The Best RV Electric Heater and Why You Need One

3 different types of RV electric heaters against a white background.

When traveling in your RV, an electric heater is excellent for keeping you warm on colder days. While many RVs come with a built-in furnace, it’s nice to have an RV electric heater in addition to your furnace.

What Is an RV Electric Heater? 

When searching for a supplemental electric heater, look for one made specifically for RVs. A typical electric heater may technically work in your rig, but there are drawbacks. 

An RV electric heater is a small space heater that’s typically smaller and won’t draw as much electricity. But the right RV electric heater will do wonders for keeping your home-away-from-home warm.

A couple embrace while wrapped in blankets to stay warm outside of their RV which is parked behind them.

Benefits of Electric RV Heaters

Electric heaters don’t require propane that you have to purchase separately. Typically, when staying at parks and campgrounds, utilities are included in the cost of the spot. So, running a small space heater all day doesn’t cost extra, and you save on the considerable expense of propane. 

Why You Need an Electric RV Heater

There are many benefits of using an RV electric heater. If you’ve ever traveled through cold climates in the winter, you know how chilly it can get at night, even if your furnace is running. Your space heater can evaporate the chill, no matter the temperatures outside. 

You can place your heater in whatever room you’re in. During the day, it can be in your living space and move to the bedroom at night. You’ll stay toasty with our portable heater that runs on your paid-for utilities. 

As mentioned earlier, electricity is included in the cost of most RV hookup stations. While propane is technically cheaper to run than electricity, the built-in cost could save you hundreds per year.

Don’t forget about safety! A modern RV electric heater almost always has a safeguard built in to shut it off if it shorts out. While not fail-proof, electric heaters with proper safety features shouldn’t start a fire and won’t get too hot to the touch. Propane, kerosene, or other gas heaters are a fire hazard you don’t want to risk in your small space. 

A man sits outside his RV with a blanket around him and a warm cup of coffee in his hand to keep warm.

What to Look For In an Electric RV Heater

When shopping around for an RV electric heater, consider the size of the unit. It should heat most or all of your RV at the highest setting but not take up a lot of space. RV space is limited as it is. 

Also, consider the heating efficiency and power draw. Does it use a lot of power to heat your RV? If so, it could blow your circuit. 

Most importantly, check for proper safety features. Electric space heaters account for 1,200 house fires in the U.S. Choose a modern space heater with fire safeguards. 

Best Electric RV Heaters

When you’re ready to research RV electric space heaters, it’s nice to have a launching point from those with experience. We recommend one of these three heaters that are highly rated for efficiency, safety, and size.

Dr. Heater Infrared

The Dr. Heater Infrared is a small box that can efficiently heat a large room. The heater has a thermostat built in, so you can set the room temperature as desired. It comes with a remote control, so it’s easy to manage. It also has a built-in humidifier, which is helpful during dry winter days. You don’t have to worry about a fire starting if it overheats or tips because there’s a safety switch built in. 

Dr Infrared Heater DR998, 1500W, Advanced Dual Heating System with Humidifier and Oscillation Fan and Remote Control
  • Can heat up a large room with Dual Heating System: Infrared Quartz tube + PTC. Tip-over protection and Overheat...
  • Built-in humidifier produces a cool mist to add much needed humidity to dry, winter air

Portable Ceramic Space Heater

The Portable Ceramic Space Heater is compact and packs a punch. It can heat a room up to 200 square feet. The blower can be set to three different settings: low, high, and fan only. There’s also a temperature dial so you can achieve optimum comfort. This unit also has an auto shut-off if it gets too hot or gets tipped over. 

Portable Electric Space Heater with Thermostat, 1500W/750W Safe and Quiet Ceramic Heater Fan, Heat Up 200 Square Feet for Office Room Desk Indoor Use
  • 2 in 1 heater fan: This ceramic heater provides two heat levels, 1500W or 750W and one cool air fan, you can use it both...
  • Multi protection safety system: These heaters are made of flame retardant material avoiding any fire hazard. Automatic...

Heat Storm Infrared Heater

The Heat Storm Infrared Heater is excellent for an RV. It’s small, and you can mount it to a wall. It also has removable legs in case you want to put it on the ground. This unit has a thermostat to set the room temperature as desired, and it connects to your phone for convenient access!  

Heat Storm Phoenix Infrared Space Heater with Attachable Feet, Remote Control, Energy Efficient-750-1500 Watts, White Floor or Wall - HS-1500-PHX
  • This portable 1500 watt infrared heater has the power to heat up a small room or office with its 5200 BTU heat output....
  • Our patented heat exchanger with HMS Technology combines with humidity in the room to provide soft, safe heat without...

Electric RV Heater Safety Considerations

When shopping for an RV electric heater, consider safety. If you think the risk of tipping over a space heater or brushing against it at home is significant, imagine how much worse it is in a tiny RV. Since you’ll shop intelligently and only purchase a heater that’s not hot to the touch and has an automatic shut-off, this shouldn’t be a problem. 

There’s also the risk of overheating your system. It could cause the electrical to short in the best of cases and start a fire in the worst. Modern RVs are built with breaker systems and shut-offs to prevent this from happening, but if the electrical is older or in need of repair, overworking your system is a major risk. 

No matter your daily activities, there’s nothing better than returning to a warm RV to relax. You shouldn’t have a care in the world about safety concerns or expensive propane usage. With the right product, your RV can be as comfortable as home.

Last update on 2021-09-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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  1. We got the Dr Infrared DR-978 for $85 on Amazon. Works very well in the bedroom of our Phaeton and is much nicer than our noisy Coleman Heat Pump kicking on and off on a cold night.

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