An electric blanket is a great way to stay toasty warm sitting around a campsite on a cool evening, or just plain keeping your warm in your RV.
People who camp in the mountains or who stay in the desert at night usually have an electric heated blanket or two on hand to keep them warm at night, without having to fire up their RV’s main furnace.
If this sounds like something you are in the market for, you might feel a little spoiled for choice.
While there are indeed a lot of electric blankets out there, only a few have the material quality and engineering to comfortably fit into the RV lifestyle.
So, we took a deeper dive into the world of electric blankets to find the one that’s best portable heated blanket for your camping style whatever you’re looking for a 12V or a battery-powered option for camping.
This called for answering some key questions, and looking at what separates the best RV electric blankets from the rest of the field.
What Is An Electric Heated Blanket?
Also known as an electric blanket heated blanket is a full-body covering blanket with integrated electrical heating elements built in that act like resistors to produce a gentle warmth.
When camping on a cool evening they are typically used as an over-blanket when sitting outside, or as an under-blanket when sleeping in the RV.
Are They Safe To Use Inside An RV?
To safely use an electric blanket inside an RV or tent you have to plug it into the RV’s AC outlets or the power inverter.
Most electric blankets cannot be safely used if it is connected directly to a 12 Volt DC power source, as it could damage the internal resistor heating elements or the wires integrated into the portable heated blanket. Though there are a few with DC power adaptors.
Why You Need An Electric Heated Blanket When Camping?
A high-quality electric under-blanket to help keep them warm without having to fire up the RV’s main propane furnace.
They offer an added warmth that even the plushest standard blanket simply can’t produce.
They are a great way to keep warm on an unseasonably cool winter night or at times when you might be camping at altitude or in the desert at night.
What To Look For In An Electric Camping Blanket?
There are a few things to look for when shopping for a camping electric blanket.
This is definitely one of those times when you want to buy new as older versions tend to burn out or short-out wires as time goes on.
When shopping for a new heated blanket consider the following criteria.
Temperature Settings & Timer
The best electric blankets have different temperature settings that let you adjust them to your ideal comfort level.
They also tend to have a timer that you can set for half-hour to an hour interval. This ensures that if you do happen to get up and forget about it that the blanket doesn’t just keep running on its own all night long.
This is especially important when you are boondocking in an RV and you want to conserve power whenever possible.
A Soft Feel
The more plush the exterior of the blanket is, the better it will hold in the heat generated, as well as feeling soft and cozy to the touch.
Soft, plush electric blankets with an outer layer of cotton, polyester, fleece, or a polymer fabric also avoid direct contact with the wires and heating elements.
Washability & Detachable Controls
You want to prioritize an electric blanket that is rated to be machine washable and has detachable controls.
This lets you keep it clean and hygienic in the long term, which is especially important if the blanket is going to live in your RV during offseason storage.
How to Power The Camping Electric Blankets
Electric heated blankets are designed to be connected to an AC power source. This means plugging it into an AC socket in the RV, or the RV’s power inverter.
You might also be able to plug it directly into an AC outlet on a quiet-running generator.
You should never try to power an electric heated blanket from a DC power source unless the manufacturers specifically note that it is possible.
Connecting it directly to 12-volt batteries or a solar panel can damage the heating elements or cause the blanket to dangerously malfunction.
4 Best Electric Blankets For camping
We took the time to comb through what turned out to be a vast array of heated electric blankets.
Along the way we tried to target models that had the kind of features you look for in a blanket to keep you warm in an RV.
This included things like adjustable temperature settings, an automatic shut off feature, and machine washability.
Of course, we also tried to keep an eye out for comfort as well as the soft of soft feel that makes you fall in love with any blanket.
Here are the 4 best heated camping blankets to help you stay warm and cozy when temperature dips below freezing:
1: best overall: Sunbeam Quilted Fleece Heated Blanket
The Sunbeam Heated Blanket exterior is made from soft 100% Polyester with a channel design in the pleats which gently enrobes you with its innate warmth.
This means it does a great job of trapping both your body heat and the heat produced by the UL-rated internal heating elements on cool nights at camp.
This RV electric blanket also has Sunbeam’s proprietary ThermoFine technology auto-adjusts for consistent heat control.
It was engineered with 10 distinct heat settings, as well as automatic shut-off safety features.
When it comes to RV use this 10-hour feature isn’t the best for sitting around the campfire on a cool night and accidentally leaving the electric blanket on.
Though it’s pretty much perfect for use as an under blanket. You can turn it on an hour or two before going to bed to get everything nice and toasty.
Then it will keep you warm all night long without having to get up to reset it. As a statement of quality, this Sunbeam electric blanket is backed by a 5-year limited warranty and is made in the USA.
It is rated to be machine washable and dryer safe. This blanket will fit most twin-size beds, measuring 81″ long by 64″ wide.
This makes it a great portable heated blanket for keeping warm on cool nights in the RV as well as a great blanket to drape over your lap if you want to sit outside on a cool summer night.
2: best for fast heating: MaxKare B07BWD5F21 Electric heated blanket
This MaxKare Electric Blanket was designed to be fast-heating as well as luxuriously soft, which makes it a great electric blanket for sitting outside at camp on a cool evening, or snuggling up in the RV to read a good book.
It is made with silky flannel on one side and sherpa shu velveteen on the other. It has four distinct heating levels from 95 to 113-degrees Fahrenheit.
There’s also an automatic shut-off feature that turns the electric banket’s heating elements off after 3 hours of continuous use.
This is great for using it as an over-blanket on a cool evening. It’s also worth noting that the MaxKare has a detachable controller and is rated to be machine washable.
