Diesel heaters are a necessary part of campervan and motorhome life when the cold temperatures hit, and we recommend the 2V 5KW Air Diesel Heater by Triclicks, the 8KW Diesel Air Heater by VEVOR, and the 8KW 12V Car Air Diesel Parking Heater Kit by Chiwell for generating heat in the motorhome cabin.

In this article, we look at some reasons why diesel heaters are the best in providing heat to motorhomes, how they work, and the pros and cons of certain heaters.

What is a motorhome Diesel Heater?

A motorhome, campervan or caravan diesel heater adjusts the temperature of your vehicle, optimising it to create a steady room temperature level. Diesel is used to run the heater, which is useful as most motorhomes & campervans also run on diesel.

Why Do You Need to Use a Diesel Heater on a motorhome?

A diesel heater is a great way to keep your Campervan, Motorhome or Caravan warm during the day and at night. Diesel heaters are very reliable because they require less maintenance than electric heaters, but they can be more expensive to operate. They do use less consumption compared to using your propane gas heating system when off-grid, that’s why it’s one of the main ways people are heating their vans.

A diesel heater is useful for motorhomes and camper vans when doing van life full time, including the winter months as they can experience below-freezing temperatures. A diesel heater is better than other types of heaters because of the following:

  • Less Fuel Consumption: diesel heaters are economical due to their design and slow fuel consumption rate.
  • Easy Temperature Control: Most diesel heaters are equipped with processors, including fans, to ensure sufficient control over the temperature.
  • Can use the diesel from the main van supply if plumbed in, meaning you don’t have to carry an extra fuel supply
  • Use less electric compared to big heating systems.
Triclicks 12V 5KW Air Diesel Heater Parking Heater Diesel Night Heater with Silencer LCD Switch Remote Control 10L Tank For Truck, Boat, Car Trailer, Motorhomes, Campervans, Caravas (Style 1)
VEVOR Diesel Air Heater, 8KW Parking Heater, All in 1, 12V Truck Heater, One Air Outlet, with Red LCD Switch, Remote Control, Fast Heating Diesel Heater, For Car, RV Truck, Boat, Campervans, Caravans
Product
Triclicks 12V 5KW Air Diesel Heater Parking Heater Diesel Night Heater with Silencer LCD Switch Remote Control 10L Tank For Truck, Boat, Car Trailer, Motorhomes, Campervans, Caravas (Style 1)
VEVOR Diesel Air Heater, 8KW Parking Heater, All in 1, 12V Truck Heater, One Air Outlet, with Red LCD Switch, Remote Control, Fast Heating Diesel Heater, For Car, RV Truck, Boat, Campervans, Caravans
Heat Output
5KW
8KW
Weight
‎7.9 kg
8.15 kg
Silencer
1
1
Remote control
-
-
Price
£109.99
£162.99
Reviews
-
-
Triclicks 12V 5KW Air Diesel Heater Parking Heater Diesel Night Heater with Silencer LCD Switch Remote Control 10L Tank For Truck, Boat, Car Trailer, Motorhomes, Campervans, Caravas (Style 1)
Product
Triclicks 12V 5KW Air Diesel Heater Parking Heater Diesel Night Heater with Silencer LCD Switch Remote Control 10L Tank For Truck, Boat, Car Trailer, Motorhomes, Campervans, Caravas (Style 1)
Heat Output
5KW
Weight
‎7.9 kg
Silencer
1
Remote control
-
Price
£109.99
Reviews
-
VEVOR Diesel Air Heater, 8KW Parking Heater, All in 1, 12V Truck Heater, One Air Outlet, with Red LCD Switch, Remote Control, Fast Heating Diesel Heater, For Car, RV Truck, Boat, Campervans, Caravans
Product
VEVOR Diesel Air Heater, 8KW Parking Heater, All in 1, 12V Truck Heater, One Air Outlet, with Red LCD Switch, Remote Control, Fast Heating Diesel Heater, For Car, RV Truck, Boat, Campervans, Caravans
Heat Output
8KW
Weight
8.15 kg
Silencer
1
Remote control
-
Price
£162.99
Reviews
-

Are campervan diesel heaters safe?

Diesel heaters are safe to use in a campervan, motorhome or caravan as long as they are used under the right conditions. They should be placed away from any fabrics, especially curtains or carpets, and outside of the reach of children. The best location for a diesel heater is in the back of your vehicle where there is plenty of space available. 

You should always have a carbon monoxide alarm installed in your campervan, you can check out the one we have here – Click Me

Downsides of using diesel heaters:

Can be a little noiser compared to heating systems but both are not silent, if you invest in a good silencer it really does help

How Does a Diesel Heater Work in a motorhome?

Cooler air inside the motorhome cabin is pulled in with an external inlet pipe. This is located on the floor. This air is key for the combustion process, as it’s transferred to the combustion chamber, mixing with the diesel and igniting which heats up the surface of the thermal exchanger. This creates the heat necessary, which is then circulated through the room.

Are diesel heaters hard to fit?

There are two ways you can install a diesel heater, you can plumb it into your existing fuel tank or have a separate fuel tank.

Diesel heaters that are plumbed in are more difficult to install and may require that a technician is hired to do the job. A diesel heater’s installation process could take up to an hour or two and requires that you have at least one electrical outlet available for use with this type of device.

A non plumbed in heater requires extra space for a separate fuel tank, while these are more common due to them being easier to install, depending on you, we would also advise seeing a professional when dealing with fuel and carbon monoxide.

