External Diesel Heater — how are you getting heat into the truck bed (not just the tent)?

Looking to crowd source some opinions on best ways to plumb an external diesel heater (all in one unit sitting outside of the truck) into the bed of the truck for winter camping. We end up in bad weather and being able to hangout and cook in the bed of the truck during cold weather and also have heat while sleeping is the end goal.

I know this topic has been discussed extensively on here before and have seen some good ideas. I remember someone who had a false tailgate which is my front runner idea short of cutting a hole somewhere in the GFC or underneath the truck. 2008 Tundra.

Would love to see/hear about other peoples setups that have this configuration as opposed to venting directly into the tent.


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This vent has been one of the most useful mods I’ve made. Vent in summer, heat in winter and way less dust when driving. In a pinch it makes a good window to see what’s happening beside if you’re in the back.


Not the greatest pictures, but basically a fake tailgate made from wood. Then inside I have a splitter valve. Not shown here, I run a 3” hose inside to the top through a fake bed section I made from wood. If it’s really cold I keep the bottom 25% on when I go to sleep cause I’ve found my battery turns off when it gets below -10°f.

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My setup is like @V2Frontier

I like it and it has served multiple purposes.

Upgrading to an Autoterm Petrol Heater soon. Have it, just need time to install it.


I installed an Autoterm/Planar gasoline heater last October just ahead of ski season. It has been pretty amazing, and I’ve used it up to 9k feet. After doing a lot of thinking about how to deal with an external diesel heater, and between the problems of ducting it in, extra setup time, and figuring out how to deal with diesel, tapping into my gas tank, and cutting a hole in my truck bed seemed way easier.


In case anyone else was interested in this – I ended up going the vent route and purchased the vent recommended by @Chuck.D. I just prototyped a 3D printed adapter for the vent and it turned out well – just need to print it in a material that can withstand the heat! (PETG). Will post pictures when everything is installed and running on the camper.


Nice work! Definitely an improvement to my setup!

@Graeme_g since using mine it almost works too good. I would recommend testing both a full coverage adapter and one that only covers 2/3 of the vent to draw some fresh air in at the same time.

I would love to buy one from ya to help cover some of your costs. This looks to be the solution I need! Which vent? I couldn’t see the link above. thanks!!

I’m fairly certain this is the black vent they used - https://dogboxparts.com/product/1-pair-black-aluminum-popup-air-flow-roof-vent-low-profile-gasket-alpblk/

The link in the original thread went to the silver one but this one is identical except black.

Let us know if you start selling them, or how much it would be for you to make one


How are you getting the heat up into the tent section? I need to heat both the bed and the tent and be able to have two of us sleeping in there.

Hi All,

Sorry for the delay – have been away from home the last few weeks. I just got everything installed and will be doing a trial run this weekend. Expecting to make a few small dimensional tweaks to the 3d print and then Id be happy to print these for whoever needs them. Give me a week or so.

And yes, its the dogboxparts vent that I am using on the GFC. I will note, I scuffed a lot of my side panel paint cutting the hole for it with my jigsaw – oh well. Im a plastics guy anyway :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Lastly, I will removing one of the square panels up top during the winter, and using a piece of wood that is half the size of the square panel. Using some left over foam from a different project and fastening to the wood to create a similar effect as the factory panel, only half the size. This should allow air to flow from bed to tent and also allow my girlfriend to get out of the camper at night to go pee without waking me up :rofl:


I’ve been thinking about doing the same with 1 square panel to allow heat to rise. Often we play games, chill, etc. up top while the heater is on and stay warm but put the full floor in for bed and turn the heater off. Good sleeping bags.

What I’ve thought about is if I went your route with a wood square panel is cutting a hole and installing a small fan (think like a computer fan or dirt bike radiator fan) and allowing that to push the heat up into the tent from down low.

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I want to split the heater between the tent and the camper. Interested to see how that will work

I installed a circular access panel on the side of the bed. Unscrew the cap and then route the duct from where the heater sits outside on a tire table. Really quick setup and tear down.



I don’t want to start a new thread but I’ve seen people that have cut a hole into the bed platform and through the mattress to duct it up into the tent. I was wondering if anyone had any photos or how to’s on how to do it? Mostly wondering how to do it through the mattress. Thanks

i just remove one floor panel and aim the vent down. I mean, when I’m in there I gotta remove the floor panel anyways and it makes it comfortable with the outside cold air coming in from the opening between the tailgate and the bed.

Look under ScottH in heaters in the camper thread

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Installung a little diesel heater in mine.

Ive got a 3rd gen 2019 taco, which didn’t come with the left side bed cubby. I just bought one off eBay and am going to cut the hole into my bed to install it. Seems others have done it too without issues. I’ll then cut a 3” hole into the cubby, mount a blast gate and then I can pipe the vent tube into the blast gate when need to run external diesel heater.