Hydronic Radiant Floor Idea and Feedback Request


New member
My scenario is for a trailer w/RTT, but the theory can be applied to basically any camping platform, so I'm positing it here...

In the initial stages of planning a trailer build and almost completely new to “trailer camping” (but lots of experience in general building/fabrication). Two prerequisites for the build are heated water (for bathing/cleaning) and heat supply for a RTT. This got me thinking… Has anyone ever considered a Hydronic Radiant Floor (HRF) heating system? The main objective would be to heat any bedding and generally “knock the chill off” any >20°F nights/mornings.

Here is my initial concept component list/questions:

•Main objective is to use as little wattage as necessary (so electro heated matts, blankets, etc. appear to be out due to current draw).
•Low amperage/propane tankless water heater
•Insulated hot water tank and hot water circuit
•Low amperage circulation pump for HRF circuit (think convection will handle a lot of this)
•Hot water Valving for load demand
•Custom insulated RTT platform with inlays for radiant water piping.
•Onboard Lithium Power Station
•Possible low wattage Generator and/or Solar Panels for Power Station replenish.
•Onboard Propane Tank (size TBD)
•Can a HRF have the heat capacity/output needed?
•If so, what will my propane/electrical usage be per hour/day.

Would love to hear your thoughts/feedback!


I believe there are some campers with this, not sure I've seen any RTT builds though. I have it in my house and love it.


Active member
It's cool to think about. Thermosyphon concepts might be applicable if a sufficient height differential can be achieved. Imagine no pumps, and eliminate the need for electricity.


I would think that putting the heat under the mattress would be a bit of a waste. A small radiator within the RTT, above the mattress might be better.


Tea pot tester
Heating you not the air is often suggested on low impact forums.
K&H pet warming pads have a good reputation, 25W of mains heat under your seat makes a big difference it seems. Is hydronic easier and as efficient though? Under a mattress would keep the mould away at least.


We have a 10kw hydronic system . It cost a lot of money

In the last 4 years throughout South America we have been in some pretty bleak conditions . Sideways snow , Rain and minus 25 .
In all that time I have used our 10kw furnace for heating the cabin no more than 2 or 3 times.

We sleep under thin fleece blankets and do not have a duvet.

We have never been cold. The key to it all is Insulation and no thermal bridges. If we boil a kettle the cabin is warm.until tomorrow. I suspect that the heat generated by our compressor fridge is more than enough.


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