Best Portable Car Heaters

This post might contain affiliate links, read more here.

As the winter season approaches, it is always rewarding to ensure that everything is in place before the cold can ruin your well-laid plans.

Among the things that could frustrate you is when your car heater goes off in the middle of the road on freezing cold weather.

If you decide to have your broken heater fixed, it will cost you a fortune just to get back on the road in time. However, there is an option for that, particularly when you are in a hurry.

The alternative solution is a portable car heater that can help you keep your car space warm and cozy. But the thing is that you might not know how long a particular car heater can last.

So, here are some of the things that you should know about to avoid getting into a dilemma during the winter season.

Keeping Warm Inside Your Car

You have to know that there are other ways to keep yourself warm other than a portable car heater. Here are some of the methods that you can mimic when you aim to keep yourself warm and cozy.

  • Layer Up

It is advisable to keep a few blankets inside your car when you are driving in the winter. So when you come across a broken car heater or when you can’t use a portable car heater right away, then it pays to battle the cold with some handy blankets.

  • Temporary Warmth

You may also consider having something to keep you warm for the moment, such as disposable heating packets. These are very useful when you are trying to keep warm, as you can comfortably put your hands and feet against it.

  • Always Run The Vehicle

When you get stuck in the snow, you might get confused whether to start the car or just wait it out. But the best way is to run it every hour for at least ten minutes to give yourself some warmth.

Just make sure that you have charged your battery before you go out to be able to do it. Then, as soon as the weather clears out, you can just drive out and get away from the cold.

  • Use Tint

If you are not aware, tinted windows of vehicles can effectively ease the stress of driving in the winter. The main reason is that tinting can add an extra layer of insulation.

This means that your car is able to trap the heat during the winter more effectively than those without tint. This extra layer of insulation enables you to warm up your vehicle in no time.

  • Buy A Car Heater

This is an ideal way to manage the cold during winter. So if you want to find a quick solution to the winter problem, then it is best to consider buying a car heater.

A portable car heater can be used for an RV or sedan, which can be plugged into the interior power socket. This should be enough to make you comfy when driving in the cold.

Understanding The Cost Of Fixing Car Heater

As your vehicle reaches a certain operating temperature, the warm coolant begins to flow through its radiator. That is when the heat becomes available.

Take note that your car heater could be prone to damage due to some of the factors behind it. Such would include low water levels, which supposedly be adequate so that it can properly mix with the coolant.

The moment your car heater starts to work improperly, it serves as a sign telling you that it is going to cost you a fortune. The repair cost will range from $300 to $1,000.

But actually, there is no fixed cost for the repairs, which ultimately depends on the root cause of the problem. Thus, you may either purchase some replacement parts or a complete replacement.

That is why you need to consider portable car heaters as an alternative to costly repairs. But you need not go far to find help because here are some of the best portable car heaters that are easy to install and at the same time well-built.

1. RoadPro RPSL-681 12V Direct Hook-Up Ceramic Heater

If you are into a powerful portable car heater, then the RoadPro RPSL is one that you can count on. It is also a great way to maximize the battery of your vehicle as it comes with a 25A rating.

Most of all, it is an intuitive device as you can switch options from heat to cool in the settings. You can also use it as a truck heater since it can heat a truck cab or any suitable corners of your vehicle.

Take note that you need to hardwire this ceramic heater to make it work. You may also hook it up directly to your car battery, but it may not be a friendly procedure unless if you are a mechanic.

Pros

  • Comes with installation hardware
  • Largest and most powerful 12V DC heater available
  • Direct hookup heater, which provides enough heat to your car
  • Provides up to 300W of power
  • Emits hot air immediately
  • Fairly blows hot air over a specific area
  • Adds flexibility with heat to cool settings

Cons

  • Not suitable for larger vehicles

2. Portable Car Heater (12V DC)


The most important factor for car heaters is to have the capacity to provide ample heat and allow people to feel comfortable during winter. As a portable car heater, you can use this product to heat your RV because it can quickly heat the area within just a minute after turning it on.

