Best diesel heaters reviewed

Buying a diesel night heater can be a hard decision with such a wide range of options and prices. In recent years some of the best diesel heaters offering outstanding value are from chinese manufacturers such as Tseipoaoi, Triclicks and Maxpeedingrods.

Five years ago the cost of a diesel heater was over £1000 and now they can be snapped up for as little as £100! It is essential however that you research the correct kW for your intended use as a major pitfall a lot of buyers make is buying the most powerful kW diesel heater that they can afford – DON’T as you will regret this!

This guide has been created to help you make an informed decision on the best diesel heater to buy for your intended use whether it be for a campervan, motorhome, boat or truck use.

To try and find which diesel heater is best for the UK we have reviewed the top selections below. These are presently the most popular diesel night heaters available:

Popular

££
££
  • Manufacturer - Triclicks
  • 12v 5kW
  • LCD Display
  • None plumbed - Easy install
  • Remote controller
  • Best for VW Crafter sized vehicles

££
££
  • Manufacturer - Tseipoaoi
  • 12v 5kW
  • LCD Display
  • None plumbed - Easy install
  • Remote controller
  • Best for VW Crafter sized vehicles

££££
££££
  • Manufacturer - Eberspacher
  • 12V 2.2kW
  • High altitude adjustment
  • Connects to diesel tank
  • Temperature regulated
  • Best for VW Transporter sized vehicles

£
£
  • Manufacturer - maXpeedingrods
  • 12v 2kW
  • LCD Display
  • None plumbed - Easy install
  • Remote controller
  • Best for VW Transporter sized vehicles

£
£
  • Manufacturer - Ambienceo
  • 12v 2kW
  • Meest Euro 6 engine emissions requirements
  • None plumbed - Easy install
  • Remote controller
  • Best for VW Transporter sized vehicles

It is advisable to install a campervan carbon monoxide alarm at the same time as a diesel heater due to risks of toxic gas leaks being introduced to your sleeping area.

Ambienceo 12V *2kW* LCD diesel night heater

Most suppliers of the 2kW MaxPeedingrod have sold out of their winter stock (If you can still get your hands on one I would still highly recommend them).

I expect the the MaxPeedingrod will be restocked later in the year however for now if you are looking for a decent priced diesel heater that can stand alone, or be plumbed directly to your main fuel tank then, the Ambienceo offers good value.

best diesel heater for a vw t5

The Ambienceo diesel heater in 2kW trim is becoming one of the best selling diesel heaters in the UK and can be purchased for around £100.

Thanks to it’s outstanding value and mostly positive reviews, this is one of the best diesel heater currently available in the UK.

Make sure you select the correct power output for your intended use. Do not buy the 5kW if you are only heating a Transporter sized vehicle as even on it’s lowest setting you will be too warm. Even though the 5kW is similar in price, the 2kW is the better choice for you.

Best 2kW diesel heater for a VW Transporter
2kW is the best choice heater for a Transporter

These heaters are not quite as refined as the other slightly dearer models however they have very positive reviews around reliability and running cost.

Ambienceo review – running tips

If you do go for a Ambienceo, take your time with the installation and take proper care with the electrical wiring.

The two most common compaints on these:

  • If the wiring is ran too close to the generated heat it can result in a short circuit and a damaged circuit board. Take your time with the install and protect the wires.
  • A leaky fuel pipe – This is a common complaint on most Chinese diesel heaters as they use poor fitting/cheap flimsy nylon fuel lines. If you have issues it is best to replace with a better quality automotive style fuel line (they are only a few £ HERE). Make sure you get the correct diameter line.
Upgrade fuel line for a diesel heater
Most professional installers suggest changing the nylon fuel line for a proper automotive style one to avoid leaks.

On the lowest setting these heaters use around 0.2L of diesel per hour – with a 10L tank that gives them running time of between 20 and 50 hours on a tank.

With the Ambienceo being 2kW you will probably never have to raise the temperature above its lowest setting in a Transporter (which is why |I do not recommend the 5kW).

On the lowest setting you can expect to reach 20-21 degreees inside the van very rapidly. It is good practice to run them occasionally on full heat to prevent carbon build up (which can cause running issues)

These heaters in 5kW trim are also suitable for larger vans and yahcts, there is infact a growing trend to install them in home garages and small workshops due to their reliability and low running costs.

This diesel heater is suitable for many applications where gas or electric is in short supply.

