Do RV Furnaces Run On Electricity?

You might also be aware of your vehicle’s onboard furnace, which is most definitely propane-powered. You will be interested to know that electric furnaces are possible as well. Warm and cozy propane-free RV climate control systems are available. RVs with onboard furnaces can have economical, after-market additions; but, they are generally more expensive and less reliable to operate.

Continue reading for more information on electric heaters and to heat an RV.

RV Furnaces and Electricity

The quick response is that, yes, of course, they need the energy to operate. In summary, after all, electricity is needed for furnaces to operate. They need to be sparked, turned on, and heated to start. Without fuel, you would not be able to operate some kind of furnace.

This is like any home fireplace. When the electricity is cut off, the furnace will not work. If no power is available, there would be no heat.

Bottom line: All RVs have either an electric heater that can plug into a socket or require a generator, and some may use batteries for power.

For possible reference, some RVs come with propane furnaces, and some others have electronic ones. Propane furnaces produce heat, while electric furnaces use components.

Even then, a propane furnace takes electricity to work. The need to control fuel intake, heat pumping and heat dissipation are all aspects of power.

 Is a furnace fueled by electricity?

 Keeping the correct temperature is critical. On the other hand, RVs have one of the greatest benefits for me. If we want to see the globe, we can’t restrict our trips to destinations with moderate temperatures. For these purposes, nearly all leisure vehicles have an internal heater. it will operate on propane.

Although propane-fueled heaters are not the only RVs to use, a growing amount of conventional ones are being converted to ones that are.

The most commonly-used solution is an electric furnace or portable heater. For your ease, this post would contrast the strengths and disadvantages of both traditional and electric RV furnace setups.

Do I have the option of converting my gas furnace to electric heat?

In place of purchasing new RV electric heaters, you might be thinking about using your existing gas furnace. Very sometimes, a conversion of this kind is not practical because the costs will end up being greater than the costs of simple substitution. 

If you are interested in finding out more about electric heat, read on.

An evaluation of the pros and cons of propane heaters

Most likely, you do have a propane heater onboard your boat. Perhaps this also: Therefore, what’s wrong with keeping it?

On the other hand, it’s a useful gadget to get. Pros and disadvantages of RVs with propane heaters are mentioned below:


  • The advantage of using propane heaters is that they are very cheap and easy to use. For the typical person, the machine would be familiar and comfortable: Pull the thermostat to your ideal setting, and let it do the rest. This technology has a proven track record of usage, which has surpassed that of an electric RV in terms of reliability. As successful as secure as practicable.
  • For even improved airflow, most RVs that have a built-in propane heater would have ducts installed throughout the RV. This usually ensures that a propane heater produces uniform temperatures in the RV. For most people, this is good, but for some, it should be more localized. You might like it to be warmer, for example, such as you or the members of your family like it.


  • Typically, propane furnaces are about 70% powerful. This simply ensures that much of the available gasoline is of no value. Because of their ducted design, heating one specific area is not feasible. This heater would almost all use propane and resources to start up.
  • Often, the heater heats the whole facility, and citizens tend to stay in their existing location using less propane. not only would it cost more to use more propane, but it is often inconvenient and wasteful to replace a low stock of propane whenever you can do so, since it encourages you to use up propane until replacing As well, in certain RV Parks, power is “extra” in that it is already included in the payments, although propane is never included. Such a heater may need to use a lot of battery power to operate.

Dartmouth, David E. of says:

Both furnaces rely on a 12V fan to move heated air around. The first RV fan consumed 7 Amps from the tank. In an RV with a bigger electrical system and stronger facilities, another person claims he is drawing 11A. Although the fan can run continuously for a number of hours on a cold night, this load, which is often coupled with other 12-volt fuel, can discharge the average battery in a fully charged RV in one night.

How long can a 12-volt battery power supply last the heater?

The heat in your camper on your travel trailer would operate as long as you have a functioning power source. For e.g., let us assume you have two 12 volt batteries that are 100 amps for 2,000 hours. On lead-acid batteries with 100 amp hours of available power, you can not draw down more than half of their capacity. An average blower fan consumes eight amp-hours. If your batteries are not being used for anything else, your heater can operate for around 12.5 hours.

And the fact that this seems to be a tiny volume, your furnace is never working 100% of the time. Let us presume it just works for 20 minutes per hour to hold the coach warm; between standby time and working 20 minutes every hour, it will last 37.88 hours.

This figure can also be inaccurate since you can lower the temperature at night or switch off the heat while you aren’t in your good trailer or on a walk.

