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Old 10-30-2016, 07:39 PM   #1
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Can a furnace run all night on a fully charged battery?

Just planning our trip down to the Keys for January. This year we're taking the big cahoona Avion & I want to boondock at a Wally Mart or Cracker Barrell or something on that order along the way. Will my furnace run the entire night if my battery is fully charged? We have a generator, but I don't think we want to haul it along for one night of boondocking.....Should I pack lots of blankies?? Lol!
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Old 10-30-2016, 07:44 PM   #2
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We just had a weekend away where we ran our heater all night starting at only 95% and 12.6v
Ended each morning at about 72% and 12.4v from 2 interstates with only 160 amp total capacity, so I would have to say that you should be fine.


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Old 10-30-2016, 07:44 PM   #3
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It depends on three things. How good are your batteries. How cold it gets over night. How warm you want your trailer.
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Old 10-30-2016, 08:05 PM   #4
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What size battery/batteries?
We have a 200 amp hour 4D battery and we can easily make a long evening of heat when it is in the mid 30's.
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Old 10-30-2016, 08:28 PM   #5
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I'll have to check the size.....
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Old 10-30-2016, 08:59 PM   #6
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Once your trailer gets warmed up the furnace will only run a fraction of the time to maintain the temperature; so you won't be using the furnace rated amps 100% of the time.
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Old 10-30-2016, 09:17 PM   #7
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You have time to test the battery.

Give it a full charge. Unplug the the power to the trailer. Let the battery " rest " for about two days. Check the voltage of the battery. Anything above 12.6 is good indicates a healthy battery. Anything below 12.6 is less than good.

You could also run the furnace all night long and check the voltage in the morning. 12 volts is considered to be depleted.

How old is your battery?

I use 2 batteries. I always bring a small electric heater. I always bring extra covers or a sleeping bag, just in case.
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Old 10-31-2016, 05:22 AM   #8
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I believe the standard charts for flooded cell batteries indicate that a voltage reading of 12 volts equates to approx. 50% discharged, not depleted. It is below this point that more serious damage occurs to the battery IMO. Trailer batteries are intended to get down to this level in normal use, although charging is recommended if possible at a reading of 12.5 volts (90% of capacity).

PS you can get a 12-volt electric blanket which uses the battery more efficiently than does the furnace, but of course you need a 12-volt outlet nearby.
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Old 10-31-2016, 06:05 AM   #9
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Depends on the conditions. From my experience this time of year it will not last the night. I leave the trailer plugged into the truck in the morning I hit the remote start, the truck fired up and the furnace comes on. Doesn't take long to warm up the trailer.
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Old 10-31-2016, 07:49 AM   #10
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Depends on the conditions. From my experience this time of year it will not last the night. I leave the trailer plugged into the truck in the morning I hit the remote start, the truck fired up and the furnace comes on. Doesn't take long to warm up the trailer.
Don't you run the risk of draining the tow vehicle's battery this way?
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Old 10-31-2016, 12:19 PM   #11
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Presuming your batteries will run the furnace fan all night, how will you recharge them the following day? The charge from your two vehicle, while towing might not be enough to bring them back up.

I recently boon docked at a race track for a week and had to run my generator for 2 or more hours each day (I used an external 3 stage AGM specific battery charger) to bring my batteries back up to 100%. We didn't need to run the furnace, so I had about a 40% drop to recover from each day.
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Old 10-31-2016, 12:34 PM   #12
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A few years ago we went to South Padre Island Texas. Unusually cold, below freezing, and the electricity went out. Had just installed two new group 27s. I opened the lower cabinets to expose the plumbing. Turned the thermostat to the lowest position, 50 something, and went to bed. In the morning the batteries were still above 12v. Electricity did not come back on until 1 pm. All camp out OK.

You might want to give it a try before you head out on your trip. Easy thing to do, then you will know, rather than waiting until you really need the heat.

Why worry, better to know.


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Old 10-31-2016, 12:35 PM   #13
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Don't you run the risk of draining the tow vehicle's battery this way?

The trailer will only draw power when the truck engine is running.
This is on a Ford not sure about other brands
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Old 10-31-2016, 01:59 PM   #14
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Also depends on size of trailer of course.

I ran truck and trailer down to "won't start " condition heating our 31' overnight.
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