Planning for van life- looking for advice and inspiration!

Introduce Yourself…


I’m Ella, and I’m planning to make a huge life change and go travelling in a van for a year, perhaps more (perhaps forever!). I’ve lived and worked in London for nearly 10 years and it’s gone by in a flash, so I’m keen to remember what life is all about, see Europe, and perhaps even find out if I still want to be the author I always dreamed I’d be growing up.

I’m planning to go alone, so I’m keen to hear from others who are travelling on their own - I’m a little scared! I’m also looking for inspiration (I’d love to hear your best stories) and advice… My first question is how to go about getting a heater for my van, so that I can travel in winter too (I have a T4). Thank you in advance!



Ebay is full of eber/webasto/planar clones (search for diesel heater). If your van is diesel powered, you can tap into existing fuel tank/line (let a professional to do the whole install). If it is petrol van, then those heaters usually come with a small tank that you can use instead.

I’m not endorsing any particular seller but there seems to be some with UK stock and priced under 100£. Authentic eber or webasto heater is easily ten times as much and basically these work just as fine. I’ll recommend UK sellers just because it is probably easier to deal with if there is any problems.

Youtube has quite a few videos on people installing and testing these heaters.
This is literally first link I found and looks like a good example:

Greetings & Welcome!

Being a frequent cold weather camper myself, I use a wick type kerosene heater. It burns cleaner on kerosene, but it will run on diesel as well. This type of heater has several advantages, it is portable, it doesn’t require electricity or battery power, and it can also be used as an extra burner for cooking or an oven. Fuel is cheap and lasts a long time.

Staying with my “No Power Required” scheme for heat, I have a heat powered fan that I place on top of my heater when I’m not using it for cooking. This circulates the heat throughout my van marvelously. These fans are designed to be placed on top of wood stoves. These fans come in two different types, and I actually have one of each. One uses a peltier chip, which when heated powers the fan, and my bigger and much more powerful one uses a stirling engine, which I power with a refillable liquid candle. Sometime in the near future I’m hoping to incorporate the larger one into a power free air conditioner which will run on candle power.

While I have a house battery, my overall goal is to be able to remain perfectly comfortable in any weather, without the need of a house battery or external power source.


"Stay home, stay safe, and remember social distancing." ~ Van_Dweller

That’s awesome that you already have a van and a goal!

I’m a newbie too and am just starting to get tired of looking at pics of vans online.

Granted that most of my wintering was spent in Texas and New Mexico I did get this heater which worked really well and would run off the small inverter that I had.

I only used that space heater about five times, which is relatively warm to the touch and has a safety tipping switch, the rest of the time I used a $20 hot water bladder I got from Walgreens.

Put some nearly boiling water in there it was good for up to 6 hours depending on how cold it was. I kept it in the bottom of my sleeping bag. As long as I stayed in the bag I stayed toasty. :slight_smile: