Thermostat question - Fiberglass RV

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Old 01-16-2020, 03:42 PM   #1
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Name: Anthony
Trailer: In the market
Posts: 21
Thermostat question

I am very dissatisfied with the temperature control in my new Scamp 13. The furnace either roasts us out or allows the temp to drop to uncomfortable levels. From what I can see the thermostat that came with the trailer sucks, rarely registering temperature changes for half an hour. So, I intend to replace it. Can a regular household thermostat work, or are RV thermostats different? (Voltage etc.)
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Old 01-16-2020, 03:46 PM   #2
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Name: Gordon
Trailer: 2015 Scamp (16 Std Layout 4) with '15 Toyota Sienna LE Tug
North Carolina
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Scamp uses a digital one now. It requires batteries. Some reports are that it does a better job, but IDK. You can likely find it locally as well as from Scamp:
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Old 01-16-2020, 04:29 PM   #3
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Name: Glenn ( second 'n' is silent )
Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B 2020 Toyota Highlander XLE
British Columbia
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I replaced the analogue thermostat in my Escape with a digital one because the analogue one made a loud click each time it turned the furnace on, and that woke me.
I like this Honeywell. I've not had to adjust the range, but I believe that can be done.
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Old 01-16-2020, 06:43 PM   #4
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Name: Cathy
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In keeping with the current size/shape in order to look decent, you can use the same ones used in a home. In my experience though, RV furnaces are kind of like you describe despite the thermostats used especially in the colder weather, they just seem to go crazy sometimes. Some thermostats allow you to set a range, like 3 degree change before it kicks on/off.
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Old 01-17-2020, 12:01 AM   #5
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Name: John
Trailer: Black Series HQ19
Smith Valley, Nevada
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Thermostats can be mounted in places that don't represent the temp very well, they can be in a situation where they might be overly influenced by the outside temp., through a cold wall.

They can also not be tuned very well.

Take the cover off the mechanical thermostat and make sure it is not getting stuck, that the small wires inside are not affecting it's operation as it moves based on temp. They are very sensitive to this.

There is an anticipator in every mechanical thermostat I've seen. This is an adjustment that can be made that cycles the heater as it is doing it's job, so that is doesn't overshoot. Some of the current that the thermostat is controlling is used to heat the bimetal coil that rotates to make or break the switch. Adjust this to where the system cycles more, and it will overshoot less. They usually say "longer" and have an arrow. Adjust it toward shorter and see if it helps.

Switching to a digital thermostat is fine too, but in a small environment like a small fiberglass tailer, the thermostat response may be so slow that the trailer is already overheated by the time the thermostat recognizes the temp, and shuts off.

For the trailer, I like a simple mechanical thermostat, with a thermometer on it. It should have an on-off switch, or a separate wall switch that controls it. Don't worry too much about the actual numbers on it's scale, just find a setting that is the best compromise. A programmable one is OK too, if you don't want to keep waking up to the noise during the night. Set it to come on when you wake up.

All thermostats have a differential between their "off" and "on" temp. This is usually about 3-5 degrees, and is not the reason for overheating. Older mechanical thermostats had a mercury switch that would last a lifetime and was very sensitive. These are no longer sold, but are very good. They must have an off switch too, or they will be cycling as you drive.

Bottom line: Small trailers are hard to manage the heat in. The thermostat must be in the right location. It must be a sensitive type. The anticipator function can help stabilize it and reduce overheating. Even if the heat seems to overshoot, let it settle in and stabilize, before judging it too harshly. On cold nights, it should begin to cycle regularly and run for about 10-30% of the time, on a repeating cycle.

Here is a link that might be useful:
I only exaggerate enough to compensate for being taken with a grain of salt.
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