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Best diesel heaters in Australia

We examined various diesel heaters to find the best options available online.

A diesel heater is designed to provide heat to a vehicle's interior. It primarily uses diesel as a fuel source to draw in cold air from the surroundings using an external pipe. Then, it passes through the combustion chamber to produce heat, mixing with diesel in an ignition process. A diesel heater also has a heat exchanger and exhaust pipe that removes harmful combustion exhaust gas outside of your vehicle.

To find the best diesel heater, consider your budget, the type of vehicle you have and the heater's specs. Look for a diesel heater that is easy to use, has a durable build and offers tons of safety features.

For this list, we evaluated diesel heaters listed on various websites such as Amazon, eBay and Edisons. We picked models based on customer reviews and ratings as well as key product features to help you find the top option for your heating needs.

Read our full methodology below.


Autoterm Diesel Air Heater 12V 2kW Kit with Digital Controller

Best overall diesel heater

Autoterm Diesel Air Heater 12V 2kW Kit with Digital Controller
Image: Supplied/Finder

Pros

  • Can operate at up to -40°C
  • Silent operation

Cons

  • Some found it difficult to install
  • Expensive

Why we chose it

For the best overall diesel heater, we picked the Autoterm Diesel Air Heater 12V 2kW Kit with Digital Controller. It has a rating of 5 out of 5 stars on Caravan RV Camping. This model is also one of our choices for the best heaters you can buy online.

Priced at over $1,700, this diesel heater is an expensive yet worthy investment for all your heating needs on the road. It features a brushless fan motor, stepless fan speed and an air intake silencer that improves the heater's quiet operation. This comes with a guaranteed worldwide 2-year warranty as well.

The brand says that all of its heaters are ISO 9001 compliant and CE-approved. Over 90% of this particular heater is also made in-house in Russia while the balance of componentry is manufactured in Germany.

Apart from this, the heater's fans run on a balancing machine to prevent noise and vibration even at its maximum speed of 4,500rpm. It is built to operate at -40°C, making it a solid option for extreme environments.


MaXpeedingrods 12V 8KW Diesel Air Heater

Best cheap diesel heater

MaXpeedingrods 12V 8KW Diesel Air Heater
Image: Supplied/Finder

Pros

  • Value for money
  • Suitable for a wide range of vehicles

Cons

  • Doesn’t provide an installation guide
  • Noisier compared to other diesel heaters

Why we chose it

We recommend the MaXpeedingrods 12V 8KW Diesel Air Heater as the best cheap diesel heater available online. It has a rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars on Amazon.

With 8kW of power, this budget-friendly diesel air heater suits a wide range of vehicles, including campervans, motorhomes, caravans and even boats and forklifts. It has a low fuel and power consumption so you can use the heater for longer periods. It also has a compact design for easy and space-saving installation.

Numerous buyers were impressed by the heater's high-quality build, value for money and superb performance. It blows out warm air to quickly and evenly heat up your vehicle while on the road. Customers said it is easy to start up, while others loved its space-saving design. However, installation can be a pain as this doesn't come with an instruction guide.


Belief Portable 2.2kW Diesel Air Heater

Best diesel camping heater

Belief Portable 2.2kW Diesel Air Heater
Image: Supplied/Finder

Pros

  • Suitable for boats, RVs and caravans
  • Durable

Cons

  • Doesn’t have a thermostat
  • Noisy operation

Why we chose it

For camping, we picked the Belief Portable 2.2kW Diesel Air Heater as the best model. It is also one of the best camping heaters you can buy online.

Made in Dieselheat in Tasmania, this portable diesel heater is ideal for tents, annexes, boats and caravans to duct into a camper where you can't install a heater full time. It has a high-quality and compact design with a stainless steel enclosure to withstand light rains and plenty of bumps. It offers an impressive heating capability of up to 10 hours on high or 30 hours on low using a single 3L tank.

This Belief model operates on constant power only and features 2.2kW of power. Apart from a wired remote control, it has a muffler, carry handles and a combustion air silencer to minimise its noise levels. However, it doesn't have a thermostat.


Thermomate 5kW 12V All-In-One Diesel Air Heater

Best portable diesel heater

Thermomate 5kW 12V All-In-One Diesel Air Heater
Image: Supplied/Finder

Pros

  • Won’t break the bank
  • Provide up to 18 hours of operation

Cons

  • Some found the casing flimsy
  • Noisy operation

Why we chose it

We selected the Thermomate 5kW 12V All-In-One Diesel Air Heater for this category. On Amazon, it has a rating of 5 out of 5 stars.

