Optimal settings for the night stealth camping in cold weather (below 32F) and how often engine...

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by OutdoorsPrius, Nov 29, 2019.

  1. OutdoorsPrius

    OutdoorsPrius New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2019
    16
    5
    0
    Location:
    Finland
    Vehicle:
    2005 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    I would be more concerned about the half hour constant visible exhaust smoke(mostly steam), especially visible at cold winter time. That will draw attention from even far away?

    I don’t have plan to park right next to other (overnight sleeping) cars in quiet places.

    And it seems prius runs quite quietly, you don’t have to be very far from it and it will sound very quiet.
     
  2. OutdoorsPrius

    OutdoorsPrius New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2019
    16
    5
    0
    Location:
    Finland
    Vehicle:
    2005 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    I have not found any other post that would have experienced same problem that you had? A lot people have done overnights much much longer times than 14 nights (months even years?), but maybe not in that cold weather?

    If I had electricity outlets available I would just use 1-2kw electric heater with a thermostat, inside the car and not run car at all. But it is not possible in my travels.

    I’m not really buying into that engine would cool too much at night. I assume that in -20c and colder engine will be running with quite a short engine off times?
    And the warm cooling fluid doesn’t drop very low (I don’t remember exact temp now) until it will start engine again.

    The maintenance mode might be an option in very extreme cold temperatures like -30c and colder. But there will not be many of those kind of days.
     
  3. OutdoorsPrius

    OutdoorsPrius New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2019
    16
    5
    0
    Location:
    Finland
    Vehicle:
    2005 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    What I understood is that this is only for summer nights camping and summer fan control for ventilation?

    It doesn’t effect winter time heating times at all?

    It would be so nice at winter times when the prius has been parked, let’s say, after an hour (not moving, but heating on), the heating system would automatically shift to less frequent engine on times and longer engine off times (~’winter night mode’).

    Anyway, has toyota made any software updates to Prius 2nd gen?
     
  4. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2018
    4,406
    4,353
    1
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Vehicle:
    2018 Prius c
    Model:
    Two
    No idea if anyone has tried it. I suspect it would take a little bit of experimentation to tune it, and it's possible that it wouldn't be any better for your purposes.

    There have been some software updates over the years; you'd need to contact your local Toyota dealer to go further. They keep central records of which cars have the updates and which cars still need them.

    To the best of my knowledge none of the updates affect cycle timing for extended ready mode.
     
  5. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2012
    6,336
    2,652
    0
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    --If you know what it's like to be rousted in the middle of the night, you'd be more serious about avoiding it at all costs. Leaving your car on all night and cycling the engine briefly every hour is way more likely to draw attention to engine noise of exhaust vapor than just doing it once in the latest quietest hour of early morning.

    --I'm not referring to your engine noise bothering people in cars camping they're in the same boat as you, also not wanting to get rousted. I'm referring to a paranoid neighbor wondering why the sound of your engine isn't like the other cars on the road passing by and why you've been there all night with your engine periodically running and thinking they need to call the cops to report suspicious behavior. Fussy paranoid people love to obsess over a car engine near their house and sound can travel a long ways and a Prius engine is just as loud as most other modern economy car engines.

    --You better start saving up to replace your inverter cooling pump because not only are these pumps of cheap design and fail often (weakest link in Hybrid Synergy System) the pump is always on if the car is in ready mode. As in not only are these pumps not designed well for regular use, they're certainly not designed for being in use all night every night...
     
    Skibob likes this.
  6. OutdoorsPrius

    OutdoorsPrius New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2019
    16
    5
    0
    Location:
    Finland
    Vehicle:
    2005 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    I think the key is not to park close to people’s homes in the first place?
    There is a lot of good information where to park "stealthy" in urban areas, in youtube videos. (some shopping mall parking lots, 24/7 gas stations with big parking lots, truck stops etc...) ~ isolated big parking lots with some lights.

    It would be interesting to know in which kind of places people have had problems with a paranoid neighbors that are wondering all night to register your car behavior and calling cops. They must have parked next to somebody’s home?

    With Prius there is a 1/5 change that people passing by isolated parking lot even see the exhaust or hear the engine on ;)
    and if they do and they are coming back sameway again... there is again 4/5 change.. that the car engine is off...

    And if the cops knock on the window, I will just explain that I have been traveling a lot today and I didn’t want to be a hazard to others by driving tired. Could you please help me to find a better place where I could rest a while. I bet they are willing to help.

