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6 Best RV Propane Heaters: Which Portable Heater Is Best For Your Camper?

Finding the best RV propane heater doesn’t have to be a daunting task. In fact, there are only a few key factors you need to keep in mind while shopping around.


A portable propane heater inside your RV is vital when it comes to your winter travels and those chilly nights on the road.

Having the right one can really make or break your RVing experience when you need that extra warm and toasty feeling.

But, of course, you always must factor in size, safety, and heat output when adding a portable heater to your packing list. 

Obviously, safety first. Always ensure you have proper ventilation and a carbon monoxide detector, just in case. 

We tested several portable propane heaters for indoor use for your RV and came up with a list of our absolute favorites.

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Our top pick is the Mr. Heater Buddy Radiant Heater with 9,000 BTU. It is incredibly efficient, safe, and super portable. These are all important factors when choosing something to take along with you on the road. 

No matter which portable propane heater you choose, including one in your camping gear is a good idea, especially if you plan on taking adventures in colder climates and winter months.

Here we review the 6 best propane heaters for RVs, suitable for various lifestyles and budgets. 

best rv propane heaters cover

At A Glance: 6 Best RV Propane Heaters

bestMr. Heater Buddy Radiant Heater 1. Mr. Heater Buddy Radiant Heater
  • Overall Best RV Propane Heater for Campers
  • 9,000 BTU
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Mr. Heater Little Buddy 2. Mr. Heater Little Buddy
  • Best Small Propane Heater
  • 3,800 BTU
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Gasland Propane Radiant Heater 3. Gasland Propane Radiant Heater
  • Most Powerful Portable Propane Heater
  • 18,000 BTU
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Camco Olympian Wave 3 Catalytic Heater (3,000 BTU) 4. Camco Olympian Wave 3 Catalytic Heater
  • Most Budget-Friendly Propane Heater for Campervans
  • 3,000 BTU
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Mr. Heater Vent-Free 10,000 BTU Radiant Propane Heater, Multi 5. Mr. Heater Vent-Free Radiant Propane Heater
  • Quietest Portable Propane Heater
  • 10,000 BTU
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BLUU Propane Heater for Outdoor and Indoor Use 10,000 BTU with Thermostat, Portable Gas Heaters Great for Camping, Patio, Tent & Garage, Tip-Over & Overheat Protection for Safe CSA Compliance (Orange) 6. BLUU Propane Heater
  • Best Wall-Mounted Propane Heater for RVs
  • 20,000 BTU
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Overall Best Propane Heater for Campers

Mr. Heater Buddy Radiant Heater

The Mr. Heater brand is one of the most popular portable RV heaters on the market, and for a good reason. They are reasonably priced, efficient, and safe.

This Mr. Heater, in particular, is perfect for just about any size camper out there, as it reliably heats a 225 square-foot radius in 20 minutes or less. 

The grey color of the unit is versatile and goes with any design aesthetic. At just under 9 pounds, it’s relatively easy to pick up and move to wherever you need your heat.

With a fold-down handle, it is 15 inches tall, 13.4 inches wide, and 7.7 inches thick, making it an easy fit in most areas of your RV.

The Oxygen Depletion Sensor (ODS) and the accidental tip-over safety shut-off made us feel safe when using it indoors. It also works perfectly outdoors.

While stargazing under the cold, clear sky in mid-thirty-degree weather, it definitely kept our feet and legs extra warm. 

We recommend getting the 1lb to 20lb propane adapter hose when you need heat for longer periods. The 1lb propane tanks typically only supply 4-5 hours of heat on low and around 2.5 hours on high.

This heater may not operate at elevations of 7,000 feet or higher.

Mr. Heater products prohibit the use of unauthorized attachments and accessories. So when purchasing additional products for the heater, ensure they are official, or your warranty will be void.

What We Liked

  • Auto shut-off for safety 
  • Heats your space quickly 
  • Small and versatile

What We Didn’t Like

  • It needs a hose adapter and a larger propane tank to run it longer.
  • Must purchase Mr. Heater attachments and accessories 

2. Mr. Heater Little Buddy (3,800 BTU)

Best Small Propane Heater

Mr. Heater Little Buddy (3,800 BTU)

If you are looking for something compact, lightweight, and easy to use, look no further than the Mr. Heater Little Buddy. Ideal for a small to midsize RV, this little guy can heat up to a 95 square-foot area in no time at all.

Standing at 18 inches tall with the base attached to the propane tank and the output sitting at an upward 45-degree angle, it is compact.

This heater can handle a 28-footer with no problem, warming up the space quickly and efficiently.

This heater is so portable that you can even attach it to your backpack when trekking into the woods for a fun, overnight tenting adventure.

This heater is only compatible with 1lb propane tanks, so make sure you pack extra if you plan to use it often. You can get about 5 to 6 hours of heat from one tank.

