Suburban Hot Water Systems

A Quick Guide to Suburban Hot Water Systems


There is an ongoing debate amongst campers over whether hot water is a necessity or a luxury.

One thing they can all agree on, however, is that manually boiling and cooling large amounts of water for daily tasks like dishes, laundry, and bathing, is a tedious and slow-paced endeavor.

If you’re a caravan enthusiast looking to purchase a caravan water heating system, the market can be overwhelming with its variety of designs and options.

In fact, many products are actually designed to be multifunctional, providing both water and air heating and cooling capabilities.


Leading HWS Brands

When it comes to the manufacturing of high-quality water heating units, two companies ultimately stand above the rest: Atwood and Suburban.


The Suburban Reputation

Although the Atwood line has many fans and proponents, as experienced campers with over 40 years of experience in the caravanning industry, Caravan RV Camping recommends Suburban above Atwood, for a few reasons. 

With a variety of models compatible with practically every RV currently available, Suburban rises above and beyond the needs of the market, creating trends with unmatched ease and modernized innovation.


Suburban Heating Units

One advantage of Suburban heating units, in particular, is their use of porcelain tanks which, unlike metal models, are resilient to the long-term effects of hot water exposure.

If properly maintained, Suburban water tanks have been known to last 6 to 9 years, making them a valuable investment to any caravan.


Suburban Heating Unit Types

Although the Suburban heating line contains innumerable models, in general, all 4 Suburban heaters fall under the following categories:



Suburban’s basic models are known for using LP gas. While they are great in terms of performance, the need to be lit manually from outside of the RV can be a hassling for some campers.


Direct Spark Ignition (DSI)

To eliminate the need for lighting from outside, the next Suburban models feature a direct spark ignition, allowing the system to be engaged from within the RV.

Certain models additionally allow for the use of an electric element as a manner of saving propane and providing an alternate heating method in case of emergencies.


Re-Ignitor & Re-Ignitor with Electric Pilot

As the name suggests, re-ignitor models allow for your Suburban heating system to easily relight in the case of your pilot light randomly extinguishing.

Like the DSI models, certain re-ignitor systems additionally include an electric element geared towards saving fuel and acting as a backup heating method in emergency situations.


Direct Spark Ignition and Motor-Aid

Lastly, Suburban models integrated with the Motor-Aid feature, allow for an environmentally-friendly heating option by using your caravan’s natural engine heat to provide added heating capabilities.  


Although the preceding few paragraphs are just an overview, they should still provide you with a greater understanding of Suburban caravan heating systems, in general.

For any additional questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact our friends at Caravan RV Camping directly at 1800-RV-PARTS. 

DISCLAIMER* Please note, this advice is general in nature and we strongly recommend consulting the product manual and where relevant, a professional installer.