5 Best Portable Heaters for your RV or Camper

Depending on what size of RV or camper you own, you may need or want to supplement your motorhome’s or camper’s furnace heating system with one or more portable heaters. But what kind of space heater should you get?

5 Best Portable Heaters for RVs or Boats
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5 Best Portable Heaters for your RV or Camper

Before we get started, let’s go over these fire safety guidelines for portable heaters.


    • Never heat your RV interior with your stove, cooktop or oven.
    • If using propane space heaters, make certain to open a window slightly for ventilation.
    • Test your Carbon Monoxide Monitor make certain it’s working properly.
    • Make certain that you have ample number of fire extinguishers and that they have not expired.
    • Never leave space heaters unattended; this means sleeping or just stepping out for a moment.
    • Keep children and pets away from space heaters, heat sources and controls at all times.
    • Keep it at least 3 feet from flammables, such as curtains, clothing, furniture or bedspreads.
    • Select a model with an automatic shut-off, in case it tips.
    • Buy one that is certified by an independent testing lab, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL).
    • Get the right size space heater to handle the area to be heated.
    • NEVER use any type of kerosene heater in your camper or RV.
    • Do not overload the electrical outlets.
    • Know what your electrical system in your RV will handle for wattage and draw.
    • Do not use space heaters in bathrooms or areas of moisture or water to avoid electrocution.
    • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
    • Unplug electric portable heaters when not in use.
    • Never use or store flammable liquids near portable heaters or heat source.
    • Do not try to repair a broken heater yourself. Get your heater serviced by a certified appliance service specialized.
    • Never use if the electrical cord is frayed or cracked and/or plug is loose or damaged.
    • Be sure the electrical plug fits snugly in the outlet.
    • If cord and/or plug feels hot when operating, unplug it immediately. Do not use until a certified repair specialist repairs it.
    • Encourage family fire prevention discussions.
    • Practice family fire drills and emergency evacuations.

So, let’s check out these 5 best portable heaters for RVs and Campers.

Optimus Portable Electrical Heater with Fan

Optimus H-1322 Portable Electrical Fan Heater

This 2-speed electric portable fan heater is a little over two pounds, it measures 9.2 x 10.5 x 5.5 inches. This little Optimus Prime (what we call it) packs a punch for less than $25. This little electric space heater is perfect for heating small spaces. It can be set on the floor or on a stable surface.


    • 2 Heat Settings (750 and 1500 watts)
    • Automatic Thermostat Control
    • 4 Position Function Switch (Off, Fan, Low, High)
    • Fan Only Setting
    • Internal Heat Limiting Thermostat
    • Thermal Cut-off Safety Device
    • Tip-Over Safety Switch
    • Power Indicator Light

Ceramic Electric Heater

Benuo ceramic electric heater

For less than $50, this ceramic electric heater provides the following


    • Designed with 950W high heat mode, 700W low heat mode and 5W fan-only mode.
    • Tap the Swing Button on the top panel, heater will oscillate at 45-degree right and left.
    • The overheat and thermal fuse double protection will cut off the power when the heater is overheated. Tip-over auto shut-off feature with flame-resistant material ensures safety use.
    • Adopts the PTC ceramic heating element, the heater heats up rapidly in 2 seconds, more efficient and longer service life.
    • This portable space heater is quiet. It will not interfere with your sleeping and working.

Electric Ceramic Heater

OPolar Electric Ceramic Heater

For about $50, this four and a half pound electric ceramic space heater measures 7.1 x 5.9 x 11.1 inches.


    • Ceramic space heaters are fast to heat, produce abundant heat without open coils, and are long lasting
    • Offers three heat settings; High Heat (1500-watt), Low Heat (1000-watt ) and Fan Only.
    • The heater will kick on and maintain consistent heat according to its’ thermostat setting and the room’s ambient temperature.
    • It’s super quiet. It will not disturb your sleeping, resting, reading, working. Simply turn the dial to high or low heat, or fan only, and then, using the other dial, adjust the intensity to your comfort. A red power indicator light shows when the device is on.
    • This portable heater has an automatic overheat system that shuts the unit off when the parts of the heater overheat. It’s tip-over switch will shut off when the heater is tipped forward or backward.

Electric Oil-Filled Radiator Heater

PELONIS Electric Oil-Filled Radiator Heater

With 1500W of heating power, you’ll enjoy solid streams of warmth allowing you to get nice and warm even faster. Plus with three power settings, low, medium and high, you can find your preference temperature with total ease. This electric oil-filled radiator heater is a little heavier at about 20 pounds and sells for less than $100.


