Long-term and winter campers in particular love to use gas heaters when the temperature falls so that it is lovely and warm under the awning as well. However: Is this even allowed? A tricky question with no clear answer.
Normally, worksheet G 607 (A) of the German Technical and Scientific Association for Gas and Water (DVGW) defines rules which apply to LPG systems for caravans and motor caravans. Since this kind of gas heater is mobile and not permanently installed in the vehicle, another worksheet from the same association applies: G 612 (A). This regulates the operation of outdoor LPG systems (definition of “outdoor”: area with unlimited exchange of air).
Unfortunately, you will look through the technical rules in vain for the special application of operating heaters under the awning.Ergo: The use of such heaters operated with LPG (propane, butane) is not prohibited in itself, but also not expressly permitted. In a note, the worksheet instead refers to the specifications of the device manufacturer.
This can normally be found in the assembly and operating manual provided. You often discover the statement that when you use the device in enclosed spaces, these in turn must be sufficiently well ventilated. This is actually contradictory when heating an awning, because the better the awning is ventilated, the more difficult it is to bring it to the desired temperature.
No definite answer
But what does “well ventilated” mean? This, in turn, depends entirely on the manufacturer’s specifications in the assembly and operating manual. Therefore: Check these carefully. It is often written that use in enclosed spaces is strictly prohibited. However, in our opinion, it is not possible to finally decide whether an awning is considered to be an enclosed room.
No matter how the technical rules are to be interpreted, you can achieve maximum safety with some products. We recommend a pressure regulator with an over-pressure safety device S2SR, pressure gauge and thermal shut-off device TAE (image). The S2SR protects connected consumer equipment from possible overpressure. With a pressure gauge, you can carry out a simplified leak check before each use of the system and the TAE blocks the gas supply in the event of a fire.
In addition, you should make sure that the system contains an oxygen deficiency protection system.Heaters always consume oxygen. If the proportion of oxygen of the air falls to a hazardous level in a room, this safety device blocks the gas supply to the equipment.