    But I don’t expect this to happen even in the cities, if you just use common sense where to park at night.
    And the colder it gets... less people walking in outside (at night time).

    Anyway, mostly I will be sleeping close to hiking trail entrances (quiet roads).

    I have heard that Prius is quite reliable car to compared to other cars. Do you have some link to back up that cooling pump is a weak link in prius? Might be.
    Many taxis in the north (ski centers) drive in three working shifts and in the coldest winter days they literally have their cars running almost 24/7 (and the pump?). I have read that prius has been reliable also as a taxi? People have driven these over 300 000 miles. That is a lot for a car and for a pump and for everything. I have not read any particular problems with prius cooling pumps.
     
  7. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2012
    6,336
    2,652
    0
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    Lol... You have not read, or you don't want to read about the inverter pump? You came here for advice but are more interested in arguing against advice offered... I'm done with this conversation. Total waste of time!
     
  8. OutdoorsPrius

    OutdoorsPrius New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2019
    16
    5
    0
    Location:
    Finland
    Vehicle:
    2005 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    Give us some links.
     
  9. OutdoorsPrius

    OutdoorsPrius New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2019
    16
    5
    0
    Location:
    Finland
    Vehicle:
    2005 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    Inverter Pump Question? | PriusChat
    Recalled. How many inverter pumps have you changed to your Prius ?!?
     
  10. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2012
    6,336
    2,652
    0
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    LIke I said, helping you is a waste of time... Running your pump all night every night will cause it to fail way sooner than later. Of course until it fails on you you're just going to make up excuses for why it won't fail and you'll only have yourself to blame once it does.
     
  11. OutdoorsPrius

    OutdoorsPrius New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2019
    16
    5
    0
    Location:
    Finland
    Vehicle:
    2005 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    Why did your pumps failed? ;)

    Your doomsday ’helps’ and ’lols’ have not stopped people enjoying camping with their prius. Are we talking about inverter pump that costs 50-100 dollars? One winter tire might cost more than that.

    And yet no link to proof that this is a big problem among prius owners (after recall fix).
    I really hope that this pump is going to be the biggest mechanical problem in my car.
     
  12. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2008
    14,617
    10,272
    0
    Location:
    Indiana, USA
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    IV
    I don't remember exactly how the Gen 2 fan speed display looks (on the MFD, right?), but in Gen 3 the display only can show about 7 different levels, while the fan actually has (if you look with Techstream, say) 31 different speeds, so there can be 4 or 5 different fan speeds that get displayed with the same number of pips on the display. In auto mode, you could be seeing one fan pip on the display, but maybe auto has chosen a slightly higher speed (2/31, 3/31, 4/31) so it's louder.
     
  13. Starship_Enterprius

    Starship_Enterprius Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2014
    310
    150
    0
    Location:
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Not very promising. Driving to work at -25c my Prius often revs its engine just to keep warm. And it barely turns off on stops too.

    If you haven't yet, block off your radiator grills just to let the engine keep its heat longer. It does make a slight difference for such conditions.

    Also since you already have the car running and generating more electricity than you need, why not buy 2v heated blankets you can use inside your sleeping bag. Then you can set your car as low as you can.
     
  14. Skibob

    Skibob Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2018
    2,909
    1,479
    0
    Location:
    Northern California
    Vehicle:
    2006 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    I think what your missing is your in an entirely different country than most of the people giving advice to you are in. I say do what’s best for you. Best of luck.
     
  15. T1 Terry

    T1 Terry Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2015
    384
    184
    0
    Vehicle:
    2006 Prius
    Model:
    Plug-in Advanced
    Window insulation is essential. Inside the windows in winter to stop the air inside circulating across the cold glass, and outside in summer for the same reason, the hot glass heating the air.
    The constant restarts could also be to recharge the battery because the traction battery is constantly recharging the 12v battery that powers the fan. The computer knows the traction battery can't fall below a set voltage it needs to restart the motor, so it could be the low voltage and not just the engine temp that is causing the frequent restart.
    In the motorhome we have a diesel heater installed that burns winter fuel in a furnace chamber under the floor and circulates the inside air across the outside fins of the furnace. The actual air to feed the furnace and exhaust is all outside. There are propane gas heaters that work the same way, but if it gets that cold outside then the liquid in the bottle turning into a gas might stop or be so slow the flame in the burner will keep going out. The winter fuel or even straight kerosene in the diesel heater is a better option if you choose to go the aux heater route.
    Fortunately, -10*C is as bad as it gets over this side of the world, so no need to try and keep the inside warm. We use the heater in the motorhome for shower time so we don't turn blue while trying to get dry and dressed :lol: It is nice to be warm before going to bed as well.
    Another option could be a small inverter powered from the 12v battery to power an electric blanket. We use lithium batteries for our house battery so they can power the inverter all night, so an upgrade of the 12v battery to a 90Ah prismatic cell lithium battery is one option, it does fit in the spot with a bit of wriggling to get it to drop in, but the vent pipe won't go back in afterwards. That would be enough to keep the electric blanket on position 1 all night and still have enough left to turn the car on in the morning.

