How to Heat a Caravan Without Electricity

How to Heat a Caravan Without Electricity

Published Date: September 5, 2020

Last Updated on March 23, 2023 by Camper Front

If you plan on getting on the road with your caravan during the winter period, it is crucial to prepare for the potential problems that come with the cold weather.

Without the proper precautions, freezing weather and rapid drops in temperature can leave your caravan prone to cracked pipes and even damage to the water systems. It is common to source electricity from campsite hook-ups, but sometimes that isn’t always an option.

Not only can they be costly, but sometimes not all campsite has electric hookups, which is why we’re going to show you how to heat a caravan without electricity shortly.

How To Heat A Caravan Without Electricity

If you went camping with your caravan and you need to heat it up during the cold weather, but there’s no source of power, follow the steps below to quickly heat your caravan without electricity.

Insulate Your Caravan

Insulate Your Caravan

Insulating your caravan when you are camping in extremely cold temperatures is very paramount, as the cold can cause damage to your vehicle.

For example, your plumbing pipes could burst when exposed to extreme cold and you also run the risk of killing your batteries. There are different ways you can insulate your caravan, you can make use of bubble insulation, solar blankets, and foam insulation boards.

You can also wrap your plumbing pipes in heat tape to avert any damage that could be caused by cold temperatures. You also want to do this to prevent your water line from freezing especially if you are connected to the city water connection, you can also opt for a heated hose, to combat the cold from your plumbing.

Lining your windows with heavy thermal curtains will also help to trap heat inside because an open window is a quick source of heat loss.

You can also try placing thick area rugs on the floor of your caravan; this prevents cold air from seeping out underneath which can also cause heat loss plus it feels comfortable to have to walk over a soft plushy rug.

You can also make use of bubble wrap and foam insulation boards in place of heavy thermal curtains to line your windows.

Make use of Heaters

There are many types of heating systems you can run without electricity. Let’s take at the different types of heaters for caravans;

Diesel heaters

If you love camping off the grid, then this is a great heating option. These diesel-fueled heaters work by mounting the fuel tank, exhaust, and air intake externally to the caravan. With this type of heater, you can actually decide to have up to three air outlets inside the van for heating.

You can also tap this type of heater into the fuel line of your diesel-powered motorhome. While this might be a little costly to run at first, it tends to be more economical in the long run, especially for larger vans.

This type of heater can be operated on the go, so you stay warm even during Your journey; it’s a great option for those camping in really cold climates.

Gas heaters

While gas heaters have been known for being fuel-guzzling and quite expensive to run, newer models have been improved to have a higher level of efficiency and low power consumption. So again, this is a great electricity-free way to heat up your caravan.

It works like a diesel-powered heater by connecting straight to your gas bottle. One great thing about gas heaters it that they run independently from the engine, providing you with a cheap source of heat, and they can heat up your caravan within 30 minutes of startup, cool, huh?!

Most people might be worried about the environmental impact of the gas emissions, but newer improved models of gas heaters have been proven to have lower exhaust emissions, and they also run quietly, so you can definitely try them out without causing harm to Mother Nature.

Use solar panels

If you are trying to be environmentally conscious, then this is the best way to go; solar panels work by generating protons while in the sun for hours, after which the protons are converted into electricity to be used in your caravan.

It consists of a heat panel that absorbs enough heat from the sun, a fan that sucks in air, and also a photovoltaic panel that produces electricity.

When air is sucked into the panel, it heats up and then pushed into your van; solar panels are known to work just fine during winter times, even though it’s not as effective as during summer.

One great benefit of a solar panel is being able to pull up and stop anywhere without having to worry about the space or campsite having electrical outlets, so you are able to visit exciting and off-the-grid places.

A solar panel cost ranges anywhere around $300 to $500 depending on the size and efficiency of the panel, now this might seem like a lot but with a solar panel system, it’s a one-time purchase and you get to save up costs from subsequent uses.

Radiant Propane heaters

Heating a Caravan Without Electricity

These types of heaters are quiet, cheap to run, inexpensive to install, and purchase, and I know there is a lot of concern about using propane heaters indoors, but newer models of propane heaters have improved technology that makes them safe to use.

They come Fitted with automatic cut-out systems, so your oxygen level never gets dangerously low, and you don’t have to worry about using one without the windows open. If it cuts out due to low oxygen, all you need to do is get some fresh air circulating.

There is also no flame, so there’s no risk of any harmful gases being released. Other propane heating system features a live flame risk which creates carbon monoxide, which can be fatal in large enough quantities.

This is especially crucial in an enclosed space like a caravan. Now you have to note that carbon monoxide is caused by the incomplete burning of carbon-based fuels, which is not the case with radiant propane heaters as they only radiate heat.


Who says you can’t have your much-needed warmth without electricity? You can ditch the costly and area-limiting source of heat for environmentally friendly options that are not only convenient but also gives all the freedom in the world to explore every area you so desire.

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