This lets you keep it nice and clean throughout the summer and fall without having to worry about damaging it.
It also has a very long power cable of 9.8-feet. This lets you plug it in outside or if you want to sit somewhere in your RV that doesn’t have an outlet close by.
3: best cordless: Cozee B07JQ979XC Battery Operated Portable Blanket
The Cozee takes the concept of the heated electric blanket to the next level in that it is battery-powered!
This battery powered heated blanket is especially handy for RV travelers who need to conserve their house batteries when boondocking off the grid, yet still need a heated blanket on cool evenings.
It is engineered to get warm in as little as 5 minutes. Then it can stay warm for more than 5 hours.
The Cozee It has heated pockets, a comfortable fleece lining, and a well-insulated interior that is soft against the skin, yet it is also designed to be durable enough to handle the elements.
Even once the summer travel season is over, the fact that it’s battery powered blanket means it still can live on your lap if you want to stay warm watching a football game or taking a winter hayride.
One of the other really nice things about the Cozee is that the small built-in battery pack has a 12-Volt adaptor plug, which lets you conveniently recharge it off a DC port like the power port in your RV or pickup truck dash.
There is even two USB charging ports that let you power other devices like a smartphone or an MP3 player.
If there’s a minor complaint with the Cozee it’s that the 5-hour maximum run time of the battery pack isn’t long enough to keep you warm all through an 8-hour night.
This makes it more convenient as a lap blanket or an over-blanket to keep you warm and cozy snuggling up in the RV to read a book on a cool summer evening.
4: best heated mattress: Sunbeam MSU1GQS White Heated Pad
This Sunbeam heated mattress pad is designed to be used for keeping a bed warm all night long.
As a mattress pad it lets you install it onto your RV bunk without having to worry about fixing the bed after every use.
It is made from 100% Polyester for softness and comfort. It has 10 distinct heat settings with automatic shut-off features that turn the electric heated mattress pad off after 10 hours.
This lets you turn it on an hour or two before bedtime to get your bed toasty warm.
Then you can adjust it to your desired sleeping temperature and trust that it will get you comfortable through the night without having to get up to restart it.
It’s also worth noting that this Sunbeam heated mattress pad was engineered with patented ThermoFine technology for safe and consistently even heating. It’s rated to be machine washable and dryer safe.
If there is a minor complaint with this heated mattress pad it’s that it is only meant to be a heated mattress bad.
It’s a little too awkward to be used as a lap blanket on a cool evening when you just want to sit outside and be cozy.
How Much Power Does An Electric Heated Blanket Use?
On its highest setting, the average heated electric blanket will consume around 200 watts.
This means that if you leave it on for 10 hours, it will consume roughly 2 kilowatt-hours, which can be a factor for times when you are boondocking off the grid and running off the power of the RV’s house batteries or the current produced by a generator.
If you are connected to a campground or RV park’s shore power, and they are charging you a usage fee, this would equate to around 30 to 50-cents to run the heated electric blanket all night.
Are Electric Blankets With A Short Timer Better Than A Long Timer?
An electric blanket with a long time that automatically shuts off after 8 to 10 hours is best for use as an under blanket when sleeping on a cool summer night.
That way you don’t have to get up in the middle of the night to restart it.
An electric blanket with a short time that automatically shuts off after 2 to 4 hours is better for an over blanket on cools nights when you want to sit outside, or relax and watch a movie on the RV couch.
That way if you forget to turn it off, the blanket doesn’t run all night long needlessly wasting energy.
Are Electric Blankets Safe?
A newer, well-maintained electric blanket is very safe to use. Though you need to follow the manufacturer’s instructions to the letter. Older blankets and ones that are not taken care of properly can be increasingly prone to shocks and minor burns.
What Is A UL Or ETL Rated Electric Blanket
An electric blanket that has a UL or an ETL certification of “Listing” has been through rigorous third-party testing at an independent laboratory.
Submitting the blanket to be tested is voluntary by the manufacturer. So earning one of these coveted safety designations speaks to the manufacturer’s dedication to quality and safety, as well as the fact that a professional outside source verifies the blanket’s safety.
Modern-day electric blankets are a safe and convenient way to keep you warm on a cool evening or let you sleep comfortably through the night.
Things like soft fabrics and machine washability are certainly hallmark features that you want to look for in all of the best electric blankets.
Though when it comes down to prioritizing one over another, you might want to start by thinking about how you will use it the most.
If you are looking for an electric blanket to keep on your RV for cool evenings sitting outside, or just snuggling up on the couch to read a good book, then the MaxKare might be the best electric blanket to meet your needs.
It has a relatively short automatic shutoff timer of three hours. So, if you do get up or go to bed and forget to turn it off, the blanket will shut itself off without needlessly wasting energy.
It also has a long power cord which is convenient if you want to use it outside or when there isn’t an outlet close by.
If you use your RV for a fall hunting base camp, or you sometimes like to camp in the mountains then the Sunbeam Heated Mattress Pad might be the best electric blanket to meet your needs.
With its relatively long timer you can set it up right before bed as an under-blanket, then it will keep you warm all night long, without having to get up in the middle of the night to reset it.
The fact that it was designed for use as a mattress bad makes it easy to install onto your RV bed and leave it in place.
If you are looking for a portable electric blanket and can be recharged from a DC power source, then the Cozee might be the best electric blanket to meet your needs.
You can plug it into just about any DC power port with an adaptor, and it will hold enough charge to keep you comfortably warm for up to 5 hours.
You will also appreciate the two USB ports for powering other devices like your smartphone.
Last Updated on by Aaron Richardson