The 7 Best Diesel Heater for Vans, Campers, and RVs

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As much as insulating your van or RV during winter can help to keep off the cold, you probably need a diesel heater as a backup option to keep you warm once the temperatures become unbearable. During winter, it’s literally a matter of life and death and there is no such thing as being overprepared!

Besides that, diesel heaters are fuel-efficient and cheap to maintain. Not to mention, diesel fuel is readily available in most RVs and camper vans. 

If you want to learn more, keep on reading this article to find out the best diesel heaters for vans, campers, and RVs.

So, let’s get busy.

The Top Best Diesel Heaters for Vans, Campers and RV Reviewed   

 Product's NameHeat OutputFuel efficiencyMore Info
Eberspacher Espar Airtronic S2 D2 L 12V 2.2kW 7500BTU with EasyStart PRO 7 Day Timer Fault...Best for high altitudes
Eberspacher Espar Airtronic S2 D2 L 12V 2.2kW 7500BTU with EasyStart PRO 7...
2.2 kW0.2 to 0.6 L per hourSee Latest Price
Fiberfly Diesel Heater 8KW, 15L Tank, Diesel Air Heater 12V,Muffler, Diesel Parking Heater with LCD...Best for large RVs
Fiberfly Diesel Heater 8KW, 15L Tank, Diesel Air Heater 12V,Muffler, Diesel...
8 kW0.2 to 0.5 L per hour See Latest Price
VEVOR Diesel Heater 12V, 10L Tank, 5KW Diesel Air Heater, Fast Heating, Diesel Heater with LCD...Best for temperature control
VEVOR Diesel Heater 12V, 10L Tank, 5KW Diesel Air Heater, Fast Heating,...
5 kW0.4 to 0.6 L per hour See Latest Price
Planar 2D-12-TM 2KW Diesel Air Heater 12V with PU-5 controller Similar to Webasto, Airtronic,...Best for vans and small RVs
Planar 2D-12-TM 2KW Diesel Air Heater 12V with PU-5 controller Similar to...
2 kW0.2 to 0.6 L per hour See Latest Price
maXpeedingrods 12V 5KW Air Diesel Heater LCD Switch & Remote Control 4 Holes for Caravan Trucks...Best portability option
maXpeedingrods 12V 5KW Air Diesel Heater LCD Switch & Remote Control 4...
5 kW0.1 to 0.6 L per hour See Latest Price
Wayska Diesel Air Heater 12V, 15L Tank, Diesel Heater 8KW, Muffler, Diesel Parking Heater with LCD...Best for fuel efficiency
Wayska Diesel Air Heater 12V, 15L Tank, Diesel Heater 8KW, Muffler, Diesel...
8 kW0.2 to 0.5 L per hour See Latest Price

Find the Right Best Diesel Heater 

Eberspacher Espar Airtronic S2 D2

Eberspacher Espar Airtronic S2 D2 L 12V 2.2kW 7500BTU with EasyStart PRO 7 Day Timer Fault...
  • Diesel fired air heater with 2.2 kW 7500BTU heating power.
  • Automatic altitude adjustment - up to 3000m above sea level. No additional altitude kit required.
  • Get a better nights sleep, with the new stepless motor and silent fuel pump.

This is a made in Germany diesel air heater with a heat output of 2.2 kW which is equivalent to 7500 BTU; this would be perfect for vans and small-sized RVs. If you’re camping up in the mountains, it comes with an altitude adjustment setting that allows it to operate up to 9,842 feet above sea level.

How much fuel does it consume? On average, it consumes about a single gallon in about 24 hours. If you want to save fuel, it’s designed with an internal temperature sensor that turns the central unit on and off based on your surroundings.

Even more impressive, it features an exhaust muffler to keep it quiet when running. Not to forget, it can self-diagnose and send you an error code in case of any performance issues so you can fix it.

Unfortunately, the heat output of this unit wouldn’t be ideal if you live in a big-sized RV.

