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The Diesel Heater

Updated on August 16, 2009

Every year there are fatalities among campers due to improper heating used in their motor homes or caravans. Ever wondered what the best heater to use when camping is?  Well, surprisingly enough the diesel heater is becoming a fast favourite with campers these days.  They are especially useful for those times when you're camping away from electricity, off the beaten track.  Not in common use among home owners yet, diesel heaters are even gaining popularity when it comes to a choice of portable heaters.

Diesel heaters are certainly also gaining on propane heaters as they are a lot safer to operate, and have the added advantages of diesel being readily available, much more available than propane gas for example. Diesel is safer to use, safer to transport, and also have a higher BTU output when pitched against the exact same amount of propane. With all those advantages, why would anyone choose propane over the diesel fuel heater.  

But Aren't Diesel Heaters Dangerous?

Most people, thinking of burning diesel, automatically think danger. It's true, burning diesel is a very dangerous substance to be sure. However, diesel heaters are another thing. They're actually very harmless if they're installed correctly. If you know what you're doing, you can even install them yourself though I wouldn't suggest it unless you are a fairly competent handyman. Having said that, it is fairly easy to find a proper technician to install them for you in your motor home or caravan if you're interested.

The burning diesel section of the heater is actually a completely sealed furnace, there's no way for the burning diesel or the bad air to escape into the room. The diesel heater draws air from outside the camper into this sealed furnace where it is lit and heated. The hot air heats up the external surfaces of the furnace and is then expelled back out into open air. Air from within the camper or room passes over the outside of the hot furnace and is then sent via ducts into the room that needs heating, often sent on its way by a small fan. Thus the dangerous fumes never come in contact with any indoor air.

Some Popular Diesel Heaters

Two of the most popular ranges of diesel heaters are the Eberspacher range, and the Webasto range. Prices for these heaters start at around $1,500 to $2,000 for the complete unit, depending of course on what you buy.

Of course there are other brands on the market, many priced cheaper than this. However, from all accounts these two brands are some of the best available if you're looking for a diesel heater for your mobile home or camper.

Other Uses for Portable Diesel Space Heaters

Construction sites have been using portable diesel space heaters for many years.  The obvious use for them on construction sites is to provide warmth for construction sites.  They are also used to keep freshly made cement from freezing, in sub zero temperatures. These larger portable diesel heaters have wheels and handles on them so that they're easily moved around from site to site. Diesel is also stable under very low temperatures, and thus they can operate well in near zero temperatures.

While not in common use in homes yet, there is a possibility that portable diesel space heaters may  become more popular even to use in garages, workspaces, cabins and even rooms within homes that need portable heating. I think we will see more of these heaters on the market in months to come, with marketing directed at the average home owner. Let's see if I'm right!

Diesel Water Heater

There are already quite a few options for purchasing the diesel water heater. These work in the same manner as the ordinary diesel heater, by burning air in a furnace thus heating the exterior of the furnace. Water passes over the exterior of the furnace, heats, and comes out of the faucet. One nice thing with diesel water heaters is that they don't store heated water in a storage tank but it is on-demand. They are economical and heat the water quickly. And, with diesel so readily available, you don't have to depend on electricity or other energy sources to run them.


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