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pianotuna
Hi all,

I just spent my first night boondocking in cool weather in my RV.

It is equipped with 875 amp-hours of battery storage (Walmart 12 volt deep cycle batteries @ $0.60 cents per amp-hour)--and they were at 100% state of charge.

I decided to see if I could use the batteries to keep warm.

The low temperature for the night was 6 C (42 F), so there was no risk of freezing damage. Just to make sure I set the air conditioner "heat strip" to cut in at 5 C. (40 F)

My RV has a sliding cloth "door" for the bedroom. I shut it to reduce the area to be heated. I also put a "vent pillow" both the vents. I fully closed one window blind--but left the other 1/2 open.

I connected a 466 watt oil filled heater and set it to keep the bedroom at 18 C (64 F).

My batteries lasted the entire night and did not go below 50% state of charge (12.1 volts)--and the kitchen area got to 12.8 C (55 F) so the heat strip did not "add to the load". I have a kill-o-watt meter--and I clean forgot to put it "in the circuit".

Today I drove for about 3 hours. It was a dull day so the best my solar system did was about 5 amps of output. The solar panels returned about 40 amp-hours in total. I run my fridge on 110 volt when I trundle down the road, and recharged my laptop batteries. I also ran the fridge for one hour while the RV was parked (motor *not* running, of course). The "house" batteries got to about 12.5 volts (measured "under load" at a C40 rate) This represents about 90% of fully charged.
Lindsay Richards
We have only 330 amp hours and have boondocked colder than this by using an electric blanket (twin that is laid cross ways across the bed) with good sucess. The air temp gets cold of course, but we turn on the propane heater in morning to shower and give the inside a shot of heat before leaving. My 400 watt inverter works well with the electric blanker. We heat only what we need and that is the two humans under the blankets. When we were younger, we did something else under there to keep warm, but I forget now.
John S.
I love colder weather boondocking. If it is going to be really cold though I will run the genny as the batteries will not last as well and I will want to have the engine heat on as well. if it is going to be not in the teens then I will forgo the genny but will run the aquahot through the engine on foretravel. On the Bornfree I usually do not take it out in sub freezing weather for any extended period of time.

I love the 40s though. It was that last night and the window being open is wonderful and no sound of the generator running.
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