The ideal heater for your caravan

Caravan Heater

You may think of caravanning as an exclusively summertime activity, but in winter it can be more possible than you imagined, with the pick of campsites and pitches and a quieter, more peaceful experience. Winter, of course, also gives you a different perspective on the landscape.

But you’ll need to stay warm and cosy inside or you could have a miserable time of it, and, clearly, even in summer, the days can be chilly and wet, especially in the UK.

So virtually all models incorporate some form of heating. But there will be huge variations depending on the age of your unit, so that what you have may not be enough to keep you warm all winter.

The majority of caravans provide either gas powered heaters, or ones using gas or electricity.

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Gas-only heaters

These products can become quite costly. The amount of fuel you consume can be high because you are likely to have the heating on more often, and gas is not used as efficiently in colder temperatures.

If you use only butane gas, this is not appropriate when the mercury really plummets, since it just won’t perform well.

What’s more, sticking solely to gas isn’t practical in the winter as you’ll always be replacing cylinders once they’ve been used up, and there’s the risk of running out of fuel completely.

Gas heaters with an electric option

With these models, you can stick to gas, use electricity instead or have a combination of both to get the best of both worlds. If you’re on a pitch with electricity, you may find these better than just using gas. Again, there may be variations in terms of both efficiency and heat output.

In some newer models of caravan, different kinds of heating systems are on offer, as manufacturers become increasingly aware of the need for good heating in cold weather and the rise in off-season caravanning.

These are generally available as retro-fits and accessories, since only the very newest models have the latest heating innovations.

For example, gas or gas with electric heaters can be bought separately to replace or upgrade units which are no longer safe or have stopped working. Or they can add extra warmth to an existing system.

Here are some of the other options:

• Free-standing halogen heaters

These popular models come in many different sizes and are safe – they turn off immediately and automatically if they are turned over. Heating is emitted immediately and they’re also efficient, unobtrusively small and cost-effective. What’s more, no special installation is needed.

The heater you choose is a very personal decision. But whatever you go for, don’t forget to supplement with warm bedding and clothes, and to minimise heat loss by ensuring all doors, windows and roof lights are properly sealed.