Idling All Night?

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Idling All Night?

Postby longyard [OP] » March 21st 2011, 5:33pm

I intend to use my Safari, with an automatic transmission, as a camper van. Would it be harmful t let the engine idle all night (say, 7 hours) so I could leave on the a/c in the summer? What about all winter and leave the heat on?
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Re: Idling All Night?

Postby RECox286 » March 21st 2011, 7:09pm

Not recommended ! Carbon Monoxide poisioning is not to be fooled with. If you need warmth, get the proper type of sleeping bag for the weather/temperatures you will encounter, or invest in a small generator that you can use for the express purpose, running it on the outside of the truck, to power an electric heater on the inside of the truck. Coleman, and Honda are two that come to my mind, right off the bat.

Also, idling the trucks' engine for lengthy periods is not really recommended for the health of the engine, expecially, like, overnight.

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Re: Idling All Night?

Postby Dirk » March 21st 2011, 8:55pm

Idling for long periods of time will result in a non supportive oil film on the crankshaft and connecting rod bearings, which inevitably destroys the bearings.
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Re: Idling All Night?

Postby paintdrying » March 21st 2011, 9:58pm

If your in the desert they have got some nice 12 volt swamp coolers.
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Re: Idling All Night?

Postby smokinjoe » March 22nd 2011, 7:53pm

Sleeping in an idling van can only lead to great unhappiness. For hot weather sleeping I made some screens that attach with magnets to the front windows and adapted garage door screens for the sliding and rear doors (also magneted on. Its really cheap and very comfortable on hot nights. I got the garage door screens from harriet carter for like 10 bucks. A good sleeping bag and self-inflating camp mat will keep you warm in the cold. (steel gets cold so you have to get up off it.
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Re: Idling All Night?

Postby a2l1 » March 28th 2011, 3:02am

I havent tried it but it is on my list. Honda make a very quiet and small(keyword) generator that can be mounted just about anywhere or for temp overnight duty strapped/bolted to the van and it will power a small window ac that you can mount in one of the front door windows. It will cool the van. You will have to check the info with the generator as to run time. Im pretty sure that even a generator wont like running all night but Im not sure about that
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Re: Idling All Night?

Postby tedanderson » March 28th 2011, 5:10pm

I don't know much about the effects, however, I notice that campers and some tractor trailers have an auxiliary climate control system along with a generator. So I'm guessing that this has a purpose other than saving a couple of gallons of fuel. I've had a couple of instances where I've idled my van for several hours only losing about a gallon an hour compared using much more fuel in one of those B&S powered Coleman generators but somehow, the generator seems like the better alternative.
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Re: Idling All Night?

Postby ZR2 » April 26th 2011, 6:35am

a2l1 wrote:I havent tried it but it is on my list. Honda make a very quiet and small(keyword) generator that can be mounted just about anywhere or for temp overnight duty strapped/bolted to the van and it will power a small window ac that you can mount in one of the front door windows. It will cool the van. You will have to check the info with the generator as to run time. Im pretty sure that even a generator wont like running all night but Im not sure about that


There's a guy who lives in his Astro Conversion Van that has a window A/C unit attached to the rear window and an aluminum cargo carrier that's attached to the hitch (where the generator is strapped to so it's outside all the time). He's got a $400 generator from somewhere like Pep Boys or Harbor Freight. I think he said it runs about 1 gallon per 4 hours. Generators should run all night w/o a problem. My 800w generator from Harbor Freight runs about 5 hours on 1 gal at 50-60% load. But it's hideously loud running at ~10 ft. from the house with all windows shut. Right outside a van, it will be unbearable...especially for people around you. It's as loud as a small lawn mower. If I lived in a van and needed A/C, I would run it off a quiet Honda or Yamaha generator, but they cost $800-1000.

Most vandwellers say that a cheaper alternative is to mount a ceiling hatch-fan that RV's use ($150).
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Re: Idling All Night?

Postby longyard [OP] » April 26th 2011, 11:52am

ZR2 wrote:
a2l1 wrote:Most vandwellers say that a cheaper alternative is to mount a ceiling hatch-fan that RV's use ($150).