Pros

  • Automatic attitude adjustment
  • It features a silencer
  • Full installation kit included
  • Up to 7500 BTU heating power
  • It can self-diagnose
  • Precise temperature monitoring

Cons

  • Not suitable for class A RVs

Fiberfly Diesel Air Heater

Fiberfly Diesel Heater 8KW, 15L Tank, Diesel Air Heater 12V,Muffler, Diesel Parking Heater with LCD...
  • [SPECIFICATIONS]- Heater power: 8KW; Fuel gasoline: Diesel; Rated voltage: 12V; Fuel consumption: 0.2-0.5; Working...
  • [LOW EMISSIONS]Compact structure, easy to install; Environmentally product, low emissions, low fuel consumption;...
  • [VOLATILE TECHNOLOGY] by the ceramic ignition plug will fuel heating evaporated into gas, fast ignition, full...

How about a low-budget diesel air heater that can produce up to 8kW? To put it into perspective, the heat output of this unit is sufficient for most class A type of RVs that are about 26 to 45 feet long. Beyond that, this Fiberfly diesel air heater is convenient for both summer and winter with a working temperature range of between -40°F to 122°F.

Talking about fuel efficiency, it can consume about 0.2 to 0.5 liters of fuel per hour depending on the temperature settings. It’s also designed with automatic temperature control technology and if you want to control it manually, you can use the remote control up to 150 feet away.

Surprisingly, it doesn’t make a lot of noise at night despite its low-price tag. Not to mention, it comes with everything you need to install.

However, most Chinese diesel air heaters like this unit don’t come with a warranty. Then again, it shouldn’t be much of a concern considering it’s a low-budget diesel air heater.

Pros

  • Low budget air heater
  • Low fuel consumption
  • Ideal for big size RVs
  • Automatic control technology
  • It’s designed with overheating protection
  • Full installation kit included

Cons

  • No warranty

VEVOR Diesel Heater

Sale
VEVOR Diesel Heater 12V, 10L Tank, 5KW Diesel Air Heater, Fast Heating, Diesel Heater with LCD...
  • Aluminum Housing: The combustion chamber, the base, and the heat-dissipating fin are all sand-blasted aluminum...
  • Fast Heating & Low Emissions: Volatile technology, the ceramic spark plug heats the fuel to evaporate into a gas,...
  • Easy To Operate: The LCD screen will clearly show the running state of the machine. The vehicle can be preheated by...

For what it’s worth, this Vevor diesel is made out of an aluminum body. That means, not only is it corrosion and rust-resistant but it will transfer heat faster than most diesel heaters. In addition to that, it’s designed with an optimized ECU to control the oil pump injection frequency with accurate precision to increase its lifespan.

If that doesn’t convince you yet, it features an LCD screen that lets you monitor fuel efficiency, power consumption, and temperature. To top it off, you can pre-heat your RV and change the temperature, oil volume, and wind speed using a remote control.

There are 2 options available; a 5kW and 8kW diesel heater. Both units are suitable if you camp in a medium or big-sized RV.

Its biggest drawback is that it will be overwhelmed at high altitudes. Also, it comes with a 10-liter tank and not a 15-liter tank as advertised.

Pros

  • asy to operate
  • Full installation kit included
  • Low budget option
  • Features LDC screen with remote control
  • Overheating protection

Cons

  • Not designed for high altitudes

Planar 2D-12 Diesel Air Heater

Planar 2D-12-TM 2KW Diesel Air Heater 12V with PU-5 controller Similar to Webasto, Airtronic,...
  • Planar 2D-12 / -24 - 2,700÷3,200 BTU/hr
  • Perfect for heating interior of boats, truck cabins, motor homes, buses etc.
  • Truck,car,cabin, boat, bus, camper - universal kit!

The Planar 2D-12 is a made in Russia diesel air heater with a heat output of 2 kW. It features the same control panel that you would find in most high-end units. That means you can adjust the temperature mode if you want it to turn on and off based on the climate, but if you want it to run continuously, you can switch to power mode. 

Another cool thing about this air heater is that it comes with a self-diagnostic system and a code table to help you identify the problem. It’s also fitted with a silencer to reduce the noise while it’s running.

On the downside, this diesel air heater doesn’t feature an automatic altitude adjustment setting. 

Pros

  • Full installation kit included
  • Self-diagnostic system
  • User-friendly operation control
  • It’s quiet during operation
  • 2 kW heat output

Cons

  • Not ideal for high altitude

maXpeedingrods All-in-One Air Diesel Heater

Sale
maXpeedingrods 12V 5KW Air Diesel Heater LCD Switch & Remote Control 4 Holes for Caravan Trucks...
  • APPLICATION - This diesel heater is suitable for all kinds of Trucks, Pickup, Van, Bus, Car, SUV, Boat, Caravan,...
  • COMPLETE ACCESSORY - This air diesel heater kit includes all mounting screws, and the heater and fuel pump have...
  • LCD DYNAMIC DISPLAY - The LCD Switch will clearly show the running state of the machine, once activated, the...

