I did it. Now I have a china heater in the mini camper. Why? Because it fits in perfectly! And because at a low cost of 120 euros, it didn’t tear a big hole in the mini camper expansion fund. I’ve seen these things several times on Amazon. They were and are available in different versions, but what convinced me beside the price was the height. Because this model fits exactly in the place of a Eurobox, some of which I use as storage.
I installed it myself. Of course, it takes some guts to drill holes in a brand new car. I needed two about 27mm in diameter. But if you consider what openings are necessary when you install a “classic” air heater somewhere under the car and then have to direct the hot air into the car, I am well served with my two little holes.
What does the TÜV/MOT say?
Nothing. Because they will never see my china heater. I can remove it with little effort and close the holes with car-body plugs. I have to reinstall the rear seat belts anyway when I have to go to the TÜV (= Technical Control Board in Germany). Even non-chinese parking heaters do not have to be presented and registered explicitly at the TÜV, because there is a so-called “type approval”, i.e. the manufacturer has this approved once at the Federal Motor Transport Authority and you then receive a certificate. You will get a document and you’re all set.
Unfortunately, I cannot help with that. China heaters with the CE mark are now being offered, but that doesn’t mean anything, because the manufacturers more or less certify themselves by confirming conformity with European regulations. Anyone who remembers the beginnings of the Corona outbreak in Germany will certainly also think of the name Webasto in this context. Allegedly, employees from China were at the main plant in Germany for training purposes.
I mean, the brand manufacturer Webasto now has its heaters built in China and the components don’t look that much different from mine. Costs are only a fraction. And of course, my mini camper has a CO-Warner and also a fire extinguisher.
I can’t say anything about quality and reliability at the moment. After installing it, I let it run a few times, it ignited and heated. The intake and extraction for the combustion circuit takes place through the aforementioned holes, while the warm air circuit takes place via a heat exchanger in the car. So the air circulation principle. So I don’t have to worry about sucking my own emissions into the car.
I didn’t install this heater because I really wanted a heater. I put it in because it’s cheap, fits in, and I wanted to try it out. Should it not prove itself in everyday winter use, I can always think of alternatives. In any case, there are plenty of spare parts for this heater, everything from the silencer to the controller is available for little money on eBay or Amazon. I will keep you updated.