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Buying advice - to heat or not to heat...?

Grand Tourismo

Grand Tourismo

Active Member
VIP Member
Hello all,

My first time out on the forum and new to all things Marco Polo...I am seeking a little advice.

We have been waiting for the right used MP to come along for the last 6-8 months but so far we have not "pulled the trigger".
My original goal was to find an MP 12-18 months old with cream leather (we have a cream leather car at the moment) and the elusive overnight heater.
During that time roughly ten MP's have passed me by with one only having the heater and the spec we wanted.

Then yesterday my wife pointed out that we would be very unlikely to wild camp, always preferring to use a campsite.
If we are on a campsite then we are also likely going to be on an electrical hook up, perhaps we could run a small external heater to keep the chill off.

My question to you all is do I really need the night heater after all? Are you using yours or have you found easy ways around it?

Thanks in advance :Thumbs up:
 

SteveR

Active Member
Hello and welcome to the forum,
Your wife has nailed it! If you are mostly onsite and on hookup just get yourself a cheap fan heater for £10 or so. Only thing to be wary of is not getting too powerful a one in case it trips the box.
If you are venturing offgrid anytime then the diesel heater option works very well in my opinion
 
Grand Tourismo

Grand Tourismo

Active Member
VIP Member
Hello and welcome to the forum,
Your wife has nailed it! If you are mostly onsite and on hookup just get yourself a cheap fan heater for £10 or so. Only thing to be wary of is not getting too powerful a one in case it trips the box.
If you are venturing offgrid anytime then the diesel heater option works very well in my opinion
Thanks for your reply Steve....so we could say the night heater is a "nice to have" accessory rather than a "must have"...unless of course you are planning to wild camp.
Also I suppose having the heater would be a nice extra in order to give the car a big blast of heat when returning from a cold day out...or a cold day on the water for example.
 

SteveR

Active Member
Thanks for your reply Steve....so we could say the night heater is a "nice to have" accessory rather than a "must have"...unless of course you are planning to wild camp.
Also I suppose having the heater would be a nice extra in order to give the car a big blast of heat when returning from a cold day out...or a cold day on the water for example.
I guess it is subjective. Yes, it's a nice to have if you are only ever on site but as you say, for day trips etc it is useful. For me personally it was a must have and I am pleased with it the admittedly few times that it is used.
It really depends on your individual plans for how you use your MP.

The other plus point is re-saleability. If you decide in the future to sell your MP it may add value but will likely also make it more saleable as you have found out in your searches
 
RFT

RFT

Active Member
VIP Member
We've got both heaters but only ever found the need to use the hot water heater. I think leaving the overnight heater on overnight is overkill. PS we sleep uptop, we don't use a pop top liner but we do have a goose down quilt and we're toasty. We use the phone app to turn on the hot water heater before we go 'downstairs'.
 
B

Blackrat

Active Member
VIP Member
GT,
We were in exactly the same position as you. We spent over 6 months looking for what you describe. In the end we bought a very nice 19 plate with just 9k on the clock. It doesn’t have the diesel heater but we also figured that as we would never wild camp it’s an expensive extra that we can live without. We will always be on hook up so bought a small fan heater that fits nicely between the front seats.
If using the van for the day there is a standard feature that allows you to warm the interior for a short amount of time using residual heat from the engine. We tested it once and it seems to work ok.
Although since we bought it in November we haven’t been able to camp due to the current situation we really don’t think we will regret the decision.
 
Grand Tourismo

Grand Tourismo

Active Member
VIP Member
We've got both heaters but only ever found the need to use the hot water heater. I think leaving the overnight heater on overnight is overkill. PS we sleep uptop, we don't use a pop top liner but we do have a goose down quilt and we're toasty. We use the phone app to turn on the hot water heater before we go 'downstairs'.
Thanks RFT, will keep that in mind.
 
