best car camping heaters

Best Car Camping Heaters with tested reviews | Top 6 in 2023

Last Updated on September 22, 2023 by Jack Ryan

Searching for car camping heaters in the market so that you can turn your cold, chilly car camping journey into a cozy and warm haven in no time. In this article, we will discuss about both electric car camping heaters as well as propane camping heaters for car camping. And a few safety tips as well as things you need to consider before buying a portable car heater. If you are in a hurry here are the quick link to the best of the best.

If you are in a hurry here are the quick links to the best of the best.

Types of car camping heaters

When it comes to car camping heaters, there are a few different types to choose from. However, the two most popular camping heaters are propane heaters and electric heaters.

Electric car camping heaters are powered by electricity, so you’ll need to have a power source inside the car. As for the power source, you can either use a car battery or a portable generator like Jackery. Just plug it in and you’re good to go! One thing to keep in mind with portable electric heaters is that they are not powerful as propane heaters. So, if you’re camping in extremely cold weather, you may want to consider a propane heater instead.

Propane heaters are powered by propane canisters, which makes them super portable and easy to use. Just hook up a propane tank, turn it on, and voila! You’ve got yourself a warm and toasty car camping experience. Propane heaters come in different shapes and sizes. There are small, portable heaters that you can carry with you wherever you go, and there are larger heaters that are perfect for bigger tents or RVs.

One thing to keep in mind with propane heaters is safety. Make sure to use them in a well-ventilated area, and always keep an eye on the flame.

Best electric car camping heaters

1. METKIIO Space Heater

METKIIO Space Heater car camping heater
Jack’s Map Rating

Let’s start with an extremely portable camping heater. Metkiio portable camping heater is my go-to car heater when I go solo car camping. Why you may ask? Well, the reason is that this mini electric heater has a safety switch installed underneath it. In case the heater accidentally tips over, the switch will immediately turn off the heater, preventing any potential accidents or hazards.

Despite its small size, this car heater is surprisingly efficient and gets the job done without any issues. Generally speaking, mini heaters are often not powerful enough for camping, but this one is an exception. It comes equipped with three temperature controls, making it even more versatile and perfect for keeping you warm and cozy during your outdoor adventures. And another thing to notice is that this is extremely quiet when compared to the majority of the car camping heaters out there. Let’s look at a few pros and cons.

Recently when I checked for reviews, I noticed a few negative reviews saying the plastic melted off when using the highest temperature setting. Just a heads up if you are planning to buy this. So far no issues popped up for me personally.

  • Extremely portable and doesn’t take up huge space
  • Silent
  • Has a built-in safety mechanism to auto-turn off when tipped
  • It can be quite hot to touch when left for a longer time.

2. Lasko Mini Car Camping Heater

Lasko Mini Car Camping Heater
Jack’s Map Rating

Another portable cheater but with a higher wattage than the previous one, Lasko generates greater heat. The Lasko Mini car camping heater is personally my favorite and I think this is the best value for money.

The only thing I see lacking in this product is there is no tip over-protection. This is not a deal breaker for me at all, however, having a safety feature like that is crucial when you are camping in the wild. As for the features and performance, this only weighs around 1 pound and the design is extremely portable. And for the size performance of this one is exceptional. Using the Lasko heater, I was able to heat up the interior of my car within 10 -20 minutes to a considerable temperature, which was much quicker than with the METIIKO heater. In addition, unlike the METIIKO heater, in here exterior doesn’t heat up too much, so you can touch and relocate it with ease.

So would I recommend it? Of course, I do. If you camping in a small van or a car then this is perfect for you. (Unless you are camping in Canada in the winter) However you are searching for a car camping heater for an RV or a bigger vehicle then I won’t recommend this, as this would be too small and it would take forever to heat.

