13 June: Over 90% of orders sent within 2 business hours. Posting Australia wide.
CaravansPlus Accessories Shop
Cart
CaravansPlus.com.au

Caravan Diesel Heater Vs Gas Heaters

Article by - Caravans Plus
Read Time: 4 mins

As the temperature starts to drop, you may be finding life in your caravan or motorhome a bit chilly! When it comes to heating your caravan there are a few options so you will need to decide which heating system is best for you.

Caravan in snow
Keep warm this winter with a caravan heater

Caravan Gas Heaters

Gas heating is an efficient heating solution with many great benefits. Firstly, as most caravans already carry gas to run cooktops or 3-way fridges you do not need to carry an extra fuel source.

They are also very quiet to run, with only the fan creating any noise.

Truma VarioHeat Installed
Truma VarioHeat Operation & Installation

Truma has been a leader in Caravan gas heaters both in Australia and overseas for many years. The Trumatic E2400 was extremely popular and has now been superseded by the new and improved Truma VarioHeat Eco.

The VarioHeat features greater heating power and temperature control than ever before, with the option of two heating output levels (1.3kW or 2.8kW) as well as Boost and Night mode functions. It is simple to operate with the included digital CP Plus control panel allowing you to easily select your desired options.

Truma Gas Heater - VarioHeat Eco - Cream CowlFree Shipping

Truma Gas Heater - VarioHeat Eco - Cream Cowl

19 In Stock Now. Free Shipping.
$2,475.00
$1,898.00
View

There is also an optional add on for the VarioHeat - the Truma E-Kit which provides up to 1800W of additional heating power when 240V is available. The kit attaches directly into the VarioHeat unit (or anywhere in the warm air line) and allows you boost your heating power, or operate solely on electricity to save on gas when possible.

Truma E-Kit - 1800W Electric Add On Suit VarioHeat

Truma E-Kit - 1800W Electric Add On Suit VarioHeat

4 In Stock Now.
$819.95
View

Another option is the Truma Combi 2E, which is a combined air and water heater. The combi operates on Gas but includes an electric heating element allowing for combined gas and electric operation when 240v is available. Both the hot water system and air heater can be run individually or simultaneously and are easily controlled with the included digital control panel.

Truma Combi 2E Air & Water Heater - Gas / Electric - Electronic Ignition

Truma Combi 2E Air & Water Heater - Gas / Electric - Electronic Ignition

1 In Stock Now.
$2,709.95
View

One downside to gas heaters is that they must be installed by a licensed gas fitter and in accordance to gas regulations which may rule out some installations. Although they are very energy efficient, it will still increase the demand on your gas supply which could become an issue if travelling remotely with limited refill options.

Caravan Diesel Heaters

Diesel heating also has a range of benefits with great fuel efficiency, flexible DIY installation and readily available fuel source.

Unlike gas heaters, diesel units do not have a flue that goes through the wall but rather an exhaust that goes through the floor of the vehicle. This gives greater flexibility for installation, which can also be carried out DIY without the need for a qualified tradesperson.

Eberspacher D2 Installed
Eberspacher Operation & Installation

Eberspacher has been a leading brand in diesel heating for many years with D2 and D4 models available depending on your required power.

Autoterm Heaters are Russian made and relativity new to the Australian market, they have a proven history in Europe and America and are known for their durability.

The Eberspacher D2 or Planar 2D would be sufficient for most installations with 4 power settings from 800W to 2.2kW

Autoterm Planar 2D - Diesel Air Heater - 12V / 2kW - Single OutletFree Shipping

Autoterm Planar 2D - Diesel Air Heater - 12V / 2kW - Single Outlet

17 In Stock Now. Free Shipping.
$1,699.00
$1,390.00
View
Eberspacher D2L (Airtronic 2) - Diesel Air Heater - 12V - Single Outlet kit

Eberspacher D2L (Airtronic 2) - Diesel Air Heater - 12V - Single Outlet kit

$2,249.95
View

For larger vehicles the D4 provides up to a whopping 4.0kW

Eberspacher D2 vs D4 Specs
Eberspacher D2 vs D4 Specifications

While Diesel heaters will be slightly louder than their gas counterparts, most noise can be minimised when selecting quality units and ensuring they are mounted correctly.

