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Everything You Need To Know About an Electric RV Furnace

Everything You Need To Know About an Electric RV Furnace

You might already be acquainted with your on-board RV furnace — which probably runs on propane. But do you know that electrical RV furnaces are an accessible various? These local weather management methods may help you keep heat and comfy in your RV even in chilly climes, with out burning costly and fume-emitting propane. In some instances, they’re cheaper and extra environment friendly to run, and they’re additionally nice after-market additions in the event you’re touring in an RV that doesn’t have an on-board propane-powered furnace.

Read on to be taught the whole lot you might want to learn about electrical RV heaters and easy methods to warmth an RV with out propane.

Climate management is necessary. In reality, it’s one of many greatest benefits an RV has over an ordinary car-and-tent touring system, so far as I’m involved. We can’t restrict our travels to solely locations with gentle temperatures if we want to see extra of the world. For this motive, nearly each leisure car comes with a built-in warmth — mostly one which runs on clean-burning propane. So in the event you’re questioning, “Is my RV furnace gas or electric?” the reply is nearly definitely fuel (although the unit might use electrical energy to ignite, and you might also have an electrical heater on board as a part of your HVAC system).

While conventional RV furnaces don’t run on electrical energy alone, an more and more excessive variety of RV house owners are opting to interchange their propane-fueled heaters with ones that run on various gas sources — or no less than add in some further heating choices.

An electrical RV furnace or transportable heater is essentially the most commonly-used various. To assist readers select between a traditional propane heater and an electrical RV furnace, this text will examine and distinction the strengths and weaknesses of each heating methods and additional profile essentially the most prevalent choices of electrical RV furnaces.

Rather than buy a brand new and separate RV electrical heater, you could be questioning if you can also make do with what you’ve acquired by changing your fuel furnace to run on electrical energy as an alternative. Unfortunately, normally, such a conversion will not be potential — and even in the event you may, the price of updating all the mandatory components would find yourself being costlier than a plain-old alternative.

Read on to be taught extra concerning the various kinds of RV electrical warmth accessible in the marketplace.

Read more: RV Electric Heater Vs. Propane: Which Is Better For Your Camper And Why

Chances are you have already got a propane-powered heater on board your rig. So what’s incorrect with holding it?

Well, in some methods, it’s an ideal gadget to have in your facet — but it surely’s acquired its drawbacks, too. Here are the professionals and cons of propane RV heaters.


  • Propane heaters most definitely have their virtues. The common person will discover the system acquainted and handy — merely pull the knob of the thermostat to your required temperature and chill out whereas the fuel does the remaining. The familiarity of this know-how comes from years of use, and with these a few years comes a level of security and reliability which will, in some instances, outdo that of an electrical furnace of RV. Simply put, the know-how has been tried and examined for years to be as protected and efficient as potential.
  • In addition, most RVs that include a built-in propane heater included a system of ducts positioned all through the car. This means a propane heater normally gives for uniform temperatures all through an RV. For most customers, this can be a optimistic, however others may desire their warmth to be extra localized in case, say, you like it cooler than your mates or different members of your loved ones.


  • Most propane furnaces are normally solely 70% environment friendly, or even perhaps much less. Essentially, this implies the remaining gas is wasted as a consequence of systematic flaws, and doesn’t do something to heat up an RV. Efficiency is additional sacrificed as a result of aforementioned ducted structure of those heaters, which makes it not possible to warmth one small space at a time. These heaters nearly invariably waste propane, in addition to money and time spent to refuel.
  • Also, the furnace heats the complete rig, and a few individuals would favor to warmth solely a small consolation zone the place they at the moment are seated, utilizing a lot much less propane. Not solely does extra propane use waste cash, however in some conditions it’s inconvenient and time-consuming to replenish the propane provide, offering an incentive to make your propane final so long as potential. Also, in some RV Parks, electrical energy used for warmth is “free” in that it’s included within the worth paid for the campsite, whereas propane is rarely free. The energy required by such a heater may exhaust an RV battery fairly shortly as nicely.

David E. Damouth of explains:

All ducted furnaces depend upon a 12v. fan to flow into sizzling air. The fan in my first RV drew 7 amps from the battery. Another RVer with an even bigger rig and a better output furnace studies that his unit attracts 11 amps. On a chilly evening when the fan might run for a lot of hours, this load, mixed with different typical 12 v. energy makes use of, might fully discharge a typical battery in a single evening, if the RV will not be related to shore energy.

