first freeze of the season

cold morning

It was 36F in the van this A.M., and Muffin’s bowl was frozen outside. I’m guessing it was high-20s.

It was cold enough I made coffee over propane instead of the less-heat-dispersing hotplate. I also took down the winshield sunscreen to let the sun help heat the interior.

Making some banana bread this morning, which will also help heat the interior a bit.

the LiFePO4

The 16w warming mat I had under the the 100Ah LFP is struggling with the 100Ah + 50Ah mismatched bank. I have it set at 50F and it used to hold that within a degree. This morning the temp controller says bank temp is 42.6F (BMS shows 42.7F). I’ll watch what it does for a few days. If it can’t keep the bank >40F I might raise the set temp to ~60F to store more heat during the day. If that doesn’t work I’ll pick up a another mat so each batt has one instead of sharing the single 16w.

CORRECTION I didn’t have my glasses on and hadn’t really looked at the temp controller for a year. It was set to 40F and so never came on last night. By the time I figured it out the bank was 59F from ambient warming in late afternoon. I set the temp to 50F and we’ll see if how close it can hold temp tonight.

Note: the Victron SmartSense will tell the controller shut down the party at 34F; it’s now reading a slightly lower 39F. So alternator charging would be the sole threat if the cells get too cold. I’ve left the relay disabled as a precaution.


  • Oct 14 - 42F in the van, bank less than a degree off 50.0F; cause for optimism
  • Oct 15 - 37F in the van, bank less than a degree off 50.0F.