Especially as of late, RV camping has exploded in popularity as it has never been easier to travel around and experience a lot of different perspectives. RV camping ranges from roughing it in something super simple to a top-of-the-line RV that commands the road. Plus, there is everything in between.
With any type of RV and situation that you are in, there are things you may need to add in order to improve your experience.
One addition that can be a gamechanger is a portable propane heater. This will give you a fantastic heat source when temperatures drop, and you need a little bit of extra help. Here are the best portable RV propane heaters!
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Best RV Propane Heater/Gas RV Furnace
Mr. Heater MH9BX F232000 Buddy Indoor-safe Portable Radiant Heater
We will kick off our list with one of the highest-rated heaters on the market. The Mr. Heater Portable option can pump out tons of heat and is safe for indoor use, which is key. With thousands of great ratings and an affordable price, this is an option that will be in your arsenal for a long time.
- This is from a brand with a high reputation, so you are in a good position to be satisfied
- Affordable price for the longevity that it is set up to provide
- 4000-9000 BTU output
- Clean burning and is safe for indoor use for spaces up to 225 square feet
- Built in safety features to keep you and your loved ones safe
- There have been rare cases of knobs getting stuck on their current settings
- Could be considered expensive if you are looking for a smaller heater that is only used every so often
On the opposite end of the furnace game, as the option above, is the Suburban Dynatrail RV furnace. Heaters and furnaces are different as furnaces are more permanent and powerful.
If you are constantly camping and need something that will be a permanent fixture, this is one of the best options out there.
Suburban is a great furnace brand, so the customer service and product quality will be high.
- Electronic ignition
- Vent assembly included
- Ideal replacement furnace
- High-end furnace that pumps out a good amount of heat on a more regular basis than a heater
- Provides a great upgrading opportunity from what comes with your RV regularly
- 34,000 BTU
- Electronic ignition which provides easy use
- Although this is a good product for the money, there are many cheaper options out there
- Some users have trouble with the installation process depending on the RV model
The cousin to the option above is the Suburban Dynatrail NT-30 furnace. The big difference between the two is that this one offers 4000 fewer BTUs, which is a big factor to consider.
So, if your RV is not quite as big, this could be the better option for you. Other than that, the price and performance are both very similar.
- Electronic ignition
- Vent assembly included
- Ideal replacement furnace
- Electronic ignition for ease of use
- Pumps out 30,000 BTU
- Proper ventilation to make the furnace work as well as it can
- Again, there are cheaper options son the market, even under the Suburban banner
The final Suburban furnace on our list- today is the NT-16SEQ model. Of the three, this is the smallest and cheapest option at 16,000 BTU.
So if your RV is a bit smaller and you do not need as much output, this is the option to look into. This is a fantastic replacement furnace to the ones that will come stock.
- Electronic ignition
- Vent assembly included
- Ideal replacement furnace
- Electronic ignition that is a focal point of many Suburban furnaces
- High quality performance for the size
- 16,000 BTU
- Smaller unit, so if you have a larger RV this will probably not do the trick
- Somewhat pricey but the quality delivers
Now, if you are wanting to stay away from a furnace and are leaning more toward a heater, this is a very top-of-the-line option. The Camco Olympian Catalytic Heater is very high-end and will produce some serious heat.
One of this model’s biggest features is the safety aspect. There are built-in measures to make sure there are no issues that can arise from use.
This is also an adjustable unit. You can range from 4200-8000 BTU, so those options are available if you need to crank it up or lay it back.
- Heating is 99.98 percent efficient compared to flame type heaters
- Equipped with a 100 percent safety shut-off valve / RV portable heater, model# 57351
- Offers more efficient heating at a lower cost / Warms 290 square feet of space
- High-end heater that will last a long time
- Adjustable heat output, so you can customize the heater to whatever scenario you are in
- Warms up to 290 square feet
- Portable and wall mountable for ease of use in different situations
- Built-in safety features to keep you and your loved ones out of danger
- Pretty expensive heating unit
- Fairly heavy and bulky when traveling
One of the best budget options that still pumps out some serious hot air is the Gasland MHA 18 Propane Heater. This is a great option for workshops, garages, RVs, and other compact spaces that need a heater that can move around.
Outfitted with wheels on the bottom and a solid build, this can be moved around with ease.
For the size and price, it also has a really high output. It can heat an area up to 450 square feet with 18,000 BTU. For this price, this is really hard to beat.
- ☀【Cut Down Your Electricity Bills】With Gasland Portable Cabinet Heater, No electricity required. All you need is a 20lb liquid propane cylinder and you will have plenty of warm. Never worry about the power cut when the hurricane comes. The main advantange is help to cut down your electricity bills and no risk tripping over electric cords.
- ☀【Safe & Reliable】Our propane radiant heater is equipped with Tip-Over and Low Oxygen Shut-off for safety concerns. Since our small space heater is easy to move, they may be easier to kick down. The heater will shut off if it gets knocked over accidentally or the oxygen around is too low.
