Diesel Heater? | OVERLAND BOUND COMMUNITY

Diesel Heater?

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lhoffm4

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I ordered a 5KW diesel heater that uses a 12V power source to use as a camp/tent heater. I’m seeing good reviews. I know there are smaller units, but I could not find one that was 2KW and is self contained in a box with a fuel tank. The one I ordered also comes with a key fob remote and the heat output can be split in 4 different directions to allow upto 4 different areas to be heated. I’m thinking the rtt, it’s annex tent, and awning room and a spare vent for another tent or two vents in any combination of the set up.

The concept of a non-condensation creating heat source that exhausts outside and away from our sleeping area is very appealing for cold weather camping/hunting, etc

The unit is also transportable in its own case. Many of the diesel heater setups I’ve seen previously advertised needed to be permanently mounted and had separate fuel tanks and associated fuel lines to contend with.

Im looking forward to receiving the unit. I ordered it off of Walmart.com. At only $120, it’s not cost prohibitive and will potentially extend my camping season well into the fall and winter season.

Has anyone had experience with these units?
 

lhoffm4

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I'm interested to see your evaluation of this unit.

I've thought of doing something similar, but the idea hasn't gone any further than that; a thought...
Thanks and I will post some feed back once I get a chance to test and use it. I have high hopes, as these types of heaters were designed for RVs and travel trailers.
 

Tundracamper

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I guess for sleeping out in the woods, I really don’t see the need for a heater - never needed one hiking. However, I do see the appeal of warming up the car or tent on a cold morning before getting out of bed. I just got a Jackery and am going to try electric heat on the next winter trip - if it ever decides to cool off. I figure I can run the heater for an hour and still have half a battery left. I totally agree that dry heat is the way to go - no condensation issues. That’s why electric appeals to me. I’ll be curious to hear how this unit works. The price is definitely appealing.
 
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John Bishop

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I guess for sleeping out in the woods, I really don’t see the need for a heater - never needed one hiking. However, I do see the appeal of warming up the car or tent on a cold morning before getting out of bed. I just got a Jackery and am going to try electric heat on the next winter trip - if it ever decides to cool off. I figure I can run the heater for an hour and still have half a battery left. I totally agree that dry heat is the way to go - no condensation issues. That’s why electric appeals to me. I’ll be curious to hear how this unit works. The price is definitely appealing.
Gotta keep momma happy.

You know what they say, if momma aint happy, nobody’s happy. If daddy aint happy, nobody cares.
 
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DRAX

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The main desire for a proper heater while camping, for me, is to prevent condensation and help dry or keep things dry. This is also the main reason why we haven't done winter camping with the RTT, no way to get it properly dry once back home and I care for my gear so I'd rather miss out on some trips than trash something that cost a bit of money. The heater is also nice to take the edge off when it's really cold. We have 0F bags, self-inflating pads with decent R-values on top of the included mattress, etc, so it's not a matter of being unable to stay warm. Of course, it's also unpleasant if you happen to get startled awake by a drop of condensation landing on your face in the middle of the night... :D
 

lhoffm4

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The main desire for a proper heater while camping, for me, is to prevent condensation and help dry or keep things dry. This is also the main reason why we haven't done winter camping with the RTT, no way to get it properly dry once back home and I care for my gear so I'd rather miss out on some trips than trash something that cost a bit of money. The heater is also nice to take the edge off when it's really cold. We have 0F bags, self-inflating pads with decent R-values on top of the included mattress, etc, so it's not a matter of being unable to stay warm. Of course, it's also unpleasant if you happen to get startled awake by a drop of condensation landing on your face in the middle of the night... :D
Agreed, and I second your sentiment on expensive gear maintenance. I am holding some high performance expectations for this heater. Like others have iterated, I hope to ensure comfort for the Mrs. as well as myself. A warm, dry heat source will hopefully go a long way towards ensuring a comfortable camp/hunt/sight-seeing experience.
 
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Sjo527

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I'm interested to hear how this works for you @lhoffm4. Do you have a link to the product? Currently I use propane heat (I use it as little as possible because of condensation). Like @DRAX I like to take care of my gear and I have to let my stuff dry out in the garage after any cold weather trips. If I can switch to a diesel heater I would get much more utility out of that rather than the propane one.
 

lhoffm4

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I'm interested to hear how this works for you @lhoffm4. Do you have a link to the product? Currently I use propane heat (I use it as little as possible because of condensation). Like @DRAX I like to take care of my gear and I have to let my stuff dry out in the garage after any cold weather trips. If I can switch to a diesel heater I would get much more utility out of that rather than the propane one.
Here is the link to the one I ordered, straight from Walmart.com. I chose this model because the heat output splits the heat into 4 potentially different directions that would allow me to heat different tent spaces like the tent, annex, an awning tent area and another space if desired. For the same price, you can get the same model with one large output for heated air if you wanted one large space, such as an RV or large family tent or what ever.
 

