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Suburban RV, Trailer & Camper Parts

Hitting the road in your RV or planning a long weekend camping in the foothills of the mountains with your travel trailer or camper is exciting, considering the sights you will see and the memories you will make. If you are traveling during the colder months of the year, it is important to check and maintain the systems, components, and accessories of your RV, trailer, or camper, particularly the furnace and water heater, along with other integral RV parts. Routine maintenance may lead to repairing or replacing worn parts, many of which are DIY jobs that you can tackle yourself.

Do BTUs matter when replacing your Suburban RV furnace?

RVs are enclosed spaces with less square footage than single family dwellings and less ducting. The BTU rating on your RV furnace is computed to meet the needs of comfortably heating your RV in an efficient manner during cold weather. On your current RV furnace, you can find the BTU rating by locating the data plate, which also includes the serial number and other manufacturer information. It is important to replace your RV furnace with one that has the same BTU rating, because that optimizes the cycling of the system, which saves energy and creates a comfortable interior climate in your motor home.

What are the different types of RV water heaters?

An RV water heater shares some similarities with the water heater in your home in that it uses an energy source to heat cold water to hot water for use in personal hygiene, cooking, and cleaning. However, the smaller size of motor homes and trailers as well as the mobile component of these units creates a unique set of limitations for this water heater. Some different types include the following:

  • 6-gallon manual LP gas: This unit operates only when you manually light the LP gas on the water heater, and it takes around thirty minutes to heat the water in the tank.
  • 6-gallon LP gas with direct spark ignition: Similar in size and overall operation to the above model, this differs in that the unit can be lit from inside your motor home via a wired switch or control.
  • 6- or 10-gallon LP gas/DSI/electric: Offering the flexibility of both electric power and LP gas power for energy, these combination units allow you to tailor your energy choice to your campsite location. The 10-gallon version offers high capacity for longer showers; both units heat up water quickly.
  • On-demand RV: For those seeking ultimate comfort in their motor home, these units work at 50,000 BTUs and offer hot water on demand rather than heating it when you turn on the water heater. These units are energy efficient and the most similar to what is found in your home water heater.