  • Extremely portable and stable
  • Silent
  • The heating system is faster compared to the METIIKO heater.
  • Won’t overheat during prolonged use.
  • No tip-over protection
  • Only one temperature setting

3. Amazon Basics Mini Heater

Amazon Basics Mini Heater
Jack’s Map Rating

The Amazon mini heater is another great alternative to a car camping heater. The features of this one are kinda like a combination between METIIKO and Lasko. Why you may ask? this one got a tip-over protection switch, silent fan sounds, and an extremely portable and stable design.

However, there are no temperature levels, just an on-and-off switch. Due to the box-shaped design, the stability of this tiny heater is absolutely amazing unless it’s accidentally kicked or pushed, which is a major advantage in my opinion. Moreover, being an Amazon Basics product, there are often various discounts or promotions available on the product page (usually), which makes it really cheap. At the time of writing this article, it only costs around $20.

The Amazon Basics Mini camping heater is advertised as a 500-watt heater but in reality, this draws about 750 – 900 watts. And with higher power usage the output temperature is also greater. You can heat up the insides of your car using this pretty quickly compared to both car camping heaters above.

  • Extremely portable and doesn’t take up huge space
  • Silent
  • The heating system is faster
  • Won’t overheat during prolonged use.
  • Tip over protection
  • Only one temperature setting

4. Andily Small Electric Heater for car camping

Andily Small Electric Heater for car camping
Jack’s Map Rating

If you’re planning a car camping trip and need a reliable electric heater, the Andily portable heater is definitely worth considering. It boasts a design that’s similar to the Lasko heater but with added safety features such as a tip-over protection switch and an LED power indicator that shows if it’s plugged in or not. Plus, it has an automatic overheating system that shuts off power if it becomes too hot, giving you peace of mind while you stay warm inside your car.

Unfortunately, this model lacks a temperature control system and only has one temperature setting, which is disappointing. Despite this, considering its price point, it’s still a worthwhile purchase. Moreover, upon reading through the product review page, I couldn’t find any particularly negative reviews, which is a positive sign.

  • Portable and Small
  • The fan is quiet.
  • Tip over protection
  • Only has one power switch and lacks a temperature control system.

5. GIvebest Portable space heater for car camping

GIvebest Portable space heater for car camping
Jack’s Map Rating

If you’re in the market for a portable heater that packs a serious punch, look no further! This high-powered electric tent heater is a game-changer for anyone planning a camping trip in an RV, van, or tent. With an impressive wattage of 750 to 1500, this little guy can heat up your camping space in no time flat.

Not only does this electric heater come with tip-over protection to keep you and your surroundings safe, but it also features a temperature control system that lets you choose between 750 or 1500 watts for customized heating. Plus, the thermostat knob on the left allows you to adjust the temperature from 0℉ to 158℉. This nifty feature means the heater will cycle on and off based on whether or not the room has reached your desired temperature, making it incredibly easy to use.

While this high-powered electric tent heater is certainly impressive, it’s important to note that it may not be the best choice for use inside a small car. Due to its rapid heating abilities and high wattage requirements, it’s best to stick to using this heater in larger, more open spaces where it can effectively heat the area without causing any safety concerns. Ex – As an outdoor tent heater, RV camping heater.

  • Portable and Small
  • The fan is quiet.
  • Tip over protection
  • Temperature Control System
  • Not the best for a really small camping car

Best Propane Camping Heaters

If you’re not keen on investing in a portable power station like Jackery or don’t have access to enough electricity to power your electric car camping heater, then a propane car camping heater may be the way to go(Don’t use it inside the vehicle, even it is safe to use indoors). However, it’s important to note that while propane heaters can be a great option for general tent camping, they may not be the best choice for car camping as these can emit carbon monoxide gas which is extremely poisonous in enclosed spaces. If you still want to use a propane heater inside your car then definitely buy a carbon monoxide detector to that you can be on alert. Still, here are the best propane camping heaters for tents.

6. MR Heater Little Buddy as a motorcycle and a car camping heater

MR Heater Little Buddy as a motorcycle and a car camping heater
Jack’s Map Rating

By far my favorite propane camping heater. Firstly, this camping heater does an amazing job at providing heat, and a 16oz propane tank would last about 5 hours. It has a great tilt sensor that cuts off the flames in case it falls over, which is definitely a plus for safety.