Both options will still require running fuel lines to and from the heater ensuring it’s free from any rough surfaces and anything that could harm the cable.

You will also need to drill an exhaust for the outlet and inlet, the outlet is very important as you don’t want any carbon monoxide to get the van into the campervan.

What to Consider when buying a Diesel Heater

Heat Output

Depending on the space you are trying to heat, the heat output will change, for a small caravan, motorhome or campervan then we recommend a 2kw but most people will go for a 5kw, we believe this will be efficient enough for most options.

Plumbed or not

As we mentioned above, you can either connect your diesel heater directly into your main fuel tank or you can have a separate fuel take, this all comes down to personal preference and ease of instal, connecting directly into the main take is a much more efficient way of due to space-saving and ease of filling up.

Altitude Use

If you are planning on using your diesel heater at altitude, then you will need to bear in mind that some of the cheaper ones will struggle at around 3000 Meters, some of the top-end models are built with altitude in mind so something to think about.

Dependability & Reliability

If your diesel heater is your only source of heating then having something you can rely on is really important, while the cheaper Chinese diesel heaters are a great price and really do a fantastic job but they can break, so a more expensive model will come with a manufacturers guarantee and could be a better choice in the long run.

Noise

Some diesel heaters are noisier than others, we have tested a few and found the more expensive ones come with a better grade silencer and some of the cheaper ones don’t come with a silencer at all.

Depending where the heater is located can make a difference if under a bed and running at night we have found this is more of an issue, as you notice the small clicking noise a lot more.

Maintenance

Most things that run on diesel recurer regular maintenance as its quite a dirty fuel, they can suffer from a build up of carbon.

You should always follow the reguliare mantainece information provided by the manufacture, also ensure its given a small run once or twice a month even during the summer just to avoid any build up.

What Are the Top 3 motorhome Diesel Heaters?

What is the 12V 5KW Air Diesel Heater by Triclicks?

The 12V 5KW Air Diesel Heater by Triclicks is ideal for heating small motorhomes and other types of diesel vehicles, removing window frost and warming up a small space. It has a remote control feature that allows for preheating, oil quantity, temperature and wind speed adjustment.

A few more features this diesel heater offers is a compact structure, allowing it to be easily moved. It also is easily disassembled. An LCD display on the machine gives a live update of the status of the heater. It comes with everything needed for easy installation.

What Are the Pros and Cons of the 2V 5KW Air Diesel Heater by Triclicks?

Pros and Cons of the 2V 5KW Air Diesel Heater from Amazon Customers

Reviews

Pros

Cons

“Very easy to install… fast, [and has a hassle-free] delivery.”

“After [two] weeks of use I started to get an error code e-06… despite trying everything, I could not get it to work.”

“The remote fob needs pairing to the unit before it’ll work. [It’s a great]… kit and a game changer to van life.”

“…poor customer service… [no] proper warranty.”

“[I] used it every day for 6 months of winter in [a] workshop… fantastic heat, much cheaper than a 240-volt fan [heater. I’ve] used it for more hours than most motorhomes would use in 10 years, and [it] works every time.”

“It started to smoke like crazy so I stopped… they smoke a bit on [the] first run.”

“I installed it on my canal cruiser… it keeps the cabin perfectly comfortable.”

“[My] heater was under warranty and they refused to repair or replace…”

“[This is] better [than my German-make heater], drags less power from my batteries, [and uses] about the same amount of fuel.”

“[The] fan was rubbing on the heater body [and leaving]… gouges…”

What is the 8KW Diesel Air Heater by VEVOR?

The 8KW Diesel Air Heater by VEVOR has an aluminium housing and a ceramic spark plug that allows for fast heating and low emissions. The heater has a silent fan, greatly reducing noise as it works. It is also easy to operate and comes with a remote to control temperature and wind speed, making it ideal for motorhomes and campervans.

What Are the Pros and Cons of the 8KW Diesel Air Heater by VEVOR?

Pros and Cons of the 8KW Diesel Air Heater from Amazon Customers

Pros

Cons

“It has no problem getting [the temperature] from 5.0C to [hot] in about an hour. [It is] easy to use yet [has a] clunky interface… All of the parts came in a well-packaged box… [with a quick set-up.]”

“The [provided] fuel line was kinked several times, so no diesel [made it into the heater].”

“What you get here makes garages or small [spaces] more than sufficiently warm.”

“ [The] housing [is] slightly bent. It’s just very thin sheet metal.”

“Great. Works well”

“The [housing and] display is way too small…. you can’t read the display properly…”

“[Met] my expectations. Easy installation. I recommend it.

“Very bad communication [from customer service… and the heater is unusable.]”

“Reasonable price. Very compact and comes with everything you need to [assemble.]”

“[The] auxiliary heating [was] defective at [the] start-up. [The] seller did not refund the full purchase price or replace the device.”

What is the 8KW 12V Car Air Diesel Parking Heater Kit by Chiwell?

The 8KW 12V Car Air Diesel Parking Heater Kit by Chiwell is quiet and rapidly heats a small area, monitoring the air temperature and maintaining it at a constant degree. It comes with all parts included and boasts low fuel consumption.

Conclusion

Motorhome and campervan heaters are a necessary part of comfortable living with the full-time van life, making cold winter months much easier to bear and creating a homey, warm atmosphere in your motorhome cabin. Being small, portable and easy to install, heaters make a great addition to any motorhome or campervan.

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