Do they run this off the van's battery, or have a separate battery for it? Will a battery run it all night?
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Re: Idling All Night?

Postby ZR2 » April 26th 2011, 6:29pm

longyard wrote:
ZR2 wrote:
a2l1 wrote:Most vandwellers say that a cheaper alternative is to mount a ceiling hatch-fan that RV's use ($150).



Do they run this off the van's battery, or have a separate battery for it? Will a battery run it all night?



You wouldn't want to run it off of the car's battery b/c they are made to give off a lot of amps all at once to crank the car up (but then once the car's running, your alternator is recharging what was spent). These batteries will lose their capability to hold a charge if you keep depleting it's charge too low, ie. running this fan off of it all night. What you want is a secondary, deep cycle marine battery.

People who lives in their van would have 1 or 2 deep cycle batteries that they use to operate this fan and other stuff, like computers, ice maker, lamps, etc. Then they would either hook these batteries to their car's alternator and/or solar panels. Solar panels alone are usually not enough unless you spend money on really good ones (that are highly susceptible to theft and/or vandalism). Also, the car's alternator will take a huge beating whenever it has to keep recharging near-dead batteries and fail. I would upgrade the wimpy stock alternator with a high output alternator (used by people with big stereo systems, lowriders, etc.). Like the stock alternator is usually around 60 amps vs. 150-350 amps for the hi-output ones. You'd want to pay extra to upgrade the stock wires too as the bigger alternators are known to fry them, causing a fire. In addition, I would also have a decent solar panel setup. Lastly, have a really good battery recharger (that's fast) & long extension cords for whenever you're near someone's electrical plug.

If you're just camping once in a while in your van for fun, I'd just get 1 deep cycle battery and an average battery charger ($30).
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Re: Idling All Night?

Postby longyard [OP] » April 27th 2011, 4:07am

ZR2 wrote:If you're just camping once in a while in your van for fun, I'd just get 1 deep cycle battery and an average battery charger ($30).


Thanks zr2! I've used deep cycles and an isolator in my sailboat. I'll do a 1 deep cycle Optima and an isolator in my van. Great! :goodpost:
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Re: Idling All Night?

Postby AstroWill » September 27th 2011, 6:45am

The system in my Tiger uses a constant duty solenoid, might be a cheaper/easier solution for connecting a Deep Cycle/marine battery.

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Re: Idling All Night?

Postby Lumpy » September 27th 2011, 8:41am

I happened to run across Maher a while back when we were both camping
out in the natural wilderness of this great country. He's a great guy. We stayed
up all night drinking beers and smoking cigs and talking about cars we used to
own, currently own, wish we owned.

... :cheers:

We watched the entire DVD box set of "Walker Texas Ranger" from the comfort of
his air conditioned camper vehicle. Actually, it wasn't the Chuck Norris version.
It was a Chinese counterfeit starring Jimmy Walker. Every time he'd arrest some
bad guy he'd yell "Dy-No-Mite".

... :character-afro:

It was a blast.

Here's a pic of Maher's campermobile.
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Image


Thanks Maher. I always enjoy getting away from civilization for a while. :teasing-tease:


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Re: Idling All Night?

Postby chevymaherchevymaher is online! » September 27th 2011, 1:27pm

Lumpy wrote:I happened to run across Maher a while back when we were both camping
out in the natural wilderness of this great country. He's a great guy. We stayed
up all night drinking beers and smoking cigs and talking about cars we used to
own, currently own, wish we owned.

... :cheers:

We watched the entire DVD box set of "Walker Texas Ranger" from the comfort of
his air conditioned camper vehicle. Actually, it wasn't the Chuck Norris version.
It was a Chinese counterfeit starring Jimmy Walker. Every time he'd arrest some
bad guy he'd yell "Dy-No-Mite".

... :character-afro:

It was a blast.

