Cold weather heating problem

Discussion in 'General RVing' started by thumbs, Nov 4, 2002.

  1. thumbs

    thumbs New Member

    Well I just compleated our shake down trip and learned a couple of things. Of course I also have a couple of questions for ya.

    It was pretty chilly around Gettysburg this weekend and we needed to keep the heat on overnight. Well you guessed it not enough power in the one marine type battery supplied with the fifth wheel. Of course I didn't realize that the connection to the truck was a direct hot line and ran both the camper and the truck battery down. Luckey we were at a WalMart with other campers and got a jump to get us goin. The next night I unpluged the camper from the truck but the battery in the camper only lasted about five hours before it went dead.

    The question is: How much battery is needed to keep the heater operating all night? I realize that the problem is the fan motor running that makes the draw to much for just one battery but how do you guy's that cold weather camp have enough battery power to keep heat goin all night? For the most part campgrounds are closed around here after the middle of October so staying in a campground is not an option.

    Thanks for the help
     
  2. Gary B

    Gary B Senior Member

    Cold weather heating problem

    Hi Thumbs, doesn't your Dodge have two batteries? When we had our first 5er it only had one battery, and I pluged in my F-250 diesel all the time and never run the batteries down, it may not be the furnace as much as the lights, and did you run a 12 TV and was it a color one? Lights and TV's espeacally color tv really draw the amps. When we moved up to a Terry 5er it had two deep cycle batteries by then we had our F-350 / 460 with a single battery and I still left it plugged in for additional power and never ran it down not even in a couple of days, but we used the lights very sparingly and only had a 5" black & white tv, & we usually set the furnace at 55 to 60*F. Good luck :)
     
  3. thumbs

    thumbs New Member

    Cold weather heating problem

    No I only have one battery in the truck and one in the fifth. Haven't looked to see how much power is in the fifth battery but it sure didn't last long. The blower runs a lot. I would think maybe 45 minutes the first time it comes on. No tv or anything else and not much lighting. We are sailors and have learned to be frugal when it comes to using power usage. I was really suprised at how little power we had stored. I also have a battery pack that I keep for jumpin if needed but I used it not thinkin the truck was on a hot line to the camper. I thought the truck to camper was switched at the acc switch or only when the truck was runnin. I never even thought it was a direct line. Maybe two real good batteries will do it but I don't know.
     
  4. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    Cold weather heating problem

    Hi Thumbs,
    Sounds like it may be generator time :( . The furnace really does a number on batteries but, if you have the one that came with the trailer it's probably not a good battery. You may want to check into two or more 6 volt batteries for more reserve :approve: and as Gary B said gonna have to turn down that thermostat and use the blankets. Welcome to the wonderful world of winter camping :laugh: . Now if someone can tell me how to camp with a 103 year old and a 88 year old!!!
     
  5. thumbs

    thumbs New Member

    Cold weather heating problem

    Hi Chelse

    Yeah we turned it down but nothin goin. I figured they probably gave us a cheapo battery but she sure didn't last long. The fella that gave us a jump told us about gettin a couple of four golf cart batteries. He said they are the best for power and long life. I gott do somethin here. This is not acceptable at all. I had to run the truck at 3am for an hour to keep us from freezin and again when we got up for about an hour. I don't like doin that at all.

    Hey Chelse I'll send ya a private message see if it gets through. They seem to keep commin back.
     
  6. buckbs

    buckbs New Member

    Cold weather heating problem

    Thumbs,
    Maybe I can add a little insite into this. I just bought a new Newmar fifth wheeler two months ago, and noticed how quickly my battery ran down after a charge (in just a few days). Carried it back to the dealer and found that the manufacturer had put in a cheap auto cranking battery.

    My dealer said some of the manufacturers are starting to do this knowing that a deep cycle battery is called for anyway. The dealer installed a new Interstate deep cycle battery and charged it back to the manufacturer. I took the initiative to buy another battery like that and to hook it in parallel with their new battery.

    My F-350 turobdiesel has dual batteries to begin with, so I hope to have no battery problems in the future. You may want to check what type of battery you have in your RV to see if it is a true deep cycle, and to install another deep cycle in parallel with that one. You should have no problems with that. I'll just have to float a mortgage at the bank if I have to buy four batteries at the same time-ha!

    buckbs
    2002 F-350 PSD dualie
    2002 Newmar Kountry Star 35LKSA
     
  7. S and K

    S and K New Member

    Cold weather heating problem

    I suggest a Catalytic heater I can go a week of elk hunting on two batts useing the lights and pump. :)
     
  8. thumbs

    thumbs New Member

    Cold weather heating problem

    Well went out this afternoon trying to figure this power problem out. Went to the Battery Warehouse and talked to the guy about batteries. Well it seems the way to go is the two 6volt golf cart batteries. The way we figured it this should give me plenty of power. We figured 12 hours of continual running @ 15 amps. I looked at the draw for the furnace fan it it was only 7.5 amps. This set up should give me a weekend in the boonies. Yaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!
     
  9. hertig

    hertig Senior Member

    Cold weather heating problem

    Yep, true deep cycle batteries, with as many Amp/Hours as you can cram into your space/weight limitations is the way to go. If you have only one battery in your truck, it will be a starting battery, which is truely awful for powering your trailer. Using it for that purpose will not provide great results, AND will kill it quickly. I always unplug the trailer when the truck is off for any length of time. There are units you can have installed which do this automatically which I will try out 'some day'.

    By the way, even with true deep cycle batteries, draining them completely will greatly shorten their lives. Try getting a system which you 'never' have to use more than half their storage capacity for the longest battery life. 6 Volt batteries are the best, if you have the room; if not, 12 volt batteries in parallel will do.
     
  10. thumbs

    thumbs New Member

    Cold weather heating problem

    Is there such a thing a battery boxes for 6 volt batteries? The dealer where I am goin to get the golf cart batteries said he doesn't think the boxes are available.
     
  11. hertig

    hertig Senior Member

    Cold weather heating problem

    Probably not. 6 volt batteries tend to be very tall. If you really need a battery box (because the batteries are not in a compartment in the trailer) then you can either 'build' one (wood, sheet metal or adapt something) or go with true deep cycle 12 volt batteries in parallel. Of course, these tend to be big, so may not have boxes available either.
     
  12. buckbs

    buckbs New Member

    Cold weather heating problem

    I did not have any problems with using two twelve volt deep cycle batteries in parallel. I simply mounted another battery box next to the present mounted box and battery, attached positive to positive, and negative to negative ....... still twelve volts with a lot more amphere hours from twin deep cycle batteries to last a lot longer and go farther when I need them.

    I've grown tired of dim lights and slow slides when I need the power. I'm counting on this to care of the problem.

    buckbs
    2002 F-350 PSD dualie
    2002 Newmar Kountry Star 35LKSA
     

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