Gas Heating for Caravans

Submitted: Monday, Jul 18, 2016 at 07:55
ThreadID: 133026 Views:4317 Replies:6 FollowUps:10
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Hello everyone. I am interested in having some form of heating installed in a caravan and have heard that gas diesel heaters are a good option. Can anyone advise me on these units. Do they work well? Thanks johno
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Reply By: TomH - Monday, Jul 18, 2016 at 09:30

Monday, Jul 18, 2016 at 09:30
Ask here lots of discussion about the different typesHeater discussions
AnswerID: 602511

Follow Up By: Kazza055 - Monday, Jul 18, 2016 at 13:44

Monday, Jul 18, 2016 at 13:44
The latest concept is to use the HWS on gas and circulate the hot water through a radiator similar to how the car heater works.

One commercial unit is the Swift Ecotherm heater - have a look here
FollowupID: 872130

Reply By: Athol W1 - Monday, Jul 18, 2016 at 09:45

Monday, Jul 18, 2016 at 09:45
I have used both gas and diesel heaters in a number of vans, and my preference is diesel. Having said that you must carefully choose the location and mounting of the fuel pump to avoid the constant clicking noise that it generates.

Each use fuel by weight, and there is considerably more heat energy in a litre of diesel compared to a litre of gas, an 8.5 kilo gas bottle contains about 15.5 litres, whereas 8.5 kilo of diesel is about 9.2 litres.

Diesel heaters can be installed by any handyman, whereas gas must be installed by a licenced gas fitter. Gas also requires an annual inspection and service by a licenced gas fitter. Gas also require the removal of an outside cover, which must be on the right hand side of the van, prior to attempting to start the unit, diesel only requires the operation of the thermostat to start or stop the unit.

Either unit can maintain internal van temps in the high 20's when outside temps in the area of minus 5 to 8, provided that there is reasonable insulation in the walls and roof and van size in the range of 19 to 25 ft.

Hope this helps.
AnswerID: 602513

Follow Up By: Stoutman - Monday, Jul 18, 2016 at 20:07

Monday, Jul 18, 2016 at 20:07
You are wrong about the annual inspection of the gas heater. I have one and your information is incorrect.
FollowupID: 872142

Follow Up By: Member - peterdre - Monday, Jul 18, 2016 at 21:31

Monday, Jul 18, 2016 at 21:31
The outside cover can be on either side. It cannot be under a window or inside an annex area
FollowupID: 872145

Reply By: Member - Bruce and Di T (SA) - Monday, Jul 18, 2016 at 14:52

Monday, Jul 18, 2016 at 14:52
We have a Truma gas heater in our van and have found it to be excellent and use much less gas then we thought. It is noisy, but we don't mind noise as it blocks out external noise.

Friends have a diesel heater and they find that excellent too, but make sure the pump is away from your head because there is constant clicking.

So I guess the upshot is that both are good.

AnswerID: 602522

Reply By: Member - ACD 1 - Monday, Jul 18, 2016 at 17:08

Monday, Jul 18, 2016 at 17:08
Hi Jonno

I have had both gas and diesel heaters in my last and my current trailer.

Personally, I find the gas to be quicker to heat (but not by much) and a lot quieter than the diesel. However, the diesel is far more fuel efficient.

I use the heater to heat both the water and the cabin air and over the last trip I did (3 weeks) I used less than 3 litres of diesel. That included some pretty heavy use of the air heating side of things - about 10 to 12 nights running all night.

Like others have said, the constant ticking of the diesel pump can be annoying as can the roar/drone that can develop in the air intake. I have over come this by straightening the pipe and shortening it as much as possible.

Over the two, I would choose the diesel.


AnswerID: 602527

Reply By: Gronk - Monday, Jul 18, 2016 at 18:36

Monday, Jul 18, 2016 at 18:36
After hearing a few diesels heaters from 20M away, I certainly wouldn't have one, although the concept is good. I think a generator is quieter than a diesel heater, and they annoy the crap out of us.

If they could make one almost silent, I'd be very interested !
AnswerID: 602528

Follow Up By: Member - ACD 1 - Monday, Jul 18, 2016 at 21:49

Monday, Jul 18, 2016 at 21:49
I agree with you Gronk they can be noisy.

I have quietened mine right down with the modification I described above. Instead of that horrible throbbing drone that they have it is relatively quiet.

The only problem I have now is the diesel pump and I'm working on quieting that down. Possibly isolation blocks so it doesn't reverberate on the bulkhead.
My unit is right under my head when I sleep so very interested in getting it as quiet as can be.


