Saturday, 3 August 2013

Heat, Glorious Heat

This down time we've had in Tauranga has had a few benefits; David has been able to carefully research a few things that need to be done on the fifth-wheeler & ute before we are back on the road. First up and most importantly (after spending a cold night at Lake Okareka) was the heating system in the van for when we are off the grid.

The two choices were LPG or diesel. One of our concerns with LPG was the effect very low temperatures can have on the bottled gas & also we would be putting all our eggs into one basket by relying on one energy source for cooking, hot water & heating. On the other hand, diesel offered a considerably lower running cost albeit a more expensive installation & especially now that we have elected to run with two smaller units instead of one big unit.  After a lot of thought & discussion we now have two  Eberspacher Airtronic D2 (2.2KW )diesel heaters fitted.

Underneath inlet & exhaust installation

One has gone under the stove & vents out under the fridge to heat the galley & lounge area & the other is located in a below floor compartment under a side cabinet in the bedroom.

It vents out through the shoe storage box which forms the step up to the bed. We have lost a small amount of storage space but gained a drying container for the shoes from the small amount of transferred heat as it passes through the hose to the vent.  But best of all, we can use the shower box as a drying room by opening the door & directing the vent straight in there. In the future we may need to add a flexible hose to the vent & run that into the shower depending on how quickly things dry.

The heaters run independently so we only need to use them as & where we need the heat. There's a small amount of noise in the initial start up but nothing compared to the heater on the air conditioning unit when that is on and once the heater has reached temperature they are very quite.

The only area of concern for me so far is the small ticking noise as the diesel is pumped through, it's hardly heard when you're up and about in the van but I think you will be able to hear it in the dead of the night if the heater is running. Like a rain drip.......drip.......drip...... Maybe it'll put me to sleep, who knows but it'll be a small price to pay to have glorious warmth on tap! Especially next winter. Down south.

There is no noticeable diesel smell outside & again just a small amount of noise that drops right off once the temperature has been reached. A 20lt tank has been installed into one of the outside forward side storage cabinets & this can easily be filled each time we fill the ute. 


  1. Just finished reading the blog & admiring your lovely photos.
    Hope the feet are healing well. I'm looking forward to the next instalment.
    Cheers Brian

    1. Hi Brian, thanks for the comments, glad you enjoyed the blog & photos. Feet are doing great & we can't wait for the next instalment either! :)

  2. Hi
    Love reading your blog and very jealous of your lifestyle, would be great to hit the road full time 
    I had one of these heaters in a camper van some years ago in the UK. Kept the camper warm and toasty even in the British winters, you will be very happy with their performance.

    1. Hi Phil, glad you are enjoying the blog & many thanks for taking the time to comment. So far we are thrilled with our choice, the last few evenings we've needed the heat & it has only taken a matter of minutes to warm the interior.

  3. Hi Shellie. Can you please tell me who installed your heaters for you? Thanks. :)

    1. Hi Joy, it was Bill from Bill's Bus Stop in Courtney Rd, Tauranga. He's since sold and it's now called Alliance RV although he still works there. We also had dealings elsewhere with the guy who bought the business and he was excellent too.


Thank you for taking the time to leave a message, I love reading them! All comments are personally moderated by me and I will post and answer them as soon as possible, Shellie