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Gas or Diesel heater for your Universal Caravan

Gas vs Diesel Heaters: Which is better?

A question commonly asked by Universal Caravan owners is whether to use a gas or diesel heater to stay warm and cosy in cooler weather. We’ll give you the rundown on how each one works, and we’ve checked out the pros and cons of each heater so you can make up your own mind.


Gas Heater

LP gas heaters draw in air from an external intake pipe for the internal combustion process, where it’s mixed with LP gas. This process ignites the gas and heats up the large surface area of the heat exchanger.


Well-known brands are Propex and Truma; both have great customer reviews in terms of effectiveness and running costs.



  • Most caravans already have gas appliances so adding a gas heater is relatively straightforward
  • Purchase cost lower than a diesel heater
  • A reliable and quiet form of heating
  • Uses less power than a diesel heater
  • Gas is readily available



  • A number of regulatory requirements apply for installation: a gas heater flue cannot be installed too close to a window, door or other gas appliance inlet or outlet, or under an enclosed annex – the same applies for a mobile heater
  • A licensed gas fitter is required to connect the gas heater and provide a compliance certificate
  • In temperatures of two degrees and under, the heater won’t function as the butane in the gas bottle will not vaporise properly
  • Produces a wet heat resulting in unwanted humidity and condensation
  • Gas prices can differ greatly


Diesel Heater

A diesel heater works the same way as a gas heater, drawing in air from an external pipe and passing it into the heater’s combustion chamber. The air is mixed with diesel where its air is automatically ignited and heats up the large surface area of the heat exchanger.


The most common brands are Eberspacher by Dometic and Webasto. Both heaters have three burner settings with the correct setting automatically selected based on the thermostat reading.



  • Diesel is readily available
  • Superior heating performance
  • Better temperature control
  • Produces a clean dry heat



  • More expensive to buy than a gas heater
  • You need a space big enough to install the unit
  • Generally noisier than a gas heater
  • Clear space required below the heater for the exhaust
  • Extra diesel tank needed


So which one is better?

Gas and diesel heaters are both good products which will keep you warm in chilly conditions. Running costs work out fairly even so in the end it’s a preference choice.

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