Hopping into the RV and hitting the road can make for a perfect winter vacation – but when the temperature drops, how do you make sure everyone stays toasty warm? With the best will in the world, RVs aren’t exactly the best-insulated of vehicles, so keeping them at a comfortable temperature can be something of a challenge.
That’s where rv heaters come in. These handy devices are lightweight enough to carry in your RV, but powerful enough to throw out plenty of heat, keeping you cozy and comfortable for hours on end. However, not all heaters were created equal – that’s why we’ve compiled a list of the best RV-friendly portable heaters on the market right now. With both electric and propane options covered, we’re confident there’s something here to meet the needs of every motorhome enthusiast! We’ve also taken the time to answer some commonly-asked questions about how to get the most out of these heaters and how to use them safely.
The Best RV Heater
Lasko have stolen the top spot on our list with their simple, effective, and quiet space heater. This electric-powered heater is ideal for any setting with an electricity outlet – making it an ideal solution for the home and office as well as your RV.
The heater’s lightweight design makes it easy to move in and out of the RV, and also means it won’t weigh you down on the road. Once switched on, the heater provides three quiet fan settings, and 11 different temperature settings, giving you excellent control over the temperature inside your vehicle. The 1,500 Watt ceramic heater also features a built-in safety measure that prevents it from overheating when left unattended. Thanks to its cool-touch exterior you can rest assured that no one will accidentally burn themselves moving it around, too. For us, this is the best electric heater for RV around.
Portable electric-powered space-heater suitable for home, office, and RV
Lightweight and compact design
Offers three fan settings and 11 different temperature settings
1,500 Watt ceramic design
In-built safety features prevent the device from overheating
- Weight3.5 pounds
The next heater to earn itself a spot on our list is Mr. Heater’s offering. Their rv propane heater is made to a high standard of quality in the US, and is powerful enough to heat spaces of up to 225 square feet. Thanks to its clever design, the heater can burn propane with up to 100% efficiency – this not only saves you money on fuel, but also ensures no harmful carbon monoxide is released into your RV.
As well as being efficient, it’s safe too. In low oxygen conditions, such as at high altitudes, the heater automatically shuts off, keeping fuel from leaking into the air. It also switches off whenever it’s knocked over, preventing it from becoming a fire hazard. A temperature-resistant wire prevents burns, too. As well as this, it’s easy to transport, with a foldaway handle that makes for easy storage at the same time. Once turned on, you’ll have four temperature settings to choose from, giving you optimal control over the heat in your motorhome. The durable porcelain coated heating surface evenly distributes the heat, allowing you to avoid hot and cold spots, too.
USA-made propane heater
Suitable for heating spaces up to 225 square feet
Burns propane with almost 100% efficiency
Automatically switches off in low-oxygen conditions and when knocked over
Features Temperature-resistant wire to prevent burning
Foldaway handle for easy transportation and storage
Four temperature settings to choose from
- BrandMr. Heater
- Weight9.5 pounds
Lasko make their second entry on our list with their handy remote-controlled space heater. The compact design features two different fan settings and fully adjustable temperature options. When switched on, its oscillations ensure the space is evenly heated, while the 1,500 Watt ceramic heating surface is powerful enough to transform even the chilliest spaces into cozy dens in no time.
This RV electric heater also puts you in total control of the room’s temperature, with a built-in timer allowing you to decide in advance when it will switch on and off, as well as a remote control for altering settings from afar. The heater’s clever safety features also ensure you and your passengers are safe at all times; it will automatically switch itself off in the event of overheating, while its cool-touch exterior prevents accidental burns. Easy to use thanks to a clear digital display, and transport due to a built-in carry handle, customers say this heater is a great investment for any home – motorised or otherwise! Finally, the heater is available in 14 different color palettes, so you can even tailor your purchase to match the existing decor of your RV.
