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Old 08-24-2014, 09:21 AM   #1
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Keeping a stored diesel rig (and cold fridge) without power...

Hi, All!

Next rig will be a diesel with a residential fridge. I'm in the northeast and we have to store the rig outside in a storage lot, without power, between trips and over the winter.

Two questions:

1) I'm not really clear on how I can keep the rig charged up (between trips and over the winter). Seems like two schools of thought (treat with fuel stabilizer, winterize and leave it alone for winter, vs. drive rig and run genny at proper operating temp for an hour or so a month during the winter).

2) How do I power up a residential fridge so it gets cold in advance prior to us leaving on a trip? I guess I could just bring it to the house the day before and power up via our house. Is there a better way that I'm missing?

Thanks for any advice (or direction to other helpful threads on this)!

Thanks!
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Old 08-24-2014, 09:55 AM   #2
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1) if it's being stored outdoors in full sun, solar panels are an excellent way to keep the batteries charged up while it's in storage.

2) a residential fridge cools down quickly compared to an absorption type. You could just run your generator a couple of hours to power the fridge prior to departure.....the generator needs the excercise anyway after "sleeping" all winter.
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Old 08-24-2014, 10:09 AM   #3
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Hi go6car,
I am for leaving the automotive part of the coach alone during the storage months. Let it sleep.

What pasdad1 posted is good advice. In addition, when leaving the coach consider turning off absolutely everything. This includes the master battery switches for the coach and chassis batteries. The master switches need to be turned off because even when you turn off everything there is still a parasite load on the batteries. A accessory to consider is a blade type switch installed on the negative terminal for the coach and chassis batteries.
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Old 08-24-2014, 10:09 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by go6car View Post
Hi, All!

Next rig will be a diesel with a residential fridge. I'm in the northeast and we have to store the rig outside in a storage lot, without power, between trips and over the winter.

Two questions:

1) I'm not really clear on how I can keep the rig charged up (between trips and over the winter). Seems like two schools of thought (treat with fuel stabilizer, winterize and leave it alone for winter, vs. drive rig and run genny at proper operating temp for an hour or so a month during the winter).

2) How do I power up a residential fridge so it gets cold in advance prior to us leaving on a trip? I guess I could just bring it to the house the day before and power up via our house. Is there a better way that I'm missing?

Thanks for any advice (or direction to other helpful threads on this)!

Thanks!
This is my third DP. It is the best one we have had. But, with that said, being full-timers I don't know if what I have to offer is the best solution.

First: If your new to you rig has an Onan generator, the manufacture requires running the generator under load each month. This may help keep your batteries up. When storing a rig, the battery disconnects need to be operated. There is often some electronics in the coach that is not isolated. The monthly genny run will help.

Second: The residential frig will need a power source. You might consider installing solar to boost the batteries when you want to cool the frig before you get the coach for traveling. I don't know how well these do for long term storage. That may be a question you might want to pursue on the forum.

Third: DP's MUST have clean fuel. Using a good fuel additive for cold weather is the best thing to do. Fill the tank before storage. Make certain the water separator is drained of water. If water is in it it will freeze and crack the filter.

After you start your engine in the spring check the water separator after a few hours of operation. You may have water in it because of condensation in the tank. These things are a great invention and they work well when maintained.

Happy trails and happy hunting for your new rig.

Rick Y
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Old 08-24-2014, 10:35 AM   #5
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Diesel doesn't need a fuel stabilizer. Store with tank full to reduce condensation. You can add a can of biocide to prevent 'algae' growth. If there's no water in fuel, slime growth is unlikely. During the winter, let the main engine sleep. If you do want to exercise the generator, every month or so run it about an hour under load to keep electrical connections in the generator shiny. Load could be an electric space heater or two.

For battery health, either add solar panels to the roof to maintain them or make sure your battery disconnect switches 100% disconnect. If they don't, physically take (+) leads off batteries. Last winter I left my RV in storage, with no power, for 4 months. When I returned, I connected batteries and it started on second revolution.
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Old 08-24-2014, 11:16 AM   #6
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I have wintered a 1993 Diesel pusher MANY cold winters w/o plugging in. Winterize and shut down everything! Make sure ALL batteries are FULLY CHARGED and disconnect BOTH banks.

If you want to leave a residential fridge running then YES, solar "could" be the solution. Just have to keep the snow off the panels.

I'm up here in Concord NH, Lets meet at Salisbury Beach some weekend, we can discuss NH winters and class A motorhome. Anybody else care to join?

Happy RV'ing all!

Wife had a bad day yesterday so I think we will hop in the MoHo and head for the beach today!

BEAUTILFUL day in NH!!!
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Old 08-24-2014, 11:37 AM   #7
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I would definitely get solar to help maintain your batteries. As far as cooling down the fridge it cools down fast. Odds are you will have a inverter with your rv and that will run the fridge when you are not hooked up to power. Some rv's also will have an auto start for the generator if the batteries were to get low. I would not use this feature for storage but would if you were going to be around the rv prior to departure.
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Old 08-26-2014, 05:36 AM   #8
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Great advice! Thanks, everyone!!!
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