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GeoJack

Forced air heat via diesel

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We were limited to temperature in taking our 1956 Terry travel trailer to the desert. Both cold and hot. 

Just fixed the cold issue. 5 kw forced air heater, $124.00.

It blast hot air but has really good controller.

Check it out.

 

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Posted (edited)

I am interested to see how much fuel this uses.  My 35’ RV uses about a gallon a day of propane when its freezing at night (32° F) and 60s in the day to warm to a toasty 74°.  

I’m guessing for a trailer that size, a 3000 watt inverter would be more than enough to power an Air Conditioner.  For my trailer, I may need to get something to help spool the AC up, but once spooled up, the generator will power it.  I’m estimating I go through a half gallon of gas on hour on this generator.  Not sure what the minimum sized generator would be for AC, but all ACs are power hungry, and certainly not solar power capable.

Edited by chrisski

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On 3/11/2020 at 3:52 PM, GeoJack said:

Just fixed the cold issue. 5 kw forced air heater, $124.00.

It blast hot air but has really good controller.

I have one of those sitting on my workbench! I bought it for the Beetle I don't have yet...:rolleyes:

It appears to be an exact clone of the Webasto brand heaters. I installed dozens of those for the US Army. It was part of the Arctic Package in all the Humvee's and troop carriers.

I like the shield you made for the tank. I would suggest a cover over it for storage to further protect it from UV. Mine seems a little thin and probably would live a short life in the AZ sun.

On 3/11/2020 at 8:33 PM, chrisski said:

I am interested to see how much fuel this uses.  My 35’ RV uses about a gallon a day of propane when its freezing at night (32° F) and 60s in the day to warm to a toasty 74°.  

I’m guessing for a trailer that size, a 3000 watt inverter would be more than enough to power an Air Conditioner.  For my trailer, I may need to get something to help spool the AC up, but once spooled up, the generator will power it.  I’m estimating I go through a half gallon of gas on hour on this generator.  Not sure what the minimum sized generator would be for AC, but all ACs are power hungry, and certainly not solar power capable.

I ran a 5000 btu window unit off a 2K watt Honda. It struggled at compressor start up, but did run. A typical rooftop A/C will require a 4-5k genny at least. Possibly more if you want to run the microwave at the same time. Running amperage isn't terrible, it's the start up amp draw that requires a large genny. That large start up draw also overloads every inverter(4K was the biggest) I tried. Maybe with a big enough one...

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There’s something called an “Easy Start Assist” for an A/C unit and these are supposed to reduce the amperage needed to start the A/C by spooling it up slowly.  A rooftop A/C is supposed to use close to 11 amps once running, but spikes to between 30 and 50.  My 3000 watt inverter is fused at 20 amps, even though it has a 20 amp welding plug..  Articles say this easy start will allow an inverter of 2500 watts to run an A/C.

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1 hour ago, chrisski said:

There’s something called an “Easy Start Assist” for an A/C unit and these are supposed to reduce the amperage needed to start the A/C by spooling it up slowly.  A rooftop A/C is supposed to use close to 11 amps once running, but spikes to between 30 and 50.  My 3000 watt inverter is fused at 20 amps, even though it has a 20 amp welding plug..  Articles say this easy start will allow an inverter of 2500 watts to run an A/C.

Cool! I have not heard of those. 

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On 3/11/2020 at 8:33 PM, chrisski said:

I am interested to see how much fuel this uses.  My 35’ RV uses about a gallon a day of propane when its freezing at night (32° F) and 60s in the day to warm to a toasty 74°.  

I’m guessing for a trailer that size, a 3000 watt inverter would be more than enough to power an Air Conditioner.  For my trailer, I may need to get something to help spool the AC up, but once spooled up, the generator will power it.  I’m estimating I go through a half gallon of gas on hour on this generator.  Not sure what the minimum sized generator would be for AC, but all ACs are power hungry, and certainly not solar power capable.

Digital controller allows 5.5 down to .1 hz for the pump. It uses about 114 ml per hr at that level. 10 lt tank.

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Currently 43° and raining. Heated the trailer from cold start to thermostat setting in just over 3 minutes. I like it.

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Posted (edited)

I mounted one of those in a metal toolbox and used dryer ducting to vent the warm air into our truck rooftop tent, they work really well.  They are much safer than some of those portable propane heaters that have carbon monoxide detectors built into them, You’re still breathing burnt exhaust with those little propane heaters and they are totally on suitable for enclosed areas. This model is so much superior because the diesel fumes are on a totally different system from the warm air. Nice job putting one in your trailer!

