Campervan Diesel Heaters - Frequently Asked Questions

It’s probably fair to say that the most common and popular heating system for campervans is a diesel heater. These heaters are a sound way of supplying an adequate amount of near-instant heat to keep you nice and toasty, and use a minimal amount of fuel in the process.

Most models come with a rotary or digital thermostat that can be fitted in a convenient location within your campervan so that you can set and adjust the temperature of the unit to regulate your van’s internal climate.  Just like your central heating at home, some even have a timer so you can program the heater to come on when you really need it :) 

Diesel heaters are a big investment, but if you want to be able to stay in your campervan all year round in comfort, you really can’t put a price on the convenience of instant heat… it makes the investment completely worth it!

We've put together a list of the most frequently asked questions we receive about campervan diesel heaters, which you may find useful for your conversion.

The first question you’ll probably ask yourself is… 

Are diesel heaters any good?

The short answer is YES! A diesel heater is certainly one of the most practical ways to warm up a campervan and quickly. Simple to use, efficient, safe and most importantly will save you so much room and reduce weight in your campervan, because you’ll have a fuel line straight from the fuel tank rather than having to store bulky gas bottles.

How does a diesel heater work in a van?

In very simple terms, a campervan diesel heater is basically an air heater that works with a combustion and heating process.  Within the heater’s combustion chamber is a heat exchanger coil and as the heater draws in fresh cool air via an inlet pipe, it simply passes over the heated coil and blows out warm air into your van.  All exhaust gases are safely expelled through an exhaust system and released outside the van.

Are campervan diesel heaters safe?

Modern diesel heaters are very safe to operate in a campervan.  The waste gases used for the combustion process are safely piped and released to the outside of the van.

As with any appliance you use in your campervan, it is very important that you regularly maintain your diesel heater and we always recommend that this should be carried out by a qualified professional.

How much fuel does a diesel heater use?

This solely depends on a number of things  like the heater model, ambient temperature, and even the altitude can all affect the total fuel consumption per hour but typically you’ll be looking at 100ml per Kw.

Will a diesel heater drain my battery?

Diesel heaters only use 12v power from your leisure battery to spark the initial combustion and then to drive the small recirculating fan while the heater is running. So electrical power consumption is very low and shouldn’t drain a well maintained battery. 

Will a diesel heater stop condensation?

Yes, a diesel heater will have a massive impact on condensation levels and will greatly help to reduce condensation in your van as it is only blowing in warm, dry air and recirculating it.

More advantages of a diesel heater for heating a campervan...

So, if you’re looking for a heating system for your camper conversion, then take a look at the MV Airo 2KW Diesel Heater. It’s a brilliant piece of kit and the only heater we sell because of this very reason. In our opinion, it is the best combination of performance and cost in a diesel heater for a van you’ll need. The MV Airo 2KW Diesel Heater is almost identical to an expensive Webasto Diesel Heater but with a lower cost of ownership, combined with it’s overall efficiency, it gets the thumbs up from us every time!

Although it requires a little more installation time, there are so many benefits that make the MV Airo Diesel Heater worth your time, hard earned money and energy:

  • Low current consumption
  • Very low fuel consumption
  • Remote control available via SIM card of keyfob clicker
  • Cheaper spare parts then other heater manufacturers
  • 2 years warranty
  • Incredibly reliable
  • Able to operate in lower temperatures
  • Quickly and comfortably heats up your van with no need to run your engine
  • External ventilation means reduced condensation
  • Can be mounted inside or outside the vehicle, underneath the van floor. 
  • Our DIY campervan heating kits include a floor mounting plate and template so you know exactly where to drill any holes. We also stock a bracket for under-van mounting
  • Wherever your system is fitted, the combustion air and exhaust air are piped from outside the van so they are a very safe heating system to use in your campervan

And to make it easier, we sell the complete diesel heater installation kit, ready to fit inside or underneath your campervan. It’s possible you’ll have seen cheaper models on ebay - just be aware that they don’t include all the bits and pieces you’ll need to actually install the heater, so it can also be a real faff for you to find all the other components you’ll need.  We supply it all so you don’t need to worry.

Now it’s time to put your feet up and watch our latest video of Mike unboxing and explaining how an MV Airo diesel heater works… he’ll help you to understand the ‘why, what and how’ of this type of heater.  Happy watching :)

If you’d like to see more of our ‘How to’ campervan conversion videos, pop over to the blog section on our website or subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Check out Kiravans for our full range of quality campervan conversion products and helpful installation video guides, so you can start building your dream adventure today.

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