The rv thermostat is something that could save you money and is really very under-appreciated. Improvements that could make a big difference are things like timers and programs so that when you are gone the thermostat does the right thing.
RV52.com has written a few articles on the Thermostat that you might find useful:
- From my book – The Fifth Wheel RV – The Interior – an overview article on the thermostat
- Why your RV feels hotter than it really is
- Why does my air conditioner turn off when I turn ON the lights?
- Notes on our air conditioner
Here is a basic overview on how an RV thermostat (or any other for that matter works)
When you set the temperature or setpoint for a thermostat and tell it that is it either cooling or heating more goes on in the background than you might think.
When set for cooling and you set a desired temperature (the setpoint) you are telling the thermostat “Please Mr. Thermostat, do not let it get any hotter than the setpoint in my RV (technically not true – read next paragraph).
Well, actually, an important note here is that the thermostat only knows how hot it is at the thermostat. Sheri and I have on many occasions used a fan to circulate the air in our RV and our house to get a more uniform temperature.
The setpoint is not what you think either. For example, lets say you set the thermostat to 72 degrees F and cool. What the thermostat will do is to cool the RV to 72.
When it decides to turn on again, it allows the temperature to raise to 73 before it turns on again. Different thermostats may change this slightly, but the point is that there might be a degree or two difference. Why? Because if there was not a bit of a difference the air conditioner would be turning on and off too fast. That is very hard on air conditioners. Also, thermostats also know not to turn on air conditioners (or furnaces) faster than, say 10 minutes. This is so that the cooling unit is not damaged.
So you see the thermostat is more complex than you might think.
Mostly this is the opposite of the cooling cycle.
In both modes, the thermostat knows when to turn on the fan too. And it does this in a smart way.
How is an RV Thermostat different from a normal home thermostat?
In your home thermostat, it gets its power from a small transformer which provides 24 volts to the thermostat.
In an RV, 24 volts would be really inconvenient to provide, particularly when the RV is running off of a battery.
…a 12 volt batter.
So the obvious difference is that the RV thermostat runs off of 12 volts instead of 24 volts. I’m sure there are other small differences but this is the biggest one that I am aware.
RV Thermostat Users Manuals:
- dometic rv thermostat single zone operating instructions
- AirXcel RVP Products RV Thermostat Multiple Zone Users Manual
- Dometic RV Thermostat Comfort Control Center 2 Users Guide Owners Manual
- Suburban RV Thermostat Heating Only 161154 161138 Users Manual Instructions Owners Guide
- Atwood hydroflame 1H2C Digital Thermostat for RV
- Atwood hydroflame 2H2C Digital Thermostat for RV
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