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Old 12-21-2011, 07:30 AM   #1
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Running Hydro Hot on DC

Is it possible to effectively run the hydro hot while traveling with the diesel burner on without using the generator. I know the engine alternator will maintain the starting battery. With the unit running including all the pumps my monitor panel is at 3 amps. I am not sure
if the Hydro Hot uses the starting or coach batteries.

I think I know the answer but I have been surprised to many times not
to ask.

Merry Christmas to all

Thanks

Dick
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Old 12-21-2011, 08:59 AM   #2
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We run the HydroHot all the time when traveling. The DC power draw is minimal and your alternator will easily keep your batteries charged when driving. The HydroHot runs off the house batteries but your charge solenoid should allow them to be charged when driving so there's no problems with that. You probably have MotorAide as well on your boiler so the engine's hot coolant will give you some free heat when driving. The MotorAidefeature is good for about 12,000 BTU but your diesel burner puts out 50,000 BTU so the MotorAide will help by minimizing the time that your burner will need to run but it won't provide the total heating solution unless it's above 50 degrees or so.

There's no way you'll need to run your generator for the HydroHot. That would only benefit the electric heating element, which is only 10,500 BTU so it's a poor use of your diesel fuel. 1.0 GPH to run the genset for 10,500 BTU versus 0.35 GPH to run the 50,000 BTU diesel burner. Kind of makes it a no brainer.
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Old 12-21-2011, 10:48 AM   #3
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Mark..

Thanks very much for the input. My only real concern was running down the house batteries if I did not have the gen-set on. I was not sure how the engine alternator would be able to keep the house batteries charged. Yes, my unit has a motoraide function. I just used it yesterday. It has been very cold here, mid 20's to mid 30's It got the engine temp up to about 130 and he thought he was in Florida, which is where he will be in about 9 days.

If I understand you correctly my on board ECHO charging system that normally keeps both the battery banks charged when plugged in will not come into play and the engine alternator will take over the job.

Merry Christmas

Thanks

Dick
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Old 12-21-2011, 11:22 AM   #4
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Everything in the coach runs off of the house battery's for the simple reason that if the chassis battery gets run down, you are stuck. You can run the house down and still be able to start the coach.
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Old 12-21-2011, 11:31 AM   #5
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You are correct in that your Echo Charge only works when you have shore power available, not when driving. But your RV has a charge solenoid which ties both battery banks together so that the engine's alternator can charge both banks when driving. Your alternator is undoubtedly 140 amps, which will run a truckload of HydroHots. Just for your reference, we park overnight in truck stops or whatever in cool weather every now and then and leave the HydroHot run all night with no problems. No generator or engine running - just batteries. The DC draw of the HydroHot isn't that much.
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Old 12-21-2011, 01:58 PM   #6
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Thanks to both of you, and have a good holiday.

Dick
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Old 12-21-2011, 04:47 PM   #7
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You might want to check. Our hydrohot has engine coolant running through it while we are going down the road. This keeps the hydrohot hot without having to fire up the diesel burner. It all runs off of the 12 volt house system and the engine alternator is more than sufficient to run it. We heat all the time while we are driving by just turning on the thermostat and fan. Works great!
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Old 12-21-2011, 05:12 PM   #8
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The AH draws the following 12V DC loads (the ONLY AH 120VAC load is if you use the electric heating element-which of course is NOT wired through the inverter):

AH (Webasto) burner (only when burning) is 5amp
AH recirculating pump (only when supplying a heat zone) is 2amp ea. (you probably have 2 of these supplying 3-4 "zones")
AH Komfort register (the dash one and are all 3 speed even if you don't have it switched that way) on high=9amp, med=7amp, low=5amp (AH specs say some models may run up to 13amp on high)
AH Cozy register 0.5amp ea. (you may have 2-4 of these)
AH Whisper register 0.4amp ea. (you may have 1)

So your total DC load can be as high as 20 amp ONLY while the burner runs and all the registers are blowing flat out... Most of the time you'll be in the <<<10amp range which is miniscule.

