Tips for winter camping

Outside it´s bitterly cold, but it is nice and cosy inside the motorcaravan. If you have the right equipment, winter camping can be a real pleasure. The Truma heating systems ensure absolute camping comfort even in the midst of winter. What do you need to think about before you embark on a winter camping trip? And what differences are there between the Truma Combi gas and diesel heating systems?  What do you need to think about before you embark on a winter camping trip?

Both the Truma Combi gas and also the diesel heating systems offer absolute comfort for winter campers. Thanks to their heating and hot water function, they ensure that the right temperature inside the motorcaravan is reached quickly and efficiently, and also that there is enough hot water for showering or washing up. Four warm air outlets and the high-performance fan ensure ideal distribution of the warm air throughout the vehicle. A maximum of 287 m³ air is moved per hour. Also, the heat-up time for hot water required by both heating systems is extremely short: in normal conditions, the Combi gas and diesel heating systems heat up 10 litres of water from 15°C to 60°C within 20 minutes. Both heating systems are equipped with FrostControl as standard. The current-free safety/drain valve automatically empties the contents of the boiler via a drainage pipe, if there is a risk of frost (approx. 3°C).

Combi gas heating

The Truma Combi gas heating also functions at extremely low temperatures, assuming the right gas is used. Propane can be used without a problem up to -40 °C, whilst butane no longer evaporates from a temperature of 0 C°. For this reason, winter campers should always ensure that they only equip their vehicles with pure propane cylinders. This is no problem in Germany because liquid gas cylinders contain approx. 90% pure propane. Vehicles with liquid gas tanks that use liquefied petroleum gas, which is a propane-butane mix, should tank gas for winter camping as of November. This is the time when fuel stations switch to winter operations and raise the percentage of propane in the liquefied petroleum gas. It is advisable to drive the tank empty first so that the amount of butane is kept to a minimum.

The Truma Combi gas heating system is extremely reliable and normally functions at the push of a button. Despite this, it is advisable to test the device first before embarking on a winter camping trip. To do this, allow the heating system to run for about half an hour to check if everything works properly. For carefree, round-the-clock operation of the Combi gas heating system, Truma recommends the safety gas pressure controller Duo Control CS with the integrated crash sensor. The system automatically switches from the empty operational cylinder to the reserve cylinder, Also, it allows safe heating even when on the road, so that the vehicle is pleasantly warm when you arrive at your destination. The crash sensor reacts at an impact speed of 15 to 20 km/h and closes the gas supply before any damage to the pipes or devices themselves can occur. The DuoC control panel inside the vehicle shows which gas cylinder is currently in operation. To make sure that there are no surprises, the EisEx ensures that the controller does not freeze up in cold temperatures. To activate this function, simply switch on the winter mode simply on the control panel. Other controller switching systems can be retrofitted with the EisEx. 

Combi diesel heating system

The Truma Combi diesel heating system is also designed for extremely low temperatures; however, steps must be taken here to ensure that the correct fuel is used. Between October and April, fuel stations in Germany switch to winter diesel that is suitable for temperatures up to approx. -20°C.                                                             In regions with extremely cold winters, like Scandinavia, so-called Arctic diesel is available that can be used up to approx. -40C.

When using the diesel heating system, it is also advisable to test it first before going somewhere really cold. Also, the battery should be adequately charged for use in winter conditions, and possibly serviced because, due to the nature of its working principle, the diesel heating system requires more power than a gas heating system.

In general, winter campers should ensure that the warm air outlets are not blocked by objects, and that the vehicle is aired correctly, i.e. short shock airing instead of permanent airing. In this way, the vehicle will not cool out as much and there is an adequate supply of fresh air, which will heat up again more quickly. Thermal mats on windows and the skylight also help the heating effect. An awning also serves as a climate air lock and prevents cold air entering the vehicle directly. 

What are the fuel consumption differences?  What about maintenance?

Comparison Truma Combi

The Truma Combi gas and diesel heating systems are sturdy and extremely low-maintenance products. Due to the fact that gas burns without leaving any residues or soot, no maintenance is required on the Combi gas heating system. Likewise, the diesel heating system can also be operated without any maintenance. In both heating systems, the aggregates are installed inside the vehicle and are therefore protected against stone impacts, road salt, dirt or frost; however, dust does tend to collect in the lamellae of the fans of the gas and diesel heating systems. Therefore you should carefully vacuum or brush off the fan wheel of the circulating air motor before heating for the first time to ensure optimum fan performance. The extremely durability of both heating systems is underscored by the fact that, on average, the heat exchangers only need to be replaced after about 30 years.

8 thoughts on “Tips for winter camping

  1. Hi, is running the water heater, at eco, enough to protect from frost damage overnight? Would that use less gas than setting the heater to be on for the same amount of time?

    • Hello James,

      we would recomend to use the heater function on 5°C to protect the vehicle and the complete water installation from frost damage. The gas consumption depends on the size of the vehicle and the outside temperature. Therfore we have no
      comparing figures.

      Kind regards,

      Susan Hösl
      Service Center

  2. How can you use the truma combo propane for heat only in subzero temperatures? Do you winterize it with the appropriate antifreeze and just use the heater as normal? (No water usage)

    • Hello Lani,

      during standstill, while the heater is inactive, the water should be let off. Otherwise there would be danger of freezing.
      If the heater is in use and water is in the water tank of the heater, the water will automatically be heated up.
      You can also use your heater without water. In this case choose the setting winter operation (see operating instructions)

      Kind regards,

      Susan Hösl
      Service Center

  3. Je voudrais connaître la signification du Code Erreur 180 pour un CP4 Combi Diesel. Il ne fonctionne plus.

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