Best Portable Heater For Car, Truck, Golf Cart, And RV

Best Portable Heater for Car, Truck, Golf Cart, and RV

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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If you live in cold regions and your car's heating capacity is not good enough, you might want to get a portable heater to get that extra warmth. It might also be a good idea to get your hands on a portable heater if you have a big vehicle like an RV.

Portable heaters are quite effective, easy to manage, and affordable. In fact, it’s often more economical to invest in a portable heater than to get the built-in heater fixed.

However, the huge number of available options can make it difficult for some users to pick the right heater.

We have made a list of the best portable heaters for cars, trucks, golf carts, and RVs for you to choose from. We studied all the available options and picked the ten best portable heaters based on performance and price.

Have a look:

The Camco Olympian RV Wave-6 LP Gas Catalytic Heater serves as an ideal secondary heater source. It is suitable for use in RVs, cabins, and even homes. It produces enough heat to warm up an area of about 200 square feet.

They can be used as portable space heaters and can also be hung in a vertical or horizontal position.


  • Adjustable BTU Setting: The Camco Olympian Wave-6 can be easily adjusted from 3200 to 6000 BTUs/hr according to your requirements.
  • Automatic Piezo Sparker: There is a built-in automatic electric Piezo sparker which will last for about 20,000 starts. There is no electrical connection required.
  • Catalytic Heating: The heater has catalytic heating which is 99.98% efficient, preventing wastage. Thus, it results in more efficient and low-cost heating.
  • Shut-off Valve: The heater comes equipped with a safety shut off-valve for additional safety. It reduces the risk of accidental non-ignition fuel discharge.
  • Fuel: The Camco Olympian Wave-6 heater operates on low pressure HD-5 propane gas only.

Camco Olympian Wave-6 is a very efficient heater and coming with no electrical drain or battery connection. It’s ideal to take along on trips as it is safe and portable.


  • No electrical connection so no worries about batteries being drained.
  • Can be used both for a variety of vehicles.
  • No fan or blower noise.


  • Leads to carbon monoxide buildup.

2. Mr.Heater F274830 MH18BRV Big Buddy RV Propane Heater

Mr. Heater F274830 MH18BRV Big Buddy Grey Indoor-Safe...
  • 4, 000- to 18, 000-BTU radiant heater for spaces up to 450 square...
  • When operating the heater at altitudes over 7, 000 FT above sea...
  • Auto shut-off if tipped over, if pilot light goes out, or if...
  • Low, medium and high heat level control knob for steady...

Mr.Heater F274830 MH18BRV comes with a radiant heater that allows you to choose from three heating options: 4000 BTUs, 9000 BTUs, or 18000 BTUs per hour. It is perfect for heating enclosed spaces of up to 300 square feet and can be used for both indoors and outdoors.


  • Swivel Regulators: This heater is equipped with two swivel regulators which allow you to adapt usage from disposable cylinders to a remote gas supply with the purchase of just a single filter and hose.
  • Auto shut-off: The heater will automatically shut off if it is tipped over or if it detects low oxygen levels. This is an important feature as it adds to the safety.
  • Heat Settings: This heater comes with a control knob that lets you control temperatures without any trouble. You can choose between low, medium, and high heat levels.
  • Fan: This heater comes with an integrated fan which operates on 4-D batteries or AC adapter. It increases heating capacity and ensures every corner is warm and comfortable.
  • Fuel: This beauty from Mr.Heater is used with propane gas and connects to two 1 lb. cylinders. You may also use an optional hose to connect it to a 20 lb. cylinder instead.

Mr.Heater F274830 MH18BRV is durable and safe to use. It provides efficient heating and is also quite affordable to buy and run. If you are looking for a heating solution for your cabin, RV or house then you can consider using this heater.


  • Safe to use.
  • Economical.
  • Easy to assemble.


  • The hater may shut off at altitudes over 7000 ft. above sea level.
  • The batteries or adapter for the fan need to be purchased separately.

3. ZeroStart 2600900 Interior Car Warmer

Zerostart 2600900 Interior Car Warmer Compact Plug-in...
  • Ideal for use in passenger, light-duty, and recreational vehicles
  • Easy to install; mounts on floor or under dash with included...
  • Frost Free Windows before engine start
  • 900 Watts - 120 Volt AC / 3,000 BTU
  • Automatic High Temperature Safety Sensor – The device will...

ZeroStart 2600900 is a sleek, solid looking portable car heater. It comes with a mounting bracket for easy installation and can be mounted on the floor or the car's dashboard.


  • Easy Installation: This heater does not need special tools for installation. This is great as the installation process will only take a few minutes, however you may need professional help for the job.
  • 2 Tier Safety Protection: The motor automatically shuts off if it reaches a very high temperature. Moreover, it will automatically restart once it has cooled down. The heater will shut down completely if the automatic reset fails to operate.
  • Power: ZeroStart 2600900 plugs into standard household power and produces 3000 BTUs of heat.
  • Compact  Size: This heater is compact and easy to carry with a height of 2.75". Plus, it is only 3 pounds in weight and with a long (7.5 feet) cable that makes handling easier.

