Everything You Need To Know About an Electric RV Furnace

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If you’re staying in your RV for any amount of time…or if you’re traveling anywhere slightly chilly, you’re going to appreciate your RV furnace. It makes hopping out of bed in the morning (or in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom!) much more pleasant. But what kind of heater do you want?

Traditionally, RV furnaces run on propane. However, in recent years people have been exploring alternative fuels, with the most common of these being the electric RV furnace. If you’re thinking of investing in an RV electric furnace, here’s what you need to know.

Are Propane Heaters Better?

There’s a reason propane heaters are so popular. They’re easy. They’re convenient. They’ve been around for years. Also, most RVs have ducted propane heaters, which pipe air throughout your motorhome, allowing even heating throughout.

On the other hand, most propane furnaces are 70% efficient, or even less. Those wonderful ducts do run your air evenly, but you lose heat in the process. Also, your furnace is going to heat up your entire rig. Unless you have people in every area, you may not want or need the whole thing heated – you may want to save fuel and power by just heating one small area. Finally, a lot of RV parks include electricity in the fee you pay for your campsite, whereas propane is an added cost.

Are Electric RV Furnaces Better?

An electric furnace for RV is clean-burning and operates at peak efficiency. If you’re at a campsite that includes electricity, it’s going to be much cheaper to operate an electric RV furnace than a propane one. An RV electric furnace will also concentrate just on the area you want to heat, instead of the entire area of your rig, so you won’t waste energy heating unused spaces.

Electric Furnace Safety

Electric RV heaters usually have built-in safeguards to prevent overheating and tipping, but it can happen if you’re not careful. Be sure your furnace is secured and watch small children at all times.

Types of Electric RV Furnaces

Box-Style electric RV furnaces

The most common models of RV electric furnaces are small boxy models that have a ceramic heating element and fan used to pump heat out. You’ll want to check the wattage of your heater – most are between 500-1500 watts. A 500-watt heater is going to take much longer to heat an area than a higher watt heater. These heaters are fairly inexpensive – much cheaper than propane heaters. The 1500W Lasko heater is under $30, the 1500W oscillating tower heater is slightly more, and the Vornado vortex heater is the priciest but has three heat settings from 750W-1500W.

Electric Wall Heaters 

Another option is an electric wall heater – they’re more expensive, but you can have multiple vents throughout your rig like a ducted propane system. The Cadet 240V 1500 watt wall heater and the Marley 1500 watt wall heater are both good options.

Radiant Heaters

A third option is an infrared heater – also known as a radiant electric heater. They glow red when in use, and emit an infrared heat that’s absorbed by a body without significantly heating the surrounding air. You can find them online, and they are noiseless and great for focusing heat in one area. The Dr. Infrared Portable Space Heater is one great option – more expensive than the other two, but perhaps a great fit for your needs!

There you have it – while propane RV heaters are a great way to heat your space, electric RV heaters are another great option to investigate!

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