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Thread: What is a diesel heater

  1. #1
    samleeds is offline Free Member
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    What is a diesel heater



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    I know that makes like Eberspacher and some chinese and russian models are flying around, but what are they and what do they do. Can someone answer me the following questions, as the lit on whats being said, only covers their costs and the like. I know they use diesel to heat the cab or van independent of any other source in the van, however....

    1. Are they hard to instal and is there anyone that does it professionally.

    2. Can they take their diesel from the vans diesel tank or do they need an independant supply tank.

    3. Do they act as an engine warmer or just to heat the van.

    4. Why do people instal them if they have a perfectly good trauma heater in their vans.

    5. Are they advisable for a typical A/S van like an exec, boxer.

  2. #2
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    Obanboy666 is offline Full Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by samleeds View Post
    I know that makes like Eberspacher and some chinese and russian models are flying around, but what are they and what do they do. Can someone answer me the following questions, as the lit on whats being said, only covers their costs and the like. I know they use diesel to heat the cab or van independent of any other source in the van, however....

    1. Are they hard to instal and is there anyone that does it professionally.

    2. Can they take their diesel from the vans diesel tank or do they need an independant supply tank.

    3. Do they act as an engine warmer or just to heat the van.

    4. Why do people instal them if they have a perfectly good trauma heater in their vans.

    5. Are they advisable for a typical A/S van like an exec, boxer.
    Going off the numerous threads on the forum something that goes wrong quite frequently
    The most important thing is to enjoy your life - to be happy - its all that matters.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by samleeds View Post
    I know that makes like Eberspacher and some chinese and russian models are flying around, but what are they and what do they do. Can someone answer me the following questions, as the lit on whats being said, only covers their costs and the like. I know they use diesel to heat the cab or van independent of any other source in the van, however....

    1. Are they hard to instal and is there anyone that does it professionally.

    2. Can they take their diesel from the vans diesel tank or do they need an independant supply tank.

    3. Do they act as an engine warmer or just to heat the van.

    4. Why do people instal them if they have a perfectly good trauma heater in their vans.

    5. Are they advisable for a typical A/S van like an exec, boxer.
    1 No but that depends on the installers ability, most failures are down to bad installation, and Yes there are plenty of professional installers .

    2 Yes

    3 Most just heat the van but some can heat the engine as well.

    4 Sometimes as backup and it give you options.

    5 No reason why not its up to the individual.
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    Quote Originally Posted by samleeds View Post
    I know that makes like Eberspacher and some chinese and russian models are flying around, but what are they and what do they do. Can someone answer me the following questions, as the lit on whats being said, only covers their costs and the like. I know they use diesel to heat the cab or van independent of any other source in the van, however....

    1. Are they hard to instal and is there anyone that does it professionally.

    2. Can they take their diesel from the vans diesel tank or do they need an independant supply tank.

    3. Do they act as an engine warmer or just to heat the van.

    4. Why do people instal them if they have a perfectly good trauma heater in their vans.

    5. Are they advisable for a typical A/S van like an exec, boxer.
    1. Depends on your DIY skills. Plenty of professionals around to fit them.
    2. Yes, take fuel from main tank, but can be fitted to take from independant tank if you wanted.
    3. Depends which model you choose. Some are just hot blowen air, others warm up coolant, which can pre warm up engine or be diverted to warm air in van. I find the hot air versions are better at warming up van, but thats all they do. The ones which heat coolant, can also be used to heat up water. They are a bigger drain on battery though, if used when parked up.
    4. Don't know. I think most people choose between gas or diesel heating, could have both if you wanted though.
    5. Can have them in any vehicle.
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  5. #5

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    One reason to choose a diesel heater over a gas one is if you have small gas bottles, as I have. I'd be loath to put my heating on, especially in places where LPG was hard to get.

  6. #6

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    FROM OP:
    I know that makes like Eberspacher and some chinese and russian models are flying around, but what are they and what do they do. Can someone answer me the following questions, as the lit on whats being said, only covers their costs and the like. I know they use diesel to heat the cab or van independent of any other source in the van, however....