Diesel Heater introduction

Diesel heaters are also known as diesel night heaters, they are a common accessory frequently fitted to all models of the VW Transporter including the T4, T5 and T6 as well as many other uses in the UK such as trucks and boats for overnight comfort.

Fitting a diesel heater is especially common in the UK where nights can be cold even in the summer months.

Finding the best diesel heater however can be a bit of a complicated subject so here is a review of the top diesel heaters available in the UK

Which diesel heater fits a Transporter

Most diesel heaters will actually fit a Transporter. They are available in different sizes and KW outputs and all of the ones reviewed here are suitable.

As Transporters are fairly compact inside, anything over 1KW will heat up the area adequately even in winter, so don’t worry too much about buying the most powerful one, you are better to focus on the actual functions that each offers.

For larger campervans however the 5KW and higher can be advantageous.  

Are diesel heaters safe for use in a Transporter?

Diesel heaters are seen to be one of the safest forms of heating in a campervan providing they are installed correctly with the correct vents in place. Diesel heaters also usually come with a safety cut off to prevent them overheating.

Diesel heater fuel is also very hard to ignite meaning it is extremely unlikely to pose a fire hazard within your campervan unlike other alternatives such as gas.

Electric fan heaters are also a common option however usually require an electric hook up which may not be an option depending on where you are camping.

Fan heaters do tend to dry the air and for that reason would not be a highly recommended option although they are somewhat cheaper than a diesel night heater.

Are diesel heaters hard to fit?

There are two types of diesel heater in the UK, plumbed and none plumbed (we will review both options).

The plumbed diesel heaters are harder to fit and require a few hours to install correctly, they are more of a permanent solution to heating your vehicle.

The none plumbed variety (that are also much cheaper) are designed to be stand alone with their own diesel tank. The none plumbed variety still require a hole drilling for an external vent and sealing with heat proof seal around the joint to avoid any gaps. You do not want to run the risk of gas venting back inside your vehicle.

Chinese diesel heaters (non – plumbed)

Many of the cheaper Chinese diesel heaters are designed to be stand alone and have their own built in diesel tank.

These are much easier to install than the more expensive plumbed variety however it is important that you install the vent correctly to avoid intoxication from carbon monoxide by-products.

How to install a diesel heater (Plumbed)

To install a heater you will need to feel comfortable doing the following main tasks:

  1. Dropping the fuel tank from the underside of the Transporter
  2. Installing fuel feed to the oil heater
  3. Drilling holes in the floor of your vehicle
  4. Connecting the electrics from the heater to a live battery feed on the vehicle

You will ideally need easy access to the underneath of the vehicle. Heaters can be mounted under the vehicle using a mounting bracket or alternatively inside the vehicle (usually under the seats but this is optional if you have space).

Either way will require holes drilling through the floor of your vehicle. You can view a very good video guide for installation on the link below

Best diesel heaters reviewed

Eberspacher Espar Airtronic S2 D2 L 12V 2.2kW review

This is one of the highest quality diesel heaters on the UK market and is priced accordingly. Eberspächer is a German manufacturer that supplies products world wide. They have been producing diesel heaters since 1977 and have a manufacturing facility in the UK.

If you want the highest quality diesel heater and have the budget for it then the Eberspächer Airtronic is by far the best one to go for and is the option that you will see most commonly installed on high quality Transporter conversions.

Airtronic diesel heater for VW Transporter

Winning Features

  • 2.2kw power output – perfect for a Transporter
  • World wide recognition for a top end product
  • 7 Day programmable timer, Ideal if you want to heat your vehicle whilst you are out and about.
  • Self regulating temperature control
  • Silent fuel pump making this one of the quietest options on the market
  • UK Manufactured and supported

Webasto Air Top 2000 ST C heater Diesel review

Webasto are a long established UK based diesel heater manufacturer and have been operating since 1901. Webasto diesel heaters have a similar high quality reputation to the German manufacturer Eberspacher.

The cost of the products high high but again, you are getting a well supported, well established, tried and tested reliable diesel heater for your Transporter.

The Webasto Air top heaters are frequently used in high specification conversions and offer a fantastic option to those with a higher budget.

