LAST UPDATED: February 26, 2021
The Best RV Thermostats (Review & Buying Guide) in 2021
RV thermostats that’ll keep you at the perfect temperature while you’re out and about.
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PUBLISHED ON February 26, 2021
There are plenty of huge perks to camping in an RV instead of a tent, but in inclement — or even just unpleasant — weather, there’s one standout benefit. You can enjoy a climate-controlled environment, all while still enjoying the sights and experiences of nature. When it’s unbearably hot and humid, you can crank your RV’s AC, and when temperatures fall and get chilly, you can turn up the heat. But to control your RV’s interior temperature, you need one pretty critical part: an RV thermostat. You can’t access any part of your RV’s HVAC system without a thermostat. If you need a new thermostat or want to upgrade your current one, we’ve rounded up some of the best RV thermostats available.
A simple, straightforward, and reliable wall-mounted RV thermostat.
- Easy to install
- Can solve an array of HVAC issues in RV systems
- Direct replacement part
- Does have a shelf life
An affordably priced replacement thermostat that’s easy to use.
- Runs smoothly
- Straightforward installation process
- Easy to read and use
- May require adjustments for some RVs
- Not very durable
An upgraded RV thermostat that doesn’t require modifications on installation.
- Easy to install
- The digital format works seamlessly
- Easy to read and adjust interior temperatures
- May require longer screws
- Best for Coleman HVAC systems
Why Trust Us
All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, or practical experience with most products we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Benefits of RV Thermostats
- Built to last. When you invest in a quality RV thermostat, you can expect it to last you throughout many uses and many miles on the road. These HVAC controls can last for years once they’re installed.
- Easy to replace. You don’t need to be an RV HVAC expert to swap out your current thermostat. It’s an easy upgrade or update to make, with a few wires and simple screws alone.
- Can Work on any RV system. Whether you have a heating system only or a heating and cooling system, you can benefit from the easy controls an RV thermostat offers you.
- Can be smart or simple. Today, you can choose from a selection of RV thermostats that do a little or a lot. Some are straightforward and simple, while others feature smart technology and energy-saving features.
Types of RV Thermostats
Analog RV Thermostats
Analog RV thermostats are the simplest and most “traditional” type of thermostat you’ll find. An analog thermostat will work with both heat-only systems as well as heating and cooling systems. Older RVs tend to use analog thermostats, but some RV owners simply prefer their straightforward simplicity. However, that simplicity comes with a drawback: there’s no way to set an analog thermostat to an exact temperature. You can only pick within a sliding range.
Digital RV Thermostats
Digital RV thermostats are the updated and upgraded version of analog thermostats. Also called electronic RV thermostats, these products work just like analog thermostats, but they include electronic microprocessors that offer a more accurate temperature reading. This makes digital models more accurate overall, as they’ll start and stop your heating and cooling system more effectively. Digital thermostats also allow you to see the exact temperature inside your RV — and the temperature you’re setting the thermostat to — with ease. Their clear display screens can also highlight other information.
Programmable RV Thermostats
Programmable RV thermostats are the most advanced kind of RV thermostat you can buy. They offer more features than digital thermostats, and they give you both flexibility and convenience. You can program your programmable RV thermostat, saving your preferred temperature settings in the device, and then adjust them for different times of the day. This allows the thermostat to automatically turn the furnace or air conditioner up or down depending on your preferences, all without you having to change the thermostat each time.
First started in the 1920s under a completely different company with a focus on household electronics, Dometic earned its name in the 1960s. And today, the brand is known for meeting the needs of those who live and work on the road. Products made just for RVs, like the Dometic 3106995.032 RV Analog Thermostat, are a great example.
If there’s a brand that’s synonymous with camping, it’s Coleman. Since creating the first gas-powered lantern in 1900, Coleman has continued to innovate and provide an array of items for every kind of camping enthusiast — including thermostats like the Coleman 83303362 Thermostat and the Coleman 8330-3862 Digital Thermostat made just for RVs.
First founded in 1890, Emerson is a large company that covers all kinds of different tools, appliances, and more. One area of Emerson’s expertise is consumer electronics, and some products like the Emerson 1C26-101 Mechanical Heat/Cool Thermostat are a perfect pick for campers who need home-like technology made for an RV.
RV Thermostat Pricing
- Under $25: You can find an array of basic, typically analog, RV thermostats within the budget-friendly price range of under $25. These thermostats are simple, but they get the job done.
- $25 to $50: Most RV thermostats fall into this price range, totaling somewhere between $25 and $50. You can find analog, digital, and programmable thermostats for all types of RV HVAC systems here.
- $50 and up: If you’re looking for the most premium, most specialized, and most advanced RV thermostats, they’ll run you more than $50. Some can even reach $100 or more.
RV thermostats tend to work with one of two power source options. A thermostat can be hardwired, or wired directly to the wall — and HVAC system — of your RV. Or, a thermostat can run on battery power. You’ll want to opt for the power source that best suits your needs. Battery-powered thermostats tend to require monitoring, as the batteries can run down quickly. However, they’re very energy-efficient and often include smart features. Hardwired thermostats are very reliable, but they aren’t energy-efficient and can be challenging to install in some cases.
