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Old 12-13-2013, 03:14 PM   #15
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My understanding is that you only start it when you can run it for an extended period and drive it so it gets up to operating temperature (about 20 miles) otherwise it is more harmful than letting it set. Same with GenSet, full operating temp under a load.
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Old 12-13-2013, 03:16 PM   #16
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Barbaraok stated it while I was typing :-)
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Old 12-13-2013, 03:41 PM   #17
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I will have to start it, but I think I will rent the generator as mentioned and then run it around a bit. My wife needs to learn to drive it so maybe this will be a good time.

After we get our desk built in this month and get through the holidays we are headed to Texas.
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Old 12-13-2013, 03:52 PM   #18
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Are you going to take the coach for a 20-30 minute run (or more)? Are you going to run the generator UNDER load for an hour or more? If either answer is no, then just leave them alone until spring. Am assuming that you did fill the fuel tank up before putting her to bed?

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The OP said, "I have to start it because we are planning to leave this area in January".
I could be wrong, but I assume he will have to drive it for more than more than 20-30 minutes to leave the area.
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Old 12-13-2013, 04:05 PM   #19
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"It has a full tank of fresh diesel, but not "winter diesel"

This is a problem. I have diesel tractors, trucks, they always start in 20 degree weather. However, I have anti-gel in the fuel tank. So, first go to a truck stop or the such and buy a diesel additive. Add it to the tank for the number of gallions of fuel that you can estimate that you have. Start the generator first, let it run for a while, 10 minutes or so. While it is running, start the MH engine. My guess is that you will be ok.
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Old 12-13-2013, 04:35 PM   #20
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"It has a full tank of fresh diesel, but not "winter diesel"

This is a problem. I have diesel tractors, trucks, they always start in 20 degree weather. However, I have anti-gel in the fuel tank. So, first go to a truck stop or the such and buy a diesel additive. Add it to the tank for the number of gallions of fuel that you can estimate that you have. Start the generator first, let it run for a while, 10 minutes or so. While it is running, start the MH engine. My guess is that you will be ok.

Do you mean to add the additive now, or add it the day I go to start it up?

Just so everyone is clear. In a week or so I will have to start it up to move it to a cabinet makers shop. The shop is not too far away so this will be a short trip. I can drive around for a while if it's better to let the engine get all the way up to speed.

Then on approx. Jan 1st I will start it up to bring it over to the house (about 30mins away) to load it up. Once loaded I will leave the following morning for Texas.

These trips can not be avoided, but I can take steps to minimize the wear on the engine. I could rent the Generator to run the block heater as one mentioned if it is really necessary.
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Old 12-13-2013, 04:51 PM   #21
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Add it now. I keep diesel additive in mine year around.
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Old 12-13-2013, 05:42 PM   #22
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I agree with 3 Birds.


However. I believe that most, (all?) Onan generators run at a regulated 1800 RPM.

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Hi, haven't put a tach on my 8kw onan Quiet but the generator name plate says it is 2 pole making synchronous speed 3600, to have SS at 1800 you need a 4 pole generator. In any event, I like to treat my machinery gentle. Nearly 40 years working on and around heavy equipment taught me this.
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Old 12-13-2013, 05:50 PM   #23
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Do you mean to add the additive now, or add it the day I go to start it up?
The recommendation to add an anti-gel to summer (#2) diesel is good one and now is the right time. Summer diesel has higher paraffin content and will wax up (gel) at any narrowing in the fuel system, in particular filters and hose fittings.

My recommendation to use preheat (block heater) is based on several decades in the business AND I'm a little conservative when it comes to maintenance, especially the preventative kind.

It is always good to let an engine come right up to temperature before shutdown in cold weather, this allows the condensation that forms in the lube oil at start up time to evaporate and leave the engine block.
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Old 12-13-2013, 06:02 PM   #24
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I have to start mine for our February run down to Key West. No big deal, just start it up. Same with my diesel truck that has 127,000 miles on it. If it get colder than 15~20 degrees F, then keep some anti-gel fuel additive in it. If not, then don't worry about it. I have to start mine for a few minutes to move it into a place where I can service and load it, then start it again later to move it to where I can hook up my toad. Then start it to head down the road for the first leg. Don't get paranoid about it. Just don't do the "start it to run it for a half hour" nonsense that some people subscribe to. That does absolutely no good.
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Old 12-13-2013, 06:13 PM   #25
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Thanks for all your insight.

I will add some additive for a little prevention.

I will take it easy on the startup and make sure to warm up completely.

I won't bother starting up the generator until we get out into warmer weather.
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Old 12-13-2013, 11:07 PM   #26
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I'll recommend this diesel fuel additive for one reason It works!DIESEL 9?1?1 For Winter Emergencies: Winter Rescue Formula ? use to reliquefy gelled fuel and de-ice frozen fuel-filters.
#2 diesel fuel is what it is, and it's #2 in both summer and winter months, however the refinery adds compounds to reduce the effect of freezing weather on the fuel. Winter blend is only sold in states where winter temperatures get down to the fuel gell-point. Then it's handy to always carry Power Service's Rescue 911.
There is a #1 diesel fuel, it produces less power(btu's) per gallon than #2 because it is blended with kerosene(higher distillates) for below 0 climates.
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Old 12-14-2013, 09:00 AM   #27
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Thanks for all your insight.

I will add some additive for a little prevention.

I will take it easy on the startup and make sure to warm up completely.

.
00wabbit
Good plan!

BTW, any time you start your engine in cold weather it is best to drive the coach, (preferably at highway speeds), for 30+ miles......to warm up/exercise the transmission and all other components/systems.

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Old 12-14-2013, 09:07 AM   #28
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As cold as the OP states where he is there has to be snow and where there is snow there is "salt and calcium" on the roads........I would opt not to drive it anymore in those conditions than I had to.......I would turn it up to 900-1200 rpm's and let her warm up good(transmission will also warm up while engine is running a bit) and keep the corrosive winter ice melters off the Coach if it were mine.
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