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How to find a safe portable 1500 watt heater


I have 20+ year old space heater that is nearing end of life.

120 volt, 1500 watts

We use it in the camper when have electric hookup, and need a little extra heat.

I started looking online for a replacement, the one I have is not made any more. There are some similar looking ones but the reviews of them are really bad.

I started looking at all the portable 120 volt, 1500 watt electric heaters. Prices from $20 to $150 and even ones with the best reviews, have about 10%, 1 star reviews. Things like,

  • Stinks like melting plastic even after hours of use.
  • The cord melted
  • The switch(es) melted
  • Stopped working after a couple of hours (or a few days)
  • No or very limited heat
  • Auto tip over shutoff does not work

I expect some level of poor reviews on any product. And there are few of the normal stupid stuff, like "It won't heat my whole house" and "If I run it and a bunch of other stuff it trips a circuit breaker in the house".

Overall the level of potentially fatal flaws reported on all makes and models of portable 1500 watt heaters is scary.

Can a safe portable 1500 watt heater be purchased new in modern times?

If so what attributes will help me narrow my search to safe products?

P.S. over $150 they get too big to be portable, this is size limit not a budget constraint.

P.P.S I have an integrated propane heater in the camper, the electric heater is backup/supplementary

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1 answer


If you're worried about fan heaters because they all seem to have a poor safety record... that wouldn't be entirely unjustified. There do exist reputable models that won't leave small plastic puddles on your floor, of course, but it can be difficult to separate the good, the bad, and the fire risk.

If you're not up for doing that, you can also look for their cousins, the portable oil-filled radiators. They're... exactly what they say on the tin; a small radiator, filled with oil, that you can cart around and plug in where you want them. As always, go for a recognised brand rather than the cheapest or coolest looking.

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