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Which Diesel Heater Should I Choose?

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So you’re looking at diesel heaters and wondering which size will be best in your caravan. We are based in Perth and both supply and install diesel heaters to caravans so we can help you choose the best option.

As a general rule I would use a 2kw up to about an 18ft caravan and beyond that a 5kw. Understandably a 2kw heater will need to work harder than a 5kw so there is a limit to its capacity and it can manage an 18 ft van comfortably.

A 2kw heater will also work in a larger van. But it will take longer to get warm and it may need to work harder (fan blow louder for longer) to keep the heat constant. If fan noise bothers you then this is a consideration.

Size comparison 2kw and 5kw heaters

By comparison a 5kw heater will quickly heat a small van and will easily do a larger van. Our own caravan is a 21 ft Jayco Silverline and the 5kw does the job easily. We get it warm and then set the thermostat on a low setting just to maintain a constant temperature.

Another issue that is worth paying attention to is the physical size of the heater unit. A 2kw unit is significantly smaller than the 5kw, so if you have a smaller caravan with everything packed in very tight then this may be your only choice. See the image above for dimensions.

You may hear that diesel heaters are better run hard as they can ‘soot up’. My suggestion with either size heater is to ensure you run them all hard at some stage to avoid this issue. Ultimately you may need to dissaemble and clean the innards, but in 3 years I haven’t had to touch mine yet.

As for cost – that is up to you. You can buy the cheapest Chinese heater and it may run perfectly for years, while the most expensive Eberspacher may break down quickly. As a general rule you get what you pay for and quality costs more. So if this is your concern then you may like to consider either the Au Focus heaters we have in stock or the more up market Webasto.

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