Factors to Consider When Buying the 12 Volt Heaters

Last updated on November 19th, 2021 at 08:34 pm

Winters are always rough and no matter what the place is, a 12 volt heater is required. In order to make a heater efficient, you need to ensure that for what purpose you want one. You can go for a car heater, or a portable heater, or maybe you are looking for a camp heater. Whatever the type is, you need to look for certain features to choose the right heater for you!

These features may include:

  • Type of heater
  • Heating capacity
  • Energy efficiency
  • Noise level
  • Safety features

To understand the 12 volt heater in a better way, we have assembled a helping guide covering all the above factors along with the best recommendations so far!

Our Recommendation:

Auto Ceramic - Best 12 Volt Heater




In our recommendation, the best 12 volt heater is Auto Ceramic 12 Volt Heater.



Why We Chose This?

We chose this 12 volt fan heater because it is multifunctional i.e., offers a warm mode for winters and a cooling fan for summers to treat you well at a very minimal price. Also, the buildup of this compact 12 volt electric heater is very durable; made of plastic along with pure copper cables.


Weight:                13.33 ounces

Dimensions:       6 x 5 x 3 inches

Material:              ABS Plastic

Power:                  150 watts

Adjustment:       360 degrees

What are the Pros & Cons?
  • Light on pocket
  • Compact and portable
  • Easily adjustable
  • No cons as such

What Can Make The Best 12 Volt Heater?

Before reaching the best 12 volt heater, you need to have thorough information on the types of 12 volt heater. So, let us get started with;

  • Car heater
  • Heater for camper
  • Heat lamp

12 Volt Car Heater

For comfort, we prefer to get a ride that offers more convenience specifically air conditioning and the heating. Speaking of a portable car heater, a 12 volt heaters usually defrosts and defogs makes the ride comfortable when the temperature is low outside. Since we are discussing the 12 volt heater for car, before getting one for your vehicle, it is better to look out if there is any type for the product. Let’s give it a quick read to the types of portable car heaters.

To reach the best 12 volt heater for car, there are certain factors to look upon. These factors include;


When you install the heater in your car, make sure that the one which you have bought is capable to withstand heavy-duty for winter. It is recommended to go for the 12 volt cab heater that has a long power cord to connect with the cigarette lighter of your car or just simply go for a 12 volt cigarette lighter heater

  • 12 volt portable car heater is built of a variety of materials, including polyester, nylon, and other synthetic fibers.
  • Select a material that will be able to resist heavy use during the winter months.
  • Additionally, we recommend you pick a 12 volt heater for car with a lengthy wire that can be connected to your car without causing undue strain.
  • Above everything, the heating material should be mounted on a stable swivel base to ensure the best possible support.

Temperature Control

We would all prefer to be in a position where we can regulate the rate at which heat is introduced into the cabin. And it is at this point when controls are introduced. Make sure the 12 volt car heater allows complete control over temperature and it lets you adjust it accordingly. Look out for another feature that is the automatic switch to turn off to ensure more safety.

  • You can regulate the rate at which heat is generated from the 12 volt heaters for cars to meet your specific needs using temperature control mechanisms.
  • Some 12 volt car heaters come with automated switches that shut down the heating system if the unit is left plugged in for an extended period.

Convenience Features

Some 12 volt auto heater / defroster, particularly seat warmers, have massage functions as an added bonus. These characteristics contribute to increased comfort while also supporting improved blood circulation in the body.

The additional features will be charged besides the base price. However, if money is not an issue, take them into consideration.

Heating Speed 

The speed of the heating is related to the temperature however, we are looking for something that heats up quickly. This will also help in defrosting and defogging the windshield and the mirrors. For gradual heat, there are some cheap options are available as well. 


The fan heater is noisy. In case you are going for the fan heaters, make sure to get to know how much noise that fan produces, or do not get one if you can not stand it. 

Heating Style

It is up to you what heating style suits you. You can get three options like radiant, fan-forced or convection heating technology possessing their own advantages and efficiency.

  • Convective heat – a type of heater that converts convection current into heat and spread warm heat.
  • Forced air – a system that distributes heat or cool air throughout the place where it is installed.
  • Radiant heat – a type of heating in which heat is transmitted directly from the ground to the people and things in the room using panels that emit infrared light.

