Want to get the most out of your RV? Subscribe to the Camping World YouTube channel and never miss a video.
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:
- 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 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.
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.
This starts the flow of LP gas to the pilot light.
Step 4: Turn the Piezo igniter knob or light manually.
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.
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.
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 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.