10 Best Electric Heater for RV 2019 – Ultimate Guide

Traveling in an RV is a fun experience, but it can become uncomfortable really fast if you do not have a good electric heater installed in it. RVs generally suffer from lack of proper insulation and also allow the cold air from outside to leak in which can make it quite chilly inside without a heater.

If you are thinking of taking a trip in your RV during the winters or are planning to camp in open and windy areas, an electric heater will be indispensable for you to have a warm night’s sleep in your RV.

Best Electric Heater for RV – Top Picks

Mr. Heater PropaneCamco 57351 OlympianHeaterDuraflame DFS-450-2
Image of Mr. Heater MH18B, Portable Propane HeaterCamco 57351 Olympian Image of Wave-8 8000 BTU LP Gas Catalytic HeaterImage of Duraflame DFS-450-2 Carleton Electric Stove with Heater, Black
Heat Coverage (Sq Ft)450230400
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Mr. Heater MH18B, Portable Propane Heater – A Portable Electric Heater

Best Electric Heater - Mr Heater

The Mr. Heater MH18B is a portable, one switch-start propane heater which is really efficient in very cold climates. The heater is not just a perfect fit for your RV, but is the right heater for spaces up to 450 square feet as well.

The heater is also equipped with an auto shut-off feature such that it shuts down automatically at an altitude of 7,000 ft or more, or when it is tipped over, or when it detects low oxygen levels. This is definitely a plus point, and indicates that the company has considered your safety as the topmost priority.

Unique functionality

Its unique functionality combines the convection air with the radiant heat air that ultimately results in a lot of warmth inside the room.

Versatility

What makes it especially great for RVs is its 20 lb. tank that can fuel it for two straight weeks without needing a refill.

Pros
  • A 4000 – 18,000 BTU electric heater
  • Has a built-in oxygen sensor
  • Heat levels can be controlled through low, medium and high-temperature controls.
  • Built-in swivel regulators
Cons
  • Overheats a bit
  • Might stink

Camco 57351 Olympian Wave-8 Catalytic Heater – A Perfect Companion for Campers

Best Electric Heater - Olympian Catalytic Heater

A propane-based heater which does not drain the electrical supply of the RV itself is a top recommended product for campers who go on long trips where there is no way to recharge batteries or refill fuel.

The heater is a perfect fit for heating up to 230 square feet, and comes along with a safety shut-off valve, thus preventing any accidents. What’s more, the heater operates silently, unlike various others which make a lot of noise while operating. Since the heater operates on a low-pressure gas, you can even mount it on a wall for ease of use.

 

Quick and efficient

This heater is best used as a secondary source of heat on very cold nights as it can heat up the RV really fast.

Pros
  • An adjustable heater from 4200 to 8000 BTU per hour
  • Can be either mounted on a wall or used as a portable heater.
  • Only runs on low-pressure propane gas.
  • It is equipped with a safety shut off valve
Cons
  • Not as durable as it should be

Duraflame DFS-450-2 Carleton Electric Stove with Heater – A Versatile Heater

Best Electric Heater - DFS 450

A stylish yet effective heater, the Duraflame DFS-450-2 is an electric heater which can be used in an RV as well as at home.

The heater comes equipped with an overheat protection, and is completely safe to use even when you have kids and pets at home. It is powerful enough to heat up to 400 square feet, and provides you with a complete realistic flame effect of glowing log and embed bed.

2-in-1

If you want to make your RV to look beautiful and cozy on a winter night, you will love this amazing heater which is not just efficient and safe for use.

but also adds a stylish touch to the interiors with its stove-like design and dancing flames effect.

Pros
  • It is a 4,600 BTU heater
  • Equipped with an adjustable thermostat
  • The built-in safety switch is activated if it overheats or is knocked over
Cons
  • Looks could have been better

Lasko 5160 Ceramic Tower Heater – Perfect for Both RVs and Offices

Best Electric Heater - 5160 Ceramic Tower Heater

A ceramic design electric heater, the Lasko 5160 is the ideal heater for RVs as well as homes and offices.

