Motorhome & Campervan heating- Best Options for cold nights (2022 replace)

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Want to make use of your motorhome or camper all 12 months, together with winter? Need to remain heat on the highway in your van? Here are the most effective motorhome and campervan heating options, plus how to decide on the most suitable choice for you!

Don’t neglect to seize your FREE winter van life guidelines under that will help you keep organised.

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Motorhome and Campervan heating

Whilst motorhomes and campervans have lots of similarities, there are some variations in how they is perhaps heated, significantly in the event you’re designing or redesigning your individual van.

Most motorhomes and dealer-built trendy campervans have some form of heating system, like a Truma or Alde, already in-built, which makes it very simple for homeowners because it’s one much less factor to consider.

However, van conversions or older campers won’t have any heating put in in any respect. Therefore, if you wish to reside in your van or use all of it 12 months spherical, you’re going to want some – except you determine to move south for the winter and bask within the heat of southern Spain (though even that may get chilly at occasions!)


What is the easiest way to warmth a campervan?

There are many various kinds of heating for campervans and the most suitable choice will rely totally on what kind of van you could have, how you employ it and the way a lot you wish to spend!

The major choices for motorhome or campervan heating techniques are:

From right here, you have to determine in order for you an put in heating system, which is completely fitted and often has ducting and vents, or in order for you a free-standing system, like a plug-in 12v heater.

You additionally want to contemplate issues like payload, airflow, air flow and value. It’s necessary to notice that there isn’t any one ‘best campervan heating’ possibility; what works for one van proprietor won’t work in any respect for the following.

Shutting down your motorhome/ camper for winter?

Grab your FREE winter shutdown guidelines right here


Campervan heating- issues to contemplate

There are varied issues to consider when you’ve got a transformed or modified campervan and wish to set up heating:

  • Is it a transformed car?
  • Is it a “fit for purpose” car?
  • Is it a car particularly for habitation?
  • What is the car comprised of?

Some folks go so far as to put in underfloor heating of their campervan or heated towel rails or combi heaters. If you possibly can consider any option to warmth a home, somebody has most likely tried it for van life.

Just do not forget that in the event you do determine to suit a heated towel rail or underfloor heating, you’ve checked that your campervan leisure battery can deal with the ability drain.


Best Motorhome heating choices

If you could have a motorhome or a campervan which has been professionally transformed, I strongly suggest getting a everlasting motorhome heating system put in if there isn’t one there already.

We have a Truma unit which runs off each electrical and fuel and it’s really easy to make use of. I like the truth that I can use it while staying off-grid and wild tenting with my motorhome (utilizing my refillable LPG tanks), however I also can use it when plugged into the campsite electrical and save the fuel.

This flexibility works rather well for a van like mine which spends lots of time off-grid, however even in the event you plan to only use campsites I’d suggest in search of a van which has twin heating choices so you could have some flexibility sooner or later.

The major sorts of heating for a motorhome are:

  • Blow air/ put in (which may run off fuel, electrical or diesel)
  • Free-standing/ transportable heaters (electrical or fuel)


Factory-Fitted Blown Air Heating Systems

As talked about above, most motorhomes can have a factory-fitted heating system put in (mostly Trauma or Alde).

The sort of system fitted will rely on the 12 months/mannequin/make of the van- extra trendy vans are likely to have rather more environment friendly techniques. (They additionally are likely to have a lot better van insulation, which is necessary for utilizing your motorhome in winter.)

Most motorhomes have a ‘combi’ system, which is heating (often blown air) and scorching water. This is usually managed by a panel within the van, and you may select whether or not you need simply heating, simply scorching water or each.

The normal for these is often to run on both electrical or fuel (propane or butane). Using the fuel might be a lot hotter, particularly in the event you solely have a low amp electrical energy provide. Note that you simply CAN be plugged into mains electrical and nonetheless select to make use of fuel to your heating.

Older fuel techniques (usually used as caravan heaters) are managed by buttons/knobs on the unit itself. Although these are older variations, new fashions of this sort of system are nonetheless obtainable.

How a lot electrical energy does my combi heating use in my van?

Here’s a (VERY) fundamental information of what number of amps your heating would possibly use or you too can use this helpful calculator (to transform watts to amps).

  • 240v with a 1000w system will use roughly 4 amps
  • 12v heating system with 1000w will use about 83 amps
Motorhome leisure battery guide
Staying heat and cosy in winter

Can you employ a fuel heater in a motorhome or camper?

Absolutely! We use a fuel heating system in our motorhome and it really works rather well. It’s a blow-air system which permits the nice and cozy air to journey by means of ducts and go out of vents positioned across the van, so your entire house will get heat.

You also can use free-standing fuel heaters in your campervan. There’s extra about these under.


Diesel heating choices for motorhomes and campervans

Many vanlifers are altering to diesel heaters just lately, particularly as fuel is changing into more durable to seek out and dearer.

The commonest makes of diesel heaters within the campervan world are Eperspacher and Webasto. Both techniques are dependable, however not low-cost to put in, so ensure you plan to make use of your van a LOT earlier than you put money into this sort of motorhome heating.

There are loads of cheaper fashions to be discovered on Amazon and eBay, usually coming from the Far East, however it’s inconceivable to understand how good these are because the names change so ceaselessly.

My recommendation can be to go for a well known dealer. After all, a poorly made heating system may kill you in your sleep if it leaks carbon monoxide.

Diesel heating- how a lot energy does it want?

There are 3 frequent energy outputs for motorhome diesel heaters- 2kw, 5kw and 8kw.

As motorhomes, caravans and campervans are small areas, most individuals set up the 5kw model; that is greater than sufficient to offer you an incredible warmth output.

