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Old 10-01-2011, 05:35 PM   #15
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Annually for me, which is typically only 6-10k miles. If I were driving 50k miles a year, I would probably use synthetic and oil analysis, but with our modest mileage it's an annual change and quality dino oil.

I do use synthetic fluid and analysis for the tranny fluid in the Allsion, though. Will change it when the analysis says so and not before.
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Old 10-01-2011, 06:05 PM   #16
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I'd suggest an oil change every 7,000 miles at the most.
This is complete Hoo-Hockey!!! It's just like the oil change company's trying to convince you that you need to change your auto oil every 3,000 miles. Fall for it if you like, but you are just throwing good money down the drain and unnecessarily depleting our natural resources. Change the oil based upon the manufacturers recommendations. Anything less is just waste. Our diesel coach recommends 10,000 miles or once a year but I have a very old coach. Most are in the 15,000 mile range but still likely once per year. I get that and understand that.
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Old 10-04-2011, 07:51 AM   #17
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Ford recommends 10K oil changes for my 2010 F250 PSD, or 5K if the miles are towing.
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Old 10-05-2011, 07:57 AM   #18
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Cummins call for 15,000 mile changes (or annually). I just couldn't bring myself to go that long so I split it in half, every 7500 mile, oil and filters. I also change out the fuel filters at the same time and lube up everything. I'm lucky that I have a truck service center that will do it for around $200.00. 52 qts of oil, filters and labor...not a bad deal if you ask me, beats the heck out of me doing it.
I see you are driving a signature MH, where in the heck are you putting 52 qts. of oil? I never heard of a MH taking that much oil.
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Old 10-05-2011, 09:53 AM   #19
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My coach presently has 9600 miles on the odometer. Since the coach was purchased 19 months ago only 3700 miles have been added. The last time the oil was changed was slightly less than 1000 miles ago at the beginning of this season. The miles are low because I full-time and normally stay in one location from between 3 and 6 months at a time.

It just doesn't make sense to change the oil with less than 1000 miles, besides, how much oil dilution, combustion byproducts and acids can build up in the oil during that much use? With ULSD, oil contaminants should be much less compared to the earlier diesel refinement.

Changing to synthetic makes sense since oil changes can be extend thru the use of analysis and annual filter changes and I like the high temperature tolerance of the synthetic for the turbo as an added measure to protect against coking.

My only concern is the accumulation of water due to condensation in the oil pan. According to Cummins, they don't recommend running the engine when left idle but I think their recommendation concerns the engine and not the oil. Running the engine prior to taking the oil sample should mix the water with the oil and should show up in the sample so I'll be alerted to excess moisture.

The problem is how to prevent prevent water buildup and if that's not possible, how to eliminate it. I suppose running the engine at the same time as the generator would remove or at least keep the moisture build up to a minimum until it can be completely removed when I finally get back on the road and give it a good run. Then again, maybe the water isn't a problem after all.
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Old 10-05-2011, 11:55 AM   #20
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Moisture getting into an engine can only be controlled if the vehicle is kept in a climate controlled garage. Heat and A/C will keep the humidity to a minimum and therefore out of the engine. Next best is garage kept without heat or A/C. Keeping the vehicle outside or even under a shelter with open sides will allow moisture to enter any component on the vehicle that is not sealed. When you see the dew on the outside the same thing is happening inside each vented component. Running a vehicle daily will remove most of the moisture as long as the oil temperature gets above the boiling point (212F). A 175F coolant temperature will ensure the engine oil temperature is high enough to 'cook out' the moisture. Usually about 30 min. running above 175F will do the trick on an engine run on a M - F basis. An engine that sits will accumulate much more moisture than an engine run frequently.

Moisture is bad because it causes rust and these particles can get into the oil and really do a number on engine components. I know we run filters for that. BUT, . . for the first few seconds or minutes depending on how cold the engine oil is, the filter bypass valve allows unfiltered oil past the filter and through the engine. ALSO, . . AND of greater concern, is the moisture combines with the blow-by gases (which contain sulfur products) to form Sulfuric acid. Now that we are using Extra low sulfur fuel this acid formation is reduced but it will still occur. The alkalinity of the engine oil takes care of this acid formation, but the (TBN), alkalinity, is much more quickly used up when an engine sits vs. an engine used daily.

All of this is to say that the once a year engine oil change is highly recommended. Oil analysis watching the TBN # will also be a good guide.

It was stated here that off road equipment oil change interval is 250 hrs., and 250hrs @ 60MPH = 15,000 miles. Now this is all true, but, . . . those of you that have trip computers on your coaches, check your average speed. I do not think it will be anywhere near 60 MPH average. My trip computer stays consistently around 30 to 35 mph average, which puts the oil change interval closer to 7,000 miles. Which, by the way, is the mileage interval that I use, or annually.

