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A camper van may be a vehicle that brings to mind images of campers driving across mountainous terrain or summer excursions spent in the sun-soaked wilderness, but did you know that camper vans can also be extremely beneficial for your physical and mental health?
Not only do camper vans provide you with the opportunity to explore the great outdoors but they also allow you to fully experience everything that mother nature has to offer.
However, this does not mean that owning a camper van doesn’t come with its negative setbacks, as living in a camper van means foregoing shower systems and other modern appliances.
One of the most challenging aspects of owning a camper van is finding a way to keep it warm during the winter season, which can prove a difficult and uncomfortable experience if you do not have the right equipment for the job.
Fortunately, these days you can purchase propane heaters which can be used to keep your camper van warm during the winter nights, providing you with the same comforts that you would experience in your home.
The only issue is that there are currently hundreds of propane heaters available for online purchase, which can make limiting down your choices a tiring and time-consuming experience.
That is why we have compiled together a selection of the 4 best propane heaters to warm your sprinter camper van.
Not only are these propane heaters easy to use, but they are the perfect accessory for dedicated campers hoping to stay warm while they explore the great outdoors. We have also put together an informative buyer’s guide to help aid you in your search.
Things To Remember:
- Propane heaters can consume the oxygen in your camper van
- Propane heaters can cause vapor to collect inside your camper van, making your windows and items moist.
- Propane heaters are a fire hazard.
For the top entry on our list, we have chosen the ProCom Inc ML060HPA – a safe and effective propane heater that can be easily mounted inside your sprinter camper van for maximum results.
Capable of reaching a maximum of 6000 BTU using liquid propane, this heater can easily accommodate a space of up to 150 square feet and features manual controls that can be easily adjusted for your needs.
Distinguished from other brands by its built-in cooling cabinet, the ProCom Inc ML060HPA is also economical in its design and does not require a flue or chimney to be operated.
In a similar fashion to the sun’s radiant heat, the ProCom Inc ML060HPA works to warm people and objects in the room first, ensuring that you and your family are comfortable during the cold and isolated nights.
- Manual Controls: The ProCom Heating Inc ML060HPA features manual controls that can be easily adjusted to suit your needs and requirements.
- Wall Mounting: The propane heater can be easily mounted inside your camper van using the wall bracket provided.
- Economic Design: The ProCom Heating Inc ML060HPA features an economic design and does not require a flume or chimney to be installed.
- Infrared Heating: The propane heater uses infrared flame technology to create a comfortable heating source that is similar to the sun.
- Short Life: Unfortunately, some buyers have reported issues with the heater after only a few months of use.
- Liquid propane Gas infrared wall heater operates at 6,000 BTU
- Heater Uses liquid propane Gas and is vent-free
- Equipped with manual controls and push button piezo ignition
- Comes with a cool touch cabinet and can easily accommodate a 150 sq. Ft. Space
- Infrared heat warms People and objects in the room first, and operates similarly to the sun's radiant heat
Considered one of the best-selling propane heaters currently available, the Mr heater F232000 is the ideal heater for camper vans and remains a popular choice among camping enthusiasts.
Featuring a small and portable design, this propane heater can produce a maximum output of 450 square feet and comes complete with a durable construction that makes it perfect for indoor and outdoor use.
Known for its innovative safety features, the Mr Heater F232000 comes with an automatic shut-off system that will activate when registered oxygen levels are too low. The propane heater also includes an accidental safety shut-off system in case the heater is knocked over during the night.
This propane system has low, medium and high settings and can be easily operated by both beginners and experienced campers alike.
- Versatile Product: The Mr Heater F232000 features a durable and portable design that makes it capable of indoor and outdoor use.
- Maximum Output: The propane heater can produce a maximum heat output of 450 square feet.
- Safety Features: The Mr Heater F232000 includes two shut-off safety features that will be activated if oxygen levels are low or if the heater is knocked over.
- Easy Operation: The propane heater comes with low, medium and high settings and can be easily operated by beginners and veterans alike.
- Wasteful Design: Unfortunately, the heater consumes a lot of propane on its highest level and may not work in high altitudes above 7000 feet.
- 4,000- to 9,000-BTU radiant heater for spaces up to 225 square feet. Approved for indoor/outdoor use; clean-burning; nearly 100-percent efficient
- When operating the heater at altitudes over 7,000 FT above sea level the heater may shut off.
