There are many different ways to heat your campervan in winter. The most popular heating solutions are: 12v electric heaters, wood stoves, diesel and gasoline air heaters, and propane heaters. Properly heating your camper will lead to a more comfortable experience when traveling and allow you to visit colder places throughout the year. We’ve put together an infographic to give a quick list of pros and cons for each type of heater. If you want to read a more detailed post on how to heat your van, check out our article on vanlife heating solutions.
Overview of the Most Popular Heaters For Vanlife
|Most Popular Vanlife Heaters||Fuel Type|
|12V Heated Fleece Electric Travel Blanket||Electric Blanket|
|Lasko 754200 Ceramic Heater||Electric|
|Cubic Mini Wood Stove||Wood Stove|
|Kimberley Small Wood Stove||Wood Stove|
|Espar Airtronic D2 Air Heater||Diesel|
|Webasto Air Top 2000 STC||Diesel|
|Mr. Heater Buddy||Propane|
|Camco Olympian Wave Catalytic Heater||Propane|
|Propex Air Heater||Propane|
Campervan 12V Electric Heaters
12v electric heaters are lightweight, emit no smell and are safe to use in small spaces. Electric heaters give off a consistent heat output and are adjustable making them a very comfortable solution. The downside is that electric heaters require a large amount of energy and it is therefore recommended that electric hookups are used for this heat source. If you don’t have hookups, a small 12V blanket that can plug into the cigarette lighter is a great alternative.
Most Popular Electric Heaters
- Lasko 754200 Ceramic Heater with Adjustable Thermostat
- Vornado MVH Whole Room Vortex Heater
- 12V Heated Fleece Electric Travel Blanket
- Trillium Worldwide Car Cozy 12V Heated Travel Blanket
Wood stoves for a campervan
Wood stoves take labor to operate and are expensive to set up, but over time this is a cost-effective heating solution. Besides being cozy and romantic, wood stoves offer many advantages. They produce a dry heat that will not lead to excess condensation. Some of the most efficient micro wood stoves are small and can warm up a room with just a few sticks! When purchasing a wood stove, don’t forget these necessary parts: chimney cap, pipe flashing, heat powered fan, stove pipe thermometer, humidity monitor.
Most Popular Wood Stoves
- CB-1008 Cubic Mini Wood Stove
- Kimberley Small Wood Stove
- The Dwarf Tiny Wood Stove
- Hi-Flame Shetland HF905U Extra Small Wood Burning Stove
Diesel and Gasoline heaters
Diesel and gas heaters are potentially the best solution if you are comfortable with fitting gas lines and have the space for one. Although they require an extensive install, a diesel furnace will offer the most comfortable heat and require very little fuel. Diesel heaters vent to the outside and will have less condensation than self-contained heat sources such as a Mr. Buddy. They do take a small amount of electricity to run so must be paired with cabin batteries.
If you want to learn more about diesel and gasoline heaters, read our comparison guide: Propex vs Espar vs Webasto
Most Popular Diesel and Gas Heaters
Propane heaters are one of the more popular heating solutions among campers. They can be inexpensive to purchase and operate making them a good solution for almost any traveler. Propane heaters require the purchase of small propane canisters or a hookup to an existing tank. Propane fuel is easy to find and relatively inexpensive. Standalone propane heaters do need to be ventilated and lead to excess moisture. Externally ventilated heaters, such as those made by Propex, do not need ventilation and moisture is not created inside the van.
Most Popular Propane Heaters
- Mr. Buddy Portable Propane Heater
- Camco Olympian Wave Catalytic Heater
- Propex HS2000 Blown Air Heater
Always use caution when operating a heater in small spaces. Heaters can tip over and cause fires or burns. Having a carbon monoxide detector inside your campervan is an absolute must when operating a heater. Most heaters require ventilation and you should always crack the windows at least 2 inches when operating a heater. Read more heater safety tips in our post on how to heat your van in winter.