How do I keep my truck camper warm?

In this article, we will answer the following question: How do I keep my truck camper warm? We will review five great methods of heating a truck camper in winter and discuss their advantages and disadvantages. 

How do I keep my truck camper warm?

The best way to keep a truck camper warm is to use one of the following heating sources:

  • Gas heating
  • Auxiliary gas heater
  • Integrated electric heating
  • Auxiliary electric heaters
  • Diesel heating.

Here are the different ways to heat your truck camper in detail and when to use each heating source. 

Keep your truck camper warm with an integrated gas heater

Gas heating is the oldest and most popular heating system in the truck camper industry. You will find that many RV manufacturers still use it today.

Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of integrated gas heaters for truck campers:

Advantages Disadvantages 
Gas heating is ideal for short-term camping. In addition, with the correct connection, you can use refillable LPG cylinders so that you do not have to move your truck camper to the station to refuel. 
Just take a few bottles to a petrol station and bring them back to your truck camper.
It is not possible to heat multiple rooms without multiple heaters. If your truck camper has only one gas heater on board, you will not be able to heat per zone. 
This means that while you just want to warm up your bathroom a bit before you shower, you will need to heat your entire truck camper.
It can heat the truck camper in a matter of minutes. This is ideal when you arrive at a campsite late at night on a cold day. After ignition, you won’t have to wait long for the cell of your truck camper to heat up.The gas burns quickly. In winter, if you use heating a lot, expect your gas consumption to be high. This means that you have to have several bottles or go regularly to refuel in the resort, which is complicated when you are camping in nature. 
It is ventilated externally. The heaters are vented to the outside so you don’t have to worry about moisture build-up, which sometimes happens with propane. 
You also don’t have to worry about carbon monoxide build-up or oxygen starvation.
Gas consumed in large quantities is expensive. Propane gas is also a fairly expensive gas. This is something you probably won’t have to worry about if you’re camping for a short time and using an electric heater. 
Otherwise, for longer stays, expect to consume heavily and the gas bill will go up.
It is very common in truck campers. Propane is a wonderful source of energy for people who use their truck camper outside of the campsite because electricity is not needed.The fan can be noisy. The hot air is blown by a fan. And this one can be loud enough to keep you awake if you are sensitive to noise at night.
Some people find it a good soothing white noise, while others find it irritating.

Keep your truck camper warm with an auxiliary gas heater

Although most truck campers have a built-in gas heater, some people choose to add a backup gas heater for more comfort and to be able to heat only in the living room, for example. These heaters can be used instead of your main heater or as a supplement.

Here are the advantages and disadvantages of using a backup gas heater in your truck camper:

Advantages Disadvantages
It creates an additional heat source. In a truck camper, an auxiliary heater can be used on its own if you just want to heat a space. 
But it usually comes in addition to the main heating either to avoid having it run constantly or to heat a space a little more, the bathroom for example.
It is not powerful enough to heat your entire truck camper in cold weather. 
Small portable gas heaters are usually not powerful enough to heat a large truck camper. This is especially true when it is extremely cold.
It can be moved. You can also use it wherever you want, and not just in a truck camper. (house, cellar, cellar, tent, etc.).
It’s portable, you just have to put it on the ground and turn it on to make it work. There is no installation, ductwork or fan, which means little or no maintenance.
Installation is required to connect it to the main propane tank of the truck camper. 
Such a heater works with gas refills, but if you want to run it from your truck camper’s gas system, you have to adapt it accordingly. There is bound to be an installation cost. Your backup heater then becomes almost a fixed heater.
It is generally inexpensive.  Such a system doesn’t use as much propane as large gas heaters, so you won’t have to spend as much money to power them. 
This is especially true when you are on your own and away from the first gas station. You consume less and you move less to recharge.
The bunkers are not heated. Also, since there are no ducts associated with this type of heater, you cannot heat the bunkers around water tanks and pipes. 
This means that while you can fully heat your truck camper, you may not be able to heat it enough to use your plumbing system safely, especially in freezing conditions.
It works silently. The operation of a backup gas heater is quiet, unlike the main gas heater. If you really need some quiet sleeping or reading, for example, this is ideal.Security questions arise. 
Some people are concerned about the safety of portable gas heaters such as the risk of fire. The use of an auxiliary gas heater requires vigilance. You will therefore have to think about installing a carbon monoxide detector if you regularly use this type of heating.

