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Can You Drive RV With Furnace On?

Can you drive your RV with the furnace on?

You can. But please don’t. It’s not safe. Especially if you have a propane furnace. If you have a stock RV propane furnace, consider upgrading to a Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy Propane Radiant Heater for safety purposes.

Most RVs in existence today come with a propane furnace as a stock option for comfort. Propane RV furnaces weren’t meant to be left running while you drive from point A to point B. There is a huge potential for disaster should you set a spark off while in transit. In addition, without proper venting, carbon monoxide could be present in huge volumes within your RV.

RV on Fire after leaving the heater on
Burning RV

Left RV Furnace On While Driving. Ka-Boom!

Here’s What You Can Do Instead So you don’t have to drive your RV with the furnace on:

  1. Pre-heat your mobile home by turning your RV furnace on for a few minutes.
  2. Keep all windows, doors and other points of entry/exit closed to keep the warmth in.
  3. Turn the propane RV furnace off once you’ve achieved the desired warmth level inside your mobile home and drive.
  4. Bring a trusty fire extinguisher at all times. The Amerex Dry Chemical Fire Extinguisher should be more than enough for your RV.

This should keep your mobile home warm for 2 to 4 hours depending on external factors like:

  • The weather.
  • Opening and/or closing the doors.
  • Leaks, cracks and other small holes that heat could escape from.
  • Level of insulation in your home.
  • Number of passengers.
  • Number of times the dog has to be let out.

But, if you really have to drive with your RV furnace on, you might want to do a few of the things listed below:

Preliminary Furnace Safety Check

If you bought an RV before 2003, chances are, you still have a propane RV furnace as a stock model option. Brand new, propane furnaces are generally reliable. But, as they age, certain characteristics come out. Before you turn your RV furnace on, driving or not, you might want to check its present condition.

Questions you might want to ask:

How are the pipes?

How are the gaskets?

How are the connections from the tank to the hose?

These are things that you can tick off before priming and setting the spark off.

Furnace Preventive Maintenance

Since you’ll be doing the preliminary check before turning it on, anyway, you might as well have a scheduled RV furnace Preventive Maintenance as part of your annual to do list.

Furnace Preventive Maintenance
Furnace Preventive Maintenance

Replace worn parts immediately.

With preventive maintenance, you can spot and replace worn parts or upgrade to increase your RV furnace’s safety features. Make sure you enlist the services of a professional who can advise you properly on what parts you need replaced or improved.

You don’t want to be stuck somewhere cold and unforgiving and not have the option to turn your RV on in the fear of turning your mobile home into a giant campfire.

Other Steps To Ensure Your Furnace Is Safe To Use While Driving

One of the main reasons why heating systems fail is how secure the connections are between points. Unnecessary movement usually dislodges hoses from the main vent.

If you are using a propane furnace, ensure that the tanks are truly secured in place and have very little to no allowance for movement. This can be secured by using rubber bushings. Replace the gaskets and O rings regularly as these will show signs of wear and tear the more it is used. You will also need to replace these parts if your RV furnace is not used for a long time.

Check out the Flame King YSN122a 12.2 Gallon RV Horizontal Propane Tank.

Since you won’t need to worry about losing heat during your drive, make sure you have proper venting to ensure gas/fumes won’t accumulate inside your mobile home.

Best Alternative Furnaces/Heaters To Consider Installing In Your RV Today

You don’t have to be stuck with your old propane RV furnace though. The advent of new technology has paved the way for new types of furnaces/heaters 

Although the propane furnace remains the best RV heater. Still, other types of furnaces are catching up. Electric furnaces are becoming more energy efficient. Ceramic heaters have also come into play as popular choices. Oil heaters are next but need more improvement. Each type has its unique pros and cons.

Electric Furnaces

Electric furnace
Electric furnace

Pros

  • The next best thing to having a propane furnace
  • Safer than propane furnaces as there is no risk of leakage
  • Ducting optional

Cons

  • Uses up a lot of energy
  • Without proper ducting, you might need several of these placed all over your mobile home to warm your RV up.

Try using the Heat Storm Wave Floor To Wall Space Heater. You can hide those ugly wires easily making your RV quite nice and warm.

Ceramic Heaters

Ceramic Heater
Ceramic Heater

Pros

  • Highly portable
  • Don’t need ducting
  • Can be used to heat specific parts of your RV

Cons

  • You need several to heat up your RV
  • Uses up a lot of energy
  • Prone to damage if dislodged during transit

Try the Lasko Ceramic Adjustable Thermostat to heat your RV safely.

Oil Heaters

Pros

  • You don’t need to refill every time you finish using it.
  • Heats up gradually warming the room up naturally

Cons

  • Large
  • Bulky
  • Hard to transport

The De’Longhi Oil-Filled Radiator Space Heater is a great way to safely and quietly keep your RV comfortable.

Choose an RV furnace that is best suited for your needs in terms of space and usage. For newer RVs on the market, an electric furnace instead of a propane furnace is now listed as a standard option.

But if you really must drive your RV with your furnace on

Plan your route to ensure there are no surprises encountered along the way. Sudden stops, uphill climbs or maneuvering around obstacles may cause jolts that could create a chain reaction leading to a spark.

Drive defensively. You have to make sure that your drive from point A to point B is uneventful. If you have to, err on the side of caution. Avoid bumps and potholes as much as possible. Your suspension system will be equally appreciative of your efforts to keeping your vehicle driving on a smooth path.

Check your lines periodically to make sure they are still securely attached. Use the Flame King (KT12ACR6) 2-Stage Auto Changeover LP Propane Gas Regulator with 2 Pigtails for RVs for convenience. This also helps you avoid gas leaks that could be present inside your living space. Fasten your heater unit securely to avoid slippage and check the ductwork to make sure it isn’t rubbing against any surface that could lead to holes.

Propane Tanks For RV
Propane Tanks For RV

Last but not least: Have a couple of fire extinguishers in your RV home for propane furnace issues. You’ll never know when you need them.

Oh, and don’t leave home without a copy of The Idiot’s Guide to RVing. This book is chock-full of great information that could help you out of a bind if ever you’re presented with one.

Related Questions

How To Repair A Faulty RV Furnace?

You can refer to the manual that your RV furnace came with and go through the basic troubleshooting instructions. Anything outside of basic repairs should be handled by a professional. This is not the time to be thinking about savings when a spark could make your entire investment go up in flames.

How Do You Keep An RV Warm?

It’s important to keep your RV warm if you want to enjoy your trips. For starters, proper insulation, preventive maintenance of your heater and using the proper equipment are key to making your RV warm without using up too much of your resources. Using the right techniques, you will have a warm RV.

How Do You Drive An RV Safely?

To safely drive an RV, you should take into consideration the type of tires used, the braking force and the RV’s total weight when fully furnished or occupied. An RV no matter what size, is a heavy vehicle. And even a small trailer home can add a significant amount of weight to the lead vehicle.

The Auto Sunday is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

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The Auto Sunday is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.