Finding the right heater for your caravan: a comparison of heater types

On cool days you’re happy when you have one and for winter campers its an absolute must: a heater for your caravan. Amongst other things, the heating output depends on the size and insulation of your caravan. But you also have to consider the energy source, space in the vehicle and your personal comfort. Find out which heater is the right one for you and your caravan.

Air heating

Most caravans have an air heater. This heats air inside in the caravan by drawing in air and heating it in a burner. The air is then distributed evenly throughout the vehicle via warm air ducts and outlets with the aid of a fan.

Depending on the model, air heating systems run on gas, electricity or both.

Advantages of air heaters

  • Heat relatively quickly
  • Easy to install and retrofit
  • Relatively inexpensive

Gas heating

Gas heaters are the most common types of heater in caravans – LPG is a true all-rounder and is on board for every camping holiday. The gas flows from the cylinder through a gas pressure regulator and high-pressure hoses to the heater where it ignites. The open flame in the burner heats the outside air that is drawn into the heater. The ambient air is heated via a heat exchanger and is distributed throughout the living area of the caravan through fins on the heater or via a warm air distributor.

Advantages of gas heaters

  • Large range of models
  • Relatively inexpensive compared to electric heaters

Electric heating

Electric heaters have become established mainly as a useful addition to a caravan gas heater. They are regarded as especially practical and fast, and are particularly worthwhile at campsites that offer a flat rate electricity charge.

Advantages of electric heaters

  • Space-saving and lightweight
  • Heat very quickly
  • Practical for occasional use
  • Ideal as an additional heater, also to save gas

Combination appliances with space heater and water heater

Combination appliances consisting of a gas heater and water heater are becoming increasingly popular amongst campers. This is because just one appliance is needed to heat both the caravan and water. This saves weight and you have more room for luggage.

Combi heaters, for example, are installed below the bench or beneath the bed. The warm air is distributed evenly throughout the vehicle through several air outlets. In winter mode, the caravan heater also heats the water – a 10 litre water tank is integrated in the heater. In summer mode you can heat the water independently of the space heater. Combination heaters are also available as “plus” versions with integrated electric heating elements. This reduces the time needed to heat water.

Advantages of Combi heaters

  • Two appliances in one
  • Even warm air distribution through several air outlets
  • Flexible installation
  • Pleasant room climate

Heating caravans effectively and safely: our tips

  • Keep the air outlets of your caravan heater clear and don’t place damp clothes on top of radiators or the fan to dry.
  • Make sure that all safety standards are fulfilled if you want to pre-heat your caravan while you're driving.
  • Heat your caravan continuously during a winter holiday. Set the heater at the lowest level when you leave your vehicle for longer. This prevents the caravan from cooling completely.