Sjo527

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Thanks! yeah this would make more sense as I have multiple possilbilities I could heat, and I plan on getting a small offroad trailer eventually. When you get it let me know how difficult it is to run. I've seen some odd reviews on these cheaper units regarding the controls and owners manual.
 

Truckee

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I had a diesel Webasto Airtop 2000 and it was great. I would say it was not terribly loud but I certainly wouldn't want anything louder. I would go quieter if I could.
 

lhoffm4

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I had a diesel Webasto Airtop 2000 and it was great. I would say it was not terribly loud but I certainly wouldn't want anything louder. I would go quieter if I could.
These come with what looks like a tiny muffler, but the vids I’m watching seem to indicate the ticking of the fuel pump is the loudest and part that most users are noticing. I also see that some folks are choosing to upgrade the fuel pump with aftermarket pumps that appear to be much quieter?

In most of these cases the vids are showing installations in RVs and hard shell campers. The few I’ve found where folks are setting them up for tents and Etta, the unit is outside and and upto a few feet away. Even those vids say all they hear is the ticking made by the pump. All said it was like white noise. Im hoping that is a good thing. When I go camping, I usually wake too easily when leaves rustle or birds and chipmunks scurry around. Between that and my dog,the first night of camping is restless. Maybe a constant soft ticking noise will not be as bad?
 

Truckee

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Mine was installed in an off-road tent trailer. So, the noise was mostly fan noise when inside the trailer. The fuel pump and exhaust (underneath my sleeping area) could be heard when walking by or outside the trailer. So friends camping with me but in tents might choose a spot further from me. It's not a constant hum because it cycles. If you are a light sleeper, it might bother you.
 
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lhoffm4

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Ok, so there is a slight learning curve to these Chinese diesel heaters. Mostly learning to use the controller. The chinglish manual they come with is almost useless and hard to understand, unless you are bi-lingual and read Chinese. Fortunately there are YouTube’s and a great Facebook forum where lots of smart folks have contributed experience to include easy to understand instructions, data charts that review everything from controller set up to advance settings, how to set clocks, thermostats, altitude settings, etc. There are also great troubleshooting guides for renters, boaters, RVers, garages, etc. My learning curve has been steep! I am still anticipating great potential for 4-season comfortable camping...
 

ProtonDecay

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Very interested to hear of your experience :-)

We have a diesel heater in our trailer - I love it because it is so efficient - wife not so much because it sounds like a jet engine outside once warmed up and the variable clicking of the fuel pump as the thermostat adjusts rides on her nerves. So, YMMV.

These things just sip on fuel compared to a propane unit. Ours uses about 0.1 liters per hour once warmed up (unsure of output rating, but it definitely warms up our HQ15, no problem). There is a bit of diesel smell as the unit is warming up, but then no smell or maybe a slight deep fry oil odor the rest of the time. The heated air coming out can get really hot, hot enough to burn my leg and probably melt most plastics - so maybe take that into account when routing duct lines. We have a Shiftpod on order for camping with larger groups and a heater like this would be way better than worrying about somone kicking over a propane heater inside the tent.

+1 on understanding the interface - was totally lost until someone posted an English translation for our unit onto fb. That said, once I got the thermostat set I haven't had to touch it other than to turn the unit on and off - probably a manual affair for keeping the unit outside and routing the air into a tent.

Best of luck!
 

Billiebob

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I like the free standing concept but my experience with diesel heaters is excessive maintenance and any fuel oil heater is painfully dirty to maintain, clean.
Curious how this one performs with a months straight running.

I'd love to see one propane powered.
 

lhoffm4

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I like the free standing concept but my experience with diesel heaters is excessive maintenance and any fuel oil heater is painfully dirty to maintain, clean.
Curious how this one performs with a months straight running.

I'd love to see one propane powered.
while my first hand experience is limited to two weeks, if you search “diesel heater Facebook” that is forum with a LOT of reviews, data, mods, etc. I’ve been plucking away there trying to find out real world experiences. Gotta say, it may not be German made, but they seem to be pretty reliable. Reports of low incidents of failure, interchangeable parts with higher end brands, I’ve found lots of affordable components online. The hot air ducting seems to be the most expensive aftermarket piece. Unless you are heating one open space that is close to where the heater is installed, the duct work will be the toughest to source. It took a minute but found some silicone reinforced flex hose ducting on eBay.
 
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