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Without a plan to keep warm, living in a campervan through the winter season is a recipe for a health disaster. There are different ways to stay warm in a campervan, but if you are planning to do that for a considerable amount of time, then it is recommendable to buy a diesel heater. This heater is energy efficient and this implies that it can run all night long safely, to keep you and your loved ones warm through the cold winter season.
In this article, you will learn what a diesel heater is, where to install a diesel heater, why you should buy a diesel heater, drawbacks of using the diesel heater, and finally how to choose the best diesel heater for your campervan. Read on.
A diesel heater is a device designed to warm up your space and runs on diesel. This type of heater consumes less fuel compared to other heaters that use propane or normal gas. Therefore, it is an economical option to keep warm in your campervan all night long through the winter season.
Diesel heaters for campervans are compact and this means that they are space-saving. Hence, spotting a place where they can fit should be easy. It is advisable to install it in an area that is enclosed for protection, for instance in the storage cabinet.
The spot under your passenger seat is popular for its installation because there is a significant amount of space there. This area is also suitable because it is far from the campervan’s sleeping space in most cases.
Regardless of the place you decide to install the unit on your campervan, take note that the exhaust, combustion air intake, and fuel pipes must be outside the vehicle. Therefore, these pipes should not be impeded by fuel lines and frame rails. Additionally, every product has an instruction manual that directs you during the installation process.
If you are doing the installation by yourself, here are points that you need to remember;
- There should be adequate airflow near the air inlet area of the unit to enhance efficiency.
- Ensures that the air inlet and the exhaust pipes face opposite directions under the campervan. This is important to ensure that the exhaust fumes are not directed into the air inlet pipe.
- The heater’s air inlet filter should not face the direction where the vehicle is heading. This eliminates the chances of buildup that can clog the unit’s pipe.
- The heater’s exhaust pipe needs to slant downwards during installation at a gentle angle. This keeps off condensation build-up, which might lead to corrosion.
- During installation, make sure that the fuel pump slants at an angle to eliminate the chances of bubbles forming.
There are advantages of using diesel heaters to warm your campervan. Below are some of the advantages;
- The fuel is readily available and affordable
- The heaters are fuel-efficient, therefore the running cost is insignificant
- Diesel heaters produce slow but consistent dry and warm air giving you unending comfort
- Can defog car mirrors, giving you versatile use
- Has low emissions
- Minimizes condensation in the vehicle
- Features external vent, therefore it lowers relative humidity and does not increase moisture in the vehicle
- Exhaust fumes are directed outside
- Can run on diesel in your main tank, eliminating the need to have separate fuel sources
- Requires mechanical knowledge to install
- Produces some noise mainly during the startup phase. The noise is however louder from outside the campervan than inside.
To get the best diesel heater for your campervan, there are different things you need to consider. They include the following;
- Heat Output
It is important to buy a diesel heater that will match the size of your campervan to avoid wasting cash on under or oversized devices. If you get a diesel heater that is too small for your campervan, it will insufficiently heat the space while consuming more fuel and electricity than it should.
On the other hand, buying a device that is too big for your campervan will cost you more money for the initial cost than you should spend. Consider the space that requires the heat and buy the right size for the vehicle. A 2kw diesel heater is suitable for medium-sized vehicles while a 4 to 5 kW is ideal for people with large campervans.
After using the diesel heater for a while carbon will build up as it is a by-product of the combustion process. To keep it in good condition, go through the manufacturer’s maintenance guidelines and implement them. Ideally, you can also run the device for a whole hour at the highest setting monthly.
Buying a diesel heater from top-end brands will cost you more money than low-end brands. The market, however, gives you numerous options to pick from that will match your budget.
- Plumbed vs. Non-plumbed
Plumbed units allow you to connect them to your main fuel tank while non-plumbed units are an all-in-one device that does not give room for this extension. You should buy a plumbed diesel heater if you intend to spend a significant amount of time in your campervan. Nonetheless, if you are only an occasional camper or if you need one for use in a garage or store, buy a non-plumbed diesel heater.
- Dependability and Reliability
If you are solely relying on the diesel heater to keep you warm in the campervan, you need to invest in a reliable unit. Therefore, it is recommendable to buy from a high-end manufacturer whose product will not inconvenience you in the middle of nowhere during winter. Chinese and Russian brands are affordable but they are more likely to break down than those from top-end brands.
Picking the best diesel heater for your campervan relies on your budget. The market gives you numerous options to choose from, budget-friendly and high-end. A diesel heater is safe and economical so you do not have to worry about exploring mountainous regions all winter long because the heater will keep you cozy and warm throughout your adventure.