Run your AH all night long boondocking w/o genset... You'll hardly notice the current draw....
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Old 12-21-2011, 05:28 PM   #9
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Jim..
If I am not mistaken I think all hydro hots have engine coolant running thru the unit when the engine is running. I also have the engine preheat feature which is great here where the temps at night are in the mid 20's. I am a little confused. Are you saying that just the engine coolant running thru the HH is able to get the boiler hot enough to trip the Low Temp Cutoff thermostat, which is the only way ( on my unit) that the pumps and fans would kick on to supply heat to the coach. I have never tried it, but I sure will. Even using my diesel burner it takes 30 minutes for the unit to get hot enough to trip the LTC stat so I can get heat in the coach.

If you have one of the newer units I think some did away with the LTC stat which would explain why you may be able to get at least some warm air in the coach.

I will be down south in a week or so and then the HH will just be supplying hot water. I am sure going to try your suggestion.

Thanks

Merry Christmas

Dick
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Old 12-21-2011, 05:39 PM   #10
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Quote:
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...Are you saying that just the engine coolant running thru the HH is able to get the boiler hot enough to trip the Low Temp Cutoff thermostat, which is the only way that the pumps and fans would kick on to supply heat to the coach....
Yes - And yes specifically to your Low Temp switch question. However, if it is really cold while merrily driving along (like single digits and below) and/or your heat demands inside from the AH/HH are high you can easily outrun the ability of the engine coolant (the Motoraide) to keep the Low Temp switch triggered thus shutting down the AH/HH zone heating (and water bay heater zone). In this case just switch on the diesel burner and all is well...

Motoaide is not required to operate an AH or HH. Generally, the Motoraide is connected and the above is true - the engine providing the pumping of the engine coolant to the AH/HH internal heat exchanger. Additionally, a pump can be inserted in the Motoaide lines to pump AH/HH warmed engine coolant back to the engine to provide engine preheat from the AH/HH for cold starting purposes.

The HH are the big units and have a lot more "coolant" and thus take longer to heat up - hence your 30min burn (which seems long anyhow) and long Motoraide heating time. The AH are smaller and heat quickly with diesel burner (<5mins or so) and also quickly from Motoraide.
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Old 12-21-2011, 05:45 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ottffss View Post
The AH draws the following 12V DC loads (the ONLY AH 120VAC load is if you use the electric heating element-which of course is NOT wired through the inverter):

AH burner (only when burning) is 5amp
AH recirculating pump (only when supplying a heat zone) is 2amp ea. (you probably have 2 of these supplying 3-4 "zones")
AH Komfort register (the dash one and are all 3 speed even if you don't have it switched that way) on high=9amp, med=7amp, low=5amp (AH specs say some models may run up to 13amp on high)
AH Cozy register 0.5amp ea. (you may have 2-4 of these)
AH Whisper register 0.4amp ea. (you may have 1)

So your total DC load can be as high as 20 amp ONLY while the burner runs and all the registers are blowing flat out... Most of the time you'll be in the <<<10amp range which is minuscule.

Run your AH all night long boondocking w/o genset... You'll hardly notice the current draw....
I am sure glad I asked the question. We were planning on getting some sleep at a few rest stops or a WalMart. I would have had the gen-set going all the time. My only reason for running the gen-set was the fact that I thought the coach batteries would run out of juice. I very rarely use the AC heating element
.

Thanks for all the great info

Mery Christmas

Dick
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Old 12-21-2011, 06:04 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigd2 View Post
I am sure glad I asked the question. We were planning on getting some sleep at a few rest stops or a WalMart. I would have had the gen-set going all the time. My only reason for running the gen-set was the fact that I thought the coach batteries would run out of juice. I very rarely use the AC heating element
Just a suggestion. If you have an auto generator start that works by monitoring coach battery voltage, you might set that as a back up in case the batteries are weak.
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Old 12-26-2011, 08:23 AM   #13
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On my Monaco the diesel burner runs continuously if we are driving and it is cold out indicating that it is actually using energy to not only heat the coach but to heat the engine. Its not any type of power problem, just waisted energy.
If it is much below 30 or so and not sunny we have no choice but to run the burner because the engines heat can't keep up any longer.
I've noticed while dry camping that the AH will put a pretty big dent in the batteries if it is cold out.
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