Can You Use an Electric Heater in an RV?

While many people store their campers when wintertime rolls around, not everyone does. Some people like to enjoy the scenery all year round. But when the colder temperatures show up, you need to find a way to stay warm inside your RV. Do you stick with the rig’s furnace, or can you use an electric heater instead? Let’s take a look.

Using your RV all year long

An RV in the snow, which begs the question of can you use an electric heater in an RV?
RV in the snow | Nano Calvo via Getty Images

RV owners typically use their rigs in the spring, summer, and sometimes fall seasons, but it’s not uncommon to see these campers on the road during the winter. Some trailers are designed for cold weather, and others have special accessories to add when temperatures drop. 

Of course, there are a few things that you need to do to prepare your RV for the cold winter nights ahead. You’ll want to inspect the exterior to keep the cold air out as much as possible. Ensure all air leaks are properly sealed, and replace any weather stripping that’s old, cracked, and torn. 

To keep the freshwater plumbing from freezing, you might consider purchasing a heated water hose so you’re not stuck with burst pipes if it gets too cold at night. For a successful camping trip, you’ll need to have some way to stay warm while the temperatures drop, which is why many people ask if electric heaters are OK to use in their rig. 

Can you use an electric heater in your RV?

Most RVs and campers have a furnace system that usually runs on propane. But since they often take a while to warm up and can be costly to fuel, many owners seek alternative ways to stay warm. One of the easiest methods to do that is by using an electric heater. 

Yes, you can use one in an RV. In fact, there are a few benefits to it. First, you can warm up the inside of your rig in minutes and control how warm you want it to an extent. Just turn it off when it’s toasty enough and turn it back on when you need it. According to Drivin’ & Vibin’, It also can save you quite a bit of money from having to refuel your propane tank every time the furnace drains it. 

Unlike the furnace, electric space heaters are small devices, so they can easily be transported with you, and you can set them up wherever you want them in your RV. 

Is it even worth having an electric heater in your RV?

Many people are reluctant to use one due to the possibility of ruining an RV by accidentally knocking the heater over. While these devices have an increased risk of fire damage, you can safely operate one in your rig. Just ensure there’s nothing flammable near where you set it, so there’s no risk of anything catching fire.

Also, if you’re camping in an area where you have to pay for an electrical hookup, running this kind of heater will quickly add to your bill. However, if you happen to be camping where electrical hookups are inexpensive or even free, this heater would be a great option. 

Related

Cold Weather RV Camping: Tips for Winter Adventures

The most significant disadvantage to using an electrical device like this is that you can’t use it everywhere. Boondock camping is one of them because you need an electric source to run it. In that case, the propane furnace would be the better option. 

Determining whether it’s worth it would depend on your camping situation. But, all in all, electrical heaters are useful for campers who want to roam the countryside in winter. 

Winter camping is possible with your RV if you prepare it ahead of time. As temperatures drop, heating the rig will be necessary, and an electrical heater is one of the most beneficial ways to do it in most cases.