One suggestion I have though, do make sure you have a smoke detector and a carbon monoxide detector in there. Also, did you install metal flashing around the exhaust? It does get rather hot.

Edited by GotAU?
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On ‎3‎/‎13‎/‎2020 at 4:37 AM, Sonoran Dave said:

 

I ran a 5000 btu window unit off a 2K watt Honda. It struggled at compressor start up, but did run. A typical rooftop A/C will require a 4-5k genny at least. Possibly more if you want to run the microwave at the same time. Running amperage isn't terrible, it's the start up amp draw that requires a large genny. That large start up draw also overloads every inverter(4K was the biggest) I tried. Maybe with a big enough one...

I just saw this and yesterday I was to figure out how much power I would need to run a window A/C unit for a single room in my house.  Sounds like the generator would work, but the 3000 watt inverter generator goes through 12 gallons a day for 24 hour ops, and I think the oil would need to be changed daily.  That would get pricey.  My wish list would be 3000 watts of solar panels with its own outlet to separate it from the house power to at least run the A/C during daylight hours.  I think that would get pricey though, probably $2 per watt all combined with the panels, batteries, controller, combiner, wiring, panel mounts, pure sine waive inverter, and pigeon protection.  The separate outlet is due to state requirements that solar power that feeds into house power be automatically shut off in a power outage.  This is to keep lineman working on fixing these repairs from being electrocuted by all these houses that have power. 

I'm surprised you can't purchase on off the shelf solar system, but the more I read about them, there are a lot of what ifs.

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On 3/22/2020 at 10:17 AM, GotAU? said:

I mounted one of those in a metal toolbox and used dryer ducting to vent the warm air into our truck rooftop tent, they work really well.  They are much safer than some of those portable propane heaters that have carbon monoxide detectors built into them, You’re still breathing burnt exhaust with those little propane heaters and they are totally on suitable for enclosed areas. This model is so much superior because the diesel fumes are on a totally different system from the warm air. Nice job putting one in your trailer!

One suggestion I have though, do make sure you have a smoke detector and a carbon monoxide detector in there. Also, did you install metal flashing around the exhaust? It does get rather hot.

Checked the exhaust temps under the trailer where it exits the floor, only about 125° but will add some flashing to cover the hole between the floor boards and the insulation. Exhaust is by the tire and will not have any of the windows on that side of the trailer open during operation but will be installing the detector.

 

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13 minutes ago, GeoJack said:

Checked the exhaust temps under the trailer where it exits the floor, only about 125° but will add some flashing to cover the hole between the floor boards and the insulation. Exhaust is by the tire and will not have any of the windows on that side of the trailer open during operation but will be installing the detector.

 

Sounds good! One thing also to check is make sure that’s a very secure line between the pump and the heater, it’s a pretty high pressure pump and if that hose ever goes the pump is going to flood the compartment with diesel fuel until the tank is empty. I thought long and hard about that which was one of the main reasons why I decided to put the pump closer to my fuel tank that I also keep outside instead of in my box with the heater. Glad to hear you’re putting detectors in, good to be safe! By the way that’s a great looking trailer you’re gonna have fun with that!

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13 minutes ago, GotAU? said:

Sounds good! One thing also to check is make sure that’s a very secure line between the pump and the heater, it’s a pretty high pressure pump and if that hose ever goes the pump is going to flood the compartment with diesel fuel until the tank is empty. I thought long and hard about that which was one of the main reasons why I decided to put the pump closer to my fuel tank that I also keep outside instead of in my box with the heater. Glad to hear you’re putting detectors in, good to be safe! By the way that’s a great looking trailer you’re gonna have fun with that!

Yep all fuel lines outside and under the trailer with the tank up front by the propane.

Thanks for the comments on the trailer, going into our fourth year with it and loving it. Mostly original.

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1 hour ago, GeoJack said:

Checked the exhaust temps under the trailer where it exits the floor, only about 125° but will add some flashing to cover the hole between the floor boards and the insulation. Exhaust is by the tire and will not have any of the windows on that side of the trailer open during operation but will be installing the detector.

 

Read back through this... it wouldn’t hurt to put a heat guard over the exhaust manifold where it exits the heater also -just incase anything flammable rests against it.

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Yep, 1" clearance around the pipe and will have sheet metal insert for the cutout. Pointing my laser temp gun at the outlet I wasn't getting much over 180  degrees, Cat converter on my truck runs much hotter I think.

 

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Sounds like you got it covered! That was a great idea using that in your trailer. Have fun out there!

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