There’s nothing like throwing off the shackles of your day to day life and escaping somewhere new, and it’s even better when you’ve got the comfort of your own RV to do it in.
When temperatures drop though, or you plan on going somewhere cooler than usual, you’ll want to be equipped with a heater to keep that comfort alive.
An RV heater is a specially designed unit made for these on-road adventures, and they come in a range of sizes and specs.
With the right RV electric heater installed in your camper, you’ll never have to feel the freeze of winter again, and ensure that your on-road adventures are always done in comfort.
What are the best electric heaters for RVs on the market?
Heaters can be categorized by their voltage, how many BTUs they produce, size and portability, and whether they’re suitable for RV use. With these in mind to check off, and an idea of what your camper needs, you’ll be able to find the perfect match.
To help you narrow down the top contenders, we’ve hand-picked a group of our favorite RV heaters, with lots of happy customers to back them up.
These select the best of the best in heaters for RVs so you can stay toasty, comfortable, and rugged up inside your vehicle, in the most convenient way possible.
The portable heater market is a crowded one, but when you’re looking for an RV specific heater, it can be hard to find ones that suit. We’ve selected a handful of the best RV heaters that you can equip your rig with, and get some much-needed warmth and comfort when the temperatures drop.
Best Electric Heater For RV – Reviews & Buying guide for 2021
Best Overall: Therm Technology Back Seat Heat Plus
- Method: Forced air
- Size: 5.25 x 7.25 x 8.25 inches
- Power: 300 watts
Our favorite 12 volt RV heater comes from Therm Technology with their Back Seat Heat Plus.
This heater was designed specifically for trucks and works just as well in an RV providing 1100 BTUs of heat output to keep you warm no matter the weather outside. This portable heater measures 5.25 x 7.25 x 8.25 inches and weighs 4.2lbs so it’s an easy addition to any RV.
According to the happy customers, the best thing about the Back Seat Heat Plus is that it provides ample heat for the entire RV, while its housing remains cool. This is a great safety feature and especially ideal if you’re traveling with children or the elderly because you don’t have to worry about burns.
However, this isn’t an easy to install fan, and it’s not intended for those who have no idea about wiring electricity or other intricate steps.
If you’re after a convenient and portable fan that requires minimal setup, the Therm Technology model can’t offer you that. Be prepared to put some work in and have the tools needed to get this one pumping.
Installation aside, there are still loads of noteworthy features that the Back Seat Heat Plus has to offer.
This 12-volt heater runs with 300 watts of power and delivers ample heat to fill your entire RV. Because it’s wired directly to the vehicle, there’s no need to worry about changing batteries, and you can stay plugged in as long as you need.
The Therm Technology Back Seat Heat Plus includes a 20-foot wiring harness and in-line 30 amp fuse, giving you the freedom to mount it wherever you want in your RV.
This heater works when the engine is running and should be used alongside the vehicle’s heater for best results. The Back Seat Heat Plus features adjustable temperature control and high temperature cut-out switch, so it’s always running at its most efficient.
To equip your RV with the best 12V heater money can buy, head to Amazon and grab the Therm Technology Back Seat Heat Plus. This wired heater comes with a two year manufacturer’s warranty, as well as free shipping and returns offered by Amazon.
If you’re after power and heat and don’t mind a bit of effort to install it, this is the best heater of this size to keep your RV running comfortably.
Runner Up: Amazon Basics Ceramic Heater
- Method: Ceramic coils
- Size: 5.87 x 3.2 x 6 inches
- Power: 500 watts
If you don’t require much from a heater and would prefer to shop on a budget, the Amazon Basics Ceramic Heater might be more your style.
This 500-watt heater plugs in wherever you need it to and provides quick and efficient heat, with four ceramic coils that start working in mere seconds. Running with 12V of power, the ceramic heater is powered up with an on/off switch and has no additional heat settings or adjustments to make.
The best thing about this heater is how fast it gets to work, and how little it requires from the user to achieve this warmth. Even in the coldest of conditions, you’ll notice a difference in minutes, with customers surprised at how efficient something so small can be.
This is thanks to the ceramic coils that do the heating and it makes it one of the most convenient options on the market, even if it’s lacking in other bells and whistles.
On the downside, the Amazon Basic Ceramic Heater is somewhat wanting in safety features. The only one they’ve included is tip-over protection but there’s nothing like auto-shut off or overheat protection, so you have to be extra vigilant when you use it.
If you want something safer, you’ll have to upgrade to their digital radiator heater or cabinet heater, but these don’t seem as suitable for RV camping.
