Retreat Caravan Heater Installation

Do you own a Retreat caravan or something similar?

And would you like a heater in there? Check out this video where we installed another Truma heater on the Retreat caravan.

We are installing our Truma Vario Heat gas room heater in the Retreat Caravan. It’s brand new. It’s the Whitsunday 226R model. We’ve never been to the Whitsundays, but it sounds great. It’s really nice working on a new van. All the gas was compliant, and there was no gas leaks and stuff. One thing about this one that we’ve done a little bit differently is, the bed was considerably much higher than all the other caravans that we’ve put Truma Vario Heats in, so that gave us the opportunity to install the Truma on its edge, which frees up a lot more room.

The Van

Now, this van was ordered brand new, so all the colours and stuff are just beautiful. Probably one of the most favourite vans we’ve ever worked on. If we ever get a new van, where we get to order the leather and the type of benches and all that stuff, we’ll be definitely giving the owner of this caravan, Wendy, a call to help us do the interior decorating because it all just looks beautiful and nice. Of course, Ben’s wife is going to have veto rights on that.

The Nice Set Up

But anyway, as mentioned before, the bed was heaps higher, which gave us a lot more room. That means that we could sit the Vario Heat on its edge and then the piping could go out, and there was a little space, probably about this much, in between the cupboard underneath the bed and also the cupboard on the sid for your cords and stuff like that. So the good thing about it is, when it was on the edge, the radius of the pipe was really good, and that means it would sweep under and go to the top of the cupboard. That means that the cupboard is still usable because that pipe is not down the bottom. You don’t have to fold anything up to protect it or anything like that. And the great thing about it too, when the bed is shut, you don’t see the vent going out the wall, along the floor, or anything like the other ones.

Also, the cupboard is still usable. When you open the cupboard, you can’t even see that there’s a vent going through it. So it worked out really well. There’s a little drawer at the front of the bed, and there was a gap just enough for the heat duct to blow the heat out that just fitted in there. We had to drill it on a slight angle and chew into the middle petition a little bit, but you can’t see it from the other side. So we were really happy with how it all worked out. Blew straight down the aisle, which is great.

The Electrical

Our mate Glenn from next door, he sorted out all the wiring. What he does is he runs a separate power cable line all the way from the battery. So it’ll be a separate line from the battery all the way to the Truma Vario Heat, which is great. It’s a good way of doing it. He’s got that special machine that puts a sheath around all the wiring cables. So it looks like a wiring loom that you find in all your Toyotas and stuff like this. It’s an expensive machine, but he does it properly, and it worked out great. He put the controller up next to the bed as usual, so when you’re in bed, you can turn it off, turn it on, or if you’re super cold or whatever, crank it up in the mornings. So very cool. It worked out really well.

Vent Screws

One thing that we were a bit disappointed with was, the screws were missing on the vent. The flue cowl, so we’ve had to use some 4mm, just steel ones. So if they were black, that’d be great, but we’re sure they can sort that out next time. It’s very easy. Just take those out and put new ones in. But other than that, it turned out really nicely. Plenty of space. So if you do have a higher bed, it’s a really good option if we could put it on the edge, sort it all out, and get it going.


If you want a Vario Heat installed in your van because it’s getting cold, it really does extend the times you can use your caravan because when it is super cold, you can still use it and not be like, “Oh, it’s too cold to go out.” Most vans have aircons, but not many. You have the Vario Heat space. If you want one of these installed, call your local plumber or gas fitter, get him to do it. But if you’re in Perth, we’re just located in Welshpool. We’ve got a great warehouse set up for it with all the parts and everything. So if you want us to do it, give us a call, drop it off, and we’ll sort it out for you.