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Old 02-14-2014, 09:54 AM   #15
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The newer Freightliner chassis (2014) now have the DEF tank on the left side, so refilling is no longer a problem. As far as running out, you should get plenty of warning. My fuel gauge has four green bars to indicate DEF. When I get to the last bar, I know I need it. BUT before I actually run out, the green bar is supposed to flash, change colors, and then finally go out (there is additional time between each of these different warnings). At that point, the engine will derate.
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Old 02-14-2014, 10:03 AM   #16
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DEF magnetic collar

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Originally Posted by Craigls2 View Post
I also have been using bulk DEF from truck stops by going at night when they aren't busy and turning around the Mh. Want to fill up a 5 gallon portable tank like someone suggested but have been advised that the bulk pumps won't dispense into a plastic portable tank. Anyone have any info if that is true or not?

This what is needed to dispense DEF into an ordinary plastic gas can so you can buy DEF at the pump and store for later. I haven't bought one yet. They may be available elsewhere.

OPW 21Gu Mis-Filling Prevention Device - MFPD
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Old 02-14-2014, 10:25 AM   #17
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What about a farmer tank from tsc or other farm supply?

Find a place for one then find a tank that fits then you can dispense when filling and carry.

Tank can be mounted anywhere and get electric fuel pump to transfer.
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Old 02-14-2014, 10:57 AM   #18
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What about a farmer tank from tsc or other farm supply?

Find a place for one then find a tank that fits then you can dispense when filling and carry.

Tank can be mounted anywhere and get electric fuel pump to transfer.
Exactly. There's one at Tractor Supply that's a 15 gal poly tank and a small sprayer pump that may do the job. I'm waiting for them to come in at my local store. I also saw one at Harbor freight, but it was about 15" wide, just a bit too big for my rig where I want to place it.

Others have voiced concerns about using "unapproved" pumps and fittings in such a setup. Seems like the DEF crowd has all sorts of warnings about this in their literature. When we were in AK this summer I used a 110V small pump to transfer from my totes and other containers without a problem. On the farm we pumped a liquid urea solution (VERY close to DEF) with farm pumps and hoses all the time. You can get corrosion if you use mild steel or other metal fittings, but it's not a reason to not come up with something that works instead of the kluge job the RV makers gave us.

Does any one know if Freightliner has the tank on the driver side with their side radiator chassis?
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Old 02-14-2014, 11:02 AM   #19
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The newer Freightliner chassis (2014) now have the DEF tank on the left side, so refilling is no longer a problem. As far as running out, you should get plenty of warning. My fuel gauge has four green bars to indicate DEF. When I get to the last bar, I know I need it. BUT before I actually run out, the green bar is supposed to flash, change colors, and then finally go out (there is additional time between each of these different warnings). At that point, the engine will derate.
I can attest that the bar does go from green to red when you're getting low, but I didn't go farther than that!

I think people make the whole DEF thing sound more complicated and expensive than it really is. I'm on my first DEF coach, a 2014 Tuscany. My observations:
- even with the tank on the driver's side, it's so far back (behind the rear wheels) that you have to pull up after filling with diesel to do the DEF. Not that big a deal, but enough of a pain that I've mostly switched to the boxed DEF from Wally World. I use about a box of DEF per fillup, or I can go about four fillups safely before filling at the DEF pump.
- at the pump at Pilot, it's been $2.799 the two times I've filled at the pump, vs. about $5 per gallon ($12.99 for a 2-1/2 gallon bottle-in-a-box) at Walmart. That's about 0.9 cents/mile at the pump, or 1.7 cents/mile in the box. (Figured at around 2.5% of fuel use, and I get about 7.5-8 mpg.)
- That compares to my fuel cost of around 53 cents per mile (7.5 mpg at $4 per gallon for diesel).
- So DEF just isn't a significant part of my cost. Cummins claims the 2010 DEF-equipped engines get better fuel mileage than their 2007 SCR predecessors, because the DEF exhaust treatment allows them to run the engine more efficiently (in some way; I've heard different versions, but it all sounds reasonable to me) and still meet the clean air requirements.