    • It has three heat settings and ECO mode. It’s best for medium to large rooms which need constant heat in the chilly season. It comes with remote control, an adjustable thermostat, and 24-hour timer.
    • Pelonis’s unique design maximizes heat flow into the room without fan noise.
    • It’s patented technology of tail-fin separation for overheat protection. It has an auto-shut-off safety that includes tip-over protection. Also, it has an anti-freeze setting to help prevent freezing pipes.
    • Adjust the digital thermostat and heat settings automatically to optimize energy consumption.
    • It has 3 heating settings – 600 watt, 900 watt, and 1500 watt.
    • Energy Saving Setting (ECO Mode)
    • Has an overheat and tip-over safety function
    • 24 hours Programmable Timer
    • Temperature Setting: 40-95℉
    • Is equipped with a remote control

Mr. Heater Buddy Propane Portable Heaters

Mr. Heater Big Buddy

We saved these portable heaters for last because it’s our favorite. If you’re a boondocker like us who may have a limited electric power, these indoor-safe propane heaters are just the ticket to keeping you and your family warm in your RV or camper.

We’ve had two different models of the Mr. Heaters.

First, we had the Mr. Heater Big Buddy because it needed to heat a larger space. Its’ patented radiant 4,000-18,000 BTU liquid propane heater connects directly to 2 one pound cylinders. This propane heater is the perfect solution for heating up to 450 square feet.

The two swivel regulators give us the ability to adapt usage from disposable cylinders to a remote gas supply with the purchase of a single hose and filter.

To light the unit, simply push and rotate the knob. The built in Piezo sparking mechanism will take care of the rest.

With the oxygen depletion sensor (ODS) and accidental tip-over safety shut-off, you can be sure that you will enjoy years of comfortable outdoor safe heat.

To keep our Big Buddy propane heater and supplies all together, we bought a carrying case. It holds the Mr. Heater Big Buddy, two disposable green propane canisters (not included), and hose and regulator (not included). We kept the whole ensemble in our basement storage compartment.

Now, since downsizing to our Winnebago View we got the smaller Mr. Heater Buddy.

Mr. Heater Buddy

This little gem packs in right under 10 pounds measuring a tad smaller than our former Mr. Heater Big Buddy (above). This little sucker safely heats up to 250 square feet has similar features.


    • 4,000- to 9,000 BTU radiant heater for spaces up to 225 square feet.
    • Mr. Buddy Heaters are approved for indoor/outdoor use; clean-burning; nearly 100-percent efficient
    • Four position control with built-in Piezo igniter off and low/hi heat settings
    • High temperature wire guard
    • Swivel regulator for easy LP cylinder and hose installation
    • Large durable porcelain coated heating surface directs radiant heat over wider area
    • Low-oxygen safety shut-off (ODS) and tip-over safety shut-off
    • Ceramic burner tile mounted with shock absorbing insulation for durability and easy replacement
    • Auto shut-off if tipped over, if pilot light goes out, or if detects low oxygen levels
    • Fold-down handle; swivel-out regulator; connects to propane tank (not included)

Mr. Heater Buddy Carrying Case

For easy storing, we also bought the carrying bag for our Mr. Heater Buddy that holds the heater, one green disposable propane canister, hose and regulator.

Finally, since we are proponents of recycling and trying to keep from adding to the landfills, we opted to buy a 1 gallon/5 pound propane tank instead of continuously buying those disposable green canisters. It’s lighter in weight than those big 20 pound BBQ grill propane tanks.

It is much cheaper to refill the one gallon propane tank than buying five of the one-pound canisters. The little green disposable canisters, at best, cost about $8.00 for two. But to fill our 1 gallon tank cost only about $3.00! So, doing a little math, it would cost us about $16 plus tax to use as many little green canisters as our 1 gallon tank at $3. Plus, we didn’t have all those little green propane canisters rolling around in our vehicle or RV basement compartment.

By the way, one green canister would last 3 hours but the 5 pound would last about 15 hours depending on setting. So, while it had a great cost savings to get the five pound tank, having it also lessened the chore of changing out the canisters.

While the portable electric portable heaters are nice to have when we are plugged into the electric pedestal, the Mr. Heater propane portable heaters are great to have when we’re boondocking off the grid.

One last safety note, when using propane space heaters, make certain to open a window slightly for ventilation. And, when operating the heater at altitudes over 7,000 FT above sea level, be aware the heater may shut off.

Winter Camping - Mr. Heater with Cat
“Krissie approved” Mr. Heater Buddy – single burner in our small motorhome.

We hope this list of the 5 best portable heaters for RVs and Campers help to provide some options. Whichever you choose, please be sensible about using any portable space heater in enclosed spaces, around children and pets and their operation requirements.

But, most of all, practice good fire and heater safety. Be warm but BE SAFE ALWAYS.

Portable Heaters for Campers and RVs
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We will not be held liable for any misuse, injury, loss of life, damage or loss of any property from the use of any products listed in this blog. It is the responsibility of the consumer/user to read and understand the manufacturers instructions before operating.

The use of unauthorized accessories/attachments with any of these heaters are expressly prohibited, may cause serious injury and will void warranties. Keep children and pets away from all portable heaters and/or heat sources. Never leave heater(s) unattended. Unplug any heater when not in use.

Do not operate any portable heater while sleeping or use near water sources. NEVER plug electric space heaters into extension cords or ‘power bricks’ unless clearly stated in the manufacturer’s owners manual. You must adhere to applicable state codes. Be sure you purchase the correct one in accordance to your state’s requirements.


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