- ☀【Mobile & Space Save Design】The Gasland portable propane radiant heater features a handy, mobile and sapce save design intended to be used in the ventilated garage, office and workshop. Take this heater from room to room with no problems thanks to the built-in rolling wheels and Easy-Carry handle . The tank is inside the cabinet out of the way which makes it a nice heater to look at.
- 18,000 BTU which is really high for the size of the heater
- Great for RV use as it will fill a space quickly
- Has wheels to give you the ultimate convenience of moving around
- Very reasonable price point with high ratings
- Have been recorded issues of the pilot light and sparking mechanism not working 100% of the time
- To provide better disbursement of heat, you may need your own fan.
Mr. Heater F215100 Little buddy Indoor Safe Propane Heater
If you need something that is very small and just there to get a bit of heat going, the Mr. Heater Little Buddy is a really awesome option. As the name suggests, it is quite literally a little heating buddy.
This heater is small enough to hold with one hand and can be fixed to just about any situation you are in. If you are camping or have a smaller RV, this will be perfect. Despite the size, it can still pump out 3800 BTU for an area up to 95 square feet.
So, if you want to save some space and money, go with the Mr. Heater Little Buddy.
- Indoor-safe portable propane heater for rooms up to 95 square feet. THIS UNIT IS NOT INTENDED FOR GOLF CART USE OR FOR MOTORIZED VEHICLES.
- Continuous odor-free, 45-degree heating angle. Maximum Elevation (Ft) 7000 Feet. Automatic low oxygen shut-off system (ODS). Perfect solution for heating small enclosed spaces like tents up to 95 square feet
- Simple on/off buttons; uses 1-pound disposable propane cylinder (not included). Run time at minimum btu and maximum btu is 5.6 hours. Do not operate heater in any moving vehicle. This heater requires a vent area of 4 square inches minimum for adequate ventilation during operation
- Super compact heater that can be taken on the go very easily
- Still delivers quality heat despite the size
- Very affordable
- Indoor safe and will take care of smaller RV spaces
- Tons of good reviews, so you know you are in for a quality experience with the product more times than not
- Will not do the job for the larger RVs and open areas
- Not to be used in moving vehicles
- There have been cases of buttons becoming stiff over time
An interesting option is one that is not a furnace, nor a small heater is the ProCom Infrared Wall Heater. Although the differences between all of these are not very much, it is still worth noting that there are some differences.
This specific model is made to be attached to the wall, as the name implies.
If your camper could use a subtle yet permanent heating feature, this is one to look at. It comes in two variations, so you can specify the size depending on the size of your camper van you need heated. It comes in either 6000 BTU or 10,000 BTU. They will vary slightly in price, but they are fairly pricey.
- Liquid propane Gas infrared wall heater operates at 6,000 BTU
- Heater Uses liquid propane Gas and is vent-free
- Equipped with manual controls and push button piezo ignition
- You can pick the BTU output, which is a perk not found on many other options
- Has a long life on the wall
- Infrared heating, so the people and the objects are the first
- The smaller option covers a 150 square feet space with plenty of heat
- Fairly expensive price tag
- Not very portable as it is made to fit the wall
When the popularity of Amazon exploded, they started to develop their own products to hit the market. Because of the brand’s reputation and resources, they can actually be pretty decent items. One of those is the Amazon Basics Portable Eco-Smart Space heater.
This is a very portable and easy to maneuver heater that will not take up too much room in your RV. It weighs just less than 15 pounds, so moving it around will be easy. It is also outfitted with sensors to ensure that there are no safety issues down the road.
- Classic black portable space heater with adjustable electronic thermostat and easy-to-read LED display (measures 14.5 x 11.4 x 14.7 inches; weighs 14.6 pounds)
- Includes over-heat sensor for safety
- Adjustable temperature setting from : 65- 85 ℉
- This is a remote controlled heater, which is fairly rare
- Eco-friendly design and use, so you can feel good about your energy consumption
- Very affordable for the product you are receiving
- Adjustable temperature settings
- 1-year limited warranty
- Designed for smaller spaces, so the larger RVs will not work well
- There have been cases of the fan not working after some time
Another wall heater, and the final one on our list, is the Dyna-Glo Liquid Propane Blue Flame Wall Heater. Outfitted with a pretty blue flame, this heater is meant to be installed on the wall and not moved around, so keep that in mind.
There are also three levels of heat output, so you can customize your experience. 16,000, 18,000, and 20,000 BTU are the options that can be changed on the spot. Obviously, this is a huge perk to consider. So, if you want a consistent heater that is out of the way by being on a wall, this is a great option.
- Liquid Propane Ready (Fuel conversion not permitted)
- Blue Flame Technology works by convecting heat to warm the air the same way as a central heating system
- 16, 000-20, 000 BTU's/hr variable heat output for up to 700 sq. ft.
