How To Build An RV Heater

Figuring out how to build an RV heater can be tricky; however, there is a very easy solution. Building an RV heater can be done with just a few simple items found around your house and, of course, the sun. That's right. Solar power can be used quickly, easily, and efficiently to make your RV ten to 50 degrees warmer in the winter. In fact, solar power is considered to be one of the best and least evasive methods of the production of green energy. Many companies like Go Green Power and Future Friendly, a division of Proctor and Gamble, have devoted entire sites to energy production through the same concept of solar energy used in building the solar RV heater in this guide.

To build an RV heater using solar energy you will need:

  • Plexiglass or a double paned window measuring at least 4×5
  • Four to six wooden 2x4s
  • One sheet of 1.5” insulation board
  • Utility knife
  • Hammer
  • Nails
  • 50 aluminum drink cans
  • Black paint for fireplaces or stoves.
  • Silicon adhesive
  • Caulk
  • Wood Sealant paint or varnish
  • Drill
  • Jigsaw
  • Plywood to fit the back of your case.
  • Two small fans
  1. Construct the heater casing. To begin to build an RV heater you will use the wooden 2x4s, hammer, and nails to construct a case that will fit snugly around the 50 aluminum cans. The best method for the cans will be to stack them in ten rows of five. Once you have built the frame, attach the plywood backing with hammer and nails. Seal corners and sides with caulk.
  2. Insulate the case. Place the sheet of insulation board snugly into your freshly built frame. There should be no room between the sides of the frame and the insulation board. Flipping the case over cut a four to six inch diameter hole in the upper right hand corner. Cut a four to six-inch diameter hole in the lower left corner. This is to allow for the heated air to flow through your RV heater. The holes must be cut through the insulation as well as the plywood backing.
  3. Prepare your RV heater heating duct. Taking a drill cut two-inch diameter holes in the bottom of each of your 50 cans. Paint each one of the cans completely black using the matte finish fireplace or stove paint. Let the cans dry completely before moving on to the next step.
  4. Stack and install the heating cans into your RV heater case. Connect the 50 black painted cans together by stacking and securing the cans with silicon adhesive. Remember, you are stacking them ten high and five wide. Once you have connected the cans place them snugly into the RV heater solar heating unit case.
  5. Seal the front of the RV heater solar case. Place the double-paned glass or Plexiglass over the casing. You will need to attach the glass with sealant and then seal off with caulk. You must wait for this to dry before moving to the last step.
  6. Attach the fans to the vent holes. Using the small fans, attach one to each of the vent holes to allow air to move freely from the top and bottom of the casing. This will allow the hot air to rise and to be distributed throughout the RV for heating.
  7. Now that your RV heater has been built it's time to capture the solar energy. You can do this by placing your new RV heater into any window of the RV. One of the more convenient aspects of this solar method is that you can move the panel to any window throughout the day depending on the sun and your own travel methods. Once placed the RV heater will capture the sun's heat, the heat will rise, and then escape with the help of the fan at the top of the RV heater to heat your RV through the cold winter days and nights.
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