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A van is there to be used all year round. Summer trips are fun, but why not explore the winter scenery on a campsite in the colder months?

Some van owners avoid these types of trips for one reason – insufficient heating. Vans will either be incredibly stuffy or freezing.

Finding the appropriate heating option that isn’t too expensive and isn’t a huge safety risk can be nearly impossible.

Propane gas heaters can be pricey, wood stoves can be a tough installation, and some electric heaters are not safe for constant use. Diesel heaters are also a pain to install and can take up a lot of space.

If you’re looking for a good-quality electric heater to keep you warm in your van, we’ve got you covered! Electric heaters are an ideal solution, as they are easily portable, don’t take up much energy, and can warm up a small area within seconds.

We understand the importance of a well-insulated and comfortable van to enjoy the winter months. As long as your campsite has an electric hook-up (EHU) or you have a generator, we have found the best electric heater for you.

Best Electric Heaters for Van

1. Our Top Pick: Minetom Portable Electric Space Heater

Portable Electric Space Heater 1500W/750W, Ceramic Room Heater with Tip Over and Overheat Protection, 200 Square Feet Fast Heating for Indoor Office Desk Home, ETL Certified, Sliver

This electric heater ticks every box for us. With an adjustability of either 750 Watts, 1500 Watts, or a fan option, the Minetom heater is versatile and powerful.

As vans are small, you may find you’ll only need this heater on the 750 Watts function. This can be easily adjusted by a rotating knob.

With the fan and heating options, this heater has a temperature range of 0°F and 158°F – ideal for use all year round. Made from PTC ceramic heating technology, it has the ability to heat a room of up to 200 square feet within seconds.

This heating range requires an appropriate material to resist melting, which is why this ceramic heater is made of flame-resistant material.

Not only this, but this unit is equipped with an automatic shut-off system that turns off the heat if it is knocked over. These safety procedures are essential for a van electric heater as it increases the service life of the unit.

This heater needs access to an EHU (or a generator if you are wild camping) and has a six-foot long cord, as well as two-prong connection fits. This unit is a 120V heater, which shouldn’t trip out most campsite electric hook-ups.

Pros

  • Heating and cooling – 750W and 1500W heating options and a fan setting for use all year round
  • Shouldn’t trip EHUs – 6ft long cord and 120V heater is ideal for most campsite electric hook-ups
  • Safety elements – Flame-resistant material, auto shut-off system, and overheat protection are included to keep the heater and its surroundings safe

Cons

  • No extension cord – Instructions recommend to not plug into an extension cord – however, the 6ft long cable is a good length

Portable Electric Space Heater 1500W/750W, Ceramic Room Heater with Tip Over and Overheat Protection, 200 Square Feet Fast Heating for Indoor Office Desk Home, ETL Certified, Sliver
  • Easy-to-use Heater with 3 Modes: Two Heat Mode 1500W/750W provides different warmth while Fan Mode for cool natural winds, suitable for any season to customize your cozy living space. Simply turn the knob to turn the space heater on and the adjustable temperature ranges from 0℉ to 158℉
  • Quick Heating and Energy-saving Heater: PTC ceramic heating tech and high speed fan enable this space heater heat up 200 square feet in seconds. Compared with high power-consuming centralized heaters, this high-efficient heater helps you to say goodbye to mounting electricity bill
  • Safe and Reliable to Use: Made of quality-assured flame retardant material, this room heater achieves zero safety hazard. Tip-over protection turns off heater when it's knocked over, perfect for houses having kids and pets. Overheat protection will shut heater off automatically when overheating
  • Quiet Space Heater: Lower than 50dB level, the electric heater for home is comfortably quiet to use in a bedroom while sleeping. It’s also extremely suitable for warming the room while reading, working, studying, or watching TV, never worried about being disturbed
  • Portable Mini Heater: 6.2 x 7.0 x 9.2 inch in size, 3.2 pounds in weight, this small heater is easy to carry around with the built-in handle. 6-foot long durable cord and 2 prong connection perfectly fits for indoor use such as office, room, desk, home, bedroom, etc

