How To Install An Electric Fireplace In An RV

An electric fireplace immediately lifts the ambiance of any living space. The radiant heat that it produces provides comfort during cool nights. If you have an RV, an electric fireplace will increase the comfort manyfold by giving it the ambiance of a real home.

Most electric fireplace units available in the market today, require no ductwork or venting. Many are available with a built-in air mover. What’s more, they do not produce moisture, particulates, or any harmful gasses as byproducts of their operation. They are available with natural flame effects and sounds.

Many models can be controlled with a handheld remote control and feature built-in fully adjustable thermostats or multiple heat settings. You also have standalone models that require just a compatible electric source to run. But if you are looking to install a permanent unit in your RV, you need to consider the following-

Creating the space

Creating the space

You can use a pre-existing unused wall-mounted feature in your RV. An unused bookcase, a magazine rack you hardly use, old TV cabinet’s no longer in use, unused cabinet space, or space behind chairs.

Selecting an electric fireplace

Selecting an electric fireplace

You need to buy an electric fireplace that will fit into the pre-existing space you have selected and must project heat from the front only. Some models project heat out from the sides as well. This will be dangerous in the close confines of your RV.

Getting the wires and the electricals right

Follow the instructions of the manufacturer to install a separate power outlet for your electric fireplace. Use an 8-gauge or greater three-conductor cable and a heavy-duty outlet assembly. Route the cable in such a way that it does not create a trip hazard.

Mount the fireplace in such a way that it does not get stressed when it is plugged in (usually happens if the wires used are too small). Ensure that the gauge and outlet of the pre-existing supply are sufficient to support the fireplace's amperage draw.

Connecting your electric fireplace the right way

Make sure that the three-conductor cable's hot wire is connected to a dedicated breaker in the breaker box. Ensure that the RV shore connection cord is unattached to any power supply before working inside the breaker box.

Check that the generator is not running and connect the color-coded wires in the cable as follows: Black or red to the downstream side of the dedicated breaker, white to the neutral bus, and green or bare to the ground block. Be sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions when sizing the breaker.

Attaching your electric fireplace the right way

Fix the electric fireplace firmly to the wall of the RV. Most manufacturers supply the plate that forms the back of the electric fireplace with predrilled holes for securing the unit. But, the likelihood of these mating conveniently to studs within an RV composite wall is remote.

Use a stud locator to find where the studs, support hoops, or rails pass behind the paneling of the chosen location. You need to transfer these locations to the back of the fireplace and drill new holes to match the anchor points with an appropriately sized drill bit.

Once your new electric fireplace is firmly fixed, turn it on, fix your favorite drink and soak in the enhanced ambiance of your RV.

Some important points to take note of-

  • Make sure that there is ample space above your electric fireplace as the heat from it always rises above.
  • Ensure that the space you’ve mounted your fireplace on is a smooth and unobstructed surface.
  • Do not place your fireplace underneath your RV’s thermostat as this operates your RV’s heating and cooling controls.
  • Never leave your electric fireplace unattended throughout the night as your RV interior is comprised of lots of combustible materials.

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