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Old 01-18-2018, 07:20 PM   #1
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Traveling in cold weather

Is it reasonable to think we could travel in our Isata 5, that has 4 agm house batteries, and run an 120 volt electric heater and furnace fan to keep the bays warm enough not to freeze? Would the engine alternators deliver enough to recharge to the batteries while in motion to satisfy the inverter? Thanks
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Old 01-19-2018, 12:15 PM   #2
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Dual alternators on the 5 crank out some amps...but that is also a power hungry chassis. Some of that will depend on the heater power draw....furnace is not terrible because it is LP. Smaller heater is going to be electric which can eat up some amps.
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Old 01-19-2018, 12:32 PM   #3
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Dual alternators on the 5 crank out some amps...but that is also a power hungry chassis. Some of that will depend on the heater power draw....furnace is not terrible because it is LP. Smaller heater is going to be electric which can eat up some amps.
I just think it's safer than running the furnace for heat while moving at highway speeds to avoid backdraft of CO and possible furnace outage.
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Old 01-19-2018, 10:37 PM   #4
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How big is your inverter?
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Old 01-19-2018, 11:50 PM   #5
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How big is your inverter?
That's kinda personal ya think?
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Old 01-20-2018, 06:51 AM   #6
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CO ingest is pretty hard considering how the furnace is designed. Most coaches run the furnace at highway speed with no issues when the temps are low. If you only run the electric heater when running down the road is going to pretty much match or overload the alternator and not really give you that much heat (assuming portable which is around 1000 watts.)

Stick with the furnace.
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Old 01-20-2018, 07:53 AM   #7
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I installed a 12 volt heater in the wet bay of my DX3. I went with a 12 volt since it is less draw (300 watts) and doesn't run through the inverter which also uses some power. I haven't traveled in real cold temps with it yet but I have used it while parked in 20 degree temps and it kept the wet bay very warm.
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Old 01-20-2018, 11:13 AM   #8
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Is it reasonable to think we could travel in our Isata 5, that has 4 agm house batteries, and run an 120 volt electric heater and furnace fan to keep the bays warm enough not to freeze? Would the engine alternators deliver enough to recharge to the batteries while in motion to satisfy the inverter? Thanks
The best thing to do is always add RV anti-freeze to your gray and black tanks to protect the valves and piping from freezing even if your heating solution is marginal.

If you are going to use a 110v solution you could run down the road with your generator running instead of putting the load on your inverter. If you are using a smaller ceramic type heater just in the wet bay, the inverter should handle it if your inverter is at least 2000 watts and you have no other load on it. Personally, my choice would be to use the 12v heater option. Just make sure you run a proper gauge wire with an in-line fuse from the DC power panel or batteries. Even the smaller 12v heaters can draw 25 to 30 amps of DC current.
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Old 01-20-2018, 03:07 PM   #9
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I just think it's safer than running the furnace for heat while moving at highway speeds to avoid backdraft of CO and possible furnace outage.
Very important, I would never run furnace that uses LP while driving. There are pictures out there to prove my point. Exhaust port can burn side of motorhome and cause damage and even fire.

Your question is interesting to me because I am wondering the same thing. Maybe I will try it for a short drive and check battery condition.

Are you planning to run a power cord from inverter to shore power plug or separate power cord from inverter directly to heater?

If you do use shore power cord do not leave converter on, unplug it. If you don't your inverter will be powering your converter to charge your batteries for a net loss of battery capacity.
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Old 01-20-2018, 04:12 PM   #10
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These units all have transfer switches. All they need to do is plug in a heater to an outlet that is powered by the inverter.
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