The 6 Best Electric Heaters for RVs, Campers and Trailers

Posted on September 22, 2020 by Daniel Renfro in Appliances

The Quick Pick
Best Ceramic Personal RV Heater
AmazonBasics 1500W Ceramic Personal Heater with Adjustable Thermostat
Best Infrared RV Heater
Heat Storm HS-1500-PHX-WIFI Infrared Heater, Wifi Wall Mounted
Best Oil-Filled RV Heater
Aireplus 1500W Oil Filled Radiator Electric Heater with Digital Thermostat

The main aim of an RV or recreational vehicle is to enable you to travel to unexplored places without worrying about lodging. A few of these unexplored places have extreme climates, while others are mild. If you happen to be visiting an unusually cold area, you might require a heating system that ensures your stay in your camper is comfortable and warm. It is at this point that you need to find the best electric heater for an RV.

The majority of RVs created today come with inbuilt propane-powered heating systems. Nevertheless, numerous RVers tend to opt for heaters that are powered by electricity. Additionally, some RVs do not come with a built-in heating system. If you are searching for the right electric heater for your RV to either replace or supplement what you have, then you need to read this guide. Let us begin.

Table of Contents

Factors to consider when buying an electric heater for an RV

When it comes to purchasing an electric heater for an RV, you have to consider the following:

Safety Features

Any type of heating system can always be a safety hazard and that is why it is important to ensure the unit you want to purchase comes with certain safety features as standard. Some of these features include an automatic shutdown when the electric heater is tipped over. Additionally, built-in CO2 and CO sensors can be quite useful. Another standard safety feature is a fuel valve that closes once the pilot light is extinguished.


You also have to consider how efficiently it can burn its fuel (should it be a gas or oil heater), or just how electricity it requires to heat up a trailer. For this, you need to keep an eye out on the electric heater’s British Thermal Unit or BTU to ascertain how large a space it can heat. For instance, heaters with 5,000 BTUs can seamlessly warm-up 150 ft2, while 6,800 BTUs can warm up 300 ft2 efficiently.


You also have to consider just how large or portable the electric heater you have in mind is. You want something that can heat up a large space without being cumbersome. You also have to consider the design, weight and if it comes with wheels. It is always better to get an electric heater that comes with functions which add portability and convenience.


How difficult would maintenance be? The electric heater you purchase for your camper has to be easy to maintain. Would you be comfortable getting an electric heater that can be maintained by a beginner, or would you want one that requires an expert for any issue? It is always best to select the easiest option, I know I did. Considering that I have almost no knowledge of troubleshooting an electric heater, I picked one that required very little maintenance.


What is your budget range? Are you comfortable spending thousands of dollars for an electric heater for an RV that has all the latest features and capabilities? Or would you prefer something that does away with the frills instead and just doing the job?

Benefits of Electric RV Heater

Here are a few benefits of getting the best electric heater for an RV:

You remain warm during winter months

This is without a doubt one of the most integral benefits of getting a heater for your camper. if you happen to be camping in the winter, your trailer’s built-in heater might not be adequate enough, especially if your trailer is not an all-weather one. An electric heater has the opportunity to make the difference. For one, it can heat up any space quickly, ensuring that warmth is spread throughout the camper.

Helps you relax

After a long day of exploring the outdoors, there is nothing like putting your feet and relaxing your muscles by the fire. You can’t have the actual fire in a trailer but an electric RV heater would do. Heat can be a major factor in helping to calm nerves, release tension and relax muscles. if you are camping during the winter, coming back to a warm RV can make all the difference.

Can be portable

An electric RV heater can be small enough that you can move them from one spot in the RV to another. Additionally, they can be securely stored when not in use.

Can protect your camper

Using an electric heater for your camper can be a great method to prevent mildew or mould from forming. Additionally, the cold weather can harm your camper, if you winter camp for prolonged periods. When you sufficiently and correctly heat your camper, you prevent it from being weather damaged.

How to safely use a space heater in an RV

  • Ensure that flammable items are kept at least 4 feet away from your heater.
  • If you have children camping with you in the RV ensure that they are supervised when near the heater.
  • Before operating the heater, make sure you read the owner’s manual and that you follow the instructions of the manufacturer.
  • If your heater does not have an inbuilt CO sensor, install one in your RV
  • You should also install propane and smoke detectors
  • At no point should you leave the heater running while you are not in the RV. It doesn’t matter if you are just stepping out for a second.
  • Do not use a heater that does not come with the automatic shutoff feature when tipped.
  • your heater has to be on a flat, solid surface.
  • Before turning the heater on, make sure you check it for defects or damages. Keep an eye out for broken or loose plugs and cables.
  • Don’t plug your heater into a power strip or an extension cord. make sure that it is plugged directly into a socket.

Types of electric heaters

Ceramic heaters

A ceramic heater generates heat by heating up a PTC ceramic element in the heater, which then warms the air, then that warm air is dispersed into the space. There are numerous benefits to a ceramic heater:

  • they have a compact design making them portable
  • they can cover a larger heating area
  • they do not require to be powered by any fuel
  • they offer greater efficiency

Tower heaters

A tower heater is so named because of the shape it takes. It works just like any old electric heater; however, it is taller than most heaters. Some of the benefits associated with a tower heater are:

  • they do not take up a lot of space
  • they can be set up quite easily
  • They can heat up a space in the shortest amount of time

Infrared heaters

An infrared heater works by transferring energy from the heater to an area with a lower temperature via electromagnetic radiation. You should get an infrared heater for your trailer because:

  • They have no moving parts, so maintenance is limited
  • they don’t take long to warm up no matter how long they have been off
  • they provide a gentle and comfortable heat
  • you get instant heat
  • They do not draw moisture out of the air when heating

Oil-filled heaters

Oil-filled heaters utilize radiant heat to heat up a space. This is done by heating fins that contain oil. It is important to note that the oil is never burnt, only heated so you do not have to replace the oil. Oil-filled heaters are great because:

  • They offer better safety as there are is nothing to ignite and the heater turns off once it gets to a temperature threshold
  • They can emit heat for quite a while
  • Oil-filled space heaters come with few moving parts so that makes them very durable
  • Given that they do not have a blower or fan, they are silent


There really is no disadvantage to using a heater in an RV. That being said, you must select the one that correctly suits your needs. For instance, if your camper is large enough to house the entire family, then you might consider getting a centralised heater instead, given that most of them won’t be in the same place all the time. If you are a solo camper, or it’s just you and your partner, then a portable RV heater is suitable for you. It can help you save quite a bit of money. All you need to do is place the heater where you are and you remain warm. When selecting the best electric heater for an RV, you have to consider quite a few factors, however, safety has to be your biggest priority.