditioning and heating) it controlled both perfectly. And it handled both zones (seperate A/C) without a problem. Plus, we are very concerned about the tempertaure inside the Motorhome, even when away from it, as our dog may be left inside. With this Micro-Air Thermostat, I can connect remotely, using my cell phone app, and see what the temperture inside the motorhome as from anywhere. I can make adjustments if necessary. I highly reccomend this Micro-Air Thermostat.

Mortons on the Move

Saturday 19th of November 2022

Thanks for the recommendation!

Dalton Bourne

Tuesday 8th of February 2022

I purchased an RV thermostat from Dometic when the factory one in my RV started going out. It replaced my old one perfectly and has been functioning very well for a month now. I love that this thermostat connects to both the air conditioner and the furnace. As you probably know, some models only link to the furnace, which isn’t ideal for someone like me who values convenience.

Cyrus Juliet

Thursday 30th of December 2021

One of the most dependable thermostats on the market is the Honeywell. If you're looking for a more accurate and long-lasting RV digital thermostat, this is the one to go with.

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