How To Light Your RV Oven Pilot Light 8848

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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 video above gives a quick, simple walkthrough of how to light your RV oven pilot light. Plus, you’ll learn when to leave it on and when to turn it off. Let’s cover all that. 

How to Light Your RV Oven Pilot Light

Your oven’s pilot light is located under the bottom tray inside the oven. Here are the steps for lighting it: 

Pre-Checks

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Photo by Camping World
  1. Park, level, and stabilize your RV. 
  2. Ensure you have LP in your container(s).
  3. Open the valve on top of the container.
  4. Set the regulator switch to the correct position (for towables with multiple containers). 
  5. Check adequate propane flow by lighting a burner on your RV’s cooktop. 

Step 1: Open the oven door.

This makes it easier to check the pilot is being lit and prevents LP gas from dangerously building up inside your oven. 

Step 2: Identify the lighting method.

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Photo by Camping World

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 oven selector knob to Pilot and hold. 

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Photo by Camping World

This starts the flow of LP gas to the pilot light.

Step 4: Turn the Piezo igniter knob or light manually.

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Manual Lighting Method Photo by Camping World

If you have a Piezo igniter, use the 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 to hold the oven safety knob for 20-30 seconds to ensure the pilot stays lit. 

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.

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Photo by Camping World

Turn the oven safety knob to the desired temperature. Now you’re ready to continue your baking preparations to make something like this mushroom casserole or skinny banana muffins

Final Steps for Oven Pilot Safety

If you’ll remain stationary in a campground, you can leave the pilot lit when you’re done baking. To do so, simply return the oven safety knob to Pilot instead of turning the knob to OFF. This keeps the pilot lit so it will be ready for the next use. 

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Knob on Pilot in Camp Photo by Camping World

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.

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Knob Off for Travel Photo by Camping World

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. 

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Photo by Camping World

If you do have a water heater that requires manual lighting, check on 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 RV components like your 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!  

Tucker Ballister is our Technical Content Writer. He’s a lover of the open road and the proud owner of a 2021 Sunlite Classic travel trailer (his 3rd RV to date). Check out more of his RV adventures, gear reviews, and outdoor advice at thebackpackguide.com.
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12 Comments

  1. Puma palamento 29 ft 5th wheel
    Where do i light the furnance piliot? I use the thermostat and i can hear the gurnance kick on but its only blowing cold air. Please help

    1. Hi Kristen,

      I’d reach out to the service department of your local Camping World. They will be able to make the proper suggestion.

    2. Usually, the pilot for the heater is outside the vehicle. Be sure the vehicle is level. Turn on the propane to light. If you have difficulty lighting, the thermo-coupler may be bad, or you have little spider webs inside your chamber. Clean these out. You can place those stinky, moth resistant cotton balls inside your furnace cover and that will keep out the spider. Also, if this is a frequent occurrence, keep a spare thermo-coupler with you and the small tools to replace it. It’s an easy procedure. I turn on the stove burner when lighting the oven pilot light. It provides a draw for the propane to move through the lines.

    1. Hi John, it’s really easy to get the pilot light going, so I’d say to re-light it every trip. If you move the RV or it will sit for a long period of time, then go ahead and turn it off between uses. If you’re camping in the same spot for an extended period of time and actively using your appliances, you can leave the pilot light lit.

  2. I believe that many RV furnaces have electronic ignition that lights the burner when the furnace starts up. I have a 1993 Pace Arrow 35V with the original furnaces and they require no pilot lighting.

  3. Most articles I read say you have to have your propane shut off on your trailer when traveling. Do not know about motorhomes??

    1. Hi Don!

      You’re right about the recommendation to shut the propane off before towing a travel trailer. Generally, most motorhomes are constructed a little differently. One, they usually have their propane container stored inside a storage compartment and the propane lines are contained within the body of the RV. This is unlike many travel trailers with propane lines running underneath, exposing them to potential damage form flying debris while towing.

      The general idea behind shutting propane off before towing is to keep the majority of the flammable liquid contained in the propane containers in case of an accident. That way, there’s a minimal amount of fuel remaining in the lines in case of a fire.

      Hopefully that makes sense. And please don’t hesitate to reach out with additional questions!

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