Living in a camper can be rewarding yet challenging in some aspects due to their mobile lifestyle and continuous desire to explore the outdoors.
One of the many challenges full-timing communities may face is the preparation for sudden temperature drops coming in the colder seasons like autumn and winter.
There are alternative ways to heat your camper other than using propane, which can be costly.
You can heat a camper without electricity or purchase an electric heater for an RV. Without further ado, let’s go further into detail on how to heat an RV without propane.
Ways to Heat an RV Without Propane
Choosing to heat a camper with electricity can be convenient since it helps save the time and money of going to the gas station for a refill on propane.
Luckily, we have listed the different ways below in order for you to heat your RV without propane.
Way 1: Insulate your RV
If you want to keep the warmth inside your RV, you have to insulate the walls, windows, and other components of your RV. In other words, they should be sealed, like vents, hinges, or cracks.
- The best way to insulate your walls is to put up fiberglass insulation to your walls. This is one of the more useful methods since it conserves energy and its material helps reduce the probability of fire.
- Besides, you can also install foam panels on your walls and ceilings.
- You can also put foam mats on the ground to help keep you warm.
- Using a spray foam canister to insulate your RV is also budget-friendly and helps cover up small cracks and gaps where air pockets could enter.
- As for your windows, you can cover them up using bubble wrap or put up insulated curtains to keep the inside warmer.
- Some RV owners add reflective insulation sheets and tapes to prevent the sun rays from heating the RV.
Way 2: Use an RV Skirt
RV Skirting is used to block cold air from entering and freezing your pipes and other plumbing components, as those are vulnerable during the cold weather.
You can get an RV Skirt that best suits your RV. Place the skirt underneath your RV so that it prevents the cold air from entering your trailer.
Make sure that the material that the RV Skirt you are getting is the one with the higher R-value since it makes it more effective and reliable when it comes to insulation.
Way 3: Use an Electric/Oil/Radiant Heater
There are different kinds of space heaters for campers that can keep you warm when the temperature drops. These RV heaters work without propane.
- Electric heater
A portable electric heater is a good example because it is lightweight and can basically turn on the heat in an RV. Most models are very user-friendly as well.
It can also be referred to as an electric furnace for RV since it works the same way as a portable heater which relies on electricity to keep a room warm.
- Radiant heater
Another option is radiant heaters. Although their function is essentially the same: to heat up rooms, these kinds of heaters take time to keep an area warm.
Radiant heaters heat the oil as the air passes through the device and then circulate the heat throughout the room.
These radiant heaters work well on small rooms such as bedrooms, study areas, or class B RVs since this kind of camper has a smaller interior.
This is also good for people with allergies since the air does not move much when using a radiant heater.
- Oil heater
Oil heaters, on the other hand, are the ideal option if you have a large RV. For safety precautions, it is best not to put anything near it or at least 3 feet.
Way 4: Use an RV Electric Heater Add-On
A good example of this is the Cheap Heat System. This add-on works by flipping a switch so you can choose if you want to make your RV heater run with or without propane.
Choose to run it by electricity. You will have no problem if you happen to be in places where propane supply is limited or expensive.
It is also easy to install and safer compared to portable space heaters since they can be the root cause of fires or combustion.
Way 5: Wear Warm Clothes
Consider wearing thermal wear for your inner clothes, in case the heater might malfunction. For the clothes, choose a material that will keep you comfortable and warm inside a camper, such as wool and fleece.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Cheapest Way to Heat an RV?
Some campsites offer free access to facilities like water and electricity. Using a portable heater for your RV in these kinds of campsites can be the cheapest option.
This is due to the fact that the source of your electricity is free and the city park provides the electricity for camping.
Also, without propane among the heaters for RVs, a portable electric space device is probably the most budget-friendly.
Is it Cheaper to Heat an RV with Propane or Electric?
Propane RV Heaters are generally cheaper compared to electric heaters. They are more efficient when it comes to heating larger areas in an RV.
Also, propane supply is very accessible, especially for campers and travelers. You can find propane in gas stations, dealership stores, and other camping sites.
Can an RV Furnace Run Without Propane?
Built-in RV furnaces will not be able to run without propane. It can be a nuisance if your tank has used up all of its propane since it can cause problems such as leaks and accumulation of rust.
Which RV Ceramic Heater is Popular in the Market?
The Lasko Ceramic Electric Heater is a popular brand in stores like Walmart. They can also be found on Amazon.
There are also RV electric heaters with thermostats where you can operate and control their features and temperature. An example would be this 1500W Ceramic Heater with a cooling fan.
A preferable heater for RV Boondocking is the COSTWAY Ceramic Heater. It is an elevated heater that can easily warm up a space and can be digitally controlled via a remote.
What RV for Heating Thermostat Should I Get?
There are types of heating thermostats for RVs, like analog, digital, programmable, and smart thermostats. You choose the programmable one if you want convenience.
These programmable thermostats allow you to adjust the settings of the temperature and program it according to your schedule.
Now that you have learned how to heat an RV without propane, there are cheaper methods and alternatives to it rather than just relying on propane.
You can insulate your RV, use a portable electric heater for your camper, and wear warm clothes to give your body the comfort and warmth it needs during the cold weather.
If you enjoyed reading this article and found it helpful, feel free to share this with your fellow campers.
“Hi, I’m Francis’ husband—Calvin. Our story began with our shared passion for traveling. I have had a career journey for over 11 years at Ford Motor Company, where I took on the role of BMS SW Process Engineer.
Together with my wife, I have dedicated countless hours to exploring every nook and corner of the world. Ten years living in an RV may seem long, but time seems to fly by when I’m doing what I love with the person I love.
That’s why I am also a member of FMCA and have been a panelist on seminars at shows like FMCA’s 103rd International Convention & RV Expo in Gillette, WY, where I can showcase my adaptability and expertise.
Like my wife, I hope to help you see the beauty of traveling off the beaten path by sharing insights into this lifestyle. In addition to my corporate roles, I also launched our website – Outdoorbits, in 2015 and continue to contribute my knowledge and skills to the present day. And I’ll be completely honest with you—no hiding the truth or sugarcoating the possible challenges.
So, if you want to run away from the busy lifestyle to embrace nature, I’m your guy.”