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Old 03-18-2019, 07:26 AM   #1
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Engine Block heating recommendation

For the first time yesterday our coach did not start when turning the key for a few seconds. We were at a camp site for 4 days, each night below freezing. The day we started to leave turned key for same time and engine cranked but never caught. Copilot says, engine block heater...

Of course that allowed the coach to start as normal after just a few minutes.

This morning we are in the low 20's and will be leaving soon. How long do we turn it own before attempting engine start?
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Old 03-18-2019, 07:57 AM   #2
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my experience with trucks and heavy equipment is 30 minutes helps a lot, but longer the better at 20 degrees. Good Luck!
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Old 03-18-2019, 08:05 AM   #3
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I would turn it on at least a couple hours before starting it when it is 20. As Hawkeye mentioned, 30 minutes will help.

When starting, turn the key on and wait. There is an engine air heater that preheats. You may get a wait to start lamp, if so wait until it goes out to start. I wait at least 30 seconds before cranking the engine when it is cold.
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Old 03-18-2019, 08:14 AM   #4
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Is there any problem with turning on the block heater before you go to bed and let be on all night?
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Old 03-18-2019, 08:25 AM   #5
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No, BUT
If you are at a CG or using SP turn it on and let it heat and then keep things warm;
If you are not on SP but using your Gen use it as AC is free (Except for gen fuel);
If you are drawing off of Inverter, watch out - you could run your batteries down quickly. My block heater draws 9.8 amps.

Always turn your key on and let the tones chime for 30 seconds or so watching the lamps on your screen. Newer ones seem to reach ready quicker than older ones but on my '07 if I try to start before the lamp goes out the engine will turn over but not start. If it is out, it starts almost immediately.

My manual recommends using the BH when temps are below 40 F at least 2 hours before starting to assist in starting.

Be safe - Richard
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Old 03-18-2019, 08:38 AM   #6
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I don't know that I've ever used the block heater in our 9 year old rv, nor in any of my previous diesel pickups...


With good batteries, I just wait on the 'wait to start' light to go off and it usually cranks right up after 2 or 3 turns...


If the block heater mitigates the issue, do use it, but does it sound like the engine is turning over too slowly ? may be some underlying issue rather than just the cold... good luck in figuring it out...
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Old 03-18-2019, 10:05 AM   #7
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I preheat my engine anytime the temps are below 40F. That is a primary reason I installed the Oasis Preheat loop, as this expedites the preheat cycle. I don't know if this is necessary, but just seems like a good plan so I do it.
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Old 03-18-2019, 10:19 AM   #8
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I'm not sure pre-heating saves batteries or engine wear, but it sure sounds better when your starting any diesel below 40. If you were doing it everyday, I'm sure it helps the battery life.
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Old 03-18-2019, 01:47 PM   #9
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O your 2019, you have a switch in the overhead control cabinet, making the use of the heater pretty easy. I would turn it on when you go to bed and turn it off when you get up. Running a block heater helps with warming the oil and getting it flowing, preventing engine damage.
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Old 03-18-2019, 06:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dutch Star Don View Post
O your 2019, you have a switch in the overhead control cabinet, making the use of the heater pretty easy. I would turn it on when you go to bed and turn it off when you get up. Running a block heater helps with warming the oil and getting it flowing, preventing engine damage.
I agree with Don....
This Winter I have had 2 separate days that I needed to travel in the morning temps near ZERO. Turned on my block heater (seemed to draw 6 amps.)the night before and it started both times on the first crank over.
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Old 03-18-2019, 07:21 PM   #11
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When ever we know the temp. going to be 40 or lower we turn block heater all night long. Engine temp is usually around 120 degrees on dash gauge in morning. No problem leaving it on for 10 fours. Some truck companies plug their trucks in ever night so they are easier to start and is better to start a warm engine from the engine wear stand point.
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Old 03-18-2019, 07:41 PM   #12
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Is there any problem with turning on the block heater before you go to bed and let be on all night?
This is what we do and have done over the three years of fulltime. It’s real nice to see the “wait to start” light go out within a couple of seconds and then the motor turns over. After it turns over the engine temperature gauge goes to just over 100*.

I’d recommend this to all Diesel MH and owners to do when temperatures drop and they need to leave in the morning....
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Old 03-19-2019, 07:03 AM   #13
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Our coach must have been delivered from Indiana to North Trail in some cold weather because when we bought it (November) the block heater was plugged in and I didn't realize it.

After a few months of staying in a CG with a metered electrical connection I figured it out though. Instead of our electric bill running around $60 it was over $100!

Like others have said, on a traveling morning with temps at or below 40 I will run it all night prior to leaving.
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Old 03-19-2019, 10:03 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Dutch Star Don View Post
O your 2019, you have a switch in the overhead control cabinet, making the use of the heater pretty easy. I would turn it on when you go to bed and turn it off when you get up. Running a block heater helps with warming the oil and getting it flowing, preventing engine damage.
That's what i have always done, always figured the warm oil is a lot easier to turn over than cold 15W40 . Starts right up !
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