The Amazon Basics Ceramic Heater measures just 5.87 x 3.2 x 6 inches and because it can be plugged in anywhere, it’s a good choice for a portable heater, and even better for an RV.
There’s no need to wire anything up and you can use it wherever there’s a power source, with an overall weight of less than 1.5lbs, it’s easy enough to carry as well.
The Amazon Basic Ceramic Heater comes in four color choices so you can choose the right one for your RV décor. It comes with just one heat setting which should provide you with enough warmth for most settings, but if you plan on going anywhere seriously cold, you might want to double up.
To equip your RV with the compact and affordable Amazon Basics Ceramic Heater, head online to the Amazon marketplace to get it. This heater is a cheap and easy way to get heat directly pumped through to your RV.
Not surprisingly, there’s no warranty on offer, but Amazon does have free returns and free shipping for their Prime members, so all is not lost.
Alternative: TaoTronics Space Heater
- Method: Forced air
- Size: 6.3 x 6.14 x 16.18 inches
- Power: 1500W
The best portable electric heater for RV owners has to be the TaoTronics Space Heater, offering an efficient and convenient way to stay warm.
This space heater measures 6.3 x 6.14 x 16.18 inches for a taller type of unit, and it comes with a range of safety features including overheating and tip-over protection, all for your peace of mind.
According to customers, their favorite thing about this heater was the warmth it gives out, offering a much better solution than other RV heaters we’ve reviewed.
If you’re going somewhere really cold and have been let down by smaller, portable heaters in the past, you’ll get everything you need from the TaoTronics Heater, and then some.
On the downside, the TaoTronics Space Heater is no compact accessory, and you might even struggle finding somewhere to fit it in your RV if you’re already packed to the maximum.
At its longest part, it measures just over 16 inches, so make sure you measure up and find the space for it before you buy it, otherwise you’ll have to find a better fit.
The TaoTronics Space Heater can be adjusted to your exact needs, with settings like wide-angle oscillation available that increase heat distribution up to 20%.
You’ll also be able to use energy-saving ECO mode if you only need a little heat, and it’ll automatically adjust the heat for you depending on the current conditions.
This heater comes equipped with a 12 hour timer that can be programmed to turn off automatically, so there’s no need to worry about it running longer than it should be.
TaoTronics has designed the heater to be used all night safely and it runs quietly in the background so you won’t even know it’s on. It comes equipped with an instruction manual and remote control, adding further to its convenience factor.
If you want a serious heater for your RV but like the option to take it easy now and then, you’ll love the TaoTronics Space Heater. It’s the ideal fit for most RVs.
TaoTronics covers their heaters with a 12 month warranty and Amazon offers free returns, as well as shipping it for free to your location. This heater ticks all of the boxes and more, and it’s easily our favorite pick if you’re looking for the best for your RV.
Alternative: TaoTronics PTC Space Heater
- Method: Forced air
- Size: 7.7 x 7.7 x 17 inches
- Power: 1500W
Another contender for the best RV heater comes from TaoTronics as well, with their PTC Space Heater option. This is also a 1500W space heater, but slightly larger in size, for those who need more heating ability.
The TaoTronics PTC Space Heater measures 18 inches in height and creates less than 45 dB of noise, so you can sleep soundly while it gets to work in the background keeping you comfortable.
The best thing about this heater is how fast it can heat an RV, which is helpful when you’re staying somewhere extra-cool.
According to TaoTronics, and their happy customers, in just three seconds this PTC Space Heater was able to reach 70 degrees Fahrenheit, and when you’re trying to heat up a confined space like an RV, you’ll notice the difference in comfort immediately.
However, it’s a larger unit, and some will find it pretty bulky for an RV unless they have a larger vehicle with a lot of spare room.
Unfortunately, you can also only use this heater with a wall socket and it’s not able to be plugged into a power strip, which many RVs rely on, so before you choose this one make sure you check out the vehicle to see if it’s going to work.
The TaoTronics PTC Space Heater features a 70-degree oscillation feature that allows you to heat the entire RV in no time at all, and with 20% greater heat distribution.
There are loads of safety features worth mentioning as well, including a 12 hour timer, auto power-off, tip-over protection, and overheating protection, so you’ll never have to give it a second thought while it’s running in your RV.
This space heater was built from flame-retardant materials and it’s safe enough to be used while you’re sleeping, making it perfect for an RV that’s camping overnight.
