Are you thinking about getting an RV fireplace? It can be a lovely addition to your rig. RV fireplaces provide warmth and ambiance you can’t fabricate.
But you can’t install just any fireplace in a camper, so in this article, we’ll examine the benefits and disadvantages of RV fireplaces and give you our top three picks. And we’ll teach you how to install one in your camper.
Can You Put a Fireplace in an RV?
Yes, and there are many options to choose from. RV fireplaces range from propane to wood burning, but many RVers opt for an electric faux-fireplace.
Another popular fireplace for RVs is a mini wood stove that burns real wood. However, the process for installing a wood stove is complicated and involves significant alterations to your RV. And there’s the risk of fire to consider.
There are pros and cons to each style of fireplace, but we prefer the electric version.
➡ Did You Know? You can also put woodstoves in your RV! Learn more here.
How RV Fireplaces Work
Electric RV fireplaces are essentially electric space heaters for your RV that have a cozy faux fire display for added warmth and ambiance. The fireplace plugs into a power source, be it electricity or propane, and blows air over a heating element. A fan blows the warm air into the room, raising the temperature.
There’s a faux-fire display that looks like real flames without the smoke or hazards of a real-flame fireplace. You can run the fireplace with or without the display on.
Propane RV fireplaces connect to your RV propane tank or a portable propane tank option and operate with a propane flame to heat your RV. They’re efficient at heating your space fast, but they produce a lot of condensation. That’s the main reason we prefer electric.
Why Would You Add an Electric RV Fireplace?
RV fireplaces are popular additions to older campers, and many new RVs on the market come with them pre-installed. Even if your RV has a furnace, a fireplace is an excellent addition for ambiance and extra warmth.
To help you decide if you want one, we’ve made a list of the pros and cons.
An electric RV fireplace creates the ambiance of a real fireplace without the hazards of smoke and flame. You can’t beat the experience of cozying up in front of it with a cup of coffee or cocoa on a cool morning.
They provide steady, dry heat as long as you hook up to a reliable power source. You can also run the display without running the heat if you want to use your furnace instead.
The main drawbacks of an RV fireplace include finding somewhere to install it if your camper is short on space. Not all RVs will have the space or hookups for it.
And then there’s the high power draw. If you’re someone who likes to boondock often, a power-sucking space heater isn’t exactly conducive to an off-the-grid lifestyle.
Pro Tip: If you don’t have a fireplace and instead prefer campfires to cozy up to, use these 5 Simple Ways for How to Get Campfire Smell Out of Clothes.
Where Should You Install Your RV Fireplace?
In most newer RVs, RV fireplaces come pre-installed in the “entertainment center” area, usually directly under the TV.
You can install your fireplace anywhere in the camper, but the best place would be in place of cabinets you don’t necessarily need. You can also install it anywhere there’s empty wall space because you can build a box around it.
If you’re renovating your entire RV, you have plenty of options. You could do like traditional manufacturers and put it under the TV where you often have extra cabinet space. Then, you can have cozy movie nights with the “fire” going. You could replace other cabinets with a fireplace as well.
When choosing a place to install your fireplace, have a power outlet nearby. Also, keep it out of the way of any slide-outs or other mechanisms in your RV.
Never install your RV under or near your RV thermostat, though, because running it too close could affect your RV furnace operation.
How to Install an RV Fireplace
Once you’ve decided where you want to install your RV fireplace, the rest is relatively simple.
You may have to modify a cabinet space to fit your fireplace in flush. Or, if you’re installing it on a blank wall space, you might want to build a box around it as a mantle. They come in different sizes and depths, so you have options when you’re selecting one.
If possible, your RV electric fireplace should be on its own breaker. This accessory has a significant power draw and will need its own outlet, too.
3 Best RV Fireplace Models
When selecting an RV fireplace, look for one that only produces heat out the front. Some electric fireplace models have heat coming out the sides, too. Since yours will be boxed in, you don’t want it to come out the sides.
RecPro 36in RV Electric Fireplace with Flame Color Settings
RecPro produces many quality furniture and accessory options for RVs. The RecPro electric RV fireplace is attractive and sleek with three flame color settings.
This fireplace comes with a remote control, and it plugs into a standard power outlet.
You can choose continuous timed heat settings from one to eight hours, and you can easily remove the fireplace glass panel for cleaning.
The dimensions of this fireplace are: 36in Width, 14.75in H, 6.5in D. If this fireplace doesn’t work for you, RecPro has other options available here.
Furrion 30in Electric Fireplace for RV
Furrion is another well-known RV furniture and accessory brand. Their fireplace looks sleek, too!
- High Heating Capacity: Furrion Fireplaces can heat up to 500 sq....
- Safety Features: Proximity sensors and overheating protection,...
- Realistic Multicolor Flame : Give your RV the homey atmosphere...
With this fireplace, you can choose between two different models: wood and crystal. The wood model has faux logs producing the flames, and the crystal model has faux crystals that produce the flames.
This fireplace can heat up to 500 square feet and has adjustable temperature settings from 65 to 5 degrees.
There are three different sizes for this heater, so you’ll likely find one that will fit your space.
R.W.FLAME 30 inch Recessed and Wall Mounted Electric Fireplace
The RW Flame recessed fireplace is the last on our list, and it comes in a wide variety of sizes. It has faux crystals and comes with a touch screen and remote control, too. You can adjust it for five flame speed modes and five flame brightness levels.
- Attractive and Practical Design: 30"L x 18.11"H x3.89 "W, The...
- Multi Operation Modes: Touch screen and remote control;12 flame &...
- Energy Saving: 750W & 1500W modes can be adjusted accordingly for...
It’s made for homes, but it can easily work in an RV. As such, it has a high power draw and can heat up to 400 sq. ft.
You can buy it in six widths from 30in to 68in. It’s the thinnest electric fireplace we’ve seen, with a total depth of only 3.85 inches, which makes it easy to install just about anywhere in your camper.
FAQ: Are RV Fireplaces Safe?
Electric RV fireplaces are safe. But, as with all things that produce heat, you must take care to operate them safely.
Check that the heater isn’t too powerful for your RV or electrical outlets. A space heater like an electric fireplace should be on a dedicated breaker, too. Never leave your space heater running unattended. With these tips in mind, they’re very safe!
Propane RV fireplaces and heaters are generally considered safe, too, but you should never leave one unattended. Propane heaters in an RV produce a lot of condensation and have an open flame, so take extra care. Again, this is why we prefer electric models.
Pro Tip: Propane can be perfectly safe to use, if you use it correctly. This is how to Avoid Disaster With an RV Propane Detector.
FAQ: Can I Leave My Fireplace on All Night?
You should never leave your RV fireplace running while you’re sleeping. It’s essentially a space heater, so follow the same rules. You should never leave space heaters unattended while you are sleeping or out of the RV. This is so something doesn’t accidentally malfunction unsupervised, cause electrical issues, or worse case cause an RV fire.
Should You Add One to Your RV?
RV fireplaces provide a lot of warmth and a special, cozy ambiance that you can’t get with a regular space heater or furnace. So is an RV fireplace right for your camper?
If you have the space to add it and are looking for some extra coziness, it’s totally worth it!
However, if you don’t have the space or a capable power system, you might want to look for alternative heat sources.
Do you have an RV fireplace? We’d love to know! Drop a comment below.
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