Types of 12 Volt Car Heater

Regarding the heating type of 12 volt plug in car heater, there are four distinct types that need to be considered:

Cushion Heaters for Seat

A type of 12 colt auto heater is a seat cushion heater which is ideal for auxiliary car heaters. They can easily fit on the standard-sized seat and provide warmth in the seat through extension in the whole car. Some products allow you to adjust the temperature as per the requirement. You can totally count on them as they are perfectly safe constructed through the high-quality fabric.

Radiant Portable Heaters

The radiant portable heater cannot set the warm air around the vehicle as it emits infrared rays to heat the objects in the car. Make sure not to let the 12 volt heaters for semi trucks unattended as they are more likely to be fire hazardous especially in compact cars yet, they are perfect for RVs.

Fan-Forced Car Heater

The 12 volt fan heater circulates the heat bypassing the air from the heating elements. Some models possess strong fans that turn the cold air into hot quickly. It is perfect to use in compact cars. The only thing that could be tricky is that it produces noise when the fan is on the run.

Convection Car Heater

Convection heaters use convection currents to heat the space. This 12 volt truck heater is comparatively slow and is a good option for confined spaces like trucks. They work by heating the air and changing the cold air with hot.

If you are looking for more options for car heaters, continue reading: Best Portable Car Heaters

What Is The Best 12 Volt Car Heater?

In our recommendation, the best 12 volt car heater is Red Fast Demisting Defroster for Cars.

Why We Chose This?

We chose 150W Red Fast Demisting Defroster for Cars because of its 2 in 1 nature, high power fast heating, multi-level adjustability, and easy usability.


Weight:                12.1 ounces

Dimensions:       7.17 x 5.55 x 2.99 inches

Wattage:              150 watts

Adjustability:      2 levels

What are the Pros & Cons?

The pros and cons of this 12 volt auto heater defroster with light are as follows:

  • Decent mount
  • High-quality buildup
  • Easy to operate
  • A bit pricey

12 Volt Heater For Campervan

We have compiled a list of the most important characteristics to look for when purchasing 12 volt portable heaters camping.

Source of Heat

Depending on the type of heater, the heating source for your campervan heaters may be propane, natural gas, a wood burner, or an electrical one. Choose the gadget that best meets your requirements.

  • For example, if your campervan does not have enough electrical power, you should avoid purchasing an electric campervan.
  • Furthermore, if your vehicle does not have adequate ventilation, you should avoid using propane or natural gas heaters because they produce an excessive amount of lethal heat.

Heating Capacity

It is critical to determine the heater’s heating capacity, as the proper size heater for a campervan appears to be the most practical option. It is possible to feel chilled or uncomfortable at night if you have a tiny heater for a large area.

High heat output and even dissipation are essential for heating a large campervan and it is best to invest in a heater that can provide both of these characteristics.


Another key element to consider when purchasing a heater for a camper is the location of the heater. For all of us, the most important thing is to be safe.

Safety with overhead covering helps you avoid excessive emissions and fires, both of which can be fatal to the human body while operating an RV or a campervan without proper protection.


When traveling in a campervan with limited space and mobility, a small heater is adequate to suit the needs of the vehicle. These two characteristics ensure the device occupies the smallest amount of space possible within the truck and is simple to move about.

Also, if you have a 1 or 2 person tent, you will not require the largest and most powerful heater. If you are camping in a multi-room shelter, you will almost certainly need to purchase larger and more powerful BTUs. For medium-sized tents, the estimating process becomes a little more difficult. The primary objectives are to avoid frostbite and catching on fire. On to the next phase, which is determining just how much heat you require!


Choose heaters with an aluminum body, which are durable, resistant to affects, and scratch-resistant, making them an excellent option for users. Check for additional options such as ECO mode, auto, timer, and others that will make your heater experience more pleasant and worth your investment!


BTU is an abbreviation for British Thermal Unit. There are a few steps to take to determine the amount of BTUs required to heat your tent:

  • To calculate the cubic feet of the tent, multiply the length, breadth, and height together.
  • Subtract the temperature outside your tent from the intended temperature inside your tent to get the outside temperature. This will tell you how hard your heater will have to work to reach the desired temperature.

