12 volt heater

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by tbenson, Sep 29, 2012.

  1. tbenson

    Thread Starter New Member

    Sep 29, 2012
    3
    1
    I just got a used heater for my rv. Didn't know it was just for 12 volt. The guy told me it was universal, wasn't. My rv doesn't have a converter right now, I got an old one. I was wondering Since I don't have a converter would it be possible to hook up a deep cycle battery and a battery charger at the same time to charge battery at trickle? Then I won't need a converter. I just want to try and use what I have. If I have to buy a converter what size amps should I get?
    It says 12 vdc 6.5 amps.

    Thanks
    Teresa
     
  2. k7elp60

    Senior Member

    Nov 4, 2008
    478
    69
    Using a deep cycle battery and a charger should work fine. One thing to keep in mind is if the heater draws more current than the charger puts out the battery will eventually discharge. If you have more questions do not hesitate to ask.
     
  3. tracecom

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 16, 2010
    3,871
    1,394
    According to the data in your post, the heater won't put out much heat: 12 volts times 6.5 amperes equals 78 watts. Think about the total heat produced by a 75 watt light bulb, and that's what you are going to get. The average hand-held hair dryer puts out more than 15 times as much heat as the heater you have.

    Maybe the markings on the heater are incomplete, but if not, don't expect too much from it. I don't mean to discourage you, but I wouldn't want you to spend a lot of money for a deep cycle battery and charger without having some idea what to expect. Good luck.
     
  4. tbenson

    Thread Starter New Member

    Sep 29, 2012
    3
    1
    Sorry I should have explained better. The heater is propane but runs on 12 vdc for fan and igniter.
    Teresa
     
    strantor likes this.
  5. tracecom

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 16, 2010
    3,871
    1,394
    Good! I should have thought of that; it makes more sense that way. So that means that the low current draw is a good thing and your battery won't require a very large charger.
     
  6. strantor

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 3, 2010
    4,302
    1,988
    I'm glad you clarified. I read this post earlier while on the john. I meant to come back and reply, and the thought going through my head was, a 12V cabin heater has got pull hundreds of amps to be of any use - there must be something amiss here.
     
  7. strantor

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 3, 2010
    4,302
    1,988
    A battery charger should work; see if you can get one that's "smart" - as in, it will trickle charge if the battery is full, and get a little more aggressive if the battery starts draining. I think 6.5A is a little more than a trickle charge will replenish, but the next setting (rapid charge) on most chargers would be overkill. keep your battery far away from the heater. Charging batteries can give off explosive gas - not something you want wafting around when the heater kicks on.
     
  8. Audioguru

    New Member

    Dec 20, 2007
    9,411
    896
    Propane heaters are used on outdoors porches and construction sites that are well ventilated so the carbon monoxide gas does not kill everybody.
    How will the heater get rid of the deadly gas when it is inside an RV?
     
  9. strantor

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 3, 2010
    4,302
    1,988
    Growing up I lived in a trailer with a propane heater, in addition to a propane water heater, and propane stove. As far as I know, I have not suffered any ill effects from it.
     
  10. tracecom

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 16, 2010
    3,871
    1,394
    I used to spend weekends in a tiny travel trailer with a propane heater, so I guess it's survivable. In fact, a lot of rural homes here are heated with propane wall heaters because natural gas isn't available everywhere.
     
  11. Brownout

    Well-Known Member

    Jan 10, 2012
    2,375
    998
    I often operate 12V appliances directly from a battery charger with no battery. But, I have one charger that's too 'smart.' If there isn't a 12V battery connected, it goes into a 'fault' state and doesn't put anything out. I use a 'dumb' charger to run applicances from shore power on my boat.

    Great point! Some new propane heaters come with integrated CO sensors and will shut down if levels rise too high. Still a little scary IMO. Make sure there is some ventilation (crack a window) and use a stand-alone sensor/alarm for added safety. I use propane heaters indoors, but never while I sleep. One thing you can do is use electric blankets at night to keep you bed warm. Modern electric blankets are much more safe than old ones, but they only last one season. I have to buy a new blanket every year. (and they are damn expensive)

    Be careful here. RV propane heaters are designed to vent the gas outside, and use a heat exchanger to warm the interior air without contaminating it. Space propane heaters are different, and some people have died by not using them properly.
     
    strantor likes this.
  12. Audioguru

    New Member

    Dec 20, 2007
    9,411
    896
    My natural gas furnace, natural gas fireplace and natural gas water heater all have their deadly exhaust gasses vented to outdoors.
    My propane barbeque says to NEVER use it indoors to avoid being killed by carbon monoxide.
     
  13. tbenson

    Thread Starter New Member

    Sep 29, 2012
    3
    1
    It's an RV and the propane heater is vented in the back. It has a pipe that goes out the side of the rv. I have a cook stove inside and it isn't vented and it's ok.
    Also the battery and charger will be outside with a wire running inside to the heater.
    Thanks for the replies. I really appreciate it.
     
Loading...