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Old 08-21-2008, 05:06 AM
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Plugging in the truck during winter

Well living here in Colorado I am sure that I will be plugging my truck in come winter when it is in the garage. If I really am only driving the truck about once or twice a week right now, should I keep the truck plugged in all the time 24/7 when not in use? It would be kept inside a garage but it isn't heated. Also I am wondering what sort of spike does having your truck plugged in do to your home electric bill? Is it a huge jump? Thanks for any insight.

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Old 08-21-2008, 10:24 AM
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i think its a 1000 watt heater, i usually plug it in before go to bed and when its like 10 or lower outside. my truck does not mind the cold its been - 30 out here and it started right up with out being plugged in, as far as you bill it just depends on how much you plug it in, some people on here plug them in when its like 30 out, i think thats a little over kill myself
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Old 08-21-2008, 10:29 AM
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I plug mine in before I go to bed when it's going to be around freezing, simply because of all the moisture we have (feels way colder than 32) and it does not like the cold.

Also, you could (which I need to do) is plug it into a timer so it comes on a couple hours before you want to drive it.
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Old 08-21-2008, 11:02 AM
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I checked mine one time with an ammeter. It was around 5.6 amps, so that equates to around 650-700 watts.

If it ran 10 hours, that would be 7 KWH, or around 80 cents where I'm at. When I figured out it was adding over 30 bucks a month to my bill, I put it on a timer with a thermostat. The timer comes on at 4 AM, but it will only power up if it's below 30 degrees. It only needs a couple hours to warm the truck up enough where it will run well when it starts.
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Old 08-21-2008, 11:08 AM
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Thanks for all the input guys. One question that I don't think anyone has touched on was how my truck mainly sits all week long in the garage not going anywhere. When the temperatures get cold here would I need to plug it in that entire time it isn't going out or just wait until I want to actually drive it and then plug it in a few hours before? Just not sure if it has to be plugged in all the time when it is just sitting for days not being driven. Thanks again.
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Old 08-21-2008, 11:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tech10002 View Post
I checked mine one time with an ammeter. It was around 5.6 amps, so that equates to around 650-700 watts.

If it ran 10 hours, that would be 7 KWH, or around 80 cents where I'm at. When I figured out it was adding over 30 bucks a month to my bill, I put it on a timer with a thermostat. The timer comes on at 4 AM, but it will only power up if it's below 30 degrees. It only needs a couple hours to warm the truck up enough where it will run well when it starts.

Ok so i follow you on the timer to only come on at 4AM but what do you have that keeps it from coming on only under 30 degrees? i'd like to get one of those.
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Old 08-21-2008, 11:13 AM
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no, don't plug it in all the time. It has asntifreeze in it for this... The block heater is to make cold starts less hard on the engine by warming the block a little so just plug it in 3-4 hours before your ready to fire it up.
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Old 08-21-2008, 11:27 AM
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^^ That's exactly what I was looking for. Thanks Clay

Trent
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Old 08-21-2008, 11:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stroke_Matt View Post
Ok so i follow you on the timer to only come on at 4AM but what do you have that keeps it from coming on only under 30 degrees? i'd like to get one of those.
I built a little controller. I used a single pole contactor with a 120V coil. The timer is just a cheap Walmart timer. From that timer, I just have an extension cord it. It plugs into the timer and the hot side feeds through a refrigeration thermostat that closes on temperature fall. Then that feeds the coil side of the contactor. The contact side is fed directly off 120V. I put it all in a plastic enclosure inside my storage building and mounted the temp probe outside. You don't really need the contactor, but I used it to cut the wear on the thermostat contacts.

I had all this stuff lying around(I'm a refrigeration tech). You could probably get everything new to build one for about 40-50 bucks if you used a cheaper thermostat. There are a lot of snap acting thermo discs that would work, but you would have to mount it outside. I've seen remote bulb units in the $30 range too. This is the one I used. Product Group Details

I forget what it costs, but I think it's at least 80 bucks by itself. It's a high quality unit intended for commercial refrigeration.

Last edited by tech10002; 08-21-2008 at 03:34 PM.
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Old 08-21-2008, 02:39 PM
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If you know your going out in it on a saturday morning plug it in just before bed friday night. At work ill leave mine pluged in the whole time im at work, and if i plug it in at home it usually is only on for 5 hrs or so
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