Keep your truck camper warm with integrated electric heating

Newer truck campers have heat pumps integrated into their air conditioning units. It is forced air heat that works entirely from electricity.

Advantages Disadvantages 
Low costs. Some RV campsites offer electricity. As a result, heating your truck camper ends up being free. This saves you money that you would have otherwise spent on propane.Heating is almost inefficient in extreme temperatures.
A big disadvantage of this type of electric heater is that it is not very useful in extreme weather conditions.
And even if they did, it would be ineffective in cold weather. The reason is that electric heating in a truck camper is designed to operate frost-free. In fact, temperatures below 4 ° C make them ineffective.
No ventilation is required. Because electric heat doesn’t deprive the air of oxygen, you don’t have to worry about ventilation. It needs electrical energy to function. If you are not connected to the electricity grid, the energy in your batteries will melt like snow in the sun. 
Unless you have a generator to recharge them, with the inconvenience of noise, for you and the neighbours.
There is less maintenance. Depending on the heating setup, you may not have to worry about duct maintenance.
The fan is noisy.  The fan of an electrically reversible air conditioning is noisy and you will certainly notice it. Again, this might not be a big deal for you, but it will be for some.

Keep your truck camper warm with an auxiliary electric heater

Electric auxiliary heaters used in homes can just as easily be installed in your truck camper. There are pros and cons to using them, but they are definitely worth considering.

Benefits Disadvantages
The heat delivered is dry. Portable electric heaters provide dry heat that reduces condensation and does not require ventilation.An additional electric heater takes up additional space. Even a small model will take up space.
No installation is required. No installation is required because all you need to do to get them working is plug them in. You will just need a 12v-220v converter.It draws more or less on the battery depending on the power. Unless special heating is installed in the holds, they will not be heated. 
It is aesthetically pleasing. And in terms of appearance, they can blend in perfectly with the living area of ​​your truck camper. False fireplace, false stove, simple radiator… there is something for everyone.It is not very efficient for large truck campers. These heaters are not powerful enough to heat large camper vans in negative temperatures or close to 0 °  either.
It is inexpensive. An electric heater can often be purchased for less than $ 25. This is really a great solution as a backup heater.
220-volt outlets are required. Since it requires a 220-volt outlet and a steady supply of electricity, it is not ideal for wild camping without a connection to the electricity grid.

Keep your truck camper warm with a diesel heater

This type of heating is connected directly to the tank of your truck camper. It is a forced hot air system. It needs to be supplied with electricity.

Benefits Disadvantages 
You have a good range as long as you have diesel.  Because this heater runs on diesel, you will have plenty of fuel available to keep it running. 
Depending on the size of your tank, you can have a few tens of litres without a problem.
Watch out for consumption. Running on diesel, consumption can be high with the purchase price of fuel now very expensive. You must therefore be vigilant not to explode your heating budget. 
It is more economical than gas heating. You will no longer need to think about filling your gas cylinders, you will just have to keep an eye on your gauge, be careful not to run out of fuel!
Expensive depending on the model. Some diesel heaters, which also act as a boiler, are expensive to buy. Also, include assembly and subsequent maintenance. All of this requires a budget.
It can be used while driving and it is very easy to use. Installation must be done only by an approved centre.
The more expensive models heat the water. If you are going for a high-end model, you will have the option of heating the water.  Connected to your pipes, you will no longer have to worry about freezing.
Pay attention to maintenance which must be done regularly if you want to avoid future issues. 

In summary

There are many ways to heat and keep warm in a truck camper in the winter. In extreme weather conditions, you will likely need an on-board system that runs on gas, electricity or diesel. For situations where you cannot connect to the electricity grid, gas heating remains the most practical solution.

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