best 12 volt heater for rv

The 5 Best 12-Volt Heaters For RV Use: Making Your RV Warm And Toasty

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When you're traveling in your RV, you probably want all the comforts and luxuries of your home, even if you're going through extreme weather. Of course, this means that you need to find the best 12-volt heaters for RV use. Having a portable heater onboard your RV means that you can always control the temperature inside your rig to ensure that you will be comfortable and warm wherever you are traveling. 

While most RVs today come with built-in heating systems, these heating systems hook up to the RV's propane system. This means that the heating system is often fixed and that there are areas of the RV that might not be heated to your specifications. Thus, you might want to get a supplementary heater for your rig. Also, having a portable heater means that you bring the heater with you when you alight from your rig. If you're looking for the best 12-volt heater for your RV, this guide can help you choose the right model for your needs and budget. 

Comparison Chart

The 5 Best 12-Volt Heaters For RV Use: Making Your RV Warm And Toasty 1

Lasko 755320 Ceramic Space Heater

The 5 Best 12-Volt Heaters For RV Use: Making Your RV Warm And Toasty 2

Ontel Handy Heater

The 5 Best 12-Volt Heaters For RV Use: Making Your RV Warm And Toasty 3

Lasko Ceramic Adjustable Thermostat

The 5 Best 12-Volt Heaters For RV Use: Making Your RV Warm And Toasty 4

BOVADO USA Portable 166648 Ceramic Space Heater

The 5 Best 12-Volt Heaters For RV Use: Making Your RV Warm And Toasty 5

Honeywell HHF360V 360-Degree Fan Forced Surround Heater

A Detailed Review on the 5 Best 12 Volt Heater for RV Use

Lasko 755320 Ceramic Space Heater

If you regularly go to locations with extremely cold weather, you need a heater that can handle the harsh temperature and quickly heat your rig. Well, look no further than the Lasko 755320 Ceramic Space Heater. This heater works great in small to medium-sized motorhomes as it can quickly and easily heat 100 to 350 square feet of space.

best 12 volt heater for RV

Product Highlight

This powerful heater can easily heat larger rooms, which makes it a powerful supplemental heater for any rig. The Lasko 755320 is a wave heater, which means that it gives off heat in regular waves. This means that the waves will warm up the objects, walls, and passengers instead of the air inside the rig, giving you a comfortable and cozy feeling.

The Good

The Lasko Ceramic Tower has an oscillating feature, allowing you to heat a room evenly and quickly. What's more, this unit is remote-controlled, allowing you to adjust the temperature even if you're far away from the unit. It also has a self-regulating feature so that it can automatically adjust the thermostat depending on the temperature inside your rig.

The Bad

This heater mode is large and bulky. It's quite disappointing that it does not have an automatic shut off when tipped over since the unit is tall and can easily fall over when your RV is moving. What's more, the thermostat does not function when the unit is set to low.

PROS

  • Affordable
  • Can be wall-mounted anywhere in your rig
  • Auto shut-off programming

CONS

  • Bulky 
  • No thermostatic control
  • Uses propane

Ontel Handy Heater

If you have a small rig with limited space, the Handy Heater by Ontel is your best choice. At only 6 inches high and 3 inches thick, it will not take up a lot of space in your RV!

best 12 volt heater for RV

Product Highlights

The Ontel Handy Heater is an electric-powered heater that only consumes 350 watts of power so that it won't eat up a lot of electricity on your rig. You can program it for up to 12 hours, and the heater has both low and high settings.

The Good

One of the best things about the Ontel Handy Heater is that it's portable! You can bring the heater anywhere in your RV to heat the space quickly. What's more, the casing of the heater is made from metal, making it strong and durable.

The Bad

Although the heater is rated by the company for 250 square feet, it is more suited for smaller spaces of 100 square feet or less. What's more, the heater does not store heating settings, which means that you need to manually program the settings every time you want to use this model.

PROS

  • Compact and portable
  • Small power consumption
  • Affordable
  • Durable
  • Quickly heats small space

CONS

  • Poor safety features
  • Can only be used for small spaces below 100 square feet
  • Manual adjustment of settings each time

Lasko Ceramic Adjustable Thermostat

For those who like using old-school heaters, the Lasko Ceramic Adjustable Thermostat is a throwback to the classic design. With adjustable knobs that allow you to control the heat settings and temperature, this heater is the perfect addition to RVs with a retro design!

best 12 volt heater for RV

Product Highlights

The Lasko Ceramic Adjustable Thermostat has two knobs. The first knob allows you to adjust the heat mode of the heater: fan, low heat, or high heat. The second knob allows you to tweak the temperature to your exact preferred heat.

The Good

The XPS RIB features a strong and durable steel casing. The steel casing increases the lifespan of the tire and prevents the tire from wearing down quickly over dirt, mud, or rocks.

The Bad

Since the unit has a ceramic element, this means that you cannot use it in environments with high humidity. You won’t be able to use this heater in the bathroom or your kitchen unless these rooms have exhaust fans.