By the way, the DEF system wasn't designed by bureaucrats, but by engineers. The EPA (under orders from Congress) set the emission targets, and the engine manufacturers came up with DEF as a means of meeting them. Navistar famously tried another path, but was unable to make it work.
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Old 02-14-2014, 11:15 AM   #20
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...
Does any one know if Freightliner has the tank on the driver side with their side radiator chassis?
Interesting question. What 2014s use a Freightliner side radiator chassis? I looked at Tiffin and their Zephyr doesn't use the Freightliner Chassis. I found some pics for a '14 Newmar King Aire, but it was a Spartan Chassis (& the DEF was still on the PS).
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Old 02-14-2014, 11:38 AM   #21
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def tank on board ours is heated - iirc it's like a paraffin
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Old 02-14-2014, 11:40 AM   #22
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Quote:
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Interesting question. What 2014s use a Freightliner side radiator chassis? I looked at Tiffin and their Zephyr doesn't use the Freightliner Chassis. I found some pics for a '14 Newmar King Aire, but it was a Spartan Chassis (& the DEF was still on the PS).
I believe many of the Newmar models (such as DSDP, MADP, & Essex) use the FCCC side radiator chassis.
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Old 02-14-2014, 05:10 PM   #23
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Also interesting on how Cummins advertises increased mileage with DEF. But isn't DEF injected into the EXHAUST stream? How does that work---jet propulsion maybe?
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Old 02-14-2014, 05:29 PM   #24
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THE DEF is just part of a "system chain cost" to have a working effective DPF.

You lose mileage to regeneration by spraying fuel into the DPF to burn off the soot and when ultimately he DPF gets plugged there is substantial cost to remove and burn out heaven forbid you have to replace the thing.

There are also plethora of sensors dotted along measuring pressure differentials to determine when to regen and what % you are "used up". all to say wit the fluid TMMV, but the entire system is a much bigger deal then the fluid cost.

UD
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Old 02-14-2014, 09:20 PM   #25
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OK, so I had to look up Cummins' explanation of the improvement in fuel economy with DEF:

"Cummins 2010 engines will deliver what customers need in these challenging economic times. Cummins 2010 heavy duty engines utilizing SCR will provide substantial fuel economy improvement, up to 5%. SCR catalyst technology allows much greater NOx conversion efficiency, thereby allowing the engine to be fully optimized, which contributes to this fuel economy improvement. Another benefit to the improved fuel consumption is less frequent Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) cleanout, thereby further reducing costs."

Well, that and the jet propulsion ... just kidding.
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Old 02-15-2014, 05:44 PM   #26
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OK, so I had to look up Cummins' explanation of the improvement in fuel economy with DEF:

"Cummins 2010 engines will deliver what customers need in these challenging economic times. Cummins 2010 heavy duty engines utilizing SCR will provide substantial fuel economy improvement, up to 5%. SCR catalyst technology allows much greater NOx conversion efficiency, thereby allowing the engine to be fully optimized, which contributes to this fuel economy improvement. Another benefit to the improved fuel consumption is less frequent Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) cleanout, thereby further reducing costs."

Well, that and the jet propulsion ... just kidding.
So it appears that what they're saying is that engines prior to DEF were de-rated so as to meet the EPA NOX requirements. That sort of follows as I had an '08 Allegro Bus that they took in for an "update" and I immediately had about an 8% decrease in mileage. Even after questioning Cummins closely as to what they did EXACTLY and why, I couldn't get a straight answer, but I got a ton of "We didn't do anything that would effect mileage". Yeah, sure. Use more fuel, create more overall pollution, run your costs up by 8% and use 8% MORE fuel, but we meet the arbitrary NOX emissions they set. Gotta love the EPA and the government. Big daddy loves you and is here to help!
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Old 02-15-2014, 06:58 PM   #27
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The DEF concerns remind me of when the alternators were replacing the generators or fuel injection was replacing carbs. The bottom line is DEF engines burn 100% cleaner than the old diesel engines. Our 2011 Tiffin RED avg 10.2 mpg for 25,000 miles, and our 2014 Phaeton is slightly less at 9.7. I suspect that within a year most all diersel RV's will have the drivers side DEF tanks. Running out should never be a concern if you carried a spare jug. Shelf life likewise is no concern and a cleaner world is all the more better off !
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Old 02-15-2014, 08:24 PM   #28
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I think that I read that shelf life is about a year. I also agree that the issues are not as complex as some would have us believe. Wal-Mart is a reasonable solution IMHO. The savings by figuring out how to refill a plastic container - IMHO - aren't worth the trouble to me.

Alaska might be another issue - I can't comment on that. We just keep a 2.5 Gal container on board and replace it as necessary. So far in a year we've bought two and we have about a 1/2 tank, but that's just us.
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