How to Know If Your RV Thermostat is Broken


If you are the owner of an RV, then a working thermostat is a necessity for heating and cooling your vehicle. And finding out whether your thermostat is broken or not is not difficult. It just requires simple testing. All you need is an extra hand and 10 minutes.

If you are pondering the status of your thermostat and thinking about how to replace RV thermostat, it is a good idea to first check whether your thermostat is broken or not.  Below are some tests that you can perform to check the status of your RV thermostat.

Ensure the thermostat is getting power

The first step is to make sure the thermostat is connected to an electric power plug. Even though it might seem like it is getting power, do a double-check. The most efficient double-check is by removing the thermostat from your unit and testing it with a multimeter. The instructions for doing that will be different depending on your thermostat model, but it is an easy process and only takes a few minutes.

If you have never used one before, do not worry. The instructions are like:

  1. Turn off power to the unit at your breaker box.
  2. Turn off the thermostat (and unplug it if possible).
  3. Place unit leads on correct terminals.
  4. Turn on the power and check the voltage reading.

If the thermostat is not getting power, you will see a different voltage reading – zero or close to it. If it is getting power, the number will be in red. And if it is somewhere in between, there might be an issue with your wiring.

Make sure the wiring is connected properly

The next step is to make sure that there are no issues with the wiring. Look if the thermostat is connected correctly at both ends of the unit. If you test power at one end and there is no reading, then it means that your thermostat is not getting power. If the other end is connected correctly and you still do not read at the first end, your thermostat needs to be fixed or replaced.

You can check this with a simple continuity test – if you have a multimeter available, clip your leads on the terminals, and check for continuity.

Check for proper air flow

Remove the blower cover plate if you cannot get to the other end (behind the dashboard). You should see an opening where the air is coming out. If not, check your other thermostat leads to ensure that they are connected correctly and then tilt the plate up/down to ensure air is coming out.

Check the thermostat settings

If you have multiple temperature settings, make sure the one on the highest setting is selected. Next, adjust the temperature down until it reaches its lowest point, and then let it cycle through. If it keeps going in a full circle without stopping, then your thermostat is broken.

Check for water leakage

Finally, check for water leak in your RV thermostat. Look in front of the device, the vents and check for any water leak or condensation.

If you cannot do this, then remove the blower cover plate and check for water droplets again. If there is still no evidence of a leak (dripping down to the ground), condensation could be inside the unit.

One or more of these tests will surely determine if your thermostat is broken or not. If it is then either get it fixed or replace it with a new one.


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