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How to Heat Your Caravan

A reliable heating system is paramount if you’re planning a caravan trip during the colder months. There are a variety of options available, each with their own benefits and and disadvantages, so let’s take a closer look.

Diesel Heater

A diesel heater is a popular choice for those who do a lot of off-grid camping where other there are no other available heating sources. Diesel heaters can be highly efficient, using a minimal amount of fuel to provide a lot of heat. Additionally, diesel heaters are typically very reliable and require limited maintenance.

However, there are some downsides to diesel heaters. They can be noisy, which may be a concern if you’re camping in close proximity to others. When it comes to a diesel motorhome or RV, some campers prefer to connect directly to the vehicle’s fuel line instead of setting up an extra fuel tank for the diesel heater.

Regardless, you must calculate your fuel consumption ahead of time to keep the heater running. Installation is normally straight forward, but there should be heaps of instruction guides from fellow caravanners available on the web as the provided instruction manuals don’t always do the job.

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Gas/LPG Heater

A gas or LPG heater is another popular choice for caravan heating. These heaters are designed to run off of propane and butane gas, which is widely available at most camping and caravan supply stores. One of the biggest benefits of a gas heater is that it can be hooked up directly to your existing gas container, eliminating the need for an extra gas source.

Nevertheless, there are some downsides to gas heaters as well. They can be less efficient than other options, which means you may need to use more fuel to achieve the same level of heat – and that can be expensive in the outback. If not properly ventilated, your gas heater can produce carbon monoxide, but you are required to get a licensed gas fitter to install the unit. They are also notorious for giving off humidity, so be sure to set up adequate ventilation.

Combination Air & Hot Water Heater

A combination air and hot water heater is a great option if you’re looking for a heating system that can also provide hot water for washing dishes or taking a shower. These heaters work by using a small tank of water to provide heat, which is then circulated through your caravan via a fan or blower.

A major advantage of the combination heater is that it can be very efficient, as it uses a single source of fuel to provide both heat and hot water. Additionally, these heaters are typically very easy to use and require minimal maintenance.
However, combination heaters are typically quite pricey which may be a concern if you’re on a tight budget.

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Generator & Electric Heater

A generator is your best pick if you need to power multiple appliances in your caravan, including a heating system. Generators work by converting fuel into electricity, which can then be used to power your caravan.

Generators are versatile commonly very reliable and require minimal maintenance, although some models can be very thirsty. They are also fairly noisy and have become notorious for creating sour camping neighbours. Paid campgrounds often have a policy to switch off generators at night, but it’s common courtesy to not disturb your surrounding adventurers.

General Tips for Staying Warm During Camping

Regardless of the heating system you choose, there are a variety of additional steps you can take to stay warm during your camping trip. Here are a few key pointers:

  • Park your caravan in the sunlight: Whenever possible, park your caravan in a location where it will receive direct sunlight. This can help to warm up the interior of your caravan and provide some much-needed warmth during the day.
  • Cook inside the van: Cooking inside your caravan can also help to trap the warmth inside. Consider preparing hot meals or beverages to help keep you warm during your camping trip.
  • Add awning walls: Adding awning walls to your caravan can help to insulate and protect against wind and rain.
  • Bring extra blankets and clothing: Make sure to pack plenty of warm blankets and clothing, always remember to have wool or thermal underwear closest to your skin, and then add layers on top.
  • Cold creeps up from the ground. An extra groundsheet, matting or other additional flooring will help prevent the cold from seeping in from below. Avoid direct contact with the cold floor with rugs or warm loafers.

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In conclusion, there are a variety of heating options available for caravan camping, each with their own pros and cons. Whether you opt for a diesel heater, gas/LPG heater, combination air and hot water heater, or a generator and electric heater, it’s important to choose a system that is reliable, efficient, and easy to use. Additionally, taking steps to stay warm during your camping trip can help to make the experience more comfortable and enjoyable.

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