If you’ve never been in an RV without a thermostat before, count yourself lucky!
There’s nothing worse than being stuck in a hot RV while on a road trip, or while camping in one and unable to stay warm because it’s so cold. Just imagine having to spend your day driving on the road while being stuck inside a hot, stuffy RV.
If the sun is shining and the road’s blistering hot, you can bet that your RV is going to feel like an oven. In contrast, when night comes, temperatures can plummet, leaving you feeling chilly and uncomfortable.
The best thing you can do is get your hands on a good thermostat. Sure, it might seem like a small tool that won’t make much difference, but, if you purchase a high-quality one, you’ll be able to enjoy your ideal temperature, no matter where you are, or the time of day.
If you’re not sure where to start looking for a thermostat, we’re here to help. Below, you’ll find detailed reviews of the top five thermostats currently on the market, including their advantages and disadvantages.
We’ve even included a buying guide and F.A.Q so that you can be confident that you’re making the best choice for your RV. Let’s begin!
PS. If you need overland tires, we have top recommendations guide for you here.
In a hurry? Check out our top pick:
Our top pick is the Coleman RV Camper Manual Thermostat. If you’re pressed for time and don’t have time to read our full review below, this Coleman Thermostat is a winner for its simplicity and affordability. It will provide you with complete control over your air conditioner, heat pump, gas, and electric strip heating.
Operating from one convenient wall thermostat, all you’ll need to do is set the temperature using the functional; slide selection switch, and then the thermistor air temperature sensor will activate by cooling as needed to maintain your ideal temperature.
Best RV Thermostat
OUR TOP PICK
If you’re on the lookout for an analog thermostat that can be used for both heating or cooling purposes, the Coleman Camper Thermostat won’t disappoint.
Unlike other thermostats on the market, the simplicity of the Coleman Thermostat is what stands out to us the most. Besides an array of positive reviews, this thermostat wins us over for both its heat and cooling control options, as well as the adjustable fan speeds.
There are just two switches across the face of this thermostat, which ensures quick and effortless navigation, while the built-in thermostat air temperature sensor will activate heating.
You can even choose to warm your RV up in the colder months, while the thin, stylish appearance is designed to complement any interior. It’s a great, ‘all-rounder’ choice that will suit most RV’ers. However, you can adjust the thermostat as and when needed to maintain your ideal temperature.
In particular, we think that you’ll like the refined yet stylish design of this thermostat. It comes in a traditional wall thermostat design and is thin in appearance, which ensures that it will complement all kinds of RV interiors.
- Made in the USA
- Offers both a heating and cooling option
- Thin yet durable design that will suit all interiors
- Some customers have found it difficult to contact customer support
The Honeywell Non-Programmable Thermostat is an ideal choice for any RV’er on the hunt for a digital RV thermostat that will be able to effectively switch between heating and cooling so their RV remains at an ideal temperature.
The Honeywell Non-Programmable Thermostat is our runner up because it is an affordable RV thermostat that will be able to perform reliably whether being used in the heating or cooling mode. It comes with an array of other user-friendly features and features a slim, stylish design that will blend into all types of interiors.
For starters, it features an easy-to-use and view backlit digital display that will allow you to easily set the temperature and fan settings. The backlit display will also ensure that you can easily view the screen at night, or in low light conditions.
One of the main selling points this thermostat offers is that it does not require a direct power wire in order to work. Unlike other thermostats on the market, this one is powered by batteries, and many customers praise how easy it is to access the battery door.
With the addition of this thermostat, you will be able to maintain the interior temperature of your RV to your desired temperature setting. All you’ll need to do is set the exact number that you wish to achieve onto the digital display.
Plus, Honeywell recommends that you hire a professional to do so in order to achieve the best results and to ensure that the included warranty is not made invalid. This might be an issue for some who want to install their thermostat themselves.
- Can be used for both heating and cooling
- You can set the exact temperature
- Affordable price point
- If you install this thermostat yourself and anything goes wrong, the warranty will not be valid for use
On a budget? No problem. The Suburban Wall Thermostat is one of the most popular thermostats on the market, and one of the most affordable.
Suburban Manufacturing is known for being pioneers in space-saving. They primarily created horizontally vented gas heating systems, water heaters, and solid-state spark ignition systems until becoming a bestselling supplier to the RV industry in the late 1960s.
The company's goal has always been to manufacture the most durable and efficient products available, and the Suburban Wall Thermostat is a shining example of their brand values.
Just as dependable as any other thermostat you’ll find on our list, the Suburban 161154 RV Thermostat Heat Only is a functional, user-friendly analog thermostat that focuses on ease-of-use.
Just like the Coleman, it features a stylish and simple design that will suit most interiors. It is powered by 12V and has a heating level of between 0.15 to 1.2 Amps that can be adjusted to help you find the ideal temperature.
- Easy to install and use
- Ideal for those on a budget
- Adjustable, you can set the temperature to your desired setting
- Only suitable for standard heat systems
Are you an RV owner looking for a heat-only thermostat? You’re in luck with the ICM Control Simple Comfort Thermostat!
ICM Controls is a leading, ISO Certified manufacturer of electronic controls, especially in the RV and camping community. Their knowledge and experience spans more than 30 years, and are continually introducing new and advanced product innovations.
The ICM Control Simple Comfort Thermostat has been created with a Furnace Control Technology that will allow for enhanced control and can be used with all 24 VAC thermostats.
Its compressor lockout (otherwise known as an anti-short cycle timer) will help to protect the compressor from any damage that might be caused by rapid short cycling, so you can be confident that this thermostat will provide a long service life. However, if anything goes wrong, this thermostat comes with a furnace control replacement.
