Pros and Cons of Diesel Cooktops

Submitted: Monday, Nov 02, 2020 at 19:59
ThreadID: 140710 Views:1828 Replies:7 FollowUps:15
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Hi all,
I am new to this blog and wondering if you can give me your views, pros and cons. on Diesel Cooktops?

I have searched this log and found info from 2015, so thinking that maybe the info has changed.

Are they still slow to heat and keep the heat? I saw a recent You Tube video that said it took over 20 minutes to boil water!!!

We are getting a MB Sprinter AWD converted to live in whilst travelling and and considering Diesel ( also heating) instead of gas . Mainly due to having previous problems with gas (even though I LOVE to cook with gas).

Any comments appreciated.

TIA
Kate
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Reply By: Ozhumvee - Tuesday, Nov 03, 2020 at 06:51

Tuesday, Nov 03, 2020 at 06:51
We've had one in our Oka for nearly ten years, along with diesel hot water and central heating, we have no LPG but do have lots of electricity for a jug, toaster etc from a solar and battery system.
The diesel cooktop is slow to heat up and retains heat for quite a while especially in hot weather. The heat is good in cool weather as it keeps the cabin warm.
Useless for making a cuppa as it takes too long hence the electric jug.
The cooktop is usually turned on before starting meal preparation and by the time it is prepared then the cooktop is usually hot enough to cook on. Great for slow cooking as it will run for extended periods with very little diesel use, we often use the camp oven on it to cook a roast if no fire is available.
With plenty of electricity we can use a single induction cooktop if we want to cook outside or avoid heating the interior in hot weather.
Peter
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Follow Up By: Katie Koo - Friday, Nov 06, 2020 at 20:43

Friday, Nov 06, 2020 at 20:43
Thank you so much Oshumvee !

We have come to the conclusion that we will go with a diesel cook top even though it is slow to heat/long to cool.
Diesel feels safer too as we will sometimes be travelling wth our 2 small grandchildren.

The times we are off road, we will be ok to wait for the water to boil for our cups, and when connected, will use kettle :-)

Great ide to have a portable induction cooktop for outside!!!


Thanks again and may you have continued safe & fun travels!


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Reply By: Member - Vince M (NSW) - Tuesday, Nov 03, 2020 at 07:43

Tuesday, Nov 03, 2020 at 07:43
HOT plate I've had one, they suit some, I personally was not a fan very slow & limits how you cook just forget about boiling anything unless you have a lot of time, The diesel heater great item highly recommend one I’ve had the expensive brand & the cheap e bay special & the eBay special has given no trouble the expensive one nothing but trouble & 5 times the cost. The diesel water heater would not have one again, I am running LPG, The best water heater I’ve had was a marine one that was was plumbed in to the trucks cooling system so it pre-heated or heated the water so very little gas was needed
I now run LPG for stove, BBQ & hot water it surprises me how many traveller's who have Diesel everything still carry a LPG BBQ
Good luck Gas can be safe if you do it wright & it takes a while to get thru a bottle
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Follow Up By: Katie Koo - Friday, Nov 06, 2020 at 20:38

Friday, Nov 06, 2020 at 20:38
Thank you Vince for your feedback!

I appreciate your views - the thing is, as I mentioned to John below and if we need to boil water - we will in a kettle. Will not be off road that much - maybe 1-2 days max, so think we can "work it" ;-)

Cheers & happy camping!
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Follow Up By: rumpig - Saturday, Nov 07, 2020 at 06:30

Saturday, Nov 07, 2020 at 06:30
Can’t help on the cook top, but surprised to read Vince disliked his diesel water heater so much, we ran a Webasto one in our camper trailer for 10 years without any issue that entire time. Heater took about 5 - 7 minutes to get the water hot, so hot you couldn’t put your hand in it....I’d have one again, it worked great along side our diesel space heater.
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Follow Up By: Katie Koo - Saturday, Nov 07, 2020 at 16:12

Saturday, Nov 07, 2020 at 16:12
THANKS for that helpful info rumig!
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Follow Up By: Member - Vince M (NSW) - Monday, Nov 09, 2020 at 10:24

Monday, Nov 09, 2020 at 10:24
Rumpig

The Diesel water heater was so temperamental & had a 15ltr tank & took about 25mins to heat so for a family it took some time to get the kids showered & warm again & with the gas instantaneous no waiting time so much nicer & now we can line up all the kids/grandkids/friends/etc. & hose the lot (lol
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Follow Up By: rumpig - Tuesday, Nov 10, 2020 at 22:06

Tuesday, Nov 10, 2020 at 22:06
Ours just heated a glycol tank, and as I mentioned earlier only took 5 - 7 minutes to get hot....by the time you turned it on and people got organised with towels and soap etc, the water was good to go.
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Thursday, Nov 26, 2020 at 10:19

Thursday, Nov 26, 2020 at 10:19
The diesel water heater can come in two variants - one is storage, the other instantaneous. The storage system on my Kimberley Karavan takes about 20 minutes to get warm, 30-35 minutes to get hot.