The ZeroStart 2600900 is ideal for light duty, recreational passenger vehicles. It may lack some advanced features but it’s quite effective in doing what it’s made to do.


  • Does not frost windows.
  • Easy installation.
  • CSA approved.


  • Cord may be short for some users.
  • No thermostat for temperature control.

4. Mr.Heater MH4GC Golf Cart Heater

Mr. Heater F242010 MH4GC Golf Cart Heater,Silver and...
  • 4,000 BTU's (5.5 Hours runtime)
  • Includes oxygen depletion system and tip over switch
  • Wind resistant protective screen
  • Ergonomic carrying handle
  • 1 Pound Propane Tank is NOT Included

This handy and portable heater is suitable for those who want to play golf during cold days. It fits in most golf cart cup holders easily and locks in place.

Designed specifically to withstand different types of terrain without getting damaged, this heater will be good for a long period of time.


  • Wind Resistant: The MH4GC Golf Cart Heater comes with a wind resistant burner and pilot system to achieve optimal heat output during windy conditions and when the golf cart is moving.
  • Safety System: This heater consists of a 90 degree tip-over safety shut-off system. Moreover, it also features a unique safety tip over switch which prevents nuisance shut offs when driving over bumpy paths.
  • Oxygen Depletion Sensor: The MH4GC Golf Cart Heater also comes equipped with an oxygen depletion sensor (ODS) and will automatically shut off when oxygen levels are low.
  • Fuel: This heater works on liquid propane and connects directly to a 1 lb. LP  cylinder producing 4000 BTUs. The unit offers a runtime of 5.5 hours on one tank.
  • Piezo Sparking Mechanism: It comes with an integrated Piezo mechanism which makes it very easy to operate. To light the unit, you just have to push and hold the ignition button and the piezo sparking system will do the rest of the work.

If you are looking for a portable heater for your golf cart then the MH4GC Golf Cart Heater can be a good option. It can handle rough terrains and produces enough heat to keep you warm. Plus, it’s reliable as well making it is one of the best heaters for golf carts.


  • Can be easily transported.
  • Compatible with most golf cart cup holders.
  • Easy grip handle.
  • Heats up and cools down quickly.


  • No heat adjustment option.
  • Cannot be used for other vehicles

5. Blue-Net 12-24V 6 Ports Universal Car Truck Fan Heater

blue--net 12-24V 6 Ports Universal Car Truck Fan...
  • SPECIFICATION -- Voltage: 12V. Material: Copper, Iron....
  • EFFECTIVE DEMISTER -- Automobile demister can quickly solve the...
  • MULTIFUNCTION -- This Car Fan Heater can blow warm air. It can...

The Blue-Net 6 Port Universal Car Truck Fan Heater is a compact and well-built air heater that can be used in all vehicles with a 12-24V lighter plug. It spreads heat evenly and is ideal for heavy and light vehicles.


  • Easy Installation: This heater is very easy to install and only requires you to hook it up to a water tank and supply power to make to work.
  • 6 Ports: As the name suggests, the Blue-Net 6 Port Universal Car Truck Fan Heater contains 6 ports which are not only helpful in warming up your car but they also spread the heat evenly throughout the vehicle.
  • Demister: This heater effectively removes fog and frost from the windshield, side windows and back glass making it easier and safer for you to drive even in harsh weather conditions.
  • Adjustable Air Flow: The heating temperature of the heater depends on the water temperature of the vehicle. Hence, it might be a good idea to add a customized duct to adjust the airflow according to your requirements.

The Blue-Net 6 Port Universal Car Truck Fan Heater is a durable and well-made heater which provides effective and quick heating as well as defrosting for your windshield and windows. Moreover, it is very simple to install and can be a good option for you to buy as it is one of the most popular portable heaters these days.


  • Easy installation.
  • Efficiently heats up the entire vehicle.
  • Well-built.
  • 6 ports enable spreading of the heat evenly.


  • No thermostat.
  • No safety switch.
  • May require a professional for installation.

6. Zataye 12V DC Portable Car Heater

12V Car Heater, 200W 2 in 1 Portable Car Fans with...
  • Heating & Cooling 2-in-1 - Exhaust air without waiting for the...
  • Easy to Use - Just plug it into the 12V car cigarette lighter and...
  • Wide Application - Widely used for car, truck, vehicle, air...
  • Quick Installation - Can be mounted either on the anti-skid pads,...
  • High Quality & Professional Design - Made Of High Quality...

This portable car heater has a heating output of 150W. It is among the fastest heaters out there and will warm up your vehicle in no time. It is easy to install and does not require the car’s engine to keep running for it to work.


  • Simple and Portable: The Zataye portable car heater is very easy to install and all it requires is for you to plug it in your vehicle’s cigarette socket and turn it on. It has a 180 degree rotating stander.
  • Defroster: This heater is highly efficient and is capable of defrosting your windshield and windows within seconds.
  • Output: This heater operates on 12V continuous current with an output of 150W. The power supply is 12V through the car cigarette lighter connector.
  • Heating and Cooling Functions: The Zataye portable car heater quickly heats up the air in winters and also effectively clears up fog and frost. Moreover, it can be used as a fan in the summers to cool you down.
  • High Quality: These heaters are made of high quality material and premium pure copper cable, preventing damage to the battery or wiring.