In distinction to their gas-powered counterparts, electrical RV furnaces are all clean-burning and function on peak effectivity. Relying upon electrical energy to warmth your RV will usually be cheaper than utilizing propane, however that relies on the particular laws of your RV website. Sometimes websites present energy at no cost. Other areas will cost an incremental value per day, so that you’ll should calculate the comparability in pricing, maybe based mostly on RV websites you go to repeatedly, to determine which saves you extra.

Furthermore, electrical furnaces are sometimes very specialised within the space they warmth — like a fan, however venting sizzling air as an alternative of cool — so that you needn’t waste power warming your complete cabin once you solely want the warmth in a single particular space.

Read more: 6 Best Ways to Heat RVs & Campers (With Prices)

The transportable boxy designs — nearly the polar reverse of the duct design of propane heaters — has its drawbacks as nicely. Often these boxy electrical heaters have built-in safeguards to stop overheating or tip-overs. But they’ll occur. Thus, there’s a danger of carelessness inflicting burns, which wouldn’t be a danger with an ordinary propane-powered furnace. Noisiness might also be a priority (although propane-fueled heaters aren’t silent both), although this relies upon which mannequin you buy. Read product evaluations to seek out out what different customers suppose.

Electric Models

Let’s discuss your selections in electrical RV furnaces.

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Electric Box-Style Heaters The most typical fashions are all small boxy fashions relying upon a ceramic heating factor and a fan used to pump the warmth outwards. Don’t confuse ceramic heaters with propane-powered catalytic heaters, which run a lot larger in worth. Some fashions will boast about excessive or most effectivity, however that is meaningless.

All electrical heaters are 100% environment friendly, so test the specs for extra significant info on the heater’s efficiency, just like the wattage. Most electrical heaters have a wattage someplace between 500 and 1500 watts. Obviously, a 500 watt heater will take longer to warmth a smaller space than extra highly effective opponents.

These electrical heaters will hardly ever value greater than about $50 apiece, their worth far exceeding the extra all-encompassing propane heaters. A number of well-rated choices embody the 1500W Lasko heater (with 900w low-heat and fan solely settings), their 1500W oscillating tower heater and the Vornado vortex heater for $51.15 (with three warmth settings from 750W to 1500W).

Electric Wall Heaters

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Beyond these so-called dice heaters, you could select to put in an in-wall electrical furnace just like the Cadet 240V, 1500 watt wall heater or the 1500 Watt Marley wall heater. The mannequin sells for greater than $100, making it costlier than dice heaters. The profit is that you would be able to set up a number of vents all through your car to copy the outcomes of a ducted propane system in the event you want, although you could have to test with a retailer or producer to seek out out if in case you have the house to put in their methods.

Read more: RV Propane Heater vs Electric: Whats Right For Your RV?

Radiant Heaters

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Another electrical possibility is the infrared heater, or radiant electrical heater. These heaters glow pink whereas in use, emitting an infrared warmth absorbed by a physique with out considerably heating the encircling air. These fashions, which could be simply present in on-line shops, are nice for focusing warmth and so they make no noise. Most of those fashions boast a 1500W output. Try the Dr. Infrared Portable Space Heater for just a little bit over $100, in the event you suppose these advantages are price the additional value.

Let’s end out this put up by going again over some RV electrical furnace FAQs.

Is my RV furnace fuel or electrical?

While your RV’s furnace might make the most of electrical energy to ignite or to manage the thermostat, nearly all onboard RV furnaces are primarily run on liquid propane — which is a reasonably environment friendly gas supply, all issues thought-about. Still, some campers want to convert their heating supply to electrical energy with a view to scale back prices or emissions, or just to keep away from having to journey with LP fuel.

Do RV heaters run on electrical energy?

While onboard RV furnaces don’t run solely on electrical energy, the heater that’s constructed into your RV’s HVAC system does — and there are a number of electrical heaters in the marketplace you’ll be able to add to your RV’s inside for additional heating.

Can I convert my propane furnace to electrical?

No — and even in the event you may, it could be cheaper to easily substitute the unit with electrical choices.

What are my choices for an electrical camper furnace?

You can select from box-style heaters with ceramic heating parts, infrared radiant heaters, and wall models, as lined within the put up above.

Good luck in your seek for the proper heater, and should all of your travels be as heat and comfy as you want!

Read more What cost more to heat a travel trailer – Indochina Airlines

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