camper heating

4+1 Portable Heating Methods for your Camper Van

More and more of us are fans of stylish getaways. We want to travel all year round, and that's the advantage of a Karibu, the independence and freedom to move wherever you want. But,

Have you thought about how cold you can get in winter?

Here we leave you 6 different ways to keep warm inside your motorhome.

1) Portable gas heating

One of the cheapest solutions are the small gas camp cookers. This type of heater is powered by the same gas cartridges as camping cookers and cookers. They use little space and are ideal for heating small spaces.

Regrettably, it does not is a perfect productas it is gas-powered, you need to use it in a ventilated spaceThe windows should be slightly open to allow carbon monoxide to escape and clean oxygen to enter. Not recommended for sleepingbut in the following situations:

  • Warm up while you eat lunch.
  • Before getting into bed.
  • Be outside the van, under an awning.
  • Inside a tent or in the open air.

2) Portable stationary heating with diesel or gasoline

This is one of our favourite methods for two reasons; they are fairly priced and they work great.

  • This type of heating incorporates a 5-litre fuel tank, which heats the air and blows it out with great force.
  • They can be used both inside and outside the camper. It is important to know that it has 3 openings: 1. To let the cold air in, 2. 2. another one to let the hot air out and 3. to expel the carbon monoxide produced by the diesel combustion.

How to use a camper portable heater

This type of heaters can be used in 2 ways:

  1. Indoor use: The system is left inside the van, but the toxic waste hose must be routed outside the vehicle, either through a window, door or vent.
  2. Outdoor use: Otherwise, the device is left outside the vehicle and hot air is blown into the van through a window, door or ventilation grille by means of a built-in flexible tube. We recommend this method mainly for security reasons.In case of failure, the toxic gases will be emitted outside the enclosed space and do not present a risk to you.


For small vans 2kW, medium 5kW and large vans 8kW is recommended.

3) Portable electric heating

It is a type of heater are known to have a high energy consumptionEven if you go for an energy-efficient heating system, the reality is that it will still consume too much electricity. One of these appliances can run for up to 3 hours if you have a large battery system.(without considering solar panels), so they are not ideal solutions for camper life.

On the other hand, if you are going to stay in a campsite connected to the gridHere is a selection of portable electric cookers to enjoy your winter holidays without worrying about the cold:

Is there a 12v camper heater?

12 volt electric camper heating does exist, but as the cigarette lighter has a limited power, it will not be a very powerful option, because usually reach a maximum of 150W

Moreover, such products are often used for defogging the glass (or windscreen) of the car, but you could also use it for your camper if you have a small model.
Below you can see some of the models available:

4) Approved underfloor heating

No doubt about it, the best solution thanks to its compact size, safety and high power. Its operation is the same as the portable diesel heating system, the difference being that it uses the van's own diesel tank, therefore, requires a modification to the vehicle, which implies a mandatory type approval. to be able to pass the ITV (technical inspection) and drive legally. The big disadvantage for many is that only brands with European certification can be approved. which have a high cost. Among the best known are Webasto, Planar and Eberspacher.

stationary heating for camper van

Heating suitable for European type approval


The budget required for this solution is around 1,000 euros, if you are interested in this solution contact us and we can help you.

5) Accessories to stay warm in the van

In this section we will show you complementary products to the cookers mentioned above, which depending on your preferences when travelling can become a perfect substitute:

Thermoelectric accessories

In addition to the aforementioned solutions, you can also wear garments that include their own heating mechanism and are recharged via USB connection.

Classic heat containers

Without a doubt, one of the cheapest and simplest solutions to use are the classic water bags, known in some countries as "wateros", which are ideal for a warm night's sleep.

About us we have used them to sleep in winter travelling with our Karibu and we recommend them 100%.



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