The following equation must be solved if the temperature is being measured in Fahrenheit: BTUs required are calculated as follows:

Cubic Feet x Temperature Increase x 0.133 = BTUs required.

If Celsius is your preferred unit of measurement, consider:

Cubic Feet x Temperature Increase x 0.2394 = BTUs required.

Safety Concerns Regarding the Use of a Gas Tent Heater

Stance and Stability

We are all aware that the floor of our tent is not the flattest surface on which to stand. That is why you should inspect the heater to ensure that it appears to be steady or not.

Although it appears to be straightforward, high-quality manufacture might mean the difference between catching your stuff on fire and having a good day. Additionally, ensure that your heater is equipped with a tilt safety shut-off.

Propane Gas Heater with Catalytic Combustion

According to the manufacturers, “Propane gas heaters for tents are significantly safer now than they were in the past.”

Older models used full-on combustion, which had a tendency to result in flames at the best of times and explosions at the worst of times.

The latest heaters make use of catalytic combustion, which is just the reaction between propane fuel and oxygen that generates enough heat to keep you warm. The heat you feel is caused by infrared photons being emitted.

As a general guideline, though, maintain a high level of safety. Keep combustible things at a safe distance. For this reason, your tent needs to be large enough to accommodate all of your bedding and other supplies while still keeping them clean and away from the tent heater. We’ve discovered that these things heat your tent rapidly, eliminate power outage concerns, and allow you to have a more peaceful time.

Calculate The Amount of Propane You’ll Require

You will know how much gas you will need each hour if you are only going to be out for a couple of nights by looking at the tent heater you have. From there, figure out how many hours each day you intend to use your heater to determine your budget. Then sum up the totals from each day.

Just keep in mind that it is always preferable to be cautious than regretting later. There is absolutely no reason to save money on gas. In fact, it’s always a good idea to have extra.

Best 12 Volt Heater For Camper 

Reaching the best 12 volt portable heaters for camping can be a daunting task, so the following instructions may help you a lot.


  • A lightweight and portable heater for the tent is recommended, since it is much easier to carry when camping.
  • The battery powered tent heaters should weigh up to 8 pounds.

Equation for Square Footage

  • The wattage output of the heater can be utilized to determine the size. As a rough rule of thumb, you will need approximately 10 watts of heating output for every sq foot of flooring space in the room.
  • A 1,500-watt heater can be utilized as the primary heat source for just a 150-square-foot room, according to this rule. When utilized as an auxiliary heating source, it has the advantage of covering a substantially larger area.

The Level of Noise

  • Fans on single-room heaters are typically louder than those without.
  • Consider non-fan-forced solutions such as a baseboard heater or an oil-filled radiator if you want to operate quietly in a tranquil environment.

Heat Output

  • The most commonly used units of measurement are watts, amps, and British thermal units (BTUs).
  • The ability of BTUs (or British Thermal Units) to measure the heating potential of various fuels, heating units, and cooling systems make them useful for evaluating energy output across different systems. The optimal heat output ranges between 2,500 and 5,000 BTUs per hour.

A heater’s BTU rating is not always mentioned on the label; however, the following formula can be used to figure out its rating:

  • Heater wattage rating multiplied by 3.413 equals BTU output (the amount of BTUs that equal 1 watt).
  • We can classify fuel heaters into three varieties based on their power source; gas (propane or butane), chemical, and electrical.
  • Gas heaters are the most common type of fuel heater.
  • Heaters powered by propane or butane are the most commonly seen form of heater.
  • However, while electrical heaters are convenient and effective, they might be difficult to operate in a camping environment.
  • Although chemical warmers are completely safe, we do not recommend them for people with sensitive skin.

The Different Heating Technologies

When it comes to heating rooms using heaters, different technologies are employed. The purpose of some heaters is to heat an entire space, whereas others are meant to offer direct heat to the people and objects in front of them.

Convection Heating
  • It provides gentle whole-room warming and is usually used in conjunction with fans to provide additional comfort.
Infrared Heating
  • It directly warms the objects along the route.
Ceramic Heating
  • Instead of using coils, a ceramic heating element can be used.
Filled with Oil Heating
  • Whole-room heaters that are both quiet and inexpensive are becoming increasingly popular.
Baseboard Heating
  • In unheated basements or rental properties, this is a common problem.
Wall Heating
  • Wall heating is particularly useful in tiny places such as bathrooms, foyers, and other small rooms.
Micathermic Heating (Type of radiant heating)
  • The use of small-room heaters that are both silent and energy-efficient.

