Caravan Services, Repairs and Accessories
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Gas Heaters VS Diesel Heaters
Truma E2400 Gas Heater
Truma Gas Heater
78 cubic meters per hour
0.6 to 1.1 amp @ 12v
170 grams/hour LPG
370mm (plus 47mm gas inlet) x 248mm x 123mm high
Eberspacher Airtronic D2 Diesel Heater
Eberspacher Diesel Heater
87 cubic meters per hour
0.67 to 2.83 amp @ 12v
0.15 to 0.23 litres/hour DIESEL
122mm x 310mm x 115mm high
Webasto Air Top 2000STC
93 cubic meters per hour
1.16 to 2.41 amp @ 12v
0.12 to 0.24 litres/hour DIESEL
120mm x 311mm x 121mm high
Which one is better?
Check back here soon for information about the Truma VarioHeat Eco gas space heater which has replaced the Truma E2400 space heater.
Both heaters are the perfect addition to the caravan for the modern traveller. And based on the specifications above, not one stands out above the rest. The fuel consumption is relatively similar in comparison. 10 litres of diesel would last of 43 hours, and a 9kg gas bottle would run the heater for 52 hours. Keeping in mind that this consumption is based on maximum consumption.
Both heaters are completely sealed burners, meaning the oxygen used in combustion is drawn from outside and exhaust fumes are expelled outside.
For the typical 18 to 24 ft caravan, half an hour is enough time for these heaters to heat up the space to a more than comfortable temperature. Both heaters have built in thermostats to maintain that comfortable setting.
The Eberspacher and Webasto Diesel heater has three burner settings which it automatically selects during operation, based on the thermostat reading. This makes the Diesel Heater very fuel efficient, and allows the heater to maintain a constant temperature. Sometimes a small adjustment of temperature setting is required to allow the heater to maintain temperature while operating on it's low setting, which is the best situation as while in low setting, it is even more quieter than the Truma E2400 gas heater when operating on it's low setting.
The E2400 gas heater only has On and Off setting which is automatically controlled by the thermostat, the thermostat has a setting of 1 to 5, this means that it can be a little bit more temperamental when trying to maintain a constant temperature.
The location of the heater can play an important part in how well it will heat the van. For the typical layout of the double bed up the front of the van, with a middle kitchen/dining area, the best location is under the bed with an outlet pointing straight down the centre isle of the living area. This creates the best flow of air.
The location is also determined by regulation factors. The gas heater flue cannot be installed too close to a window, door, other gas appliance inlet or outlet, or under an enclosed annexe. These regulations will sometimes rule out the possibility of installing a gas heater, in which case a diesel heater would be the way to go.
The diesel heater does not have a flue that goes through the wall like the gas heater does, it has an exhaust that goes through the floor of the caravan. This requires clear space directly below the heater location.
The Webasto 2000 STC Diesel Heater now comes with an air intake silencer, exhaust muffler and updated fuel pump which is 10dB quieter than previous Webasto models. The Eberspacher has the option of an air intake silencer, but it is not a standard item in the kit. The Webasto now also has a digital programmable timer as standard in the kit, whereas it previously only had a rheostat dial controller. I, The RV Plumber is now installing Webasto diesel heaters rather than the Eberspacher heaters.
If you still can't decide which one to go for, consider this; Do you want to carry extra diesel? And do you have a suitable spot for the diesel tank to be installed on the caravan or motorhome? There are different options for the diesel tank. The best thing for you to do is have a think about some different locations that might work, and tell me about them when calling for your over the phone quote.
In my opinion, diesel heaters are better for aftermarket installations. The gas ducted heater such as the E2400 is more ideally installed during manufacturing stages to allow for it's suitable location during design stages, based on the Gas Installation Standards.
Using diesel fuel to heat the RV is a good way to maximise your ability to free camp in remote locations without the need to go and refuel or refill gas cylinders. Save your LPG for your fridge, HWS and cooktop.
Truma VarioHeat Eco gas heater
The above comparison is based on the Truma E2400 gas heater which has now been replaced by the Truma VarioHeat Eco gas heater which has some great improvements, making it a great choice over the diesel heater IF it can be fitted legally within the requirements of the gas standards AS5601.2 2013.
The Truma VarioHeat Eco gas heater now has variable fan speeds which the heater chooses based on the requested temperature and the current cabin temperature, this new feature for the gas heater now brings the fan operation equal to the diesel heater, and what now makes the VarioHeat better than diesel heaters is that "Night Mode" fan can be selected and force the heater to run extremely quiet. And the heater also adjusts it's gas burner in a similar way that the diesel heater does, making it even more efficient on gas and maintains a more stable cabin temperature, rather than going hot and cold like the E2400 did.
The VarioHeat gas heater allows a flue to be installed under a window as long as it is 300mm from the window (unlike the E2400).
The BIG Question; Are they noisy?
I would definitely not consider the gas heater to be noisy. The only part you hear on these is the fan, which is a considerable amount quitter than rooftop air conditioners.
The diesel heater (Dometic Eberspacher D2) is louder than the gas heater (Truma E2400). The motor of the diesel heater is a bit more powerful and has the capacity to push more air, creating a little more noise than the gas heater. It is still considerably more quiet than rooftop air conditioners.
Outside, underneath the RV is the fuel pump, combustion air intake and exhaust of the diesel heater. These parts also contribute to the noise of the heater. The air intake and exhaust are a bit louder than the noise of the internal fan, but hardly noticed from inside the van. The fuel pump is most likely the one to upset you or your neighbouring camps. The fuel pump ticks, it's not overly loud, but it's just the right pitch to be heard easily, and if possible the fuel pump would best be installed further away from the sleeping area as possible.
Keep in mind that the many comments you read on the forums about noisy fuel pumps, might be a reflection of the fact that many caravaners DIY their diesel heater installations. And possibly refer to the cheaper eBay diesel heaters. Eberspacher provides the best fuel pump mount, which if installed correctly can substantially reduce the noise heard from the fuel pump in comparison to the Planar fuel pump mount.
The Webasto Air Top 2000 STC now comes standard with an air intake silencer, exhaust muffler and an updated fuel pump which is 10dB quieter than previous Webasto models.
Will you sleep with the heater on during the night? It is perfectly safe to do so, however most of my customers say no.
Eberspacher or Webasto Diesel Heater?
In my opinion they are equally as good as each other in their reliability and quality of product. For a long time my preference was the Eberspacher as it came standard with a digital controller, and a good quality rubber fuel pump mount, as well as the exhaust muffler as standard. Now that the Webasto Air Top 2000 STC Diesel Heater comes standard with a digital programmable controller, upgraded fuel pump which is 10dB quieter than previous Webasto models, exhaust muffler and an air intake silencer. Webasto is now my choice of heater and will be my standard supplied heater that I install.
Which heater did I install in my caravan?
I installed the Webasto 2000STC in my caravan due to the constraints I had in finding a suitable location for the heater. In the space that I had available for a heater the flue for the gas heater would have been under my awning, which I decided not to do. A gas flue under an awning is not illegal as long as annexe walls are not fitted and there are no sail tracks to allow the annexe walls to be fitted. If I could have installed a heater on the other side of the caravan, I would have installed the Truma VarioHeat Eco heater instead of the diesel heater.
Even though alot of people choose not to run their heater while they are sleeping, I DO run mine all through the night. I set the temperature to 17 degrees, and if the temperature in the van drops through the night, it automatically comes on, no need to get out of bed to turn it on. I would not recommend anyone run a cheap Chinese diesel heater while sleeping, for various reasons, but the biggest reason is that I have seen holes in the heat exchangers of new cheap Chinese heaters.