You can both get a system with a diesel tank (which suggests you gained’t by accident empty your car gasoline tank), or one which has a feed instantly out of your major gasoline tank (which lets you lower down on weight.


Can you employ an electrical heater in a campervan?

Yep. Many vans use electrical heating. Again, some are blown air techniques, that are very efficient, however some are free-standing electrical heaters which you set into the wall sockets when plugged into mains.

Many of the free-standing heaters are literally oil-filled radiators, that are nice and can hold the house at an ambient temperature. We used them on the boat for years.

However, they don’t heat up an area in a short time so aren’t all the time appropriate in the event you’re driving all day then stopping late at night time. They also can drain numerous electrical energy.

Just work out a fallback if the campsite electrical provide journeys or there’s a energy cut- how will you keep heat?


Can you warmth your van with out electrical energy?

Having electrical energy as an influence supply could be powerful within the winter, particularly in the event you use solar energy as your major option to recharge your battery.

In the winter, photo voltaic is far much less efficient, so the battery gained’t recharge so rapidly and it’ll drain extra as you employ lights and heating for longer.

So what if you wish to warmth your van with out electrical energy? Are there any choices?

Well, sure, there are.

Campervan heating choices with no electrical energy

  • Freestanding fuel heater
  • Paraffin/ Bioethanol heaters
  • Wood range
  • Terracotta/ pot heaters
  • Soap Stones

Freestanding Gas Heater

These are small transportable heaters which you’ll be able to decide up cheaply sufficient from {hardware} shops or Amazon.

They run off fuel canisters and require no electrical energy to make use of. We used to make use of them on our boat after we had been anchored in a cove someplace.

You want to recollect:

  • To carry and substitute the best sort of canisters (one will final round 4-8 hours, so that you’ll want a LOT!)
  • To ventilate the house, in any other case you’ll get condensation in your van however you additionally run the danger of carbon monoxide poisoning! So crack a window or open a hatch earlier than utilizing.

Most of these kind of small fuel heaters have some form of warning stating they need to solely be used outdoor, due to the dangers. They’re nice to warmth up an awning or outside house although.


Paraffin/ Bioethanol heaters

We use one among these on the boat for some time and it’s nice. We have a tabletop bioethanol fireplace and it really works rather well.

Again, you have to watch out about air flow, however they warmth up the house rapidly and keep heat for some time. Just ensure you purchase the best sort of fuel- some are cheaper however odor terrible.


Can you employ a wooden range in a campervan?

You can set up a wooden range in a campervan and many individuals do, particularly those that reside in it long-term and are on a price range. And certain, it’s positively a option to warmth your camper while not having electrical energy.

However, there are just a few large drawbacks to having a wooden range in a campervan:

Of all of the choices for campervan heating, this might be my LEAST favorite option- I’ve seen and heard too many tales of issues going unsuitable to be proud of one in my car. If you’re , please do full analysis earlier than shopping for one.


Terracotta/ pot heaters

Although the concept of those has been round for a very long time, they’re pretty new to the vanlife neighborhood.

They work by heating up the pot, which then retains the warmth for a very long time. Whilst I like the concept of utilizing natures components to create a warmth supply, it comes with most of the identical drawbacks as a wooden range; bare flame, laborious to control, takes a very long time to chill down and excessive threat of carbon dioxide and monoxide poisoning.


Soap/ Heat Stones

Soap stone is an incredible pure materials that holds warmth for a LONG time. They work in the identical approach that mattress heating pans used to work (though these had been full of coal!)

To use:

  • Heat the stone (within the oven / fireplace) for about 30min at approx. 180°C
  • Wrap the stone in some form of protecting bag / toweling (to forestall the stone from burning your sheets)
  • Place it into your mattress. This will hold your mattress good and toasty for a number of hours (the precise size of time relies on the scale of the stone).
  • CAUTION – these get SUPER HOT! Don’t burn your self moving into mattress! They will also be fairly laborious to seek out, so hold your eyes open.
Campervan heating- essential if you use your motorhome all year.
Motorhome skiing- how to winterise and prepare your motorhome or campervan for winter in the mountains
Campervan heating- important in the event you use your motorhome all 12 months.

Best campervan heaters

So, now that we’ve shared the professionals and cons to numerous strategies of motorhome and campervan heating, what are the most effective campervan heaters?

We’ve examined and reviewed most of the main manufacturers available on the market and right here’s what we suggest.

NOTE: Fitting any after-market heating system has security dangers. I strongly suggest you get them put in by an accepted fitter. If unsure, discuss to an NCC Approved Workshop (right here’s their web site.)


Best 12v motorhome and campervan heaters

If you want a 12v heater to your van, listed below are some we suggest:


Unusual campervan heating choices

Did you realize you may get heated flooring mats to your van? Oh sure you possibly can!

Heated Floor Mats

These are genius! If putting in below flooring heating shouldn’t be potential or too costly for you, you may get electrical underfloor heating mats and flooring heating pads to assist hold your ft heat in these chilly winter months!

Shutting down your motorhome/ camper for winter?

Grab your FREE winter shutdown guidelines right here


Further equipment to assist hold your motorhome or campervan heat in winter

It’s all effectively and good heating your van from the within, however in the event you instantly free all that warmth by way of the home windows or vents, it’s pointless.

If you’re planning on doing lots of winter highway journeys, you’ll most likely profit from:

The WORST place for letting warmth escape out of your van is thru the cab- all that tumbler is a ache. To assist, match a thermal curtain which matches behind the motive force and passenger seat and also you’ll instantly discover the distinction in how heat the habitation house it, even when you’ve got silver display or black out blinds.


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