How to Put a Heat Source in a Cargo Trailer

Keep the inside warm with portable small-space heaters.
Keep the inside warm with portable small-space heaters. (Image: red horse trailer image by studio vision1 from

Cargo trailers may be big or small and are used to haul gear and equipment. Most cargo trailers are austere, being a basic enclosed box mounted on trailer axles and wheels. If you have need to transports goods that require a moderate temperature but are going through cold environments, consider adding a heater to the cargo space. There are two different options for adding a heat source to the cargo trailer: wall mount or portable roll-on heaters. When using propane heaters in enclosed spaces, be sure to vent the space and allow air flow as the propane flame burns oxygen and could lead to asphyxiation.

Things You'll Need

  • Power drill and screwdriver
  • Measuring tape
  • Marker
  • LP tank mount brackets
  • Bolts, screws
  • Bungee cords
  • Chains

Wall Mount

Measure out the mounting location along an interior wall of the cargo space. Keep the heater mounted toward the bottom third of the cargo wall, as hot air rises. Mark the mounting bracket screw holes and drill them out.

Mount the heater bracket to the wall via the power screwdriver. Use bolts to secure it to the cargo trailer wall, and take care not to go all the way through the wall, damaging the exterior of the cargo trailer.

Secure the heater to the wall-mounting bracket. Most heaters use screws to secure the heater to the bracket. Tighten the screws to ensure the heater is tight and secured against the wall.

Attach the two LP tank circular brackets within two feet of the heater but close to the ground. The brackets are similar to barrel loops but have a tightening slide in the center. Mount them to the wall with bolts and the power screwdriver. Slide the tank into the brackets and tighten. Run the LP tank hose to the heater.

Roll On Portable Heater

Open the back of the cargo trailer and slide the loading dock down. Pull the roll on heater to the cargo trailer.

Push the heater to a corner or out of the way location. Be sure no cargo will touch the heater to prevent fire hazards.

Secure the heater to any cargo loops along the side of the trailer. Use chains or bungee cords to keep the heater in position and set the foot brake on the heater dolly.

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