Winter is coming.’ No, I am not talking about Game of Thrones. With winter around when the temperature falls it becomes a little difficult to go outdoors for camping, or caravanning. So, should you stop using your campervan or go camping? That need not be the case, in this situation, these portable heaters come in handy. Among these heaters, portable diesel heaters are the most popular.

Here we will give you the choice of the best portable diesel heaters to buy along with the pros and cons of these products. Also, the detailed buying guide would include a list of things to remember before buying a heater for your outdoor trips this winter.

10 Best Portable Diesel Heater

What are the types of portable heaters?

Portable heaters have become popular among people who love camping, off-roading, and living a life on a motorhome during winter. They can also be used in boats, hotel rooms, and wooden cabins. The types of portable heaters are of many types based on their technology and fuel used. Propane, diesel, and electric heaters are the most popular ones among campers.

But electric and propane heaters have some downsides over diesel heaters. Majorly, propane and diesel heaters are preferred if you are camping outdoors or sourcing heat for your RV or motorhomes. I will also discuss the advantages of diesel over propane ones. 

Our Best Pick

I know this article is long and you might not have time to go through the whole article. If that is the case then we have a recommendation for you. After going through the list of all the available portable diesel heaters I found Wayska Diesel Air Heater 12V, 15L Tank, and Diesel Heater 8KW to be the most efficient ones and value for money.

Wayska 12V, 15L Tank, 8KW Portable Diesel Heater

  • 20 min fast heating
  • Thermostat LCD Monitor
  • Remote Control
  • 15L Diesel Tank
  • Minimal Altitude adjustment

Wayska 12V portable diesel heater is the most efficient and budget-friendly heater around. This can be used within a truck, trailer, motorhome, or boat. Moreover, the heater comes with an LCD thermostat monitor and remote control to control the flow of air according to the temperature. Additionally, its large fuel tanker size makes you worry less about fuel refill.


  • High Power 20 min fast heating with volatile technology
  • Energy-efficient Fuel Pump
  • LCD Monitor with a clear display to check the temperature and running status
  • Remote control the device
  • 15L large fuel tank that can keep heating on for up to 30 hours.
  • Fast heating and low emission of carbon monoxide
  • Working temperature -40°C~+40°C


  • Gives great output for a very long period with minimal consumption
  • Low noise helps you sleep peacefully
  • Operates at an altitude above 3000m.
  • Volatile technology evaporates diesel into gas which initiates faster heating.
  • The heater is compact and easily portable for its smaller size.
  • Pulls fresh air and throws out heated air through the air vents.


  • Being a Chinese product the installation guides are not very clear and often get complaints for lack of proper documentation. But many youtube videos come into help.
  • No temperature control is available. But you can control heating output for controlling heat. If you have a smaller van or trailer to heat then you can go for 2kW or 5 kW output.

Things to check before buying a portable diesel heater?

Last time before buying my portable diesel heater for camping I made some mistakes. So, I have done some research after that and would like to share what I found. Before investing in a portable heater you should remember these basic checks-

  • Output Capacity: The most important criterion before buying a portable heater is to check the output capacity of the heater and up to what temperature it can operate. Also, you must understand how big a space you will be heating. You would love to have fresh and hot air blown out with temperature adjustment for the perfect experience.
  • Ease of Installation: Installation of portable diesel heaters can sometimes be a little difficult. Not because they are very difficult. But most of the time they lack proper guidance and documentation. Mostly that is the case with most Chinese diesel heaters. But you don’t have to worry much as in the age of the internet there are quite a lot of installation guides available for these diesel heaters. They come in separate parts like fuel tanker, inlet, outlet pipes, etc. that need to be assembled.
  • Noise: Noisy portable heaters are an absolute no-no for me. I would not like to disturb my sleep owing to a noisy heater sounding heavily throughout the night during my camping amidst nature. You cannot guarantee these portable diesel heaters to be noise-free but the emphasis should be on the impact. Though there are separate mufflers available for these heaters to cancel the noise.
  • Refueling Frequency: Some heaters give better efficiency and need to be refueled frequently. It depends on the output of the heater. With better-controlled output, a heater can run longer periods without the need to refuel. 
  • Need for Altitude Adjustment: If you live at a high altitude or planning to camp in a hilly area then it is necessary to check if the portable heater works well at a high altitude or needs specific adjustments according to the change in altitude.
  • Safety checks: Safety is an important criterion before choosing the right heater. Often heaters trip and cause a fire with the existence of external fuel tankers. Though these portable heaters are now pretty safe. And if you are looking for absolute safety then you might need to look beyond these Chinese portable heaters.  

Now if you have managed to make it this far then I would like to give you some good options which you can choose from.