There are three heating modes to choose from, with the highest running on 1500W and the lowest at 900W, giving you an eco-friendly way to stay warm. The running volume is less than 45dB which makes it pretty quiet and you can sleep with it on without being bothered by the noise.
If you don’t mind a bulkier unit in exchange for fast heating, the TaoTronics PTC Space Heater might be right up your alley. Although tall, it gets the job done, and is a great choice for those planning on visiting colder climates where backup is needed.
Alternative: OPolar Ceramic Space Heater
- Method: Ceramic, Forced Air
- Size: 7.1 x 5.9 x 11.1 inches
- Power: 1500W
If you’re after a more compact option for heating your RV and don’t mind giving up some of the other features, the OPolar Ceramic Space Heater is a great choice.
This heater is powered up with 1500W of electricity and plugs into an electrical socket, so you’ll have instant warmth in your RV when you need it. Using ceramic coils and forced air to do its work, it’s a great option for heating small spaces like RVs without using too much power.
What customers loved most about the OPolar Ceramic Space Heater was the speed at which it heated up their RV, even when the temperatures were dropping fast outside.
After plugging it in, it could be felt in just minutes, and this is thanks mainly to the efficient ceramic coils that are housed inside of it.
However, it’s one of the noisiest heaters we’ve reviewed, and if you plan on running it through the night as you sleep, you might disrupt the peace.
According to OPolar it operates at around 50dB which doesn’t sound too bad, but if you listen to the previous customers, they’ll tell you it sounded like a lot more.
The noise aside, this is still an efficient little fan, and its overall dimensions are 7.1 x 5.9 x 11.1 inches. If you’re short on space but still want a powerful heater, it’s one of the best, and it comes with three modes including high heat, low heat, or fan only, just in case you need cooling down instead.
OPolar has spared no expense when it comes to safety features and it’s a great heater if this is of concern to you. Their heater has an automatic overheat system if it starts getting too hot and has a tip-over switch that turns it off if it moves around too much.
The thermostat can be adjusted to your needs which is a bonus, and it automatically changes its own settings to make sure it suits your temperature preference.
OPolar covers their products with a one year warranty, and you’ll also get free returns through Amazon, as well as free freight to your door. If you want a smaller heater in your RV and don’t’ mind missing some of the extras, the OPolar is one of our top finds.
FAQs of RV Ready Electric Heaters
The heater of an RV is an essential accessory, especially for those living in colder climates or hoping to visit somewhere during winter.
Although important, they can also be detailed, so knowing more about them will help make your search for the perfect one easier. Check out these FAQs about RV electric heaters to expand your knowledge a little further.
How Do You Keep An RV Warm In The Winter?
RVs require features to keep their interior warm in the winter, just as a house does.
To ensure your RV stays warm inside when it’s cold outside, look at its existing insulation, wrap pipes in heat tape, and consider investing in a portable RV heater that can be used to bring temperatures back up.
Can You Use An Electric Heater In An RV?
It is possible to use an electric heater in an RV but for the best results and safety, you should choose one designed for these types of vehicles.
Not all styles will be able to run continuously so make sure the heater you choose is suitable for the outdoor conditions, and come up with other ways to stay warm as well.
Which Type Of Heater Is Cheapest To Run?
Heaters have a bad reputation for being one of the biggest consumers of electricity, but if you’re looking for something more efficient, halogen heaters or oil-filled radiators are some of the best.
For an RV specifically, choose one with the lowest wattage per heat provided, and don’t go overboard if you don’t need to.
How Long Can An RV Heater Run On Battery?
Running an RV furnace shouldn’t be a continuous thing, so aim for no more than 12 hour intervals if using one.
A standard set of batteries used in these portable heaters should be able to achieve this amount of running time, but possibly more if you’re using it on a lower setting.
Should I Keep My RV Plugged In During Winter?
An RV’s batteries can be sensitive, and if they get too hot or too cold, they’ll lose their voltage capacity.
During winter, it’s ideal to remove the batteries from your RV if you’re not using it, and make an effort to charge them now and then while the colder months are here so that they don’t freeze.
The Key to Staying Toasty in Your RV
A good RV should be decked out with all of the comforts of home, and the added bonus of moveability.
When the temperature drops or you plan on setting up camp somewhere colder than usual, the addition of a simple portable heater can make a world of difference and keep you warm and cozy inside.
Any of our top picks would do an RV owner proud and ensure that you’re always comfortable, no matter the conditions outside. This one simple RV accessory is a must-have, and having it around and ready for action should things get chilly, gives you all the comfort and peace of mind that you need on the road.