If propane seems to be a better heat option for your tiny space there are lots of options. The RV industry is full of propane heat sources: like forced air furnaces, and catalytic type heaters. Both these options work well but they have their downsides. Furnaces are hard to retrofit into existing spaces and catalytic heaters can cause issues with condensation.

Another attractive option is a small propane fireplace! These little fireplaces are very light weight, have a very small footprint and they are very efficient plus they don’t have as many issues with condensation if they include a direct-vent flue. They also have a built in thermostat so you can have complete control over the interior temperature of your space. Unlike wood stoves they don’t require all the chores plus some models have the option of a thermostat which would shut off when the desired interior temperature is reached.


We’ve lived in our Airstream and now 5th wheel for a total of 6yrs. Four of these years we had a wood stove as our primary source of heat. When we had shore power we used a small electric space heater to keep the edge off when we were gone and at nights.

This summer we have plans to build an off-grid Tiny House so I’ve been doing some planning and scheming on all our systems. Since we are off-grid electric heat is not an option. Coupled with our small wood cookstove I also want a heat source that is connected to a thermostat. This thermostat option would kick in when the wood stove died out and when we are not home maintaining a 55-60 degree temperature so our plumbing doesn’t freeze.


There are currently several small propane fireplace heaters on the market. One, The Dickinson Newport, is made for the marine industry and has been used for years. The Stainless-Steel Newport is pretty simple and aesthetically not that pleasing. Another downside with the Newport is it does not have a thermostat simply a high/low control. This is fine for when you are home but if you wanted to set the temp then leave or go to sleep this is not ideal. The other option is the Mini-Franklin which is currently out of production.

For more info on the Dickinson Newport and Mini-Franklin checkout the info box at the bottom of the page.


Given our own personal needs and seeing what’s available for the Tiny House community it’s time for another small gas fireplace heater option! We’ve started the design process on our little Dwarf Gas heater and hope to have it ready for Tiny Living in 2020.


We are obviously fans of wood heat and a gas option certainly has its place in Tiny Living! Some spaces wood heat is not practical because of lifestyle. A small propane fireplace would add comfortable heat and the ambience of a dancing flame. Propane fireplaces cost a bit more than forced air furnaces and catalytic heaters but they are small, lightweight, efficient, easy to install and look great!


Dickinson Marine Newport P-9000

Price: $960 Dimensions: H14” x W8.5” x D5.5” Weight: 22lbs Flue Outlet: 3” Max Output: 3200-4500btu Notes: The Dickinson stove comes with a heat shield and vent pipe with the purchase price — everything you need to install. Owners Manual

Dickinson Marine Newport P-12000

Price: $1200 Dimensions: H16” x W10” x D7.25” Weight: 25lbs Flue Outlet: 3” Max Output: 3200-5500btu Notes: The Dickinson stove comes with a heat shield and vent pipe with the purchase price — everything you need to install. Owners Manual


Price: $1300 Dimensions: H17” x W14.5” x D15” Weight: 72lbs Flue Outlet: 4 5/8” Max Output: 8,000btu Notes: Not sure if the Franklin comes with vent pipe? Thoughts: The Franklin is larger and heavier than the Dickinson stoves but the added soapstone helps maintain and radiate the heat from the stove.


  1. Hi I bought a Dickinson P9000 just after 911, so I guess that’s about 16 years now. I used it as a maintainer to keep the chill out and pipes from freezing ,when I wasn’t around to feed the wood stove, in a 960 sq ft cabin.
    I’d run the mini fireplace constantly for about 7 months of the year *16yrs
    The only problems were with the original fans which were very noisy and constantly burned out. They have upgraded to a better design.
    It still looks and works like new .
    Makes a constant hiss like a large soldering torch or a rv hot water heater (from the outside)
    This sound does have a white noise effect to help drown out outside noises.
    Against Dickinson s recomendations I installed two lengths of vent pipe. If the stove is lit
    when it is very cold and the door is immediately closed the flame will go out. This is easily prevented by leaving the door slightly open for a few minutes and when a proper draught occurs close it.
    Recommendations:AAA +
    I expect this to be a lifetime purchase,something so rare these days. I only wish that the p12000 was available when I bought mine.
    PS When I originally bought the p9000 I was told it put out 9000 btus
    It doesn’t. The current Dickinson ratings seem to be spot on.
    PSS I am currently installing my P9000 and a cubic mini grizzly in my 34′ motor home as a replacement for the unreliable forced air furnace. It’ll be nice to have a choice of fuels and the ability to leave the Dickinson on without having to worry about draining my batteries.
    Thanks Geo

    1. Hi I wanted to add that I really like the ambience of the flames this mini produces. I live off grid and at night it can be pitch black. It acts as a night light to get around but isn’t bright enough to disturb your sleep.
      My P9000 isn’t thermostatically controlled and when I bought it ,it wasn’t an option so check to make sure if that’s important.

    1. Linda-

      Thanks for your interest in our project! We’re still in the prototyping phase, but are making good progress and hope to have the first model ready for sale for the 2021/2022 heating season. Drop me a line at if you’d like to be on the email update list for news and promotions when the Dwarf Gas is available.

    1. Michael-

      Thanks for your question. Our current product line and future developments are based on customer demand and the tiny living community’s needs. At this time we haven’t experienced a large demand for oil stoves but if/when that changes we’ll definitely look into it. Thanks for the suggestion!

  2. Will the mini gas fireplace fit into the existing furnace area for a truck camper? And could it be hooked up to the existing propane system like the furnace is?

    1. We don’t yet have the final dimensions of the propane stove so can’t say if it would fit your existing furnace area. It should hook into any existing propane system with the proper fittings.

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