The Eberspacher comes standard with quality rubber fuel pump mount as well as an exhaust muffler which helps reduce noise created by the fuel pump.

Another benefit is while LPG may be hard to come by / more expensive in remote areas, diesel is readily available. This means you can spend more time off the grid without eating into your cooking / fridge gas supplies.

For those with diesel powered motorhomes, you can also tap directly into the vehicles fuel tank rather than having to carry a separate diesel tank.

Compare Heaters

To easily compare specifications of our heaters check out the comparison chart below:

Compare Caravan & RV Heaters

Compare Caravan & RV Heaters

View the different Heaters available. Compare their specifications, prices, reviews and more.
Read

Was this helpful?

4.47/5
(19 votes)

19 Comments

  • comment-avatar

    Keith

    Could anyone with a gas caravan heater please tell me their opinion of it as I am undecided between gas and diesel heating Thank You

  • comment-avatar

    Peter

    I've had both and would strongly recommend the gas, quite efficient and warms our 17ft van extremely well.

  • comment-avatar

    Richard

    The best thing. It even has a quite night setting so you can still sleep. I have walked by a diesel one & they are loud as.

  • comment-avatar

    George

    Keith, Some Caravan Parks are not allowing the use of a Diesel heater as it creates fumes for the van next door. This is also the case when Free Camping. We have a Gas heater and it is extremely warm and Efficient.

  • comment-avatar

    Alan

    Hi Keith I got the Truma Gas Heater be cause I have 2 Gas bottles on my van. I don’t have to cart Stinken Deisel. I’m very happy with gas only downside is you have to get a registered gas plumber Good luck

  • comment-avatar

    Eddie

    hi Keith I had diesel heater in my old van worked well until ran out of diesel in tassie one night they are really good warm van nicely .but in new van we just bought got a truma heater from caravan plus its brilliant would use truma again trump is good value for money

  • comment-avatar

    Keith

    I have had both, the gas heater is quieter outside the van, both quiet inside. The gas heater needs to be fitted by a qualified gas installer the diesel you can do yourself. The gas is connected to the van gas system so you do not need to carry a jerry can of fuel.

  • comment-avatar

    Jack

    I will not use diesel or gas heating.... Sorry, danger of Carbon Monoxide poisoning IF something goes wrong. A decent detector runs $200+ for a good one, not $15 for a useless Bunnings special.

  • comment-avatar

    Bev

    Is it possible to replace the existing gas water heater with a combined air water heater.

  • comment-avatar

    John

    I have had a Truma gas heater in my 6.7m van since 2014. It has performed perfectly very economically. It has certainly made travelling at any time of the year comfortable without relying on powered sites.

  • comment-avatar

    Ian

    I have a Diesel Eberspeach that has been in operation for 17 years without any issues ...It was installed under our double bed & presents no operating issues....It dose make a bit of noise on start up but after a few minutes all is quiet & runs nice & cosy.... A 15 litre tank is all that is needed for a extended getaway....Highly recomend diesel as it leaves the gas for water heating & internal?external cooking...

  • comment-avatar

    Jesse

    I'm curious to know how often you've had to get your unit serviced in that time? Our Eberspacher D2 has been a constant headache, barely running a year or two of light use without choking on its own carbon buildup.

  • comment-avatar

    Steven

    Hi Jesse, like a motor vehicle your heater needs good clean diesel and a filter change every 12 months, but one thing you must do is run your heater at least once a month for 10 minutes, if its a quality brand diesel heater you shouldn't have a problem, if its a Chinese rip off then I have only one thing to say, good luck with that, cheers.

  • comment-avatar

    David

    Love it no mess no filling up with Smelly derv no extra cans loaded with derv

  • comment-avatar

    Steven

    I have fitted a Webasto diesel heater, I love free camping so I need the gas for cooking and hot water, and it works a treat, 4 hours running for 1 litre and super quiet. Easiest fit up i have done, can get diesel just about anywhere so carrying a small 10 litre jerry is not an issue. I have to laugh about people whining about the smell, yet have a diesel powered tug, probably handle fish when fishing and god knows what else, just wash your hands properly after filling the tank, not real hard!. I can't see gas being as efficient, and they need professional installation, so not for me. One thing I did do was fully wrap the exhaust from start to finish in exhaust wrap and the system is so quiet all you hear is the fan blowing heat. I have it mounted under the front club lounge in the van, it heats up the 24 ft Jayco beautifully, infact I have it set at 18 just to be comfortable. Good luck with your choice we all have different needs, so choose what suits you best, cheers

  • comment-avatar

    Roy

    We have gas in our van, a Truma Model. It's fantastic and the Night Setting is very quiet. Never had any problems. I fitted the unit and had a Gas Fitter complete the gas piping.

