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I'm still narrowing down future cars and the Rav4 Hybrid is now on top of the list.

I've read that Prius owners are able to run the air conditioning all night when camping in the car or run other things off the battery power. Supposedly, the gas engine will turn on every once in a while so the battery can recharge itself. Will the Rav4 Hybrid do this, too? I'm not sure I'd ever actually use this feature, but I'm curious to know if it's possible.
 

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I traded my 2009 Prius in, on my RAV4 Hybrid, and always planned to do exactly this, if I lost electricity for some time. I do know of people doing as you say, in both cold and heat, while camping. I would imagine you would be awakened in the night, by the engine starting pretty frequently, but comfortable.
 

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I'm still narrowing down future cars and the Rav4 Hybrid is now on top of the list.

I've read that Prius owners are able to run the air conditioning all night when camping in the car or run other things off the battery power. Supposedly, the gas engine will turn on every once in a while so the battery can recharge itself. Will the Rav4 Hybrid do this, too? I'm not sure I'd ever actually use this feature, but I'm curious to know if it's possible.
Yes, everything you can do with a Prius is the same for the Rav4 HV. You can draw about 1000w off the 12v battery. Some people install an inverter in the back by the 12v battery for that purpose. You do have to leave the car "running", but a tank of gas will last for days. You can draw power directly off the traction battery with the right equipment and expertise, I think that allows about 3000w.

Obviously, how much the ICE runs depends on the power draw. If you're trying to run household appliances, you'll need a "full sine wave" inverter for compatibility with newer electronics and motors. Running the A/C in the summer will cause the ICE to run about every 20 min or so for roughly 5-10 min. Running the heat in the winter will keep the ICE running a bit more, because it has to make the heat.
 

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Thanks! Glad to know it's possible in the Rav4, too. That's pretty cool. Running it down like that doesn't shorten the life of the battery? Does it work for all the accessories, like lights, power outlet/lighter, radio, a/c, etc... or just a few things? I find this fascinating.
 

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Thanks, rdgrimes! Sorry, I didn't see your earlier reply before I posted my response. You've explained a lot and pretty much answered all the questions I had about it.
 

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I would like to hook a power inverter to the traction battery of my 2016 Rav4 Hybrid. Has anyone done this? The traction battery is 240 volts. Where can you find a power inverter with 240 volts DC input?
 

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I would like to hook a power inverter to the traction battery of my 2016 Rav4 Hybrid. Has anyone done this? The traction battery is 240 volts. Where can you find a power inverter with 240 volts DC input?
Don't even think about it! Each cell in the traction battery has to be kept within a certain voltage range and the battery management system is constantly checking voltage, temperature, and current. If you were to hook up some other device to the battery, the computer will most certainly throw an error code and immobilize the hybrid system.

In regards to the 12VDC accessory battery, running in accessory mode only gives you about 30-45 minutes before the battery depletes. There's really no instance where you should have the car in accessory mode or neutral only. The hybrid system should be on at all times when consuming power.
 

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Don't even think about it! Each cell in the traction battery has to be kept within a certain voltage range and the battery management system is constantly checking voltage, temperature, and current. If you were to hook up some other device to the battery, the computer will most certainly throw an error code and immobilize the hybrid system.

In regards to the 12VDC accessory battery, running in accessory mode only gives you about 30-45 minutes before the battery depletes. There's really no instance where you should have the car in accessory mode or neutral only. The hybrid system should be on at all times when consuming power.
Thanks a lot for the reply and the extra information which leads to another question :). If I use the 12V DC accessory battery will it auto recharge if I connect it to an inverter while the car in powered on? What I am trying to achieve is to have a reliable supply of voltage for few hours similar to what can be done with the Prius where the car will start and charge the battery when its charge goes down.
 

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Thanks a lot for the reply and the extra information which leads to another question :). If I use the 12V DC accessory battery will it auto recharge if I connect it to an inverter while the car in powered on? What I am trying to achieve is to have a reliable supply of voltage for few hours similar to what can be done with the Prius where the car will start and charge the battery when its charge goes down.
Yes. This is one of the reasons why there are two separate batteries - to maintain 12VDC to the car's electronics. As long as the hybrid system is on and you're in park or drive, the hybrid system will divert energy to the accessory battery to maintain 12VDC.
 

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I would like to hook a power inverter to the traction battery of my 2016 Rav4 Hybrid. Has anyone done this? The traction battery is 240 volts. Where can you find a power inverter with 240 volts DC input?
It can be done, and has been done many times with the Prius system. Visit the PriusChat Forums and search for Prius as generator, there are a number of relevant threads. There are several kits available to do this but you need some expertise to do it without killing yourself or the car.

Basically you can get up to 3000 watts of continuous energy, but you'll be running the ICE almost continuously to do that. Which begs the question of why not just buy a generator?

Still its been used many times for emergencies. And it has wheels so you take your emergency generator with you. Its a permanent installation with high voltage - high current materials and precautions. One advantage of the Rav4 is that all the battery components are easier to access.
 
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