Remote-controlled electric space heater
Features two quiet fan settings and fully adjustable temperature controls
1,500 Watt ceramic heating surface
Oscillation patterns keep your space evenly heated
Built-in timer function
In-built safety features prevent overheating
Easy to transport thanks to a handy carry handle
Available in 14 different colors
- Weight8.75 pounds
Camco really deliver on quality with their compact and lightweight catalytic heater. The propane-gas powered heater is a versatile heating solution, which can be wall-mounted or stand on its own, warming up to 290 square feet with its powerful but silent operation.
Because it runs on gas, there’s no need to worry about draining your RV’s battery or finding an alternative source of electrical power. The heater also features a safety shut-off valve that prevents unburned fuel from seeping into your living space. It’s designed to last, too, with an electric sparker designed to last for 20,000 starts. Whether you’re camping or staying at home, this heater is one of the most cost-effective methods for warming things up, with an impressive 99.98% efficiency. This ranks far above a conventional flame-type heater, which will typically waste a staggering 45% of the heat it produces. With an easy-to-operate, fully adjustable heat output, Camco’s Olympian heater is up to keeping your space cozy for years to come. The fact that it comes with one year limited warranty also goes to show the faith that Camco put into their products.
Gas powered RV furnace that can be wall-mounted or free-standing
Heats up to 290 square feet
Features a safety shut-off valve to prevent unburned fuel from seeping out
Designed to last for 20,000 starts
Easy to operate
Comes with a one year limited warranty
- Weight5 pounds
The next camper heater to make it onto our list is Bovado’s offering. The simple but effective heater is easy to use and features two fan settings and an adjustable temperature dial, so you’ll soon have your RV up to a cozy state. The heater’s small size and super lightweight design makes it easy to move around, while a small handle located at the back ensures it’s convenient to grip.
The heater relies on a Positive Temperature Coefficient (PTC) heating system, which works through a series of ceramic heating surfaces designed to effectively conduct heat in small spaces. Combined with a quiet fan that moves the heat around, this technology will warm up your RV will in no time at all. It’s also safe to use – a clever system switches the heater off whenever it is tipped over, preventing it from becoming a fire hazard. At under $25, the heater is a cost-effective solution to chilly nights in the RV.
Electric heater features two fan settings and an adjustable temperature dial
Small and super lightweight
Features a handy carry handle
Features Positive Temperature Coefficient heating technology
Switches off automatically when tipped over
Excellent value for money
- BrandBOVADO USA
- Weight2.85 pounds
Pelonis’ classic electric heater brings a retro look to your RV experience. Its homely appearance matches its cozy 1,500 Watt output, which disperses heat through a honeycombed ceramic disc and fan. Fully adjustable temperature settings give you exact control over the heat of your surroundings, while the heater’s compact design doesn’t swallow space in your motorhome.
It’s safe to use, too, shutting itself off in the event of overheating or tipping over. Customers love the fact that the heater manages to be both small and powerful, as well as its excellent durability. This efficient, easy to use heater is a great option both in and out of the RV.
Classic electric heater with a retro look
1,500 Watt output
Honeycomb ceramic disk and fan design
Fully adjustable temperature settings
Automatically shuts off in the event of overheating, and tipping
Efficient and easy to use
- Weight4.7 pounds
Suburban’s electronic-ignition camper furnace is ideal for all your RV heating needs. The ducted furnace comes with its own vent assembly for easier installation, and offers a reliable performance with an impressively low amp draw.
The air intake and exhaust ports line up perfectly for the majority of RVs, making it simple to install in just a few hours. Customers report that the furnace is reliable and efficient, as well as running very quietly. More permanent and powerful than many portable heating options, Suburban’s furnace is a great option for the regular RV user – with their well-known reputation preceding them, you can always trust a suburban RV heater.
