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Old 12-25-2016, 08:32 AM   #1
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Engine preheater

Has anyone used the engine preheat function while driving (burner off)to heat the coach?
I've heard pro and cons, any input would help.
Thanks
Carl

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Old 12-25-2016, 09:18 AM   #2
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The Aqua-Hot's engine preheater function will not heat the coach. The Aqua-Hot 450D has a Motoraide feature that allows hot engine coolant to circulate from the engine to a heating coil inside the Aqua-Hot's boiler. This gives your heating system some free heat while driving. However, this circulation occurs naturally because the engine's water pump provides the flow. There's nothing you need to so.

The Engine Preheat switch utilizes that same coolant loop from the engine to the boiler but it operates in reverse and is designed for when you are parked and the engine is not running. In this case the preheat switch turns on a small circulating pump on the boiler that heats the engine coolant and sends it back to the engine to warm it up for cold weather starts.

Leaving the switch while driving is counter-productive because it will hamper the ability of the engine's water pump to provide heat to the boiler.
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Old 12-25-2016, 09:25 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruzer View Post
...... The Aqua-Hot 450D has a Motoraide feature that allows hot engine coolant to circulate from the engine to a heating coil inside the Aqua-Hot's boiler. This gives your heating system some free heat while driving. However, this circulation occurs naturally because the engine's water pump provides the flow. There's nothing you need to so........
Will this heat the coach or will the burners also come on. Found dash heat does not do much even up front traveling when it is cold...
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Old 12-25-2016, 09:30 AM   #4
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Goood question

So we should not drive with the preheat function on?

When the engine is running it is automatically pumping fluid through the aqua hot unit? Via the water pump. I know that when we've gone on long trips after having had the coach off the hot water is hot.
I would think the heat from the engine is sufficient to provide enough heat to the fluid to keep the coach warm, is that the case or should we leave the diesel burner on while going down the road?

Also; does the electric engine block heater turn off and on via thermostat or is it just an element that is always on?
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Old 12-25-2016, 09:37 AM   #5
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My manual tells me shut off the engine preheat once you start the engine.

I leave my AH on while driving, set the temp. and it looks after itself.
Nice stopping at rest areas with the entire coach warm.

The Engine Preheat is only used to preheat the engine prior to starting.
Think of it as a block heater plugged into your car. You unplug it before driving away.
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Old 12-25-2016, 09:38 AM   #6
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Will this heat the coach or will the burners also come on. Found dash heat does not do much even up front traveling when it is cold...
You may want to get your dash heat looked at, ours will roast you out once the heated water arrives. There is a considerable delay in the delivery of sufficiently hot water to the dash unit. I've found adjustments require about 5-8 minutes to achieve the desired goal. Once it's working though, it is very effective.

I'm really sensitive to this as our last coach had an issue I suffered through for over a year before resolving.

I typically drive in either bare feet or socks and shorts, if that gives you any idea of how toasty the driving area is.

-Matt
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Old 12-25-2016, 10:12 AM   #7
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Quote:
Will this heat the coach or will the burners also come on.
The engine will provide "some" heat and will heat the coach. However, it may not be enough. The Diesel burner provides at least 50,000 BTU of heat, which is enough for any condition, no matter how cold it is. Just for comparison, the Aqua-Hot's electric heat element provides 5,630 BTU of heat, which is why you need the diesel burner to heat the coach once it gets down around 40 degrees.

The Motoraide heat provided by the engine is in the neighborhood is 10,000 BTU. So it will provide enough heat to heat the coach when driving (and the slides are in, which reduces the cubic feet needed to heat) in moderate temps. If colder you will need to leave the diesel burner switched on to provide enough BTU to get the job done. Notre that the diesel burner won't run as often when driving as when parked because the Motoraide feature is helping to support it with those additional 10,000 BTUs.

Quote:
So we should not drive with the preheat function on?

When the engine is running it is automatically pumping fluid through the aqua hot unit? Via the water pump. I know that when we've gone on long trips after having had the coach off the hot water is hot.
I would think the heat from the engine is sufficient to provide enough heat to the fluid to keep the coach warm, is that the case or should we leave the diesel burner on while going down the road?

Also; does the electric engine block heater turn off and on via thermostat or is it just an element that is always on?
Correct, do not drive with the preheat switch on. The engine will automatically pump hot engine coolant through the boiler.

There are two separate engine heaters here. First, there is the engine "block" heater. The block heater is a 120 volt electric heating element that is inserted into the coolant jacket in the side of the engine block. It plugs into that receptacle in the engine compartment. It is most likely not thermostatically controlled but it isn't big enough that you will have to be concerned about that. The second is the Aqua-Hot engine preheat which is nothing more than a circulating system that warms the engine coolant as it passes through the boiler. This is not thermostatic either but again, it's not that powerful so you won't have to worry.

It may be worthy of note that the Aqua-Hot's engine preheater works faster than the engine block heater. What warms the engine up in one hour with the preheater would take about 3 hours with the block heater. However it never hurts to leave them one for long periods of time. I've left the block heater on for days at a time up here in cold Wisconsin. I normally leave it on overnight when traveling out west in cool fall weather. While my engine will start at single digit temps without any preheating, it's just better for their life to have some warmth in them before starting.
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Old 12-25-2016, 10:22 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt D View Post
You may want to get your dash heat looked at, ours will roast you out once the heated water arrives. There is a considerable delay in the delivery of sufficiently hot water to the dash unit. I've found adjustments require about 5-8 minutes to achieve the desired goal. Once it's working though, it is very effective.

I'm really sensitive to this as our last coach had an issue I suffered through for over a year before resolving.

I typically drive in either bare feet or socks and shorts, if that gives you any idea of how toasty the driving area is.

-Matt
Actually have not driven the new Anthem in real cold weather yet, was referring to the previous MH we had (Winnebago). When traveling with outside temp below freezing, especially below 20, the dash heat did not do much because the engine ran so cool.

Good to hear that the Anthem will do better.
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Old 12-25-2016, 10:41 AM   #9
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The free from the engine while you drive is not totally automatic, you still need to turn on the thermostat to gas heat and set an appropriate temperature for the zones you want heated.
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Old 12-26-2016, 06:03 AM   #10
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Good to hear that the Anthem will do better.
I think you're going to be pleasantly surprised at how well your coach handles both cold and hot weather. We expected an uptick in comfort with these extremes, but didn't expect the other benefit of Insulation, sound reduction.

We tend to use our coach all year and it has really been a nice step up overall.

-Matt
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