  • comment-avatar

    Ian

    I fitted a 2.2 kW Eberspacher diesel heater to our 16 ft pop top about a year ago. It seems very efficient and economical. It is safe to leave on overnight and we have stayed in some very cold places that would have been very uncomfortable without heating. Although it is a bit noisy on start up the noise level soon drops. I would recommend purchasing a well know brand with a reliable track record and availability of parts. reasonably easy to install if you have some good practical skills. The unit came with very clear installation instructions.

  • comment-avatar

    Leigh

    There is shortage of LPG in rural areas retailers are holding stocks for regular customers only. Not sure why

  • comment-avatar

    Ian

    G'day all. Some interesting comments and observations here. As pointed out by many in this conversation, there are pros & cons for both gas & diesel heaters. We have gas appliances (cooktop & water heater) because they were fitted when we purchased our motorhome second hand. We chose to fit a diesel space heater simply because the vehicle (like most, if not all, recent motorhomes) is diesel-engined and so an extra tank for diesel fuel was not needed. The diesel heater has been perfect in operation and heats a largish (9 m / 29 ft) motorhome in sub-zero temperatures to a comfortable 18-20 deg C (our choice). Once at set temperature it is both quiet and produces little in the way of fumes. There was a comment above about carbon monoxide poisoning which was a bit alarmist, in my opinion. Properly fitted space heaters ALWAYS draw air in from, and exhaust to, outside the vehicle. I suppose that same person doesn't cook inside with his gas cooktop? Far more people have been killed by using the old urban-myth of putting a ceramic flowerpot over a stove burner to heat the interior space OR use a small butane powered gas heater inside or running a generator near an open window. Carbon monoxide detectors are quite cheap now-a-days. We bought our multi-gas detector (hydrocarbons & carbon monoxide) from ALDI for around $50 from memory - certainly less than $100. Yes - diesel heaters do produce the typical smell of diesel powered devices as do trucks, tractors, cars, AND caravan-towing 4WDs unless they are fitted with modern pollution-minimising devices. BTW - petrol-powered cars ALSO emit a turpentine-smelling exhaust until the catalytic converter gets up to heat. No-one seems to be complaining about that. Noise from a diesel heater pales in comparison to MOST RV air-conditioners, generators, trail bikes, car engines, awnings clattering when being rolled up - and other noise polluting devices! When the time comes to re-furbish cooking appliances and the water-heater in our motorhome we will be going to diesel heated devices and doing away with gas completely - primarily because of safety (and ridding ourselves of the inconvenience of lugging gas bottles to the nearest bottle-exchange). In the redundant gas compartment, I'll install a diesel tank for all the appliances. NOW READ THIS CAREFULLY ... In my opinion, the single defining difference between gas & diesel is SAFETY. In the event of a fuel leak, one can go KABOOM and the other simply will not ignite, even when a match is tossed into the fuel. Petrol, butane / propane gas, methylated spirits and other volatile hydrocarbons, of course, just LOVE to ignite and/or explode with a simple spark or a match. You NEVER, NEVER, ## N E V E R ## hear of a house, caravan, motorhome or other enclosed space exploding because of a diesel leak. [Disclaimer - leastwise I haven't - and except in mainly American movies. :-) ] [ And ... whatever you do, do NOT get me going on the stupid, self-contradicting, gas regulations. :-( ] Just my two cents worth ...

Please sign in if you want to add a comment. Sign In

Other Guides

Selecting The Correct Caravan Air Conditioner

Selecting The Correct Caravan Air Conditioner

How to Install a Sirocco 12V Fan

How to Install a Sirocco 12V Fan

How To Install an Ibis 3 Air Conditioner

How To Install an Ibis 3 Air Conditioner

How to Install a Cormorant Air Conditioner

How to Install a Cormorant Air Conditioner

See All Articles