Kimberley doesn't do the storage system any more - weight saving, I guess.
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Reply By: Member - J&A&KK - Friday, Nov 06, 2020 at 20:12

Friday, Nov 06, 2020 at 20:12
Hi Kate

We have both LPG and diesel cooking in our van. Diesel(Webasto) inside LPG outside. We have used the diesel a few times when the weather has made it too difficult to cook outside. So that means we are not experienced diesel stove cooks.

We would prefer gas over diesel every time. Diesel is slow to heat up and difficult to regulate the heat. You end up constantly moving pots and pans around on the stove top depending on what is in each pot and the heat it requires. You can turn the heat up and down but there is long delay between turning the knob and the effect on the hot plate. More so when turning the heat down. They are expensive when compared to gas and require specialised maintenance to the fire box and igniters, diesel pump and fuel filter.

If we had to choose only one stove it would be gas. If we never use the diesel heater again I will be happy.

Cheers John



John
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Follow Up By: Katie Koo - Friday, Nov 06, 2020 at 20:35

Friday, Nov 06, 2020 at 20:35
Thanks John!
I must admit Gas cooking tops all - BUT, we have 2 grandchildren with us and for safety reasons will not have that.

Cheers & happy camping!
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Follow Up By: Member - Jim S1 - Saturday, Nov 07, 2020 at 09:17

Saturday, Nov 07, 2020 at 09:17
Hello Kate
Not sure if you are concerned with burns or leaking gas. There are gas detectors which alarm when gas is detected.

Cheers
Jim
"Sometimes I sits and thinks, and sometimes I just sits." A fisherman.

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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Saturday, Nov 07, 2020 at 09:42

Saturday, Nov 07, 2020 at 09:42
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Kate,
Like Jim, I wonder at your safety concerns re gas. As he says, there are detectors readily available and they should be installed.
If you desire even more certainty, simply close the valve on the gas cylinder before retiring. Just like 'putting the cat out'.
Cheers
Allan

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Reply By: Member - McLaren3030 - Saturday, Nov 07, 2020 at 07:53

Saturday, Nov 07, 2020 at 07:53
Hi Kate,

You haven’t said what your previous problems were with gas, not sure what they might have been. However, before you make your final decision, consider the following:

1. Diesel can be over $2:00 per Ltr in remote locations. LPG bottle gas is around $0:90 per Ltr.

2. LPG bottle gas is a more efficient and cleaner burning fuel.

3. The quality of the fuel is never really in doubt with LPG bottle gas, whereas Diesel in remote locations can at times be contaminated by the seller’s poor quality tanks, which in turn can lead to problems with your cooktop.

4. A 9 kg or 8.5 kg LPG gas bottle will last far longer than a 5 or 10 Ltr diesel tank.

Just some things you may not have considered.

Macca.
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Follow Up By: Katie Koo - Saturday, Nov 07, 2020 at 16:17

Saturday, Nov 07, 2020 at 16:17
That is very helpful info you have given- and I will share with hubby.

You see we spent 75 days in a rental motorhome and had so many problems with turning on the gas that hubby is over it.

Also feel that it is better to not have gas with small grand kids in the way.

Thanks again Macca

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Follow Up By: Member - McLaren3030 - Sunday, Nov 08, 2020 at 06:57

Sunday, Nov 08, 2020 at 06:57
What type of refrigerator will your “new” motorhome have? If it is a 3 way or absorption fridge, you will have LPG anyway. What are your concerns with the grandkids and the gas? Wether you have a gas or diesel cooktop, the grandkids may still be “in the way”. If you are worried about them pulling a hot pot from the cooktop down onto themselves, it will still be hot no matter what fuel you use for cooking.

IMHO, there is just less involved with gas cooking, a much simpler system, less to go wrong. Even if the auto igniter does not work, you can always light it with a match. Gas detectors installed in the appropriate places will detect leaks, whereas a diesel leak may not be noticed for some time.

