HomeRV AppliancesRV HeatingHow to Heat an RV Without Propane: Six Alternatives

    How to Heat an RV Without Propane: Six Alternatives

    If you’re looking for a way to heat your RV without propane, you’ve come to the right place. Propane is a popular choice for heating RVs, but it’s not always convenient or safe to use. There are plenty of other ways you can keep your mobile home warm and cozy during cold camping trips. We’ve discussed the alternatives to how to heat an RV without propane.

    How to heat an RV in winter if you don’t want to use any propane-run devices? Well, some popular options include electric heaters, battery-powered heaters, solar heaters, and insulation. Additionally, portable heating devices and gas stoves can also be good alternatives.

    How to Heat an RV Without Propane: The Best Alternatives

    Generally, propane is cheaper than electricity as a source of fuel for heating. However, propane tanks need to be refilled, which can be more expensive if you are in a remote area or if propane prices are high.

    Let’s find out how to heat a camper with heating devices that don’t use propane. No more relying on costly and limited supplies of this fuel source.

    From electric heaters to solar panels and more, learn how to stay warm, cozy, and comfortable even when you’re off the grid.

    Electric Heaters

    How to heat a camper with electricity? An electric heater for RV is the most convenient and suitable alternative to a propane heater. You can also use an RV furnace, but its battery does not last for a long time. So, it’s better to use something that runs on electricity.

    You can power an electric heater by plugging it into an electrical outlet or using a generator. They’re energy-efficient and don’t produce emissions, making them a safe option for indoor use.

    Depending on your budget and preference, you can choose from different types of electric heaters, like ceramic, infrared, coil, and cartridge heaters.

    Most electric heaters run on 1,500 watts, and you’ll find some excellent models within the range of 60 to 100$ on Amazon.

    Solar Heaters

    Solar heaters are the most eco-friendly option when you are considering how to heat an RV without propane. They are a great way for campers to reduce their carbon footprint while still staying warm during their outdoor adventures.

    how to heat a camper
    Solar heating systems are eco-friendly. Photo: desertsun02 / YouTube

    The heating system works by absorbing thermal energy from the sun’s radiation, which then goes into an enclosed space to be converted into heat. These heaters are cost-effective in the long run, but installation is expensive. Moreover, they may not provide enough heat on cloudy or overcast days.

    Battery-powered Heaters

    The portable heaters run on batteries, making them a good option for camping or traveling in remote locations. Since there is no electricity or fuel involved, they’re quite safe for indoor use. You can use them anywhere without causing noxious fumes or hazardous waste.

    It may not provide as much heat as electric or propane heaters. Another nuisance is that the battery runs out every 8 to 12 hours, so it needs to be changed. The heaters are inexpensive, and you can get a good deal for under $80.

    Kerosene Heaters

    Kerosene-propelled heaters produce double the heat than any fuel-powered heaters. The fuel is stored in a tank and is fed into a burner, where it’s ignited. The heat generated by the burning fuel is then distributed across the RV through a duct system.

    Some kerosene heaters also have a thermostat that can be adjusted to maintain a desired temperature inside the RV. However, the fuel cost is high, and maintenance is hassle-some, not to mention the unpleasant smell of burnt kerosene.

    Portable Heating Options

    Portable heating devices, such as electric blankets, electric sleeping bags, hot water bottles, or heating pads, can provide additional warmth.

    These are temporary and quick means of heat supply and shouldn’t be chosen as a heating option on a long journey.

    heat an rv without propane
    Electric blankets could be an extra heating source. Photo: USA Today

    There are also some small portable heaters that are good for warming up small spaces. They are suitable for indoor heating, but the machine can overheat if the heating vents get blocked. It may cause major accidents like a fire or a circuit burst.

    The safest way to use portable heaters inside an RV is to keep them out of reach of children and pets and ensure nothing obstructs the heating vents.

    Gas Stoves

    Using a gas stove to heat an RV is possible, but it is not the most efficient or safe method. The stoves are designed to cook food, not to heat a large space like an RV.

    Also, burning a stove too much can lead to poor air quality, as they release smoke and other pollutants. It also poses a risk of fire hazards.

    Tips for Keeping the RV Warm in Cold Weather

    How to heat an RV without propane? Apart from using the heating methods suggested above, you can take some extra measures to keep the camper warm and cozy.

    • Insulate the floors by adding a layer of foam tiles.
    • Insulate the windows using thermal sheets and curtains. Use insulation foam to fill any gaps around the window pane.
      Ensure all vents and ducts are blocked off completely.
    • Always keep hot bags and pouches on the camper to warm your hands and feet.
    • Use an electric blanket for a cozy night’s sleep, and wear thermal clothing.
    • Install an RV skirt. It’s a type of insulation that wraps around the bottom of an RV to help keep it warm.

    Final Verdict

    Many RVers would rather avoid the expense and hassle of dealing with propane tanks. How to heat an RV without propane, though? There are several effective alternatives, and each has different benefits and drawbacks. So, it’s essential to consider your specific needs and preferences when choosing a heating method.

    Also, it’s crucial to ensure proper ventilation and to install and maintain a carbon monoxide detector to avoid any safety hazards. With a bit of planning and preparation, you can enjoy the comfort of RV living all year round.

    Daniel Jackson
    Daniel Jackson
    Daniel Jackson is the passionate owner and driving force behind RVing Explained. Driven by his own love for the RV lifestyle, Daniel has transformed his personal journey into a valuable resource for fellow travelers. He delves into a wide range of topics, from essential RV maintenance tips to insightful destination guides, all while providing a fresh perspective and a commitment to clear, accessible information. Daniel's content is a must-read for anyone seeking to maximize their RV adventures.


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