Grand Tourismo

Grand Tourismo

Active Member
VIP Member
GT,
We were in exactly the same position as you. We spent over 6 months looking for what you describe. In the end we bought a very nice 19 plate with just 9k on the clock. It doesn’t have the diesel heater but we also figured that as we would never wild camp it’s an expensive extra that we can live without. We will always be on hook up so bought a small fan heater that fits nicely between the front seats.
If using the van for the day there is a standard feature that allows you to warm the interior for a short amount of time using residual heat from the engine. We tested it once and it seems to work ok.
Although since we bought it in November we haven’t been able to camp due to the current situation we really don’t think we will regret the decision.
Thanks Blackrat, If I am honest with myself I think a big part of the reason I want the heater so that if or when I come to sell the car on people like us will not be put off in the first instance...which is flawed because by then the vehicle warranty will have expired and an aftermarket unit could easily be fitted.
 

GeorgeG

Active Member
For me the diesel heater is essential. Previously I had a California for 4 years with a Webasto heater which was very good. My MP has the Eberspacher heater which is much better - much quieter and performs more efficiently.

The reason that so many used MPs do not have the diesel space heater is largely down to the fact that the dealers were (are still?) ignorant about the difference between the ‘hot water’ heater and the ‘space’ heater. When they order vehicles for stock they tick off the options they think will maximise the chance of a sale. One dealer’s sales ‘executive’ I spoke to admitted that the colleague who ticked the option boxes did this for all the stock, 99% of which was for cars, and that he knew very little about essential/preferred camper van specifications.

Consequently, there are many used MPs without a ‘proper’ heater. Personally, I think it would be worth waiting for a good example with a heater. I struck lucky finding a demonstrator with only 75 miles on the clock and a heater. Also, it will retain more of its value.

However, if you are sure you will DEFINITELY only ever use an EHU pitch then I suppose you can get away with a low wattage fan heater or oil filled radiator. Similarly, if you do most of your camping say in the summer in France or Spain you do not need the onboard heater.

Before all these b....y lockdowns we spent 3 to 4 months away every year. Perhaps 4 to 6 weeks of this was often in the UK where, even in Summer, a decent heater is essential at our age!

Good luck, whatever you decide.
 
Grand Tourismo

Grand Tourismo

Active Member
VIP Member
For me the diesel heater is essential. Previously I had a California for 4 years with a Webasto heater which was very good. My MP has the Eberspacher heater which is much better - much quieter and performs more efficiently.

The reason that so many used MPs do not have the diesel space heater is largely down to the fact that the dealers were (are still?) ignorant about the difference between the ‘hot water’ heater and the ‘space’ heater. When they order vehicles for stock they tick off the options they think will maximise the chance of a sale. One dealer’s sales ‘executive’ I spoke to admitted that the colleague who ticked the option boxes did this for all the stock, 99% of which was for cars, and that he knew very little about essential/preferred camper van specifications.

Consequently, there are many used MPs without a ‘proper’ heater. Personally, I think it would be worth waiting for a good example with a heater. I struck lucky finding a demonstrator with only 75 miles on the clock and a heater. Also, it will retain more of its value.

However, if you are sure you will DEFINITELY only ever use an EHU pitch then I suppose you can get away with a low wattage fan heater or oil filled radiator. Similarly, if you do most of your camping say in the summer in France or Spain you do not need the onboard heater.

Before all these b....y lockdowns we spent 3 to 4 months away every year. Perhaps 4 to 6 weeks of this was often in the UK where, even in Summer, a decent heater is essential at our age!

Good luck, whatever you decide.
Hi George, Thank you for your extensive reply...I started this thread willing to compromise on the heater and now, before even the end of page 1, I'm back the other way!
I suspect if the right colour/accessories combo MP turns up without a heater we will go for it....and if one with a heater turns up we will likely make compromises on the colour etc ...fickle me? not at all!
 

