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Old 08-26-2015, 01:33 AM   #1
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Winterizing a Diesel

Up here in the northern states, summer is fading fast. Probably doubtful I'll be storing my DP inside a heated shed this winter. I know how to winterize waterlines, but what about the diesel engine? If I were going to drive it in the cold, I know I'd have to switch to a winter grade of diesel. But if I'm not going to drive it, can I just park it or do I need to add something to the tank?

Damn I hate winters up north, but someday we'll go full time and always be where it's warm.
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Old 08-26-2015, 01:44 AM   #2
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Probably should fill the tank and add some bio bore or other chemicals to hold down the algae that can grow in a tank. I'd also either go to #1 blend or add an anti gel just in case you need to run it. Also, change the oil so you don't have old oil sitting in it.
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Old 08-26-2015, 08:05 AM   #3
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Sta-bil does make a diesel fuel stabilizer. I'd add that, or a similar product, put it away for the winter (sad) and not worry further.
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Old 08-26-2015, 08:32 AM   #4
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As what is stated above, make sure the tank is full and then add an Algaecide and stabilizer, make sure that it gets mixed in the tank, put additives in at fuel station and drive it home, this will make sure that the treated fuel gets to the injector pumps.
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Old 08-26-2015, 08:53 AM   #5
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The recommendations stated above is all you have to do for your engine and fuel system.

I'd like to add, if at all possible, do a good cleaning of your batteries and seal the connections with the spray on type sealer for terminal ends.

You will be pleasantly surprised at how well Diesel fuel holds up in storage in your fuel system, so much easier than gasoline in carburetors.
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Old 08-26-2015, 09:09 AM   #6
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For 4 months or so I would not even worry about a biocide, especially at the cold temps you will experience. If you fill up the fuel right before storage, and it is near winter, the switch for winter blend fuel is probably already done. However, you can add some Diesel Kleen or similar to prevent any gelling. Store with fuel tanks full.

I presume you have coolant mix at the right amount (50% should be fine for your winter). If you get a warmer spell, it is god to take the MH for a drive 15+ miles to get it up to full operating temp during the winter storage period.

Your batteries will do best if you can keep them on a trickle charge, or maintainer. If that is not possible, disconnect them. A simple cig lighter plug-in solar charger can suffice for the trickle/maintainer charging.
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Old 08-26-2015, 10:11 AM   #7
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I would add one thing to the above. With the winterized fuel you can run the Gen once a month for the 30-60 minutes under load. This will keep the Gen in good shape and keep the house batteries charged for the winter.

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Old 08-26-2015, 11:07 AM   #8
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I'm NOT a minimalist. LOL

1. Add Sta-Bil for diesel and Bio-Kleen (or other reputable brand products) to fuel in appropriate amounts for tank size. Personally, I use the shock treatment level for Bio-Kleen for storage of 3 months or more.
2. I would consider adding an anti-gel additive for 2 reasons. The first being that you may not have enough winter blend to protect your fuel system and especially if you follow the wise advice of running the generator once a month during really cold weather.
3. Fill Tank.
4. Drive for 15-20 minutes & run generator with a big load for about the same amount of time. This will get the treated mixture into the fuel lines of the coach and generator.

Hey...its an opinion. LOL
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Old 08-26-2015, 05:11 PM   #9
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I have a solar panel on the roof that should suffice in keeping the batteries at a trickle charge. In the past I've also kept the coach plugged in during the winter and once-a-month flipped the breakers on if needed.

My generator runs off of propane. Would you still run it a couple times during the winter?

If I could find heated storage for a respectable price, I'd go with that option. But most likely it'll be stored in the cold so getting my ducks in a row now. I'm still a couple months off from needing to winterize, but I like to plan ahead.
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Old 08-26-2015, 05:27 PM   #10
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Pexring, if your Newmar has a 3 stage battery charger you may be better off leaving it plugged in to maintain batteries. Wouldn't worry about algaecide in SD winters.
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Old 08-26-2015, 09:59 PM   #11
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Ok, being even further north I gotta chip in. :-) z. But only to echo what had been said: full fuel tank with anti gel and algecide, make sure batteries are fully charged and maintained or run genny once a month ( good for the genset anyway). Fresh oil during storage appears to be a good idea, though this year is the first I will be doing that - new learning for me. With the real cold we can get here and in SD, if the batteries are low on charge they can freeze and crack (fatal to the batteries ). Gelled fuel will fix itself when it warms up and algae in the fuel sounds like a royal pain (has not happened to me). But the batteries are a must replace if you let them freeze (I know from experience ......)
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Old 08-26-2015, 10:16 PM   #12
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Change the oil just before storage, removes all water and lubricates critical engine parts. Very important.
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Old 08-27-2015, 06:55 AM   #13
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Golly, I wish I had the lubricant, additive business around some of the posters here.


Bacteria (it's not algae) won't grow in cold temps. The stuff may be a good idea in the summer, but will have little effect in cold. Filling the tank is a good idea, it may save the need for biocide next summer. As the tank heats and cools, it will breathe a bit . Incoming air will have some moisture in it. When the temps cool, this moisture can condense. The bacteria lives at the water/fuel interface, so no water, no bacteria.


Today's oil is so much better than what we used in our '57 Chevy. Change the oil when it needs changing. It simply does not break down as fast today. I would suggest sampling the oil (maybe tranny and coolant, too) and use real science to help with your decisions.


I suspect I will get flamed, but just because dad always did it this way, doesn't mean it is right.


However, I really think you should do whatever makes you feel better.
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Old 08-27-2015, 07:43 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbbg II View Post
Golly, I wish I had the lubricant, additive business around some of the posters here.

...
I won't make light of your opinion if you won't make light of mine. 'Nuff said on that.

You make some good points and to some, like me, there is a balance between both the theoretical and practical. While it is probably true that bacteria/algae will have a hard time growing in cold temps, my particular advice is based on the fact that it won't always be cold and in some cases isn't cold. We winter in TX where the coach will sit for 2-3 months. Even beyond that, SD, ND & MN will eventually get warm. LOL Coaches stored inside could see some temps more favorable to algae. That doesn't count the eventual warm up and perhaps the coach sitting a little bit longer in warmer temps.

The way I see it, a tad bit of prevention isn't bad as long as it doesn't have unintended consequences and if it makes one feel better...cool.

BTW...I am not a proponent of additives for actively driven coaches except as need to cure a problem. I also don't advocate biocides as long as fuel is kept fresh and tanks stay topped off.

I doubt my seasonal use of stabilizers and biocides will support a retail business. LOL
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