Diesel and Gasoline Air Heaters for Campervans

Are you planning any overland expeditions? If yes, then a high-quality air heater is one thing your campervan or overland vehicle must have. Keeping a comfortable cabin during your travels will help prevent body aches and fatigue, keeping you energized and motivated for things you want and need to do.

Diesel Forced-Air Heaters

There are four overall benefits of diesel forced-air heaters:

  • Efficient Temperature Control
  • Modest Fuel Consumption
  • Superior Safety Standards
  • Minimal Mechanical Maintenance

Generally, diesel air heaters use 1-2 gallons of fuel per 24 hours. If your campervan or overland vehicle runs on diesel fuel, you can install a diesel air heater by connecting it directly to your fuel tank. It is possible to install a diesel air heater in a gasoline-powered vehicle, though it will require a separate fuel tank.

Most diesel forced-air heaters need a connection to a 12 or 24-volt electrical source to power the fuel pump and fan. So, if you plan on using your air heater for extended periods, it is wise to install a dual-battery system.

Gasoline Forced-Air Heaters

Gasoline forced-air heaters offer some of the same benefits as diesel forced-air heaters, including:

  • Efficient Temperature Control
  • Superior Safety Standards
  • Minimal Mechanical Maintenance

The main difference between diesel and gasoline air heaters is that gasoline systems are typically less fuel efficient. You can install a diesel air heater in a gasoline-powered vehicle. However, as explained in the previous section, you cannot plumb a diesel air heater system into a gasoline-powered vehicle’s fuel tank (and vice-versa), meaning you will need a secondary fuel tank for the diesel air heating system.

While it depends on your specific needs and the journeys you take with your campervan or overland vehicle, you will usually benefit the most from using an air heater that runs on the same fuel as your vehicle. Why? Connecting your diesel or gasoline forced-air heater to your main fuel tank will simplify refueling and provide your air heater with a nearly unlimited fuel source.

How Safe Are Diesel and Gasoline Air Heaters?

Modern, high-quality diesel and gasoline air heaters reduce safety risks because:

  • There is no risk of you knocking them over accidentally.
  • Most models have built-in safety shut-off features.
  • Their combustion processes do not occur in a vehicle’s main cabin, ensuring a minimal risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • You do not need to refuel them directly (if tapped into the main fuel tank), eliminating the risk of leaking/spilling fuel inside your vehicle.

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