In addition to this, the built-in fan blower features a dual function delay timer that will allow you to control the circulating fan as and when needed, to ensure that the entirety of your RV is evenly distributed with warm air.
Plus, for total safety, ICM has even included a built-in sensor that will turn itself off (100% gas shutoff) in the event of an ignition failure. It’s a great choice for those who want a thermostat that will keep their RV warm.
- Timely customer service
- Sleek and simple design
- Made in America
- Not ideal for Rv owners that want a dual thermostat, or cooling thermostat (heat only)
Last up on our list is the Dometic Duotherm Single Zone Thermostat, a programmable RV thermostat that comes with a control kit.
If you’re looking to treat your RV (and yourself) to a thermostat with luxe value, you won’t be disappointed with this one from Dometic.
Combining comfort and control, the Dometic Single Zone Thermostat will allow you to control all interior heating and cooling from one sleek, stylish device.
The large LCD display screen is what sets this thermostat apart from the rest, and ensures that you’ll be able to easily operate it, especially thanks to the seven-segment LCD number and letters that allow for easier viewing.
Plus, for total convenience, Dometic has even included a built-in backlight into the LCD display that will allow you to use this thermostat during the middle of the night, or in low light conditions.
When in use, its green LED indicator will show that the thermostat is currently in operation, while the easy ‘touch-click’ response buttons will let you know when you make any changes on the control panel.
In addition to all this, this Dometic thermostat even comes with three fan speeds to choose from (high, low, and auto) that will allow you to achieve your optimum room temperature, while digital temperature calibration will maintain room temperature +/- 2.
There’s even an integrated memory retention feature that will return temperature level settings to previous set points in case of power loss.
- Features three fan speeds
- Has a large LCD display screen for total convenience
- Comes with a built-in backlight that will allow you to operate it during the night or in low light conditions
Best RV Thermostat Buying Guide
To help you decide which thermostat is right for you, it’s important to understand the different types of RV thermostats on the market.
The three most common types are:
- Digital (sometimes referred to as electronic)
Programmable RV thermostats are the most advanced out of the three and are also the easiest to use.
A programmable thermostat will allow you to input your temperature settings into the memory of the device, and allows you to adjust the settings for different times of the day.
So, if it’s going to be a particularly hot day, you can set your thermostat to keep your RV cold until the night, when you’ll be able to adjust the settings to operate warm air between a defined set of hours until morning, and so forth. For this reason, they often tend to be the most expensive out of the three, too.
This is the most ‘traditional’ kind of thermostat. An analog RV thermostat offers either heat, or a dual heat-cooling system, but the way that analog sets the temperature can cause issues.
This is because they work by utilizing a ‘sliding switch’ that moves between the different temperature notches. So, for this reason, there’s no way you will be able to set your temperature to an exact temperature, you’ll only be able to get close.
Regardless, they are very reliable, which is why people still but them today.
Digital thermostats operate in a similar way to analog thermostats, except that they feature electronic microprocessors that are able to cleverly achieve a more accurate temperature reading.
This means that they’re more efficient at starting and stopping furnaces or air conditioners better than analogs.
They’re popular for RV’ers because it allows them to choose an exact temperature setting. They also come with a display screen which allows for easier use.
Features to Consider
Before making a choice, it’s important that you know which features to look out for in RV thermostats!
Here’s a breakdown of some of the most important to keep in mind:
As you will have seen from our roundup, most RV thermostats are pretty simple to use once they’ve been installed. However, to improve your overall user experience, we recommend choosing a design that is best suited to your needs.
Do you want to keep your RV warm for the winter months? You should select a heat-only thermostat.
Do you want to keep things as low-maintenance as possible? Select a programmable thermostat that will be able to do the bulk of the work for you.
This might not be of importance to everyone, but it’s still worth a mention. Most thermostats for RV’s are made using minimalist colors like white or cream so that they suit all kinds of decors.
However, if you want a more modern look, you might prefer a digital thermostat that features an LCD screen. When making a purchase, you might want to consider how it will look with your RV’s interior.
Hopefully, after reading our reviews above, you’ll have noticed that you don’t need to spend a lot of money to get your hands on an RV thermostat that is of high quality!
Though it’s pretty common for thermostats at all price points to be made of some kind of plastic exterior, it’s worth noting that the plastic used is often pretty durable and designed to last for many years before needing a replacement.
However, in order to protect your purchase, we recommend keeping an eye out for RV thermostats that come with a warranty, just in case.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is an RV thermostat?
An RV thermostat is, essentially, a device that is able to control the temperature inside your RV by controlling the furnace or air conditioner, where it is able to blow warm or cold air through the fan.
Depending on what you need your thermostat for (for cooling purposes, heating purposes, or both) the main purpose of an RV thermostat is to help you achieve an ideal temperature to suit your environment at all times.
How does an RV thermostat work?
The way an RV thermostat works is actually pretty simple. The thermostat that you choose for your RV will work by regulating the interior temperature of your camper. It will do this by turning on your furnace when it gets too cold. However, many RV thermostats offer dual-functionality and can also control your air conditioner as well.
The thermostat will be hard-wired to your furnace or air conditioner most commonly through your RV’s 12-volt system. When the sensors inside the thermostat read a temperature different by plus or minus at the set amount of degrees from the temperature you position it at, it will send a signal to the furnace or air conditioner to turn it on. Clever, right?
In this way, when those same thermostat sensors detect that the RV interior temperature has hit the exact setting that you have entered into its system, it will turn off the appliance. If installed correctly, your RV thermostat will work to automatically keep your RV at your ideal temperature without you having to manually turn on and off your air conditioner or furnace.