Diesel Heater in Your Camper?

Update on my portable diesel heater....

1. My suitcase-style portable heater sits outside and pushes the warmed air into my van through a 10-foot duct hose. That means about six feet of the hot-air duct is exposed to cold outside air before it enters the van. I recently bought Eberspacher MaxiTherm insulation blankets (off Ebay) to insulate that section. I went with snap-on blankets rather than slide-on tubular blankets as I figured the snap-on style would be easier to dry out when they get wet. They also fold down small enough to store in the heater case between uses. On my test on a 40*F day, they made a 20-degree difference in the temperature of the air at the outlet (in the van).

2. I noticed the brochure for the heater now says it operates up to 13,700 feet elevation. I called the distributor to ask if mine was good for that as the ad had said 8200 feet. The answer was that yes, all of them in the last five years are the auto-compensating HA (High Altitude) ones. He did tell me to remember that performance degrades at higher elevations. I took that to mean the elevation specs have to do with heater output. In other words it will put out the full btu rating up to 8200 feet and will run at higher elevations but heat output will be reduced. He also reminded me to always use kerosene at elevation.

3. I've not used the heater in the last year. We took it along on our western Canada trip but never got into cold weather by our return in early October. We had a few overnights into the 30s (F) but the warm days kept the van warm enough that we didn't need the heater by bedtime. I do run the heater for a half-hour every two months for maintenance and it always starts easily.
 
I see that the new Scout popup camper has an external diesel heater mounted on the passenger side rear wall in what appears to be an aluminum case. Any insights as to the manufacturer? They appear to use Autoterm diesel heaters in their hard side camper. Autoterm has a portable diesel heater model in what appears to be a plastic case but the Scout version isn’t this model, at least in the form factor that appears on the website.

I wonder if this can be an option on ATCs or FWCs.
 
I see that the new Scout popup camper has an external diesel heater mounted on the passenger side rear wall in what appears to be an aluminum case. Any insights as to the manufacturer? They appear to use Autoterm diesel heaters in their hard side camper. Autoterm has a portable diesel heater model in what appears to be a plastic case but the Scout version isn’t this model, at least in the form factor that appears on the website.

I wonder if this can be an option on ATCs or FWCs.
I see in this Scout video about the diesel heater that the comments include a reply to "TheJensss" where Scout says the heater is an Autoterm one. Also, the controller appears to be Autoterm PU-28/Comfort Touch control panel.

The heater in the video is in a hard-sided Scout camper. I suppose it's possible they'd use a different diesel heater in the new pop-up model. I'd think they'd prefer to use the same brand to keep supply chain and dealer-training issues simpler but who knows. You may want to keep an eye out for that control panel as we see more photos and videos about the new pop-up model.

The heater itself is an Autoterm but the aluminum case it's mounted in is a Zarges case. Scout chose to use this case while the distributor of the Planar/Autoterm portables chose to put the heater in a Kanuq-brand case (I think this is the plastic one you refer to). The Kanuq case with its external fuel tank, vertical exhaust pipe and multiple air inlets wouldn't have been a good choice for this application.
 
Thanks Old Crow, the Scout video is very informative. I like how they route the combustion air and exhaust outside the camper. I also like how they vent the warm air directly into the camper without a warm air vent exposed to the exterior. Ditto for the enclosed fuel tank.

Are there any opinions about whether this is an option for ATCs and FWCs?
 
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Are there any opinions about whether this is an option for ATCs and FWCs?

In my opinion a diesel heater is a viable option for a truck camper as they can safely produce a dry heat, they operate economically and (if optioned for it) they can operate at elevation. Downsides include (1) installation can be tricky (in a slide-in camper) (2) you have to deal with another fuel type (3) you can't (typically) take it to a dealer to get it fixed (4) it blows cold air for a while as it fires up (5) it should be run every two months or so year round as a preventive-maintenance practice (6) the fuel pump can make an obnoxiously loud ticking sound if not mounted and vibration-isolated adequately (7) diesel fuel can gel in cold temperatures
 

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