My first reaction upon seeing the electric fireplace in our King of the Road motorhome RV was, “What a waste of space and unnecessary added weight.” The simulated flame is enjoyable to watch, but I would rather have the space for storage.
Electric fireplace with heater and simulated flames
Then, the weather cooled and I changed my mind. In addition to the decorative flame, the fireplace has a small heater with a blower fan. It is not sufficient to heat the entire RV in cold weather, but it comes in handy as a supplement.
In milder weather when electricity is included in the site rent, we use the fireplace as the primary source of heat to reduce propane expenses. On very cold days when the propane furnace can not keep up, we turn on the fireplace also to supplement the furnace heat.
I truly came to appreciate our fireplace while spending a few nights in Indiana in sub-zero temperatures. The furnace running 50% of the time was not able to warm the trailer above 55°. We placed the pull-out sofa mattress in front of the fireplace and made our bed on top. Louvers on the fireplace directed the hot air down toward us, providing a very comfortable place to sleep.
When we have guests spending the night, we run the flames without the heater for the ambiance and as a night light.