You’ve probably heard the term, “ now you’re cookin’ with gas!” Well, when you need heat for an RV there are a lot of good reasons to not “live better electrically!”

We are all getting pretty tired of being at home. But, traveling usually requires a stay in a hotel…and who knows whether that’s a good idea with all those bleak and dire COVID reports still making the nightly news.

Just like this summer when socially distanced vacations were called for and mandated remote work situations made your home far too small, your RV can come to the rescue!

While many would never dream of having to heat up their campers to enjoy being out of the house at this time of year, a gas heater or furnace is an easy way to make a much needed get-away happen. And, the chance of catching “the virus” is pretty unlikely!

There are pros and cons on portable VS on board gas heating systems, read on to learn a little more.

ON BOARD GAS HEATERS are considered standard equipment with many manufacturers. A gas furnace in your RV provides warmth and also allows you to easily boondock in colder weather. When being off the grid is required or desired, propane works great! And, if your tanks are external, you don’t even have to move your RV when you need a refill.

Often the ducts for this heat source are routed around the pipes, offering further protection to your rig. (like your plumbing). These gas heaters are externally vented, there’s also no problem with moisture build up or carbon monoxide issues.

Sound too good to be true? There are a few downsides to non-portable gas heat in RVs. The fuel does burn quickly and it can be expensive. A gas furnace blower can be noisy and that fan runs off your battery, so you’ll need to run your generator just to power you battery.

PORTABLE GAS HEATERS can be added for additional heat or used as an alternative to built-in units. The advantages to these are that they are inexpensive and require no installation. They are quiet to operate (no fan noise!)
and you won’t need electricity for them to operate (no fan to power!).

They also work great when you just want to heat up one area of your camping unit (like a bathroom).

Small gas portable heaters don’t use as much propane as larger furnaces but, as with all things, there are disadvantages you need to be aware of:

  • Portable gas heaters take up additional room in your right
  • There can be possible safety issues like fire and condensation
  • They need proper ventilation
  • They may not be powerful enough to heat up a large RV if the weather turns super cold.

Additionally, since there is no ducting, you run the risk of damaging your plumbing when temperatures drop too low.

While it is possible to use these tanks off of your RV’s gas system, you’ll need to have that hookup installed. And, a carbon monoxide detector is a MUST with a portable gas unit.

Regardless of which type of heat source you use, know that gas is a great way to allow you to get out and about in a “sit and stay” world.