The heater comes with a remote control which adds to its ease of use. Add to that, it has user-friendly design and controls, and is a perfect pick if you want to heat up your RV. Do not worry. It is extremely portable and lightweight, such that you can carry it on the go.

Range of features

It comes with all the features that you could want in an electric heater such as thermostat control, safety tip-over switch etc. along with a user-friendly design and controls

Pros
  • The heater has a maximum power of 1500 watts
  • It comes with all the standard safety features
  • It is portable and light
Cons
  • Build could have been better

AmazonBasics 1500 Watt Ceramic Space Heater with Adjustable Thermostat – A Quality Product

Best Electric Heater - AmazonBasic 1500W Heater

With a 1500 watt high power setting, this ceramic space heater is one of the highest selling products because of its high-quality design, a number of useful features as well as its attention to detail with respect to safety features.

In addition to using this heater in your RV, you can use it in your home too, to fight the dipping mercury levels. Add to that, it is extremely lightweight and portable. This RV Heater comes equipped with safety features like overheat protection and automatic shut off. Making it ideal for the use with an RV Generator.

 

Good for home as well

This RV heater is also good for home use and is particularly useful when you just want to heat up one room rather than the whole house.

Pros
  • It is a 1500-watt high power heater
  • It comes with adequate thermostat control
  • The heater is lightweight and portable
  • It even comes with a carrying handle for this purpose.
Cons
  • Not much effective in controlling the temperature

Lasko 6405 Designer Oscillating Heater – Best Ceramic Heater

Best Electric Heater - Lasko 6405

The Lasko 6405 is one of the top ceramic heaters that you can find in the market today.

What’s better than a heater? A good-looking heater, we would say, and this is what this Lasko 6405 Designer Heater promises you with. It is extremely versatile, and can also be used in your homes apart from controlling the temperature in RVs. The heater comes with easy to adjust temperature settings, timed auto-off and everything that you will expect in a  heater!

Beautiful design

It comes with a beautiful design and an absolutely safe to use ceramic structure which takes care of all the safety related problems associated with electric heaters.

Versatile

It can be used as a standalone heater for your RV or even as a secondary heater if your RV already has a heating system installed.

Pros
  • The heater comes with easy to use temperature setting
  • The ceramic body of the heater is cool to touch
  • The heater comes with a 3-year manufacturer warranty
  • It has a very beautiful and unique design
Cons
  • High watt heater and could serve as a fire hazard if not handled properly

PELONIS HC-0179 2-Level Ceramic Heater with Adjustable Thermostat – Great Fit For Medium-Sized RVs

Best Electric Heater - Pelonis HC Ceramic Heater

Pelonis is a company known for its experience in the industry of manufacturing quality appliances for homes. If you are looking for a great heater which can be a perfect fit for your medium-sized RVs, this is it.

With a maximum power of 1500W and a maximum BTU of 5120, this heater comes with easy to adjust 4-switch knob settings, an auto tip-off switch and safety features.

Amazing quality and design

The ceramic heater from Pelonis is also one of its many products which is a top pick in its category because of its quality, design as well as features.

Perfect fit for medium-sized RVs

With a maximum BTU of 5120 and a maximum power of 1500 watts, this ceramic heater will be a great fit for medium-sized RVs.

Pros
  • There are 4 switch knob settings
  • The thermostat settings are customizable
  • There is an auto tip-off switch which takes care of overheating problems
  • The heater is quite compact and space-saving
Cons
  • Generates noise while working

 

COSTWAY Oil Filled Radiator Heater 700W – Amazing Radiator Heater

Best Electric Heater - RV Costway Oil Filled Radiator

This is one of the best and safest oil radiator heaters in the market is the one by Costway. Oil heaters are great when you want to gradually heat up a room and keep it a constant temperature.

The heater operates on sealed oil and allows you to adjust the temperature on the go, all thanks to its easy thermostat settings. Further, the heater is equipped with all the required safety features, similar to other heaters on this list.

 

Can run for longer durations

This radiator heater is particularly great for cold winter days when you want to keep the heater running throughout the day.