Webasto Air best Diesel heater
Webasto Diesel Heater

Winning Features

  • Can be picked up for slightly Cheaper than the Eberspacher
  • Well renowned manufacturer n the UK supplying products globally
  • Sold with an optional upgrade of a 7 day programmable timer
  • Optional high altitude upgrade for use in mountainous areas
  • Silent Fuel pump and anti vibration mounting to ensure a quality night sleep
  • Constant ambient temperature control ensures no heat fluctuations

Chinese diesel heater review

MaXpeedingrods 12V 2kW Chinese Diesel Heater review

The MaXpeedingrods product is growing in popularity in the UK and comes with some good reviews. Similar to the following two products, the MaXpeedingrod is an imported product that is stocked in the UK by UK sellers.

The heater comes as a full kit including a small diesel tank which makes it appealing to those that do not want to connect a heater into their main diesel tank.

This diesel heater can be picked up for as low as £100. They make fantastic value for money.

Maxspeedingrod best diesel heater

Winning features

  • Very low cost option that is stocked in the UK
  • Mobile unit that can easily be moved between vehicles
  • Has it’s own independent fuel tank making it simple to install
  • LCD display as well as remote controller to adjust the temperature
  • Comes with a nice mounting bracket for the main unit as well as the LCD display
  • A nice looking compact product

Tseipoaoi Air 12V 5kW Chinese Diesel Heater review

As the name might suggest, Tseipoaoi is a Chinese diesel heater that is imported from Asia but are available to buy in the UK on next day deliery from UK stockists. They offer a much cheaper and simpler solution to diesel heating in the UK and are growing in popularity.

The products have their own diesel tanks making installation easier for amateurs that do not want to mess around with plumbing into their main fuel tank.

This has a few draw backs such as having to fill the small diesel tank manually and potentially running low on a trip however it is a product that offers great value for money.

Cheap heater for VW

Winning Features

  • Nice looking product and compact design
  • Has a lot of positive reviews on Amazon showing a lot of happy customers
  • Low price of around £150. Considerably cheaper than the UK and German products
  • 5kw of power making it suitable for larger camper vans or motor homes
  • Easy to install and also move between vehicles as it is not permanently fixed down
  • Internal installation

Triclicks 12V 5kW Air Chinese Diesel Heater review

A very similar product to the Tseipoaoi in that it is a Chinese diesel heater, a good imported heating solution for the UK market. The product comes complete with a small diesel tank meaning installation is fairly quick and simple.

The Triclick Chinese diesel heater doesn’t have quite so many reviews on Amazon however it has a lot of sales on eBay, It has recently been discounted here it is a well tried and test product that can be picked up for around £115 making it well worth a look if you want a low cost solution to keep you warm at night.

Chinese import diesel heater

Winning features

  • Low cost option in the UK market with next day delivery available
  • Suitable for any campervan or motorhome
  • 5KW power output making it adequate to heat most sizes of vehicle
  • LCD Dynamic display making it easy to set your desired temperature
  • Straight forward installation and easy to relocate within vehicle if desired
  • Comes with remote controller

FORAVER 12V 4KW Chinese Diesel Heater review

The Foraver is an imported product that is stocked in the UK by a few retailers and available primarily on Amazon. It is a slightly dearer product compared to the other imported heaters but does still offer good value for money.

The design is especially appealing and will look smart inside any larger sized vehicle (recommend Crafter or above). It is compact so easy to tuck away in the foot well or under a seat within the vehicle.

VW T5 and T6 heater

Winning features

  • Nice looking, slick design that measures only 12.2″x 4.5″x 4.8
  • Heating capacily up to 4KW ideal for larger motorhomes as well as transporters
  • Manufactured to meet ISO standards
  • Low fuel consumption of between 0.12l/hr and 0.514l/hr depending on setting

Which diesel heater is best?

All of the diesel heaters reviewed here offer good value for money and are considered strong contenders in the UK for various reasons. If you are looking for a high quality, long lasting product for a good quality conversion I would always recommend a Eberspacher or Webasto.

It pays to get these options installed professionally if your budget allows and ideally installed at the same time as you carry out the conversion.

Which Chinese diesel heater is best?

The imported Chinese diesel heater however do offer a very cheap solution to heating your transporter in the UK and offer a very nice alternative to the expensive UK and German models that are a little bit more of a permanent addition to your vehicle.

If you want a low cost Chinese diesel heater, the Maxspeedingrod is a very popular choice, not just for transporters but they are used frequently on boats, caravans and in truck cabs.

Conclusion

So in conclusion, buy the diesel heater that best suits your budget however bear in mind that the higher quality products are usually installed as a permanent solution.

The imported diesel heaters that come with independent fuel tanks are best suited to those looking for an easier installation.

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