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In your house, you rarely need to think of your oven pilot light — you only worry if it goes out. But in your RV, you’re responsible for lighting it and turning it off before you start driving.
The troubleshooting guide above gives a quick, simple walkthrough of how to light a camper oven. Plus, you’ll learn when to leave it on and when to turn it off. Let’s cover all that.
How to Light a Camper Oven
Lighting an RV oven is easy once you locate the pilot light under the bottom tray inside the oven. Here are the steps for lighting RV gas ovens:
- Park, level, and stabilize your RV.
- Ensure you have LP in your container(s).
- Open the valve on top of the container.
- Set the regulator switch to the correct position (for towables with multiple containers).
- Check adequate propane flow by lighting a burner on your RV’s propane stove.
Step 1: Open the oven door.
This makes it easier to check the pilot works properly and prevents LP gas from dangerously building up inside your oven.
Safety tip: It’s also a good idea to open a window, door, or roof vent before lighting your camper’s oven.
Step 2: Identify the lighting method.
Depending on your RV, your oven may be equipped with a Piezo igniter switch. Or, it will require manual lighting using an extended stick lighter to avoid burning the hair on your knuckles.
Some RVs have a Piezo igniter switch/knob that only works for the cooktop. These igniters can also malfunction on older RVs, requiring manual lighting as an alternative.
Step 3: Turn the RV oven selector knob to Pilot and hold.
This starts gas flow through your LP gas line to the pilot light.
Step 4: Turn the Piezo igniter knob or light manually.
If you have a Piezo igniter, use the control button (a switch or knob) to light the pilot. If not, hold an extended stick lighter to the pilot assembly under the burner tray.
Step 5: Hold for 20-30 seconds.
Once lit, continue holding the knob for 20-30 seconds to ensure the pilot stays lit and maintains a healthy blue flame with orange tips.
Step 6: Slowly release the knob.
When you slowly release the knob, visually check that the pilot doesn’t go out.
Step 7: Adjust the temperature.
Final Steps for Camper Oven Pilot Safety
If you remain stationary in a campground, the pilot can remain lit when you’re done baking. To do so, simply return the oven safety knob to Pilot instead of turning the knob to OFF.
Before you travel, however, you’ll need to turn the pilot light off. To do so, turn the oven safety knob to off and ensure the pilot light goes out before departing. This provides safer travel and also helps you conserve propane.
Are There Other Pilot Lights on your RV?
On most modern RVs, the oven pilot light is the only one you’ll need to worry about. Older RVs did require manual pilot lighting on gas water heaters, but many units are now equipped with a direct spark ignition (DSI) system.
If you have a water heater that requires manual lighting, check with the manufacturer before proceeding. Most older models will be manufactured by Suburban or Dometic, but this isn’t always the case.
Either way, you’ll need to fill the water heater tank and open the exterior access panel before manually lighting the pilot. From there, follow your manufacturer’s pilot lighting instructions.
Many RVers don’t think about baking during their vacations, but your oven’s operation is critical if you’re ever hosting the holidays in your RV.
If you’re ever worried about a leak in your RV’s propane system, shut off all LP appliances, close the valves on your LP containers, and contact your nearest Camping World Service Center.
If you’re curious about how frequently to service components like your RV stove and oven, check out our downloadable RV ownership and maintenance booklet!
Do you have any other questions about lighting your RV oven pilot light? Let us know in the comments below!