2. The Smallest Heater: multifun Portable Electric Heater

Electric Heater, 1500W Portable Ceramic Space Heater w/Adjustable Thermostat, Space Heater for Desk Office Home Garage,Hot & Cool Fan Overheat Protection Personal Small Space Heater Fan(ETL Certified)

If you have a small campervan space and require a small heater, this heater is ideal. Sizing at only 6” x 6.7” x 7”, this is a compact little heater that can produce warm air up to 108 square feet within 2 seconds.

Whilst this may not be the most modern-looking heater, this unit is ideal for providing a cozy, spring-like warmth in a campervan. The real standout feature of this heater is its compact and durable design.

Made of fire-retardant metal and ceramic heating elements, this heater is well suited for small areas such as a van.

The metal shell has overheating protection to help the unit withstand hot temperatures.

Not only this, but the unit is equipped with a tip-over auto-shutoff that automatically turns off the heating elements when it is not on an even surface – ideal for accidental knock-overs.

Pros

  • Compact and lightweight – Small size is ideal for vans and portability
  • Powerful 1500W heater – Able to produce warm air up to 108 square feet within seconds
  • Made from durable, safe materials – Metal shell and ceramic heating elements are designed for ultimate safety with flame-retardant materials and auto-shutoff

Cons

  • Industrial design – Design is not modern for those who wish to buy an attractive heater

Electric Heater, 1500W Portable Ceramic Space Heater w/Adjustable Thermostat, Space Heater for Desk Office Home Garage,Hot & Cool Fan Overheat Protection Personal Small Space Heater Fan(ETL Certified)
  • 【ETL&UL CERTIFIED AND V0 FLAME-RESISTANT MATERIALS SPACE HEATER】Each part of the space heater comforms to ETL and UL certification. With ETL compliance, you and your beloved ones can enjoy the warmth without any safety worries. With fire-retardant metal shell, unlike most plastic shell space heater, the heater is far more durable and safe. With a little LED indicator, you know it is operating properly. "
  • 【RAPID HEATING CERAMIC HEATER】PTC ceramic heating technology provides fast rapid heating and produces no red light or flame. Angled legs make heat distribution wider and allow air blow upwards. Your ideal option to keep your room cozy and get good sleep through the harsh winter.
  • 【HEATER WITH ADJUSTABLE THERMOSTAT】With a simple adjustable dial control, easily preset the thermostat within the range of 41°F - 95°F. With 2 in 1 mode, the ceramic space Heater has 2 modes, 1500w and natural breeze. Always keep your room temperature at the most optimal level and reduce your power consumption.
  • 【ATTRACTIVE & PRACTICAL DESIGN】Portable handle design makes moving about around more convenient. Angled design enables hot air to blow upwards and provides rapid heat circulation. Place unit on or underneath desks and tables and it will get you comfortable instantaneously. Perfect heater for office, small apartment unit, dormitory – a small unit that gives powerful warmth.
  • 【100% SAFE HEATER】Made from fire-retardant metal shell, safe and durable. Smart self-regulating thermostat will stop heating automatically when the temperature is higher than 176°F. We provide 90-DAY MONEY BACK and 12-MONTH WARRANTY.

3. The Lowest Wattage: Lasko MyHeat Space Heater

Lasko Heating Space Heater, Compact, White

As campsite electric hook-up systems can only handle so much wattage, this is the most ideal little heater that runs at 200 Watts and will not trip any EHUs.

However, this wattage means the compact size can only heat up so much space, so it’s better designed for keeping a specific area warm rather than the whole room.

Due to its size and low wattage, this heater is best suited by a bed or on a countertop to keep the van’s inhabitants warm rather than the whole van itself. If you have a small van, this is ideal for you.