7 Most Affordable Portable Diesel Heaters

Happybuy 3kW 12V Diesel Parking Heater

  • Rapid Heating at 3 kW
  • LCD Monitor
  • Low consumption and fuel saving: 0.1-0.35 L/H
  • Tank Capacity: 10L
  • Material: Aluminium+ Plastic
  • Working Temperature: -40°C~+20°C

This portable heater is a very compact one from the lot. If you have a small van or space to heat this 3 kW diesel heater for under $150 can be the ultimate choice for you. Also, the added advantage is that this product is from a US brand.


  • Low fuel consumption: The fuel consumption of this heater is the lowest amongst the lot. With 10L of fuel capacity, the heater can keep on going for even 50 hours depending upon consumption.
  • Light on weight: The heater is light in weight under 20 pounds which makes it very easy to carry.
  • LCD Thermostat Monitor- It helps in monitoring the heating. You can increase or decrease the heating using this.
  • Low price: This one will cost you around $130-$150 which is absolutely value for money if you are using it for a small caravan or RV.
  • Easy installation


  • Low capacity: This product is good for small spaces. As the heating capacity is 3 kW it is not a good option for larger motorhomes.
  • No remote control

maXpeedingrods 5KW 12V Diesel Heater

  • Heating Capacity- 1~5 kW adjustable
  • Fuel Consumption- 0.16-0.48L/H
  • Working Temperature- -40℃~+40℃
  • Display: LCD/ Smartphone App
  • Fuel capacity: 5L

This 5 kW diesel heater is a good solution for larger RVs and trucks. If you are looking for a compact all-in-one diesel heater portable with automatic altitude adjustment up to 16,000 ft. Also, it comes with mobile app support.


  • Fast Heating: This heater gives perfect fast heating with adjustable capacity. Ideal for mid-large sized RVs.
  • Bluetooth App: This diesel heater comes with a Bluetooth app for android/ IOS.
  • Automatic altitude adjustment: The heater is capable to work at an altitude of up to 16,000 ft which makes it an ultimate choice if you are traveling to higher altitudes this winter or you live in a high locality.
  • Energy Efficient: This heater is highly energy efficient. This heater uses 0.16-0.48 liters of diesel per hour. The heating capacity can be controlled between 3,400 to 17,000 BTUs which is rare among diesel heaters.
  • Compact and Easy-to-use: This 12V diesel heater from Maxpeerdingrods is compact and comes in an iron case which makes it easily portable and ready to install.


  • Lower fuel capacity: It comes with a 5L fuel tanker which is quite small than heaters in a similar range. It will require frequent refilling.

Maxpeedingrods 12V 8 KW Diesel Air Heater with LCD monitor

  • Heater power: 5 kW
  • Heater working temperature: -40℃~+40℃
  • Power Consumption: 0.036 KW/H
  • Fuel Consumption: 0.14- 0.64 L/H
  • Remote controlled

This Maxpeedingrods 12V 8KW diesel heater is an ideal solution for your large truck and motorhomes under budget. This all-in-one heater comes with 4 outlet holes that can quickly heat your space or motorhomes. Its ceramic spark plug heats the fuel and turns it into gas which burns quickly and gives low emission as well. This product is rated to be used for a longer time. And, the people who have used this previously are happy about this product.  


  • Fuel consumption is less which makes the running cost very negligible. And it is a great product to run for a long period.
  • The combustion chamber is made of aluminum and distributes the heat fast and uniformly.
  • It comes with an energy-efficient fuel pump.
  • LCD monitor shows the running state which can be manually or dynamically controlled from the monitor.
  • Temperature can be adjusted by the remote control.


  • No automatic altitude adjustment: This diesel heater does not support automatic altitude adjustment which can be a problem while camping outside.
  • Low fuel tank capacity: The fuel tank has a low capacity of 5L which may not be ideal.
  • Noise: It does not come with an in-built muffler or silencer. So, this heater can be a little noisy at times.

Zhibang 5 KW 12V Diesel Heater with Muffler

  • Heater Power: 5 KW
  • Rated voltage: 12V
  • Heater working temperature: -40℃~+50℃
  • Works even at an altitude of 5000 m.
  • 10L fuel tank

If you are looking for a lightweight and cheap portable diesel heater under $150 then this portable heater from Zhibang can be a great choice. This is low on noise and high on efficiency. Carbon monoxide also does not deposit on the product easily. It can be used inside motorhomes, boats, trucks, and trailers.


