The Best Space Heater for an RV: A Comprehensive Guide

When it comes to keeping your RV warm and cozy, the choice of the right space heater can make all the difference. Whether you’re boondocking in the wilderness or parked at a campsite, having a reliable and efficient space heater is essential for maintaining a comfortable living environment. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the various types of space heaters available for RVs, their key features, and the factors to consider when selecting the best one for your needs.

Understanding the Types of Space Heaters for RVs

Infrared Space Heaters

Infrared space heaters are a popular choice for RVers due to their efficient and quiet operation. These heaters emit electromagnetic waves that directly heat up objects and surfaces within the RV, rather than just warming the air. This results in a more consistent and comfortable heat distribution, without the need to heat the entire space. Infrared heaters are known for their energy-efficiency and the ability to provide targeted warmth, making them a great option for RVs with limited power sources.

Ceramic Space Heaters

Ceramic space heaters are another popular choice for RVs. These heaters use a ceramic heating element that heats up quickly, providing instant warmth. Ceramic heaters are often compact, lightweight, and energy-efficient, making them a practical solution for RV owners. They typically come with safety features like tip-over protection and overheat protection, ensuring a safe and reliable heating experience.

Oil-Filled Space Heaters

Oil-filled space heaters are known for their consistent and even heat distribution. These heaters use diathermic oil that is heated and circulated through the heater’s columns, releasing warmth into the surrounding air. While they may not heat up a space as quickly as other types, oil-filled heaters maintain a more consistent temperature once the room is heated. They are also relatively quiet in operation and often come with safety features like tip-over protection and overheat protection.

Mica-Thermic Space Heaters

Mica-thermic space heaters are a unique option for RVers. These heaters use mica-thermic panels that provide radiant heat, similar to infrared heaters. Mica-thermic heaters are known for their energy-efficiency, as they directly heat objects and surfaces rather than just the air. They are also compact, lightweight, and often come with safety features like tip-over protection and overheat protection.

Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Space Heater for Your RV

what is the best space heater for an rv

Power Source Availability

One of the primary factors to consider when selecting a space heater for your RV is the availability of power sources. If you have access to shore power or a reliable electrical system, electric space heaters can be a great option, as they are generally more energy-efficient and quieter than propane-powered alternatives. However, if you frequently boondock or camp in areas without reliable electrical access, a propane-powered space heater may be a better choice.

RV Size and Layout

The size and layout of your RV will also play a crucial role in determining the best space heater. Smaller RVs may benefit from a compact, portable heater, while larger RVs may require a more powerful and versatile option. Consider the square footage of your RV, the number of rooms or living areas, and the overall layout to ensure you choose a space heater that can effectively heat the entire space.

Safety Features

Safety should be a top priority when selecting a space heater for your RV. Look for features like tip-over protection, overheat protection, and automatic shut-off mechanisms to ensure your heater operates safely and reliably. Additionally, consider the placement of the heater within your RV, ensuring it is positioned away from flammable materials and out of high-traffic areas.

Energy Efficiency and Heating Capacity

The energy efficiency and heating capacity of a space heater are also important factors to consider. Look for models with high wattage or BTU ratings to ensure they can effectively heat your RV, while also considering the energy consumption to maintain a balance between warmth and efficiency. Some heaters may also offer adjustable heat settings, allowing you to fine-tune the output to your specific needs.

Noise Level and Aesthetics

While functionality is the primary concern, the noise level and overall aesthetics of a space heater can also be important considerations for RV owners. Some heaters are designed to operate quietly, which can be particularly beneficial in the confined spaces of an RV. Additionally, the visual appeal of the heater may be a factor, especially if it will be prominently displayed in your living area.

Top Recommended Space Heaters for RVs

To help you make an informed decision, here are some of the top-rated space heaters for RVs, along with their key specifications:

Model Heating Power Heat Settings Thermostat Safety Features Dimensions
Lasko CD09250 Ceramic Portable Space Heater 1500 watts High, Low, Fan Only Adjustable Overheat Protection, Tip-Over Protection 6.1 x 7.3 x 9.2 inches
Dr. Infrared Heater DR-988A 1500 watts High, Low, Auto Adjustable Overheat Protection, Tip-Over Protection 13 x 11 x 16 inches
De’Longhi EW7707CM Safeheat 1500W Oil-Filled Radiator 1500 watts High, Low, Thermostat Control Adjustable Overheat Protection, Tip-Over Protection 23.2 x 12.4 x 26.1 inches
Camco 57351 Olympian Wave-3 LP Gas Catalytic Heater 3000 BTU High, Low Adjustable Oxygen Depletion Sensor, Tip-Over Protection 14.5 x 8.5 x 6.5 inches
Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy 4,000-9,000-BTU Radiant Heater 4,000-9,000 BTU High, Low Adjustable Oxygen Depletion Sensor, Tip-Over Protection 7.7 x 13.4 x 15 inches

Remember, the best space heater for your RV will depend on your specific needs, power source availability, and personal preferences. It’s essential to carefully evaluate the features, safety, and efficiency of each option to ensure you make the right choice for your RV.


Choosing the best space heater for your RV is a crucial decision that can significantly impact your comfort and energy usage. By understanding the different types of space heaters available, the key factors to consider, and the top-recommended models, you can make an informed choice that will keep you warm and cozy throughout your RV adventures.

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