- Auto shut-off if tipped over, if pilot light goes out, or if detects low oxygen levels. Fuel Consumption/Burn Rate (Gal/Hr) at 4000 BTU = 0.044 Gal/Hr, at 9000 BTU = 0.099 Gal/Hr
- Fold-down handle; swivel-out regulator; connects to propane tank (not included); Run Time (Hrs at Max BTU): 3 Hours
- THE USE OF UN-AUTHORIZED ACCESSORIES/ATTACHMENTS WITH THIS HEATER ARE EXPRESSLY PROHIBITED, MAY CAUSE SERIOUS INJURY, AND WILL VOID THE WARRANTY.
Unlike other propane heaters on the market, the Camco 57351 Olympian is a unique wave heater that uses flameless radiating technology to accommodate spaces of up to 290 square feet.
Capable of running on low-pressure fuel, this innovative propane heater is considered a cost-effective alternative for campers and does not require an electrical source or additional battery to operate.
Distinguished by its silent yet effective performance, the Camco 57351 Olympian does not feature a fan or blower, which means you can listen to the sounds of nature without issue or distraction.
Although the propane heater is ideal for small or enclosed spaces, it may have difficulty warming larger areas, especially in extremely cold climates or in sprinter camper vans with little to no insulation.
- Cost-Effective Alternative: The Camco 57351 Olympian is considered a cost-effective alternative for campers who want to conserve their fuel supply.
- Silent Performance: The propane heater does not feature a fan or blower, which means it delivers a silent performance that is perfect for the outdoors.
- Shut-Off Valve: The Camco 57351 Olympian comes equipped with a safety shut-off valve that will help to prevent accidental ignition or discharge.
- Decent Output: The propane heater produces a moderate output that is capable of accommodating a maximum space of 290 square feet.
- Limited Disperse: Unfortunately, the propane heater does come with a limited disperse, which means it may not operate in icy conditions or uninsulated spaces.
- No flame, flue or chimney
- No electrical drain or battery connection make it the ideal solution for boon docking and dry camping
- Silent operation - No fan or blower noise
- Self-generating piezo starter
- 100% safety shut-off valve
There’s a reason why Mr Heater remains one of the leading manufacturers of propane heaters and it’s because of products like this. Unlike the other propane heaters on our list, the Mr Heater Corporation is capable of producing up to 20,000 BTU and can accommodate a space of up to 500 square feet.
Featuring a CSA-certified shut-off safety system, this propane heater will automatically turn off if registered oxygen levels are too low, making it perfect for outdoor use and for supplemental heat in sunrooms and cabins.
Capable of running without the need for external power or applications, the Mr Heater Corporation comes complete with a built-in thermostat and can be easily mounted on your wall or inside your sprinter camper van using the mounting hardware provided.
Completely vent-free, this propane heater can also operate on various fuels and includes infrared technology to ensure your overall warmth and comfort.
- Maximum Disperse: The Mr Heater Corporation Vent-Free is capable of producing up to 20,000 BTU and can accommodate a space of up to 500 square feet.
- Certified Safety System: The propane heater includes a CSA approved shut-off safety system that will activate when oxygen levels are too low.
- Mounting Hardware: The Mr Heater Corporation Vent-Free can be easily installed in your camper van or home using the provided mounting hardware.
- Limited Operation: Unfortunately, the propane heater will not work in altitudes over 4,500 feet above sea level.
- Cheap Design: Some buyers have criticized the propane heater for its cheap and shoddy design, which means it may be prone to damage.
- 20,000 BTU Natural Gas heater to heat spaces up to 500 sqaure feet.
- Radiant heat burner. Heating Area (Sq Ft) - 700
- Automatic low oxygen shut-off system (ODS). CSA Certified. Use - Supplemental heat in cold rooms, Additions, Sun rooms, Cabins
- Operating this heater at altitudes over 4,500 FT above sea level could cause pilot/ODS to shutdown the heater.
- Theromostat, legs and wall mounting hardware included. Refer to the PDF attached below in Technical Specification for User Manual..Thermostat for automatic temperature control.For use with Natural Gas
The notion of buying a propane heater may sound like a simple task, after all, every propane heater has been designed for the same purpose. However, there are some certain elements that should be taken into consideration before purchasing a new propane heater.
Elements that help to assure that the propane heater meets your needs and provides the warmth and comfort you are looking for.
Down below, we have outlined some key points that should be kept in mind when it comes to purchasing your own propane heater. By consulting these points, you will be able to select the perfect heater for you, saving you both time and money.
When it comes to purchasing a new propane heater, you will first need to measure the interior of the sprinter camper van where you intend to install it.
This is because the size and insulation of the camper van’s interior will often determine the type of propane heater you should buy, as smaller spaces will often require fewer BTUs, while larger spaces will usually require more.
