WEBASTO - Feel the Drive
  • Travelling with the Defender in den Mountains

    Heading from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego with a Webasto Parking Heater

    YouTubers Karo and Phil from The Sunnyside spent three years traveling around North and South America. Man and machine were put to the long-term test. How did the parking heater from Webasto hold up during this trip? We asked Karo and Phil about their experiences.

  • Globetrotters Karo and Phil from the YouTube channel The Sunnyside traveled from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego between 2017 and 2020. They covered 100,000 kilometers in two stages in their “four-seasons go-anywhere adventure-mobile”, an almost thirty-year-old Land Rover Defender. Parking heaters from Webasto were always on board and highly appreciated. “We had been through it before in Australia,” says Phil. “As soon as the cold and condensation creep into the vehicle, it becomes god-awful, and you just end up longing for a parking heater.”

    “Willi”, as Karo and Phil dubbed their reliable motorized travel buddy, had to make do with just an air-based parking heater at first. And it seemed to do just fine at the start of their epic adventure in March 2017: the air-based parking heater, a Webasto Air Top Evo 2000 STC installed in the interior of the Defender, provided enough warmth to get through the colder days and nights on their journey through Canada, from Halifax to the West Coast. But they were in for a bitterly cold winter and a fateful experience along the way.

  • Lighting a fire under the vehicle to be on our way

    Fire underneath the carPhil is warming himself thorugh the gas burner that is used to make fire under the vehicle 

    “Over Christmas we spent two weeks in Banff, where our vehicle completely froze over,” Karo tells us. “It was minus 27 degrees Celsius, and we had honestly only turned the vehicle off for ten minutes. But it stayed off. We couldn’t get it back on.” The wisdom of hindsight is a beautiful thing: “At minus 30 degrees, you should just keep the engine running, connect it to an electric heater or have a water-based parking heater that can preheat the engine. But we didn’t know all this back then,” Phil adds.

    “We thought we could heat the engine with small hand warmers. And so we diligently clicked the small metal plates in the gel cushions to get the heat going and placed them on the engine. They did get nice and warm, but our engine remained totally unfazed by them. Of course it didn’t work,” Karo laughs. “We thought about placing the cooker under the vehicle, but we didn’t dare. You can’t start a fire under a vehicle, can you?!”

    Canadians used to living in the extreme cold sure have a different attitude towards life, as this is exactly what the technician from the Canadian roadside assistance company did: he heated the engine block by sparking an open fire under the vehicle with a gas burner. Then he placed a blanket over the engine to keep the heat in the engine block and to thaw Willi. After a while, Willi sulkily started with a loud clatter, as if the engine was going to leap out of the engine compartment there and then. “After this experience, we told ourselves we will never go anywhere without a water-based parking heater,” Phil recalls.

  • Enjoying more comfort with the new water-based parking heater

    In February 2019, the time had come: in addition to the air-based parking heater, Phil splashed out on a Webasto water-based parking heater with a boiler for Willi. Unlike the air-based parking heater, the water-based parking heater also heats the engine (Phil installed the Thermo Top Evo). Plus, this finally gave them a reliable source of hot water in the vehicle. “We could finally heat our dishwater quickly to clean the dishes we had used,” says Karo with delight. An instantly noticeable luxury for the two world travelers.

    The two parking heaters were reliable companions on cold nights: under an iron bridge in cold and damp New York, next to romantic hot springs in the desert, on stormy sandy shores in Mexico and on mountains 4,000 meters above sea level in Chile. Phil and Karo tell us that it was reliably and pleasantly warm in Willi, even in these elevated locations with low air pressure and low oxygen levels.

  • Staying warm in the middle of the desert

    Defender stranded in the desert Man and machine were put to the test in the harsh desert climateOnce you’ve installed a parking heater, you will soon get used to the comfort – even when you’re not traveling. “We once broke down in the Sierra Nevada mountains in California – we didn’t have the spare parts,” Phil recalls. “We walked six kilometers to the nearest post office and asked whether we could have items sent there.” The couple were really moved, as the mailman took good care of them. He drove them back to Willi and called in on the world travelers over the next few days, as they waited in the middle of the desert for their spare part.

    In the harsh desert climate, man and machine were once again put to the test. Karo says: “It was cold at night, minus 5 degrees, but thankfully warm and sunny during the day. So we were always able to charge the battery using the solar panel system to have the heating running for a while in the evening. It worked well.”





  • Planning to travel the world again soon – cozy and warm in a truck

    Phil and Karo have been back in Germany since March 2020. But they are itching to get back on the road, so plans for The Sunnyside globetrotters’ next trip are already under way. They are currently constructing a tiny house expedition vehicle on a truck for their travels. When and where are they going? They don’t want to tell us just yet. Subscribe to their YouTube channel (in German) to find out more.

    Do you have a really crazy or memorable adventure where your parking heater played the starring role? We’d love to read all about it!

  • Our Products
  • Thermo Top Evo 

    Tailor-made comfort for every car. The Thermo Top Evo heats particularly powerfully and efficiently - with particularly low fuel and power consumption.

    » Find out more

    Air Top 2000 STC 

    The Webasto air heater offer constant heating performance. Enjoy precise and constant interior temperatures in any weather.

    » Find out more

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