Here's a pic of Maher's campermobile.
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[ http://digitalcartography.com/camp/LincolnWhacker.jpg ]


Thanks Maher. I always enjoy getting away from civilization for a while. :teasing-tease:


Lump

I tried to think of some smart aleck come back.But I am speechless.That was some funny stuff.Actually as a child age 7-16 all summer long I slept outdoors under the stars with a tent in case it rained.No beer,no smokes,no radio or TV.Just crickets.The niebor kids and I.Just look at the stars and talk till we fell asleep.At the edge of the tobacco field next to the woods.Then fish at the lake every morning a couple hours.Yep it was pretty country where I lived way back then.I camped in the Smokey mountains in tenn with my family during that time at least once a year for a couple weeks.A bear even terrorized our campsite one year.Hiked the trails all day.I have done it and can appreciate what your talking about Lump.
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Re: Idling All Night?

Postby TaxiVan » October 2nd 2011, 1:22pm

RECox286 wrote:Not recommended ! Carbon Monoxide poisioning is not to be fooled with. If you need warmth, get the proper type of sleeping bag for the weather/temperatures you will encounter, or invest in a small generator that you can use for the express purpose, running it on the outside of the truck, to power an electric heater on the inside of the truck. Coleman, and Honda are two that come to my mind, right off the bat. Also, idling the trucks' engine for lengthy periods is not really recommended for the health of the engine, expecially, like, overnight.

Bob


I understand Bob's points here, but I was once stranded in the snow in my first van and had no choice but to idle the engine for heat. I'm sure it isn't good for the engine, as Bob notes, but I have had to do this at times. See the thread "Stayed my first night in the van". As to running A/C, I don't recommend running it on MAX, nor do I recommend running both front and rear if you have them. It is an awful load on the alternator and can lead to premature failure. Idling for an hour or two with A/C on will have your electrical system nearly in a state of discharge.
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Re: Idling All Night?

Postby vinnybrain » October 2nd 2011, 10:13pm

Hi All,

The Honda generators you are referring to are the one I want in particular-- the EU3000. It's not cheap by any stretch--new ive seen them as high as 2500, used on CL about 12-1500. This generator's sound specification is rated at 58Db. I've stood beside one running the regrigeration load of a taco-truck, and you can have a typical, un-starined conversation...it just purrs away. They're inverter-based, and most --from 1Kw up to the 6.5Kw can be ganged to double the output, or maybe do 220v, I'm not entirely sure. That family of generators by Honda are not typical construction-type cheapos like you'd find at Harbor Freight, or like the one I had , and sold , from Home Depot-- a 7500 watt Generac. LOUD! 89Db +. I had it running in my back yard, just warming it during a blackout, made my neighbor get out of his house and beg me to turn it off. I offered him free juice to power his TV during the blackout---he repectully declined.

I was thinking as far as another refrigeration compressor, the kind they use on electric cars, running off another isolated battery bank. But, that reguires alot of refrigeraion design, something im not that great at. What wold the back pressure of the second compressor in the system do to the other?, besides, you'd need likee 150v dc---easy in an electric car, thats TEN batteries in series in a van...eesh.
Then, I was thinking of doing the blowers off another battery that could be switched in, and powering the original AC's compressor off the front of the electric clutch with another DC motor--- say 1 to 1.5 hp. Again, thats a 30 to 40 amp continuos load....separeate batteries required Again....
On a side note about the previous post--- Isolated battery banks have to be designed with something that will cut the out at 10.5v as a low, considered discharged point, otherwise excessive alternator load will surely take out ANY rating of alternator when it comes time to try and recharge. Even a plug-in battery charger would be hard pressed and pulling it's max capacity to try and briing back such a deeply discharged battery.
I had a thought for standby AC--- The freestanding units that have a single 'dryer hose' looking output.... they're rated like 12, to 14,000 btu. I wonder if they would make a candidate for what you are talking about?
My envisionment was to take the dual battery isolator system I already have, and gang maybe 4 more optima deep cycle batteries in parallel, and run a (depending on the size of AC) 1kw to 1.5kw True Sine wave inveter to power the little AC in the back rear corner, kind of where the rear ac would be if the van had been shipped with factory rear air.
Justa thot!

The other big power gobbler when camping is tring to run 3 or 4 ThermoElectric Coolers! I hate running for ice, and I like having food thats DRY and Cold! But they will flat-out drain your start battery unless you use either another battery, AND a low-voltage cutout.... This place has got the cutouts: http://www.12volt.com.au/
But a high-school level electronics nut can put one together from circuits gleaned from the web.

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