Caravan Hot Water Systems: Gas, Electric or Both?
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Caravan Hot Water Systems: Gas, Electric or Both?

When we think of caravans, we think “home on wheels” and “off-road adventure” and sunsets and beaches and “living our life.” But, have you thought about the hot water system in your rig? Ever?

Of course, what else would you think about when you run the tap and you get freezing cold water instead of hot?!

Usually, people don’t pay a lot of attention to it, trusting the manufacturer’s knowledge of what would be a good hot water system to fit in the caravan.

A caravan hot water system is an important accessory. It’s comforting to know that you can have a warm shower after a long day of travel. Or that you have hot water for that coffee 1st up in the morning, especially while travelling during winter.

Like men, not all hot water systems are created equal. There are some specifically designed for caravans. Most have a storage tank and work on a variety of power sources – usually gas or electric or both.

Read on to find out which type of hot water system could be the best choice for you.

Gas Hot Water Systems

As the title hints, a gas hot water system runs on gas. Such a no brainer! To run this type of hot water system, you need a gas cylinder. The gas hot water system is ideal if you spend a considerable amount of time on the road, do free camping or outback travel.


  • No electricity needed
  • Ideal for camping and off-road travels
  • Low cost of energy


The gas hot water system runs quietly, so you won’t wake up all living and dead when you have a shower!

Electric Hot Water System

This system is powered by electricity. It heats up water instantly. Warm water is readily available for washing hands and dishes or showering. If you’re willing to invest a bit in an extra battery setup or solar panels, an electric hot water system could be ideal for your caravan.


  • The convenience of heating up water straight from the tap
  • Heats water only when needed, hence energy-efficient
  • Minimal wastage of water


  • Runs only on electric connection or battery power
  • Investment for battery setup or solar power
  • Outback travels could be challenging

Dual-Power Hot Water System (Gas & Electric)

Do you want to have the benefits of both gas and electric hot water systems in your caravan? Then, this is the best option for you. This system remains compatible with future caravan upgrades. You may start off with running gas for warm water. Later when you’re ready to invest in solar panels or extra batteries, you can use the same water heater that works on electric power too.


  • Get hot water wherever you are – campsites or the outback.
  • Investing in solar panels or batteries can be done when you’re ready
  • Compatible with any future upgrades


  • More expensive than the gas-only or electric-only system

What Really Matters

Gas, electric or both, the real test of these systems is in their ability to produce a good supply of hot water. Many a time, when you’re dreaming of having a steaming hot shower, it’s never hot enough no matter how much you turn up the tap. And sometimes, the water heater just pours out such boiling water that it is almost scalding when you expect it the least.

The type of hot water system you want would depend on your preference and budget. However, if you want to get the benefits of both gas and electric hot water systems, it’s best to go for one that’s dual-powered. This gives you a comfortable warmth of water despite your conditions. No power shortage or unpowered caravan sites can deny the cozy hot water shower you badly needed.

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