Electronic-ignition camper furnace
Vent assembly included
Low amp draw for excellent efficiency
Air intake and exhaust ports line up well with the majority of RVs
Simple to install in only a few hours
Permanent and powerful RV heating solution
- Weight42.5 pounds
Suitable for heating spaces of up to 450 square feet, Mr. Heater’s Big Buddy heater certainly lives up to its name. This larger propane heater, approved for indoor and outdoor use alike, offers a clean-burning heating solution at up to 7,000 feet above sea level. At higher elevations, the heater will automatically switch itself off, ensuring no unburned fuel makes its way into your RV.
The heater also shuts off if it’s accidentally tipped-over, so you can rest assured it won’t become a fire hazard. When it is switched on, the heater offers a low, medium, and high setting, so you’re guaranteed to find your perfect temperature. The powerful heater is easy to transport too, thanks to a useful carry handle. Users say the heater throws out enough warmth to keep things toasty even in the coldest conditions, and recommend it for use in tents and RVs alike.
Larger propane-powered portable heater
Suitable for heating spaces up to 450 square feet in size
Ideal for both indoor and outdoor use
Suitable for use at elevations up to 7,000 feet above sea level
Automatically switches off in low-oxygen conditions to prevent fuel leakage
Automatically switches off if tipped over
Features three temperature settings
Easy to transport thanks to a handy carry handle
- BrandMr. Heater
- Weight16.93 pounds
Camframo’s electric heater is the smallest option to earn a spot on our list, making it perfect for tight spaces, including more compact motorhomes, box rooms, and even tents! The compact and versatile design weighs in at just over five pounds, so it’s easy to carry about too.
The heater features three heat settings and a two speed fan, as well as a thermostat control and anti-freeze setting. Customers say that the controls are simple to use and work well, and the low-profile design make it impossible to tip over, ensuring excellent safety. Finally, the heater comes with a five year warranty, so you can rest assured it will keep you cozy for many years to come.
Electric heater suitable for use in the home, office, RV, and tent
Compact design is ideal for tight spaces
Lightweight for easy portability
Features three heat settings and a two speed fan
Features an anti-freeze setting
Simple and easy to use
Includes a five year warranty
Low profile design makes it impossible to tip over
- BrandCaframo Limited
- Weight5.25 pounds
And last, but not least, comes Camco’s Olympian Wave 3 catalytic heater. The propane-powered device can deliver heat to spaces up to 130 square feet in size. It features a safety shut off valve to prevent any unburned fuel from seeping out of the cannister, and when the fuel is burning, it’s over 99% efficient.
The heater’s electric sparker lasts for up to 20,000 ignitions, ensuring it’s built to last for years to come. Once ignited, the device offers an adjustable temperature setting, allowing you to heat your space to a temperature that’s right for you. It’s versatile too; equally comfortable standing on its own or being mounted on a wall. Customers say the heater throws out a lot of heat considering its compact size, and love the fact that it comes with a one year warranty.
Propane-powered portable heater
Capable of heating up to 130 square feet
Features a safety shut-off valve to prevent fuel leakage
Over 99% efficient
Electric sparker lasts for up to 20,000 ignitions
Features adjustable temperature settings
Can be freestanding or wall mounted
- Weight1 pounds
Best RV Heater Buying Guide & FAQ
We’re confident that there’s something on our list to suit the needs of virtually any RV enthusiast, but with so many quality options on the market, working out exactly which one is right for you can be a challenge. Heating your RV safely and effectively is vital to a happy and healthy trip. With this in mind, we’ve put together a handy buying guide: below, we answer some of the most common questions about how to get the most out of these heaters.
Features to Look for in RV Heater
Which heater is right for you will depend very much on your individual needs - below we outline some key factors to keep in mind as you make this purchasing decision.
- The Size of your RV
Another important factor to bear in mind when choosing your heater is, of course, the size of the space you’ll be heating. As a general rule of thumb, larger spaces require more powerful heaters - most manufacturers will offer guidance on how large a space their product will heat.
Using an RV is all about travelling freely, so the last thing you want is a heating system that slows you down. Look out for heaters that are relatively light and compact, and have a built-in carrying solution.