When setting it up on your RV, one thing to look out for is to make sure it is standing on a level surface, as it is somewhat top-heavy.

It has the same safety features as its big brother, Mr. Heater Buddy, like the low oxygen sensor and tip-over auto shut off. As always, it’s still best to use caution when positioning portable heaters.

What We Liked

  • Compact
  • Super portable
  • Great for small to medium spaces

What We Didn’t Like

  • Having to use extra caution indoors since it is top-heavy 
  • Can only use 1lb propane tanks 

3. Gasland Propane Radiant Heater (18,000 BTU)

Most Powerful Portable Propane Heater

GASLAND MHA18B Propane Heater, 18,000 BTU Warm Area up to 450 sq. ft, Portable LP Gas Heater for Garages, Workshops and Construction Sites, Ultra Quiet Propane Radiant heater with LP Regulator Hose

If you need something that will take care of your entire RV, then this Gasland Propane Radiant Heater by Gasland Outdoors is the one for you. The even warmth it gave our RV was so comfortable!

Using the three-heat setting, this large heater can pump out 6,000, 12,000, and 18,000 BTUs, packing more than enough power to heat your entire rig.

It can heat up to 450 square feet at the highest setting and has built-in rolling wheels with an easy-carry handle.

This heater requires a 20lb liquid propane tank to operate but will run for nearly 70 hours on one tank at its highest setting. It also runs quietly for its size, so no worries about not sleeping soundly near the unit.

This heater also works outdoors perfectly and can almost rival (and beat, if we’re being honest) the heat of a good old-fashioned campfire. It is perfect to use outside after a rainy day if your firewood needs time to dry out too.

This heater has the standard safety features as most do (low oxygen sensor and tip-over shut off) and may not operate above an altitude of 4,500 feet.

This unit stands at 21.7 inches tall and 15 inches wide and weighs 17.4 pounds without the tank. We recommend not using it in a smaller RV due to the size and output of heat.

What We Liked

  • Works quickly and quietly 
  • Great price for performance
  • Wheels are a bonus for maneuverability 

What We Didn’t Like

  • Not great for higher altitudes
  • Heavy
  • Not suitable for smaller spaces

4. Camco Olympian Wave 3 Catalytic Heater (3,000 BTU)

Most Budget-Friendly Propane Heater for Campervans

Camco Olympian Wave 3 Catalytic Heater (3,000 BTU)

This little portable heater is perfect for the smaller-sized RV. With its two settings (low at 1,600 BTU or high at 3,000 BTU), it is sure to warm you up where you need it the most. It covers up to 130 square feet, and it is portable plus wall mountable.

It weighs in at only 9 pounds and measures 14.5 inches tall, 11.75 inches wide, and 4.88 inches thick.

This type of heater is a catalytic heater, which means it doesn’t use an open flame to heat but uses a process of propane, oxygen, and catalyst.

This is not only a highly efficient way to heat but is also much safer because there is no open flame. It also features a safety shut-off in case of a tip-over and runs completely silent. 

You can use this heater outdoors, but we do not recommend it for heating more than two people while being used outside.

It’s also safe to use in small spaces, like vans, so this would be an excellent option for those with a campervan. The Camco Wave 3 is a great little portable heater for your RV, outdoor hangout session, or inside your tent!

What We Liked

  • Compact 
  • Great heat output
  • Runs silent

What We Didn’t Like

  • Feels a little cheap
  • Not the best for outdoor usage 

5. Mr. Heater Vent-Free Radiant Propane Heater (10,000 BTU)

Quietest Portable Propane Heater

Mr. Heater Vent-Free 10,000 BTU Radiant Propane Heater, Multi

Yes, we have another Mr. Heater Propane Heater on this list. We weren’t lying when we said they’re the industry leader in creating portable, safe, and efficient heater products.

With its sleek design, radiant heat output, and wall mounting option, the Mr. Heater Vent-Free Radiant Heater is a top contender as a staple for your RV heating experience.

This unit stands at 22.5 inches tall, is 19.75 inches wide, and 11.25 inches from front to back.

Because of its size, it is slightly less portable than some of the other options on our list, but you can still move it around. You can also wall-mount this heater to make it a more permanent part of your RV.

Running on its highest setting of 10,000 BTUs, it will burn for about 9 hours on 1 gallon of propane. This unit is a radiant heater, so it warms the objects around it instead of the air. This is more efficient because it isn’t heating empty space. 

Unlike most Mr. Heater products, this one does not feature a tip-over shut-off valve, so you must be extra careful if this is the heater you choose to place in your RV. It can also only be used at elevations less than 4,500 feet. 

