If you have an actual furnace in your RV, then you are lucky, because it’s going to keep you warm. With that being said, furnaces in RV’s are not always very quiet. In fact, they can be extremely loud. There are many noises these furnaces can make, like squealing, creaking, banging, rattling, and loud blowing noises.
So, why is my RV furnace so loud? Common causes include Ductwork not being properly connected, other hardware being loose, braces being broken, the blower or main motor being damaged, or filter issues. For the most part, most of the noise that an RV furnace creates is going to come from the high-speed fan used to blow the air around.
Here is a complete guide on the possible causes, fixes, and a helpful 6-step guide on how to make your RV furnace quieter.
Why Your RV Furnace Sounds Like A Jet Engine
There are of course a number of different noises that your RV furnace can make including rattling, creaking, banging, and more. Although we are going to address these issues further below, there is one main sound that we want to discuss right now.
This sound we are talking about is if you’re RV furnace sounds like an airplane taking off from a runway. In other words, your RV furnace sounds like a jet engine.
The reason why we want to talk about this is because if your RV furnace sounds like a jet engine, there may be a very serious problem. If your RV furnace sounds like a jet engine, it’s a sign that it may be gas that is leaking from a valve or a fuel line.
When an RV furnace sounds like a jet engine, it’s usually always a gas problem. Yes, there are other potential causes, although this is the most common one. If it is a gas leak, don’t touch the furnace at all, just turn it off, and call a professional.
A gas leak can be poisonous, and it can also lead to a fire or an explosion. Therefore, if your RV furnace sounds like a jet engine, drop what you’re doing, call a professional for help, and preferably get out of the RV until the problem is solved.
RV Furnace Sounds Like An Airplane In Turbulence
If your RV furnace sounds like an airplane in the middle of some rough turbulence, or in other words, it sounds like a jet engine that keeps starting ramping up and down (or if there are lots of banging sounds), then it may be an issue with the heat exchanger.
That said, broken heat exchangers can also lead to gas leaks, and therefore some pretty big problems.
Noises in your furnace can also just be caused by loose parts, such as some kind of part that is banging around on the inside of the furnace.
RV Furnace Sounds Like a Train Whistle
There could also be problems with air leaking out of the ductwork, as well as problems with the blower motor, the blower itself, or the blower bearings.
However, these issues will usually result in a sound that sounds like a train whistle or a high-pitched squealing noise.
How To Make Your Noisy RV Furnace Quieter: Step-By-Step Guide
OK, so we do really need to stress that if your RV furnace sounds like a jet engine, you absolutely need to call a professional right away. If it sounds like a jet engine, we don’t have any other tips for you besides that.
Explosions caused by furnaces can be very serious, so this is not something we are going to take our chances with. However, what we do want to do is to address a number of other issues that may be causing your furnace to be very loud.
If your RV furnace is making very loud blowing noises, is cracking, creaking, banging, or rattling, as well as whistling, then the list of tips and methods to quiet your RV furnace down listed below is exactly what you need.
Keep in mind that these are also tips that can actually be used for regular furnaces too, not just for RV furnaces.
Now, as you are going to see below, here we aren’t really going to provide you with separate tips per say. Rather, we’re going to provide you with an in depth step-by-step guide that you should follow to make your RV furnace more silent. You should start with step number one, and then progress your way down the list.
If you aren’t a professional, diagnosing exactly why your RV furnace is being so noisy can be difficult. Therefore, to make it quieter without professional assistance, we recommend following all of the steps as listed below.
Step 1: Clean The RV Furnace From Top To Bottom
In general, you should be performing regular maintenance on your RV. Performing regular maintenance on your RV will allow you to spot small issues before they turn into big problems.
You should be cleaning your furnace before the season starts and at the end of the season, or in other words at the end of summer and at the end of the winter.
If you fail to do this, debris and dust can accumulate inside of the furnace, especially in places where it shouldn’t be. Yes, even small amounts of dirt can cause big problems.
One of the best things to do here is to clean inside and all-around all of the furnace elements. You can use an aerosol can of dust blower, as well as a wire brush, to get into all of the hard to reach areas. For the easy to reach areas, some degreaser and an old cloth will do just fine.