Another important feature is the type of system an RV thermostat works with or its system compatibility. Some RV thermostats are heat-only, meaning they can only work with RVs that have heating systems — not heating and cooling systems. Other thermostats are heating and cooling compatible. Make sure you’re looking at thermostats that are compatible with what your RV has. If you don’t have air conditioning, you’ll want to consider heat-only options. If you do have AC, you’ll want something different.
Precise Temperature Selection
One of the most critical features of an RV thermostat is the temperature selection — or, how you choose how warm or cool you’d like your RV’s interior. Analog thermostats tend to use sliders, which aren’t as accurate but are very easy to use and adjust. Digital thermostats tend to feature display screens or dials that let you pick an exact temperature. Both offer benefits, but increased precision can be a huge help if you’re looking for comfort.
- Always Consider a Thermostat’s Ease of Installation. While many RV thermostats are simple to install, more complex models tend to have more challenging installation requirements. Make sure to consider the installation process — and whether or not it’s easy to tackle — before choosing a new thermostat.
- Smart RV Thermostats Need Wi-Fi or Smartphone Connectivity. Before picking out an advanced, hi-tech smart thermostat for your RV, make sure you have the right kind of connectivity. These thermostats typically need a Wi-Fi connection or connectivity via a smartphone app, so you’ll need to be able to employ either of these while you’re on the road with your RV.
- Analog Thermostats Tend to Offer Best Reliability. With fewer moving parts and less complicated internal structure, analog RV thermostats can last for years and years without encountering issues. They tend to be the most reliable because they’re the simplest, which is great for anyone who wants to invest in a long-lasting thermostat.
- Always Check the Thermostat Requirements. There’s nothing worse than buying an RV thermostat only to find out it won’t fit your RV. Double-check the installation steps and requirements before buying to ensure the thermostat you like will fit your RV, wire to your HVAC system properly, and be easy to install.
Best RV Thermostat Reviews & Recommendations 2021
The Dometic 3106995.032 RV Analog Thermostat is streamlined and simple — but it works impressively well and offers excellent long-term durability. Designed for both cooling and heating systems, this thermostat is a great choice for any RV that has this setup. It’ll also work with RV AC units that don’t include a heating component. It’s perfectly compact, measuring 16 x 9 x 6 inches in size, and allows you to slide a simple switch to choose your desired interior temperature. You have a wide range of 0 to 32 degrees Celsius to choose from. This wall-mounted RV thermostat will control your heating and cooling system with ease, offering you a long-term solution that’ll last over many miles of traveling.
If you’re hoping to get a lot of value out of a new RV thermostat, the Emerson 1C26-101 Mechanical Heat/Cool Thermostat is a great choice. This analog RV thermostat can be used on single-stage heating and cooling systems, and it’s sold at a wonderfully affordable price that’ll work for just about any budget. It weighs 6.1 ounces and measures a compact 8 x 6 x 3 inches, making it the perfect size for every RV. The thermostat features a switch with three settings (heat, off, and cool) along with a mercury-free mechanical bimetal thermometer. It’s built for long-term use, with rugged snap-action contacts, and an adjustable heat anticipator. Once you follow the simple installation instructions, you’ll love the value and functionality this thermostat delivers in your RV.
Here’s a thermostat that’s incredibly easy to install without any tweaks or modifications needed: the Coleman 83303362 Thermostat. This RV thermostat is an analog model that’s suitable for use with heating and cooling systems, and it’s designed to offer great functionality as well as excellent ease of use. With a size of just 5.59 x 3.78 x 1.5 inches and a weight of just 6.3 ounces, it’s perfectly compact and RV-ready. Although it’s analog, this upgraded thermostat does feature a small digital display that allows you to select and see the temperature your RV’s interior is at. You can control your HVAC system with three switches: fan mode, thermostat, and fan speed. And this impressive premium model takes just 10 to 15 minutes to get installed and running.
The Suburban 161154 Wall Thermostat proves that sometimes, a simple RV thermostat is all you need. Though it’s very streamlined and simplified, this thermostat offers everything you need to achieve the perfect level of warmth inside your RV. It’s a heat-only thermostat, meaning it cannot be used with heating and cooling setups. It’ll help you warm up efficiently, mounting right on your RV wall and offering a well-fit replacement for your old thermostat. The device measures 2.75 x 1.25 x 3 inches in size and weighs a mere 3.2 ounces. Once in place, you’ll enjoy how easily this thermostat wires up and performs. There’s just one drawback: the temperature scale doesn’t feature numbers. Instead, you’ll have to guesstimate the temperature you’d like to select based on the set lines.