Pros
  • The heater operates on permanently sealed oil
  • It comes with thermostat settings
  • The heater is exceptionally quiet when turned on
  • The heater’s safety features include auto-shut down if tipped over or overheated.
Cons
  • It smells of oil
  • Not that effective in controlling temperature

 

Caframo Limited 9206CABBX True North Heater – Perfect Small-Sized Heater

Best Electric Heater - Caframo Limited

This small but powerful heater from Caframo is what you would want if you are looking for a small-sized heater that can be placed under a chair or a bed while still ensuring that your RV is warm and toasty.

The heater comes with three power settings – 500 watts, 900 watts and 1200 watts, along with an anti-freeze setting which is a great feature when you are in extremely cold weather. All thanks to the built-in thermostat features, the heater is quite good at regulating the temperatures.

Portable

Though not as powerful as the propane electric heaters, it is still a good buy for those who want an extremely portable and easy to lug around heater.

Pros
  • The heater comes with three power settings – 500 watts, 900 watts and the highest setting of 1200 watts
  • It also has an anti-freeze setting
  • The built-in thermostat allows you to regulate the temperature
Cons
  • Prone to burning out

 

Lasko 5538 Ceramic Tower Heater with Remote Control – A Portable Pick

Best Electric Heater - Lasko 5538

The Lasko ceramic tower heater is a powerful heater which has also been equipped with top of the line safety features making it a great option for those who want a ceramic heater for their RV.

Equipped with a multi-function remote, a programmable thermostat, an auto turn off timer and two automated settings – the heater has pretty much everything that you would expect it to have.

Safe and secure

The good thing about these ceramic heaters is that they can withstand a lot of heat while their outer surface remains cool to the touch.

These heaters are a good choice for RVs because of their portability, safety, and feature-rich design.

Pros
  • The heater comes with a multi-function remote
  • It has a programmable thermostat for controlling the heat settings
  • It comes with an auto turn off timer after 8 hours of continuous use
  • There are two automated settings for heat – high and low
Cons
  • Might not be as effective when used in rooms

Safety Precautions – Ensure That You’re Safe Throughout

Heaters are really useful devices which can provide you a lot of comfort on a cold evening. But they are also potentially dangerous devices which can prove to be a safety hazard if proper precautions are not taken. Make sure that you keep the following safety precautions in mind while using electric heaters in your RV:

  • Never leave a heater unattended or leave it running when going to sleep. Make sure to turn off the heater if you are exiting the room or preparing to settle in for the night.
  • Heaters are only meant for heating the room and should not be used for cooking, heating the bedding, drying clothes or thawing.
  • They should be ideally placed where there is a minimum chance of people knocking into them. Highly flammable items like papers, clothes, rugs and the likes should not be kept near the heater.
  • The heaters should generally not be plugged into extension cords but rather directly in the wall plug itself.
  • The heater should be from a good company and should have been tested for safety at a laboratory.
  • Heaters which have frayed wires or any kind of broken parts should never be used unless repaired properly.
  • They should be placed directly on the floor and not on carpet or another piece of furniture.
  • If you regularly use heaters in your RV, you should also have a smoke alarm installed just in case of emergency.

What is BTU?

In terms of electrical heaters, BTU is used to help the user understand how much heat can be produced by that electrical heater. For example, a heater with a higher BTU will obviously produce more heat while that with a lower BTU will be a low-powered one.

The BTU level of an electric heater is an important feature to consider as it will help you pick the right size of the heater which is required for your RV. By knowing the BTU, you can easily know the heat output of the heater that you are considering. You can then find out the square footage of the room that you want to use the heater so that you can calculate whether the BTU level of the heater is sufficient for heating up that room quickly and efficiently.

Types of Electric Heaters for RV

When you browse for electric heaters in the market, you will generally come across three common types of electric heaters which you can choose from.

Electric HeatersOil HeatersPropane heaters

These are the most common type of heaters in the market which run on electricity and can be found in two variants – radiation type and blower-fan type. The radiation heaters simply work on the rod heating system and just like their name suggests, they radiate heat which heats up the air around them.

