Eventually, we all get here, where we need to decide what is the “Best” Heating system for our vehicle… Beside the fact that everybody’s needs are different and that there are 5 possible solutions with at least ten variations on each, we can see pretty quickly how confusing it gets…

Lets start by making distinctive (RV) groups:

Group RV1 = Use the RV sometimes and don’t mind or care for the cold (Yes, they do exists)

Group RV2 = Use the RV often but not in cold weather

Group RV3 = Use the RV often and in cold weather as well

Group RV4 = Use the RV 365 but not in cold weather

Group RV5 = Use the RV 365 and in cold weather as well

Right… So far so good

Lets then, pick our personal setup and Power (P) availability, using the Group System again:

Group 1P = Cost effective, Easy to maintain, LPG always available

Group 2P = Cost effective, Easy to maintain, LPG not always available

Group 3P = Cost effective, Easy to maintain, No LPG installation

Group 4P = Cost effective, Easy to maintain, Solar Power Only

Group 5P = Cost effective, Easy to maintain, Solar and Generator

If you drive in areas where LPG is not always available then group 1P is not you.

If you don’t have LPG in your RV then you can automatically exclude yourself from group 1P, 2P and 3P

If you don’t have a decent size generator then group 5P is also not for you

Cost effective: no matter what system you use it has to be cost effective to buy and to run. Translate in a RV world, it mean a combination and sometime a compromise. LPG system are cheaper to purchase, but more expensive to run than electrical or Diesel. The last is more expensive to purchase, but cheaper to run. One thing for sure is that LPG should be the easiest to maintain. Diesel does required yearly maintenance but is not that bad.

Once you have established both groups you belong to (RV and P), then you pick one of the five solutions:

Solution H1 = LPG only

Solution H2 = Diesel only

Solution H3 = Electrical only

Solution H4 = LPG + Electric

Solution H5 = Diesel + Electric

The truth is, that any of these 5 solutions, do actually required at least one form of electrical connection, so it is important to check if the system you are intending to use does come with your RV available voltage. Some system only offer Main power connection (240V), so that is also another consideration to keep in mind. Finally we have dual system where they can produce both hot air and water, or just use water for both heating and shower…

Obviously is space is a premium, or don’t mind to keep all your eggs in one basket, I would consider a dual system, but they all are quite expensive to start with, so in the end is a personal choice and there is no right or wrong here…

In my case (RV5 + 3P and 5P) gives me the choice of H5

Remember, I’m just listing the few system that I’m aware of and this is not a review of them and they are listed in not a particular order

LPG Systems H1 & H4:

Groups (RV2 RV3 RV4 RV5 & 1P) some required 5P

ATwood Water Heater G4-7 G6-7 G10-2 (various size available)

Suburban SW6DA Gas LPG Hot Water System 22.6Litre (Manual Only, LPG only or LPG + Generator available)

Truma AquaGo (LPG + Generator) > 5P

Truma E2400 (LPG + 12 Volts)

Truma Combi 2 E / 4 E (LPG + Generator) > 5S

Electrical Systems H3:

Groups (RV2 RV3 RV4 RV5 & 3P 5P)

Decent electrical systems are generally not available in 12 or 24 volts for obvious reason, so the majority of these system are adaptation taken from the Home user and generally running only on Main power (or Generator) They seem to start all around the 1500W  up to the 5000W.

I was able to find one Portable 300 Watt Electric Heater on Ebay. I’m sure there are more available but they are not a real contender for a good solution…

Diesel Systems H2 & H5:

Groups (RV2 RV3 RV4 RV5 & 3P 4P) some required 5P

Genesis Diesel Water/Air Heaters (Diesel +12 Volts)

Oasis NE NE-s (Diesel + Generator) > 5P

Alde 3020 Compact HE Combi Boilers (Diesel +Generator) > 5P

Truma Combi D 6 (Diesel + 12 Volts)

Webasto (Diesel +12 or 24 Volts Air or Combi systems available)

Then we have home made systems, that are most of the times just an imitation of a retailed system but customise for personal needs or cost. There are plenty on Youtube and some a really worth watching as they are not that bad at all…

I don’t think that LPG is better than Diesel or vice versa. If you already have LPG for cooking you may continue on that path… Other will want to take advantage of the massive fuel tanks on their RV and go Diesel. You can buy Diesel cook top and fan forced oven (always very popular in the marine industry)

I would definitely not advise for Electrical Heating system only as unless you are planning to be in a Powered site or running your generator all the times, they are just simply useless…