How RV space heaters differ from the rest
When you’re thinking of getting a heater for your RV, usually you can’t simply take the heater you use in your bedroom to warm up. You need a smaller unit, which won’t take up too much space. Also, you need it portable because you may want to use it inside and outside the mobile home. That’s what makes RV space heaters so special: they’re practical to use anywhere around your RV living space, while being powerful enough to heat up that size room. It’s also usually safe to touch, which is helpful in an enclosed area where you may often walk past the heater and you don’t want it to burn your skin or clothes.
Safety tips for using electric heaters in RV
Even an extremely safe appliance must be used with utmost caution, so try and teach everyone in your family the following safety tips when working with the heater in and around your RV:
- If possible, position a heater at least 3ft from any object that could catch fire
- Always make sure it’s stable by placing it on a level, flat surface
- The heater shouldn’t be in front of an exit
- When the last person leaves the room – or RV – it should be turned off and don’t leave it on while everyone’s asleep
- The heater should be plugged into the wall socket itself, rather than an extension cord
- Try and place it where there aren’t many people moving about all day
Older children and adults should also work together to keep small children away from the heater, even if it’s safe to touch.
You’ll find some of the best small electric for RV models, all for under $100. And some are only priced at around $60 so you can tailor your purchase to your budget, without compromising on quality and features too much.
Don’t simply buy based on price however. What’s most important is that your new heater works for your setup and the space you have available.
How to pick the best electric heater for RV
Now that you know how important it is to find the best and safest space heater for RV use, let’s help you make that decision! Below we discuss the features you should compare when considering different heater models. This is how you shop like a pro.
Your first point to consider is deciding on a specific type. Not all heater types will work in all scenarios. For example, if you use a heater outside but you don’t have a safe power outlet near where you want to use it, you’ll need one that doesn’t require a power cord. This is where one connected to a propane tank may come in handy. So, you see you need to consider your usage of this appliance before simply buying one.
The types you’ll consider include the following:
- Oil filled: This is like the De’Longhi EW7707CM on our list and an attractive point is that it’s low maintenance. It’s sealed so the oil can’t leak. You’ll need to connect it to a power outlet.
- Propane space heaters: These don’t require electricity to work but you’ll need to have enough propane resources to keep it running. The propane may be heavy even if the heater itself is light.
- Ceramic types: A ceramic heater is often chosen because the heat output is high. They can also be quite compact
- Electric: Obviously these ones will need electricity to work, so consider where the cord will run so you don’t create unnecessary hazards for those walking around. There are convection heaters and panel heaters available. People love them because they’re powerful, but make sure you have enough electricity. For example, if you’re using solar these may draw a lot of your daily available power and it will be difficult to manage all your appliances.
- Infrared: These are attractive options since they heat objects instead of only air.
- Heaters with fans: If your goal is to keep the inside of the RV comfortable you need the air to circulate so the entire area becomes warmer. That will make a fan-forced heater very valuable.
It won’t help if your new appliance creates a safety hazard for everyone on your RV trip. And when working with electrical items there’s always a chance of fire. Luckily you’ll find safety features on most of the best electric heater for travel trailer options, as can be seen on the Mr. Heater F232017 MH9BXRV. You’ll want auto shut off features if the heater is accidentally kicked over or topples when someone moves it. If you have small children a heater with a surface that won’t become scalding hot is an excellent characteristic.
Also look at the safety guidelines the manufacturer provides. For example, some units shouldn’t be used with an extension cord. These tips are wise to keep in mind so you keep your people safe.
If you’re expecting a lovely warm night inside your RV you won’t be impressed if the new heater barely heats up the space. This is why you should look at its capabilities to ensure it can warm up the size room that’s similar to your RV. If you have a larger RV, you want a more efficient heater.
You can also look at how exactly the environment is affected by the heater. For example, a unit like the Heat Storm Wall Gray HS-1000-WX Deluxe will warm the air but also the objects like furniture in the room. This will trap the heat inside the room longer after you switch off the heater, ensuring a cozy atmosphere while you’re sleeping. This is a more efficient option than simply heating up the air, which will circulate and be replaced with cold air soon.
Efficiency also refers to how much electricity or fuel it will need to keep you warm. Make sure it’s still affordable and that you’ll have that much power available. This is an important consideration if you’re running appliances on solar power. You don’t want your heater using up all the electricity.
You can look at how powerful the unit is in terms of how much heat you can expect. This is measured in BTU (British Thermal Unit) and if it offers around 5000 BUTs, you’ll comfortably heat up 150ft². For up to 300ft² you’ll need 7000BTUs. So, buy your heater with your specific RV’s dimensions in mind.
It’s always important to look at the guarantee of your appliances, so you know if you’ll have long term value from your unit. A guarantee shows how much faith a manufacturer has in its product’s durability.
With the best RV electric heater options, 1 year is an industry standard, but on some, like the De’Longhi EW7707CM you can even get 3 years’ cover.
Dimensions and weight
If you’ve ever packed an RV you know how important it is to think ‘space saving’. It’s no different when you’re shopping for your electric heater because you need a safe space to store it. Once you take it out you don’t want it to rob you of too much floor space and you have to position it far enough from other objects. So, measure out your RV so you know what size will be suitable.
A wall mounted unit is an excellent option to save floor space. Just measure available wall space so you know there’s a spot to install it.
Noise may not be the most important feature, but you definitely don’t want your heater preventing you from having a conversation. Too much noise can also ruin the experience of staying in an RV out in nature, so silent is often the best option. Many of these RV heaters can run quietly, such as oil heaters. But if your heater has a fan feature there’s always a chance of unwanted noise, so read up on reviews to determine how others experience the noise level.
With technology improving all the time, your heater can now be a high-tech gadget. It may not always be a necessity, but these extra features definitely make your RV experience more luxurious:
- Switch settings via a remote control so you don’t even have to get up
- Connect the heater to your Wi-Fi and control its settings remotely via an app
- A propane heater that monitors oxygen levels is both helpful and safer
- An LCD control panel makes it easy to control even in low light conditions