Electricity is essential, even when you go on a camping trip. Most RVs and campers use electricity for things such as cooking and heating. However, if you cannot use electricity in your camper, is there a way to heat a camper? Yes, there is! In this article, we’ll discuss the ways a camper can be heated without electricity. So, let’s start!
6 Ways To Heat a Camper Without Electricity
When camping in the middle of winter, one of the primary things is keeping your camper warm. If you do not have electricity available, it can be a problem, especially in your RV. In the next lines, find out how you can heat your camper without electricity.
1. Use a Propane Furnace
Many campers have propane furnaces as part of their standard equipment, which is an excellent way to heat a camper without electricity. If your RV has propane furnaces, you will not be cold during a camping trip. However, since propane is the fuel used for heating, is the electricity needed? Let’s find out!
Do Propane Furnaces Need Electricity To Work?
Propane furnaces need only a small amount of electricity to operate. They require electricity only to start the heating process and operate the fans. A classic RV 12V battery is enough to power it.
It can run for around 12 hours when connected to a battery. After it is empty, simply replace it with another one while this one is charging. That way, your camper will be comfortably warm throughout the day.
If you are looking to sell a camper, read: How To Sell A Camper Fast? Complete Guide
2. Use a Portable Heater
Most campers usually use portable propane heaters in the winter. These are simple heating elements that are very efficient and easy to use. They are a good investment because they can be used in various situations, even when you are at home.
However, you must know that this type of heater releases carbon monoxide during operation, a poisonous gas. Therefore, a proper ventilation system must be installed to ensure that carbon monoxide does not accumulate in the camper to the point where it becomes fatal.
Another safety measure you can take is to install a carbon monoxide detector. If you want to learn more about propane in RV, be sure to read: How Long Does Propane Last in an RV? Therefore, propane portable space heaters should be used with great caution.
Follow these recommendations:
- The propane space heater in the camper should always be positioned so that it is not located next to flammable materials. After placing the device, move all flammable objects away from its immediate vicinity a few feet.
- Never leave the propane space heater unattended. This means that it should be turned off when the heater is not used.
- When using a space heater in a camper, you must always have a fire extinguisher ready. Due to carelessness, flammable material may come into contact with the heater, and a fire may break out. You must always be ready to react quickly in such situations.
- To ensure that carbon monoxide does not accumulate inside the camper, ensure good ventilation of the space.
- It is good for the space heater to have pauses in its operation. That way, you’ll lower the risk of overheating.
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3. Turn The Heater In Your Vehicle
You can always heat your camper with an already-installed heating system. This is done by connecting the cabin to the camper’s interior. This is, of course, the most expensive way of heating that will not take long, but if you find yourself in a cold situation in the middle of the night, in the forest, it is a good solution.
However, you must know that this will NOT keep you warm all night. At one point, your vehicle will run out of fuel, and the heating will turn off. Tip, when using this method, always pay attention to the fuel so as not to run out of it.
4. Use Quality Bedding For A Bed
When camping in winter, the biggest challenge is to keep the heat inside the camper at night while you sleep. We all know that it is not recommended to leave space heaters unattended.
So the most important question to ask is how do you keep your bed warm while you sleep? These are some of the methods you can use:
- Flannel sheets: Flannel sheets on the bed are an excellent choice for winter camping. They will keep you warm better than standard cotton sheets.
- Hot water bottles: Fill them with hot water and place them in the bed, under the bedding. It will help you a lot to warm your cold feet and keep the heat inside the bed for a long time.
- Thermal sleeping bags: Even if you are not sleeping under the open sky or in a tent, on cold winter nights inside of the camper, use a thermal sleeping bag. Place it in bed and put a blanket on top of it.
- Disposable heating pads: These heating pads are a great solution if you want to warm up your bed during sleep. Pads won’t keep you warm all night, but combined with the other bed heating methods we mentioned, they will serve you well.
- Down comforters: Place down comforters on the thermal sheets, and your bed will be warm all night, even if you completely turn off the heating. Down comforters retain heat very well.
When you cannot heat your camper at night without exposing yourself to too much risk, it is recommended that you focus on the bed and make it as warm as possible.
5. Insulate Your Camper
Although at first, you can hardly imagine that you can warm up in the camper without a heating system. However, this is possible if you insulate the camper well, even if you only use the heater occasionally. Here’s how you can make sure your camper is well-insulated and that you will not freeze in it in the winter:
- Regularly check the caulking at the joints in the camper, and replace the caulking stripes when you notice gaps or rot.
- Weather strips should also be regularly checked and replaced when you notice that they are not performing well. Gaps and holes that they cover should always be closed.
- Put foil-reflective insulated panels on your windows. That way, you’ll retain heat inside the camper and heat it up faster.
- Insulation should be placed on the camper’s floors. Thick, soft rugs are the ideal solution for this move. In addition to preventing heat loss through the floor, your feet will always be warm.
- The cold air that does not allow the camper to generate heat often comes through the gap under the front door. Close it with the help of a rolled towel or blanket.
If you are using a tent on your camping trip, be sure to read: 7 Safe Tent Heating Ideas That Work.
6. Adding a Wood Stove
The last option is to add a wood stove to a camper. However, this solution can be very effective and budget-friendly if you plan to spend the whole winter in one location. You can find different types of wood stoves on the market at reasonable prices, and heating a camper with wood is much cheaper than using electricity or propane.
We researched which wood stove would be a good solution for heating a camper and concluded that the Cubic Mini Wood Stove is an excellent choice and can fit well into any camper. It is a 12″ square stove that is made specifically for heating spaces such as RVs or boat cabins. It can successfully heat a space of 150 square feet.
However, installing this stove in a camper always opens the issue of safety. When installing a wood stove, you must carefully fit all the parts. During the use of the stove, remove all flammable materials, such as textiles and paper.
Here you can see how this is done:
Also, the space must have high-quality ventilation when the camper heats with a wood stove. Otherwise, there could be an accumulation of carbon monoxide. This should be avoided because it is fatal.
Having a wood stove in a camper certainly has its advantages. By using one, the camper can be heated really well, and it certainly provides a great feeling.
If you decide on this option, be very careful when installing and using the stove. It is wise to place a mat made of fire-resistant material under the lower surface of the stove.
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Many campers love winter adventures. However, if this means that you will not have an electricity connection at your disposal, you must prepare well. If you plan to go on a camping trip, you need to plan well in advance how you will keep warm.
Days, and especially nights, can be freezing in the wild! Propane or small portable electric space heaters are the best solutions in this case. Also, it is recommended to insulate the camper well and to pay special attention to the heating at night while you are sleeping. I hope that this article has helped you and that you have learned a lot.