You are here: Home > 2015 RV Accessories Articles > Staying Warm in Chilly Weather with RV Heaters & Furnaces
Olympian 57331 Wave 3 Catalytic Safety HeaterWith Thanksgiving being next week, and Christmas right around the corner, you may be thinking of doing some holiday RV travel. While this is the most festive time of year, it also brings with it the influx of cold weather. For some of us the cold weather has already arrived, and doing any RVing may already be out of the question. If you live in a milder climate, you may be thinking of doing some winter travel. In that case, making sure your heaters are in good condition is essential, especially on those chilly nights. If you are looking to upgrade or replace your furnace or heater, here are some examples of units to keep in mind.
Furnaces for your RV or motorhome work well for having an even distribution of heat throughout the interior, or for maintaining a temperature in particularly cold weather. A ducted furnace for your RV works off the LP supply, and requires electrical power to operate the fan. Just like the furnace you have at home, it uses a thermostat to control when it turns on or off. RV furnaces do vary in the amount of heat they can generate. Obviously with larger coaches, you would need a more powerful furnace. For example, the Suburban 2454A is a 34000 BTU furnace made for mid-size RVs, while the Suburban 2017APW is a 16000 BTU unit ideal for smaller RVs, trailers, or truck campers. You'll also want to keep in mind how often you plan to use it. The Suburban 2456A is a heavy duty heater designed for permanently fixed trailers that would require a furnace to be running much more often.
Portable Heaters
Portable heaters are great for introducing extra heat, or concentrating the heat in certain area. These heaters can be electric or gas powered. The main difference is the gas powered heaters do not need an outside electrical source to operate. This is an advantage if you're staying in an area without a power source. Gas powered heaters also typically use less gas than furnaces. Catalytic gas heaters are available in several sizes to accommodate the needs of your space. Both the Camco Olympian heaters and the Mr Heater Buddy heaters are totally portable, so they can be moved wherever you need them, or they can be permanently mounted. They each feature automatic shut off as a safety feature. Olympian heaters use a catalytic heating element to produce heat. The Mr Heater Big Buddy uses an integrated blower fan that can run on batteries or AC power. We also have an electric heater from Broan that has 1500 watts of power to generate heat very quickly. It also has a thermostat control to set the level of heat you need. If you plan on spending a long time in a certain area of your motorhome, such as the living area, using a portable space heater can be more beneficial than implementing the furnace.
Each option has advantages and disadvantages based on performance and energy consumption. Whichever method of maintaining the heat you choose is going to depend on factors such as the available electrical and LP gas supply, how much heat you need and where you need it, safety factors, as well as personal preference.