The Best RV Propane Heaters to Keep You Warm

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Propane heater face.

RV propane heaters help you stay warm without using electricity. You can boondock longer while keeping comfortable on chilly nights. Portable propane heaters also allow for flexibility. You can move it around rather than worrying about where you can plug in your heater. 

In this article, we explore the safety and practicality of propane heaters. We also provide you with four of the best ones on the market. Keep reading to learn more.

Are Propane Heaters Safe in an RV? 

The short answer is yes if you have a model with built-in safety features and without a flame. Know and practice safety measures when using propane. Never leave a propane heater on when away from it. 

Getting a heater with an automatic safety shut-off is helpful in case it tips over. Keep a window or vent cracked open when using propane inside your RV.

We also recommend investing in one of the latest propane heaters on the market. Technology has improved from years ago to include features like no flames and auto shut-offs. Below we list four of the best RV propane heaters to help you choose one that will keep you and your RV safe.  

Difference Between Catalytic and Non-Catalytic RV Heaters

Catalytic heaters don’t require electricity to operate, don’t have an open flame, or use high-pressure propane. You can find catalytic heaters designed for safe use in an RV and that are energy-efficient. 

Non-catalytic heaters use propane and an open flame or ceramic burner. While they aren’t as efficient as catalytic ones, they will likely work better than your RV furnace. Like the Mr. Buddy heater we mention below, you can get versions that you can safely use in an RV. Additionally, they tend to cost less than catalytic heaters. 

The Best RV Propane Heaters

We’ve identified four of the best RV propane heaters on the market. Check out these portable models like Mr. Heater and Camco.

1. Mr. Heater Buddy Heater

Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy 4,000-9,000-BTU Indoor-Safe Portable Propane Radiant Heater, Red-Black
  • PORTABLE HEATER: Portable propane heater designed for emergency heat, tents, campers, job sites, porches, decks,...
  • HEAT SPACE: Perfect for heating enclosed spaces up to 225 square feet

The Mr. Heater Buddy has 4,000 to 9,000 BTU (British thermal unit) of radiant heat. You can use it in indoor or outdoor spaces up to 225 sq ft. The heater burns clean and works efficiently. 

If it gets tipped over, if the pilot light goes out, or if it detects low oxygen levels, it will automatically shut off. Note that the heater may also turn off if operated at elevations over 7,000 ft. The RV propane heater comes with a fold-down handle and swivel-out regulator.

2. Camco Olympian Wave 3

Camco’s Olympian Wave 3 propane heater puts out 1,600 to 3,000 BTUs. It can warm up 130 sq ft. The portable heater only weighs 1.52 lbs, and you can mount it on a wall. Its self-generating starter lasts for about 20,000 starts, meaning it will work great for long-term use.

3. Camco Olympian Wave 6

Camco 57341 Wave-6 Catalytic Safety Heater
  • No flame, flue or chimney
  • No electrical drain or battery connection make it the ideal solution for boon docking and dry camping

Camco’s Olympian Wave 6 puts out 3,200 to 6,000 BTUs and will warm up 230 sq ft. The Wave 6 RV propane heaters have no flame, flue, chimney, or fan noise. It has a self-generating starter and a safety shut-off valve. The Wave 6 is lightweight, portable, and wall mountable.

4. Camco Olympian Wave 8

Camco’s Olympian Wave 8 puts out the most BTUs of their portable propane heater line. You can adjust it between 4,200 to 8,000 BTUs and warms up 290 sq ft. The Wave 8 is 99.98% efficient compared to heaters with flames. It has a safety shut-off valve and lasts up to 20,000 starts. You can wall-mount this portable RV propane heater. Additionally, it has a one-year warranty.

What to Know About RV Propane Heaters

If we haven’t said it enough, safety is of utmost importance when using propane in your RV. We highly recommend being overly cautious when running an RV propane heater. Here are three tips to keep in mind.


Heat can cause condensation and can also create damage such as mold and mildew. Opening a window or vent when running RV propane heaters will help. You need to have good ventilation when using a heater for more than condensation. Keeping air flowing and moving outdoors will protect you from carbon monoxide

Open Flame

Having an open flame in your RV is dangerous and a fire hazard. That doesn’t mean you can’t have a non-catalytic RV propane heater in your RV, but take precautions and proper safety measures seriously. From particle boards to glue, the construction of RVs will go up in flames quickly and easily. So proceed with caution when using an open flame of any kind indoors.


As we mentioned, keeping air flowing and a window or vent cracked will help prevent carbon monoxide inside your RV. You also want to make sure you have a CO2 and propane leak detector that will alarm you about a leak. Most importantly, be aware and alert when you operate propane or an open flame inside your RV.

Great Heaters for Boondocking

RV propane heaters save energy and keep you warm. If you boondock frequently, the investment in a portable propane heater is a no-brainer. We love gear like these heaters that keep us off-grid and not having to worry about electricity. 

Last update on 2024-06-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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