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Beat the Cold: Choose the Best Diesel Heater for Your Van

diesel heater for van

Planning on spending winters in your camper van or embarking on a winter road trip?

You need to prepare yourself for the dreadful winters. Winter can be scary—imagine an overnight snowfall converting your van into an icebox, and the moment you step out of your bed, you are shivering with cold (you have not even stepped outside of your van). Dreadful!

Well, there is an easy solution—a reliable van diesel heater.

If you are looking for a diesel heater for a van, you are in the right place. In this comprehensive guide, we will help you find the best diesel heater for your van—besides listing the factors to consider when buying a diesel heater, we will also be reviewing the top 5 best diesel heaters for vans. Additionally, we will also be discussing how to install a diesel heater in your van.

So, let’s get your van all warmed up!

Table of Contents
Why do you need a van diesel heater?
How to choose the right diesel heater for your van?
The 5 best diesel heaters for your van
How to install a van diesel heater (DIY or Pro?)

Why do you need a van diesel heater?

If you are still not sure whether to get a diesel heater for your van or not, below we have discussed a few compelling reasons why you need to equip your van with a reliable diesel heater:

  • Extend your adventures: With the onset of winter, when most campers and adventurers put away their vans equipped with a van diesel heater, you can continue your adventures deep into winter. Your diesel heater will keep you warm and cozy.
  • Spontaneity: When you have a diesel heater to keep your van warm, you no longer have to find campsites—you can camp wherever your heart desires, knowing your heater will keep you warm.
  • Convert your van into a cozy living space: A diesel heater can easily convert your van into a comfortable abode. The van diesel heater will keep you warm, even if there is heavy snowfall and your van is converted into an ice cubicle.
  • Protects plumbing: When the mercury drops and water in your van’s pipes freezes, they can burst. A diesel heater can keep the water from freezing and prevent plumbing nightmares.
  • Preheat your engine: With a remote-controlled diesel heater, you can turn on your heater before you have to ride your van. This will not only preheat your engine but will also defrost your windshield if there is any snow.

How to choose the right diesel heater for your van?

With so many options available, choosing the right diesel heater for your van becomes a daunting task. But fret not. To help you pick the best indoor diesel heater, below, we have discussed a few factors for you to consider:

1. Heating capacity

The first thing you need to consider is the heating capacity of the van diesel heater. It must have adequate heating capacity to keep your van warmed up even when your van is all covered up in heavy snow. You want a heater that is neither too big nor too small for your van—excessive heating capacity would unnecessarily drain up your fuel tank, and low capacity would leave you shivering when the mercury drops. To find what heating capacity is required for your van, consider its size as well as insulation level.

2. Fuel consumption

If you do not want your heater to burn up all your cash, you must look for an energy-efficient model. Look for diesel heaters that feature adjustable power settings to optimize fuel usage. You might also want to consider the fuel capacity and the length of your road trips when picking up a van diesel heater.

3. Installation and maintenance

Look for easy-to-install and easy-to-maintain diesel heaters for vans. You do not want to get yourself that is too difficult to install that you need to call a pro. Similarly, you must be able to easily maintain your van diesel heater yourself, with much of an elbow grease. So, make sure that you choose a diesel heater that is not only easy to install but also to maintain—it has accessible components and service points.

4. Noise level

No one likes noisy heaters. So, unless you are comfortable with your heater making annoying noises and turning your peaceful van into a noisy nightmare, look for a quiet diesel heater. Compare the operational noise level—noise rating in decibels (dB)—of the heaters you have shortlisted and pick the one that is the quietest.

5. Power source

While some van diesel heaters have fuel tanks of their own, others tap into the fuel tank of your van. So, pick the one that is suitable for your preferences.

6. Altitude compatibility

At higher altitudes, air density decreases, and with it, the amount of oxygen in the air. Low oxygen levels affect the combustion. This is why many van diesel heaters tend to stall or fail to start at higher altitudes. So, if you frequent higher altitudes and do not want your heater to leave you all high and cold, make sure that you pick a van diesel heater that is equipped to work at higher altitudes.

7. Additional features

Some heaters offer additional features such as thermostats and smart control features (timers, smartphone integration, etc.). So, consider picking a heater that not only offers the essential features but also the add-ons for maximum convenience. 

By considering these factors, you can make sure that you pick the right diesel heater for your van.

