If you’ve never been on an RV without a working thermostat before, consider yourself lucky. It’s the last thing you would want to experience in your life, especially while you’re out on the road. Take it from people who have gone through it.
Imagine spending a whole day on the road in an enclosed space whose temperature almost mimics the one outside. It’s hell on earth. If that road’s burning, your RV’s going to feel like an oven that’s slowly cooking you inside. It’s not a pleasant experience and certainly not something you’d want to go through in your travels.
So, here’s what you can do: Get a good thermostat. It might seem like a small, insignificant tool, but it would help you a lot. With a trusty thermostat, you’ll never have to experience a day like that in your life. They are very important to RVs and will they largely affect your trip and your experience on the road.
If you are not sure how to start looking for a thermostat, this article can teach you what you need to know. Below are detailed reviews of the top thermostats in the market as well as their advantages and their disadvantages. We’ve also included a list of factors to consider when deciding which thermostat will work best with your RV. After reading this article, you would be equipped with enough knowledge to get yourself a good thermostat.
THE BEST RV THERMOSTATS OF 2020
Here are your thermostat hall of famers for 2019. Each of these products has a unique trait that sets them apart from the others. We’ll review them here as detailed as possible so you’ll know what makes them good and if any of them will work for your RV.
Coleman Rv Camper mach Manual Thermostat
- Cheap and Great performance
- Comes with expert installation for a small price.
Atwood (38453 Off White Thermostat
- Works for many types of RV
- Very cheap
Suburban 161154 Wall Thermostat - Heat Only -...
- Cheapest one here
- Comes with expert installation for a small price
Dometic D3106995.032 Heat/Cool Analog...
- Can give you control over the furnace and Air Conditioner
- Cheap and Great Performance
Coleman 8330-3862 83303862 Digital Thermostat
- Can give you control over the furnace and Air Conditioner
- Fair price
Dometic RV Air Conditioner Single Zone LCD...
- Has Display monitor with its own light
- Automatic fan feature
ICM Controls SC1600L Simple Comfort...
- Easy installation
- Nice design
Honeywell TH5110D1006 Honeywell...
- Easy Installation
- Versatile. Can be used in your house and in your vehicle
Dometic 3109228.001 Comfort Control Center...
- Backup memory to save your settings
Dometic 3316230.000 Duotherm Single Zone...
- Big monitor screen
- Backlight to see even in the dark.
THE BEST RV THERMOSTATS OF 2020
FACTORS TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING A THERMOSTAT FOR YOUR RV
You need to remember that the one you’ll end up buying will stay in your vehicle for a really long time. So before you step into a store, here are some of the things that you should look for in a thermostat.
Modern technology really paved the way for many new things. There was a time when thermostats could only do basic things to improve your room’s temperature. Now, they’re capable of so much more.
Before making the trip to the store, list the features that you’d want your thermostat to have. Do want it connected to your phone? Do want an automatic feature? Or would the basic heat only types work for you?
You need to know exactly what you want. Analogs can’t give you most of those features, but they can help make the temperature bearable. If that’s the only thing that you really want, then go for that one. If you want something more from your thermostat, then go for the more advanced ones.
It really depends on your taste. Some people prefer to keep themselves updated with whatever is new on the market. They usually go for the digital communicating ones, which are impressive but also new. It’s best that you wait for other people to try it first before you do it. Since that technology has just been rolled out, there’s a great chance that bugs and other problems will arise when you’re already using it.
There are many options on the market that offer different unique features. Make a list of the features that you want and stick with it. Don’t buy anything that you’re not really sure will help you at all.
There are four common types of thermostats. The most common one is the analog. This type is the oldest version of thermostats in the market. They are still being manufactured today, but they’re starting to go out fast. This type of thermostats can’t really go up against the others in most anything except in one thing, its price. It’s just so affordable that people still find themselves opting for it even if it doesn’t have any great features. Aside from that, nothing else really makes the analog special.
If you’re really heavy on the features, then go for the communicating types. These are the newest types of thermostats on the market. They’ll give you control over the thermostat from practically anywhere. Most of them have a phone app that continually updates when you’re connected to the Internet or when you’re nearby. They’re impressive, but they’re new. They still have some problems with them, and some customers occasionally complain about bugs and inaccuracy.
If trying to find something like analogs but more advanced, then go for the electronic thermostats. They can function almost the exact same way that analogs can except more precise. You can input the exact temperature that you want on your RV, and these thermostats will adjust your air conditioner and your furnace for you.
Lastly, if you want a cheaper alternative to communicating thermostats, then go for the programmable types. They can function almost the exact same way as communicating ones do but mostly without the app. With this type of thermostat; you can dictate all the settings that you want for your RV, and the thermostat will keep it that way. They’ll blow up your electricity bill though, but they’re really convenient.
There is no best one among them. The choice will only depend on you and your preference.
MANUFACTURER AND THEIR ACCESSIBILITY
There are many factors why this is important. One is that products manufactured on a certain area abide by the rules and regulations of that place, not the regulations of the place where they’re going to be sold. Products made in the US are under more regulations than those manufactured somewhere else.
This is not to say that products made from other places are not tough. Sometimes, they’re even tougher and cheaper. It makes them more accessible, and at least you’re sure of the standards they have to pass before they make it to the market.
The main source of information that you could get with regards to a product’s quality is other customers. If you really want to know how a product performed, read what people are saying about them. These are former customers who have tried and tested the product themselves, so they know how well it functions.
