Posted on

Which caravan heater is better, Diesel or Gas ?

Diesel Heater or Gas Heater for a Caravan.

Most caravan dealers will direct you to a Gas Heater as it is a slightly easier install (less time consuming) and the Truma E2400 Gas Heater is a pretty quiet heater, but this is a bit simplistic.

In Europe and the United States there are many, many models and brands of gas heater. But due to deaths in caravans from using gas heating, the regulations covering Caravan Gas Heating are very strict in Australia, so far the Truma E2400 is the only complaint model available here. To make this happen Truma removed one of the heat settings to accommodate the required Carbon MonOxide monitoring. This means the heater has only one heating output of 2400 watts, so this comes on and off (controlled by a rotary dial type thermostat), this makes for one of the 3 issues against the heater, not an issue that bothers everyone, but it needs to be noted. This issue is where the temperature difference, from when the heater shuts off thermostatically, to, when it comes back on is quite large. The specification is 4 degrees, so if you have the heater turn off at 24 degrees then it will drop to at least 20 degrees before it switches back on.

The E2400 is a good heater, but,  it has been replaced with the Truma VarioHeat Eco.

The new heater from Truma overcomes the 3 issues using a E2400 Gas Heater. 2nd issue is the Thermostat control knob – this is a rotary type of control knob, numbered 0-5, all other types of heater use a Digital control knob and with all diesel heaters having at least 3 flame/fan speeds – you get much better room temperature control, set to an actual temperature. The 3rd issue will, again, not effect most people, we don’t recommend the heater for serious off-road usage, we have found the fan motor mounts to be weak and allow the fan to break from its mounts in hard off road usage, it appears this has been recognized by Truma and the fan motor on the new varioheat model has different fan mounting.

So the replacement Truma Varioheat is now a modern, great, maintenance free heater.

Diesel heaters are generally much more robust and slightly cheaper to run (this is debatable, but in theory is correct). They do make slightly more noise, from the air intake and exhaust (outside, underneath the van) when initially heating the van. When the van has warmed up the noise abates and the sound inside the van is quieter than the Truma Varioheat gas heater. The noise inside the van from a diesel heater is quieter than a 240volt electric fan heater and is certainly quieter than a reverse cycle air-conditioner.

The Truma Vairoheat has grown a bit in size (as all the electronic controls are inside the heater) and will definitely take up more room inside your van than a diesel heater.

I believe one way to make your decision on which type of heater is for you is quite simple. If you have a on road van, buy a Gas Heater. If you have an off-road van and carry spare diesel already, then purchase a Diesel Heater. For a motorhome use a Diesel Heater for 2 reasons, 1) you can tap into your existing fuel tank and 2) a gas heater is very difficult to find a legal location to mount.

The Truma is a well supported brand for Gas Heating and our recommendation for Diesel Heating is either the Eberspacher or Warmda brand heaters.

For a comparison of different diesel air heaters, click here,






Posted on Leave a comment

Truma E2400 Gas Heater into Offroad Caravan

Nice tidy example of one of our installs into a Caravan of a Gas Heater.



We were trying to maximise the storage space and so kept the heater to the far right of the bed


Close up the the installed heater.


Then we “boxed” the heater in, so all the available storage could be used with no chance of damage to the heater.


Great result and happy, warm customer off to the colder climes.

Posted on

How to choose your caravan fridge

Caravan Refrigeration – Caravan Fridges which type should I use?

When you are hitting the road in your Caravan you want to make sure that you have all the gear that is suited for you. An important decision to make is what sort of refrigerator you should have. After all, one of the best parts of being on the road is having the freedom to cook your own meals, especially with excellent Australian local produce.

So how do you choose which type of refrigerator is best for you and your Caravan?

Choosing the right refrigeration system to suit your needs is not so clear cut. You need to consider how you want to use the refrigerator and the overall cost. An 3-Way refrigerator is generally a little more expensive than a 12 volt compressor compressor refrigerator and the ongoing cost and availability of LPG should be considered. On the other hand, it offers greater flexibility than compressor fridges, offering operation through three power sources.

