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Gas vs Diesel Caravan Heater: Which One Is Better & Why?

Gas vs Diesel Caravan Heater: Which One Is Better & Why? feature image
| In Products & Gadgets

There is nothing quite like sitting down in your warm caravan during the colder months after enjoying the outdoors. It makes your home away from home feel cozy, comfy and very toasty. When it comes to choosing the right heater though for your caravan, there are a lot of options available, but two of the most popular are gas heaters and diesel heaters. But in the gas vs diesel caravan heater debate, which one comes out on top?

Gas heaters are known for their convenience and ease of use, while diesel heaters are known for their efficiency and cost-effectiveness. Let’s explore the key differences between gas and diesel caravan heaters, and help you make an informed decision about which one is the best for you.

1. Efficiency

One of the biggest differences between gas and diesel caravan heaters is their efficiency. Diesel heaters are generally considered to be much more efficient than gas heaters, as they convert more of the fuel they use into heat, which means they can be more cost-effective in the long run. Gas heaters, on the other hand, can be less efficient and require more frequent refilling, which can be a problem on longer trips.

The winner here is: diesel

2. Safety of Gas Vs Diesel Caravan Heaters

Both gas and diesel heaters can be safe to use in a caravan, but they each come with their own risks. 

Gas heaters can present a fire risk if not used correctly, as gas leaks can be dangerous and explosive. 

Diesel heaters, on the other hand, can produce carbon monoxide if not properly ventilated, which can be deadly if inhaled.

It’s important to take all the necessary safety precautions when using a caravan heater of any kind, including proper ventilation, regular maintenance, and following the manufacturer’s instructions.

A caravan technician can help you to check for leaks and maintain a safe environment for a gas heater but you also want to keep the following in mind. 

Gas (propane) heaters need:

  • good ventilation
  • to be on a stable surface away from flammable materials
  • regular checking for leaks
  • to be turned off at night or when leaving the caravan
  • carbon monoxide alarm installation recommended

Diesel heaters need the following for safety:

  • good ventilation
  • to be on a stable surface away from flammable materials
  • regular checking of fuel lines and connections and to be sure the fuel tank is closed
  • carbon monoxide alarm installation recommended 
  • and it’s also recommended to turn it off before leaving the caravan or sleeping

Please keep in mind that this is general information and you should speak to an expert regarding the safety of your caravan and whichever heater you choose. You’re welcome to give us a call and speak with our caravan parts and accessories team.

The winner here is: diesel (just slightly)

3. Which Heater is Most Convenient?

When it comes to convenience, gas heaters have the upper hand. They are easy to install and use, and can be refilled quickly and easily when needed. Diesel heaters, on the other hand, can be a bit more complicated to install and require a separate fuel tank to be installed in the caravan. This can add to the cost and complexity of the installation process.

That being said, diesel is pretty easy to come across at nearly every petrol station while you may need to search for someone who can fill your propane tank. This may be more difficult in remote areas. 

The winner here is: gas

4. Cost of Gas & Diesel Caravan Heaters

When it comes to cost, it really depends on your needs and preferences. Gas heaters can be cheaper to buy and install, but they require more frequent refilling and can be less efficient in the long run. Diesel heaters, while more expensive to buy and install, can be more cost-effective over time due to their higher efficiency and lower fuel consumption.

Diesel heaters are generally cheaper to supply and fit in your caravan. But that being said, the Eberspacher (German) diesel heater is around the same price fitted as the Truma Varioheat gas heater. So it can depend on brand and heater type.

If you want to know current prices, give our caravan parts and accessories team a call and we can inform you further. 

The winner: it’s a tie - there are pros and cons and different costs on both sides. 

5. Climate Considerations

Finally, climate plays a role in which heater is most preferable and in determining which one is better for you. Gas heaters can struggle in very cold temperatures, as the gas can freeze and become less effective. Diesel heaters, on the other hand, are generally more effective in cold temperatures and can provide more consistent heat throughout the night.

Diesel heaters tend to be the go-to for very cold climates like Canada but if you’re travelling in Queensland, you may not need such a strong heater. If you have plans to go south to Tasmania for the winter, now or in the future, diesel may be the way to go. 

In Summary:

  1. Most efficient: diesel
  2. Safety: diesel may edge out gas slightly
  3. Convenience: gas
  4. Cost: equal
  5. Climate: diesel for very cold weather

Score: Diesel gets 4 out 5 and Gas 2 out 5

Choosing the right caravan heater can be a difficult choice, but by considering different factors like efficiency, safety, convenience, cost, and climate, you can make an informed decision about which one is best for you. 

Whether you choose a gas or diesel heater, make sure to prioritize safety, follow the manufacturer’s instructions, and get regular maintenance and check-ups to ensure your heater is operating safely and efficiently. If you need help choosing a great heater, give us a call or visit us in Bundaberg and we’ll be happy to help. 

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