How To Heat A Camper Without Electricity? Here’s How It’s Done

If you are going on off-season camping with family or friends, you must have wondered how to keep your camper warm from inside. And why not?

Life in an RV depends upon three things that are storage, water, and source of energy.

Not having any of these can make things complicated for any camper now if you are going to a place where there is a source of electricity by plugging into shore power.

There are places where you may not find any source of electricity. It is called dry camping or boondocking.

So, here are some ways of heating a camper without electricity and everything else you may find useful. So, let’s start.

How to heat a camper without electricity?

The following are the standard ways of heating a camper without a heater, i.e., on boondocking.

1. Use your camper’s heater.

The first method is ordinarily for emergencies and not for everyday purposes.

Thus, don’t rely upon this as the best or an attractive way to warm your camper without electricity. Follow these steps if you have no other choice than to use your vehicle’s heater to warm your camper.

  • Start your vehicle before you rest.
  • Crank your heater up.
  • Permit it to run for 10-15 minutes to get your camper excellent and hot.
  • At the point when warm, turn the vehicle’s engine off. Remember to keep the windows shut before doing this.

The accumulated warmth will help your camper stay warm for the length of the night. This methodology is splendid and perhaps works outstandingly if your camper has adequate insulation from inside and outside.

Plus, think about your fuel level when sitting in your vehicle. Even though this method is worthwhile, it isn’t competent.

For your vehicle’s heater to work precisely, you need to run your engine. It will burn-through fuel. If it is using a little gas or fuel, keep an eye on your fuel level so you don’t fortuitously desert yourself of these.

2. Get yourself a portable heater (battery-operated)

If there is no source of plugging in your camper or RV into a shore power outlet to get electricity, a portable heater will get the job.

For this, you can either use a portable heater that operates on batteries, gas, or propane. Guess what? Using a battery-operated heater is a good option for heating your camper even though if there is electricity.

It’s nature-friendly and saves fuel. Another advantage of using a portable heater to heat the camper is that they are inexpensive, produce lots of heat in no time of operation, and are suitable for any size campers.

If not battery-operated or gas-based, you can find models running on butane or propane. They are available in different sizes, like small, medium, and large.

Depending upon the size of your camper and how much heat do you need, pick one. Hence, get yourself a portable heater in case you’re boondocking.

3. Have a mounted furnace

Another good option to heat your camper has a mounted furnace. In most cases, a floor-mounted furnace finds suitability.

What makes a mounted furnace a better choice for boondocking is that it’s cost-effective, powerful, and convenient to use.

If you have a gas-based cooking system, the furnace can even use this existing fuel system. Simultaneously, other types of furnaces like the Esper get plumb directly into the camper’s diesel tank.

Another pro of using a vented furnace as a heat source is that if you’re camping in a cold climate, the furnace can give you lots of warmth for a long time without using much fuel or gas.

Best of all, unlike the portable heater, you don’t need to worry about carbon monoxide production in a closed room. The following are the primary advantages of using a furnace as a heating source.

  • The furnace brings in the outside air through the combustion heat and then vents out through the exhaust. So, there is no fear of the build-up of carbon monoxide inside the camper.
  • The furnace gets mounted on a permanent location and doesn’t move from there. Plus, it may come with a wired thermostat inexpensive models.
  • The thermostat keeps the temperature at a constant value, and if it gets cooler than the base temperature, the furnace will still keep the camper warm.
  • They are easy to maintain, install, and operate.

However, the installation of a furnace requires some key points, which are:

  • It would be best if you plumbed the furnace into the propane or butane tank.
  • You need to drill holes into the camp flooring to allow the furnace to bring in air and vent out the exhaust.
  • It would help if you placed the thermostat in such a position that it gets enough air circulation. The thermostat must function well.

In a nutshell, having a floor-mounted furnace is a convenient, portable, and cost-effective option for heating your camper without electricity.

4. Trap the heat inside the camper

No matter how much heat you can generate through any source listed in the list, the heat won’t stay for longer if the camper does not have insulation from inside.