Despite its compact size, this unit comes with a 6-foot cord that can easily stretch across a small van. This ceramic heater is designed to remain cool to the touch and features an auto-shutoff system for safety.

Pros

  • Low wattage – 200 Watts will not trip out campsite EHUs
  • Cool exterior – Unit is fitted with all necessary safety features for long usage 
  • Attractive appearance – Compact design comes in multiple colors

Cons

  • Personal heater – Compact size limits the heating to an individual rather than a whole room, which is more ideal for cool spring/fall months rather than winter months

Sale
Lasko Heating Space Heater, Compact, White
  • KEEPS YOU WARM AT WORK – At 200-Watts and 682 BTUs, this low wattage mini space heater is ideal for use under the desk to keep your feet and legs warm. Best of all, because it’s low wattage, it won’t keep tripping the office circuit breaker every time you turn it on.
  • YOUR PERSONAL SPACE HEATER – At 6 inches tall with a 4” x 4” footprint, this cute, small electric heater takes up minimal desktop space and is intended to heat up your immediate space at home or the office. Designed to warm you, not a room. For that, we recommend getting a Lasko 1500-Watt tower heater.
  • EASY TO USE – No assembly required. Simply take it out of the box and plug it in to a standard 120v wall outlet. This energy-efficient, indoor ceramic heater draws about 2 amps and turns on with a flip of a switch. Compact and portable, MyHeat comes with a 6-foot cord and a 2-pronged plug. It’s also easily stored when not in use.
  • YEAR ROUND USE – Tired of always being cold at work in the winter? Is your cube right under the AC vent in the summer? If this sounds familiar, then this little heater is just what you need to keep you comfortable year-round. Produces a quiet, white noise that won’t disrupt your co-workers. MyHeat is available in 4 fun colors (black, white, blue, and purple) and makes for a great gift.
  • TRUSTED FOR GENERATIONS – Lasko has been making quality products for over 100 years. MyHeat is ETL Listed and comes with Automatic Overheat Protection. The on/off switch lights up to let you know the unit is on. The self-regulating, safe ceramic heating element keeps the exterior cool to the touch – taking the worry out of using the heater for long periods of time.

4. All-Rounder: Home_Choice Personal Space Heater

Space Heater with Adjustable Thermostat, 1500W Ceramic Portable Heater with 4 Modes, Safety & Fast - Quiet Heat, Small Mini Electric Heater for Indoor Office Room Desktop Home Use

Affordable and versatile, this is an ideal starter heater for those looking to go to a campsite in winter. This heater features three heat settings, ranging from 1500W high heat to 750W low heat, as well as a fan for the summer months. Ideal for use all year round!

This is a compact heater at only 8.3” tall, which is suitable for most van interiors. Despite its size, it is a powerful unit with multiple heat settings that is designed to warm a small space within seconds.

Regarding safety, this heater is equipped with an auto-shutoff system when it is accidentally tipped over, and also automatically turns off when parts of the heater begin to overheat.

This is ideal for keeping the heater on throughout the night, as the user can be reassured that it will automatically turn off when it cannot withstand the heat.

Pros

  • Versatile fan and heater – Three heating options and a fan feature allows for use all year round
  • Safety features included – Auto-shutoff for accidental tip-overs and heat protection for peace of mind
  • Ideal for small rooms – Listed as a personal heater but is suitable for small rooms and van interiors

Cons

  • High setting might trip campsite EHU – Highest 1500W temperature setting may be too much for a campsite electric hook-up to handle

5. The Most Versatile: andily Portable Space Heater

andily Portable Space Ceramic Heater with Adjustable Thermostat, Energy Save Technology , Great for Use in Home and Office, 4 Modes 750W/1000W/1500W

This andily heater stands out for its impressive four adjustable modes – ranging from 1500W high heat, 750W low heat, 100W E-save, and a fan feature. This is the most versatile unit on our list and is ideal for use in a van all year round.