I really love the build quality of this thing. It feels really sturdy and due to its portable design, you can easily bring this with you without any hassle. In my opinion, this is the best motorcycle camping heater although in here we are talking about car heaters.

However, the real issue I had was starting it up. It takes quite a bit of effort to get it going – you have to press the red button multiple times for a small pilot flame to appear, and after that, you have to hold that red button in for up to 60 seconds. Most of the time it worked, but sometimes you have to keep doing the same process over and over to get this going.

All and all I think this is a really solid camping heater for motorcycle camping as well car camping. If you want to go for a higher-powered camping heater then I would suggest Mr Heater Big Buddy Portable propane heater.

  • Provides plenty of heat and gas and lasts for a long time.
  • Great tilt sensor for safety.
  • Can be used in a variety of settings, including emergency situations, camping trips, and outdoor events.
  • Low-oxygen sensor and accidental tip-over switch with auto shut-off for added safety.
  • Starting the heater can be a bit of a hassle.
  • Not the best choice if you planning to use it inside the car

Safety Tips When Using a Camping Heater

When it comes to using car camping heaters or motorcycle camping heaters, safety should be your top priority. You don’t want to be the person who accidentally sets their campsite ablaze or causes carbon monoxide poisoning because you didn’t take the necessary precautions(Only for propane camping heaters).

– Use an Indoor Safe Propane Camping Heater

First things first, if you are using a propane camping heater, make sure your heater is appropriate for indoor use. Some heaters are only designed for outdoor use and can be hazardous if used inside a tent or camper van. (The Propane heater I mentioned in this article is safe to use indoors) Always read the manufacturer’s instructions and safety guidelines before using any camping heater. One important safety tip is to ensure proper ventilation. You don’t want to suffocate from carbon monoxide gas build-up! Keep a window or vent open to allow fresh air to circulate.

– Watch Your Power Source When Using Electric Car Camping Heaters

If you are using an electric car camping heater, always keep an eye on your power source. Don’t overload your circuit with too many devices or appliances, as this can cause a fire hazard. Keep your heater’s cord away from any flammable materials, such as bedding or camping gear, to prevent any accidental fires.

– Place it on a flat surface

Remember to place it on a flat surface. Don’t try to place it on an uneven surface cause these little heaters can easily tip over and cause damage to your gear or even start a fire. Always make sure it’s placed on a level and stable surface. For this, you can buy a car camping table. Here is a list best car camping tables out there.

– Keep an Eye on Your camping heaters

Lastly, it’s important to monitor your car camping heater while it’s in use. Don’t leave it unattended or fall asleep while it’s still on, as this can lead to a potentially dangerous situation. I know the whole reason why we are buying a camping heater is to sleep comfortably at the end of the day. I’m not saying not to sleep. Just be aware of your surroundings and any potential hazards.

In conclusion, using car camping heaters or motorcycle camping heaters can make your outdoor adventure much more enjoyable, but it’s important to prioritize safety. By following these tips and using common sense, you can stay warm and cozy without any worries.

Conclusion – Car Camping Heaters

Alright, it’s time to wrap things up and put our newfound knowledge about car camping heaters into action. Trust me; these heaters are game-changers when it comes to staying warm on those chilly nights outdoors.

No more shivering in your sleeping bag or trying to start a fire with damp wood. With a car camping heater or motorcycle camping heater, you’ll have instant heat at your fingertips. It’s like having a personal fireplace in your tent or campervan.

Just make sure to choose the right heater for your needs and practice proper safety measures when using it. And for all you motorcycle campers out there, don’t worry; there are heaters designed specifically for you too!

So, go ahead and plan your next camping adventure with the confidence that you’ll be warm and toasty no matter what the weather brings. Happy camping, my fellow outdoor enthusiasts!

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