Keep Warm with the Best Campervan Heaters | Redline Campers

By Dave Webb on January 4th, 2024

Are you about to embark on a long journey across the UK in winter? Before you go, we urge you to think about whether you have adequate heating or not. As the days get colder, wrapping up in a blanket and warm clothes may not be sustainable anymore.

Knowing that, is it time to buy a heater? But which one is the best heater for campers?

There is no one best heater for all vehicles, but there are several types you may prefer over the other. In this article, we will discuss the five types of heaters suitable for any campervan.

What Are the Different Types of Heaters?

Before we get into our best campervan heaters, you should note your campervan will already have a heater installed at the front, but when the vehicle is turned off do you have a heat source to keep you warm at night? If not, below is a complete guide to portable or permanently fitted heaters.

Diesel Heaters

As nearly all campervans have diesel engines, you can connect a diesel to your usual fuel source. That’s why diesel heaters are one of the most popular options for heating your campervan.

They may be more expensive to buy than an electric plug-in heater, but they have the benefit of being fitted underneath the vehicle, which saves you space inside. Also, they are generally thermostatically controlled, which keeps you at your desired temperature, and they are also very fuel efficient.

Installable? This form is the best diesel heater for campervans as it’s made to be permanently installed, connecting to the fuel supply and power source.

Portable? Portable diesel heaters are not common in small spaces. In fact, they are only really found in industrial areas, so it’s not the best diesel heater for a campervan.

Electric Heaters

Electric heaters are available in many forms, from plug-in fan heaters to fitted ones. They can often be a practical, powerful, and affordable option. 

However, as these systems require 230v mains electricity, you can only use them when you are plugged into a mains 230v power source via your mains hook-up lead. If you like wild camping / going off-grid then this type of heater isn’t for you.

Installable? Some basic campervans already have electric heaters installed, but this doesn’t make it the best electric heater for campers.

Portable? Electric heaters can be portable and come in many different sizes. They still require mains hook-up power, but they could be the best electric heaters if you are always plugged into mains supply and want a cheap heating option.

Gas Heaters

As well as electric, Gas, or propane, heaters are the most common heaters in larger motorhomes. As you will probably have gas-fired appliances in your campervan, such as a hob, or grill, you’re one step closer to installing a new heater.

However, gas heaters also come with more inconveniences than others. They will need inspecting regularly, and as your gas bottle is usually quite small in a campervan, using gas for your heating will result in more frequent refilling. A good tip is to carry a spare. 

Installable? Gas heaters can be installed, but we recommend hiring a professional who is Gas Safe certified.

Portable? Portable heaters require adequate ventilation and a flat surface to reduce the risk of a fire. Knowing this, they are not the most practical, safest, nor the best campervan heaters.

Petrol Heaters

If your campervan runs on petrol, installing a petrol heater is a good option. Like a diesel heater, it takes its supply directly from the main vehicle fuel tank, so you only need to top up at any petrol station to get your heating and fuel for your journey. 

The greatest thing about petrol is that it’s always around you. But while it’s another popular heat form, it also has its disadvantages. They are more expensive to buy than a plug-in electric heater. However, just like gas, it is cost-effective.

Installable? Petrol heaters are designed to be permanently installed and are made to connect to the major parts of the campervan, including fuel supply, electrical system, and ventilation.

Portable? It is difficult to find a portable petrol heater because they are not compact enough to fit in a campervan. This means they also aren’t the best campervan heaters if you’re looking for a portable option for short trips.

Wood Heaters

You may think this last option is a little odd if not outside, but wood heaters are actually quite trendy. Wood burners were invented back in the 16th century and became extremely popular years later. Ever since then, we haven’t seen much of a decline in wood-fuelled sources.

Generally, wood burners are used more in larger, homemade vehicles as a heat source and sometimes a hob too. However, they need a chimney and plenty of ventilation, so definitely need to be professionally installed and even then, they might not be the best choice for safety and warmth.

Installable? Wood heaters, or wood stoves, are primarily permanently installed because they are larger and heavier than other options.

Portable? Portable wood heaters are mainly for outdoor use rather than indoors. However, it is rare to find a portable wood stove because of the many safety aspects.

Winterised Campervans at Redline Campers

Are the best campervan heaters one of these five, or is there another heat source you’ve heard of that we haven’t covered? Making the decision of a professional installation versus a portable heater is not easy, so we encourage you to think about your usage and circumstances before making a decision. 

So, are you ready to purchase your very own heater following our guide of the best campervan heaters? If you need further inspiration, our team can advise you on the best type of heater for your campervan model.

Wondering how else you can stay warm in winter? Read our ultimate winter campervan guide. Or if you’re in the market for a new campervan, view our winterised stock for your convenience.

Written by

Dave Webb

Redline Campers