    1. Are they hard to instal and is there anyone that does it professionally.
    Depends on your DIY/Mechanical Ability. Some people think nothing of rebuilding an engine and gearbox in their motorhomes. Others struggle with a fuse. Like most things, if you approach things logically and carefully, it is doable for many.
    There are plenty of companies who install these commercially. I would reckon on paying around £400 to have a heater fully installed


    2. Can they take their diesel from the vans diesel tank or do they need an independant supply tank.
    Either. The easiest once running is to have the fuel tapped from the main fuel tank as don't have to worry about fillng a separate tank. There are benefits of a seperate tank though. You can use a cleaner fuel such as Kerosene or Paraffin, and you can buy use fuel without the road tax element (so on mine, I use Kerosone at under 60p/litre rather than Road Diesel at £1.40/litre). If you will be using your Camper/Motorhome over the colder months, the difference can add up quite significantly

    3. Do they act as an engine warmer or just to heat the van.
    Very Different. Most Aftermarket-Fit Diesel Heaters will be Air Heaters e.g. the Eberspacher Airtronic and are used purely as Space Heaters. Engine Pre-Heaters are usually fitted when the vehicle is built and is plumbed into the engines cooling system. Not saying you cannot do this aftermarket, but it is a very rare thing to do.

    4. Why do people instal them if they have a perfectly good trauma heater in their vans.
    I don't think that many do, TBH.

    5. Are they advisable for a typical A/S van like an exec, boxer.
    If you have an existing good heater in a quality van like a AutoSleeper, I can't see the point really.
    Last edited by wildebus; 29-10-2018 at 10:37. Reason: spelling
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  7. #7

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    Diesel heaters are cheap to run. Diesel has a far higher calorific value than propane, but is not much more expensive (and is cheaper if you buy propane in bottles).
    However, diesel heaters tend to be noisy (or very noisy if you don't fit silencers) and the use a lot more 12v power than LPG heaters. Not only do they use more when running, but the also use much more when starting up.
    If you have a gas supply in the van, I would suggest choosing a gas heater in preference to a diesel one.
    If you already have a working gas heater, you'd be crazy to even consider replacing it with a diesel heater.
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  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by samleeds View Post
    4. Why do people instal them if they have a perfectly good trauma heater in their vans.
    Donít know but

    1. As Carol says above heating uses a lot of gas which could be a problem if your storage is limited.
    2. Because it is no more expensive to fit a cheap diesel heater than to have refillable LPG tanks fitted.
    3. Because there is not enough room to fit refillable LPG within the van or hung below the van.
    4. Because diesel is universally available almost everywhere but LPG not so easy to find.
    5. Because no adaptors required to fill when out of UK.
    6. Because red diesel or paraffin is cheaper than Calor Ė as long as you have a separate tank for the heating fuel.
    7. Because diesel or similar is safer than gas, AFAIK no regulations apply to fitting a diesel heater.

    How much gas can your A/S Executive carry? In the process of weighing up pros and cons I looked at threads on gas usage. Four quotes below:

    • A 6kg bottle lasted 3 days if using heat, fridge ,cooking. It is the heating that eats up the gas. In the summer when we did not need the heating they lasted for a lot longer.
    • We always carry 2 x 13kg. A bottle lasts 30-35 days. Cooker, fridge run off it. The heating is diesel.
    • We have 2 x 6kg propane bottles in the cubby. This winter, we've found that a 6kg bottle lasts about 5 or 6 days with cooking, heating, fridge and hot water... probably less if you have lots of showers though. We never have the heater on overnight but tend to leave the hot water on very low if the temp is due to drop well below freezing.
    • We have 6kg bottle it kinda lasts 3 days in really cold conditions running hot water oven fridge and blown air heating would probs last longer in a coach built than the van conversion we have.

  9. #9

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    2. Because it is no more expensive to fit a cheap diesel heater than to have refillable LPG tanks fitted.
    It is much cheaper to fit refillable LPG bottles than to have a cheap diesel heater fitted. And then you get the convenience of cheaper gas that doesn't run out.

  10. #10

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    The responses from "Hairydog" and "carol"

    Seem to me to be spot on.
    Spend the money on an LPG re-fillable system and go with gas

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