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 are 12v caravan heaters, they all need full 240v mains to run. Lets get started and look at some of the best heaters for caravans
- 1 Caravan Heaters – Our Top Picks
- 1.1 Prem-I-Air 400 Watt Frost Watch Protection Mini Convector Heater
- 1.2 Hylite HHT205 500mm Slimline Eco Heater with Built-In Thermostat
- 1.3 Kampa Diddy Portable Heater
- 1.4 Quest Compact Portable Mains Electric Quartz Heater 400/800 Watts
- 1.5 1500 Watts 7 Fin Portable Oil-Filled Radiator Heater
- 1.6 Warmlite WL43002Y Oil Filled radiator 650 Watts
- 1.7 Connect It 2 KW Upright Fan Heater & Thermostat
- 1.8 Lacyie Portable Caravan Gas Heater
- 2 Oil Filled Radiators V. Electric Heaters – Pros and Cons Of Both
- 3 Functionality
Caravan Heaters – Our Top Picks
Prem-I-Air 400 Watt Frost Watch Protection Mini Convector Heater
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.
Hylite HHT205 500mm Slimline Eco Heater with Built-In Thermostat
The Hylite HHT205 does not look like much, but this sexy little bar heater is a low-cost, high efficiency 55 watt heater that includes a thermostat built into the design. Installation is very easy 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.
Kampa Diddy Portable Heater
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, this might be ideal.
Kampa are 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 have a tendency 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.
Quest Compact Portable Mains Electric Quartz Heater 400/800 Watts
While it may not actually be the most attractive looking heater in the world, with the mesh and exposed tubing, for under 20 quid this heater from Quest is still a practical and powerful choice. This quartz heater offers you the choice of 2 different 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.
1500 Watts 7 Fin Portable Oil-Filled Radiator Heater
Although it is slightly more expensive than a lot of the other options on this list, this particular oil filled heater offers 1500 watts of power and a 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.
Obviously as it is oil-filled it is bulkier and less inconspicuous, but if you have a particularly big caravan. It also benefits from using eco-friendly conductive oil and a 24 hour timer.
Warmlite WL43002Y Oil Filled radiator 650 Watts
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 an thermostat that can be adjusted and provides protection against overheating. The carry handle and compact design makes it ideal if you are looking for a sensible option to warm-up your caravan.
Connect It 2 KW Upright Fan Heater & Thermostat
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 safety cut-out to prevent it overheating is also included in this simple little heater.
Lacyie Portable Caravan Gas 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 an anti-dump protection and flame out protection so you can feel secure when using this portable caravan gas heater.
Oil Filled Radiators V. Electric Heaters – Pros and Cons Of Both
Now that we’ve highlighted to you some of the best radiators on the market, you may be still wondering which is best – oil-filled or an electric, fan-style radiator. Below, to help you make the right decision, we have put together a guide to the pros and cons of each, comparing them in 6 different categories:
- Environmental Effects
- Efficiency and Running Cost
Obviously when it comes to heaters, one of the most important factors to consider is the functionality. While both types of radiators provide heat, they do it in different ways. With straight-forward electric heaters do not have any liquid/oil inside them and it is the voltage rating that determines the heating that passes through the metal columns.
Oil-filled radiators on the other hand, feature hollowed-out columns which oil, once it is heated, is passed through to provide continual warmth. In the oil-filled radiators highlighted above, electricity is the heating element used, but often a small flame is used.
Generally speaking, straight-up electric heaters warm quicker than alternatives but if you are off grid and need some advice on how to keep your caravan warm without electricity, then have a read.
While it is true that most portable heaters and heaters in general carry with a certain level of risk; electric heaters are more prone to causing accidents. As noted above, electric heaters tend to warm up much quicker and are a lot more hotter to touch. Compared to oil-filled radiators, electric radiators can cause fires if combustible items and materials are left to close to them.
Furthermore, as electric heaters have high voltages flowing through them, there is a high risk of an accident if they fall into water, in a bathtub for instance, or come into contact with water in any other way.
Fortunately, both oil-filled radiators and electric heaters are safe for the environment, if used and maintained properly. The oil contained in an oil-filled heater can circulates for many years, so there is no need to replenish it constantly. However, oil is very toxic and needs to be properly disposed of eventually.
Electric heaters do not generate waste, but obviously they use a large volume of electricity, so that is important to consider. There could also be an impact of some kind of the environment based on the electricity source – if it was from a coal plant generator for example.
Efficiency And Running Cost
The power of both oil-filled and electric heaters is what determines the price and this varies quite considerably. There are however, distinct differences in how much it costs to run each type. Oil heaters, as we have discussed further up the page, take a lot longer to warm up, but benefit from staying warm for longer even after they’ve been switched off.
While electric heaters obviously heat up very quickly, when they are switched off they will not produce any warmth. This means that they can cause a significant strain on your electricity bills.
Electric heaters, in general, are much lighter than oil-filled radiators. This is largely because oil heaters contain liquid and have been designed and constructed using materials that are durable and supposed to stop any of the toxic liquid from escaping.
The level of noise generated by your chosen heater is obviously important wherever you are going to place it, but particularly so in a small space such as a caravan. Electric radiators tend to a lot noisier than their oil-filled alternatives. This is thanks to the fact that electric heaters require a constant stream of electrical volts to keep them warm enough. All of that work equals a lot of noise, depending on the model.
Oil radiators on the other hand, once they have warmed up, can stay warm for a considerable amount of time, even once they are switched off. this means that because they do not need to work as hard, they do not generate as much noise.
As you can see, there are many pros and cons of both oil filled and electric radiators. The best choice for you might be different for someone else. Weighing up the above, along with considering the size of your caravan, the number of people inhabiting it at anyone time and their ages (with safety in mind) should help you find the right type of radiator for your needs.
If you need a heater for your awning then we have covered those here!