Steve B

Active Member
Ours has both and we do use them, even when hooked up. The 'water' heater gets most use as its switched on from my phone in the house to heat the MP on cold mornings when used as a daily driver (obviously not often at the moment). Thats my favourite heater but we have used the 'air' heater a few times, again the remote/fob means you don't get out of bed. Agree with GeorgeG, there was/is so much confusion with heater types that I'm sure many MP's missed out on the options. We waited for a cancelled order or demonstrator with the right heaters, but there seems to be a good retro fit option if you read the threads.
 
Grand Tourismo

Grand Tourismo

Active Member
VIP Member
Hello and welcome to the forum,
Your wife has nailed it! If you are mostly onsite and on hookup just get yourself a cheap fan heater for £10 or so. Only thing to be wary of is not getting too powerful a one in case it trips the box.
If you are venturing offgrid anytime then the diesel heater option works very well in my opinion
Hi Steve, just so I get this clear...if we decide to purchase a plug in heater we need to keep the power draw down in order not to trip the fuse...my question is, the fuse on the EHU or fuse inside the car? and roughly what W/Ah draw would be advisable?
Thanks
 

GeorgeG

Active Member
Hi Steve, just so I get this clear...if we decide to purchase a plug in heater we need to keep the power draw down in order not to trip the fuse...my question is, the fuse on the EHU or fuse inside the car? and roughly what W/Ah draw would be advisable?
Thanks
It’s the EHU fuse you need to worry about, particularly in France where you can pay for different power bands.
I seem to remember that 1.5 kW is about the most you should draw to be on the safe side, but others may be more informed.
 
Grand Tourismo

Grand Tourismo

Active Member
VIP Member
It’s the EHU fuse you need to worry about, particularly in France where you can pay for different power bands.
I seem to remember that 1.5 kW is about the :Thumbs up: most you should draw to be on the safe side, but others may be more informed.
Cheers
 

SteveR

Active Member
Hi Steve, just so I get this clear...if we decide to purchase a plug in heater we need to keep the power draw down in order not to trip the fuse...my question is, the fuse on the EHU or fuse inside the car? and roughly what W/Ah draw would be advisable?
Thanks
Yep, as GeorgeG said, it's the EHU. Varies from campsite to campsite but around 1.5 to 2kW. We've got a cheap 1kW - if I recall correctly) and it is surprising how quickly it heats the inside of the van up
 
B

Blackrat

Active Member
VIP Member
A 1kw fan heater will be fine just switch it off when/ if you want to boil a kettle etc.
 
Grand Tourismo

Grand Tourismo

Active Member
VIP Member
Yep, as GeorgeG said, it's the EHU. Varies from campsite to campsite but around 1.5 to 2kW. We've got a cheap 1kW - if I recall correctly) and it is surprising how quickly it heats the inside of the van up
OK great, understood.
 
Grand Tourismo

Grand Tourismo

Active Member
VIP Member
A 1kw fan heater will be fine just switch it off when/ if you want to boil a kettle etc.
Perfect thanks... was going to use the gas for hot water (or stick with Costabucks!)
 
Grand Tourismo

Grand Tourismo

Active Member
VIP Member
Yep, as GeorgeG said, it's the EHU. Varies from campsite to campsite but around 1.5 to 2kW. We've got a cheap 1kW - if I recall correctly) and it is surprising how quickly it heats the inside of the van up
Thank you, looks like a workable solution.
 
Grand Tourismo

Grand Tourismo

Active Member
VIP Member
Ours has both and we do use them, even when hooked up. The 'water' heater gets most use as its switched on from my phone in the house to heat the MP on cold mornings when used as a daily driver (obviously not often at the moment). Thats my favourite heater but we have used the 'air' heater a few times, again the remote/fob means you don't get out of bed. Agree with GeorgeG, there was/is so much confusion with heater types that I'm sure many MP's missed out on the options. We waited for a cancelled order or demonstrator with the right heaters, but there seems to be a good retro fit option if you read the threads.
Steve can I ask?, how effective is the water pre-heater? How long does it run, how many times and roughly what temperature does it reach etc? Thank you in advance
 
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