My Top 5 Choices for RV Space Heaters
Before I go any further I should tell you that this post has a few Affiliate Links included in it. If you click on these links you will be taken to Amazon.com. If you make a purchase while there, I will make a commission. This WILL NOT increase the purchase price of your product. You will pay exactly the cost plus whatever taxes or shipping costs are applicable.
In my last article, I wrote about space heaters and whether or not they were safe to use in our RVs. If you haven’t read it yet you can check it out by clicking this link.
In this article, I want to give you my top five choices for RV space heaters. Space heaters, when used safely can provide an excellent heat source to supplement your onboard heater and save a few dollars on propane in the process when using electricity at a campsite.
Other space heaters that use propane and even the electric ones, have excellent safety features and are safe as long as you follow the instructions in the owner’s manual.
As I said in the previous post, most if not all fires related to these heaters probably would have been avoided if the users followed all the proper safety recommendations.
With that said, I want to give you some safety tips that I mentioned in my last post.
- First and foremost you must read the owner’s manual and follow the safety recommendations.
- Make sure all the smoke and CO detectors are working properly and replace them at least every year. Check them before you go out for a camping trip and replace if not working.
- Only use heaters with an auto shut off when tipped over.
- Do not use or leave a space heater running when you are not home.
- Maintain a minimum of at least 3 feet of empty space around your heater.
- Don’t allow children to play near the heater
- Make sure your heater is on a flat and solid surface.
- Make sure there is adequate ventilation. Open RV windows and roof vents. This will allow fresh air to move through the RV.
- Don’t disable any of the sensors or safety switches.
- Don’t use with extension cords. If you must, make sure the extension you use is CONSTRUCTION GRADE. That’s at least 16-gauge.
I think that if you follow these tips you shouldn’t have any issues with these heaters.
QUICK NOTE: Before I get to my choices, I want to tell you that I just went and got out the space heater that we have been using in our trailer. Well, I did a test and discovered that it WAS NOT SAFE. It’s an electric ceramic (very nice heat) heater but it didn’t have a safety shut off if it fell over. We have had pets most of our trailer camping life and this would not be safe if we forgot to turn it off when we weren’t around and left them in the trailer alone. So, it’s gone and I will be replacing it.
Sorry about that. I just thought I should mention that. We love our pets and don’t want to see anything happen to them.
What Are My Choices?
So, let’s get to those choices. First up is:
Weight: 16.7 Pounds ADD picture text HERE
Product Dimensions: 19 x 12 x 17.8 inches
Rating: 78% of the 456 reviews were 5 stars (#10 best-selling space heater on Amazon.com)
- 4, 000-18, 000-BTU heater for spaces to 450 square feet. These are great for a larger trailer or motorhome.
- These units are approved for indoor/outdoor use. they are clean-burning and nearly 100-percent efficient.
- Uses twin propane canisters, one for each element. Both must be attached to use the HIGH setting.
- When using the heater at altitudes above 7, 000 FT above sea level the heater may shut off due to lack of oxygen
- Equipped with AUTO SHUT-OFF if tipped over, if the pilot light goes out, or if it detects low oxygen levels. Leave a window and vent open at least 3 inches for proper ventilation.
- Control knob allowes for settings of Low, medium and high heat level for steady temperatures. Connects to a one-pound propane canister (not included) or a larger tank using the properly authorized hose and regulator fitting.
- THE COMPANY SUGGESTS THAT THE BUYER USE ONLY THE AUTHORIZED ACCESSORIES/ATTACHMENTS WITH THIS HEATER. ALL OTHERS ARE EXPRESSLY PROHIBITED AS THEY MAY CAUSE SERIOUS INJURY, AND WILL VOID THE WARRANTY.
What I like:
- Double canister unit with low, medium and high settings.
- Great safety features.
- Clean burning
- It can be used with larger propane tanks.
What I Don’t Like:
About the only thing I don’t like is that they say you should only use their AUTHORISED ACCESSORIES/ATTACHMENTS. Sadly, if you don’t use their accessories and attachments the warranty will be void.
The other side of that would be, that if anything does go wrong and you are using their accessories, you have the warranty.
That said, here is a link to their 12ft Big Buddy Hose with Regulator if you want to check it out.
Next up is another heater by MR. HEATER
Product Dimensions: 14.3 x 14.2 x 9.1 inches
Rating: Out of 288 reviews 74% were 5 star
This one uses a single propane canister and would be my preference being that my trailer is smaller. This heater is great for spaces up to 225 square feet. Other features include,
- 4,000- to 9,000-BTU radiant heater. This heater is approved for indoor/outdoor use and nearly 100-percent efficient.
- If you opperate the heater at altitudes of 7,000 FT or above above the heater may shut off.
- Equipped with AUTO SHUT-OFF if tipped over, if the pilot light goes out, or if it detects low oxygen levels
- This unit also has a fold-down handle; swivel-out regulator; connects to a 1 pound propane canister (not included) or a larger tank with authorized attachments.
- Using UN-AUTHORIZED ACCESSORIES with this heater will void the warrenty and may also cause serious harm.
Here is an excellent YouTube review of a related product made by the same company but only sold in California, unfortunately. This fellow put this product through some pretty stiff testing in my opinion. Have a look, leave a comment and, let me know what you think.
What I like:
- More suitable for smaller trailers (up to 225 sq. ft)
- Lightweight at only 9.25 lbs.
- lasts for several hours on one tank. The guy in the video said it lasted all night on the low setting.
