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Old 01-11-2019, 05:20 PM   #1
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Block heater temps....

I've long been an advocate of using the block heater, a lot. Anytime it's low 50's or below I use it. Glow times are reduced, the engine starts right away and settles down at a smooth idle almost immediately. Last night was a no brainer. It's 28ļ out there at night right now. So as a member of the terminally curious class I wondered what 10 hours of block heat does. I know it pulls about 6A, so call it 750W. So, I got under there with my handy point and shoot thermometer and got readings from 38ļ on the oil pan, to high 50's on the side of the block to almost 70 on some parts up top. Now you know.... (And yes, it started smooth as ever after sitting 5 months......)
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Old 01-12-2019, 02:48 PM   #2
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Were you plugged in or just docking? I wonder if you had the fridge working, the furnace set at 65 letís say (so thatís cycling), and then the block heater on, if the 4 house batteries would carry those all night no problem.
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Old 01-12-2019, 03:07 PM   #3
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I was plugged in. The way my 2017 is rigged the block heater can NOT be powered by the inverter.

Would it power it...... yes, as below. (Chainsaw math)

750W/12=63Ah at 12VDC...... If you have a pretty usual 250-300Ah house bank you would take it down to 50% in 140ish/63=about 2:15 hours....

Call it two hours.... enough to make some difference I think.

However your question was with the fridge and the furnace in there boon docking.... and then the answer is "No Way".

When docking I run furnace and fridge overnight and that takes the SOC down to about 60%. In the morning I fire up the genny to make coffee, hot water etc. Then I also hit the block heater.
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Old 01-12-2019, 03:16 PM   #4
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I've never used our engine block heater in all of our 89,000+ miles in the US, Canada, and Alaska, and have never needed it - the engine cranks every time, just as quickly, even if having set for an extended period in below freezing temps. You would also have to be plugged into shore power, or run the generator, to use it.

I don't think it serves any purpose other than for the very, very few owners who may be parked for months straight in very, very sub-freezing climates, without any use.

We intentionally tripped our engine block breaker from the very start, taped it off, and taped off the switch. I've also never used our mirror heaters, either, but that's a different discussion.
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Old 01-12-2019, 09:08 PM   #5
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To each his own, I guess. We do what seems easiest on equipment so we use ours in very cold temperatures. For us we do below 25 or so and always when it’s below zero. I’m pretty sure it’ll start without but when I watch the generator chug along until it warms up versus the pre-warmed up coach engine the choice is pretty easy at least in my case. Where we live that seems to be sop for a lot of diesel and heavy equipment when they want things ready fairly soon.
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Old 01-12-2019, 10:10 PM   #6
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I'm not here to defend science. Your bus, you get to operate it your way.
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Old 01-13-2019, 10:45 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oscarvan View Post
I'm not here to defend science. Your bus, you get to operate it your way.


Iím with you man ... I use it every time I remember. Definitely helps to have warmer oil at start up. Thatís basic basic science. Oil circulates quicker & easier and of course gets to operating temps faster
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Old 01-13-2019, 10:59 AM   #8
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for those who donít use the block heater. Sure it will start and run. But think of it like this. You have 13+ quarts of oil that has been setting in very cold temps for hours. Itís like trying to pour jello through a funnel. If heated it will flow very easy if not it takes time. Oil is a lubricant so the faster it can get to the parts needed the better it is. Most Manuelís will sate to use the block heater when below freezing. Using it is up to you.
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Old 01-13-2019, 11:17 AM   #9
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That's why there is oil with different ranges of viscosity. Does it hurt to use the block heater? Nope.

If I was back living in the Idaho/Montana area during the subzero winter storms, I would plug in my diesels block heater overnight.

Down here in NM, I have never used it, and we camp in the teens frequently during the winter.

Maybe I need a block cooler for the summer though
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Old 01-13-2019, 11:21 AM   #10
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Engine block heater is vital in extreme cold.

Wisconsin winters 50 years ago at -30įF or colder caused the coolant in my big 455cid V8 engine's radiator to turn to slush. Not sure what we used for antifreeze back then though. Engine block heater kept the engine itself free of slush and the oil at a temperature it would flow. Still took a while before I felt safe driving the car.

Modern multi-grade engine oils are wonderful but even 0W engine oil is too thin for proper lubrication on a normal 70įF startup but it thins out quickly as the engine warms. Oil in the minus-temperature ranges is much worse.

-- Chuck
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