PROS

  • Portable and durable
  • Automatic overheat protection
  • Easy to operate
  • 3 different heating modes

CONS

  • Cannot be used in an environment with high humidity
  • Ceramic element is fragile
  • No automatic shut-off when the unit is tipped over

BOVADO USA Portable 166648 Ceramic Space Heater

While the BOVADO USA Portable 166648 is smaller compared to the other units on this list, this does not mean that you won’t be able to get your money’s worth with this fantastic heater! The heat produced by this model is comparable with larger heaters even though it is portable and compact.

best 12 volt heater for RV

Product Highlights

Just like the Lasko Ceramic Adjustable Thermostat, the BOVADO 166648 has the classic two-knob configuration to adjust the settings of the machine. The first knob is to adjust the heat settings among fan, low heat, and high heat. The second knob is for the thermostat. This is another model for those who love the old-school way of using heaters!

The Good

One of the best qualities of this heater is the durability of the materials used; you won't need to worry about the heater overheating or melting down even if you leave it running a little too long. What's more, the unit also has an automatic shut-off feature that protects it from overheating. Finally, it also has an automatic shut-off when the unit gets tipped over.

The Bad

If there’s one drawback with the BOVADO 1666648 Portable Space Heater, it’s the noise produced when the unit is turned on. You might not want to use this unit overnight because the noise of the fan is loud and can prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep.

PROS

  • Easy to operate
  • Durable
  • Portable
  • Lightweight
  • Powerful for its size

CONS

  • Noisy when in use
  • Not good for large spaces

Honeywell HHF360V 360-Degree Fan Forced Surround Heater

The Honeywell HHF360V is a great heater if you're traveling with your family or friends because this powerful heater can quickly heat a whole room! The heater gives out heat 360 degrees around the unit, which means that you won't need to spend as much time or energy to make a room comfortable.

best 12 volt heater for RV

Product Highlights

​The Honeywell HHF360V is also adjusted using two knobs: one knob is to change the heat settings, and the other is for adjusting the thermostat. The unit has overheat protection and a tip-over switch that turns off the unit when the unit falls over to the side.

The Good

If you love bringing your heater around, the Honeywell 360-Degree Heater is going to be your best friend! The model is small, lightweight, and portable, so you can bring it anywhere in your rig or even off your rig! What's more, the unit also has a cool-touch handle so that you can easily bring it around even when it's on full heat.

The Bad

This unit is only rated for small to medium-sized RVs. For spaces above 100 square feet, the Honeywell HHF360V will have a hard time heating the large space, especially during cold weather.

PROS

  • Portable and lightweight
  • Easy to operate
  • Low power consumption
  • Overheat and tip-over protection

CONS

  • Only for small to medium-sized spaces
  • Plastic parts feel fragile and cheap

Benefits of Having an RV Heater

The main benefit of having a heater in your RV is keeping your family warm and comfortable. This is important if you regularly travel to locations that have harsh and cold weather. You can keep safe and cozy inside your rig even if the temperatures outside your rig is dropping dangerously low.

Another benefit of having an RV heater is to protect your gadgets and appliances! When the temperature is cold, the moisture and condensation can break your gadgets.

Finally, having a heater means that you won’t need to limit your travels to areas with warm climates. You can still be warm and comfortable even if you visit locations that have cold or snowy climates.

A Buyer’s Guide to Choosing the Best 12 Volt Heater for RV

If you're looking for the best 12-volt heater for RV use, here are some factors to consider:

  1. Maintenance – how much time do you want to spend maintaining your heater? Entry-level heaters can be cleaned and maintained easily, but they don't have a lot of different settings and features. Higher-end heaters might need a bit more expertise when it comes to troubleshooting. 
  2. Efficiency – in terms of efficiency, you need to understand the British Thermal Unit (BTU). Basically, the higher the BTUs of a heater, the more heat it produces. Larger rigs need more powerful heaters with higher BTUs. 5,000 BTUs, for example, will warm up around 150 square feet of space.
  3. Speed – you should also consider how quickly a heater can heat a space. If you're heading to locations with extremely cold weather, you don't want to sit around waiting for your heater to work!
  4. Durability – you should always consider the strength and durability of your model. Keep in mind that your RV is constantly moving, which means that your heating unit is going to be jostled around frequently. If you don't move the unit around, you should mount it on the wall of your RV to prevent the unit from moving around or falling over.
  5. Safety Features – the more safety features that your heater has, the better! Safety features such as automatic overheat protection or tipping over shut off is important, especially if you tend to leave your heater unattended for long periods.
  6. Power Consumption – just like your heater at home, you don't want to get hit with a huge bill when it comes to heating your RV! Check the power consumption rating of your heater and go for units that have a high-efficiency rating.

Conclusion

There's the bottom line: there's no reason not to have a heater in your RV. Having a heater means that you will have a reliable source of heat and comfort anytime you need it. However, you should always make sure that you choose the best 12 volt heater for your RV in terms of the space inside your rig and your needs. If you have a large RV or you travel to extremely cold destinations, you need to invest in a powerful heater. You should also invest in a heater that has as many safety features as possible to ensure your peace of mind.

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