If the furnace in your RV has a filter, you do also need to clean that. If the filter is clogged, it will restrict airflow, which can create a lot of noise and cause other problems. You need to clean that filter, or if it’s not doable, then you need to replace it. You then also want to vacuum all of the ducts of your RV furnace.
On that same note, cleaning outlet vents is also recommended. You then also want to access the fan blades, and wipe those down as well. You then also want to vacuum those fan blades. If the fan blades get very dirty, they get heavier, and this results in noise.
Moreover, a blocked exhaust pipe can also produce excessive noise, so make sure that this is also clean and clear.
Step 2. Tighten Loose Parts & Repair Braces
If your furnace is making rattling or banging sounds, it could be at some of the bolts and nuts are loose. Therefore, inspect all of the nuts and bolts, and if any are loose, use the appropriate tools to tighten them. This should prevent rattling and vibrating from occurring.
Moreover, you should then also be on the lookout for any RV furnace braces that have come loose. If the braces have come loose, it can also lead to rattling noises. So, make sure that all of the braces are perfectly tight and secure.
You then also want to pay attention to the metal housing plate that sits beside the fan. In some cases, this can come loose, and cause the fan to scrape against it, therefore making a squealing noise.
There are also some metal retaining clips present inside of an RV furnace. If this is the case, the exhaust wheel can move inwards and then start making contact with the housing. Therefore, make sure that those retaining clips are in good condition and very tight.
Step 3. Inspect and Repair Ducts
The next step here, to make your RV furnace quiet, is to inspect all of the ducts. Ducts are often the cause of a variety of banging noises. Keep in mind that if the vents on your RV are in the floor, then the ducts are going to be underneath the RV. You’re going to have to use a flashlight and get under the RV.
You want to jiggle the RV ducts around to see if there are any obvious loose spots. If the ducts are loose, tighten them back into place, and if necessary, you can even add some new braces to the mix to keep them in place.
If the braces are broken, then you need to replace them with new ones. You also may be able to use some normal perforated metal stripping and then screw that into place over the top of the ducts.
You then also want to take a closer look at the duct collars, which are metal fittings that are round and go all the way from the vent covers to the duct tubing. If these collars s are loose, they’re going to make a whole lot of noise, and the lull so allows heat to escape.
Furthermore, if you are hearing some kind of squealing or whistling, your ducts could be damaged and leaking air. If this is the case, you’ll either need to patch up those ducts or completely replace them. whether you can repair them or they need to be replaced is going to depend on the amount of damage they have suffered.
Step 4. Cleaning And Lubricating The Fan
The next step in the process to make your RV furnace quieter is to make sure that the blower fan is clean and lubricated. All sorts of noises like squealing, grinding, banging, squeaking, and more can all be the result of a dirty or unlubricated fan.
Therefore, you do want to clean debris off of the fan, especially from the shank that causes it to turn. Using a bit of grease to lubricate it is definitely recommended as well.
You also want to check the bearings to see if they are dry or if they are well lubricated. If the bearings or the bushings are not lubricated, you will want to add some white viscosity oil to the mix. Turn the fan around a few times to work the oil into the bushing.
There is also a small cage that covers the fan, which can loosen over time. This can vibrate when the fan runs. Therefore, use a wrench to make sure that it is perfectly secure and tight.
You also want to make sure that no small insects or other critters have found their way into the heater. The fan cage should prevent this from occurring, but you never know. If you do find any critters, these obviously need to be removed.
Step 5. Inspect The Ignitor And Fuel Lines
Your RV furnace is always going to be fueled by propane, in which case it needs an ignitor to light in the first place.
An ignitor is always going to make a clicking sound as it sparks, but once the heater turns on, it should stop. If you keep hearing a clicking sound, there might be a problem with your ignitor, specifically that its not sparking.
If your furnace doesn’t produce heat, but the ignitor is clicking, then chances are that something is wrong with the propane supply. In other words, the gas is not getting to the spark created by the ignitor. (If it’s an old propane tank be sure to get it recertified).
