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Webasto Air Top 2000 STC Petrol vs. Espar Airtronic AS3 B2L

Webasto Air Top 2000 STC Petrol vs. Espar Airtronic AS3 B2L

Posted by Heatso on 1st Mar 2022

For nearly a decade, Webasto has dominated the 2KW petrol air heater market. Now Espar released the new B2L. Find out whether the B2L is the new 2KW petrol heater king.

Webasto Air Top 2000 STC
Petrol Kit

$2,099.99
Webasto Air Top 2000 STC
Espar Airtronic AS3 B2L
Tried-and-true 2kW petrol heater with plenty of support, installation tutorials, and repair guides available online.
New laser-welded combustion chamber and dynamic heating control for improved fuel efficiency.
Compatible with several controller options like the Rheostat, Multi-controller, ThermoConnect, ThermoCall, and UniControl.
Optimized metering pump, improved brushless motor, and stepless heating control for silent performance.
Widely available spare parts from previous generation Air Top 2000ST and Air Top 2000S.
Integrated altitude sensor for reliable operation up to 18,000 feet.
One of the smallest petrol air heaters on the market.
Smart sensor-controlled starting sequence ensures efficient ignition with lower current draw.

Espar Airtronic
AS3 B2L Kit

Sold out
Webasto Air Top 2000 STC
Espar Airtronic AS3 B2L
Tried-and-true 2kW petrol heater with plenty of support, installation tutorials, and repair guides available online.
New combustion chamber and dynamic heating control for improved fuel efficiency.
Compatible with several controller options like the Multi-controller, ThermoConnect, and ThermoCall.
Optimized metering pump and improved brushless motor ensure silent and efficient performance.
Widely available spare parts from previous generation Air Top 2000ST and Air Top 2000S.
Integrated altitude sensor for reliable operation up to 18,000ft.
One of the smallest petrol air heaters on the market.
Smart sensor-controlled starting sequence ensures efficient ignition with lower current draw.

Espar Airtronic
AS3 B2L Kit

Sold out

Webasto Air Top 2000 STC
Petrol Kit

$2,099.99

Webasto Air Top 2000 STC
Petrol Kit

$2,099.99
Webasto Air Top 2000 STC
Espar Airtronic AS3 B2L
Tried-and-true 2kW petrol heater with plenty of support, installation tutorials, and repair guides available online.
New combustion chamber and dynamic heating control for improved fuel efficiency.
Compatible with several controller options like the Multi-controller, ThermoConnect, and ThermoCall.
Optimized metering pump and improved brushless motor ensure silent and efficient performance.
Widely available spare parts from previous generation Air Top 2000ST and Air Top 2000S.
Integrated altitude sensor for reliable operation up to 18,000 feet.
One of the smallest petrol air heaters on the market.
Smart sensor-controlled starting sequence ensures efficient ignition with lower current draw.

Eberspacher Airtronic
AS3 B2L Kit

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A petrol Webasto Air Top 2000 alternative up to 18,000ft

For nearly a decade, Webasto has dominated the 2KW petrol air heater market. The only 2KW petrol heater option van builders had was the Webasto Air Top 2000 STC. It became widely popular for its fuel efficiency and budget-friendly price tag, but with time users found more flaws in the heater’s design. Van lifers reported that the Air Top 2000 STC being too loud, and its inability to work above 4900ft (1500m) forced many to opt for other options altogether.

Finally, in late 2021, we saw the first-ever 2KW Eberspacher petrol heater. With the new 3rd generation Airtronic air heaters, Espar released the B2L, the petrol cousin of the community favorite Airtronic D2L. Using state-of-the-art technology, the petrol Eberspacher B2L is a record-breaker on all fronts, providing silent, efficient, and reliable heating at altitudes up to 18,000ft (5,500m).

Let’s compare the two 2KW petrol air heaters side by side, and find out whether the B2L is the new 2KW petrol heater king.

Comparing Webasto and Espar petrol heaters

Although the two petrol heaters are almost 8 years apart, this is a fair comparison. The Air Top 2000 STC petrol is the latest of its line, being the successor to the Webasto Air Top 2000 ST B. Just like its Webasto counterpart, the Espar B2L is also the latest addition to its family, arriving with the 3rd generation Airtronic air heaters.

We have carefully chosen the aspects on which to compare these two heaters, making sure to highlight only the most important parts. Based on your feedback, we’ll be comparing the 2KW gasoline heaters on their fuel efficiency, NVH (noise, vibration, and harshness), altitude tolerance, and compatibility with older models.

