Diesel Heater Comparison
Been wondering and contemplating over these Swelter diesel heaters? So did I. For a long time I have been struggling with my 2 Eberspacher heaters. Eventually I had the fan bearings and brushes replaced. It helped but for a while only. It gave all sorts of errors. I replaced the ECU on one, did both glow plugs and all the gaskets.
I was eventually so fed up that I bit the bullet and got one of these Swelter Diesel Heaters. I thought to myself that if I get the 5kW, it should at least be as potent as the 2kW I currently have. On top of that it came at less than half the price. So, I removed the Eberspacher and fitted the Swelter.
Fitting was a walk in the park. The exhaust and intake ducts were the same size, so I re-used the originals without having to unbolt it from the vehicle. Everything looked very similar. I even used the old fuel pump. It was like plug-and-play. The heater itself is a bit more bulky being 5kW.
I hooked up the wiring and fired it up. It took on the second try after bleeding out the air in the fuel line and off it went. I was taken by surprise at the quiet whisper from the heater and the stream of hot air pumping out. This unit was installed around May 2017 directed towards the kitchen/bedroom area. It was almost mid winter and we had the heater running every night and sometimes during the cold days. It clocked up a lot of hours without a glitch.
At the time of this post, it is mid winter 2018 and the heater is till running like day one – not missing a beat.
After installing this one, back in May 2017 and finding it to be performing well, I ordered another one. This time i got the 3kW due to space constraints behind the driver seat. This one was directed at the front seats, bathroom and windshield demisting. Out went the Eberspacher and in went the Swelter. There is a 2kW available as well.
Just like with the 5kW Hurricane model, this was a breeze to install with the same size fittings and ducting. It is a little bigger than the 2kW I removed. Again, no issues since startup except for a lousy power wire connetion that caused a fault code that was easy undertsadable, traced and fixed.
The heater has auto temperature control. That means you can set the desired temperature and it will automatically switch on and off to maintain it. It also has another mode where you can decide on the power output percentage from 20% to 100% in 5 easy clicks. It has a friendly display interface with automatic screen saver after a minute or 2. This is very convenient . When driving at night with the control panel mounted on the dashboard, it does not cause distraction after blanking out.
I found that fuel consumption is much the same if not less than the old heaters. Spare parts are easily available at very reasonable pricing compared to some better known brands.
For the summer days, If you need, you can switch on the fan only for some cool air circulation. There is a menu that displays the voltage, fan RPM, ambient temperature, set temperature and more.
On a fairly cold day/night it takes between 5 and 10 minutes to warm the motor home / RV to a cosy temperature. Performance, ease-of -use and quality wise I cannot fault it.
Silencers are available for the intake and exhaust ducts. I did a test by standing outside, next to the exhaust outlet to “measure” the noise. No diference found to the previous heaters and I doubt whether a silencer will be necessary except for very unique situations like installing it in the ICU at a hospital or something similar.
We found that these heaters are great for drying the air to get rid of moist and dampness in the motor home. A great little extra is the duct into the bathroom. Besides having a warm bathroom when getting ready for a shower, it dries the towels and clothes on the dryrack in a jiff. Especially if you use one of these amazing compact spin dryers before hanging the clothes.
When taking off to another destination in the early hours, the diesel heater demists the screen and warms the front cabin area simultaneously to ensure a comfortable trip and clear vision.
Build quality: On par with other well known brands except the control panel needs careful handling and fitting.
Performance: On par with other well known brands
Consumption: On par with other well known brands
Noise: Slightly better than some other well known brands
User friendliness: Better, due to the simple understandable error messages and detail display menu that can help track down problems quickly.
As far as Diesel Heaters are concerned, I can recommend these with an open heart. A GREAT deal for the price.