Although low wattage heaters for your caravan may not be top of your list of accessories you need to invest in as we enter into the summer months, you may want to start planning now for later in the year. It’s also true, that although the spring and summer season has been nice so far, the British weather can be temperamental at any point in the year.
So you should still give some consideration to how best to heat your caravan. There are plenty of different options out there to choose from, but for this post, we will focus mainly on oil-filled and fan or electric radiators.
As well as highlighting what we believe are 7 touring caravan heaters worth considering, we will also take a look at the pros and cons of both types. All of this should give you enough information to choose the best radiator for your caravan. We have to note that none of these caravan heaters are 12v caravan heaters, they all need full 240v mains to run. Let’s get started and look at some of the best heaters for caravans
Caravan Heaters – Our Top Picks
First on our list is the very affordable and portable electric caravan heater from the reputable and popular brand Prem-I-Air. This is powered by 400 watts and features a thermostat that can be adjusted, either to protect against frost or for heating as is necessary.
At just under a kilogram, it is incredibly compact and ideal for smaller rooms and areas, so perfect for caravans. Based on online reviews, it may not be the most intricate or comprehensive heater, but for the price and its size, it provides you with reasonable warmth.
The Hylite HHT205 Slimline Eco Heater does not look like much, but this sexy little bar heater is a low wattage, low-cost, high-efficiency 55-watt heater that includes a thermostat built into the design. Installation is straightforward, and the brackets are included that allows you to mount it to a wall. However, it can also be used standing on the floor.
The white enamel finish gives it a clean and appealing look. Similarly to the above, this weighs just under a kilogram so is incredibly light. As it is not a full and clunky appliance and more or less just a tube, it means you can be sure it won’t take up too much space – ideal for small spaces such as caravan rooms and areas.
The Kampa Diddy Portable Heater, it has to be said, looks similar to an old fashioned radio with its mesh-covering over the fan and large dial. If you are looking for a compact, but very powerful for the price range heater, the Kampa Diddy Portable might be ideal.
Kampa is known for designing and manufacturing a plethora of useful and high-quality camping and caravanning accessories. Powered by a juicy 1500 watts, this heater offers you the choice of two different settings – 750 watts or 1500 watts. As many inexpensive heaters tend to overheat and the plastic housing can therefore be hot to touch, this is not an issue with the special cool touch casing for the Kampa heater.
While it may not be the most attractive looking heater in the world, with the mesh and exposed tubing, for under 20 quid this portable electric heater from Quest is still a practical and powerful choice. This quartz heater offers you the choice of 2 different heat settings, 400 and 800 watts.
Uncomplicated and simplistic controls and a switch that protects it from tipping over, with a handle. Portable and lightweight, it can be easily cleaned.
Although this portable oil-filled radiator it is slightly more expensive than a lot of the other heaters in this list, this particular oil-filled heating system offers 1500 watts of power and 3 different heating settings to choose from. The thermostat is fully adjustable and there is both a cut-out in case it tips over and also one to prevent it overheating.
As it is oil-filled, it is bulkier and less inconspicuous, but if you have a massive caravan. It also benefits from using eco-friendly conductive oil and a 24-hour timer.
Warmlite is considered to be one of the most innovative and ground-breaking manufacturers in the portable home heating industry. So no list highlighting oil-filled heaters would be complete without mentioning a Warmlite product.
Compared to the above, this only consists of 5 fins but does have a thermostat that can be adjusted to give you a variety of power settings and provides protection against overheating. The carry handle and compact design make it ideal if you are looking for a sensible option to warm-up your caravan.
Another caravan fan heater under 20 quid is this Connect It mode, which offers the options for 1000 and 2000 watts of heat, which is a lot higher than some similarly priced items on the market currently.
It also has a very lightweight and compact design, which means it can be used virtually anywhere in your caravan without taking up too much space. The thermostat can be adjusted and there is even an option on those hot summery days to switch to cool air. The standard feature of cut-out safety switch to prevent it overheating is also included in this simple little heater.
This Lacyie model is a great small gas heater for caravan trips. It is lightweight weighing only about 5 pounds and is a compact design of 12 x 5 x 10 inches. It also comes with a carrying handle so you can bring it with you outside for cosy nights under the stars.
This small caravan gas heater has a fire control switch so you can adjust the heat. It also has extra safety measures of anti-damp protection and flame out protection so you can feel secure when using this portable caravan gas heater.
The next caravan heater we have comes from the very reputable brand of Pro Breeze. The 2000W fan heater features ceramic heating discs that offer an effective heat transfer that is suitable for small spaces like your tourer.
Pro Breeze has undoubtedly utilised the ceramic heating solution because it is largely considered to be more energy-efficient, faster acting and crucially, safer than many other fan heaters. As the heater rotates, it spreads the warm air out quicker. In terms of power settings, you get the benefit of two options, a lower 1200W and the full power setting of 2000W.
It is equipped with handy features like its anti-tip-over safety switch and built-in overheat protection that switches the heater off immediately when it is in either of these unsafe conditions.
Last but by no means least on our list is the second tubular heater in our guide. This model is from the Sunhouse brand (part of the Dimplex Group) and for small spaces is deceptively strong. Although the heat it produces is not comparable to other caravan heaters, we love how quickly it reaches the maximum temperature.
It also benefits from an adjustable thermostat, so you can choose the temperature that suits you best. We also like the safety features like the splash-proof IPX4 rating. Given the quality of its build and its streamline design make this a welcome addition to a small space, even if it won’t heat the whole caravan.
