Diesel Cook Top,Hotwater are they good?

Submitted: Tuesday, Aug 05, 2014 at 19:33
ThreadID: 109032 Views:5070 Replies:3 FollowUps:9
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Ok what if any are the benefits over gas of the diesel systems for hot water, cook top and heating ?
Should I get a van with it or stay with gas?
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Reply By: Member - Frank P (NSW) - Tuesday, Aug 05, 2014 at 19:55

Tuesday, Aug 05, 2014 at 19:55
We have a Kimberley Karavan fitted with a Webasto diesel ceramic cook-top and Webasto diesel hot water which doubles as a room heater. We think both are fabulous.

The cooktop takes about 10 minutes to heat up to cooking temperature, but once there is perfect for all stove-top type cooking except frying. It is unbeatable for slow cooking like the absorption method for rice, or for some hours with lamb shanks, etc. You can certainly get vigorously boiling water in a large saucepan but we have found that it is not suitable for frying, it just doesn't get the bulk heat required for that - we do that outside on the wok burner.

Though the diesel cooktop is great and we use it all the time, we find that we must have gas as well - either a cartridge table-top cooker or some other gas alternative outside.

The 15 litre diesel hot water system totally meets our needs. We run it for 30 minutes each day and that provides enough hot water for 24 hours, including shower days. It also doubles as a room heater.

In summer with no room heating our 12 litre diesel tank lasts over two weeks. In winter with 3 hours room heating in the evening and an hour in the morning it lasts about 4 days. It's incredibly efficient.

Cannot speak highly enough of the system.

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FrankP

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Follow Up By: Knothome - Tuesday, Aug 05, 2014 at 20:04

Tuesday, Aug 05, 2014 at 20:04
Thanks its one of those options when looking at vans which is the best way to go, maybe gas cook top and diesel water heating/ room heating.
What happens when in a caravan park and power plugged in do you still run the diesel hot water or is there a 240v power option included?
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Follow Up By: Member - Frank P (NSW) - Tuesday, Aug 05, 2014 at 20:15

Tuesday, Aug 05, 2014 at 20:15
I should address your specific question - the benefits of one over the other.

Gas is good for instant high temperature heat - toast, browning meat, BBQing, etc. The diesel is good for everything else.

We (the bride and I) think you need both, but keep the major gas cooking (BBQ, etc) outside or confined to table-top cartridge-type cookers inside (toast and other minor convenience heating like coffee or a quick kettle).

With fixed gas appliances inside you are required by law to have fresh air vents to dispel gas in the event of a leak. These vents are a major source of dust entry and also water if you're an adventurous off-road type. Having a diesel cooker inside for all but the searing temps type stuff and gas rings, wok burners, BBQ/ovens etc outside eliminates the need for vents, so no dust and water entry.

You have to keep your major gas burners outside otherwise you don't get the advantage of the diesel. If you have a 3-way fridge you'll need vents and there's the dust and water issue again. A compressor fridge will resolve that, but then you need to have good electrics - another topic that generates much discussion.

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Follow Up By: Member - Frank P (NSW) - Tuesday, Aug 05, 2014 at 20:18

Tuesday, Aug 05, 2014 at 20:18
"What happens when in a caravan park and power plugged in do you still run the diesel hot water or is there a 240v power option included?"

The system fitted to my van has a 240V element so when plugged into mains you can just switch to electric for hot water.

However for room heating you would still have to run the diesel heater - it's just the way it works.
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Follow Up By: Knothome - Tuesday, Aug 05, 2014 at 20:22

Tuesday, Aug 05, 2014 at 20:22
Good point about the dust, I did think about that and we do want to go off road.
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Follow Up By: Member - Frank P (NSW) - Tuesday, Aug 05, 2014 at 20:28

Tuesday, Aug 05, 2014 at 20:28
There is another alternative to room heating and that is diesel air-to-air heating. That will give you a much greater volume of hot air than the water-to-air heater we have.

The air-to-air would be more suited to larger vans. Ours is good only for small vans and campers.
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Follow Up By: braggy - Tuesday, Aug 05, 2014 at 20:32

Tuesday, Aug 05, 2014 at 20:32
I had a KK and agree with everything Frank said,

The down side of diesel, if you are camped near someone, the diesel exhaust is smelly and can smoke sometimes.

Ken
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Follow Up By: Member - Frank P (NSW) - Tuesday, Aug 05, 2014 at 20:48

Tuesday, Aug 05, 2014 at 20:48
G'day Ken,

Yes, when either the cooktop or the water heater is starting up you do get a diesel exhaust smell for a short time, just a few minutes at most. Once they're going, though, I don't think there are any objectionable smells.

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Follow Up By: Member - wicket - Wednesday, Aug 06, 2014 at 10:16

Wednesday, Aug 06, 2014 at 10:16
Frank

What model Webasto unit do you have for the water/air heating ?
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Reply By: The Bantam - Tuesday, Aug 05, 2014 at 21:54

Tuesday, Aug 05, 2014 at 21:54
One thing to remember is that gas is "flamable" and considered dangerous goods and all that comes with it, Diesel is "Combustable" the same catagory as paper and wood.

Legally and in reality that makes carrying diesel in volume a much safer and easier proposition.

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Reply By: Ozhumvee - Wednesday, Aug 06, 2014 at 08:20

Wednesday, Aug 06, 2014 at 08:20
We have a Webasto diesel cooktop and Webasto Thermotop for hot water and central heating in the Oka and would agree with most of the above comments.
We have no problem with cooking B&E or meat, veges, stir fries in a frypan without even turning the cooktop all the way up so maybe the later ones (ours is about 3 years old) are more efficient. We also cook roasts in the camp oven on the cooktop.
Mains power or excess solar power can be used to heat the water as well when available.
We don't have any gas at all but use an single inductive cooktop outside on occasions when a fire isn't possible which are increasing due to regs.
We have 400ah of lithium batteries and 500w of solar and use an electric jug, sunbeam toaster, breville breadmaker and all the wall warts etc to charge stuff like laptops, phones etc.
Rarely use van parks as we prefer bush camping.
Peter
1996 Oka Motorhome

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Follow Up By: Knothome - Wednesday, Aug 06, 2014 at 09:49

Wednesday, Aug 06, 2014 at 09:49
Thanks one of the vans (JB Scorpion) we like now have it standard and weren't sure about it but it sound like the way to go.
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