Make sure that the fuel valve is working and is open. If the fuel valve is functioning and working, then you want to perform an inspection of the fuel lines.
Make sure that you don’t smell any propane, and that they all look to be in good shape. If the lines look as though they’re in good shape, then it might be the ignitor that is the problem. If it is the ignitor that is the problem, then it will need to be replaced.
However, this is not always going to be the case, and if so, there might be a bigger issue, such as with the control board. If the control bard is broken, unfortunately, you may have to replace the furnace as a whole.
Step 6. Repair or Replace The Blower Motor
If your furnace in your RV is making a loud squealing noise, then it could be the blower motor or the fan motor that is starting to die out. One possible cause of this is a bad motor wheel, which can give off a sound of metal scraping on metal.
If it’s broken, it will need to be replaced. However, if it’s just loose or off-balance, then you can always tighten it back into place.
Bad bearings are another cause of the blower motor squealing. If the bearings are squealing, just apply some oil or grease to the mix, and then rotate the fan a couple of times to make sure that the oil gets down into the shaft and onto the bearings.
If the blower motor is just broken thankfully, this is generally a fairly easy component of an RV furnace to replace, and will usually only cost up to $100.
Is It Common For A RV Furnace To Be Noisy?
The good news here, or the bad news, depending on how you look at it, is that RV furnaces are notoriously noisy. There are plenty of moving components that can grind against each other, plenty of components that can come loose, many things that can vibrate, and dirt can get into all of those cracks and orifices.
Most noise is caused by that high speed fan that has its noise amplified due to the furnaces enclosure. Generally speaking, RV furnaces, especially older models, can be quite noisy. However, if you follow all of the steps that we have listed above, keeping the noise level down should be doable.
Safety Tips For RV Furnaces
Before we call it a day, let’s just go over some really important safety tips for dealing with your RV furnace. Remember that these are propane gas powered appliances, so safety is of paramount importance.
1. If You Smell Gas, Turn it Off
We did already go over this above, but the fact of the matter is that if you smell gas, you need to turn off that furnace right away. If you smell something like rotten gas, then you do probably have a gas leak.
You want to turn the furnace off immediately and extinguish all open sources of flame or sparks. You then also want to open all of your windows and doors to make sure that you get fresh air inside of the RV, and so that the propane can get out.
It doesn’t matter how cold it is outside, because being a little cold is much better than suffocating on propane or even being inside of an RV that blows up. If this is the case, get out of the RV and immediately call for professional assistance.
2. Always Maintain Good Airflow
The next safety tip when it comes to your RV furnace is that you always have to maintain good airflow. This is especially the case because an RV is an enclosed space. You always have to make sure that the vent leading directly into the furnace is open and clear of debris.
It needs to be able to take in enough air to stay cool. Moreover, the outlets also need to be perfectly clear. Ensuring that your RV furnace is clear and free of debris, which goes for all components, is extremely important when it comes to overall safety.
3. No Modifications
Some people with absolutely no experience think that they can start tinkering with furnaces and somehow expect good results. The fact of the matter is that furnaces are fairly complex items, and if you don’t know what you are doing, you might just want to stay away from it.
Sure, doing some cleaning and basic repairs is acceptable, but you definitely want to stay away from the more complex components. Messing with gas valves when you know nothing about gas or electricity is not the best idea.
4. Get a Carbon Monoxide Detector
Another big safety tip is to get yourself a good carbon monoxide detector. If gas such as propane does not burn completely, carbon monoxide will be released. If carbon monoxide builds up inside of your RV, especially while you are sleeping, it can lead to suffocation and death.
The issue of course with carbon monoxide is that it’s colorless, tasteless, and odorless, so it’s nearly impossible to detect. You, therefore, do want to have a carbon monoxide detector, as this can help save your life.
On that note, getting a smoke detector is probably a good idea too.
There you have it folks, everything you need to know about why your furnace is so loud and how to make it stay quiet.
Of course, all of these tips only go so far. If your RV furnace is excessively damaged, chances are that you’re just going to need to replace it altogether.