Read the Practical Caravan Kampa Diddy review to find out if size matters when considering which portable heater to buy for your caravan holidays

Overview

If you're planning on taking a caravan holiday in the colder months of the year, a portable heater would be a prudent investment and an item to add to your list of must-have caravan accessories. But with so many portable heaters on the market, at different prices and with different features, which should you buy? We've tested a selection.

You will need to decide what type of heater you want. If you want to go off-grid, a fuel heater is what you need. And these have come a long way in recent years from the smelly paraffin heaters chucking out damp and soot.

If you opt for a fuel heater, you must be careful, ensuring that the heater is kept in a well ventilated space – and be sure to get yourself a CO detector so CO poisoning is not a concern. Learn more about fuel heaters to find out if they are what you're looking for in our Zibro RS24 and Zibro LC30 reviews.

However, as an increasing number of campsites have electric hook-ups, many caravanners will want to buy an electrically powered heater – and there are a great many on the market to choose from.

What type of heater do you want? An electric fan heater or a radiant heater? An electric fan heater works by heating the air around it and is the most simple solution. Radiant heaters give out rays that discharge their heat on what they come into contact with.

You will want to ensure that you choose a heater with sufficient power to keep you warm even when it gets really cold. However, as different campsites have electric hook-ups with different outputs, ideally you'll buy a portable heater with different outputs so you can vary it according to the available amperage.

In addition, thermostats and built-in timers are very useful features to look out for. Size matters, too. If a heater is too large it will take up loads of space when you're using it and could prove a challenge to store in your caravan, where space is often at a premium. Finally, you'll want to be certain that the heater is easy to position and, once in place, it is stable.

Here we review the Kampa Diddy – and it certainly lives up to its name! At just 17cm wide and 22cm high, it looks more like a small speaker than a heater, but while its outputs of 750W and 1500W are respectable, the fan is compromised by its size. It’s quiet, but in large caravans the lack of forceful gusts will almost certainly lead to warm spots around the heater and cooler areas elsewhere. It costs only pennies less than Sealey’s CH2013, so the lack of a thermostat or a no-heat fan mode is disappointing. We gave the Kampa Diddy a three-star rating.

Other portable heaters reviewed were the Sealey CD2013TT, the Dyson AM05, the Draper 02714, the Kampa 1500W, two from Kobe, the Kobe KBE-828-0140K and the Kobe KBE-828-0130K, the Clarke OFR9/90, the Outwell Etna, the Screwfix 44164, the Dimplex Pro Series Self-Righting heater and the Argos 415/1364.

Technical specs

Width17cm
Height22cm

Verdict

If you're watching the pennies and want a small heater, the Kampa Diddy might be worth considering, but its three-star rating reflects that there might be others that will better meet your needs.

Conclusion

Pros

  • It is small and quiet

Cons

  • There's no thermostat
  • It doesn't have a cooling mode
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