Heating an RV is very different to a heating a home. While modern RVs boast some impressive insulation techniques, they simply can’t compare to those used to insulate your house. So even the best RV is going need some extra attention paid to the type of heater that you intend using.
Another big factor when considering an RV heater is that of the electric power supply. An RV gives you the freedom to go where you please and this means there will be times when you find yourself far from an electric power supply. Even in a campsite that offers an electric hookup for your RV, an electric heater powerful enough to keep your RV snug and cozy during a really cold spell can draw a lot of current. There’s a limit to how many amps you can load onto an RV power socket, so electric is not always the best option. The same can be said for generator power, these are also limited to their running watt output.
What Type of Heater Would Be Best for a RV?
So what is the best RV heater? The answer to this question is as varied as the people who use them. My recommendation would be propane, though you may have issues at very high altitudes because the air is thinner as you go higher and this means that your propane RV heater isn’t going to get the same oxygen supply as it would at low altitudes. It’s not a given that a propane RV heater won’t work at higher altitudes but it may not work as well. I’ve heard of many people using a propane RV heater high up in the Rockies without a problem.
So if you’re ready to get a propane heater to make camping in cold weather a pleasant experience, your next question is going to be: which is the best propane RV heater? Again, you’ll get many different answers to this question. Though, if popular opinion is anything to go by then the Mr. Heater MH18B Portable Propane Heater is not only the best propane option, but most will say it’s the best RV heater – period.
Mr. Heater MH18B Portable Propane Heater
This article is going to uncover the facts by reviewing the Mr. Heater MH18B “Big Buddy”. There must a good reason why this portable propane RV heater is said to be the most popular in North America. I’ve read through many customer reviews and it certainly is a well-loved little heater. It’s just as popular among people wanting to heat garages, cabins and even tents. I presume this is because it’s such a tough portable heater. It can be taken anywhere and won’t easily be damaged when transporting it, no matter what the terrain is like.
The Mr. Heater MH18B is a larger version of the MH9BX and provides twice the heating, making it the ideal heater for full-sized RVs and cabins up to 450 square feet in size. Two large ceramic burner tiles provide a whopping 18000 BTU per hour at the highest setting. This is quite remarkable from a heater that weighs a little over 17-pounds and measures only 18” X 18.5” X 11.4”. This compact size makes it an ideal RV heater and won’t be in the way. Storage and portability is also a bonus. Adding to its portable design are a tough shock resistant exterior housing, an excellent carrying handle and a durable heavy-duty grid protecting the heater tiles. This RV heater is built for the rough conditions that come with camping and it can be used both indoors and outdoors.
It’s made to be user-friendly. A large control knob ignites the heater automatically and provides you with four positions: pilot light only; Low (4500 BTU/Hour); Medium (9000 BTU/Hour) and High (18000 BTU/Hour). At the lowest setting, you’ll be burning about a quarter pound of propane per hour. It can accommodate two 1-pound portable propane tanks onboard which will provide heating for 8-hours at low; 4-hours at medium and 1-hour at high. You can also connect a hose to the swivel regulator fitting on the heater, allowing you to use larger propane tanks for longer heating times. The operating manual tells you to fit a filter to the hose, but if you’re using the Mr. Heater hose assembly (available as an accessory), this won’t be necessary. The MH18B RV heater has on-board for storage for a hose of up to 12-feet long.
Heating is assisted by a blower fan which is virtually inaudible. This is really great – fans can be very distracting in the confined space of an RV. This fan can run off 4-D-cell batteries or you can use the optional AC adapter and run it off mains power or a generator.
With any heater, you’re going to want to know that it’s safe. This is probably more important in an RV where the heater can be knocked over more easily and ventilation isn’t that great with the windows closed. The rubber feet give it a sturdy base to stand on and the heater will switch off if it’s accidentally tipped over. It also has a low-oxygen shutoff (ODS) safety feature. So it’s probably the safest RV heater you can get.
I think that just about says it all, this is a truly magnificent RV heater. It’s versatile and can be used anywhere. It’s portable, extremely powerful and as tough as one needs an RV heater to be. It’s also one of the safest propane heaters available. I don’t know about you, but I’m certainly convinced that this is the ideal RV heater – whichever way you look at it.