Fitted with a handy handle for easy portability, this heater is made of flame-retardant material to prevent the unit from overheating, melting, or catching fire. It also comes with an auto-shutoff system for accidental tip-overs and overheating.

Whilst this is a compact design, this heater comes with a thermostat system that works with the temperature of the room it is in. This means it will heat up its immediate area as well as the surroundings of a room, or van interior, at the same time.

Pros

  • Versatile with multiple functions –  Heat functions range from 1500W to 750W, and it also comes with a fan option for use all year round
  • Easy portability – Unit comes with a handle and flame-retardant material that is cool to the touch and easy to transport 
  • Safety functions included – As well as the flame-retardant material, this unit comes with auto-shutoff systems for overheating and accidental tip-overs

Cons

  • Can get very hot – The 1500W highest temperature setting is very warm

andily Portable Space Ceramic Heater with Adjustable Thermostat, Energy Save Technology , Great for Use in Home and Office, 4 Modes 750W/1000W/1500W
  • FOUR MODES HEATER WITH FAN: >High Heat (1500-watt), >Low Heat(750-watt), >Fan Only, >E-save(1000-watt). You can easily set the switch control to any of the 4 modes to achieve the desired temperature. With a simple adjustable thermostat, E-Save technology can bring you warmth while effectively saving you energy and reduce electricity bills.
  • CERAMIC HEATER ELEMENTS: Ceramic space heaters are fast to heat, produce abundant heat without open coils, and are long lasting. Our heaters are designed for cold weather. The compact size provides effective and sustained warmth in a room or office below 260 square feet.
  • SMALL HEATER MEASURES: 7.48" X 5.31" X 9.64". Manual controls. Fully Assembled. Carrying handle for easy transport. Adjustable thermostat for comfortable warmth ideal for home or office, Don't worry about taking up too much space, it will bring you warmth in winter.
  • SPACE HEATER WITH THERMOSTAT: The thermostat system can according to the thermostat setting let your room remain at a comfortable temperature.This heater can be used in small area (such as warming your feet),meanwhile warms up your surroundings.
  • FOR SAFETY: 1. Automatic overheat system will shuts the unit off when the parts of the heater overheat. 2. TIP-OVER SWITCH will shut off unite when tipped forward or backward.3. Power indicate light can lets you know at a glance that it’s plugged in. 4. ETL certified.

Best Electric Heater for Van Buyer’s Guide

Factors to Consider When Looking for an Electric Heater for a Van

An electric heater can be an inexpensive and easy way to warm up the interior of a van. Small and compact, these units are designed for small rooms and immediate spaces.

However, due to the nature of some heaters, there are some factors to consider when looking for an electric heater specifically for a van.

  • Electric Heater Benefits

Electric heaters are generally the most affordable and safest heating option. With ceramic heating elements, these units are designed to warm up the immediate area and small spaces within 2-3 seconds.

Their lightweight and compact design mean electric heaters are the most appropriate and suitable for portability. This means you can use the heater in your own home as well as move it into your van for your vacation trips.

The compact design means they won’t take up much space compared to other heater options, which is highly beneficial in small van spaces.

These heaters also come with adjustable thermostats and heat settings. Some heaters will be more powerful and warm than others, so it’s important to look up the Wattage figure of the heater (more on that later!).

Some heaters will also come with a fan option, which is a versatile option for use all year round. If you want to get your money’s worth, these versatile heaters are the best option.

  • Safety Features

As the ceramic heating elements in electric heaters can produce warm air so quickly, it’s important that these units come equipped with the necessary safety features. These will include flame-retardant materials such as metal and auto-shutoff systems. 

The auto-shutoff systems are important for two reasons. The first is that some heater types will not have a function that turns off the heater when they start to overheat, but electric heaters are equipped with this function.

Secondly, as electric heaters are so compact they are prone to tipping over when knocked, which can be a fire hazard. Fortunately, this auto-shutoff system turns off the heater when it is not on an even surface. 

