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Old 10-19-2019, 02:21 PM   #1
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block heater off house batteries?

a block heater typically draws about 3 amps on 110v power - any reason I couldn't use house batteries through the inverter to run the block heater for an hour or two?
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Old 10-19-2019, 03:13 PM   #2
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As long as the house bank will handle the load it should be fine.

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Old 10-19-2019, 03:18 PM   #3
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will be 30A off 12V, very heavy load like over 10 fridges
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Old 10-19-2019, 03:20 PM   #4
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will be 30A off 12V, very heavy load like over 10 fridges
best I use my generator then
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Old 10-19-2019, 03:48 PM   #5
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Bush pilots drain their oil into a coffee can. When they're prepping for take-off they heat the oil over a stove and then return it to the crankcase...
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Old 10-19-2019, 05:23 PM   #6
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Bush pilots drain their oil into a coffee can. When they're prepping for take-off they heat the oil over a stove and then return it to the crankcase...


I've used a tiger torch before - flame directed through a tin chimney with a 90 degree bend to the bottom of the oil pan - temps were off the end of the thermometer and the dogs had chewed off the wire to the block heater - made it to the race on time - - lol
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Old 10-20-2019, 04:09 AM   #7
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a block heater typically draws about 3 amps on 110v power - any reason I couldn't use house batteries through the inverter to run the block heater for an hour or two?
I am glad you askedthis question. Our bus is equipped with a block heater and I was considering the same ... just in case we needed it.
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Old 10-20-2019, 08:31 AM   #8
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I am glad you askedthis question. Our bus is equipped with a block heater and I was considering the same ... just in case we needed it.
remember as stated above it will be about a 30 (not 3) amp draw on the batteries. also inverters use (lose)juice to convert it. i would prefer to heat my oil
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Old 10-20-2019, 09:36 AM   #9
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3 amps on a block heater at 110v? I thought must I have seen are 1000W, mine is a factory installed job, and I am pretty sure it's 1500W.

Yes if you have a gen set to use, I would totally do that, unless you were in a emergency and your battery bank is all there was.
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Old 10-20-2019, 10:04 AM   #10
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With a 1500W block heater, you would deplete a 100Ah bank to 50% in 25min.
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Old 10-20-2019, 11:46 AM   #11
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one way to warm the motor/oil in extreme temperature when off grid, would be to throw packing blankets over the motor and stick a propane powered catalytic heater under the bus - wouldn't be as efficient as a block heater, but it would get the job done in a pinch - I wouldn't need to buy one as I already have one for my small workshop
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Old 10-29-2019, 07:03 PM   #12
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We plugged the block heater into our 110v grid for 30 minutes a week or so ago. It drew 100amp (12v) and dropped our battery bank from 13v down to 12.7v over that time. We have 920ah of batteries so I don't think it made a big dent into it.
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Old 10-29-2019, 08:14 PM   #13
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I'm a big fan of Wabesto type heaters. They can thaw an engine block or keep it warm enough to turn over without issue and draws a lot less electrical power to do it. Uses a little diesel fuel in the process so unless your fuel gels also shouldn't be left stranded.
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Old 10-29-2019, 08:32 PM   #14
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I'm a big fan of Wabesto type heaters. They can thaw an engine block or keep it warm enough to turn over without issue and draws a lot less electrical power to do it. Uses a little diesel fuel in the process so unless your fuel gels also shouldn't be left stranded.


I think that's the way I'm going to go - no worry about the bus being warm enough to be comfortable, and no separate block heater needed
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Old 11-02-2019, 06:03 PM   #15
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Back in the day, I had a VW Vanagon which I put a little woodstove in to take up skiing. When I went to start it at the end of the day it became apparent those air cooled engines didn't like cold or altitude. I cranked up the woodstove and opened the engine hatch in back(under the bed). After a couple of hours, it fired up and I headed down and went shopping for a Ford van.
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Old 11-02-2019, 07:03 PM   #16
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Drove '61-67 veedubs skiing through the Alps for many years, in the 80's and 90's no problems.

Maybe the fact they were maintained by German-speaking mechanics made all the difference

But yes, a woodstove would've been a nice add-on

8-D
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Old 11-03-2019, 01:33 AM   #17
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I carry a 500W heat lamp on a flat stand that I can slide under the oil pan for the ocaisional -20 night when I don't want to idle but need it to start in the morning. About 45 minutes. Does the job as well or better than a static block heater. I run it off my solar system. I've got a pretty decent battery bank if its not yet sun up. Draws led that the coffee pot.
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Old 11-03-2019, 07:54 AM   #18
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Once you factor in inverter losses a small genny seems the best way to power a block heater. I had a installed a flat plate heat exchanger in my circuit which could heat hot water or reverse with use of a 12v circualtor (solar) could heat the engine when needed. Hot water came from a Bosh tankless (LP).
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