Best Space Heater For RV: Electric Heaters For Campers


Being cold in our RV is not fun.

We stopped using our furnace and I was on the lookout for the best electric heater for RV. For me the propane furnace increases humidity in the cabin and I just didn't like how it affected my breathing.

That's why I created this buyer's guide to help you find the best electric heater for your RV and where you can get yours.

Comparison Table

IMAGEPRODUCT
TOP PICK!1. Broan-NuTone Big Heat Heater
  • Fast warm up
  • Hi, low and fan only
  • 6 Foot cord
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2. Lasko Ceramic Oscillating Heater with Remote Control
  • 7 hour timer
  • Overheat protection
  • 1500 watts
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3. Lasko Ultra Ceramic Fireplace Heater
  • Easy handle
  • Overheat protection
  • Quiet fan
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4. Dr Infrared Heater Portable Space Heater
  • Electronic thermostat
  • Quiet blower
  • 80,000 hours of operation
  • Lorem Ipum
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5. Comfort Glow Ceramic Disc Heater
  • Packs a lot of heat in small unit
  • Tip over shut off
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Our Best Electric Heater Reviews For Your RV

If you don't have time to read through the guide, then I'll share our pick when we were looking.

We have the Broan-NuTone heater that we use for the cold periods in the RV. I love that it has an easy to grab handle on the top, and has an overheat protection shutoff.

The thing I don't like about it is keeping the grate area clean can be difficult. We have a cat, so it's easy to get dust and cat hair on the cover.

Lasko Ceramic Oscillating Heater with Remote Control


Great little oscillating heater with remote control. You can adjust the settings remotely.

That means your whole RV can be heating with the oscillating feature. The unit rotates about 90 degrees around is should be able to heat about 340 square feet.

Has built in overheat protection.

Pros

  • 7 hour timer
  • Overheat protection
  • 1500 watts

Cons

  • Only rotates 90 degrees and some wanted 180

Lasko Ultra Ceramic Fireplace Heater

Durable little heater with a few different heating levels. You can even just show the flames in the summer without any heat involved. It doesn't replace a nice campfire, but it's still a neat feature.

Has a quiet blower system that helps circulate the heat in the RV. Comes with a 6 foot cord, which should be long enough for any room.

A little heavier at 12lbs and 1500 watts.

Pros

  • Easy handle
  • Overheat protection
  • Quiet Fan

Cons

  • Some aren't happy with flame effect

Dr Infrared Heater Portable Space Heater

Super quiet with electronic thermostat. Heavier than the others, with a weight of 24lbs and 1500 watts.

Tip over and overheat protection as a safety feature.

With infrared heating, this will keep moisture in the air and heats the objects in the room instead.

Pros

  • Electronic thermostat
  • Quiet blower
  • 80,000 hours of operation

Cons

  • Plastic wheels 
  • No handle for easy moving

Comfort Glow Ceramic Disc Heater

This heater covers about 600 square feet and has a sturdy, brown casing around it.

Instead of just one, you get 4 ceramic disc heating elements to help keep your rig cool.

It weighs just under 5lbs, but is 1500 wattage, which is a little higher than others of it's size.

As with most heaters, this one has a tipping shutoff mechanism so it turns off if bumped.

Pros

  • Packs a lot of heat in small unit
  • Tip over shut off

Cons

  • Noisier than expected

Camco 57351 Olympian Wave-8 LP Gas Catalytic Heater

Camco Olympian RV Wave-8 LP Gas Catalytic Safety Heater, Adjustable 4200 to 8000 BTU, Warms 290 Square Feet of Space, Portable and Wall Mountable

Camco is a self-generating piezo starter that promises to work effectively until it reaches a total of 20,000 stars. It is designed with a long flat surface and has a safety shut-off valve that ensures safe use of the heaters.

These safety checks make sure that the heaters don’t become overloaded and cause any danger. This heater makes no sound while operating too. It is a catalytic heater that could be a great choice for a large RV.

The heater is powered by low-consumption LP gas which means there?s no need for a battery and will be working with less energy.

A great advantage that comes with this heater is that you can use it as an indoor RV heater. It can be used outdoors as well since it?s portable. You can alter its settings according to your needs. The heater can also be mounted on a wall if you want to fix its position permanently.

It can produce heat in an area of up to 290 square feet, but you must use it with a vent because it doesn?t come with a chimney. However, it has no flame either so it is incredibly safe to use. It works with 4200 to 8000 BTUs.

