Another PIP 1 Camping Question

Discussion in 'Gen 1 Prius Plug-in 2012-2015' started by KCM, Sep 4, 2017.

  1. KCM

    KCM New Member

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    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    V
    I'm starting the process of kitting out my Pip for car camping. I have some concerns about which accessories I can run and still be able to start the car in the morning. (This is boondocking, not plugged into 110V outlet). This is a list of what I'm thinking of using in the car during the night.

    Cracking a door or the hatch - from 2 hours to all night long.
    Being able to operate the windows (from the back seat) - I assume this means leaving the car in ready mode.
    Using the overhead lights - front, back seat or rear (side) - maybe 2 hours total.
    Using the 12V outlets - either dashboard or console - probably just to charge things like cell phone, but possibly to use a 12V throw blanket (about 30 Watts).
    Running the dashboard fan or possibly the AC. Usually not necessary after midnight.
    Playing the radio or a CD.

    The first two things are kind of essential. I do have free-standing electronics that could do the other four jobs but it would obviously be easier to use the car's existing accessories.

    Part of my problem is that I don't know which accessories run off which battery. I am assuming that the small 12V battery starts the car and at that point it can run on gas for a bit if the big battery has run down too much to run on electric, but is that right, and is starting the engine the only thing the 12V battery is used for?

    One last thing, I also have a battery bank (about the size of a paperback book, isn't technology amazing?) that can be used to jump start a car. How do you jump start a Pip?

    TIA!
     
    #1 KCM, Sep 4, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2017
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  2. gallde

    gallde Active Member

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    Charge fully before leaving, then travel in HV mode. If car is in READY (Power with brake depressed), the traction battery will keep the 12v from discharging. But the inverter runs, which eats power, so you might drain the traction battery enough overnight that the engine will start. You'll know soon enough!
     
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  3. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    welcome!

    even with a pip, you'll need to leave the car in ready, and accept the engine running as it will. it's the same cheesy 12v battery, and it will go dead in short order otherwise.

    everything runs off the 12v except a/c. hybrid battery charges the 12v (as well as wall plug when charging the car) but the hybrid battery won't charge it if the engine isn't prepared to come on as necessary.
    the 12v battery boots up the computers, and closes relays. then, the hybrid battery starts the engine.
    there's no starter motor (as we know it) one of the motor generators in the tranny turns it over, and there is no alternator. the inverter does that job.

    jump starting is easy, there's a jump point in the fuse box under the hood. that and a clean bolt for ground, and you're good to go.
     
    #3 bisco, Sep 4, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2017
  4. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    If the interior lights you will have on are the original incandescents, swap them out for lower current LED versions for longer battery life.

    Current reduction will vary considerably depending on what models you choose. Some folks merely want vastly brighter lights, plus get generic omnidirectional models. These will save some current, but not drastically so.

    I drastically slashed current by going with similar light levels as the originals, plus unidirectional models that cast nearly all their light in my intended directional instead of all around the lamp housing too. This meant different models for different locations that originally had the same incandescent lamp. My replacements cut the current draw by nearly a factor of 10, enough that lights could be accidentally left all all night without risk of failing to start the next day.
     
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  5. PA Prius

    PA Prius Active Member

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    Just chiming in here after our road trip, PA-AK-PA with various stops along the way. Total of just under 14,000 miles and actual average (not MFD) right at 60 mpg. Would have been around 57 mpg without any plug-ins. Slept in the car 6 nights. Condensation was an issue. We got some cheap toile mesh at a fabric store, draped it over the doorframe above the window and closed the door to hold it in place, then clamped it to the glass of the partially lowered window with office paper clamps. This was certainly better than with the windows closed. One flat tire on the Alaskan Highway. I had ditched the OEM compressor/goo since that could not be used without the goo. I bought another compressor, tire plug kit, Gorilla Glue and variety of sizes of screws, and a can of Fix-A-Flat. Plug kit worked great. Hasn't lost a pound of pressure since. Highest down hill battery recharge was in Jasper National Park, added 9 miles going down one hill. Can't imagine doing that trip in any other car!
     
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  6. mmmodem

    mmmodem Taste Tester

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    You burn about a gallon of gas if you leave the Prius on all night. I'd probably doing that than risk not being able to start the car in the morning. The only bad thing is that the gas engine would cycle every 10 minutes or so. ACC mode turns off on its own after a few minutes. So it can't be used over night.

    If you don't want to disturb your neighbors or yourself you can save EV mode until you camp. With a full charge, you may be able to last most of the night in Ready mode if you don't use AC. You'll need some thick blankets to cover the instrument gauge. You can dim the lights but they can't be turned off.
     
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