This is an all in one diesel heater for your RV; this means everything from the fuel tank, control panel, fuel pump, and diesel heater are combined in a single unit. Of course, it’s compact and easier to move than most diesel air heaters.

The heat output is 5 kW with fuel consumption of 0.14 to 0.64 liters per hour. Similarly, it will draw about 15 amps during startup but it should reduce to about 3 amps during normal operation. Did we mention that you can adjust the temperature using remote control while you’re standing 98 feet away from your RV?

Our biggest concern is that the manual is poorly translated with no clear instructions. However, you can still find helpful instructions on how to install it online.

Pros

  • Easy to install
  • Constant temperature control
  • It includes overheating protection
  • Small and compact
  • Low maintenance cost

Cons

  • No clear installation instructions

Wayska Diesel Air Heater

Wayska Diesel Air Heater 12V, 15L Tank, Diesel Heater 8KW, Muffler, Diesel Parking Heater with LCD...
  • 【SPECIFICATIONS】 - Heater power: 8KW; Fuel gasoline: Diesel; Rated voltage: 12V; Fuel consumption: 0.2-0.5;...
  • 【WORKING PRINCIPLE】-The heater adopts light diesel which corresponds to the environmental temperature as fuel,...
  • 【FAST HEATING & LOW EMISSIONS】- Volatile technology, the ceramic spark plug heats the fuel to evaporate into a...

This diesel air heat uses volatile technology to quickly ignite and fully burn the fuel to reduce emissions when producing heat for your RV. If its fuel tank is full, you can run it continuously for up to 30 hours with an average consumption of 0.2 to 0.5 liters per hour. Alternatively, you can connect the oil extractor to your RV’s fuel tank if you want it to run longer.  

What’s more, the thermostat automatically adjusts to keep you going up to an altitude of 5,500 feet above sea level. Besides that, it should disperse heat when the engine is off as long as you connect it to a 12V battery; the working temperature range is between -40°F to 122°F.

Even though it comes with all the accessories you need to install from the oil pump, silencer to the air filter, the instructions on the manual are vague. It also doesn’t have a warranty but that’s not surprising considering its lower price tag compared to the competition.

Pros

  • High altitude settings
  • Low emission heater
  • Includes LCD monitor with remote control
  • Ideal for large RVs
  • Full installation kit included

Cons

  • No warranty

Best Diesel Heater for Vans and RVs Buying Guide 

Types of Diesel Heaters

Diesel Air Heater

The 7 Best Diesel Heater for Vans, Campers, and RVs 1

These are the most common type of diesel heaters on the market. As the name suggests, they work by pulling in air from your RV or camper van which is then mixed with diesel and ignited to generate heat.

In contrast with diesel water heaters, diesel air heaters are more efficient and easier to use especially during winter. They’re also installed in the chassis or cabin of your vehicle. 

Diesel water heater

The 7 Best Diesel Heater for Vans, Campers, and RVs 2

A diesel water heater isn’t so different from a diesel air heater except that it draws in water instead of air. Once the water flows into the diesel water heater, it’s heated and converted into steam. Next, the steam is passed through a heat exchanger to generate heat for the outside environment.

Unlike a diesel air heater, a diesel water heater is installed in the engine compartment. That means can also use your diesel water heater to warm up your engine during winter and prevent cold starting issues.

How To Choose the Best Diesel Heater for Vans, Campers, and RVs

Heat Output

The heat output of a diesel heat is rated in kilowatts (kW) or British thermal units (BTU). The higher the kilowatt or BTU, the higher the heat output. Also, the bigger the diesel heater, the higher the heat output.

Of course, you should consider the heat output ratings based on the size of your RV, camper, or van. For instance, if you have a small van, a 2Kw diesel heater would be sufficient. However, if you have one of those class A types of RVs that are about 26 to 45 feet long, you should consider 5 kW diesel heaters.

Altitude Setting

When most diesel heaters are exposed to high altitudes where the air is thinner, it becomes difficult to burn the fuel. For that reason, if you love to camp high in the mountains, you should consider premium diesel heaters that are designed to change the ratio of fuel and air at high altitudes. That means it’s possible for those diesel heaters to operate 10,000 feet above sea level.

