Gas, Electric or Gas/Electric Caravan Hot Water System?

Whether you’re planning an epic trip around Australia or you just need a portable holiday home, comfort is always important. Whether it’s a caravan, a camper trailer or a big old RV, you want a good bed, you want a fridge ready-stocked and you want to be able to take a hot shower. Basically, you want a little home with caravan hot water systems that you can move around. That’s the point, right?

Definitely one of the best and most essential home comforts in the RV industry is hot water with hot water systems. If your home hot water system’s ever packed in, you know what it’s like to live without it. That’s why they invented showers and water tanks for caravans because they know how important it is! For the shower to work though, you’re going to need a electric caravan hot water system too. Especially in mornings and the cooler times of the year, being able to jump in a hot shower with your hot water unit will be sure to make you feel more at home. Wherever you are.

There are many caravan heating options and hot water units available. Hot water systems for caravans either run on gas, electric, or both. But which of these caravan hot water systems is right for you? Depending on your budget and of course your plans the answer may be different. The information below will help you work out what’s best for you. So no need to read endless caravan hot water system reviews!

Gas Caravan Hot Water Heaters

If you’re interested in getting off the beaten track in your campervan, into the outback with your 5th wheeler, or if you’re planning a long journey across Australia in your caravan you may be away from a source of electricity for extended periods. How to heat a caravan without power source ? Gas heater.

Caravan gas hot water heaters use cylinders and burn gas to heat your water, meaning so long as you have gas you have hot water, so if you’re going to be away a while or on a real adventure you may find that this is best option of the caravan hot water systems for you. Gas hot water heaters tend to have the lowest prices too, so if you’re on a budget also a great option.

Gas Caravan Hot Water Heaters Pros:
  • No need for electricity, meaning you can park anywhere.
  • Great for off roading and camping.
  • The fact that you don’t need to invest in extra items like batteries or solar panels or power source keeps costs low. All you need are gas cylinders or a gas bottle for gas water heaters.
  • Heats water very rapidly so you don’t have to wait long.


Gas Caravan Hot Water Heaters Cons:
  • Can cause issues with condensation which is not ideal when caravanning.
  • Will require a steady flow of water as it passes through a water tank to keep operating.
  • Will need servicing by a certified gas engineer.

Caravan Electric Hot Water Heaters

If you’re looking for instant caravan hot water systems, then electric is a good option. The water heats as it passes through the tap and so as long as you are plugged in, your caravan hot water heaters will operate just like it does at home. This means that you will always have warm water at perfect water temperatures for washing hands, washing the dishes, or showering water as it passes through a water tank.

Remember though that if you’re not plugged in at a caravan park, you will need to rely on solar panels and charged batteries, as well as water tanks. However, if you’re looking for suburban caravan hot water systems, you’re likely to be static and plugged in 24/7 in your motorhome, or you’re “new age” in your thinking and want an eco caravan with solar panels, this could be ideal. Recovery rate of your caravan hot water units is also fast.

Electric Caravan Hot Water Heaters Pros:
  • A more convenient option which heats water from the water tank on the caravan roof and immediately as long as your hot water heaters are plugged in.
  • Heats water only when it is needed, which promotes water efficiency and minimizes water wastage.
  • Run on solar panels, an environmentally friendly option.
  • As long as you have electric power for caravan hot water heaters, you will always have hot water.


Electric Caravan Hot Water Heaters Cons:
  • You will need to either be plugged into a source of electricity or have charged batteries at the ready to enjoy the hot water temperature.
  • This could mean additional costs if you choose to invest in caravan solar panels and/or a battery setup.
  • The need for electricity means that on longer trips and outback travels you might need to live without hot water temperature.
  • Although once running the heating is instant, you may need to wait a little while from powering up until you have hot water.

Gas and Electric Caravan Hot Water Heaters

Pretty much as you’d imagine, these offer the best of both worlds! When you have a source of electricity available then instant hot water is yours, but if you’re out on the road or an adventure you just switch to gas and voilà! hot water is yours again.

Not only does this system provide the most flexibility, but it is also the most upgradable and adaptable. It does cost a little more, but if that means you don’t have the additional funds to spend on batteries and a solar panel set up right now, you can still get off the road and simply use the gas supply when needed. When you’ve got the cash, you can buy all the rest and then you’ll have instant hot water as an option on the road too!

Gas & Electric Hot Water System:
  • Provides instant hot water when you have a source of electricity, but also means you can use your gas on the road for your hot water system if needed.
  • This means that you don’t need to invest in additional equipment like batteries and solar panels just yet if you can’t afford to.
  • Easily upgradeable – will be 100% compatible if / when you decide that you want to invest more.
  • When compared to a gas or electric only caravan hot water heater system, this option does have the highest upfront costs.

Which Should You Pick?

Dependent on your budget, your preference and importantly what kind of holidays and journeys you are most likely to take, a different hot water system with water filters may suit your needs best. If you’re the type who wants to the freedom of the open road and want to go on long travels or you’re on a budget, or maybe both, then the gas hot water system provides you with both flexibility and affordability. However, if you prefer the little luxuries in life like hot water at your sink top, or you just see yourself parked taking it easy, then you’re probably going to feel the electric caravan hot water system is better suited to your needs.

If you’re any of the above, however, and you have the money in the bank for the perfect hot water units, then you may well be tempted to go with the Gas and Electric caravan hot water system option. With a little additional outlay up front, you’ll be able to enjoy your caravan hot water system when you have electricity and mains power and you’ll have the flexibility to take longer trips without needing to give up on your home comforts like a hot water system and water filters on the road. You’ll still enjoy great water efficiency when your hot water system is plugged in to mains power. Not only that, if you can’t find a powered caravan park or if there’s an outage in the area, your back is always covered. You’ll also need regular plumbing maintenance for your caravan hot water heater, so check out our Caravan Plumbing System Maintenance Guide.

The great thing about this caravan hot water system is it also gives you the option to upgrade easily and cheaply if you feel you need more. All you have to add are batteries and or solar panels, as well as water tanks, for your caravan hot water system and you will be prepared for any eventuality, meaning your little home on the road will always function as just that, no matter what. Visit BCA Australia and add caravan supplies and hot water system to your shopping cart today.

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