Heating your Caravan, Trailer, Fifth
Wheeler, Campervan or Motorhome
like to travel in their RV all year round now and it can get very cold at
night at any time of the year.
look at some ways to heat your RV and stay warm wherever you are.
reduce the likelihood of a source of ignition for a fire
heating appliances with a naked flame or the likes of a
bar heater are best avoided in your RV. A safe heater
should have a safety cut-off feature and make sure the
power cord does not pose a trip hazard. Care should
always be taken to ensure any electrical items or gas
appliances have been serviced, make sure you have a fire
blanket, a fire extinguisher and ensure the smoke and
carbon dioxide detectors in your RV are working. See
Caravan / RV Fire Safety
The heating unit you select should be suitable for the
size of your RV and you should confirm this with the
manufacturer. Combustion gases such as carbon monoxide,
water vapour and nitrogen dioxide from heaters are
vented into the air so there should also be adequate
ventilation. For safety reasons, consider the
installation of a carbon monoxide detector. Choose one
with a digital display as this will monitor even low
levels of carbon monoxide.Note: Appliances should be shut off when you go
What are the heating options available?
Most RVís are now insulated and have an option for
double glazed windows which provide some buffer against
weather conditions. For best efficiency close the door
of the RV, draw the curtains over the windows and
maintain a temperature of about 20 - 23 degrees C.
Some RVís may already have existing heating appliances
or have an option to upgrade. For example, the Geist
Xklisive range of caravans has an upgrade pack available
that includes underfloor heating and Winnebago
motorhomes have an option for a diesel furnace heater.
There are several heating options available for your
caravan, trailer or motorohome such as reverse cycle air
conditioning, electric ceramic heaters and LPG gas or
diesel fueled air heaters.
You will note some heating appliances rate the amount of
heat being produced as an equivalent of a BTU or kW.
What is a BTU?
BTU = British Thermal Unit. A BTU is defined as the
quantity of energy necessary to raise the temperature of
1 pound of water by 1 degree Fahrenheit.
BTU is the equivalent of the heat of a single wooden
What is a kW?
stands for kilowatt. A kW is defined as a unit of
electrical power equal to 1,000 watts (or 1.341
horsepower). A kilowatt-hour equal to 1,000 watts of
electricity used for 1 hour and it is a common
measurement for how electricity is sold.