  • Low-Price: This is a very useful diesel heater at this price point with high heating.
  • Good fuel consumption
  • Lightweight: This product is very lightweight and can be carried very easily. It weighs around 15 pounds which very negligible for a diesel heater
  • Altitude adjustment: Works well with changes in altitude. It is claimed to work around 5000 m altitude.
  • Low on noise: It comes with a muffler. And also the blower keeps the noise level low by keeping the motor rotation speed low.


  • Chinese product: This product is manufactured in China. So, it can be a problem to avail service and warranty.
  • Installation: Installation of these Chinese diesel heaters can be tricky sometimes. As detailed documentation is not available with these products and the installation process gets complicated
  • New product: It is a comparatively new product in the market. So, it does not have tons of installation guides available on youtube. Neither has long-term reviews available in the market.

Happybuy 5KW Diesel Air Heater 12V For RV Bus Car Motorhome Boats

  • Heater Capacity: 5kW
  • Rated Voltage: 12V
  • Fuel consumption: 0.11- 0.51 L/H
  • Working Temperature: -40℃~+20℃/-40℉~+68
  • In-built cover for fuel pump

If you are looking for something which fits your budget and can operate in large spaces and is produced by a US brand then this is a perfect choice for you. Its user says that it is a ‘heat beast’. Priced around $150 gives the right value for money. And the best part is that for a heater with this capacity fuel consumption is very low. This should be among your top picks for sure.


  • Low fuel consumption- Fuel consumption is very low for this heater and can run for a very long period. With a full tank of gas, you can expect the heater to work all day long.
  • Low Noise: The fuel pump comes with a rubber insulator and in-built mufflers reduce the noise very much.
  • Easy installation: The installation guide is well-written and elaborative. It helps in the installation of the heater inside your car or van. It also contains different error-code guides and you can get through them to understand how to fix the errors.
  • Spare parts: The good thing about Vevor products is that spare parts are available easily in the market. That will help you fix your tool instead of throwing it out.
  • Two hose/ vents: It has two separate heat outlets which help in distributing the heat evenly.


  • No LCD monitor or Remote control: The product does not come with an LCD monitor or remote control to control heating functionality. Instead, it is supported by a knob-switch to control the heat output.

TYRAREX Automotive Heater 5KW 12V 24V Universal Fast Heating

  • Heater Capacity: 5KW
  • All-in-one design
  • 2 outlets
  • Low noise
  • Fuel Consumption: 0.14-0.4 L/H

This diesel heater from Tyrarex is a compact product that can help you in extreme cold and deep winter. It can help you defrost your car windows quickly with its fast heating technology with a 4-outlet output heat capacity of 5 kW.

The best part about it is that it can operate in both 12V and 24V. It comes LCD monitor and remote that can help you start and stop the heater from outside. And you would not have to wait for your windows to defrost or seats to get warmed up.


  • Multiple Air Outlets: 2 air outlets are present in the box. Which helps in heating and distributing the hot air fast.
  • Low fuel consumption: Fuel consumption is 0.14-0.4 L/H. For a 5 KW large diesel heater the fuel consumption is very less.
  • Low noise: It comes with mufflers. That helps in reducing the noise.
  • Low emission: Its technology helps in releasing fast heating. The products are low on emissions which helps in maintenance.


  • Low fuel tank capacity: It comes with only a 5L fuel tank. Though due to efficient oil consumption it can still work longer.
  • It’s made in China: Like all Chinese products, you may find it difficult to replace parts of the heater if it fails.
  • No automatic altitude adjustment

HCALORY 5KW-8KW 12V Diesel Air Heater Muffler Diesel Heater

  • Heating Power: 5KW-8KW
  • Fuel consumption: 0.64 L/H
  • Operating temperature: -40 ℃ ~ 50 ℃
  • Remote controlled & LCD switch monitored
  • Small and compact design

If you are looking for a high-power big diesel heater to warm up your big vehicles and campervans then you can go for this one. It heats fast and like a beast. As it comes with a big fuel tank as well, it can run for a longer time.

It’s compact and comes with a muffler for the fuel filter as well, so expect low noise. The ceramic ignition plug evaporates fuel into gas for fast combustion and fast ignition.


  • Great Heating capacity: When it comes to heating this is a beast. Works between 5-8 kW and it’s adjustable.
  • Adjustable power and other settings: Not only the power but you can also adjust fuel and electricity settings.
  • Easy to operate: This product is lightweight and can be easily carried inside your truck and trailers. It is also very easy to operate.
  • Remote control & LCD Switch: It comes with remote control and LCD switch to control different functions. The remote control can operate from a distance of up to 100 m.


  • Heavy fuel consumption
  • No automatic altitude adjustment
  • Chinese product: Can be a little difficult to install in the beginning due to lack of clear documentation

Two Popular Diesel Heaters from Top Brands

I have given you ample options to choose from in the above list. But if you are still not convinced to buy these I still have two more recommendations from well-known brands. These are from European brands which you can choose.