With a unique heatsink design, this all-in-one diesel heater is made from premium aluminium for superior thermal conductivity. It claims to provide up to 18 hours of operations to ensure you're warm and cosy on your adventures. Apart from an integrated LCD control panel, this has a timer, a 5L fuel tank and a fan speed of up to 4,500rpm.

Customers said it is easy to install and provides quick and even heat for their vehicles. It works in temperatures up to -40°C, making it a solid yet affordable option for extreme environments. As for fuel consumption, this only uses 0.21–0.51 litres per hour. Despite claims of having a near silent operation, some customers said its motor is still quite noisy.


Webasto Diesel Heater Single Outlet with Ducting

Best diesel heater for small vans

Webasto Diesel Heater Single Outlet with Ducting
Image: Supplied/Finder

Pros

  • Backed by a 2-year warranty
  • Easy to install

Cons

  • Not cheap
  • A bit bulky

Why we chose it

Our team selected Webasto's Diesel Heater Single Outlet with Ducting as the best option for small vans. It has a rating of 4 out of 5 stars on Caravan RV Camping.

The Webasto diesel heater has a virtually noiseless operation, providing even and quick heating. According to the brand, it is highly economical in fuel and power consumption, helping users save on running costs. The heater comes with a manual controller, floor mount bracket, duct clamp, 1-metre 60mm ducting hose and an air outlet. It is backed by a 2-year warranty too.

During its normal operation, this diesel heater uses about 1 litre of diesel every 5–6 hours. When the vehicle is stationary, it warms the cab interior and dehumidifies the air for ultimate comfort. This function also removes excess moisture to stop mould growth.

It is a bit more expensive than other camping heaters out there, but if you have the money to spare, this model is well worth it.


How did we pick this list

9
Brands considered
54
Products compared
5
Best products chosen

Why you can trust our picks

Our team looked into numerous diesel heaters listed on Amazon, eBay, Caravan RV Camping and Edisons. We examined options from the following brands:

  • ALUA
  • Autoterm
  • Belief
  • Eberspacher
  • Enkjyun
  • MaXpeedingrods
  • Thermomate
  • Wallas
  • Webasto

Then, we made a shortlist based on customer ratings and reviews as of July 2023. We also considered each model's key product features, like appearance, ease of use, value for money and safety functions. We came up with what we believe are the 5 best diesel heaters you can get right now in Australia.


Air diesel heater vs water diesel heater

A diesel air heater draws in air from the environment, mixing it with diesel fuel which ignites to warm up your vehicle. It uses diesel as its primary fuel source.

This option is user-friendly and easier to install compared to diesel water heaters. It is also safer because it confines the diesel in a furnace section to avoid combustion. It's cheaper and has a relatively quiet operation.

On the other hand, a diesel water heater warms up water from your vehicle's reservoir, creating hot water or steam. The steam will then flow into an exchanger that spreads the heat. This option allows for heat to flow to the vehicle's engine, preventing a cold start.

A diesel water heater needs to be installed in your engine's compartment. Unlike a diesel air heater, you can use it during colder and hotter months. It can keep you and your vehicle warm in winter and can be adjusted to address your needs in the summer.

How to compare diesel heaters

Here are several factors to consider when choosing a diesel heater:

Budget

Set a budget and check the price range of diesel heaters before shopping. In general, diesel heaters go from $150 to $3,000 depending on the model, power output, tank capacity and other features.

Type

Choose between air and water diesel heaters. Diesel air heaters are more user-friendly and cheaper. However, diesel water heaters suit both winter and summer use.

Purpose

Are you going to use a diesel heater for camping, in a caravan or in a marine vehicle? There are tons of diesel heaters available in the market, but they're not created equal. Pick an option that suits your vehicle's type and size.

Construction

Pick a diesel heater made of high-quality material like stainless steel or aluminium to ensure they can withstand a little tumble and rain.

Full tank capacity

Most diesel heaters have a fuel tank of at least 3 litres. A bigger fuel tank means the heater can provide heat for longer. However, models with larger tank capacities tend to be more expensive.

Energy consumption

Generally, diesel heaters are cost-effective. But it still won't hurt to check how much fuel a diesel heater uses per hour. This helps you save more on running costs.

Safety features

Check if the diesel heater has safety functions such as an auto shutdown feature and overheat sensor.

Diesel heater maintenance

Follow these tips to keep your diesel heater in its best condition:

  • Regularly clean and replace your heater's glow pin.
  • Always check the combustion chamber and remove any carbon deposit.
  • Replace the fuel filter at least every 6 months depending on your usage and the age of your vehicle.
  • Change your heater's fuel every 1–2 months.

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