Your guide to finding the best electric heater for RV. If you plan to live in it or just roam around the country in your RV, then you must have the right electric heater for it.
It was always a dream of mine to own an RV and take it on a cross-country road-trip. Once I finally saved up enough to buy my own RV, I faced the cold hard reality that anyone who has spent time in an RV has faced, which is that it can get ridiculously cold at times!
Many campers come equipped with a gas or propane burning heater, but those come with several drawbacks of their own like the costs of extra fuel to keep it running and the potentially dangerous fumes and carbon monoxide gas that they can emit.
If you are like me that you prefer to go a cleaner, more efficient route, then you would likely opt for an electric heater for your RV.
So, then what is the best electric heater for RV’s and what criteria might one look out for when selecting their heater?
Read on and I’ll share with you some insight into the matter.
Why not gas powered heaters?
The main concern with gas powered heaters is safety. As I touched on above, gas powered heaters can be extremely dangerous.
Some of those dangers should be obvious, like the dangers of storing highly flammable liquids. Others are less obvious, like the water vapors that gas powered heaters can emit which can cause various types of mold build up.
Mold smells bad, can be allergenic and even deadly, such as in the case of black mold. Carbon monoxide is another danger that is commonly known as “the silent killer.”
Even with rigorous maintenance and care given to gas powered heaters, there is still no way around the fact that you are burning fuel in the enclosed space of your RV, which will invariably expose you to toxic fumes on some level.
Choosing the best electric heater for your RV
There are different types of electric heaters out there to choose from and each comes with their own respective strengths and weaknesses. Along with that are some common variables, which one should consider in selecting the right kind of heater for their own unique needs.
1. VOLTAGE CHECK
-Some of the things to pay close attention to when shopping around for a portable electric heater are things like the level of voltage, current and overall wattage that the heater may consume.
Make sure that it is something that your RV could handle or compatible with, so you won't have to worry about blowing up your mobile home.
It is important because it determines the efficiency in the application of said wattage, the amount of heat which it is capable of producing, the range of space which it covers and various standard safety features which it may make use of.
The level of efficiency is important because a portable electric heater requires some source of electricity in order to be useful.
The more power that is required to run the heater, the more challenging it can be to find an adequate power source without killing your battery and hence, the more likely you are to find yourself stuck on a cold night with no heater to keep you warm.
Even some RV parks ban their customers from using electric heaters or charge an additional fee to compensate for the increased amount of electricity which electric heaters will use.
So we will want to choose an electric heater that has the highest output of heat with the lowest energy consumption. The best way to find out the bottom line statistics of a heater is to check up on its spec sheet.
3. SPEC SHEET
Any electric heater you buy should have a spec sheet associated with it. If it does not, then quite frankly you should only buy one that does.
A spec sheet is a printed summary of every feature the heater has, including its electricity rating and efficiency in the form of a number called the ‘BTU’.
A BTU (British thermal unit) is a unit of measurement which represents the amount of energy needed to heat a pound of water which sits at 39 degrees Fahrenheit by 1 degree Fahrenheit.
To put it in easier terms, 1500 watts is roughly 5200 BTU’s. All of these information and more will be on the heater’s spec sheet which is usually included in the heaters operation manual, as well as available for download from the manufacturer’s website.
4. NOISE LEVELS
Some portable electric heaters run more quietly than others. One major factor in this is rather or not the heater makes use of a fan. Many heaters rely on a fan to hit their level of efficiency by actively distributing the heat it generates.
This is a clever way to increase the amount of space that a heater is capable of heating, but comes at the cost of having a noisy fan running in the background.
Some people are not bothered by this, but if you are like me, the sound of yet another engine running can get quite bothersome.
Heaters that boast silent operation tend to either cover a smaller amount of space or cost more due to the use of more sophisticated technology.
While electric heaters tend to be safer than gas heaters, electricity, as well as heat, are both still forces that can cause serious damage when handled improperly and should be respected as such.
You will want to be aware of the safety measures taken in each product, such as rather or not the heating element is covered or exposed during operation, overheating detection and relay switch shutdown mechanisms to avoid things like fires, injuries and electrical circuit overloads.
Shop around, weigh all of these factors together and pick the one that fits your needs and your budget. A word of caution on short changing the cost of your heater should be given, as typically you get what you pay for, however, do not be hesitant to shop around and find the best deal either.
Now, all you need to do is to calculate the space of your RV and decide how powerful your heater needs to be, then compare your options against the energy consumption that each would require for hitting the target level of output.
The heater that comes the closest to the desired level of power at the lowest level of consumption is quite likely to be the winner, but there are still a couple of other factors to consider, like cost, noise levels during operation and additional safety features before we have a final decision.
5 Best Electric Heater For RV That Is Worth Your Money
The first on my list is the Mr. Heater brand portable heater. It is capable of heating up to 450 square heat on its high setting at a very competitive energy consumption rate.
- It has a good design for safety, incorporating a low oxygen detection shutdown switch and an accidental tip over shut down switch.
- The price is reasonable and affordable
- Release too much energy
This is a good choice for smaller RV’s or situations where heavy heating is not so necessary.
- Its price is something most people could afford.
- It is very efficient as far as energy consumption is concerned, as it has a good range of customization feature.
- This includes safety features that could guarantee you and your loved ones being safe in the RV while it is running.
- The downside from where I sit on this one is the fact that uses a fan, which generates noise. Still, the noise is not that loud, so if a fan running in the background doesn’t bother you, then this is certainly a viable option.
The Lasko 6435 is comparable to the 754200 in specs and overall operation, only it takes things in an extra step further with regard to aesthetics.
As the name, “Designer series” suggests, it has been given an attractive design with a crackle finish which gives it the advantage of being a utility as well as a decoration.
- It has a remote control for adjusting its various settings and noise level customization features.
- If you like the specs of the 754200 model and have a need for pleasant aesthetics, then this may just be the heater for you.
- It looks modern and it could even blend with your interior if you're going for the minimalist design on your RV.
- The price is not exactly reasonable.
This features some technology that is quite a bit more sophisticated than many other heaters out there.
- It features a dual heating mechanism with an infrared quartz tube
- It also features an IR remote control and a high-pressure ultra silent fan system which measures in at an impressive -39db.
- It operates at heat levels similar to the other ceramic heating models with a current draw of only 12.5 amps at 1500 watts.
- It runs on less energy than some modern laptops.
- The problem is that for the cost, there is not much incentive you can get out of it.
This thing has a slick, attractive design, infrared heating technology, promises a 2-year warranty and heats up to an impressive 1000 square feet.
- This is a solid heater and may be the ticket for people who have a large space requirement, adequate power sources and extremely cold weather to face.
- While it shines in terms of pure heating capability, it’s cost and power consumption may make it overkill for many people’s needs.
Every heater I reviewed here turned out to be a good product. The trick is to pick the one that suits you best.
If I had to buckle down and choose only one from this list, I would probably opt for the Mr. Heater model, as it is the most balanced, versatile and overall solution to the widest range of uses, while maintaining to be cheaper than other comparable heaters on the market.
Have you tried a heater that is not listed here that you would recommend? Please, feel free to comment or chime in. Thanks for reading!