5 Safe 12V Heating Pad Options for the Road

Nights on the road can get pretty cold, and you might find yourself wanting a 12V heating pad. These electric devices keep a specific area warm and don’t consume TOO much power. Place one on your seat or slip it between the blankets for a heating solution that will keep you warm all night.

This list includes several different styles of travel heating pad. A 12V or USB heated blanket will let you wrap yourself in the warmth; this is a good choice for hanging out in the back of your campervan or RV. Heated seat cushions mimic the effect of heated seats and can be used even when the car is off. Mattress pads will keep your bunk warm while the car is off overnight.

We’ve select five of the best heating solutions for your various travel needs and how they can be incorporated into your van life. Any one of these options will help you get through your next chilly night.

Top 5 Heating Pads for Campervans/Travel:

Roadpro 12-Volt Polar Fleece Heated Travel Blanket

This long-lived electric blanket is simple, dependable, and easy to use. Cuddle up under almost 16 square feet of toasty, heat-retaining polar fleece. The best part? Unlike anything else on this list, even if it’s not plugged in.. it’s still a blanket.

This versatile alternative to a USB heated blanket gets up to 104 degrees, while only drawing a mere 4.6 amps. The blanket continually draws power from your car battery, so it’s best used while the car is in motion. When you’re not using your Roadpro blanket, zip it up into the included carrying case for easy storage.

Pros:
✅ This electric blanket features a 55 Watt, 4.6 Amp low amp draw.
✅ Comfortable/warm even when not plugged in!
✅ Temperatures range from 70 to 104 degrees Fahrenheit.
✅ The power cord is 8 feet long and can reach into the back seat.
✅ An included zippable carrying case measures 13″ by 4″ by 15″.

Cons:
❌ This blanket is not washable and cannot be disconnected from its electrical wiring.
❌ The electric blanket continues running as long as it’s plugged in.
❌ There is no on or off switch; an LED indicator alerts you when the blanket is drawing power.
❌ You cannot control the heat; the blanket automatically reaches and maintains maximum temperature.

highlight-arrowPro-tip: Anything that changes temperatures (heating elements, or cooling elements like a 12V cooler) is inherently going to draw a lot of power.

If you’re worried about falling asleep with some of these heated pads and waking up with a dead battery, you can use a 12V Power cutoff to automatically disable the device when your battery drops to 11V, which is still lower than you’d like, but is a handy insurance policy against a completely drained battery.

Facon 12Volt Heater Seat Cushion with 3-Way Temperature Controller

This smaller heating pad is meant to go under your butt when driving. But its compact size is also great for slipping under the bedsheets or sleeping bag to warm it up for a while before heading to bed. Three heat settings and a power button let you completely customize your seat warming experience.

Each heat setting draws power at a different level. The low setting draws at 12 watts; the medium setting draws at 18 watts; the high setting draws at just 25 watts.

Pros:
✅ Very low power draw
✅ Flat & Compact
✅ Low heats to 95 degrees; medium heats to 105 degrees; high heats to 115 degrees.
✅ The seat is made from artificial polyurethane leather lined with breathable foam to avoid overheating.

Cons:
❌ The cord is roughly 4.5 feet long and might not reach into your back seat, unless you have a rear 12V cigarette lighter port to your house battery setup. You might consider a 12V extension cord.

Electrowarmth Twin Heated Mattress Pad

The Electrowarmth Twin Heated Mattress Pad is a high-quality solution for those chilly nights in your camper. This pad covers the full length of a twin-sized mattress! This is great if you’re looking at something that pretty much always stays on your bed, however if you have a smaller/custom sized van bed, it may be oversized. A comfort control dial lets you choose from 7 different heat settings.

Pros:
✅ This 12V heating pad features a 75 watt draw. The highest setting draws at 6.2 amps.
✅ 7(!) heat settings let you find the perfect level of comfort.

Cons:
❌ This blanket takes around 30 minutes to reach full heat. Consider preheating it before bedtime.
❌ The power draw is continual; don’t use this on your main car battery overnight.

Zone Tech Heated Rear Seat Cushion

This back seat heated pad is meant for the back seat of sedans, but if the above mattress pad heater was going to be too big, this might be just right for your smaller bed setup. At 50 x 18 inches, it folds flat and can tuck right under you to pre-warm your sleeping setup before a cold evening. It also includes 3/8″ thick foam padding for maximum comfort. Secured straps keep the cushion in place without slipping or sliding.

The pad includes a switch so that you can choose between high and low settings. A 70″ power cord reaches from your 12v outlet to any part of the car.

Pros:
✅ This 12V heating pad uses 120 watts (10 amps)
✅ Heat between 86 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
✅ No-slip design and straps keep the cushion in place all night.
✅ An “off” switch keeps the cushion from draining your battery when not in use.

Cons:
❌ Higher Amp draw, compared to other options. Use this sparingly.

Go Low-Tech

Carex Hot Water Bottle with Cover

When you want to warm up but don’t want to drain your battery or mess with a USB heated blanket, why not go old school with a Hot Water Bottle? This surprisingly warm device is covered in a toasty fleece cover that keeps the heat in and feels great against your skin.

To use this hot water bottle, simply boil water on your stove or over a campfire and pour it into the rubber bottle. Seal the cap, slip the cover over the bottle, and place it wherever you need heat. Hot water put in this bottle will stay warm for at least 45 minutes.

We actually think this is a great way to conserve resources and take advantage of your other daily camper activities. Boiling a couple cups of water on a stove is cheaper, faster, and requires no electricity. You might even have some leftover water from coffee/tee/dinner that can be repurposed to warming your bed with this!

Pros:
✅ 0 amps needed 🙂 Just hot water.
✅ The fleece cover can be removed so that it stays dry while filling.
✅ Turn your extra cooking water into a way to heat your bed at night.
✅ Will last a lifetime

Cons:
❌ This hot water bottle has no internal heating element; it needs to be refilled whenever it cools down.

Overview

Whether you choose a USB heated blanket or a 12V heating pad, select a heating option that fits the part of the car you’ll spend the most time in. Most 12V devices keep draining power as long as they’re connected to the socket. This works great while the car is in motion, but it can cost a lot of power when the vehicle is turned off. Unless you’re using a spare battery, make sure you unplug your devices before you fall asleep. We hope you have safe and warm travels!