For example, if you want to purchase a new propane heater that will accommodate a space of up to 150 square feet, then you will need to purchase a propane heater that is capable of producing an output that matches that figure, which means you will be looking for a propane heater capable of producing between 5000 and 6000 BTUs.
It is also important to remember that even the largest sprinter camper vans will only hold a finite amount of space, so it is not recommended that you purchase a propane heater designed for a house or cabin, as this could result in the production of unnecessary heat and the wasteful usage of propane fuel.
To ensure that you are choosing the correct heater for your sprinter camper van, it is advisable to measure the van’s interior using square footage and then consulting a BTU chart, which can be found either online or with propane heater manufacturers.
As we previously discussed, propane heaters can be a great way to keep your sprinter camper van warm during the winter months, especially if you already have the necessary equipment and insulation required to install one.
However, this does not mean that propane heaters don’t come with their disadvantages, as they are often cited as dangerous fire hazards and have been known to consume the oxygen inside your vehicles.
Because of this, it is recommended that you invest in a propane heater that comes with built-in safety features, as this will help to reduce the risk of fire and oxygen depletion.
Fortunately, most modern propane heaters already come with these safety features installed, so it is just a case of finding the propane heater that offers the maximum protection that you require.
In most propane heaters, it is common for the heater to switch itself off when oxygen levels begin to lower, as this will help to reduce the risk of suffocation during the night.
There are also propane heaters that have the ability to switch themselves off if they have been knocked over or kicked, which further helps to prevent fires and other heater-related complications.
Although many propane heaters now feature these innovative shut-off systems, you should never fully rely on these applications to measure the oxygen levels inside your vehicle, as being extra vigilant will also help to ensure your safety and the safety of your loved ones.
Of course, there is another downside when it comes to using propane heaters and that is their limited capabilities, especially when being used at high altitudes or elevations.
Because propane heaters rely mainly on oxygen to produce their heat, it is common for propane heaters to stop working at certain elevations, as the reduced oxygen levels make it difficult to produce heat in a fast and efficient manner.
For this reason, you will need to consider the kind of location you usually frequent when using your sprinter camper van, for if you prefer to immerse yourself in rocky and mountainous regions, then you run the risk of making your propane heater completely useless, which should be avoided considering how expensive most propane heaters are.
Fortunately, most modern heaters will usually display their limitations on their respective manufacturer websites, so it is up to you to find the propane heater that meets your camping needs.
However, if you are unable to find a propane heater that can operate at your desired elevations, then you may have to consider using a different heater or method to keep your sprinter camper van warm.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Does BTU Mean?
If you are a beginner in the camping world and have been searching online for a new propane heater, then chances are you are beginning to wonder what BTU means. Well, BTU is an abbreviation for British Thermal Unit, although the measurement itself is used around the world and is not exclusive to the United Kingdom.
The British Thermal Unit is a measurement commonly used to measure energy, with one BTU representing the amount of energy it takes to raise the temperature of a pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit above sea level.
In general terms, this measurement refers to the amount of energy it takes to heat water at its greatest density, which usually takes place at around 39 degrees Fahrenheit.
So basically, when you count the number of BTUs, you are measuring the amount of energy your propane heater can produce to heat the entirety of your sprinter camper van.
How Can You Heat Your Van In The Winter?
When it comes to heating your van during the winter months, there are numerous options you can choose from. These include portable propane heaters that can be installed inside your van, propane furnaces that can be built into your van’s interior and even tiny wood-burning stoves that can be built for your comfort.
However, all these different methods come with their pros and cons, so it is important to research each one before making a final decision.
For example, propane heaters often come with the side effect of consuming the oxygen inside your vehicle, while wood-burning stoves are dangerous fire hazards that need to be carefully maintained for your safety and protection.
All camper van heaters come with their own safety precautions, so it is important that you follow any rules or instructions provided, otherwise, you could run the risk of destroying your camper van and fatally injuring yourself and others.
Does A Propane Space Heater Give Off Carbon Monoxide?
Although propane heaters can be an effective way to keep your camper van warm, they do come with some negative setbacks that could make them dangerous or even fatal to use.
One of the primary disadvantages of using propane heaters is that they can produce large amounts of carbon monoxide, especially when they are being used in a contained space without the proper ventilation.
Fortunately, this issue is often relegated to houses and other buildings, as camper vans have windows that can be easily opened to provide the sufficient ventilation needed for the propane heater to work without the concern of suffocation and carbon monoxide poisoning.