The 5 best diesel heaters for your van

Now that you know what factors to consider and what features to look for in a van diesel heater, let’s explore some of the best diesel heaters for vans available in the market. To make things easier for you, below we have reviewed the top 5 best diesel heaters for vans.

1. VEVOR Diesel Air Heater

Considering the above-discussed factors, the VEVOR Diesel Air Heater presents itself as the best Chinese diesel heater for vans. It is a powerful van heater with a 8KW heating capacity, which is perfect for medium to large vans. It can easily heat your van within 10 minutes and can keep your van warm in even sub-zero temperatures. For maximum convenience, it features a wireless remote and a large LCD, allowing you to turn on the heater from outside and preheat the engine—so that the interior is all warmed up when you arrive. It is highly efficient—optimum fuel consumption, low noise, and stable fuel supply.

VEVOR diesel heater for van

2. M-PULL Diesel Air Heater

If you have a bigger camper van or are just looking for a more powerful van diesel heater, you should check out this M-PULL Diesel Air Heater. It has a 7KW heating capacity and is manufactured with high-quality plastic. It is a parking heater that can be used for both air and water heating.

M-PULL diesel air heater

3. HLN Aerolyn Air Cab Heater

HLN Aerolyn 4000 Air Cab Heater is another great diesel heater. It has a power output of 4KW and can rapidly warm up your camping van. Using the existing venting system of your camper van, it can also help defrost the windshield. It is highly efficient and operates quietly. Tough, it is a great van diesel heater, but it is comparatively costlier.

HLN Aerolyn Air Cab Heater

4. Manufactural Caravan Parking Heater

If you are looking for a more budget option, you should check out this Manufactural caravan car air diesel parking heater. It is a 5KW parking heater and can help warm up your cabin, car, truck, or camper van. It features a small oil tank of 5 liters and can work with both diesel and gasoline. 

Manufactural Caravan Parking Heater

5. DDP All-In-One Diesel Parking Heater

DDP All-In-One Diesel Parking Heater is another great option to consider when looking for affordable van diesel heaters. With an 8KW heating capacity, it can rapidly heat up large camper vans and defrost the windows quickly. It is highly efficient, works silently, and gives a good fuel average. For maximum convenience, it features an intelligent panel and a wireless remote control.

Remember, these are just a few of the many options available on the market. Whether you pick one of the above-reviewed van diesel heaters or some other from the market, make sure you consider the factors discussed at the beginning to ensure you pick the one that suits your needs.

How to install a van diesel heater (DIY or Pro?)

Regardless of the van diesel heater that you have chosen, here are some general guidelines on installing it in your van or car:

1. Gathering necessary tools and supplies

Before you begin installing your van diesel heater, you need to gather all the supplies—drilling and cutting equipment and safety gear. Depending on the diesel heater that you have chosen, you might need a few more supplies.

2. Finding the right spot

When it comes to installing the van diesel heater in your car, truck, or van, location is of great importance. You need to make sure that you pick a location that is easily accessible and that you can easily set up a fuel line connection and access it for maintenance. There must be ample airflow to avoid CO2 buildup and ensure there are no flammable items or electrical wires near it.

3. Mounting the heater

Using appropriate tools and the hardware that came along with the heater, securely mount your van diesel heater. When drilling holes, make sure that you are not drilling into wires or fuel lines.

4. Setting up connections

Now that you have mounted the heater, it’s time to connect it to the fuel line—while some heaters have their own independent fuel tank, others tap into the vehicle’s fuel tank, and some work with both.

5. Connecting air intake and exhaust lines

Install the air intake pipe (ensuring it draws fresh outside air) and exhaust pipe (ensuring it safely routes fumes outside).

6. Wiring

Make electrical connections while referring to the instructions in the manual. Ensure polarity in the electrical connections.

7. Sealing the deal

Before you test your van diesel heater, double-check if all the connections—electrical and plumbing—are properly sealed.

8. Test run

Before going for a test run, consider checking all the connections again. Now, perform a test run to check if everything is working fine.

Remember, these are general instructions, and installing your particular van diesel heater may require specific considerations and adjustments. So, refer to your manual if you feel stuck.


Winter can be cruel. A heavy snowfall can turn your adventure into a nightmare. So, make sure that when embarking on a winter adventure in your camper van, you always have a reliable van diesel heater to protect you from the wrath of winter.

Happy trails, and stay toasty!

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