Consider a third example in which you only have the furnace for 8 hours at night. Your trailer will utilize 105.6 amp-hours over five days with the same conditions of 20 minutes per hour. You will see how this period will be significantly expanded now. Since there are so many factors, calculating how long the battery can last is almost impossible: outside temperature, ideal indoor temperature, furnace motor amp pull, RV scale, solar heat gain, insulation used in RV, and so on.

If you are going camping for more than three days and have two good 12-volt batteries, intend for some option to charge the batteries if you need heat, such as a generator or solar. Using your batteries above 50% capacity can result in irreversible harm.

Electric Heaters and Furnaces for RVs There are a variety of electric furnaces and heaters available for RVs.

But you have decided that electric RV furnaces will be the way to go and a good method instead of propane, but you do need to make some decisions. There are several different styles of electric heaters to pick from in order to keep everybody in the RV safe. Let us look at your choices more closely. 

Heaters in Boxes

Small boxy heaters are the most common option among consumers. Ceramic heating elements and tiny fans are used to disperse the heat in these. These heaters are extremely energy efficient and do not waste any if any, fuel.

These compact box size electric heaters come in wattages ranging from 500 to 1,500 watts. Despite the fact that they are not the most strong, they rarely cost more than $50, making them an extremely cost-effective choice to consider.

Heaters for the Walls

Cube heaters are another term for wall heaters. This would be more costly to buy than box-style heaters. However, they will have certain advantages. For starters, these are built into the walls of your RV, so they will be out of the way plus do not take up much room.

Sure, they need to be assembled correctly, which takes time and/or resources, but they heat a very wide room way more easily and effectively than small box-style heaters. The benefit of this is that you can use established propane hearing ducts to add ducting and venting to heat various areas of the RV.

Heaters of Radiant Heating

 A small radiant heater, also known as an infrared heater, is another alternative. Since they are not built into the walls, they are very compact, so they do not take up much room. Additionally, the machines themselves do not get very hot, and they are very silent. These have very good yields, but they are not ideal for vast areas. They are more efficient than tiny box heaters but not as efficient as wall heaters.

Frequently Asked Questions on RV Electric Furnaces

Let us wrap up this article by going through some often asked questions about RV electric furnaces.

Is my RV’s furnace electric or gas? 

While your RV furnace can use electricity to fire or regulate the thermostat, pretty much all on board RV furnaces operate on great liquid propane, which is a reasonably powerful fuel supply. Some campers, though, choose to change their heating source to electricity to save money or minimize pollution, or just to prevent needing to fly with LP gas. 

Is it correct that RV heaters are powered by electricity?

Although onboard RV furnaces do not work entirely on electricity, the heater installed into your RV’s HVAC device does, and there are a number of electric heaters in the market that you can install to your RV’s interior for additional heating.

Is it possible to turn my propane furnace into an electric one?

 No, and even though you did, replacing the machine with electric options would be cheaper.

What electric camper furnace choices do I have?

As stated in the previous article, you can select from box-style heaters using ceramic heating components, wall units, and infrared radiant heaters.

Which is better: electricity or gas?

The type of heater you use is determined by whether you have access to electricity or gas/fuel. Electricity will not be available while camping or boondocking in an undesignated location without hookups, but gasoline will also be available.

Depending on the weather outside and the equipment you have available, you can also use a variety of heaters to well warm up your room. The bottom line is that the majority of RV heaters use both propane and electricity, so you might want to provide a backup heating option in case anything goes wrong.

What Is the Best Way to Heat Your RV Without Propane?

As previously said, it is a smart idea to look at ways to improve the performance of your furnace and reduce propane use.

But what if you are out of propane and need to conserve it for later? How can you stay warm without it?

Here are a few pointers.

  • Keep comfortable by wearing layers of clothing and gloves. Thermal underwear is a lifesaver.
  • While relaxing at night, use hot water bottles. This is a fast and simple way to introduce more heat to your dinner.
  • Use an electronic blanket to keep warm. Stack up on standard blankets or quilts if they are not usable.
  • To better retain the heat inside the RV, insulate the vents and the bathroom skylight.
  • Shut all of the doors and curtains.
  • Add any rugs or carpet to the floor to keep it cozy.
  • Seal any leaks to prevent cool weather from entering.
  • To keep cold drafts at bay, use window coverings and curtains.
  • Learn of solar panels and space heaters as potential heat sources.

Final thoughts

Camping in the winter may not have to be difficult or expensive. And if you just use a small amount of propane, there are many options to stay cozy.

It is still a smart idea to learn about other alternatives before splurging on fossil fuels.

You will certainly heat without propane, which means you would not have to work your furnace all night.

For a more economical adventure, try utilizing alternate heat sources.

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