- It can also be hooked up to a larger propane tank. Please use their authorized accessory
What I didn’t like:
There isn’t really anything I dislike about the product other than what I mentioned above. I would still suggest that you purchase their accessories and attachments and avoid nullifying the warranty.
Caution – A Heads Up
Before I go any further, I want to reiterate my previous statement concerning the use of propane heaters. It is very important that you understand that you have to leave a window or two and roof vent open at least 2-3 inches for proper ventilation. Propane heaters burn fossil fuels.
The company that makes these units purports them to be almost 100% efficient. Customer 5 star ratings on these units are pretty high and they say they haven’t had any issues with them but, as with any man-made product, there is always going to be the odd one that gets past the rigours of quality control.
The fellow in the video did very extensive testing with this unit and did not get any Carbon monoxide readings on his detector. He followed the instructions for ventilation and spent a night in his camper with the heater going with no ill effects. He further tested it by leaving it inside his camper, (he was not), with all the windows and vents closed and still no readings.
This individual also tested (it’s all in the video) his detector in front of his truck exhaust and proved that it was working.
In the interests of safety, he left his window and vent open and I would suggest, no, I would insist that you leave yours open as well. Insist is a strong word, I know but, it’s our responsibility to make sure we use any heater safely to protect or family, pets and friends and, it is recommended in the product instructions. Besides, it’s always a good idea to leave the windows and the vents open at least an inch or two to allow for the ventilation of access moisture from your RV which cuts down on condensation on cool surfaces like windows.
In this section, I want to list 2 Ceramic Heaters I think will do the job. They are:
Product Dimensions:7.6″ x 6.5″ x 17″ high
Rating: 3 reviews with a 4.6 out of 5 average
- compatible size for table or floor use
- A safe ceramic element along with overheat protection and cool-touch housing help make this unit safe.
- Easy-to-use electronic controls
- 1500 watts of comforting warmth
- Oscillation covers a wide area
- Quiet operation
What I Like:
- good safety features
- Digital readout
- Comes with a carry handle
- Remote control
What I didn’t like:
- It does not appear to have an auto shut off if knocked over
Price: $69.99 USD plus applicable taxes Place Image here
Product Dimensions: 8.2″ x 6.7″ x 17″ tall
Customer Rating: 60% 5 Star rating out of 269 customer reviews
- Fast heating & temperature control
- Has remote control and a smart 12-hour timer
- Overheat and auto-shutoff protection
- 120 Degree oscillation radius whit three fan speeds
- Carrying handle.
What I like:
- Relatively lightweight
- carrying handle
- Sturdy build
- Digital Readout
- Fast heating
- Has a tip-over switch on the bottom
- remote control that does everything so you don’t have to touch it.
What I don’t like:
- There really isn’t anything to dislike about this unit
Last but certainly not least, I want to offer a wall-mounted catalytic heater. This particular heater can be used as a stand-up heater as well. Let me introduce you to:
Weight: 1 Pound
Product Dimensions: H x W x D 21 1/4″ x 15″ x 4 3/8″
Customer rating: 60% of 864 reviews were 5 Star
- Adjustable from 3200 to 6000 BTU/hr. Allows it to be used as a secondary heating source
- These heaters operate on low-pressure gas and can be wall-mounted or used as a portable unit.
- There is no electrical hook-up needed which makes them perfect for Boondocking and dry camping.
- There is an SAE connection on the heater to attach a 1 LB propane canister or a large propane tank with the proper fittings.
- Has a Peizo starter. Ratted at 20,000 starts
- Equipped with a safety shut off valve to help prevent accidental discharge of non-ignited fuel.
What I liked:
- Suitable for up to 200 sq ft.
- I like that one can adjust the heat levels and that the unit is 99.98% efficient
- I really like that it can be wall-mounted. This keeps it out of the which significantly reduces safety issues
- No electricity needed which makes it great for the boondocker.
- It comes in two other options. The 57351 (4200 – 8000 BTU/Hr. Will heat up to 230 sq ft), and the Olympian Wave 3 (1600 – 3000 BTU for up to 100 Sq Ft with two heat settings)
What I Don’t Like:
- The least expensive of the three is $189+ so all of them are a little pricey. But, on the other hand, you get what you pay for.
- I can’t say for sure but, I couldn’t find anywhere in the information that said legs and dust covers were extra but they can be purchased separately. For the cost, I think these should be included with the heater therefore, I find this a negative but not a deal-breaker.
Well… there you have it. These are my top 5 picks for RV heaters. There are certainly more options out there that are just as good but that would make this article waaay too big. I will be replacing my unsafe heater with one of these. I’m kinda leaning towards one of the Big Buddy Heaters.
We have also looked at how we can assure that we are safe when using space heaters. If you follow the safety tips I’ve listed above you shouldn’t have any issues.
The fella in the video put his space heater through some pretty thorough testing and had no issues. I hope yo watched it. I know I was glad I did.
Safety is everyone’s responsibility. Manufacturers give those owners manuals for a reason and it’s not just to cover their own backside. they want to protect us as well.
I think that leaving all windows open at least one-two inches and ceiling vents as well will provide adequate ventilation for the propane heaters.
In the other post, I wrote about making sure that whatever you purchase, make sure that the wiring in your RV is capable of handling the wattage. You may have to consider adding a separate circuit in order to accomplish this and that should be done professionally.
Thank you for taking the time to read the whole article and I really hope it has been of help to you. If you have any questions at all or other comments please leave them below. I will respond to every one of them.
I hope that you and your loved ones will have a better and warmer RV camping experience when you go out on your next outdoor adventure.
Happy Camping, Always and remember to Drive Safe,
Owner and author of RV Safety Tips And Tricks.