LAST UPDATED: January 03, 2019

The Best RV Heaters (Review) in 2021

Best Choice best choice portable heater Lasko CD09250 Ceramic Portable Space Heater
Premium Pick premium pick heater Suburban Electronic Ignition Ducted Furnace
Best Value cheap portable heater BOVADO USA Portable Ceramic Space Heater

Hopping into your RV and hitting the road can make for a perfect vacation – but when the temperature drops, how do you make sure everyone stays warm? RVs aren’t the most insulated 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 and powerful enough to throw out plenty of heat, keeping you cozy and comfortable for hours. However, not all heaters are created equal – that’s why we’ve compiled a list of the best RV-friendly portable heaters on the market. With both electric and propane options, we’re confident there’s something here to meet the needs of every motorhome enthusiast.

The Best RV Heater

Lasko takes the top spot on our list with its 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 it 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. For us, this is one of the best electric heater for RVs.

Key Features
  • Portable electric-powered space-heater suitable for home, office, and RV
  • Lightweight and compact design
  • Offers three fan settings and 11 different temperature settings
  • Runs quietly
  • 1,500 Watt ceramic design
  • In-built safety features prevent the device from overheating
  • Cool-touch exterior
Specification
  • Brand Lasko
  • Model CD09250
  • Weight 3.5 pounds

Lasko makes its second entry on our list with this 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 easy to transport due to a built-in carry handle, users 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.

Key Features
  • 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
  • Cool-touch surface
  • Easy to transport thanks to a handy carry handle
  • Available in 14 different colors
Specification
  • Brand Lasko
  • Model 755320
  • Weight 8.75 pounds

Camco really delivers on quality with its 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-percent efficiency. This ranks far above a conventional flame-type heater, which will typically waste a staggering 45-percent 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 its products.

Key Features
  • Gas powered RV furnace that can be wall-mounted or free-standing
  • Heats up to 290 square feet
  • Silent operation
  • Features a safety shut-off valve to prevent unburned fuel from seeping out
  • Designed to last for 20,000 starts
  • 99.98 efficiency
  • Easy to operate
  • Comes with a one year limited warranty
Specification
  • Brand Camco
  • Model 57351
  • Weight 5 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. The heater is a cost-effective solution to chilly nights in the RV.

Key Features
  • 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
Specification
  • Brand BOVADO USA
  • Model 166648
  • Weight 2.85 pounds

Pelonis’ classic electric heater brings a retro look to your RV. Its 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. Users 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.

Key Features
  • Classic electric heater with a retro look
  • 1,500 Watt output
  • Honeycomb ceramic disk and fan design
  • Fully adjustable temperature settings
  • Compact design
  • Automatically shuts off in the event of overheating, and tipping
  • Efficient and easy to use
Specification
  • Brand Pelonis
  • Model B-6A1
  • Weight 4.7 pounds

The next heater to earn itself a spot on our list is Mr. Heater’s offering. Its 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-percent 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. 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 when it’s knocked over, preventing it from becoming a fire hazard. A temperature-resistant wire prevents burns, too. It’s also easy to transport with a foldaway handle that makes for easy storage. Once turned on, you 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.

Key Features
  • 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
Specification
  • Brand Mr. Heater
  • Model F232000
  • Weight 9.5 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. Users 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 its well-known reputation preceding it, you can always trust a suburban RV heater.

Key Features
  • Electronic-ignition camper furnace
  • Vent assembly included
  • Reliable performance
  • 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
Specification
  • Brand Suburban
  • Model NT-30SP
  • Weight 42.5 pounds

Suitable for heating spaces of up to 450 square feet, Mr. Heater’s Big Buddy heater lives up to its name. This large propane heater, approved for indoor and outdoor use, 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 tippedover, 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.

Key Features
  • 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
Specification
  • Brand Mr. Heater
  • Model F274830
  • Weight 16.93 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. Users 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.

Key Features
  • 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
Specification
  • Brand Caframo Limited
  • Model 9206CABBX
  • Weight 5.25 pounds

And last, but not least is Camco’s Olympian Wave 3 catalytic heater. The propane-powered device can deliver heat to spaces up to 130 square feet. 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-percent 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 and 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.

Key Features
  • 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 
Specification
  • Brand Camco
  • Model 57331
  • Weight 1 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.

heater for camping

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.

  • Portability

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.

  • Efficiency

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.

  • Safety

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.

  • Budget

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.

olympian heater

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.

portable heater

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.

Sources:

  1. How to Winterize an RV – wikiHow
  2. How to Use a Portable Heater Safely – wikiHow