Camco has been approved American Gas Association (AGA) and Canadian Gas Association (CGA), marking it safe to purchase and use.

Pros

  • Can be used as a fixed heater or a portable one
  • Has adjustable heat settings
  • Safety valve shut-off

Cons

  • Additional costs for optional leg stands, LP cylinder, regulator and hose assembly

Handy Heater Wall Heater

Ontel Handy Heater | Plug-in Personal Heater | Compact Design | Quick and Easy Heat | Digital Display | Great for Travel | On/Off with Timer

The Handy Heater is convenient to use. You can just plug it into a power socket and you are good to go. A digital thermostat is present in the heater which is capable of controlling the temperature.

The digital display shows the temperature of the heater, making it easy to set the right temperature. Also, it comes with a 12-hour timer that will keep the heat constant for however long you need it.

Once you set it, you can relax and stay warm without checking it and worrying about the temperature. The heater also has a fan that can be set in two-speed options.

The heater is handy and portable, meaning you can carry it around with you.

One great aspect of this heater is that its outer surface doesn’t heat, so you don?t need to worry about burning yourself when you touch it.

You?ll be completely safe walking around with it and standing near it too. I had no trouble handling and maintaining this heater. It warms up small spaces quickly. You might have to keep checking and lowering the temperature as it might get too warm if you leave it for long. It works well on larger rooms too, but you?ll have to set the temperature high and wait for a few minutes longer.

The heater covers an area of up to 249 square feet and uses up to 350 watts of energy, which is pretty good for a handy heater that is hassle-free to use.

Pros

  • Cool to touch
  • Portable and can be carried around easily
  • Smart-heating power
  • 12-hour time setting

Cons

  • Makes noise

Bovado USA 166648 Ceramic Space Heater

Bovado is a small and portable heater that works with a simple turn of the dial. It has settings like ?high heat,? ?low heat,? and ?fan only? so you can choose according to your comfort.

The size of the heater is very pleasing as its smaller than most of the ceramic heaters. Designed with a matt black colour the heater looks simple yet effective.

It is made of ceramic heating discs and uses the Positive Temperature Coefficient (PTC) heating system. The compact and lightweight portability of it is what makes it stand out among other heaters.

You can easily use this heater anywhere, like at your desk, in your room, or in your RV. It comes with a handle so you can carry it easily.

This heater will be more than enough to keep your room warm. It guarantees evenly distributed heat all around the room. The safety switch does it?s job when the device is running in high temperature.

Safety and reliability come with this heater. It has been tested and approved as a standard quality by safety check organizations like UL, ETL, SAA, CE, CSA, and NOM.

Bavado is a comfort brand that is becoming renowned for its quality. They aspire to serve their customers with exceptional quality, just like their heaters.

Pros

  • Has a safety switch
  • Multiple temperature settings
  • Works for long periods of time
  • Has a power indicator light

Cons

  • Starts making loud noises after extended use

Broan NuTone 6201 Big Heat Heater

Broan NuTone has a safety valve that immediately shuts down the heater when it begins to overheat. It also shuts off if the heater falls or topples over.

This heater has a carrying handle and is made with rugged steel. The handle is provided to ensure secure mobility. It also has rounded bumpers to keep it protected.

One notable feature of this heater is that it consists of ceramic heating elements that allow the setting of 1,500 watts for fast warm-up. 1,200 watts maintains a constant temperature, using less electricity.

It comes with a 6-foot cord and a safety flange.

With this heater, you can have a trouble-free experience. It uses the ceramic heating method, making it efficient.

Pros

  • Portable and handy
  • Made of metal rather than plastic
  • Has safety features

Cons

  • Poor thermostats
  • Releases bad odor

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Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy Indoor-Safe Portable Radiant Heater

Mr. Heater F232000 Portable Buddy Heater with Portable Buddy Carry Bag Bundle (2 Items)

This portable propane heater is made of steel, plastic, and nickel. Strong and effectively built, it stands out for its unique structure.

Mr. Heater does its best to heat enclosed spaces that are about 225 square feet. It will keep you warm at every corner of the room.

The heater comes with an auto shut-off system, so if the heater falls or when the oxygen levels are low, it automatically turns off to avoid any kind of problems.

Designed to be easily used and handled, it comes with a swivel regulator to help you comfortably plug it in however you need to.

Pros

  • Has a fold-down handle
  • Minimalistic footprint
  • Connects directly to a 1 pound cylinder

Cons

  • Other accessories and attachments cannot be used with this heater. They pose a safety hazard.

