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Old 04-03-2016, 07:24 PM   #1
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Dry camping and heat

I know that when dry camping the need for ac will start the generator. The question is will it start the generator when there is a need for heat when dry camping and no shore power is available?
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Old 04-03-2016, 07:30 PM   #2
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Heat is provided by the diesel aqua hot powered by 12v pumps and heat exchange fans. If the batteries get low, the AGS will start the generator. It would be interesting how long the batteries would last using the AH.
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Old 04-03-2016, 07:49 PM   #3
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We've run the aquahot for overnight heat (including the basement) in freezing weather and the house batteries easily last the night and can still make coffee and run showers in the morning. Mostly were for quick overnights in a Walmart or such. I've never run the system in that mode to see how long the house batteries would go but I would expect at least 24 hours just for heat alone from what I've seen.
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Old 04-03-2016, 09:49 PM   #4
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The issue, I think, is that you control this with the AGS. If you have the AGS "on", then the genny starts and stops based on the voltage remaining in the batteries, and has nothing to do with the AquaHot directly. If the AquaHot drains down the batteries (and it will) and the AGS is "on", the the generator will turn on and off based on how you have the AGS programmed. I have my low voltage programmed to what most people consider to be the 50% charge point of a battery. When the voltage falls below 12 volts or sags below 12 volts for a certain amount of time (like if the microwave is used on top of a fairly weak battery), then the AGS will start the genny and run it until the programmed voltage is met.

I did 2 weeks in Quartzsite dry camping and using the AquaHot at night with temps down into the 30s with basement on any low night. There are other threads on this subject if you look for them. I ran my genny about 4 hours a day on average.... 2 hours when I got up in the morning, and 2 hours just before turning out the lights and going to bed. Worked great.

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Old 04-04-2016, 08:27 AM   #5
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Even my 2014 Aspire will make it all night on battery power running the AquaHot. I have not tried it in really cold weather but down to the lower 30's has been no problem. I usually run the generator for two or three hours prior to going to bed (like around 10:00 PM) rising around 6:00 AM.

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Old 04-04-2016, 09:05 AM   #6
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Is the OP perhaps referring to the heat pumps vice the Aqua Hot. I wouldn't use them dry camping, and I don't know if they will trigger the AGS, but I suspect they will.
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Old 04-04-2016, 09:16 AM   #7
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Marcosdad is correct. I got confused with the ac and heat operation. I left the heat pumps off and it works just as it is supposed to. All is well and it will be 19 degrees here in the next few days. The AGS system also works properly. Thanks for all the help.
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Old 04-04-2016, 09:28 AM   #8
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Our first winter we stopped at a Sams Club at 9PM and the outside temp was 14 degrees F. Ran AquaHot all night until 9AM without using generator. Seemed as if AquaHot ran continuously all night (maybe not but felt that way). We stayed very warm and were still able to use microwave to heat hot water at breakfast. Generator never came on, recharged batteries going down road next day.
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Old 04-04-2016, 09:29 AM   #9
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Not a problem dry camping in extreme cold. I would rather do that than dry camp in extreme heat and have to run the generator all day.
Bob in College Station, TX
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Old 04-04-2016, 09:49 AM   #10
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The way I see it,.....diesel is cheaper than batteries. I don't even chance it. I turn on the genset (10KW Isuzu diesel), and run it whenever I use A/C or Aquahot. Why not? These things are made to run continuously, and most people are not running them enough. Average life expectancy of a diesel genset is 20K hours. I'll be long dead when it goes bad.

I use batteries for lights, entertainment, and fridge. After many years in the uniform, I can sleep "like a baby" in the back, while the genset is softly droning up front.
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camping, heat

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