How To Heat An RV Without Propane In Winter Camping

How to heat an RV without propane

How to heat an RV without propane

While the weather is harsh and the temperature is low, winter camping still looks appealing to a lot of people. And when you got an RV, you can enjoy the peacefulness of the snowy scene while remaining comfortable. But that can only happen if you RV is well – prepared for the trip. One of the most important things to do is to ensure the RV can maintain an acceptable temperature. Naturally, you will need a durable and effective heat source for your vehicle. While propane heater seems to be a good choice, is there another way to make sure the RV is warm?

As the name suggests, propane heaters use propane to generate heat. They burn efficiency vary from 70% to 90%, depend on the models of the heaters. Sometimes, these heaters may or may not require extra electricity to properly operate. But if you still fear that the unburned propane gas may be harmful or potentially dangerous, there are other options. This will article will show you how to heat an RV without propane step – by – step. From better insulation techniques to alternative heat sources, you can find all of them below.

How to heat an RV without propane?

Apply additional insulations to your RV

No matter how good your heater is, it’s meaningless if you can keep the heat inside. While most RVs are advertised to operate flawlessly through the year, the insulation can’t be as good as a house. In order to say comparatively light and mobile, RVs mostly utilize thin and flexible materials. Many RVs window frames are made from metal that easily affected by cold temperature. The sealant for them is not very good either. Same can be said about the doors and hatch vents. You are going to fix all of that now.

  • Wrap the screen door within a layer of shrink plastic

Cheap, effective and easy to perform, this will let you enjoy the sunlight without letting the cold air in. It may shock you that this thin layer of plastic can reliably keep the warm inside your RV. You can apply it in less than an hour and remove it in mere minutes when summer comes. All you need is a pair of scissor, razor blade, hair dryer and Shrink Plastic kits. To allow the plastic to bond better, prepare some sorts of alcohol or cleaning solution to wipe the door surface.

How to heat an RV without propane

The kits usually come with double sided tapes. So when you are done cleaning and the door is dry, simply stretch the tapes along the door edges. After that, remove the backing and press in the plastics onto the tapes. Apply heavy pressure on the plastics for a few minute so they can stick. When the plastics are in, use the blade to slice off any excess part. Don’t worry if you see air pockets and wrinkles, you will solve that later.

After the plastics are nicely tailored after your door, grab the hair dryer. You will need to focus the dryer heat first along the edges then go into the middle portion. Keep the dryer moving at all times. If you stay at one spot for too long, the plastic there may be melted. If you have done everything correctly then the plastics will shrink down. That will solve the wrinkles and air pockets. Now your screen door is much better insulated than before.

  • Process the hatch vent

The roof may contain some of better insulation of the RV but that are only the solid parts. The RV hatch vents covers are usually made from thin plastics pieces. Their ability to keep the cold out is questionable at best. You can deal with this issue by adding another layer of Styrofoam right below the covers. Or even better, purchase hatch vent insulator. Any of them will make sure the heat won’t escape from the RV interior.

Process the hatch vent

  • Insulate the window

Same as the above, substantial amount of heat can escape through the window, especially at night. But by adding an extra a layer of insulation, it can make a real difference. The recommended method here is to attach the window with reflective insulation. It consists of aluminum foils that rebound most of the heat that come into contact with them. This means your heat will be condensed inside the RV hence maintain the ideal temperature. When you want to use them, simply roll down the bind and clamp it in between.

Insulate the window

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A alternative heat source

When you have properly insulated your RV, it’s time to think what kind of heat source you will pick. There are two popular heaters types for an RV: Propane and electric. Exclude the propane, we will take a look at the electric heater. Generally, everything has their pros and cons. This rule also apply to the electric heaters. It’s up to you to decide which model to choose.

Ranging from portable to permanent installation, electric heaters are very effective if you can properly supply them with energy. They don’t have any exhaust fume and got high power efficiency. Yet to operate them all the times means you have to plan your trip so it goes through RV parking lots. The electric demand may force you to hook the RV with shore power from time to time. The operating cost of this option may be considerably more expensive than propane heater


To go winter camping within your warm RV, it’s a pretty good idea. If the RV manages to stay warm and cozy, the trip could be a very enjoyable experience. But if you don’t like heaters run on propane, is there any other way? In that case, you can learn how to heat an RV without propane by reading the above. As long as you can keep the RV insulated and select an effective heat source, you winter camping trip will turn out to be fine.

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