Suburban 2438ABK NT – 16SEQ Furnace

Suburban (2438ABK Nt-16Seq Furnace with Black Grill

The Suburban fuel-efficient furnace is the best choice for your RV. It generates a good amount of heat while you travel and will keep you safe and warm.

It is designed as a BTU propane furnace and it uses less power to function.

This heater is incredibly energy efficient and typically makes no noise when in use. Using it will save you plenty of money and energy. It could be a reliable pick that will be a good furnace to warm your RV.

It comes with a gasket-sealed vent and you won’t have to worry about installing it, as it’s easy to fix and assemble.

Pros

  • Easy installation
  • Affordable and effective
  • Can be connected to a 20-pound propane tank
  • Cools down before turning off completely

Cons

  • It rarely makes loud noises, but they do still occur.

What is the Best Electric Heater for RV?


RV Portable Heater!

There are several RV portable heaters to choose from. Many can be found through Amazon or Camping World. If you're near a Walmart you can even pick one up usually in the winter time at the local stores.

The best thing?

These portable heaters don't use up any propane while on the road. The downside is several RV parks will either tell you not to use them or they will require an extra fee during the cold times since these heaters eat up a lot of energy.

You'll also want to make sure that your rig protected from any electrical surges at any of the parks.

But even in places like Texas and Florida temperatures can drop, so it's good to have a little heater available when it does.

Electric Heater for RV or Ceramic Heater or Oil Filled Radiator?

Here's the deal:

When deciding on your heater, look at the differences between a ceramic heater, oil filled radiator heater, and a quartz fan heater.

An electric oil radiator heater is oil filled. The oil heats up and it radiates from the heater there's no fan involved so it's radiates the heat. You won't necessarily feel it throughout the cabin and on a really cold night you have to get closer and closer to the heater to feel its effects.

Electric heaters and ceramic heaters come with a fan that circulates the heat, usually with an oscillating feature as well.

The ceramic heaters have ceramic plates and aluminum baffles that when the heat is then absorbed by the aluminum, a fan blows the hot air into your room.

Portable Propane RV Heater

You'll notice that I added a propane RV heater. I had so many people asking and searching for the Mr. Heater buddy propane heater that I had to check it out. It doesn't use your rig's propane, but you can attach either the little propane canisters or get a 5 gallon propane tank to attach to it.


How to Choose the Right Size Space Heater

When looking at heaters you want to look at the BTU's with the heater. A BTU is the energy needed to heat one pound of water 1 degree Fahrenheit and a 1500 watt is approximately 5200 BTUs. 

So what does that mean when choosing your RV heater?

rv heater

It takes about 20 BTUs per hour per square foot to heat or cool, roughly.  So calculate your rough square footage in your RV, multiply that square footage by 20 BTUs and you'll know the BTUs that you need to heat your RV appropriately. 

If you have a RV that's roughly 200 square feet x 20 BTUs, you want to heater that can produce At least 4,000 BTUs to adequately warm your RV.

rv heater btu

Now:

With that in mind here are a few of the favorites  among some full time RVers who use these in their motorhome.

Dometic Heating Element for Your AC

dometic penguin heat strip
This year we looked at our Dometic Penguin AC and noticed there is a heat strip that you can add to warm up the RV in the mornings.

If you see a setting on your control panel that blows heat, then you already have it installed.

For us, we have the option, but didn't have the actual element installed. So we looked up the part number and ordered it.

The heat strip in the AC shouldn't  be your only source of heat, but it can take the chill out of the morning after a cold night.

You can turn it on in the morning to help your ceramic heater or electric heater warm up the RV much faster.

Related

Here's what you can do if your RV furnace won't ignite.

Safety precautions when using electric heater for RV:

  • Plug the heater directly into a wall outlet. If you do use an extension cord, make sure it's the shortest possible length and has a 14-gauge wire or larger.
  • Make sure to buy one with tip-over safety switch feature.
  • Make sure the heater carries the Underwriter's Laboratory (UL) label.
  • Choose a heater that has a thermostat to avoid overheating a room.
  • Select a heater that is the right size for the RV.
  • Put the heater on a level surface away from foot traffic.
  • Never leave it running unattended.

Conclusion

As much as I love having the electric heater in our RV, I'm ready to be able to store it away and have warmer weather.

We hope this buyer guide will help you in finding the best electric heater for your RV. If you've found our review useful, please share this article with your buddies and let us know in the comments below.

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