Heating your space as efficiently as possible will save you money and benefit the environment, so trying to maximise efficiency is a no-brainer. Look out for heaters that have a good range of temperature settings so you can save energy by not having it on full blast at all times. If you need to keep your RV at a steady temperature even when you’re out, it could also be worth investing in a heater with a built-in timer (such as number three on our list), allowing it to switch itself on and off to a schedule in your absence rather than needing to constantly run.
When it comes to purchasing any heating equipment, safety should be at the top of your priorities list. A good heater should switch itself off in the event of overheating or being tipped over, to prevent it from becoming a fire hazard. With electric heaters, a cool-touch surface is another great safety feature to help you and your companions to avoid potential burns.
If you’re fairly new to the RV lifestyle, or travel this way only rarely, it’s probably a good idea to choose a budget-friendly option; luckily, a good quality heater can be had for as little as $30. If you’re investing more heavily in the RV lifestyle, and have the vehicle to accommodate it, a fully-fledged RV furnace may be a better option. We’ll talk more about this heating solution later on.
Benefits of RV Heater
Using a heater in your RV has a whole host of advantages; below is a list of key benefits to bear in mind:
- RV heaters help to keep your living space at a comfortable temperature
- Both gas and electric-powered RV heaters are available, so you can still use one without an electricity supply
- Portable RV heaters can also be used in the home and office should the need arise
- Keeping your RV at a comfortable temperature with a heater helps prevent the damage that cold temperatures can wreak on vehicles
- RV heaters are cost-effective
- RV heaters are safe to use
Types of RV Heaters
When selecting your RV heater, you’ll be faced with a decision: gas or electric?
Gas-powered heaters are very efficient, and sometimes cheaper to run than their electric counterparts, but you’ll have to buy and store propane fuel for them, and they’re unreliable at elevations of over 7,000 feet above sea level. On the other hand, electric heaters are easier to use in the home and office, since you won’t need to transport fuel canisters around, but they require a conventional outlet for use, so can be tricky to run on more bare-bones camping trips.
Another question to ask yourself when choosing an RV heating solution is whether you want a portable device, or to commit to the installation of a furnace. We talk about the RV furnace in more detail below.
Best RV Heater FAQ:
Q: What is an RV heater?
A: An RV heater is any device that can safely and effectively keep RVs at a comfortable temperature. These heaters are powered by either electricity or propane gas, and can be built-in or portable.
Q: How does an RV furnace work?
A: An RV furnace is a built-in, non-portable heating solution for RVs. They typically run on propane gas, but electric alternatives are becoming increasingly popular. Unlike their portable counterparts, these furnaces do not take up floor space in your RV, and are a more permanent RV heating solution - they can also act as an RV water heater.
On the downside, installing a furnace is considerably more expensive than purchasing a portable gas or electric heater. Unlike portable heaters, a furnace system can only be used in the RV - not your home, office, or tent.
Q: How do I choose the right size space heater?
A: The size of the space heater doesn’t necessarily correlate to the amount of space it’s capable of heating - some compact options can be surprisingly powerful!
When choosing a space heater, the best way to work out how much space it will heat is to check the manufacturer’s specifications. If in doubt, or you’re unsure about the square footage of your RV, checking out customer reviews can provide a really useful insight.
Our Top Pick
Topping our list is Lasko’s portable space heater. With three fan settings and 11 different temperature settings to choose from, you’ll soon have your RV at the perfect temperature. With 1,500 Watts at its disposal, the heater can quickly heat your RV, home, or office to a cozy state. It’s light and compact design, along with an in-built carry handle also make the heater easy to move from place to place.
It’s safe to use too, turning off automatically should it get close to overheating, and featuring a cool touch exterior that prevents any accidental burns. For a small heater, it’s powerful too - customers say it can keep an RV comfortable even on a 40 degree night. Overall, this excellent value device is, in our opinion, the best RV heater on the market today.