  • Electric Hook-Ups (EHU)

Some van owners will have their own generator, in which case this isn’t applicable.

However, most van owners rely on the campsite’s electric hook-up (EHU) system to provide electricity. These systems can provide electricity for heaters, fridges, aerial boosters, kettles, grills, technology, microwaves, ovens, and more.

The more than is connected to the EHU, the less it will be able to handle. If you have connected all of your devices and appliances, there’s a chance that an electric heater could trip the EHU. 

Other options include solar panels, leisure batteries, and generators. 

Our top tip is to avoid plugging electric heaters into extension leads, as these are prone to cause overheating and fires.

Other Heater Types 

If you are struggling to decide what type of heater is suitable for you and your van, here are some other heating options. 

  • Propane 

Propane gas heaters are powerful but not designed for small areas such as a campervan. This is because there is a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning in small spaces with a lack of ventilation. 

These heaters are also generally more expensive than electric heaters as they require gas canister replacements.

  • Diesel

Diesel heaters are the most expensive option due to the installation process. However, these are the most durable and suitable for withstanding cold temperatures without freezing.

They can also be installed outside of the van or vehicle to save up room inside, as these are large units.

  • Wood Stoves

Some campers like to install small wood stoves in their vans. These come in a variety of sizes and shapes which must be considered before installation.

They are designed for safety, but they do expose an open flame which could be a fire hazard. 

Ways to Keep Warm in a Van

Some electric heaters will only be designed to heat up their immediate surroundings and won’t be able to warm an entire van interior. Likewise, some aren’t designed for long usage overnight.

It’s not recommended to leave electric heaters on overnight due to the safety precautions, so here are some other ways to keep warm in a van: 

  • Proper insulation in a van will help to retain the heat
  • Dress appropriately prior to being cold so you can retain your own body heat – it’s easier to cool down than it is to warm up!
  • Hot water bottles are ideal for saving energy and for keeping hands/feet/torsos warm
  • Good quality sleeping bags/multiple thick blankets are essential
  • Electric blankets are suitable for keeping the insides of a bed warm if there is access to an EHU – they also don’t have to be on for long periods of time to provide warmth
  • Try to park in elevated areas surrounded by other vans rather than exposed, cold valleys

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you insulate a van for winter?

There are lots of ways to insulate a van for winter, including foil bubble wraps, spray foam in gaps, fiberglass insulation, insulation boards, and reflective foil. As there are so many ways to insulate a van, we recommend looking for detailed instructions online including here.

Insulating a van properly is the first step to maintaining warmth throughout winter. Whilst electric heaters are great for providing warm air, they aren’t strong enough to keep a van interior warm throughout an entire night due to safety precautions.

A well-insulated van will be able to retain the warm air created by the heater, which will keep the van warmer for longer.

How do vans stay warm whilst sleeping?

As it’s not recommended to keep an electric heater on overnight in a van, you will have to get creative with ways to keep warm.

A well-insulated van will be able to retain the heat from an electric heater so they don’t have to stay on – whether this is an electric heater or an electric blanket. 

Other ways to stay warm include sufficient clothing and bedding, good-quality sleeping bags, hot water bottles and hot drinks, parking near other campervans to protect the van from cold winds, and covering windows with blinds or curtains.

You will find you may use an electric heater less often if you work to retain the heat in a campervan. 

What is the best heater for a campervan?

The best heater for a campervan is the Mimetom Portable Electric Space Heater. With the ability to produce warm air up to 200 square feet, this is an ideal heater for a van interior.

This heater features two adjustable heating functions (1500W for high heat and 750W for low heat) as well as a fan setting, which is suitable for use in the warm months. 

This heater is most ideal for vans as the 120V 6-foot cable is designed to prevent tripping the campsite EHU, so it can be used for extended periods of time.

It is also equipped with the appropriate safety features, including auto-shutoff for accidental tip-overs and overheating, and flame-retardant material. 

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