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Van heaters


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My old man is a truck driver, all trucks have heaters that run off diesel and they have timers. When I eventually get a van I will be looking to have this sort of heater fitted, running off a separate diesel tank so I can run it on red. Just thought this could be an option for everyone else. Might not be cheap. But if your in it for the long haul...

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Most sleeper cabs have air heaters fitted. Its cheaper to run one of these than having a big diesel engine idling all night. I think that idling a truck engine whilst parked up on public roads is also illegal (something to do with the air pollution Act.)


They use about a liter of diesel an hour under full load, half that when 'ticking' over. They consume up to 18 amps of your battery current when starting up and run at about 2.5 amps. Your wfp pump draws about 4 amps.


Its fine for a sleeper cab as the engine alternator will replace that back into the battery during the next days running. We don't do that sort of mileage.


Webasto and Eberspatcher (owned by Webasto) work well on road diesel. They don't work well on red diesel. A search of the marine forums will highlight the problems that live aboard owners have with all types of diesel heaters using red diesel which is available at all marina fuel pumps.


There is something in the red diesel (focus on the red dye) that creates a lot of soot and carbon. This effects the glowpin and causes carbon deposits in the heating chamber and premature failure. Specialist repairs and parts are very expensive.


I have an Eberspatcher Airtronic fitted to my Van primary to warm the cabin but I also have a 'bleed' into the cargo area.I ran it for about 5 hours yesterday as it was very cold. The cabin was warm (we have a steel bulkhead fitted) when we got into it and the weather was cold enough to keep the unit on tick over. I recon I used a gallon of diesel yesterday just running it.


I will only start the heater with the engine running so the alternator takes most of the starting load. The leisure battery takes the running load.


I would never uses it as a frost heater as it would use too much current restarting and I estimate it could use up to 10 liters of diesel a night on really cold spells. I use an electric frost heater at night when necessary.


It doesn't get used much TBH. But we don't experience the temperature extremes some do as we are on the North East coast.

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The type of heater I'm talking about does not require an engine to be running. We had the same heater in the welfare vans on the motorways. Thay were connected to 2 leisure batteries, that also ran the others appliances, fridge and microwave, we would often do hardly any mileage in a day. They heat up fast. So would just need to be on a low setting to keep the chill at bay, and have the timer set to go on n off a couple of times throughout the night.

There is no doubt about red diesel sooting up.

Anyways it's just a thought.

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I was looking around for a decent 12v heater but couldn't find any, I couldn't work on friday because of frozen pipes. I don't have a driveway so can't use 220v heater, so I thought if there was an alright heater that works on 12v I could put it on until I get to the first job, hopefully that 30-60mins would be enough to melt the ice.

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