If you’re thinking of splashing out on a new motorhome or campervan, the question ‘how warm is a Motorhome?’ may be one that you’ve asked yourself.

Before parting with your cash, you’ll want to know how comfortable this means of travel and living actually is. However short, or long-term you’re planning to travel for. We want to share our experience with you to help you determine what else you may need to take with you on your journey.

So, here’s what we know...

We were extremely lucky to have been given a motorhome for a year by motorhome and caravan manufacturers, Elddis. Not your everyday occurrence. The motorhome we have is vastly different to the types of motorhomes we were originally searching for in terms of age. This motorhome was built especially for us in the months prior to us collecting it!

Our Compass Avantgarde is a 196 model, it’s a well-insulated, 6 berth motorhome, that boasts SoLiD Construction technology, and it comes fully equipped with a Whale® Complete Heat, underfloor, space and water heating system.

It’s important to note here that this is the first time we’ve ever used a motorhome heating system, and based on some of the things we’ve heard, we feel spoilt.

The facts...

The Complete Heat system from Whale® is an underfloor heating system that allows you to run heating and hot water at the same time, or separately, using either electric, gas, or a combination of both.

You can get running hot water in a matter of minutes!

Though the system is ‘underfloor’, the main heating source for the internal space is provided through vents and not directly from beneath the floor as your traditional home, underfloor heating would be.

The back of the van heats faster and stays warmer due to the system being located in that area, the heat reaches that vent first, so if you have just come in from the cold, that’s the best place to stand!

The 8-litre water heating tank, heats in less than 10 minutes! Although you can get running hot water in a matter of minutes!

If you’re waiting to have a shower and you’re heating on electricity alone, give it around 10 minutes to heat up, just to be sure. That way you won’t have to wait part-way through a lovely warm shower for the remainder of the tank to heat. If using just gas to heat, the water tank will warm up a bit quicker. Either way, the water heater is efficient and the end result is a beautifully warm shower.


The Whale heating panel in our Compass Motorhome.

The control panel is easy to use, even for a complete novice (like us!) After plugging in your electricity cable, or switching on your gas, or both, you can select your method of heating the internal space or water (or both) and away you go. Space heating warms up quickly and efficiently and it maintains the van temperature well.

What we think of it...

We love that it’s underslung, living in a motorhome with children means that we need as much space as we can get, so we’re really pleased that our essential systems aren’t taking up valuable storage space.

It's delightful to return to a beautiful, warm van!

The space heating element of the Complete Heat system keeps the van reassuringly snug. We started our van journey in a very frosty January and we haven’t had one cold night inside…. Well, there was one evening that we tripped the system after being out all evening. It took us a little while to get the knack of the reset, but, it didn’t take too long and other than that, it’s been brilliant.

We’ve spent nights up in the Snowy Alps, in temperatures of -5° and it was so lovely and toasty inside the van, that we were not concerned about the children being cold in the slightest. When you’re out in conditions like that, it’s absolutely delightful to return to a beautiful, warm van. Which happened to us on many occasions.

We didn't read the instructions...

We’re really impressed with how quickly the water heats up. We really didn’t expect it. All four of us can have a shower in quick succession, albeit a quick one – our lifestyle means we often have to be water savvy. 

We like the control panel (pictured above), it’s simple and easy to use. We obviously used it without reading the instructions… we’d been shown how to use everything by Will at Kimberley Caravans when we collected our new home, so we just went for it… it took us a bit of remembering but we soon got there!


Important to note…

Sometimes the panel can be tripped, just like with a regular boiler. When this happens, a little exclamation mark appears next to, either the water or space heater, and it’s simple to reset, you press two buttons for around 5 seconds, add a little patience into the mix, et voila!

This has happened to us on a few occasions at the start – bad practice on our part, but it’s not been an issue we’ve had for a while.

In short, we don’t have the experience of trialling multiple motorhome or caravan heating systems but we’re really pleased with the output of the Whale® Complete Heat system. It meets the everyday demands of full-time family life, even though it’s not specifically designed to be used in this way.

This is our experience of this specific heating system but, if you’re considering this method of travel for your next trip in the UK or abroad (and we’d recommend it), you can be safe in the knowledge that, (depending on the type of camper you have)  you can be just as warm and cosy in a motorhome, as you would be in your own home.


One of the heating vents in our Compass Motorhome.

Our favourite thing? The fan located at the back of the van heats the quickest. It’s very effective at drying clothes (not it’s primary purpose) and we’ve used it for this countless times. Arranging the clothes in front of this heater at a safe distance and has saved us many times in snowy, rainy conditions and when our washing hasn’t completely dried! We love it!

Thoughts of a 6-year-old.

Rufus Thinks... ‘When the heating is on I feel boiling, even when it’s snowy!’


CompleteHeat comes as standard on:

  • All Elddis Avante and Compass Casita caravans
  • All Elddis Autoquest and Compass Avantgarde motorhomes and campervans
  • All Elddis Accordo and Compass Navigator motorhomes