Best 6 Portable and Fixed 12 Volt RV Heaters

Living in an RV can be a wonderful experience. Unlike popular misconception, you don’t have to give up any of your creature comforts. That means you can cook extravagant meals, have a soft bed to sleep in, and even hot water in your shower. It all comes down to the features you prioritize, and one of the best heating options you should consider for your RV is a 12-volt heater.

This article will help you figure out everything to look out for before buying one. We will also give you our top picks for 12-volt RV heaters, including budget range, durability, and functionality. 

Why buy 12 Volt heaters for your RV?

While most RV’s come with inbuilt heating systems, they are not always sufficient to keep you warm in severely cold climates. Inbuilt systems are plugged into the RV’s propane supply giving them limited mobility. A 12 Volt RV heater is a much more convenient appliance that has portable options allowing you to heat specific portions of your RV more effectively. Users enjoy much more flexibility in the temperature changes as well as heat settings. 

What to look for

Before you can buy your 12-Volt heater, you need to know what to look for. There are several factors you should be considering before you make your choice.

  1. Durability: It is essential to prioritize durability while buying a heater for your RV. Pick a model that is a long-term investment and can take the burden of being toppled around in your moving RV.
  2. Speed: Choose a unit that can heat your space effectively and quickly.
  3. Efficiency: Buy a heater with a high BTU rating that can provide adequate heating for your RV. Heaters with high ratings are effective in larger spaces and provide more uniform heating across your RV. 
  4. Maintenance: While most entry-level heaters can be cleaned and maintained easily, they compromise on functionality. High-level heaters can be more demanding for maintenance but ultimately have more settings and last longer. It is best to find a unit that strikes the perfect balance between the two.
  5. Safety Feature: Never compromise on safety when buying a heating appliance. Look for features such as overheating protection that ensure your safety if you accidentally leave the heater running. Additionally, look for models with automatic fail-safe settings that turn off your heater in case it topples over, which is to be expected in a moving RV.
  6. Power consumption: Always look at power ratings when buying your heater and prioritize units with higher efficiency ratings.

Portable and Fixed 12 Volt RV Heaters

Here is our list of 6 of the best heaters for your RV on the market, including everything you need to know about each model.

  1. Lasko 755320 space heater

This heater packs a punch in a small and compact design at an affordable price. With a 1500 watt energy supply, the Lasko will make you forget about the cold outside. Its key features include an adjustable thermostat, three different settings to heat your vehicle, as well as, a fan for those sweltering summer days. 

Whatever the weather, you’ll be able to keep your RV’s internal temperature at just the right comfort level. You can adjust the temperature between 11 different settings, with two knobs that you can use to change the thermostat, ensuring your room heats evenly.

The functional and compact design lets you place your heaters anywhere around your RV, maximizing its portability. In addition, the Lasko 755320 heater is entirely safe to use indoors with cooling housing and overheating protection, preventing any unwanted accidents.

However, a few things to look out for, the durability of this design is not as good as other models and must be handled with care. Also, there isn’t an automatic shutdown feature, which is why you have to be extra vigilant with turning it off before you leave your RV.

Once handled with care, the Lasko 755320 is an excellent pick if you want an easily portable heater with many adjustable settings.

  1. Lasko Ceramic Adjustable

Lasko has a wide variety of space heaters to choose from suited to different budgets and requirements. In addition, Lasko’s Ceramic Adjustable has two knobs that you can use to easily adjust the mode of the heater and temperature.

One of the top features of this design is its portability, allowing you to move it around your RV and heat specific portions. In addition, its steel casing makes the Lasko Ceramic a durable appliance to invest in for long-term use. Finally, the robust case increases its life span and makes it less prone to wear and tear.

The drawbacks of this model are the ceramic plating, which is not suited for high humidity. So if you are planning to take your RV out to a spot with a humid climate, this might not be the best pick for you. Additionally, it is also not suited to heat bathrooms or kitchens where moisture may cause damage to the ceramic plates.

  1. Ontel Handy Heater

With a minimal consumption of 350 watts of power, the Ontel handy heater is one of the most electricity-friendly heaters on the market. It works for more than 12 hours on low and high heat settings allowing you to create a comfortable environment in your RV.

As the name implies, this handy heater is very easily portable, and its sleek design means you can place it wherever you want without worrying about a bulky tripping hazard. The Ontel Handy heater lets you heat your space in no time.

The robust metal casing of this heater makes it a durable and long-lasting design.

However, a few factors must be considered before investing in this 12-volt heater for your RV. 

Despite a company rating of 250 square feet, the Ontel heater is best suited to smaller spaces and works best in a 100 square feet area. Furthermore, the heater needs to be manually programmed each time used, making it a little less user-friendly.

  1. Bovado USA oscillating space heater

The two-knob configuration makes the Bovado USA a user-friendly, easily adjustable space heater to buy for your RV. The initial knob adjusts the different levels of heat, from high to low, and the second changes the thermostat, allowing you to achieve the perfect cozy environment in your RV. 

This high-quality heater with its durable design will last you for ages. The top-quality materials are used to guarantee that your heater will not melt or overheat if it is left running for long periods. An important safety measure this product has to offer is Positive Temperature. 

Coefficient Heating technology that tackles the issue of overheating. Furthermore, the Bovado’s automatic fail-safe turns the unit off in case it accidentally topples over.

One minor inconvenience that comes with this model is the noise it produces once turned on. The noise may be irritating at night, making it more suited for day use.

  1. RoadPro RPSL-681 Direct hook up Ceramic Heater

This model is one of the biggest heaters available in the market and is best suited to heating larger RVs. However, the RoadPro can quickly heat any space regardless of size.

The RoadPro RPSL must be directly hooked to the battery of the car. This 12V heater requires at least a 25 amp in-line fuse, and it is recommended that you install it in a suspended position. 

It comes with all the required hardware; this heater is intuitive to use and install.

Its easy-to-use dial allows you to adjust temperatures to your liking. In addition, there is a swivel at the bottom of the heater, which allows the user to adjust the direction of the airflow with ease.

  1. Aqua Hot, Cabin Heater AH-200

Considered as one of the top models in the industry, Aqua hot produces some of the very best 12 volt RV heaters on the market. This design ticks all the boxes from durability to efficiency.

Known for its remarkable quality, the Cabin Heater AH-200 comes with many useful features. Its 6000 BTUs per hour and 200 CFM fan output allow it to heat small cabins quickly and effectively. Alongside this, its compact design makes it easy to move around and takes up very little space in your moving home.

The Cabin Heater AH-200 can be used as a portable heater or be fixed to the wall using a wall mount bracket that can rotate 180 degrees.

The only minor downside to this model is the noise it produces once operational.

Final Note

A 12-volt RV heater is one of the first things to invest in before going on your camping trip. Finding a heater that suits you and meets all your requirements can be a tricky task but important. Choose a model that maximizes your comfort on the road with high efficiency and is easy to use.

It must be reinforced that buying a heater that is safe to use should be your top priority. Do not invest in a model that compromises safety features.

Always carry out your research before buying a heater for your RV. Evaluate your needs and make a choice that helps satisfy them all.