Diesel Heaters

What you need to know about Diesel heaters

Today, people use diesel heaters for many types of applications, including large and small recreational vehicles such as campervans, motorhomes, trucks, through to warming their home sheds, workshops and greenhouses. At the end of our guide, we hope you will be on your way to being an expert on diesel air heaters and so able to make an informed decision when buying one for yourself.

Why have a diesel heater?

One of the most common uses of a Diesel heater is that of heating campervans and motorhomes. When those outside air temperatures drop down, particularly if you have no other form of heating, you might want to consider using a Diesel heater. These heaters are a great idea if you are used to parking in stop-overs without a plug in electricity point.

How do diesel heaters work?

Some Diesel heaters can be installed so they draw their fuel directly from the vehicle’s main fuel tank. Other Diesel heaters need their own separate fuel supply tank – and so you can either buy a Diesel heater that uses a form of metal jerrycan, a plastic fuel can, or instead you can buy an all-in-one Diesel heater that has its own built in fuel tank.

The Diesel fuel is drawn from the supply tank using a simple pump, taken through a narrow bore pipe to the burn chamber of the heater, where the fuel is then mixed with drawn in air. The fuel and air are mixed and a burn cycle takes place in the separate sealed off burn chamber, making them safe to use, with the hot waste gases then exhausted whilst ensuring the exhaust gases are also safely separated from the inside motorhome or campervan air. A cut-away of a Diesel heater is shown below.

What Diesel heater should you buy?

One of the most important things to decide is the size of the unit that is perfect for the internal size of the vehicle you wish to heat. Too large a heater, and you will get too hot inside the motorhome or campervan. Too small, and you will struggle to maintain a toasty temperature and you will waste Diesel fuel.

ColdShine 12V 5KW Air Diesel Heater

  • Technology: The air diesel heater has a ceramic glow plug, the fuel is heated and evaporated into gas, which is quickly ignited and fully burned.
  • Convenience: Comes complete with a remote control which allows you to preheat the campervan or motorhome, so you can stay warm and snug in bed.
  • Emissions: Environmentally friendly all-in-one diesel heater, which has low gaseous emissions and with low fuel consumption.
  • Simple to use: The LCD display clearly shows the running status of the heater. The various parameters of the machine can also be easily set.
  • Range of uses: The vehicle heater set can be used for trucks, boats, trailers, RVs, campers, caravans, and various other vehicles. The Diesel air heater is also suitable for indoor uses, such as homes, sheds and workshops use.

Ambienceo 12V 3KW Air Diesel Heater

  • Vehicle size: This 3Kw 12V Diesel heater is excellent for heating heating medium sized campervans and motorhomes, for examples, long wheel based vehicles plus bus and coach motorhome conversions.
  • Environment: Low emissions and low fuel consumption, Heater exhaust emissions meet Euro IV engine emissions requirements.
  • Fuel supply: A separate fuel tank allows for a reduced size of Diesel heater unit. The separate fuel container can be mounted on a wall.

MaXpeedingrods 12V 2KW Air Diesel Heater

  • Heater Power: 2KW heater power with 12 volts input, runs on Diesel.
  • Fitment: RVs, motorhomes, campervans, caravans, trucks, pickups, boats.
  • Fuel capacity: 10 litres.
  • Weight: 4230 g. Dimensions: 34 x 11.5 x 11.5 cm
  • Economical: Low fuel and power consumption, suitable for longer periods of operation.


Diesel heaters have a number of sources of noise. Firstly, the heater will produce a noise similar to the roar of a jet engine, but obviously it’s much quieter than an aeroplane! Then, there is the noise of the fan that is used inside the unit. Also, there will be noise produced by the pulsing fuel pump, similar to a tick tick tick noise. So the message is, don’t expect the unit to be silent running straight out of the box.

Fuel consumption

Most modern motorhome Diesel heaters are very efficient with fuel and use between 0.1 and 0.6 litres of Diesel fuel each hour.

Diesel storage

Diesel fuel is much safer to store in containers than Petrol. Diesel can catch fire and is classified as a flammable liquid, but because has a flashpoint of between 55 and 60 ºC this means in most ambient temperatures Diesel will not ignite.

You should however only store Diesel in small quantities and only in approved containers. You should not store more than 30 litres of Diesel at your home, as there are legal implications for doing so.

You can store between 30 and 275 litres of oil at your private home but you must notify your local Petroleum Enforcement Authority (PEA) in writing, including your name and address as the occupier of the storage place or the address where the oil is stored.

Types and sizes of portable containers you could use to store Diesel fuel at your home; 1). plastic container – up to 10 litres or 2). a metal container – up to 20 litres or 3). a demountable fuel tank – up to 30 litres.

Fire incidents

You should ensure that you have one or more fire extinguishers at easy reach within your vehicle, that in combination are suitable to safely extinguish all types of fires that may apply to the vehicle and it’s contents.

For example, fires involving flammable or combustible liquids such as Petrol and Diesel are known as Class B fires, and therefore you will need a Class B fire extinguisher of suitable size.

Top Tip: A Dry Powder fire extinguisher should be suitable for putting out most fires in a combustion engine driven motorhome or campervan, with the exception of any cooking oils or fats.

Negative points about Dry powder fire extinguishers are; they are very messy when operated, likely to destroy electrical equipment upon ingress, and in confined areas the airborne powder and any irritating effects on the user could then hinder proper use of the fire extinguisher.

A recommended Dry powder fire extinguisher can be found on Amazon HERE.

Bench Testing Diesel Heaters

Do you need to bench test your Diesel heater, but you have found that you don’t have the right power supply to run it?

Try one of the below 12 volt power supply units. These push out a mighty 30 amps of 12 volt power, which is more than enough current to operate the glow plug start up stage of the Diesel heater, all with the convenience of doing testing work on the bench.

Buy at Amazon for £19.99 –> https://amzn.to/3np7Cy3

This power supply is only suitable for indoor use. You should ensure that you follow the manufacturers instructions when installing the equipment.

Diesel heater problem solving page — HERE

Stay warm when parked up this Winter