You can also maximize the cigarette lighter socket of your vehicle because you can easily plug in your device from there. As a portable car heater, this unit is built for people on the go.

Pros

  • Heating output of 150W
  • Easy to install and power up by plugging into the cigarette socket of your car
  • Stay warm even without running the engine of your vehicle
  • Great at defrosting or defogging window glasses
  • Great heating and cooling functions
  • Made of high-quality material and premium copper cable

Cons

  • Unable to give an ample amount of heat with the 12V portable car heater
  • Unable to sustain much heat for the long haul

3. Zerostart 2600900 Interior Car Heater

This product is one of the most versatile portable car heaters you can buy. This is because you can mount it on the floor of your vehicle or under the dashboard.

It also comes with a mounting bracket that enables you to install the device so easily. Nevertheless, you have to note that this is best for recreational cars or other light-duty vehicles.

If you are in for a portable car heater, then you should give the Zerostart interior car warmer a try and be able to know the difference.

Pros

  • Easy to install and mount on the floor or under the dashboard
  • Ideal for light-duty and RVs
  • Compact plugin electric portable car heater
  • Great for defrosting and defogging your car’s windows

Cons

  • Not suitable for large or heavy-duty vehicles

4. RoadWorthy Back Seat Heat Plus Truck Heater

This is suitable for trucks or RVs along with your existing car heater. However, it can also work well with cabs, vans, or trailers because of its instant heat output.

It is also made of durable materials to guarantee product quality. Its high impact casing is something you can rely on over the years of use.

Now, you don’t have to suffer from the cold when seated at the back because you can now use the backseat heater, powered by the battery of your car.

Pros

  • Easy installation with some tools
  • Helps circulate the existing heater
  • Produces 300W of power to provide 1,100 BTU
  • Serves as an auxiliary to your existing portable car heater

Cons

  • Requires hardwiring
  • Needs to start the engine first before it can be used
  • Not intended as a primary heat source

5. Camco 57341 Olympian Wave 6 Gas Catalytic Heater

If you have an RV, then this portable heater should perfectly suit your needs during the winter. In fact, this model provides adjustable BTU settings between 3200 and 6000.

The good thing about this unit is that it doesn’t operate on electricity but on HD5 propane gas. So don’t worry about your battery being drained.

You can also mount this portable car heater or simply use it as a portable device for your RV. Basically, it has a safety shutoff valve to prevent any accidental fuel discharges.

This device can also operate on low-pressure gas, which is so economical in terms of power consumption. Additionally, this is well-suited as a secondary heating source for your cabin, home, or vehicle.

It also has the automatic electric Piezo sparker built into its mechanism to last for about 20,000 starts. Thus, it is a clean, efficient, and safe way to use car heaters in your car.

Moreover, Olympian Wave heaters from Camco are designed and built to last for years of comfortable, economical, and radiant heat. Thanks to the flameless catalytic combustion process.

It is so efficient because the combustion process takes place at low temperatures. Radiant heat produced is also effective to provide warmth and comfort, similar to that of the solar radiation.

Pros

  • Safe to use
  • Uses HD5 propane gas to operate
  • Doesn’t drain your battery
  • Easy to install
  • Adjustable BTU settings from 3000 to 6000
  • Can be used as a complementary heating source
  • Ideal for dry camping or boondocking
  • Prevents accidental non-ignition fuel discharge

Cons

  • Flame type heaters waste around 45% of the heat produced

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

Arguably, this is the most famous propane heater in the U.S. It is offers better radiant heat at 4000 to 18000 BTU, perfect for spaces of up to 300sq.ft., which can be used for indoor or outdoor purposes.

Aside from being an efficient portable car heater, it also provides 100% clean energy. The Big Buddy RV heater also offers low, medium, and high level control knob if you prefer to have steady temperatures.

Pros

  • Indoor and outdoor use
  • Clean burning
  • Almost 100% efficiency
  • Auto shutoff when tipped over
  • High, medium, and low heat level control knob

Cons

  • Doesn’t support unauthorized attachments or accessories
  • May not be available in some states of the U.S. and Canada

7. Camco Olympian Wave 3 LP Portable Gas Catalytic Heater

Camco created another portable gas catalytic heater for vehicles, which provides a range of 1600 to 3000 BTU. Similarly, this product will not drain your battery because it uses gas to make this portable heater work.

