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Old 11-04-2015, 06:55 PM   #1
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Hydronic heating and boondocking

How viable is it to have Hydronic heating and be able to boondock/Dry camp for 5 days?

I'd have about 600 A/hr usable from the batteries ( could be more, haven't installed battery/PV system yet.) My current usage is about 100 A/hrs per day on the existing coach. I'm looking at a new one and wondering if it's viable. (I'm leaning towards not.)

Looking at the docs for the Aqua-Hot 400D it lists the DC power at 175W 12VDC (includes pumps??? and current draw number seem to depend on which document you look at.), so about 15 A/hr at 100% duty cycle.

Thanks for your input.

J. Sadler
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Old 11-04-2015, 07:03 PM   #2
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We have a AquaHot 600D, 4-8D 12Volt batteries, 400 watts of solar and a 22 cf home refer/freezer. So far we haven't had a chance to see how it goes for us. We're not big on boondocking either so an overnight or two on the way to a destination is about it for us so far.



Our AquaHot burns about 1/3rd gallon per hour of run time so diesel usage shouldn't be a problem for you as long is it's above 1/4 full and stays above that.


When you say 400 amps usable is that down to the 50% charge limit that is usually used for deep cycle batteries?

But going from previous experience with our past rigs you will probably have to run the gen a couple times a day for about 2 hrs each time.


Curious about the answers you get.
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Old 11-04-2015, 08:33 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsadler View Post
How viable is it to have Hydronic heating and be able to boondock/Dry camp for 5 days?

I'd have about 600 A/hr usable from the batteries ( could be more, haven't installed battery/PV system yet.) My current usage is about 100 A/hrs per day on the existing coach. I'm looking at a new one and wondering if it's viable. (I'm leaning towards not.)

Looking at the docs for the Aqua-Hot 400D it lists the DC power at 175W 12VDC (includes pumps??? and current draw number seem to depend on which document you look at.), so about 15 A/hr at 100% duty cycle.

Thanks for your input.

J. Sadler
600 A/hr?? Unless you have a huge compartment to hold that many batteries or they are lithium-ion. If you have lead-acid batteries, you have to cut the A/hrs by half to keep from hurting the batteries. Most coaches come with 6 6-volt lead-acid batteries that are rated at 215 A/h. 215 x 6= 1290 Ah. Because you run 12volts, you have to cut that number by 1/2 or 645 A/h. To keep from discharging that amount by 50% to keep from hurting the batteries, you would only have 322 usable amp hours.

There are many options besides using electricity for heating.
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Old 11-04-2015, 08:46 PM   #4
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I just got back from the drag races in Las Vegas. I never ran the heater there but on the way home I stayed one night where I needed the heater. It was 45 when we parked at 7.00 pm and 35 when we woke up at 8.00 am. I had my Aqua hot set at 67 degrees for both stations.

I also have a Samsung fridge and we did watch tv for awhile before calling it a night.

When we stopped SOC was 100%. When I got up in the morning it was at 78% SOC.

I have no idea how much the heater ran so I can't help you with that!

I have 700 amp hours of Lithuim batteries that gives me 560 amp hours to use!

Hope that helps!
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Old 11-04-2015, 09:06 PM   #5
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Assuming that you don't camp at below freezing temps, it sounds like you will use maybe 100-150 AH/day for the heat in addition to the other 100AH that you currently use. If, indeed, you have about 325 AH usable you should be fine over a 24 hour period as far as battery-only power.


Keep in mind that you need to match your converter/charger size to your battery bank size for the best charging performance. You should shoot for a minimum of a C/10 charging rate, although a C/7 or C/8 rate will allow shorter generator run times if you are not operating in very hot climates.
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Old 11-05-2015, 07:51 PM   #6
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Thanks for the replies.
@hes4all that gives me a feel, thanks for info.
simonsrf I currently have a class C with 3 panels and 5 batteries and 500 A/hr (yes, 12V and because it was the only way to get that many A/Hrs in the space I have). I understand the 50% guideline.

The new rig we're looking at would have much more room and OCCC and have at least 6 to maybe 8 PV panels. And yes I'm looking at 800 A/hrs usable. FYI I really really don't like generators, thus the PV & batteries. I'm assuming that I would get some partial charging during the day (hopefully).
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Old 11-05-2015, 08:15 PM   #7
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I get lost in the amps and load and other geekiness BUT I do know we dry camped 4 nights and ran our Oasis every night. The morning we left, the temp was 24.
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Old 11-05-2015, 09:03 PM   #8
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I get lost in the amps and load and other geekiness BUT I do know we dry camped 4 nights and ran our Oasis every night. The morning we left, the temp was 24.
Did you run the generator during the day?
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Old 11-06-2015, 06:10 AM   #9
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We ran it in the evening for a couple of hours. Our coach is all electric so the fridge, what time the TV was on, laptop, various electronics were taking their share too. I used the microwave sparingly as well.
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