How to Heat an RV Without Propane?

If you’re an RV owner who loves to go boondocking or Overlanding frequently, you must know how cold it gets in the majority of the regions. What good a trip be if you’re shivering all the time and can’t have fun, more importantly, relax in a warm environment inside your RV on a cold night.

Although most RVs come with an onboard furnace, most of these use propane as fuel. The problem with propane is that it is expensive, not available everywhere, and generates toxic gases not safe for human consumption. Additionally, this heating equipment also requires electricity to run, which is usually not available in the wild.

Luckily, we have different solutions for you and can help you keep your RV warm, without needing any propane. So if you’re planning to take a few days off for an off-roading trip with friends, and wondering how to heat an RV without propane? We’ve got you covered and explained all the heating alternatives in this detailed piece.

Best Ways to Heat an RV Without Propane

best Ways
Hydronic Heating System
The hydronic heating system in an RV resembles a home heating system and is available on almost all the newer models. It comprises a system of pipes running through the RV, which uses a mixture of antifreeze liquid and water.

This mixture is propelled through the pipes to different radiators located in the RV, and it uses heat generated by the engine. This heat is then dissipated inside the RV and keeps it warm for longer durations. When the engine is turned off, the hydronic system uses the boiler to run, which requires diesel.

It is an ideal way to heat an RV without propane and stay cozy, without having to worry about propane.
Solar Heaters
Solar power is another great alternative to propane and is eco-friendly as well. Without taking up any space inside, having to worry about a power source, or generating any harmful gases, you can carry portable solar panels in your RV, and align them on the rooftop when required.

Solar heaters are also one of the safest ones that you could use, and keep your RV’s interior warm and cozy in winters.
Portable Heating Equipment
There are different heating equipment that you could carry along on your trips and heat your RV, without needing any propane. Some of these include:

Radiant Heaters – Radiant heaters direct heat in a straight path and do not emit in a wide area. These are ideal for a small space and keeping your feet warm while lying on a sofa or bed.

Space Heaters – These are compact and lightweight heaters that use electricity and are useful for quickly heating tiny spaces like a cabin or a small room. You should get different space heaters for your RV as they are a reasonably priced substitute for gas heaters, and are safer as well.

Oil Heaters – these are also portable heaters but instead of electricity, they run on oil, such as kerosene. If you do not want your RV’s battery to get drained and still keep it warm, an oil heater is your best bet.

Dehumidifiers – These portable devices are used to remove extra moisture from the air, and generate some heat as well. These are also great for keeping the inside of your RV warm without propane.
Insulation and Heat Trapping
Another great way to keep your RV warm without propane is to trap the heat inside by insulating the windows, vents, and other hatchets.

An easy way is to cover all the sides of the RV with a thick cloth and cover the windows with a patch of foam, this way, the heat can be kept inside and not dissipated. Using mats can also prevent the heat from escaping through the floor.
Insulating the Hatch Vent
We know that heat goes up inside the space and in an RV, the hatch vent is the spot from where it can easily escape. To prevent that, you can get a patch of thick foam cut precisely the size of the vent opening, and snug fit in that space to ensure proper insulation.
Wood Stove
When out there in the wilderness, you can easily find a lot of scrap wood and other wasted wooden items that you can use to run a stove. This is a cheap and safer way to heat your RV without propane and reminds you of the fireplace that you have back at your home.

Remember to install the ducts for proper ventilation and design a base, to keep the stove from burning the floor.
Heat Pumps
Heat pumps are used to propel heat from the outside to the inside, just like an air conditioning unit but the opposite. These can either be switched between cooling or heating options and are ideal for keeping an RV warm.

Heat pumps use substantially less electricity than most heaters, but they can cost more upfront. Nonetheless, a very safe option and a great alternative to propane.
Insulating the Undercarriage Area
Also known as skirting, it is a process of covering the lower side of the RV to prevent the cold from getting in or heat from escaping. The undercarriage area has more open spaces and outlets through which ventilation can occur.

By using any kind of insulating material to cover the underbody of the RV, one can easily maintain the inside temperature for a longer duration.


By far, solar is the best and safest alternative to propane. It is eco-friendly and provides a dependable source of power for running the heaters.

Apart from insulting the RV and running heaters, you could take some other practical steps to keep warm inside the RV. It includes wearing warm clothes, drinking hot beverages, and using electric blankets.


For Overlanding and off-roading enthusiasts, an RV is like a second home and they use it frequently for their trips. Although modern RVs are technologically advanced, well equipped, and have a suite of luxury features, the majority of them still use propane.

To avoid the expenses, and trouble of carrying propane, and protect yourself from harmful emissions, there are some viable alternatives to propane. If you’re thinking about how to heat an RV without propane, we have laid out the whole plan for you, so suit yourself and make the most out of the accessories available to stay warm and cozy out there.

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Ever since I was a kid, I've been fascinated by travel. I inherited this passion from my parents. Since my college years and to this day, I have had a passion for traveling in a motorhome. I am here to share my experiences with you.

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