RV heaters – what you should know

Truma Heating Guide

Snow-covered landscapes and temperatures below zero: winter campers enjoy the frosty days outdoors but inside the vehicle, they appreciate comfort and cosiness. A heater is also indispensable on cool spring days and in autumn. With the right RV heater your caravan can be just as warm and cosy as your home. In our guide you can read what types of heater are suitable for caravans and RVs.

Back then, it all started with a gas lamp, which the company founder assembled himself in his living room. These days, Truma is a system supplier of heaters, air conditioning systems, hot water generators, manoeuvring assistants and gas supply in the caravan. Since the introduction of the Truma iNet System, digital networking has also become matter of course in everyday camping – and the search for innovative ideas continues every day. It also helps that many of our employees are also passionate campers: they not only develop products, they also use them. It is precisely this passion and identification that makes Truma successful.

Types of heat transfer

Among other things, RV heaters differ as regards how the heat is transferred from the heater to the vehicle, in other words, via air or water:

Air heating

If the air in the vehicle is heated directly with a burner or a heating element, this is air heating. These types of heater are very common in the camping area and can be operated with various energy types.

Truma offers a large range of air heaters, such as the Combi, VarioHeat and S series, with different heating outputs for large and small vehicles and with many different installation options

Water heating

Water heaters transport the required heat via a water circulation system. First, the water is heated before the heat is transferred to the ambient air via a heat exchanger. The principle is similar to a central heating system.

Different energy types for RV heaters

In addition to the type of heat transfer, RV heaters also differ in terms of the energy type they use. Air and water heaters can run on gas, diesel or electricity. There are good reasons for using each of these types of heater. Therefore, before making a decision, you should consider exactly which model suits your RV and fulfils your personal needs.

Gas heater

Gas heaters for caravans and motor homes are very common. This is because gas is already carried in the vehicle for cooking and running the fridge. Therefore, it can also be used for heating.

Gas heaters are available

  • as air and water heaters,
  • as free-standing heaters in the living room with and without fans,
  • with air outlets and individually controlled air flow to the separate living areas.

The heating output that you need varies depending on how large your caravan or motor home is, how well it is insulated and what time of year you travel. For small vehicles there are models with a low output from about 2000 watts, rising to approximately 6000 watts for medium and large vehicles.

Diesel heater

If your motor home or van drives with diesel, a diesel heater is ideal. The RV heater gets the fuel it needs for heating directly from the vehicle’s tank. This is an advantage since you can fill up with diesel at every service station.

Diesel heaters have a very low rate of consumption. At an average heating output of 1000 watts, they consume about 110 millilitres of diesel per hour.

Truma’s Combi D 6 is a powerful diesel heater with up to 6000 watts rated heat output and is especially designed for motor homes. With the combination appliance, you can not only heat your RV in winter, but also heat water at the same time. In summer mode, you can heat water without running the heater.

Electric additional heater

RV heaters that run on electricity are especially suitable for spring and autumn and when you are able to use mains electricity. They are particularly worthwhile at campsites that offer a flat rate electricity charge.

An additional electric heater

  • is very compact and, consequently, can be installed flexibly,
  • distributes the warm air optimally via existing fans and warm air ducts, and
  • heats on its own (on warmer days) or in combination with an existing heater (in especially cold weather).

Truma has two electric heaters in its product range:

  • Truma Ultraheat complements an S heater ideally. A Truma Service Partner will install it on the installation box of the S heater, which means it is easy to retrofit.
  • The E-Kit is the perfect addition to VarioHeat. The additional electric heater is either connected directly to the VarioHeat or is integrated into the warm air branch. It has two heating coils that can be switched on and off individually.