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self contained block heating unit

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I just moved from a place with a garage and driveway (and thus the ability to run an extension cord) to an apartment complex.


my jeeps all have block heaters...my parking spot is 200 yards from my door, in a high foot traffic area.


so. I want to know if there's an efficient (and feasible) way to convert dc power to ac power, then via a timing device control a time period in which the heater would be turned on...all without draining the battery too much for it to start in a 10 or so hour time period.



this isn't for any startability issues...I just simply like to get in an already warm vehicle.





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my thought process is running along the lines of a 12v timing device between the battery and the power inverter. I need to figure out the power draw specs of the heater, and of the inverter, and weigh the difference in order to avoid draining my battery, and decide how long I need to run the system in order to achieve temp.


my goal is to at least get the coolant temp. above 55 degrees prior to starting the vehicle. I'm only trying to get it warm, not hot.




if needed, I will add a second optima red top in system with a battery isolator so that I can also jump start the vehicle via second battery.

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Engine block heaters draw between 500 and 650 watts of 115V AC energy. It's a lot less efficient to invert DC to AC so you will waste some heat energy doing so. Say if you were to get an inverter rated at a conservitave 1000W because the block heater would be a pure resistive load your battery will die a very short life. Adding a second battery with a 10V automatic cutoff and a primary battery for starting would only add cost because you will still have the constant drain and short life.


I would expect in an apartment complex they would not want you running a small gas generator to run your block heater either. They do sell heating pads that you apply directly to the oil pan but again normally to be used with a constant power supply.


Do you park in a car port or just out in the open?

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