It is also capable of providing ample amount of heat to keep 130sq.ft. of space warm. Aside from being a flexible device, it operates on low-pressure gas. You may either use it as a portable device or wall mount it on a particular space.

Pros

  • Can be used as a portable device or can be mounted on a wall
  • Has a safety shutoff mechanism to help prevent accidental non-ignition discharge of fuel
  • Doesn’t drain the battery of your car as it uses gas to work
  • Works without unnecessary noise of the blower or fan

Cons

  • May require RV insulation when camping in cooler temperatures

8. Mr. Heater Golf Cart Heater

A golf cart heater can be used by those who want to play golf during the cold days. It can be mounted or stand-alone device inside the golf cart.

It also offers an ergonomic cup holder and handles, making it so easy for transporting. It is also very compatible with most golf cart cup holders you can find on the market.

At the same time, it provides a wind-resistant burner and pilot system to gain optimal heat output during windy days. Moreover, it comes with a tip over switch and oxygen depletion system.

Additionally, it is a device that works using propane gas, so you don’t have to worry about draining your battery. Thus, you can use this device up to 5.5 hours of continuous use.

Pros

  • Wind-resistant protective screen
  • Ergonomic carrying handle
  • Offers tip over switch
  • Has an oxygen depletion system
  • Lasts for 5.5 hours at 4,000 BTU
  • Outdoor car heater
  • Huge radiant heating surface
  • Porcelain coated reflector
  • Easy-grip handle

Cons

  • Propane gas tank not included

9. RoadPro RPSL 581 Portable Car Heater

When it comes to fast heating car heaters, one of the most reliable items you need to buy is the RoadPro 12V All Season Black Heater and Fan with Swivel Base.

However, the manufacturer has asked users to read the manual carefully before using the device. This is because the RoadPro 12V is not frost-proof, so it is not advisable to turn it on when the batter was previously frosted.

This device can be used both in the summer and winter because it features a heater-fan combo, designed for the people who often like to be on the wheel.

One thing to be aware of though is its power, which is limited to the capacity of the electrical system currently on your car. Therefore, it is important that you understand the details about this device before buying it.

Pros

  • One of the cheapest portable car heaters
  • Works great as a defroster
  • Uses a 20A blade fuse
  • Adjustable swivel base
  • Plugs directly into the power or lighter socket
  • Installation hardware included

Cons

  • Not resistant to frost
  • When the temperature is low, it can hardly heat up the windshield

10. Portable 12V 150W Heater Defroster Fan Car Ceramic Heater Demister Fan

Pros

  • Easy to operate
  • Provides multi options
  • Compact size
  • Fast heating without waiting for the car’s engine to warm up
  • The solution to heavily frosted car windows
  • Works as a personal heater and defroster

Cons

  • Car engine must be kept running to achieve the best output

Safety Measures

Needless to say, a portable car heater is designed and produced with safety at its core. In fact, they are likewise durable enough to withstand typical wear and tear.

However, you simply can’t discount the fact that portable car heaters can also cause some safety concerns in which nobody would want to happen.

Therefore, it is important that you have to follow instructions to avoid any untoward incidents. More importantly, it is strictly recommended to follow the guidelines suggested by the manufacturer.

Moreover, it is not advisable to install any portable car heater if you have no idea about its specs or mode of installation.

Conclusion

Portable car heaters have a special role in keeping a particular area of your car warm and cozy during the cold winter months. Therefore, it is important to know how these devices work for your advantage.

So whatever vehicle you have, you can rely on any of the leading portable car heaters available in the market today. But it would totally depend on your preference, as far as reliability and efficiency are concerned.

Overall, if you want to avoid costly repairs on your car’s heating system, perhaps it is time that you consider using portable car heaters. Not only are they able to provide the much-needed warmth and comfort that you need, but they are also more affordable than the typical car heater.

Show Comments

No Responses Yet

    Leave a Reply