On the other hand, blower-fan heaters are those which have an inbuilt fan which throws out warm air. Both the heaters are excellent choices for RVs. If you prefer a more consistent temperature for a longer period of time, you would like to go for a radiation heater. However, if you want the RV to be heated up as quickly as possible after switching on the heater, you should go for the blower type heaters.

An oil-filled electric heater is also a great choice for RVs as it works on its own fuel supply and does not need batteries that can die out in the middle of the trip. Oil heaters are less in demand as compared to the typical radiation electric heaters since they are less energy-efficient and are also not very eco-friendly.

However, if you are planning to travel to extremely high altitudes in your RV or to very cold states, then you can consider buying an oil heater as they definitely produce a lot of heat and can keep the RV warm and snug for long periods of time.

Most of the portable heaters work on propane gas and are preferred by those who need heaters for the RV as well as for heating up their rooms when they are not traveling or for heating up their tent while camping.

Propane heaters are a good choice if you are going to be on the road for a long period of time since you can just carry an extra cylinder of gas to refuel the heater instead of being dependent on electricity connection.

Buyers Guide  – Choosing the Best Electric Heater for RV

Getting an electric heater for your RV is a great idea. However, there are so many choices in the market that it can get difficult for a first-time buyer to get the perfect heater for their RV. To make it easier for you, here is our buyer’s guide on what to look for in an electric heater before choosing the one that you want to buy:

  • Safety & Fire Hazards
    Best Generator for RV - Fire Hazard

When choosing a heater, you must make sure that it is tested for safety by the company with a proper certificate for standard safety checks. It should also have at least the basic safety features such as automatic shutdown on overheating or knocking over. If the heater has additional safety features such as a safety grill, cool to touch surface or CO2 sensors, it would be even better.

  • The efficiency of an electric heater

The efficiency of an electric heater largely depends on whether you have chosen the right sized heater for your RV. In order to ensure that your electric heater heats up the RV efficiently with low power consumption, you should choose a heater after considering its BTU as well as the size of the room that you want to heat.

For example, if you want to heat a 300 sq. ft. room, you should go for a heater which has a BTU of up to 7,000 per hour. The efficiency of a heater is also highly dependent on how much insulation the RV has.

  • Portability

Best Electric Heater - Olympian Catalytic Heater

Having a portable heater is always a good idea as it can then be used to heat up your room when you are not traveling in your RV. Generally, all the propane fuelled heaters are portable but you can even get the standard electric or oil heaters in portable versions.

Moreover, portability also comes in use when you just want to position the heater in different positions so as to bring it closer to where you are sitting or if you want to change the direction of the air of the blower. You can even consider using a portable heater to heat up your tent while camping. On the other hand, a fixed or wall-mounted heater does not provide all these advantages.

  • Maintenance and Durability

If you are a first-time buyer and do not have much idea about the functioning of a heater, you should probably go for the most low maintenance option among heaters which is the portable propane heater.

When it comes to durability, you should always check for the manufacturer’s warranty and go for a product which gives at least two years of warranty. This way you can be sure that the product has been designed to be quite durable and will not break down in the middle of a trip in your RV.

  • Cost

Budget

The cost of the heater is largely dependent on its size, the number of features as well as the brand that it is coming from. However, you can expect to buy a medium sized heater with standard features for an average of about $100. If you go for heaters which have more features such as more safety options, thermostat regulator etc., you can expect the price to be a bit steeper. On the other hand, if you want a centralized heater, you can expect to shell out as much as $500 for the same.

Wrapping up – Best Electric Heater for RV

There are a number of really good electric heaters that you can get for your RV. The trick in choosing the right heater for your RV is to correctly estimate the size of the heater by considering its BTU as well as the square footage of the RV’s interiors where the heater will be placed.

If you are still confused about which heater to buy, our top recommendation would be the Mr. Heater MH18B portable propane heater which has an adjustable BTU of 4000 to 8,000 making it an ideal heater for all kinds of RV sizes.

This heater has all the required safety features too such as auto shutdown on overheating etc. along with several unique features like oxygen level sensors, heat level temperature controls and more which you would not find in other products of this range. Its portability and propane fuelled functionality to ensure that it is a great heater not just for RVs but even for being used at home when not traveling.

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