Determining the correct RV furnace location is not as straightforward as it sounds. After all, we don’t see these space-heating appliances sticking out from a motorhome’s interior.
This appliance is usually located behind walls or under the RV’s flooring. Some manufacturers install the camper furnace inside a cabinet behind large furnishings and fixtures. As RV furnaces are hidden, the only visible components are the exterior exhaust vents and interior air vents.
So, please keep reading to learn your motorhome furnace’s location.
- Common Locations for RV Furnaces
- Factors that Influence the Location
- Tips to Find Your RV Furnace
Common Locations for RV Furnaces
Space-heating appliances for motorhomes vary in location. Please note that RV furnace position depends on the RV model, series, and make. We might have the same camper brand but different furnace locations because we vary in the series.
So, where is my RV furnace located? Thankfully, manufacturers and motorhome owners are helpful enough to offer common locations for these mobile space-heating appliances.
1. Inside cabinets behind furnishings, appliances, and other large objects
Benches, stoves, cabinets, couches, and dinettes are popular locations for motorhome furnaces. For instance, the Forest River brand puts Flagstaff’s space-heating appliance under the bench in the dinette.
Meanwhile, Coachmen designs its Freedom Express Ultra Lite RV with the furnace beneath kitchen cabinets near the sink. On the other hand, an under-the-couch compartment or the space beneath the fridge houses Jayco Eagle’s space-heating appliance.
These locations underscore an RV furnace’s “hidden” nature. Hence, you can look behind or under large motorhome objects as possible furnace areas.
2. Behind the RV wall
Some RV manufacturers conceal the travel trailer furnace behind a wall. You won’t see the space-heating device except for the tell-tale signs of its components.
For example, you might notice a return-air vent or a vented grill on the walls inside the RV. This component draws hot air to the furnace for recirculation. Hence, you can look for this vent, remove the screws, and you should see the space heater.
Alternatively, go outside and look for a panel with an exhaust pipe—this is a telltale sign that there’s a furnace that you can either access from outside or the corresponding panel inside.
3. Under the motorhome floor
You might also find the space heater in camper units under the floor, particularly if the furnace is propane-based. Some motorhomes have floor access panels to facilitate convenient maintenance.
RV space-heating systems use heat ducts to convey heat throughout the motorhome. The large flexible pipes feature reinforced aluminum originating at the furnace.
Opening the floor access panel and following the heat ducts should lead you to the motorhome’s furnace. You can expect it to be in a non-storage basement area.
4. Back of the motorhome
Some manufacturers also place the space-heating appliance at the vehicle’s rear, often concealed in a cabinet or compartment. This location allows for easier access when maintaining the furnace.
An example of an RV with its furnace at the back is the Dutchmen Kodiak. If you have this travel trailer, you’ll find the furnace below a drawer at the motorhome’s rear.
Factors that Influence the Location
We can consider several factors influencing furnace location in an RV based on what we know so far.
1. RV design considerations
Manufacturers vary in motorhome design priority. While some would focus on aesthetics, others would emphasize functionality and convenience.
The former will conceal their furnaces to create a seamless look. Meanwhile, function-oriented companies might place their furnaces in easy-to-access locations.
2. Motorhome space limitations
RVs range in size from small Class B versions (<24 feet) to oversized Class A units (>29 feet).
Large motorhomes don’t have issues with space, allowing manufacturers to install furnaces in purposely-built cabinets or compartments. On the other hand, smaller units demand RV producers to utilize every square inch to optimize space.
3. Desired space-heating efficiency
RV space heaters have return air vents, combustion exhaust vents, furnace compartments, and thermostat units. These elements’ placement relative to each other influences the furnace’s efficiency.
Hence, we can expect these components to be closer to the furnace than those in homes. This observation makes locating the space heater easier.
4. Ease of access
Although hidden, RV furnaces must still be easy to access. After all, these space-heating appliances require periodic maintenance to ensure efficient and safe operation.
Moreover, accessibility facilitates effortless repairs should the unit fail or show signs of damage (i.e., corrosion and obstruction).
Tips to Find Your RV Furnace
So, how can you locate your RV furnace? Please consider the following tips.
- Check the location of the air vent inside the motorhome or the exhaust vents outside the RV. The furnace should be right underneath.
- Look for the furnace’s temperature control mechanism. Space-heating thermostats link to the appliance. If you see these devices, the furnace shouldn’t be far.
- Read the manual for instructions on locating the furnace. This method is quicker and more accurate because it’s specific to your RV model and series.
- Contact the motorhome manufacturer and ask. Alternatively, the dealer can provide you with the information you require. An internet search of your specific RV model also works.
Determining the precise RV furnace location is easy if you have the motorhome owner’s manual. Many disregard this document, not realizing it provides invaluable information about the travel trailer or camper (including furnace location, maintenance, and troubleshooting).
You can still locate the motorhome furnace without the manual by identifying different components and following their path across the RV. These elements always connect to the space-heating appliance.
Read next: How Does an RV Furnace Work?
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