What We Liked

  • Efficient radiant heat
  • Can be wall mounted

What We Didn’t Like

  • Does not feature a tip-over shut off valve
  • Not as portable as other options 

6. BLUU Propane Heater (10,000 BTU)

Best Wall-Mounted Propane Heater for RVs

BLUU Propane Heater for Outdoor and Indoor Use 10,000 BTU with Thermostat, Portable Gas Heaters Great for Camping, Patio, Tent & Garage, Tip-Over & Overheat Protection for Safe CSA Compliance (Orange)

This portable BLUU Propane Heater provides lots of extra warmth and can easily heat up a 500 square-foot space.

This particular unit is also energy efficient – once it reaches your desired temperature, the heater reduces its core temperature. Choose your temperature with the adjustable thermostat with convenient knobs. 

This heater is also equipped with an automatic shut-off, which will turn off the heater if the oxygen is too low or it tips over.

It also features a grill on the front, preventing objects from touching the hot elements of the heater. This is especially great if you have pets or young children. 

The BLUU Propane heater measures 18.7 inches by 12.4 inches by 19.5 inches with an easy-grip handle, making it extremely portable and easy to transport.

It was very easy to carry around the rig to heat different areas or bring outdoors on a colder evening. 

What We Liked

  • Very portable 
  • Energy-efficient heating 

What We Didn’t Like

  • More expensive

How to Choose the Right Portable Propane Heater

When deciding which portable propane heater is right for you, it’s essential to consider all factors. The most significant features we looked at when testing these heaters were the maximum and minimum BTUs, portability of the unit, price, and safety measures.

Some of these factors may be more important to you than others, but we found that the Mr. Heater Buddy Radiant Heater was our favorite.

Here are some of the factors you should consider when conducting your research. 

BTUs

The heat output of a propane unit is measured in BTUs or British Thermal Units. Each BTU is the equivalent to the heat it would take to increase the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit.

BTUs can vary widely on propane heaters.

Therefore, it’s essential to consider the size of the space you would like to heat and how many BTUs are outputted on each heat setting. 

Portability 

Since you’ll be taking this heater on the road in your RV or campervan, you want to look for a propane heater that is easily portable and lightweight.

Many of the options on our list are small in size, lightweight, and feature carrying handles. If portability isn’t as important to you, larger units may be heavier but heat faster.

There are also wall-mounted propane heaters if you’d prefer a more permanent fixture. 

Budget

The price is always important to consider. You want to choose a propane heater that will get the job done and will not need to be replaced anytime soon.

You also want to pick a highly efficient heater. Nothing is worse than trying to stay warm with a heater that doesn’t work well.

All our top picks are highly reviewed, with some being more expensive than others.

Safety

The most important factor, in our opinion, is safety. When using portable propane heaters, ventilation is extremely important. If there isn’t proper ventilation, the burner inside the heater uses oxygen in the air and replaces it with carbon dioxide.

Many propane heaters on this list have low-oxygen sensors, which is a great feature. 

Propane leaks can lead to deadly fires. So, while you might smell a gas leak during the day and get an early warning of a problem, this may not be the case while you sleep.

Install a propane detector and keep it well maintained to serve as an early warning of a problem. 

The heater will automatically shut off if low oxygen is detected in the air. For the area around your heater to be well-ventilated, it is a good idea to leave a window cracked or open a door to allow airflow in your space.

Better airflow also helps your heater work more efficiently because burning propane produces moisture, creating condensation in your space. 

Burning propane creates carbon monoxide, a silent, odorless, colorless, and deadly gas. Therefore, excellent ventilation and a carbon monoxide detector are critical to your safety when using a propane heater inside an RV. 

Many of these picks also feature the tip-over shut-off, which gives peace of mind, especially if you have kids or travel with your pets. Most of the smaller portable propane heaters have this safety feature.

If you have a larger heater and are concerned, you can simply bolt your heater to the floor. There are also some wall-mounted options available on our list. 

Also read: How To Heat An RV Without Propane

In Conclusion

Portable RV propane heaters inside your RV are a great accessory if you want to heat your rig efficiently. Most of the picks on our list work really quickly, can heat large spaces, and run silently.

They are also all portable, perfect for taking along on camping adventures, using inside your RV, or using outside on a colder evening. 

Having a portable propane heater also means you don’t have to stop using your RV when the temperature drops. You can continue to travel and camp during the winter months or take trips to new destinations in cold weather climates.

A good diesel heater is one great option for heating your camper and for more serious RVers who want to live in their camper in winter. Adding a propane heater to your kit list will be a bonus when the temperatures plummet, and you need a little extra warmth.

Camping in the warm weather is great, but camping in the cold weather is also a thrilling yet cozy experience. 

After considering all of the options, the Mr. Heater brand, in general, has the highest ratings across the board, and any of their products would work perfectly to meet your needs.

Our top pick is the Mr. Heater Buddy Radiant Heater with 9,000 BTU. It’s the best RV propane heater and a happy medium of being not too big, not too small, not too hot, and not too cold.

Please share your experience of using an RV propane heater! We would love to hear from you.