Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 11-23-2015, 03:13 AM   #1
Bronze Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Virginia
Posts: 24
Default Two cold weather questions, one DC power question

Just finished up a weekend trip in my 97 American Cruiser, and the temps dropped below freezing during the night. My propane furnace is attached to a wall mounted thermostat, which I set to about 50 or 60. I slept alright, but sometimes I would reach down to the aisle under the bed where the furnace blows and feel cold (or cool, more specifically) air blowing from the furnace. Is that kind of to be expecting in colder temps with a little furnace, or does it indicate an issue? Should I have set the thermostat higher if I wanted it to blow hot air more consistently? Propane tank was fine---used it for the stove, water heater, and fridge later in the trip with no problems.

Which brings me to the fridge: It worked, but does it make much sense to have the fridge running, especially on propane, when it's 25--30 degrees out? Am I just spinning my wheels there trying to get the compressor to vent off any heat into that kind of weather outside?

Finally, I have a great new battery, and my DC-powered gizmos ran like a dream the whole trip (lights, fans, water pump, etc.). I'd like to be able to get some AC power from the coach battery to charge phones and tablets when I'm boondocking, and I'm curious as to the conventional wisdom there. I've got your standard little car AC adapter up front, runs off the cigarette lighter and feeds two plugs and two USB ports. Does it make sense to hitch a cigarette lighter adapter to my coach battery and use the little car dude to charge things in the back, or is there a more elegant solution that I don't know about?
__________________

Straylight is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-23-2015, 03:25 AM   #2
Platinum Member
 
eric1514's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: ID AZ
Posts: 621
Default

When the thermostat calls for heat, it will turn on the furnace fan which will run and blow cool air until it proves to the sail switch that it has sufficient air flow to allow the burner to ignite, where upon it will blow warm air. When set temp has been reached and the thermostat shuts of the furnace, the burner will extinguish but the fan will run to cool down the heat exchanger. So, yes, the furnace will at times blow cool air both at start up and shut down.

There is no compressor in your propane fridge.

That little inverter with the cigarette plug will work just fine for charging stuff.

Eric
__________________

__________________
"Il Travato Rosso"
2015 Travato 59g
eric1514 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-23-2015, 07:09 PM   #3
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 881
Default

charging...use DC chargers for your phone etc.

converting the DC from the van into AC with your inverter consumes some power...your little wall plug for the phone takes the AC then converts to DC for the phone...each conversion from dc/ac, ac/dc wastes power.

so just use DC chargers for your phone and tablet- a 2 amp lighter adapter type charge with a USB outlet will have ample power for tablet or any phone.

Mike
mkguitar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2015, 04:38 PM   #4
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 157
Default

I would replace the light with LEDs. Strip LEDS are great for replacing fluorescent tube and is cheap. WIth the power saved from the lighting power reduction, I would tap of one of the power lines to install USB ports which you could use to charge all your devices. They also make a combo USB/12V receptacle. This way you could charge while you are not driving. The 12V cig lighter may not be active while the key is turned off.

I've got a total of 4 USB ports plus plus two 12V receptacles (one was already there) in the back of my coach. I bought a 12V charger for my laptop. Where I mounted the USB ports the RV already had storage units mounted on the wall. It looks like it was originally intended for maps/newspapers/mags but are now great for things like phones and tablets.

My fridge as a low ambient temp switch which is used for when temps drop below 50 outside.
tbirdman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2015, 08:01 PM   #5
Platinum Member
 
BobB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 691
Default

On many of the halogen fixtures, you can swap out the bulb and substitute an LED "bulb". I got mine at https://www.superbrightleds.com. You must know the "base" of your existing bulb, though. Just pay attention to the lumens (they can be very bright) and the color temperature of what you get.

You will be surprised how much your load will decrease if you switch to LEDs

mkguitar is right about just using 12v to charge your phone, tablet. The usb/lighter adapters are the easiest and very inexpensive. The amperage should be marked on the plug - iPads require 2.1 amps, fyi. For most laptops, you can also get 12v chargers.
__________________
BobB
'99 VW EVC
BobB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2015, 03:28 PM   #6
Bronze Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Virginia
Posts: 24
Default

Thanks for the tips! Glad to hear it about the propane heater just doin' its thang.

I went ahead and picked up a cigarette lighter style 12V port to hook to the coach battery; it should show up from Amazon pretty shortly here. I figured that there was probably a more efficient use of power than the 12V inverter I use up front; I'll look into 12V direct chargers, but will probably use the inverter in the meantime.

I picked up some LEDs for various areas, and I'm a little less than pleased with the light temperature. "Warm white" is not the same as that nice incandescent glow. Have any of you found a nice amber-colored LED light?
Straylight is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2015, 05:11 PM   #7
Platinum Member
 
BobB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 691
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Straylight View Post

I picked up some LEDs for various areas, and I'm a little less than pleased with the light temperature. "Warm white" is not the same as that nice incandescent glow. Have any of you found a nice amber-colored LED light?
It does get confusing - "warm white", "natural white", etc. Pay attention to the K temperature, not the description. The lower the K temp the warmer it will appear. I generally find less than 3000K to work for me. 3000k LEDs seem close to halogens. Around our house, the 2700k bulbs seem closest to be a close match to incandescent. Remember that the output (lumens) will affect your perception, too, so around my house it helps to have them on a dimmer. An LED of 25 lumens may seem "warmer" than one of 50 lumens. There are many reference charts on the web that can help.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg led-color-temperature.jpg (127.0 KB, 9 views)
__________________

__________________
BobB
'99 VW EVC
BobB is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT. The time now is 10:37 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×