Portable Propane Heaters: What Are Your Best Options?
Staying warm is a constant battle for a lot of RVers. Even though RVs come with built-in heating and A/C systems, sometimes it’s not enough to keep the vehicle warm once the temperature drops. That’s why portable propane heaters are essential items for your winter checklist.
Propane heaters can be run independently, so they won’t drain your RV battery. In addition, gas burners ignite quickly and can easily warm up a small area in no time. They are a good complement to your RV’s heating system, and there are a ton of great options on the market.
Below, we have gathered information about the best portable propane heaters on the market. Some of them come from the same brand, but they represent a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and BTU ratings. Check out the list below and maybe you’ll find your new best friend for those cold winter nights.
Best Portable Propane Heaters
Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Portable Propane Radiant Heater
- BTU Rating: 4,000-9,000 BTU
- Average price: $75
- Amazon link
If you’re looking for one of the best overall heaters on the market, this model will always pop up near the top of the list.
It’s a radiant heater with a safety grate over the hottest parts. Each model can heat 225 square feet, so it’s perfect for RVs. It even has a handle on top for easy portability! If it tips over, it will automatically shut off as well.
Mr. Heater Corporation F299720 Blue Flame Propane Heater
- BTU Rating: 20,000 BTU
- Average Price: $200
- Amazon link
Next up, we have another model from the Mr. Heater company. This one is a bit different because it features actual flames instead of a radiant heating element.
This stand-up heater produces blue flames that can efficiently heat your entire RV. It also has a cozy fireplace-like appearance that will make the winter nights more comfortable. It’s more powerful than the previous model, and you’ll need to take extra measures to keep it away from anything that’s flammable.
Gasland MHA18R Propane Radiant Heater
- BTU Rating: 18,000
- Average Price: $140
- Amazon link
Next up, we have another radiant heater. This model has wheels along the bottom that make it easy to move and reposition.
The Gasland heater can heat areas as large as 450 square feet, so it should have more than enough power to keep your RV nice and toasty. It’s quiet and compact, so it should fit right in with your decorating scheme.
Mr. Heater F215100 MH4B Little Buddy Propane Heater
- BTU rating: 3,800 BTU
- Average price: $65
- Amazon link
Another small, but fairly inexpensive option is the Little Buddy from Mr. Heater. It lives up to its name as a small, reliable heater. It’s easy to reposition it and move it wherever you want. Because this model has less power, it also poses a lower fire risk to your RV.
Mr. Heater Big Buddy Portable Propane Heater
- BTU rating: 18,000 BTU
- Average price: $150
- Amazon link
Finally, we have the older brother of the Little Buddy: The Big Buddy! This is a nice all-around option that can easily keep an entire RV warm throughout the winter.
This heater has a variety of power settings and comes with all the safety features you would expect from a radiant propane heater.
Propane vs Electric Heaters
If you need a backup space heater for your RV, you’ll need to choose between electric and propane models. Both types can be quite effective, but they each come with pros and cons.
Portable propane heaters are usually more powerful than their electric counterparts. You can easily warm an entire RV with one heater (if you pick the right model).
They also run on combustible fuel, so they won’t require batteries or a connection to an outlet. If you often go camping off-grid, this will help you stretch out your battery life.
On the downside, these heaters are more dangerous. They pose a fire risk to your RV, and there’s always a chance that the propane tank could spring a leak. You may need to open windows to lower the risk of carbon monoxide buildup.
Plus, because they burn hotter and sometimes include open flames, you need to be extra careful about where you set these heaters up. Small children and pets shouldn’t be able to get too close.
Electric space heaters are the other option that RVers usually go for. Although we didn’t cover them in the list above, there are a ton of great options on the market. They are often smaller and more compact than propane models because they don’t need to include a fuel source. A lot of them also have advanced settings and safety features that can be programmed to suit your preferences.
Unfortunately, electric space heaters are not as powerful as propane models. While one propane heater is usually enough to heat an entire RV, you may need to invest in two or three electric models to get the same effect. Additionally, these heaters may drain your battery if you run them too often, so they’re not a good fit for off-grid camping trips.
Electric heaters are good for short-term use in milder climates, while propane heaters are better suited to long trips in cold weather. Both types have their uses, so think it through carefully before you commit.
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