Caravan Heaters Buying Guide
While we are sure you will be able to find the best heater for your touring vehicle among the 10 caravan heaters we have highlighted above, if you are new to the world of portable heaters, you may still feel a bit unsure about what is good and what’s bad. That’s where this buying guide comes in.
As well as giving you the lowdown on the different types of heaters that are suitable for caravans, we will also consider the most important features to look for in specific models.
Different Types of Heaters for Caravans and Campervans
Do you know your electric heaters from your gas models or know the difference between a convector heater and an oil-filled radiator? To find the best caravan heater for your leisure vehicle, you need to understand what’s available. Below we have provided an overview of the most common types of caravan and campervan heaters available.
Oil Filled Radiators
You may already be familiar with oil-filled radiators if you have ever used them in your home. These rely on electricity to warm the thermodynamic oil that fills these heaters. Once the oil is heated to the desired temperature, it then spreads that heat around the heater which then, in turn, heats the room it has been set up in.
As oil-filled models do not need naked flames, they are considered a much safer option than other heaters. It’s true, it can take a while to heat the oil. The upside is that once the oil is heat, it tends to stay warm for longer.
Undoubtedly one of the most popular choices of heaters for the caravanning community is the fan heater. A fan heater operates in a fairly self-explanatory way – they blow out warm air into the atmosphere to heat the space or room. The major downside of a fan heater is that they can be noisy, thanks to the fans and other moving parts.
As it does not use gas, oil or other flammable materials, an electric heater is a popular option. Electric heaters are small and designed like flat panels that use convection to provide heat to small spaces like your tourer. Electric heaters contain an electric heating element that once it has reached the desired temperature transfers all of its heat into the room it is placed.
The one kind of caravan heater that is considered more popular than the rest are gas heaters that use LPG. We are making that distinction because the next type of heater we are going to discuss are halogen heaters. To provide the heat you require in your caravan, the gas stored in the cylinder is safely ignited to create an open flame that then warms air drawn from the surrounding atmosphere.
Using a special heat exchanger the heat energy is then transferred into the air through either fins or an air distributor on the heater.
The reason we did not include these under the above section about gas heaters is that they use halogen bulbs. Inside the radiator, the halogen bulbs produce infrared radiation that provides warmth to small areas. The biggest concern and reason you may want to look at other heaters if your caravan or the room you need is on the big side is that these heaters only warm items and objects close to it.
As the name suggests, convector heaters use convection to warm your caravan or small area with air circulated through and around the heating element. When the air surrounding the heater is warmed, it then rises and then leaves space for cold air. This process carries on until you have a nice and toasty warm caravan. The big advantage of a convection heater is the fact that because there are no fans in its construction, there is less noise and less chance of dust being blown around your caravan.
As the name suggests, tubular heaters are much smaller than the other designs we have discussed. These are best suited for smaller caravans and rooms or would even be great as a campervan heater that does not have lots of space. They utilise electrical resistance to create heat through infrared radiation, similar to halogen heaters. One problem that comes from using these heaters is that they don’t dry air when they warm it, so you may need to invest in some dehumidifiers to counter the additional moisture in the air.
Features to Look Out for In Caravan Heaters
As well as understanding the pros and cons of the different types of heaters suitable for caravan, you also need to learn about the different features you should be looking out for when choosing from the available heaters.
We thought we would kick off this section of our buying guide with one of the most important features. That is the safety features. Caravan heaters have a terrible reputation for being fire hazards. We are still on the fence a little about whether it’s the heaters fault or irresponsible caravan owners.
However, a fire hazard they remain. Safety features like a safety switch that triggers to prevent a heater from overheating or if it tips over, are vital.
Having a temperature control or adjustable thermostat is also something you should look out for when choosing the best caravan heater. Particularly if you want to be able to have different heat settings for different parts of the day. You would not necessarily need a high power setting if you are all tucked up in bed and asleep, whereas a low heat setting may not be ideal when you are sitting on a cold morning trying to get ready to face the day.
One thing that all of the caravan heaters we have featured have in common is that they are all portable. Portability is very important in a caravan, because you may want to move it from room to room if you are intending on heating only the rooms you are using or when you need to winterise or put your caravan into storage.
To help increase the portability, you will find that some heaters and radiators have a carry handle.
All caravans and caravan owners have different heating needs. Whether you are looking to heat the whole of your caravan, want frost protection or just want to warm up those cold limbs first thing in the morning, the last thing at night or on those rainy days, you need to think about the heat output offered by the heaters you are interested in.
All heaters, like caravans and their owners, are different and some may have power settings and heat settings better suited to your needs than others.
When we say noise, of course, what we are looking for is a lack of noise, and as close to silent operation as possible. While it can be reassuring to hear a radiator or heater working away, when it is loud and clanky like fan heaters, it is not as good. If you are a light sleeper, you will want to consider one of the models like oil-filled heaters.
There you have its folks, everything you could ever need or want to know about low wattage heater for your caravan. As well as highlighting 10 of the best caravan heaters (including many different types such as oil-filled, electric, gas, halogen and convector heaters), we have also dug a little deeper. The buying guide offers insight into the different types of caravan heaters available and the features you should be most interested in.
We are confident you will now have all the information you need to find that superb caravan heater to keep you warm and comfortable in your tourer. The rest is up to you.