Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-11-2019, 05:20 PM   #1
Dragonship Captain
 
Oscarvan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Eastern PA, USA
Posts: 1,318
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......)
__________________

__________________
Read about our 2017 38A: https://dragonship.blog/
Oscarvan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2019, 02:48 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Eagle5's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: Myersville Maryland
Posts: 146
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.
__________________

__________________
2019 34QS with no ladder!
Eagle5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2019, 03:07 PM   #3
Dragonship Captain
 
Oscarvan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Eastern PA, USA
Posts: 1,318
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.
__________________
Read about our 2017 38A: https://dragonship.blog/
Oscarvan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2019, 03:16 PM   #4
...far N Georgia!
 
formerFR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Hiawassee, GA!
Posts: 3,101
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.
__________________

The Turners...
'14 Thor Palazzo 33.3 compact diesel 100k+miles since '14... US, Alaska, Canada...
AND a '14 Gulfstream Amerlite
AND a '07 ForestRIver Rockwood : )
formerFR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2019, 09:08 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Montana
Posts: 471
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.
__________________
2016 Berkshire XL 40A towing 2020 Jeep Wrangler unlimited.
Prior to this Jayco fifth wheel: 24' Eagle, 30'Designer, and 40' Jayco pinnacle.
Igave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2019, 10:10 PM   #6
Dragonship Captain
 
Oscarvan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Eastern PA, USA
Posts: 1,318
I'm not here to defend science. Your bus, you get to operate it your way.
__________________
Read about our 2017 38A: https://dragonship.blog/
Oscarvan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2019, 10:45 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
Eagle5's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: Myersville Maryland
Posts: 146
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
__________________
2019 34QS with no ladder!
Eagle5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2019, 10:59 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: In the south
Posts: 266
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.
Gonefishing1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2019, 11:17 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
NMWildcat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Southern NM
Posts: 5,925
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
__________________
Scott and Liz - Southern NM
2012 Wildcat Sterling 32RL - w/level up (best option ever)
2007 Chevy 2500HD 4dr short bed Duramax w/allison
Reese Fifth Airborne air ride king pin coupler with Sidewinder
NMWildcat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2019, 11:21 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
Chuck_S's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Richmond VA
Posts: 1,335
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
Chuck_S is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-2019, 09:45 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Calgary
Posts: 764
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gonefishing1 View Post
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.
Gonefishing,
Actually, you shouldn't expect the block heater to heat up your engine oil. You have 4 gallons of oil sitting in a pan at the bottom of the engine, fully exposed to the cold air. The block heater warms the engine coolant and the cylinders. Warms up the thin film of oil lining the cylinders and bearings so that the engine cranks more easily. Makes the air intake warmer so you can start quickly. But, you are still running very cold oil through the engine until you've got the engine fully warmed up.

This isn't such a big issue with cars, since they are running 5W30, 5W20 or 0W20 oil. But, the typical diesel oil is 15W40. As you note, if you try to pour that in temperatures anywhere near freezing, it pours like molasses. Since you cylinder walls and camshaft lobes are lubricated by splash and drip, they won't get lubricated until that oil is fully warmed up.

That's why I use 5W40 oil, which is allowed under the Cummins spec. Actually, I use Rotella T6 5W40, which is a full synthetic oil, and it basically works in all the temperatures that we would run our MH engines.

ĖGordon
__________________
Gordon Sick, Calgary
2015 Berkshire 34QS
The Manual I wrote for our 34QS:
https://www.forestriverforums.com/fo...qs-191578.html
Toad: 2019 Ford Ranger XLT 4x4; Formerly: 2005 Acura EL (aka Honda Civic)
gordonsick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2019, 08:23 AM   #12
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 56
Block heaters

Do block heaters come as standard equipment on a 2011 Berkshire 390QS? I generally start my coach once a week & run it for 20 mins. or so. It starts on the 1st crank, even in 20 degree weather. The generator is a different story. It will not start unless it is above 32 degrees. If it does start, I run it with a load on it for about 20 mins. /week also. Any suggestions for the starting of the generator? I live in the Berkshires of western MA. It can get cold, -15 last Sunday AM.

Thanks!

Chester Hill
Chester Hill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2019, 08:37 AM   #13
...far N Georgia!
 
formerFR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Hiawassee, GA!
Posts: 3,101
Exclamation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chester Hill View Post
...It will not start unless it is above 32 degrees...
what do you mean? no clicks? no cranking over? batteries dead? using the 'aux' battery boost? are you priming it long enough?


...
formerFR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2019, 09:11 AM   #14
Dragonship Captain
 
Oscarvan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Eastern PA, USA
Posts: 1,318
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chester Hill View Post
Do block heaters come as standard equipment on a 2011 Berkshire 390QS? I generally start my coach once a week & run it for 20 mins. or so. It starts on the 1st crank, even in 20 degree weather. The generator is a different story. It will not start unless it is above 32 degrees. If it does start, I run it with a load on it for about 20 mins. /week also. Any suggestions for the starting of the generator? I live in the Berkshires of western MA. It can get cold, -15 last Sunday AM.

Thanks!

Chester Hill
2011 may or may not, suspect it does. Based on later models: Look in the cabinet(s) with your powercord/inverter. You're looking for an outlet with a short wire with a single 120V plug next to it.....

Also, look on your 120VAC breaker panel. There should be a breaker labeled "block heater".

And yes it will start, but as discussed above you greatly reduce wear and tear if you pre-heat. And, 20 minutes does NOT bring it up to operating temperature. You may be doing more harm than good. You want to see the temperature gauge well into the operating range. And, prolonged idling is not recommended either. I have no problem letting mine sit for 3 months, preheating and then taking it on a 500 mile ride.

Yes, you need to prime the generator if it hasn't run for a while. Hold the switch in the "OFF" position for 10 seconds or so. Then HOLD in start.... it will prime some more and pre glow.... THEN it will start. May take as long as 10-15 seconds in cold weather.

One could always read the instruction......
__________________
Read about our 2017 38A: https://dragonship.blog/
Oscarvan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2019, 09:47 AM   #15
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 4,785
Live in Eastern Nebraska. Drive 2014 GMC 2500HD Duramax. Have not had to plug it in yet. I do make sure I have plenty of anti-gel in the tank everytime I fill up. Had it gel slightly last winter, but had filled and forgot to add the anti-gel. Expecting below zero tonight.
__________________

TheWolfPaq82 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
heater, lock

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Forest River, Inc. or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:05 AM.


×