Eberspacher Espar Airtronic 12V 2.2KW 7500 BTU Diesel Heater

  • Heat Output: 2900-7500 BTU (0.85kW-2.2kW)
  • Digital Fuel Pump: 12V
  • Automatic Altitude Adjustment: up to 3000m
  • Muffler included

Eberspacher is one the most popular German brand that makes portable heaters and various other automotive automobile products. This quality product comes at a heavy price of $1400-$1500 which is a lot in my opinion. Though if you are a little cautious about the Chinese ones then you should go for this one.


  • Controlled Heat Output: This heater will give you controlled heating in your car or RV for good and comfortable sleep.
  • Very less noise: With an efficient fuel pump and muffler it creates very less noise which makes it a great product.
  • Temperature monitor: Unlike low-budget products, this one has a good automatic temperature monitor which adjusts heating accordingly.


  • Costly: Being a popular product from a well-known brand it comes at a hefty price. In my opinion, it is not value for money.
  • Problem with documentation: People often find it hard to use the heater using the documentation provided.
  • Not suitable for large vehicles: It has a heat output of up to 2.2 KW which is not enough for big vehicles or motorhomes.

Webasto Air Top EVO 40 Air Heater 4kW 13650 BTU

  • Heater Power: 4kW
  • Operating Voltage:12V
  • Output: 13650 BTU/H


  • Easy installation guide: It comes with an easy and extensive installation guide that helps users install the product easily
  • Compact Design: It comes with a compact design and all the components needed for easy installation in vans or motorhomes.
  • Ideal for: Its heating output is in the middle which is very efficient for mid-sized vehicles.


  • Finding spare parts can be an issue: Only authorized dealers to sell spare parts for these European-made heaters. So, if anything is broken you might find it hard to replace or fix.

Is it worth buying Chinese Diesel Heaters?

Now if you have scrolled through all the products I recommended above you will find many of them to be Chinese diesel heaters. I know you all have reservations about choosing Chinese products, even though I am one of you too. The main concern in choosing these typical Chinese electrical goods is whether would it be reliable, whether would it last and can be fixed if it goes wrong. All of your concerns are valid and I would like to discuss them.

The first reason why we would choose a Chinese heater over products from well-known brands like Webasto or Espar is the price. I know quality products from German brands would cost you $1500 while you will get a cheap Chinese heater in the range of $150-$200. So if you compare $150 vs $1500 you know how big a difference is.

I believe buying a Chinese product is a gamble we have to take. Some would be great, some would be trash. Even that too can happen with your best-in-class products. So if I would have to take a gamble I would be taking it with $150 and not $1500.

One other problem with these European diesel heaters is that they are often out of stock in the US. Even if you have to buy one you would have to go through the dedicated dealers as you will find them to be out of stock often. But the Chinese models are available in abundance to choose from.

Previously it was a problem to install this Chinese diesel heater because there were not many articles or guides about it on the internet. And, the ones that come with the product itself it often not useful. But today, with so many users around the world for these Chinese heaters who love camping and moving on their cars it is not a problem anymore.

You would find tons of materials on Youtube. Moreover, there is a big community on Facebook on Chinese Diesel Vehicle Air Heaters- Troubleshooting & Parts Sale with around 60K members on the platform who share and help each other.

Propane Heater vs Diesel Heater: Which one is better?

Among the portable heaters, propane and diesel heaters are the most popular ones. There are a few downsides to both and none of them is perfect. But in some aspects, diesel heaters score big over propane heaters and they are-

  • Ease of storing fuel: Diesel heaters are much easier to install in your RV or campervan than propane heaters. Because propane heaters need a separate large vessel to carry the fuel. And you would have to make a separate arrangement to place it inside your RV. But diesel heaters come with a normal plastic fuel tank which is easy to handle.
  • Easy to Refill: Propane tanks are not as easy to refill as diesel heaters. Propane is not available everywhere in all gas stations. So, it can be a worry if you run out of propane on the go. Whereas it is easier to refill portable diesel heaters even if you run out of fuel outdoors. Also, they can be connected to your vehicle’s fuel tank for easy access.
  • Costly fuel: Propane is much costlier than diesel in the USA. Propane is less energy-dense and not as efficient as gas which makes its use more expensive as compared to diesel to run per BTU.

These are three major upsides of using a diesel heater over propane heaters. But using propane is less dirty compared to diesel. That’s why propane heaters require less maintenance as it generates lesser carbon monoxide. Considering these points also, diesel heaters have advantages if you are camping outside. As ease of refilling takes priority in my opinion.

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