Not only is insulation vital to keep the camper warm, but it likewise keeps your camper cool in warmer climates.

Hence, insulating your camper from inside or reworking on the existing insulation is the first step. For this, there are a few things you can try out.

5. Cover the windows with an insulating material

Windows are the first thing through which heat dissipates the most. Hence, it’s vital to adequately cover or insulate your windows to keep the heat inside and not let it out.

6. Design custom window covers

Custom window covers are a great way to insulate the windows.

7. Use blankets for the time being

If you think that custom window covers take time to come up, you can also use readily available blankets to cover the windows.

However, make sure to use an oversized blanket instead of a smaller one. It won’t retain the heat as ideally it should.

8. Try camping in coastal areas.

Yes, coastal areas are ideal locations for camping if you want to keep yourself free from the fear or need of emergency heating situations.

It is because the coastal areas experience moderate temperatures all year long. So, you won’t find them extraordinarily cooling or heated.

For example, Southern California is one such location. It experiences a sunny, clear, and pleasant climate for most of the year and a slight snowstorm in the winters.

If not coastal areas, what about a mountain range or rain shadows?

9. The hot bottle method

It is the best, inexpensive, and portable option for generating heat inside the camper without an electricity source.

The method involves placing a hot bottle under the blanket to keep yourself heated and warm as long as the bottle remains warm.

However, the hot bottle method is only suitable to keep individuals warm and not the entire RV or camper.

Follow these steps to use the method.

  • Take a well-insulated water bottle that can hold water at high temperatures and fill it up to its rim.
  • Keep the bottle inside a sock or wrap a cloth around the bottle to protect yourself from heat burns.
  • Now, before you go to sleep, place one bottle under the blanket and away from your body.
  • The bottle will work as a mini heater, keeping your body warm for the entire night.
  • But ensure to keep the bottle covered all night long to increase its hot water retention.

If you’re a regular camper, you may even use a proper hot water bag instead of a water bottle.

The hot water bag is much better and safer to use than a temporary water bottle. Plus, the bottle may not last for long hours, but a hot water bag can last for one entire night.

10. Wear proper and more gears

The above methods may or may not work under all circumstances. Hence, the best way to heat the camper without electricity is to wear proper gears. Which gears? Read on.

  • You may cover yourself with a blanket, but your head will remain outside and for a good reason. Hence, it’s advisable to wear a suitable cap or a beanie to keep your head warm. If needed, you can even put on the cap during the night.
  • Instead of wearing a single warm cloth, layer it up to adapt yourself to the changing temperatures outside. It will also allow you to adjust the level of warmth as required.
  • Feet is another place from where the heat can escape. So, keep them covered through warm socks or keeping them inside the blanket all the time.

Other things to try out involves choosing warm bedding, getting into the bed much earlier before the cold waves pick pace, etc.

Plus, remember to install enough curtains inside the camper to retain the remaining heat inside the camper.

Can you have heat without electricity?

No, you can not have heat inside the camper or for yourself without electricity. To get heat without electricity, you can use any of the above seven methods.

Like using a portable heater, keeping the windows closed, properly insulating the entire camper, properly wearing warm clothes, and much more.

Remember, camping around a coastal area, rain shadow, or under a mountain range is another good option to get enough warmth without electricity.


There is no single solution for warming your camper and staying warm without power while outside in freezing temperatures. There are choices to suit everybody’s necessities and worth reach.

It all comes down to what looks explicitly good for you, your camper, and your agenda things.

One thing to reliably recollect is that the more prepared you and your camper are, the to a lesser degree an emergency, a cool spell will show up.

Realize your cutoff focuses uncovered and reliably be sure that it is specially insulated when you buy a camper. It is helpful in both hot and cold temperatures.

If you can’t deal with a full-scale mounted warmer’s expense, you can commonly choose to get an adaptable gas radiator.

Notwithstanding your condition or situation, there are these seven things you can do to promise to stay warm and hot inside the comfort of your camper while boondocking.