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Old 10-02-2016, 01:59 PM   #1
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Furnace & discharged Battery??

I'm relatively new to the RV game so forgive my ignorance. I have a Class C Chateau Sport. Last weekend I was boondocking. Saturday night it got pretty chilly. Right after I went to bed, I got up, turned on the furnace, and went back to bed. In the morning, wanted to make coffee but the generator would not start. Checked the Test Panel and found that the coach battery was discharged. I'm guessing that the furnace fan ran the battery down. Had been running the generator the previous two days for A/C and TV. Should I have turned on the generator when running the furnace? Do I have a problem with the coach battery or charging system? When I got home, I plugged into the house. All ok. Waited a day, unplugged from the house, all systems go. Battery showed fully charged. Did I screw up?

Joe
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Old 10-02-2016, 02:24 PM   #2
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Furnace runs on 12V DC.......fan motor and propane system will draw about 7 amps (or little less depending on size of furnace)

It is a DC hog.

Battery needs to be fully charged and furnace temp set around 55*F to make it thru one night in cold temps (especially if you only have 1 battery)

Just the nature of the beast.
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Old 10-02-2016, 03:08 PM   #3
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If I run the heat at night, my coach battery runs low, also.

In the morning, you could have used the AUX or Boost Switch to connect your start battery to your couch battery and started the generator.

The generator would then run the converter to charge your coach battery.

You should also have been charging your coach battery while driving your MH home.

There is an automatic circuit that combines the start battery to the coach battery while the engine is running.
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Old 10-02-2016, 07:44 PM   #4
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Another option would be to check your battery capacity. As they get older, capacity drops off, but the battery acts like there's nothing wrong (it's holds a charge, just not as much of a charge as a new battery). If that checks out, you could go with a bigger battery, or a pair of them for increased capacity.
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Old 10-02-2016, 08:09 PM   #5
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I had a Class C and it came with one 12 volt battery for the house. I couldn't run the furnace a full night without running the generator.

My solution was to add a 2nd battery with a selector switch. I could run both batteries or isolate to one or the other. When I needed to run the furnace I would switch it to one battery. In the AM I could switch to the 2nd battery to run lights & start the generator etc. It also gave me the ability to boon dock easier then with just 1 battery. It worked pretty well.
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Old 10-02-2016, 08:24 PM   #6
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Yup, the fan in the furnace is the culprit. It's power hungry. More batteries and a good down comforter are mitigation. We also have a Big Buddy propane heater which does not need DC power.
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Old 10-02-2016, 08:52 PM   #7
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Don't forget, the refrigerator draws a few amps, when it's cooling, compounding the problem.
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Old 10-02-2016, 09:06 PM   #8
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I put in an auto gen start to prevent drawing my batteries below 50 percent.
I have two furnaces so on a very cold night they will draw the battery bank down when boondocking, I have the auto start set to start the gen at 11.9 volts and shut down at 12.6 this way I don't ruin my batteries and I don't need to check the battery condition throughout the night. The gen usually starts around 7:00 AM when the outside temp is below 20 degrees.
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Old 10-02-2016, 09:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrfix View Post
I put in an auto gen start to prevent drawing my batteries below 50 percent.
I have two furnaces so on a very cold night they will draw the battery bank down when boondocking, I have the auto start set to start the gen at 11.9 volts and shut down at 12.6 this way I don't ruin my batteries and I don't need to check the battery condition throughout the night. The gen usually starts around 7:00 AM when the outside temp is below 20 degrees.

Was that auto start easy to install and what kind did you use?


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Old 10-02-2016, 09:38 PM   #10
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OK. Thanks. Understand now. The furnace used up my battery. Need to check on some things now. This is a 2nd hand RV. So, need to check on battery age. Also, can I fit a 2nd battery. RV does not have an AUX/Boost switch. Have to remember to dress warm or fire up the gen in the future. Appreciate your inputs.

I second the request for gen auto start.

Joe
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Old 10-02-2016, 09:44 PM   #11
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2 house batteries are really needed for camping, a solar panel is a big plus.. Home Depot ( online) had 100w panels for around $100, they put out 5 amps. The furnace is an amp and gas hog, but better then sleeping in a tent.. just prepare


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OK. Thanks. Understand now. The furnace used up my battery. Need to check on some things now. This is a 2nd hand RV. So, need to check on battery age. Also, can I fit a 2nd battery. RV does not have an AUX/Boost switch. Have to remember to dress warm or fire up the gen in the future. Appreciate your inputs.

I second the request for gen auto start.

Joe
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Old 10-02-2016, 09:50 PM   #12
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2 house batteries are really needed for camping, a solar panel is a big plus.. Home Depot ( online) had 100w panels for around $100, they put out 5 amps. The furnace is an amp and gas hog, but better then sleeping in a tent.. just prepare
Would love to get the link for that 100w panel for around $100
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Old 10-02-2016, 09:55 PM   #13
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They had them on sale for close to $100 a couple months ago..still, at $140 not bad, just get a controller and off you go.

Grape Solar 100-Watt Polycrystalline Solar Panel for RV's, Boats and 12-Volt Systems-GS-Star-100W - The Home Depot

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Would love to get the link for that 100w panel for around $100
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Old 10-03-2016, 01:41 AM   #14
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Its very rare not to have a boost or AUX switch. It could be labled emergency or something like that.

Mine is down by the steps at the side door.
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