Caravan Hot Water System

Updated: May 18

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How To Use A Caravan Hot Water System

For some of you who haven’t got a hot water system in place, you might be wondering how to get one, or how do you use them?

In this article, we will cover topics surrounding the use of the caravan hot water system including its benefits, the different types to choose from, and how economical they are. I will also give you some useful tips on using and choosing them.

Benefits of Having Hot Water In Your Caravan

Having a hot water system in your caravan provides lots of benefits. It gives you instant access to hot water which you can use for a bunch of different purposes like:

  • Taking a hot shower
  • Cleaning dishes and cookware
  • Washing clothes, towels, and other things

Access to hot water is also most beneficial during cold months. Some people cannot tolerate taking a cold shower in summer, let alone in winter.

But whether you should have a hot water system or not isn't the only choice you have to make, you also have to consider the type of hot water system.

Taking a hot shower

Types Of Hot Water Systems

Electric

Electric water heaters heat water with high voltage heating rods.

Despite their lower initial cost, electric water heaters aren’t suitable for caravan owners because they are less flexible and have a higher operational cost.

Generally speaking, electric heaters tend to be quite power hungry yet they are actually slower at heating water than their gas or diesel cousins. So unless you have constant access to a cheap power supply, you’ll be better off with another option.

As electric heaters are so slow, planning your usage ahead of time is a must.

Truma UltraRapid hot water system

Gas

The gas-powered hot water system is ideal for those who have limited access to electricity.

There are two types of gas-powered hot water systems that we will discuss—gas water heaters with a tank and instant gas water heaters.

Gas water heaters with a tank work by heating the water using a burner located at the bottom of the tank. It takes around 30 mins to heat the water from cold, and it keeps the water warm while it’s switched on so the next person won't have to wait for a hot shower.

It’s perfect for households with 1-3 people but usually can’t keep up with high frequency and high volume uses.

Instant gas water heaters, on the other hand, heat water as the water passes through the heater giving you instant access to hot water.

It works by automatically activating the burner once water starts flowing through the unit, and shuts off automatically once the flow of water ceases.

Although it might seem like an expensive option for accessing hot water, most caravan owners agree that it is cheaper or at least equal to a gas heater with a tank because it only heats the water you need rather than heating the whole tank, therefore, it uses less gas overall.

Another thing that’s good about instantaneous gas heaters is that they provide unlimited access to hot water and have quicker recovery times. Considering that, they’re perfect for families and those who use the heater more often.

Gas heaters tend to be more expensive upfront than electric heaters but they are more flexible and have cheaper ongoing costs, making them the most popular choice for caravan owners.

WHITE Camec Digital Instantaneous Gas Water Heater

Diesel

Diesel hot water systems work the same way as gas powered heaters, but because they use diesel, they tend to be cheaper and more efficient.

If you’re already using diesel for your space heater, it makes sense to use diesel for heating your water too. That way, you’ll have the same energy source for both heaters.

Some caravan owners complain about the loud noise that diesel heaters make so if that’s something that bothers you, then gas may be the better option.

Despite having cheaper ongoing costs, diesel heaters can be quite expensive.

Tips On Using A Heater

Plan your uses

Because heaters with tanks take a long time to heat, it makes sense to plan your shower by turning on your hot water system ahead of time.

Preferably, everyone should have a shower at about the same time of day so that the heater doesn’t have to keep the entire tank warm all day, or reheat it from room temperature every time someone takes a shower.

Consider the frequency of use

If you’re using hot water for other things other than taking a shower, it is best to use an instant gas water heater to have immediate access to hot water.

In contrast, if you’re using hot water just for taking showers, it makes sense to go for heaters with a tank.

Consider your readily available energy source

If you have access to a reliable and cheap source of electricity, then using electric heaters would make a lot of sense.

However, if you’re frequently on the road and are looking for a more flexible heater, gas or diesel may be the one for you.

To those who are already running a diesel-powered space heater, then using a diesel hot water system makes the installation easier.

Let a licensed professional do the job

For gas and electric hot water systems, only licensed professionals are allowed to do the job.

This is for your safety and the safety of those around you.

Final Thoughts

Having a hot water system built into your caravan has a lot of advantages. However, choosing the wrong type can cost you more in the long run.

Gas and diesel heaters are more expensive initially but they have a faster heating and recovery time and lower operational costs. Electric heaters are cheaper to buy but are more expensive to operate.

Still have questions? Leave a comment below!


This article may contain affiliate links. I will earn a commission if you choose to purchase a product or service after clicking on my link. This helps pay for the cost of running the website. You will not be disadvantaged in any way by using my links.

Note that while every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the information on this page, there may sometimes be errors. Check all specifications with the manufacturer before purchasing any product.


This article may contain affiliate links. I will earn a commission if you choose to purchase a product or service after clicking on my link. This helps pay for the cost of running the website. You will not be disadvantaged in any way by using my links.

Note that while every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the information on this page, there may sometimes be errors. Check all specifications with the manufacturer before purchasing any product.

Louis

While Louis does most of his trips near his home in south-east Queensland, he has been camping as far afield as South America and Africa. He loves researching, testing and experimenting with camping gear whenever possible.

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