Here are more key differences between the two to better inform your decision:
12 volt Compressor Refrigerators (sometimes called a 2-way fridge)

  • 12 volt compressor refrigerators are usually compact, achieve low temperatures quickly and are lightweight.
  • 12 volt compressor refrigerators are able to run efficiently, even if not level.
  • 12 volt compressor refrigerators can run with less ventilation than an 3-Way refrigerator; however, the refrigerator will use more 12 volt compressor current than normal if poorly vented.
  • To have the same freedom you have with an 3-Way refrigerator, you will need to have the ability to recharge your batteries. You will need solar panels or a generator when free camping and an AC battery charger when connected to the mains power.
  • When sizing suitable solar panels it needs to be noted the hotter the ambient gets the more 12 volt compressor power compressor refrigerators use.

3-Way Refrigerator (correct name is an Absorption Refrigerator)

  • Initially, 3-Way refrigerators are slower to come down to temperature compared to a compressor refrigerators,  however once down to temperature 3-Way units hold and maintain the temperature equally as well as compressor units
  • When stationary, 3-Way refrigerators need to be more level than a 12 volt compressor compressor refrigerator – but then you don’t camp on an angle anyway.
  • The 12 volt current used when running an 3-Way refrigerator on 12V is more than a 12 volt compressor compressor refrigerator. Switch the 3-Way refrigerator to LPG when your engine is off and it will use no 12 volt power at all.
  • 3-Way refrigerators are a gas appliance and must be installed as per the Australian gas code unless it is a portable model for use out- doors.

It is up to you and your needs to make the decision, however if you need help we offer an extensive range of fridges for your caravan.  They offer many different styles and sizes to suit your Caravan. If you need additional cooling space consider a portable fridge/freezer, again there either compressor or 3-Way driven. Both are portable and can be used out- doors.

Brands of caravan fridge we can stock and supply for use in your caravan are Vitrofrigo, Engel, Evakool, Dometic, Thetford, NovaKool and Waeco amoungst others.

Posted on

Replacing a Dometic RM7401 3 way fridge with a 2 way Compressor Fridge

Not happy with the performance of the Dometic RM7401 3 way fridge in this van.

We easily fitted a Waeco CR-140 12volt compressor fridge freezer into the same place. Adding an extra battery will help run the fridge in this caravan.

A very small amount of cabinetry work is required to make this change in the caravan. This gives a larger fridge going from a RM7401 104 litre fridge to a 140 litre Waeco Coolmatic CR-1140 12 volt fridge.

Looks modern and smart.




Posted on

Replacement for Waeco RPD190 Coolmatic 2 way fridge

The 9 year old Waeco RPD190 2 door compressor fridge developed an internal leak – this was not repairable.

We replaced it with a NovaKool 2 door 12volt  fridge – it has the exact same dimensions as the Waeco Upright Caravan fridge, but it has one special feature the freezer is on the bottom.

A great replacement for a great fridge into this caravan.



Posted on

Air-conditioning for a Jayco Swan

A lot of people are after airconditioning for there camper trailer – here is another example of aircon being fitted to a Jayco Camper Trailer.

Jayco Swan can take around 70kgs of weight on their roof. So a wind up camper trailer can have aircon.

We chose the Truma Aventa Comfort aircon due to its capacity, air volume, quietness of operation and the weight, the Aventa aircon is only 33kgs. so this leaves room for adding solar panels to your camper trailer.





Posted on

Satking ProMax installation on Motorhome

Another happy customer going out with a SatKing Promax Automatic GPS satellite system on his Winnebago motorhome.

Customer came in for a 85cm SR Mechatronic but had a very short roof line and crowded space (with solar panels, roof hatches and aircon), so this wasn’t going to work.

The SatKing Promax has a very compact dimensions and fitted into the only space available.