The Zataye portable car heater can be a good option as it is suitable for not only winters but summers as well. You can use the fan feature when it’s hot to feel nice and comfortable. The heater is quite affordable and easy to use at the same time.


  • Easy installation.
  • Defrosts.
  • Quick heating.
  • Durable.


  • Does not sustain heat for long.

7. KINGLETING 12V Heated Seat Cushion

KINGLETING Heated Seat Cushion with Pressure-Sensitive...
  • HUMAN BODY PRESSURE SENSOR - Our heated seat cushion can...
  • FEEL THE HEAT IN 1 MIN - Kingleting heated seat cushion is...
  • TWO CONTROL METHODS - In order to adapt to different environments...
  • SAFE & RELIABLE - When you leave, the light flashes and power off...
  • FIT UNIVERSALLY - The heated seat cushion comes with a home...

The KINGLETING Heated Seat Cushion is a good alternative if you do not want to invest in a portable heater. It doesn’t heat up the space but will provide heat directly to your body.

Despite its small size, it can generate enough heat to keep you warm. Plus, these cushions are universally fitted to your car’s seat, hence expect no trouble.


  • Intelligent Temperature Control: Unique temperature controllers give you the opportunity to freely choose the temperature between 30℃ to 60℃. You can easily adjust the temperature to how it suits you.
  • Timing Power-Off Protection: This heater has a timer for safety precaution and provides you with timing choices (30, 60 or 90 minutes) to avoid battery drain and overheating.
  • Safe and Reliable: KINGLETING Heated Seat Cushion is equipped with a protection thermostat which protects the cushion from overheating. It will stay constant once it reaches your desired temperature.
  • Universal Fit: The cushion fits most standard seats and is designed with non-slip rubbers and elastic bands to give an excellent grip. Hence, you will not have to adjust it every few minutes.

KINGLETING Heated Seat Cushion can be a good option if you do not like heaters and want to go for an alternate solution. It’s effective and affordable. However, it may not be suitable for everyone.

8. Shape 12V 800W Car Fan Heater

12V Compact Car Electric Heater/Defroster 3 Hole...
  • Advanced performance High heat conversion rate, high-power rapid...
  • Double gear switch Double gear switch, 600W-800W high power, 3...
  • Advanced material It is made of high-quality iron material, with...
  • Easy to install Compact size, energy saving and low noise (almost...
  • Scope of application Car Cefroster Heater is used in cars,...

This well priced and portable heater can rapidly heat up your vehicle with its big outlets giving a large volume of air. This heater works well for defogging the frost as well.


  • 4 ports: The Shape 12V 800W Car Fan Heater is equipped with 4 ports, each with a big outlet expanding large volumes of air. The single outlet temperature is between 80-100 degree Celsius, providing instant heat in even the harshest weather conditions.
  • Multifunction: This car heater will provide you excellent comfort and at the same time will work efficiently to solve the problem of fog and frost
  • Easy to Carry: The heater is lightweight which makes it very easy to carry and install. Plus, due to its small size, it is suitable for a variety of vehicles.

Shape 12V 800W Car Fan Heater can be a good option for users looking for an affordable unit. It may not be the most powerful heater for cars but it is quite effective and can do the job well.


  • Effective demister.
  • Able to heat up quickly.
  • Double switch control.
  • Does not consume much energy.


  • No warranty.

Buying Guide For the Best Portable Heater for Cars, Trucks, Golf Carts, and RVs

These were some of the best portable heaters for vehicles out there. While we have done all the research for you, it is still important for you to be aware of the factors to consider when buying a portable heater for cars and other vehicles.

To help you in this regard, we have explained everything you need to know in this buying guide.

Let’s move ahead:

  • Heater Type: There are three main types of heaters you will find:
    • Convection: They provide even heating for the whole room.
    • Fan-forced: They are great for small spaces only and don’t heat up the air.
    • Radiant: They have an internal fan to blow the air

While they all work well, most users generally prefer fan-forced heaters as they work quickly and don’t require much space.

  • Noise: Some products make a significant amount of noise when functioning. It is important to consider this factor as a noisy heater can make your journeys troublesome and also lead to distractions.
  • Heating Capacity: The area that can be covered by the heater is an important factor to consider. You can find out about it through the heater’s wattage rating. The higher the wattage, the more area it will cover.
  • Defroster: Fogging and frosting of the windshield is a common problem in winters. It would be a good choice to look for a heater that simultaneously defrosts your windshield and windows so you can drive safely and with ease.
  •  Energy Efficiency: Always look for a heater that provides more heat while utilizing little energy. It will save you cost. Features such as an adjustable thermostat, low wattage, and energy saving modes will lead to a more economical investment.

Other than this, make sure to pick a unit that is safe and easy to use with some customization options.

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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