Although many RVs are equipped with heating systems, a space heater can be a great supplement. You might prefer to heat only certain areas of the RV, or maybe you want to give the bedroom or living room an extra-snug feeling.
Whatever your reasons, it’s important to choose a product that can work safely inside your camper. The last thing you want is to end up with a space heater that poses a significant fire hazard. That’s why we’ve compiled this review.
1. LaskoCeramic Portable Space Heater -Best Overall
2. Ontel Handy Heater -Best Budget Option
3. Lasko 755320 Ceramic Space Heater -Best Upgrade
4. Andily Electric Space Heater -Best For Full-Timers
5. Broan-NuTone 174 Wall Heater -Most Durable
6. Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Portable Propane Heater -Best For Boondocking
7. Camco Olympian RV Wave -Best For Class B RVs
The Lasko Ceramic Portable Space Heater has an adjustable thermostat that makes it easy enough for first-timers to use. It comes with three different settings, which lend it versatility and convenience. We especially appreciate its compact size, as some space heaters can be large and bulky, making it difficult to move them from one area to another.
Let’s find out more about the other options, so you can determine which unit might be the best fit for your RV.
1. Lasko Ceramic Portable Space Heater-Best Overall
This top-notch safe heater from Lasko is equipped with three settings: low heat, high heat, and fan only. This means you can adjust the heat flow depending on the weather and your current location. It’s also small enough to be moved from place to place.
The exterior of the unit will stay cool even when it’s been turned on for a long period of time, so it’s fine to use around small children or pets. Our only complaint is that it runs a bit loud, so it might not be the best fit for light sleepers.
2. Ontel Handy Heater-Best Budget Option
This is a wall-mounted safe heater, meaning it will take up a minimal amount of space. Because it measures just over 6 inches high and 3 inches thick, you won’t even notice it’s there until you want to fire it up.
The Ontel only uses 350 watts of power, so it’s fine to leave it on for a long time. There’s even a built-in timer that will turn the unit off after a while in case you forget. You can also program it to run high or low, depending on the circumstances.
The settings have to be manually adjusted, which might be a disadvantage if you frequently camp in cold weather. Aside from that, this is a nifty little model.
3. Lasko 755320 Ceramic Space Heater-Best Upgrade
If you’re relatively happy with your RV’s heating system and are just looking for an upgrade, this tower model could be the one for you. Built from high-end materials and featuring a slender, space-saving design, it’s one of the best units we tested.
While the device offers a built-in handle for easy transport, the exterior will remain cool even as it heats your RV. It also comes with a handy remote control, making it a great pick for anyone with mobility problems.
4. Andily Electric Space Heater-Best For Full-Timers
Like our top pick, the Andily includes a fan-only setting that gives it year-round appeal. Because it’s a ceramic space heater, it’s also one of the most durable. You can expect this unit to last a long time, even with frequent use.
An indicator light will show you when the power is turned on, which is a great safety feature. Even better is the tip-over switch that disables the heat flow if the unit should get knocked over during use.
5. Broan-NuTone 174 Wall Heater-Most Durable
The Broan-NuTone 174 works quickly and efficiently, with customized heat settings to suit any comfort level. Thanks to its metal construction, you can expect it to last for many seasons. It’s also compact enough to fit anywhere you choose.
There is one noticeable drawback to this unit: It delivers a powerful chemical odor when it’s first turned on. While it dissipates over time, it can take some getting used to. The unit also vibrates slightly during use, which can be distracting.
6. Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Portable Propane Heater-Best For Boondocking
The safety features alone would make the Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX a good choice for boondocking. It includes oxygen-detection sensors that switch the unit off when the oxygen levels get too low, as well as a tip-over switch. It also uses propane as fuel, so it will work even in low-power situations.
This is a quiet and durable model, with plenty to recommend it. However, if you plan on using it overnight, you might want to invest in an adapter so it can be linked to a larger propane tank.
7. Camco Olympian RV Wave-Best For Class B RVs
Because this unit requires no battery connection, it’s another good choice for boondockers. Its slim, compact design ensures that it won’t take up too much space, which is why we’ve chosen it as the best pick for class B campers.
The low setting generates 1600 BTUs, while the high one cranks out 3000. Basically, this means that it can safely heat up to 130 feet of indoor space. There’s a safety switch that prevents the unit from running in case it’s tipped over, and it’s highly energy-efficient. The only real drawback to the Camco is the price, which is far higher than most of the units on this list.
When you’re shopping for RV space heaters, it helps if you know exactly what to look for. Here are some tips to help you get started.
RV space heaters aren’t a one-size-fits-all product. There are several different varieties, each with their own set of pros and cons.
Heaters that use gas as their fuel source are typically easy to find. They work by igniting a series of burners in a combustion chamber, which transfers heat to an exchange chamber. When the unit has achieved the set temperature, the heat is extinguished.
There are two types of gas-powered RV space heaters available: propane and natural gas. However, propane is the safer option, as it doesn’t emit greenhouse gases the way natural gas does.
Electric RV space heaters are also quite popular. These work by converting electricity into heat and disbursing it through a vent system. Although they don’t emit any dangerous gas, electric heaters often use a fan in order to evenly distribute the heat.
As you might have guessed, oil heaters are similar to gas-powered units. The heat is generated in the same way, except that oil heaters are equipped with a cavity that holds the fuel. Once the oil is ignited, it produces heat which is then distributed through the vents.
Features To Look For
Because we were looking specifically for safe heater options, we only considered the ones that included top-notch security features for this list. Look carefully at the list of specifications when shopping. If the unit doesn’t have an automatic shut-off switch or a feature that disables the heating system when it’s tipped over, consider expanding your search.
When a product doesn’t do its job well, it’s not worth the money you spend on it. This is especially true when it comes to RV space heaters. You want the device to heat up quickly and effectively, so it warms up the entire room and not just the immediate vicinity. It should also use up as little fuel as possible during operation. The products on our list adhere to these criteria, which is why we chose them.
The best safe heaters should operate quietly, so you don’t notice when they’re turned on. This might not be an issue in common areas, but if you want to use the heater in a bedroom, it’s definitely worthy of consideration. While our top pick makes a bit more noise than some of the competition, we’ve included a few others that are specifically designed to operate in silence.
Ease of Use
It’s best if the unit comes pre-assembled, so all you have to do is plug it in and turn it on. You’re looking to heat your RV, not take on a construction project. Models that come with multiple settings and remote controls are often the most user-friendly picks. If you’re the forgetful type, try to find a unit with a built-in timer.
In addition to being safe to use, RV space heaters should be built from quality materials. It won’t do if the construction is poor and you have to keep purchasing a new model every year or two. This is important for everyone, but it’s crucial for full-timers who plan on using their heaters year-round.
Although space heaters are generally safe to use, they can pose a hazard if they’re not used properly. Make sure to read the instructions carefully before you install the unit. If you fail to adhere to the guidelines, you could be facing a host of issues, from fires to carbon monoxide poisoning.
We don’t recommend leaving space heaters unattended for any length of time. Even a safe heater can pose a risk if it’s not closely monitored. If you want to leave it on when you go to sleep, make sure it has an automatic shut-off feature, preferably attached to a timer.
The Lasko Ceramic Portable model would be our top pick for staying warm inside your camper this winter. The price is reasonable, and it’s very easy to use. On top of that, it functions well over long periods of time. It also remains cool to the touch during use, making it a safe and reliable option.
Good luck, and happy camping!
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