​​​​An RV furnace is one of the most worthwhile investments you can make for your recreational vehicle. It is a vital part of your RV, especially if you are planning to visit places where heat is often needed.

When deciding which among the RV furnaces today you should choose, there is a great chance that you will be confused between electric and propane-powered ones. In this case, this article will shed some light on what an electric RV furnace and a propane heater can do and how each one works so you can select the right one.

Propane Heaters


Many prefer to use propane heaters than RV furnaces. This especially holds true for those who are already familiar with a propane heater and how convenient it is to use it. The truth is propane heaters are indeed very convenient to use.

All it takes for it to perform its function is to pull the thermostat’s knob based on your preferred temperature. After that, you will just have to relax while the propane performs the remaining tasks.

Another reason why many prefer the use of a propane heater is that it is often incorporated in an RV, which means that you no longer need to install it yourself. It also makes use of a system composed of ducts placed all throughout your RV.

With that, you have an assurance that the heater is capable of providing an even temperature all throughout your vehicle. It should be noted that in most cases, an RV furnace using a propane heater takes around fifteen to thirty seconds from the moment you turned the thermostat on to work.

It has a blower, which will run for around fifteen to thirty seconds before heat will be produced. Once it meets the right temperature, you can expect its burner to shut off automatically. Expect the blower to continue running for a certain period after that.

It should be noted that if you are planning to use an RV propane heater, then be aware that it is not equipped with air filters. With that in mind, it is crucial to keep air flow to a minimum by ensuring that you keep all floor ducts and air vents clear. Make sure that nothing covers up or blocks the floor vents.

Also, take note of the manual shut-off valve found in most RV propane heaters. It is crucial for you to familiarize yourself with it. In case you encounter a problem in making the propane furnace work, then check whether the manual shut-off valve is at the “on” setting.

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Electric RV Furnaces


An electric RV furnace is different from its gas-powered counterpart in the sense that it is completely clean-burning while also being capable of operating at peak efficiency. The good thing about electric furnaces is that it is often a cheaper alternative when it comes to heating your recreational vehicle than propane.

However, take note that this will also be dependent on the RV site’s specific regulations. Note that while there are RV sites that are willing to supply power free of charge, some other locations charge you with an incremental rate daily. With that, you have to figure out if it’s indeed worth the investment.

Also, it should be noted that an electric RV furnace works by providing a specialized heat in the area. This means that there is no need for you to waste energy to warm the whole cabin if what you only need to do is to heat a single specific area.

If you realize that an electric RV furnace is more beneficial for you then it is advisable to learn about your choices in this category and how each one works so you can formulate a sound decision:

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Electric Box Style Heaters – Among the most commonly used types of electric RV furnaces are the electric box style heaters. These refer to small boxy models that rely on a ceramic heating element as well as a fan, which is used in pumping heat outwards. It should be noted that all-electric heaters boast of their 100% efficiency.

With that in mind, you have to check the box style heaters for their specs so you can gather more relevant information regarding their performance, such as their wattage. In most cases, electric heaters provide around 500-1,500 watts.

If you go for the 500-watt heater, then expect it to spend more time heating even a small area than when you are using one, which can draw more power.

Electric Wall Heaters – You can also go for electric wall heaters. What makes it good for use in your RV is that it lets you install several vents all throughout your vehicle. This is important as a means of replicating the results often provided by a ducted propane system.

Make sure, however, that you consult the manufacturer or retailer first prior to choosing this one so you can decide whether you have more than enough space in your vehicle to install the system.

Radiant Electric Heater – Also called infrared heater, the radiant electric heater is also another effective choice if you are looking for an RV furnace that you can power using electricity. This type of heater tends to glow in red when you are using it.

Such allows it to emit infrared heat, which a body can absorb without having to heat up the surrounding air too much. The good thing about this heater is that you can easily purchase it online. It also focuses on providing heat without producing too much noise.


Choosing the best out of the many options for RV furnaces is crucial in staying comfortable within your RV. Take note, however, that the furnaces used in RVs are different from the ones used at home. They use another combustion air blower, supplying a predetermined air volume to a burner chamber as a means of attaining the ignition of the primary burner.

After lighting the flame, the blower supplies air, which helps sustain it. With that in mind, make that there is enough return air to ensure that the furnace will continue to operate at the right temperature.

Last update on 2024-07-22 at 01:35 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API