If you’re hoping to keep things simple inside your RV, you won’t go wrong with the Coleman 8330-3862 Digital Thermostat. It’s a step up from your basic analog RV thermostats — this digital model gives you more control over your HVAC system, but it doesn’t overcomplicate anything. The thermostat shines when it comes to installation. This compact device is very easy to install and wire into place, measuring 3.75 x 1.25 x 5.5 inches and weighing 5.6 ounces. It’s suitable for a wide range of different RVs and heating and cooling systems. It’ll provide a wire-to-wire match for many RVs. Installation takes, on average, no more than 10 minutes with straightforward and easy to understand parts. Thanks to the digital nature of this thermostat, you’ll love the small display screen and arrow buttons that allow you to select an exact temperature.
The White Rodgers 1C20-101 Economy Heat Thermostat is a quality choice for any RV owners looking for great durability. This RV thermostat is built with toughness in mind, with rugged parts and pieces that can survive the demands of hitting the road and camping outdoors. Measuring 6 x 6 x 2 inches and weighing 4 ounces, this thermostat is built with durable snap-action contacts, an adjustable heat anticipator, and a mercury-free bimetal thermometer that works for single-stage heating. It offers a temperature range of 50 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit, giving you plenty of warmth when you need it most. And its low-voltage nature also keeps functionality simple. Keep in mind, though, that this RV thermostat is only for heating systems; it won’t work with heating and cooling RV setups.
Most RV thermostats can handle one type of HVAC system and one job — but that isn’t the case at all with the Coleman RV Camper Mach Manual Thermostat. Highly versatile and wonderfully capable, this thermostat can put you in control of any kind of RV system. Heating, cooling, gas, electric; it’ll handle and work smoothly with all of these kinds of temperature control needs. Designed as both a heating and cooling thermostat, you’ll get a compact 5 x 5 x 5-inch display that weighs just 3.2 ounces. Though it looks simple at first glance, this single RV device can control air conditioners, heat pumps, fans, and gas, hydronic, or electric strip heating. With a slider selection switch, you can easily activate heating or cooling in just seconds. Changing modes is also simple, and you’ll get an accurate temperature within a few degrees.
The Atwood 38453 Off White Thermostat is a solid replacement thermostat that’ll suit a wide range of different RVs and their HVAC systems. Built with quality components and designed with user-friendly controls, this RV thermostat makes it easy to take control of your temperature while camping. The device measures 3.6 x 3.5 x 1.5 inches, weighs 3.2 ounces, and is off-white. It makes for a great replacement part, with easy-to-master installation instructions. Once in place, this thermostat can fix the common woes of old, failing thermostats. It’s accurate thanks to its quality and quite easy to adjust. Keep in mind before buying this thermostat that it's a heat-only model, which means it only works with heating systems.
If you’re dealing with a non-functioning or failing RV thermostat, consider swapping your old model out for the TycoonWon RV Thermostat. This product is designed for heating and cooling systems in RVs, and it’s a part that makes for a perfect replacement for Duo Therm thermostats as well as 3106995.032 thermostats. Measuring 8.5 x 5 x 1.1 inches and weighing 4.8 ounces, this device gives you everything you need to achieve the perfect fit in your current thermostat’s spot. You’ll easily be able to achieve the perfect AC or heating temperature with the included slider, which offers a range of 0 to 32 degrees Celsius.
However, there is a drawback: this RV thermostat is difficult to install, and its wires are tough to work with.
- RV thermostats don’t change often, so don’t be afraid to opt for a basic analog model. These simple, easy-to-master choices never go out of style, and they’ll work for many different RVs.
- Smart thermostats are newer, and that means new models with newer technology are coming out regularly. You may need to replace a smart or digital thermostat sooner to keep up with technology’s pace.
- Most RV thermostats come with a warranty of some kind. Always check the warranty before buying so you know you’re covered in case you experience problems right after installation.
- It’s easy to install an RV thermostat on your own. You don’t need to pay for a professional’s help — with a few screws and a set of instructions, you can save money and tackle it yourself.
Q: Can a house thermostat be used in an RV?
Typically, you can’t use a house thermostat in an RV. RVs tend to have simpler heating and cooling systems, and they often use smaller thermostats. However, some thermostats will work in both — and many RV thermostats will also work for mobile homes. Double-check the manufacturer’s recommendations and specifications to be sure before buying.
Q: How do I know if my RV thermostat is bad?
There are a few different ways to spot an RV thermometer that’s failing. Look for problems when you’re running your HVAC system, like the system running continuously without ever shutting off or the temperature inside your RV being different from what’s set on the thermostat. Your thermostat is likely going bad if it’s unresponsive, without power, or won’t turn on or off.
Q: Are RV thermostats different?
Each RV thermostat is different, but the differences between devices can be small or significant. For example, there’s a much bigger difference between an analog thermostat and a digital thermostat. However, most analog thermostats are almost identical to one another. RV thermostats are also designed to work with different types of systems, which is an important distinction.
The Dometic 3106995.032 RV Analog Thermostat is our choice for the best RV thermostat, and it’s a well-rounded choice for most RV’s HVAC systems. The Emerson 1C26-101 Mechanical Heat/Cool Thermostat is another great option, and its affordable price makes it a solid addition to just about any RV.