    T1 Terry
     
    ice9 and PriusCamper like this.
  16. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2008
    14,617
    10,272
    0
    Location:
    Indiana, USA
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    IV
    No inverter necessarily needed: 12 volt electric blankets are a thing. Mine (around 40 watts) is very comfortable, and can be used in combination with the car's heater in various approaches to hunkering.

    I have smiled at electric blanket warnings in the past that sternly warn against sleeping in them, thinking the main concern was being asleep and getting too warm. But on more reading, it seems that there can be a failure mode for electric blankets that involves catching fire, an inconvenient situation to wake up to if you're wrapped in it and also enclosed in a cramped space. Something to think about. Certainly a good reason to handle and store carefully, and use the blanket on top of you rather than rolling around on/in it.
     
  17. T1 Terry

    T1 Terry Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2015
    384
    184
    0
    Vehicle:
    2006 Prius
    Model:
    Plug-in Advanced
    You can buy electric throw rugs that go over the knees or as the top layer on the bed at night. Not near as electrically efficient as an electric blanket under you with a mattress topper over it to smooth out the wiring for a bit more comfort. I can recommend adding a closed cell sleeping mat under the mattress and especially under an air mattress to keep the cold out.
    Ideally an upgrade to a PHEV battery in the spare wheel well would give you the comforts of home without the need to run the engine very often. The 10kWh of energy stored in that battery will keep the 12v battery charged and the taction battery charged for quite a while. Use the throw rug instead of the electric blanket and the heat loss would actually warm the vehicle interior, save running the heater after the cabin area had warmed up.

    T1 Terry
     
  18. justlee

    justlee Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2019
    14
    3
    0
    Location:
    CA
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    II
    Hi everybody! I got a 2005 Gen2 a few months ago so I'm new to the prius world and still learning my way around. I have a couple of questions related to this thread as I intend to camp out of my car. First is the prius cabin heated by the engine coolant through the heater core only or can the AC compressor be reversed cycled and used for heating? Is there an accumulator or pump to pre-lube the engine before starting? If not would it be worthwhile to add these features to a prius ? Does anybody know the continuous output power of the DC to DC converter? Can a person add an inverter to the 12V system and run a heater or hair dryer, maybe also an RV battery for more inverter power? Has anybody hacked the AC inverter system to get some AC power from the traction battery or know of any 200V inverters? 208V is an industrial motor voltage so how about using a vairable frequency drive to pull out some AC power from the traction battery? I ain't goin campin unless I can microwave me some Hot Pockets! Thanks!
     
  19. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2018
    4,406
    4,353
    1
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Vehicle:
    2018 Prius c
    Model:
    Two
    Engine coolant heats the cabin. The new Prius Prime includes a heat pump system, however that was Toyota's first use of the technology. No oil pump needed. A lot of drivers made it to 300k miles without, so why bother? You can get 100 amps out of the DC/DC converter. Lots of people use inverters on them. There was a wave of small companies that sprung up to do inverters on the high voltage battery. They've now gone under, nothing remains. You're welcome. Happy new year!
     
  20. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2012
    6,336
    2,652
    0
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    There was a brief moment there when the 12v, 24v & 48v DC standard input potentially could of been upstaged by a 110v & 220v DC standard input, but home solar and inverter manufactures was too strong of a market for hybrid car batteries to change...

    Of course seeing that Tesla is saving power companies millions with their mega-packs, effectively shutting down power generation plants with more efficient energy storage systems at scale... Then add to this their roof top solar products, their cars and eventually ultra-efficient Home AC systems, it's pretty clear that they could successfully change the standards. But I'm not aware of the details of their long term inverter strategy yet...
     
Loading...