Don’t bank too much on the manufacturer’s website or their Amazon page. Those are lies. They would never tell you what would really happen if you install their thermostat in your vehicle. It’s better to stick to article reviews, you tube demonstrations, or even Amazon reviews for information about the product’s quality.
You need to ensure that you’ll get a really good thermostat. Otherwise, you’ll just be wasting your money. Better spend on a good-quality thermostat that would last you years than on a cheap one that you’ll have to replace after a short while.
Warranty is important on any product. It would really save you and your RV in case something’s wrong with the product that you got. You should stay very far away from products that don’t have warranties on them. No matter how good they promised you it will be, it won’t be worth it when something goes wrong.
Once you have your chosen model, search for information about their warranty. You should also research for information about whether or not that warranty they promised is fulfilled. Someone somewhere must have already tried to test that warranty before you. Base your decisions on that person(s) experience(s) on the matter.
Plus, why wouldn’t a company offer a warranty with their product? If they’re really sure that it’s great quality, and that it would work, a warranty would flaunt that confidence on us.
What you need to know about thermostats:
Here are some common questions that new RVers usually ask about thermostats. Go through each of them carefully and try to keep the information you’ll get from them at the back of your head. They’ll come in handy in the future.
WHAT DO RV THERMOSTATS DO?
A thermostat is responsible for controlling the temperature in your vehicle. It can be hooked up to your RV and connected to a furnace or an air conditioner. It’s important to have one in your vehicle to keep you from getting frozen or roasted inside.
The main purpose of having one is to keep yourself comfortable while you travel. This little device can keep you comfy while the sun burns everything outside. It can keep you safe and warm during harsh winters.
Newer thermostats can do more than the basic temperature controls. They can also be programmed to change the temperature to whatever you want it to be when you’re home or even when you’re away.
It can also help you save on electricity by automatically turning off all the temperature devices when you’re sleeping and when you’re going out.
HOW DO RV THERMOSTATS WORK?
You learned about the four types of thermostats above: The analog, the Electronic, the communicating, and the programmable. All these types have their own specific trait that separates them from one another.
Analogs are the oldest type. They’re nearly phased out because newer types can do their jobs better and more precisely. Analogs usually work by estimation. When you want a change in temperature, you can only change it 15 points above or below. You can’t get the exact temperature that you want. It would give you something somewhat close to it.
Electronics, on the other hand, are like upgraded versions of these thermostats. They can do what analogs can do except better and more precise. Instead of the 15 point jump, you can actually input the exact temperature that you want. Electronics has microprocessors. It can keep your temperature to the specific point that you want it to be.
Electronics can take control over your air conditioner and your furnace to control your rooms overall temperature. This is a feature they share with another type of thermostats, the programmable.
Programmable is not that different from electronics. You can also input your desired temperature on them. They also have the automatic feature where you can just leave it up to your thermostat to control your room’s temperature. The difference is that with electronics you have to repeatedly input your desired temperature to keep your room comfortable. With programmable, you just need to do it once. They have internal memories that allow them to store your setting.
The last and the latest type are the communicating ones. These thermostats can be controlled even from far away. They have their own communication system that really enhances your experience with the device. It’s an incredible advancement in technology that’s still being developed even today.
WHY DO I NEED ONE?
A thermostat can control the temperature in a room or a place. That’s what they’re for. They will keep you warm regardless of the temperature outside the area that you’re in.
You can’t really just use a normal thermostat for your RV. House thermostats run on 24 volts. RV thermostats are powered by just half of that. Plus, they run on batteries. It would be an extreme waste of electricity to try to make your RV power a home thermostat.
Aside from that, RV thermostats, have fans who help them regulate the heat and the cold better. A normal thermostat wouldn’t be able to give you a better result than those that are specifically made for RVs.
WHERE CAN I GET ONE?
Online the best and easiest place to get anything. There are many different websites where you can get a good thermometer. Amazon is the most famous of them. There’s also Campingworld.com. They only focus on selling items that have anything to do with camping and RVs. You could get a great quality thermostat from them.
Sometimes Home Depot and Walmart have good thermometers. They won’t have a big selection that you can choose from, but they’re bound to have some of the good ones, especially Dometic. Those are very famous products. They’re everywhere.
Although, opting for online stores could get you better deals. Many times, online stores have lower prices than physical ones. You can just have someone come and install them once they arrive.
You can also do it yourself but think of the cost of the thermometer. If you are not really sure about what you’re doing, or if you’re new to all of this, it’s probably a good idea to get professional help. Otherwise, you’ll end up destroying it, and then you’ll need to buy a brand new one. That’s just a waste of money, time, and energy.
HOW DO I GET A REPLACEMENT FOR MY BROKEN THERMOSTAT?
It really depends on the brand and the model. There would usually be a manual included in the box. Take a good look at it and if you think that it’s beyond you, get professional help. You can also check out Hunker.com. It’s a website that could show you the basics on how to install a thermostat.
However, if you’re really sure that you got it, then go for it. After all, that professional fee isn’t going to be that cheap. You’ll be saving money if you do the installation yourself. You can also check out our guide to RV Air Conditioner troubleshooting.
It’s easy to rely on something that you’ve had for years. It’s the same thing with thermostats. Maybe because you’ve had your current for a while, your first instinct when it gave out is to find one exactly like it. You should take it as an opportunity to try something new.
There are many new thermostats that come with great features and are available for a reasonable price. Surely, there’s one that would fit all your needs as well as you budget. Just remember to keep the factors we listed above in mind and to try to research on a model as much as you can before purchasing. With that, you should be able to find yourself a good thermostat that would serve you for a long time.