However, it’s not a must you purchase a diesel heater with an automatic altitude adjustment setting if you don’t camp up in the mountains.

Operating Temperature

The best diesel heaters are designed to be fully functional during the coldest winter and hottest summer season. More succinctly, you should choose a diesel heater that has an operating temperature range of between -40°C to 50°C (-40°F to 122°F).

Power Consumption

Most diesel heaters for RVs are designed to draw up to 15 amps of power from your 12V battery during start-up. Because of that, you should consider the power consumption of a diesel heater to avoid draining your battery. Of course, the bigger the diesel heater, the higher the power consumption.

However, diesel heaters reduce the power consumption after start-up to about 3 or 4 amps. Once most diesel heaters become warm, they consume about 1 amp per hour.

Fuel Efficiency

Fuel efficiency shouldn’t be a problem if you choose the ideal heater size for your RV, camper, or van. Most diesel heaters are fuel-efficient with a consumption of about 0.1 to 0.6 liter per hour. Nevertheless, you should consider diesel heaters that will automatically shut off if your fuel tank is almost empty.

Ease of Installation

Most diesel heaters require plumbing during installation. Because of that, you should consider a diesel heater that comes with a full installation kit and an instruction manual. 

Besides that, you could choose a portable all in one diesel heater that doesn’t require plumbing; this means you could use it somewhere else apart from your van or RV.

Here is a video explaining how you can install a diesel heater in your motorhome: 

Noise Level 

Nobody wants a diesel heater that is too noisy, right? The best diesel heaters are equipped with silencers to reduce the noise even at the highest setting.

However, most low-budget diesel heaters tend to be noisy at the highest settings. If that happens, you can cover the diesel heater with noise-dampening insulation and regulate the thermostat at an ideal temperature to keep it quiet.

Brand

Most diesel heaters on the market are manufactured by Chinese and German brands. If you want low-budget options, you can choose heaters made in China. Even so, most Chinese diesel heaters don’t have a warranty; and if they do, the warranty is short-lived.

On the other hand, diesel heaters made in Germany are sold at a premium price. They’re also more durable with a longer warranty period. Better yet, they have servicing centers across North America and Europe in case your diesel heater develops performance issues.

FAQs for Best Diesel Heaters for Vans, Camper, and RVs

Q. Where should I install my diesel heater?

A. It depends on the type of diesel heater. If you have a diesel water heater, it should be installed in the engine compartment. However, if you’re using a diesel air heater, it can be installed in the chassis or cabin of your vehicle.

Q. Are diesel heaters for RVs and camper vans safe to use?

Yes. Diesel heaters are safe to use as long as you install them correctly. Most importantly, make sure your diesel heater is vented so you don’t have exhaust gases accumulating inside your RV or camper van.

Beyond that, some of the best diesel heaters will shut off automatically if they detect any problem. Nevertheless, it would be a good idea to put a carbon monoxide detector in your RV just in case there is a malfunction.

Q. Which are the most durable diesel heaters for vans, campers, and RVs?

Some of the most durable diesel heaters for vans, campers, and RVs are made in Germany. Based on our reviews, the most durable diesel heater is the Eberspacher Espar Airtronic S2 D2

Q. How much can I expect to spend when buying a diesel heater for my RV or van?

It depends on the brand. Low-budget diesel heaters made in China can cost as low as $150 while premium models made in Germany can cost as much as $2000.

Conclusion

After reading our guide, we hope you can choose the best diesel heater based on the size of your van or RV.

Our top choice is Eberspacher Espar Airtronic S2 D2 because it’s quiet and fuel-efficient. It’s also made by a reputable brand and it can cope at high altitudes. 

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About Chris Coleman

Chris Coleman is an interesting travel blogger and outdoor photographer with a great sense of humor. He owns an RV Accessories shop in New York City so he has the knowledge necessary to provide thorough reviews and give advice on how to choose the right products for RV travel. He puts all that RV knowledge and experience to good use in his sharing posts. Besides product buying guides/reviews, Chris also writes informative articles, how-to articles and RV camping guides in his own interesting viewpoint. Chris’s blog is one of the most reliable information sources for RV campers no matter if you're an expert or a determined beginner.

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