A small red infrared heater

Top Alternative Heat Sources for RVs (Keep Warm and Carry On)

Those who live in RVs during the colder winter months need strategies to conserve heat and stay warm without draining power.

Propane heating can help keep your pipes from freezing, but if you’re not connected to an electrical hookup, it’s best to choose lower-energy alternatives.

Here are some ideas that should be suitable for most rigs, but consider carefully which ones will work best for your individual setup.

Having backup options like these is always a good idea, even if you plan on relying mainly on your RV heater.

Portable Space Heaters

A portable space heater is an ideal solution for RVers looking to warm up small enclosed spaces.

These come in several forms, including electric, oil, and radiant heaters.

Depending on the size of your RV, you can choose one or multiple heaters to help keep your floor plan warm.

Remember that the heaters need to be powered by electricity to run, so take stock of your RV’s power capacity when choosing a model.

#1 of 3: Electric

Electric space heaters are great options for RVers who want an affordable, efficient, and compact way to keep their vehicle warm.

The Andily Space Heater Electric Heater is a highly popular model that fits the bill perfectly.

It can provide enough warmth without taking up too much electricity or hassle due to implemented safety features.

#2 of 3: Oil

Oil heaters are still a great alternative source of warmth for RVs, even though they are not as widely used.

They produce ambient heat, which makes them safe to use and provides a steady and reliable live source.

However, the downside is that there are fewer models available, with some of them relatively large in size.

A good option for RV owners is the Kismile 1500W Oil-Filled Radiator Heater.

#3 of 3: Radiant

Radiant heaters are an effective yet potentially dangerous way to heat an RV.

They can generate a lot of heat in a short amount of time, but they need to be treated with caution and respect.

Invest in safety features so they won’t overheat or cause a fire and make sure to keep flammable materials away from them.

There are plenty of models to choose from, depending on your budget and needs.

With the right one, you can stay warm and safe during the cooler camping months.

Electric Blankets

Although utilizing a heater can effectively warm a room, it may not be enough to keep you cozy at night.

An electric blanket is an environmentally friendly and safe way to remain comfortably toasty when the temperatures drop.

A great option is the EHEYCIGA Heated Blanket Electric Blanket Throw which is a weighted blanket that traps and strengthens your own body heat.

There are numerous options like this one for anyone looking to stay snug.

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Wood Stove

For those lucky enough to have space for a wood stove in their RV, this can be an excellent option for staying warm.

However, there are some important safety considerations and additional chores associated with this option before you commit to it, and frankly speaking, it’s not a realistic option for most of the folks reading this.

If you’d like more information about wood stoves, click here.

Other Alternatives

Here are some other popular choices:

  1. Propane Heater: Propane heat is a common and efficient option for heating RVs. Many RVs come equipped with propane heating systems or furnaces, which are designed to provide reliable and comfortable heating during cold weather conditions.
  2. Diesel Heater: Diesel heaters are becoming increasingly popular in the RV community. They are efficient and can be easily installed in an RV. They use diesel fuel and require a small amount of electricity to operate the fan.
  3. Catalytic Heater: Catalytic heaters use a chemical reaction to produce heat without an open flame. They are safe to use indoors and don’t require electricity. However, they may not provide as much heat output as other options.
  4. Heat Pump: Some modern RVs come equipped with heat pump systems, which can provide both heating and cooling. Heat pumps use electricity to transfer heat from the outside air to the inside of the RV. They are most effective in mild to moderate climates.
  5. Solar Heating: Solar heating systems can be used to supplement your RV’s heating needs. They harness the sun’s energy to generate heat and can be integrated into the RV’s existing heating system.

Get Tips from Other RVers

One of the best parts about RVing is engaging with a community of travel enthusiasts. If you’ve got other tips or suggestions, please consider leaving feedback in the comments below.

Video (Alternative Heating Sources)

Related Questions

  1. How do electric, oil, and radiant heaters compare efficiency, safety, and cost for use in an RV?

Electric heaters are generally the most efficient and safest for use in an RV, as they convert nearly all energy into heat and pose no risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, but they can be costly if electricity rates are high.

Oil heaters are also safe and provide consistent heat, but they are less efficient and can be more expensive to operate, while radiant heaters offer quick, focused heat but can pose safety risks due to their high surface temperature and potential for carbon monoxide if not properly vented.

  1. What factors should one consider when choosing an electric blanket for use in an RV?

When choosing an electric blanket for use in an RV, one should consider factors such as power source compatibility (whether it can be powered by the RV’s electrical system or requires a separate power source), and its energy efficiency to ensure it won’t drain your RV’s battery quickly.

Additionally, the blanket’s size, material for comfort, safety features like auto shut-off, and adjustable heat settings for varying weather conditions are also important considerations.

  1. What are some important safety measures when using a radiant heater in an RV?

When using a radiant heater in an RV, it’s crucial to ensure proper ventilation to prevent carbon monoxide buildup, and the heater should be placed in a stable position away from flammable materials to prevent fire risks.

Additionally, the heater should never be left unattended when in use, and it’s recommended to install a smoke and carbon monoxide detector in the RV for added safety.

  1. What are the pros and cons of installing a wood stove in an RV?

Installing a wood stove in an RV can provide a cozy, efficient, and off-grid heat source, adding a rustic charm and potentially saving on energy costs.

However, it also presents challenges such as space constraints, increased fire risk, the need for constant monitoring, and potential difficulties in meeting ventilation and installation safety standards.

  1. How do propane heaters, diesel heaters, catalytic heaters, heat pumps, and solar heating systems compare for heating an RV?

Propane heaters, diesel heaters, and catalytic heaters are all combustion-based systems, providing instant heat but requiring proper ventilation to prevent carbon monoxide buildup; propane is widely available and affordable, diesel heaters are efficient but can be noisy, and catalytic heaters are silent but use more fuel.

Heat pumps and solar heating systems, on the other hand, are more eco-friendly options; heat pumps are efficient and can provide both heating and cooling but require electricity, while solar heating systems are sustainable and cost-effective in the long run but rely heavily on weather conditions and may require additional systems for cloudy days or nighttime use.

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