FollowupID: 872148

Follow Up By: Member - Blue M - Tuesday, Jul 19, 2016 at 18:47

Tuesday, Jul 19, 2016 at 18:47
I have a diesel heater ( Eberspacher D2) fitted in my van, and sometimes I think I am must be deaf, but I am really not .
The ticking of the pump, it took me three nights to work out what the noise was. I could only hear it when I was in the bathroom with the door shut.
Thought it was a dripping tap, and I have heard taps drip louder.
As far as the noise of them running, well I have found for the first 15 minutes they roar a little, than after when it settles down I have to walk out side to hear it going.

If the noise heard inside a caravan bothers you, you would have to sleep in a sound proof room at home, and no wonder trucks, cars etc worry you.

Fuel consumption wise, well that varies just like a car does. Mine is some where around 2 to 2.5 litres per 8 hrs.


FollowupID: 872179

Follow Up By: Gronk - Tuesday, Jul 19, 2016 at 23:35

Tuesday, Jul 19, 2016 at 23:35
I've never heard one inside a van....only outside. And I'd be really pi**ed if someone had one going next to or near me all night while camping.

I don't know if different brands are quieter than others, but surely there is a way of making them quiet ??
FollowupID: 872196

Follow Up By: Member - Ed C (QLD) - Wednesday, Jul 20, 2016 at 02:23

Wednesday, Jul 20, 2016 at 02:23
Gronk, there certainly is a way of making them quiet(er)..

Believe it or not, it's called a (ahem) "silencer"
like this one here > Diesel Heater Silencer

Tiny little thing it is, but the difference with & without is chalk and cheese!
We have a Webasto in our ct, and exhaust noise is a non-issue.. Have to be standing right next to the thing to hear the faintest whisper.. The 'click' from the pump is much more noticeable..

What you would have been hearing from 20M away would most certainly have been unmuffled exhaust noise, and I can well understand how it might be 'distracting' (to say the least) for a lot of folk..

Unfortunately, these mufflers are not included in the kit & have to be purchased separately (at least that was the case when we bought ours), so I guess a lot of folk don't bother with them .. many may not even be aware that they are available..
Looking at a few ebay listings (for Webasto), and it appears that nothing has changed re inclusion of a muffler in the kit.. IMO, they should be included!

Catch ya later.....

Confucius say.....
"He who lie underneath automobile with tool in hand,
....Not necessarily mechanic!!"

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FollowupID: 872199

Follow Up By: Gronk - Wednesday, Jul 20, 2016 at 18:29

Wednesday, Jul 20, 2016 at 18:29
What is the pump trying to do when it "clicks" ?

Can the pump be surrounded by insulation ?
FollowupID: 872220

Follow Up By: Member - Blue M - Wednesday, Jul 20, 2016 at 19:03

Wednesday, Jul 20, 2016 at 19:03
It is a pulsating pump, it does not pump a continual stream of fuel. If you unhook the fuel pipe where it goes into the heater and turn it on you will see that every time it clicks a little dribble of fuel comes out.
The more you turn it up, more fuel is required, so it ticks/pulsates faster, but not any louder.
The pump has to be on an angle between 15 and 35 degrees and is held in a rubber housing, then screwed to somewhere solid.
They are an expensive little item to replace.

FollowupID: 872223

Follow Up By: Member - ACD 1 - Wednesday, Jul 20, 2016 at 19:30

Wednesday, Jul 20, 2016 at 19:30

I can understand why it gives you the sh1ts, it does the same to me and it's my heater.

I am currently "fiddling" with mine to try and isolate the noise.

I have tried isolation blocks today and it does make quite a difference, I have also started to make a box to enclose it and I am looking for a suitable insulation to go around it. I am thinking of the foam stuff that is put inside pelican cases and the like.

Shortening the air intake pipe and also keeping it straight has made a huge difference in the level of the noise it makes. I also read on anothe forum that drilling a hole in the air intake pipe (close to the unit) stops the air vibrating as it enters the unit. Which according to the post is the cause of the "droning roar" you sometimes hear. I am going to give it a go - the black thing on the end is not a filter so I can't see it affecting the performance of the unit.


FollowupID: 872227

Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Tuesday, Jul 19, 2016 at 21:56

Tuesday, Jul 19, 2016 at 21:56
We also have the Eberspacher D2 diesel heater. Heats inside beautifully but the noise (for the first 15-20 minutes) is an issue if anyone is nearby. Its noisier outside the van than inside. The fuel pump click doesn't bother us as we sleep at the opposite end to the pump.
There is also maintenance required every year - can't remember the details but it sounded significant.

We bought a $20 fan heater as well so we don't make noise when on 240V in the caravan parks. We also have a reverse cycle air conditioner!!!
AnswerID: 602568

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