Anyway, ultimately it is your decision. Good luck with your build/conversion, and enjoy your travels.

Macca.
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Reply By: Member - Diane S2 - Saturday, Nov 07, 2020 at 09:54

Saturday, Nov 07, 2020 at 09:54
Take care in your selection. We had one on a boat. Unless they have dramatically redevised their design-avoid. We used it as one would in a home. Made a cuppa, etc..
1. Glow plugs kept burning out. In a diesel vehicle, the plugs are used probably once, then the vehicle is run-so the mechanism doesn't need glowing again. In a boat and i assume a caravan/van, this is not the case.
2. For some reason, and it wasn't boat movement, the glass top cracked. Fumes were horrendous. We were told it wasn't covered by W........... but the maker of the glass top. Probably could have persued a claim but by that time, I was well and truely over it. We sent the whole cabbudle from the west coast of WA to Sydney 3 times. Not fun.
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Follow Up By: Katie Koo - Saturday, Nov 07, 2020 at 16:14

Saturday, Nov 07, 2020 at 16:14
oh no, well thanks for that info too. I am in WA and would hate that hassle.
we will be careful and get some clarifications beforehand.
Thanks again Diane!

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Reply By: Member - Vince M (NSW) - Monday, Nov 09, 2020 at 09:43

Monday, Nov 09, 2020 at 09:43
Katie
Glad everybody could give you info so you could decide what suits your needs just one last thing on safety watch & educate the kids, the diesel cook tops take a long time to cool down
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Follow Up By: Katie Koo - Thursday, Nov 26, 2020 at 00:05

Thursday, Nov 26, 2020 at 00:05
Thanks Vince
I am now leaning towards induction ??
Gosh it's hard.
One thing re gas, which I prefer, is that it takes up a lot of room where diesel & induction dont.
But we will need to really go through our options again.

It is so wonderful how so many people have given an interest in helping us.

Much gratitude to you and all.

Cheers
Katie
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Reply By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Thursday, Nov 26, 2020 at 10:33

Thursday, Nov 26, 2020 at 10:33
Hi Katie,

I am also preparing a MB Sprinter AWD as a motorhome and labouring through all the options.
When it comes to energy provision things get complicated.
OK when plugged into 230vac in a caravan park but much more of an issue when needing to provide your own power. Supplying a fridge, water pump and a few lights is easy enough, but power for cooking and water heating for wash-up and shower consumes a lot of energy. Add environmental heating and cooling and it becomes near impossible.

Induction cooking is great. It's what we have at home. But producing heat with electricity is not very efficient regardless if it is a resistive element or induction. Both use lots of power which goes un-noticed in the home but very costly when you need to generate it yourself.
If your travels will always find you overnighting in a powered caravan site then it would be OK to use electric cooking but much more difficult at an unpowered campsite.

Without going into all the mathematics, it would be something like this....... A solar-powered battery system capable of serving a small induction cooktop, plus refrigeration etc. would set you back at least $7000. Even then there may be periods of low solar radiation where you would run out of power unless you ran the engine or used a generator.
The above system would only be capable of supporting a single-pot induction cooktop so managing the cooking is limited. A two-pot cooktop would require even more electrical provision than $7000.
There is still the need for a HWS for showering but that could be diesel. As has been said, diesel cooktops are pretty hopeless. And maybe diesel water heaters are little better!

I tried to avoid the need of accomodating LPG bottles but could not find an acceptable alternative so two 4kg bottles are being used with LPG for both cooktop and HWS. I am not providing for space heating..... we will "chase the sun" but there will be 12v fans.

Katie, what is your concern about LPG? There are fully safe ways to manage it. If you have a concern about gas leaking out of an unlit burner then provide a shutoff valve convenient to the cooktop but out of children's access. And always have an operative gas alarm installed and routinely tested.
Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: Member - Vince M (NSW) - Friday, Nov 27, 2020 at 09:09

Friday, Nov 27, 2020 at 09:09
Katie
I agree with Alan, & have been installing LPG in boats for years & that would be the worse place & one of the most dangerous places you could, yet it’s done safely & with today’s technology it’s so much safer e.g., LPG shut off solenoids (12 or 24 v) connected to gas detectors, sensors, gas fuse, etc., as well as manual LPG taps on each compliance & bottles & safe practices
Note: none of my kids have ever been burnt on a LPG compliance but I think we all have a little reminder of that diesel hot plate
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