Safety Concerns

  • When it comes to providing heat, gas heaters have a greater risk of releasing dangerous gas.
  • Anti-tipping, gas leak detection and high-pressure shutoff are all characteristics that must be included in your camping heater.
  • It is recommended that electric heaters be switched off just before going to bed and that your room be suitably ventilated.
  • If you decide on the electric alternative, there will be radiators and fans, which will make some noise during operation.
  • On a warm night, bring a device that creates little to no noise.


  • Carrying a larger heater in or out is more difficult due to the additional drag and weight.
  • As a result, choose the one that allows you the most flexibility.

12 Volt Heat Lamp

Styles of Heat Lamps

Heat lamps are classified into two categories. Certain heat lamps give both heat and light, which is great for creating a natural sun atmosphere for your pet to bask in.

The BYB Heat Lamp will provide a snug patch of warmth for your reptiles, echinoderms, baby chicks, or goats as they prepare for kidding season. A heat lamp that only generates infrared heat, such as the BYB Heat Lamp, will prevent your animals from being disturbed by a glaring light that interferes with their natural sleep patterns.


The heating element will have a wattage power of 60, 75, 100, or 250 watts depending on the model. If you have a heat lamp, it should give the appropriate quantity of heating for your pet, not exceeding 250 watts.

Temperatures should not be too high, especially if you are growing tiny animals or if you have small pet enclosures that need to be heated. If the enclosure is large enough and the bird is old enough, a power supply of 60 to 100 watts is excellent for baby chicks or ducks.

For safety reasons, you must also suspend the heater lamps at least three feet above any domestic pets or farm animals.

It is critical to keep infant animals’ bodies warm during their first few weeks of life because they are unable to create or sustain body heat on their own during this time. The accompanying Pet Ratio Temperature Guide and Wattage/Temperature Guide will show you how to heat your animals at the most appropriate temperatures for them. Additionally, employing a digital thermometer can assist you in obtaining the proper temperature.

Superior Infrared Heating Technology

Heat lamps perform the same functions as standard incandescent bulbs, but they create superior infrared radiated heat and have a longer life span of up to 9,000-15,000 hours or more. These bulbs also deliver fast and consistent heating while also being extremely energy efficient, allowing you to save money on your heating bills.


Black, white, and red are the most common colours for heat lamp bulbs, depending on the type of bulb. A black ceramic bulb has the potential to produce more heat than a white ceramic bulb, but the quality of the element will ultimately determine how much heat is produced.

Generally speaking, black lights are more commonly used for reptiles, whereas white bulbs are more commonly utilized for other animals such as young chicks. A red infrared bulb can also aid in the improvement of blood circulation and egg production in hens, as well as the provision of a gentle, reassuring glow when caring for baby chicks.


It is preferable to use a porcelain outlet rather than a plastic socket for heat lamp emitter bulbs because the majority of heat lamp transmitter bulbs are composed of solid ceramic. High temperatures may be tolerated by porcelain sockets, which prevents any overheating that could damage the bulb or cause fumes.


Will the 12 volt car heaters stay on when the car is turned off?

This completely depends upon the feature that the 12 volt electric heater has as well as its design. Many vehicles do not have the electric current in the cigarette socket when the ignition is turned off. Some cars however offer the features that keep the 12 volt car leather running but this can drain the battery. There are also some car heaters that preserve their heat for 30 minutes or longer after the car is turned off.

Are there any risks related to the car heaters?

We recommended getting a portable heater for car that emits the heat through electricity. Still, there are risks attached to it too. Make sure there are no loose wire connections to ensure safety. Secondly, there are some risks that are based on the materials used in the manufacturing of the car heaters cushions. This might cause a rash on the back of the thighs. 



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This is William Parker, an RV lover, and an adventurer - in short, Beaver Instincts. I am also a professional content creator who knows fairly well how to compare different products, services, and sites. Announcement: Invest in Our Blog to get up to $20K per month in passive income. Email