Fuel Efficiency of the Airtop 2000 STC vs Espar B2L

On its release, one of the biggest benefits of the Webasto Air Top 2000 STC was its unmatched fuel efficiency. Consuming a mere 0.14 liters per hour (l/h) on lower power, and only 0.27 l/h at maximum output, the Air Top 2000 STC outshone all the competition.

The Espar engineers had to put their best foot forward to beat the competition and managed to reach Webasto-level fuel efficiency with the B2L. The new laser-welded combustion chamber and dynamic heating control make the Airtronic AS3 B2L even more effective and fuel-efficient.

Although on lower powers the B2L also uses 0.14 l/h, its fuel consumption is capped at 0.26 l/h. That may not seem like a huge improvement, but when you take into account that the B2L will spend less time working at maximum capacity to achieve the same result, the difference becomes considerable.

Noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH)

Noise has always been a weak side for the Webasto Air Top 2000ST heaters. Both when firing up and when running for longer periods, the Air Top STC is quite noisy, with some people saying that it even interrupts their sleep. Some van lifers even opted to go for a 4KW Espar B4L instead of the Air Top 2000 STC just because of this.

Starting from the 2nd generation Airtronic, Espar has been devoted to making their heaters as silent as possible. The S2 D2L was already the quietest of its kind, which helped this diesel heater quickly become a community favorite.

All Airtronic 3 air heaters feature a new brushless motor and upgraded stepless heating control, which makes them even quieter. Some early users reported that the new B2L is up to 90% quieter than the Air Top 2000 STC, operating nearly silently for long periods of time.

Maximum operating altitude

With many national parks in the USA being high above sea level, being able to operate at higher altitudes is a necessity. The maximum Webasto Air Top 2000 STC altitude is 4900ft (1,500m), with anything higher than that requiring tedious manual adjustment. For those traveling at lower altitudes, the Air Top 2000 STC is perfect. But if you’re planning to hit the mountains, you’re much better off with the Eberspacher gasoline heater.

The new B2L has an integrated altitude sensor, which detects and automatically adjusts the air-fuel mixture inside the combustion chamber. This enables the 2KW Espar petrol heater to operate at altitudes up to 18,000ft (5,500m) without any additional high altitude kits. This means you’ll be able to scale the highest points in North America (excluding Denali), Europe, Australia, and Africa, without having to adjust your heater one bit.

Ease of installation

Upgrading your heater is always a big decision, especially if you need to take your whole van apart to install a new one. If an air heater is compatible with older versions, it means that you’ll have to replace few to no parts in your system to get the heater running.

Both the gasoline model Air Top 2000 STC and Airtronic AS3 B2L have standard dimensions, meaning that they’re pretty much interchangeable. If you’re planning to replace your Air Top 2000 STC with a B2L, you might need to make your exhaust hole a few millimeters wider. Other than that, just install a new fuel line and wiring harness, mount the new heater, and you’re good to go.

The Espar Airtronic AS3 B2L has a hidden benefit. Before Espar introduced the Airtronic 3 line, a lot of van lifers opted for the last-gen Airtronic AM2 B4L 4KW petrol heater. In many cases, they did so not because they needed 4 kilowatts of heating, but because they had very few high-quality options to choose from.

Now, the B2L is perfectly compatible with the B4L peripherals. This means that upgrading to a new heater is as easy as replacing a single fuel metering pump and popping in the heater, which takes just a couple of hours at most.

Is the AS3 B2L better than the Air Top 2000 STC?

Although the petrol Air Top 2000 STC has been a fan favorite for many years, we believe that it’s time for an upgrade. The Airtronic AS3 B2L offers better performance and fuel efficiency at higher altitudes while staying nearly silent. The Air Top 2000 STC will still remain one of the best petrol heaters on the market, being an ideal choice for more laid-back van life enthusiasts traveling at lower altitudes. But for full-time van lifers and dedicated explorers and adventurers, the new Espar Airtronic AS3 B2L is our choice.

Technical Comparison

Airtronic AS3 B2L
Air Top 2000 STC
2000 Heating power (W) 2000
Petrol Fuel Type Petrol
0.14 - 0.26 Fuel Consumption (l/h) 0.14 - 0.27
12 Rated Voltage (V) 12
11-26 Power Consumption (W) 15-30
310 x 115 x 122 Dimensions (mm) 310 x 120 x 118
2.5 Weight (kg) 2.6

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