- Adjustable heating feature that offers great customization
- Uses technology to mimic an actual central heating system
- Uses liquid propane
- Weighs less than 20 pounds and can fit in large and small RVs alike
- You will need space on a wall for it to be mounted and work correctly
If you are looking for something small and electric that will do the job
The De’Longhi DCH5915ER compact heater is the perfect antidote for needing something that is small yet consistent. Although this option is a bit pricey, it is worthwhile as it will last a long time and deliver a good product.
This compact heater can be moved around very easily, so you can get the very most out of the purchase. A big feature of this heater is the noise element. It is nearly impossible to push out a good amount of heat while being silent.
However, this option has built-in soundproofing, so it will not be too loud in the background.
If you fall under this category, one of the top options is the Happybuy 5KW Diesel Air Heater. Specifically made for trailers and RVs, this is the perfect addition to your existing setup. Coming in at a good price and high ratings, you will not be mad about your purchase.
It is outfitted with a muffler, thermostat, and remote control capability, so it really has all of the works.
There is also the super simple Portable Electric Space Heater by GiveBest. This is as simple yet easy as it gets, so this is a great backdoor option. If you just want a smaller area filled with heat, this is the way to go.
With a super affordable price and tons of great ratings, this is a steady and simple heating option to buy.
Are you still cold after all of those options? Here are a few other heating options to keep in mind.
Having an RV heater is a gamechanger whenever you are going to do some serious camping. There are a few main benefits to having one.
- Camping in a comfortable temperature
The biggest and most obvious perk to having an RV heater is sleeping at a comfortable temperature. However, depending on the area and time of year, temperatures could plummet to uncomfortable levels. Having something to combat that issue is key.
- Camping in remote areas
Depending on the type of heater, you will be able to camp comfortably in remote areas that do not have full hookups. Roughing it in certain situations is nice, but this is not something that you will want to do on a consistent basis.
Having a propane heater will allow for some comfort in situations where comfort can be hard to come by.
There are a few types of RV heaters that you should keep in mind when getting the best one for your setup.
- RV Propane Heater
Propane heaters are the most common option for RVs in today’s day and age. When making your purchase, this is the type that will most likely be stocked in the RV. Now, this is also a really good option to replace the existing heater with.
Unfortunately, there are issues of burning propane too fast while not having a good output, but this all depends on your specific setup.
- RV A/Cs with heat pumps
Now, you may have an RV already equipped with an air conditioning unit that also has heat pumps. Most of the time, these heat pumps are electric, not propane. So, if you are camping in an area with full hookups, you will not have to spend extra money on propane costs.
The biggest downfall of this strategy is that it will not work correctly in cold temperatures. So, that is where propane is the way to go.
- Electric Heater
Obviously, electric heaters will not require propane, so you can take advantage of the hookups available to you. Having a space heater is a great way to replace the current unit or improve upon your situation.
The biggest perk of an electric heater is the better output of heat. On the flip side, these take a ton of energy to use in remote settings.
In terms of heat output and performance, there is not a ton of difference between the two types. A lot of it comes down to the conditions in which you are camping.
If you are camping in cold weather, you need to manage your propane and even look into having additional electric heaters. This is just one example of what you need to keep in mind.
With the two main heating options being electric and propane, it is important to know what is the best for your RV. The best way to figure out what you need is to evaluate what type of camping that you are doing.
Are you off the grid? Propane is best. Can you take advantage of full-electric hookups? Then, that style of heater is best.
The price of your heater will vary widely depending on the size, brand, and output. With all of these factors, it is on you to weigh your budget along with what those heaters will offer you. Here is a rough breakdown of some pricing options that you may encounter.
- Portable RV heater
A portable RV heater that is small and super easy to move around can be found as cheap as $30 and high as $300. Obviously, the quality will vary between the two figures.
- Bigger RV heater
If you want something that is a little more permanent or can pump out more heat, you are looking at $50-$500 for a really nice one.
- RV furnace
Finally, there is the actual RV furnace. These are made to replace the stock options included in the purchase. With these, we are talking $500 and up as they will really pack a punch and last a long time.
- Safety features
- Fuel or power consumption
- Noise level
- Cost ease of use
As you can see, the world of heating your RV is a bit bigger than you may have previously thought. Finding the right RV propane heater or furnace for you will take a little bit of thought, but use the information laid out today to make an informed decision!
People who have a built-in furnace and still want to buy an RV heater are doing it to upgrade the current situation.
The stock furnaces that come with the purchase don’t always perform in a great way. Purchasing an additional heater or replacing the existing furnace will make your experience warmer and more functional when that is necessary.
If you are only using an RV in the summer, you may still want a heater on deck just in case. This depends on the area of the world you are camping in, but even summer nights can get chilly.
The best way to combat this problem is to have a smaller, cheaper heater there just in case the temperature does drop. There is no need for some crazy purchase as it may not be used much anyway.
Having the best heater is a subjective topic. If you are going off the grid, propane heaters will be better.
If you have access to full hookups, electricity will be included. It is up to you to weigh your specific camping needs with what propane or electric RV heater will do.
Plan Your Next RV / Camping Trip
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Last Updated on 15 October, 2021 by Veronica