Anecdote, . . .
I had a rental car on a business trip with a trip computer. I left Syracuse NY at 5:30pm, on I81 heading to my home in Locust Grove VA. I did not stop until I got to Warrenton Va, when the car's tank was near empty and my tank was over full. My average speed for that stretch was 45 mph. I could not believe it! I only hit one traffic slow down for about a 1/4 mile <2min and no stoplights, for that entire part of the trip. There are stretches of I81 where the speed limit is 70 MPH and I kept my speed at +5 or more of the limit for the entire trip. I never came to a complete stop and the slowest speed was enter / exit ramps of about 35 mph. As I already I stated, I could not believe my average speed was so low.

Just food for thought folks. It must take a long time of high speed driving to achieve an average of 60 MPH.
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Old 10-05-2011, 12:02 PM   #21
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[FONT=Verdana, sans-serif][SIZE=2]
The problem is how to prevent prevent water buildup and if that's not possible, how to eliminate it. I suppose running the engine at the same time as the generator would remove or at least keep the moisture build up to a minimum until it can be completely removed when I finally get back on the road and give it a good run. Then again, maybe the water isn't a problem after all.
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Old 10-05-2011, 12:20 PM   #22
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Wayne, thanks for the information. As I mentioned, I'm a full-timer so controlling the environment where the coach is located is not practical. As I recall one of the benefits of synthetic oil is its ability to cling to vertical surfaces, I can't remember the technical term for it, but this would allow for longer interval between starts ups without incurring engine wear. The longer the interval between starts the less the oil will be diluted from fuel washing down the cylinder walls.
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Old 10-05-2011, 12:25 PM   #23
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"Go South West young man, go South West."

Jim E
I'm presently in Albuquerque where it's fairly dry but I've been in Louisianan where you could wring the water our of the air and that's my concern when I'm in the "humid" part of the country.
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Old 01-09-2012, 06:30 PM   #24
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Having problem getting oil filter off my Holiday Rambler any advice.
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Old 01-09-2012, 11:16 PM   #25
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Oil sampleing can alert you to all sorts of problems. (example) High silica means your air cleaner is not doing it's job or you are messing with it. An air cleaner should run 100,000 miles with out being changed.
Install an Svalve on your engine and extract a sample without opening your engine. The sampleing lab will tell you when to change oil.
Schaffer semi synthetic oil will run 3 times longer than Delo 400. Schaffer in your trans and differential will run 10% cooler. Less friction.
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Old 01-10-2012, 08:05 AM   #26
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Cat Tools: 185-3630 Filter Strap Wrench

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Originally Posted by ldean33 View Post
Having problem getting oil filter off my Holiday Rambler any advice.
I used one of these strap wrenches for years and I never came across a filter I could not remove with it.

Locate your local Caterpillar Dealer and I'm sure they have these in stock. They were a little expensive when I bought mine 20 years ago, and I'm sure they haven't gotten any cheaper. It is very strong.

It works best with a long (~16") 'flex head' 1/2 inch drive ratchet and an appropriate length 1/2 inch drive extension. (mine ratchet is a Craftsman)

Hint: put the strap on the filter LOOSE, and let at least 1 full wrap on the tightening bar before it tightens on the filter. It does not work well if it is pulled tight on the filter to start.
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File Type: pdf Caterpillar Oil Filter Strap Wrench.pdf (64.9 KB, 37 views)
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Old 01-11-2012, 11:46 AM   #27
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Idean33,

This is just more proof why the oil filter installation says 'HAND TIGHTEN'.

Just FYI: The oil filter seal is designed to swell slowly when in contact with engine oil. This is why the instructions are to coat the seal with engine oil prior to installation, and then hand tighten only.

If the filter is tightened with a wrench at installation, then the seal does it's normal swelling, the filter is VERY hard to remove.

There are two shade tree methods I have used before I got my strap wrench.

1) MESSY! ! ! Use the biggest (longest) screwdriver you have (or can get in the filter area), Drive the screwdriver through the filter about 1 1/2 inch from the seal area, and use the screwdriver to remove the filter. The mounting stem extends into the filter about an inch and you do not want to drive your screwdriver into this stem. If you end up ripping off the filter can and the base is still stuck. I have been able to use a bar to pry and twist the base off using the holes in the filter base. I have also used a hammer and punch to remove the stuck filter base once the can is removed.

CAUTION: Be very careful driving things in and around the filter. The filter mount is cast steel and if you hit the threaded stem or the base seal, with a punch, chisel, screwdriver, it may not seal. I saw one mechanic I worked with, drive the screwdriver through the filter and then proceeded to drive it through the side of the oil pan. I could not believe he did that. Anyway just be careful.

2) I also have used my 6 1/2 inch Channel Lock pliers. These are over 20" long and very hard to get into a tight area, that's why I didn't suggest the (giant) pliers first. These Channel Lock are VERY hard to find. I bought mine from Snap-On 20 years ago. You might be able to find a pair on Ebay.

I guess there is a third option, and that is to give the problem to someone else.
3) If you take it to a shop I suggest you find a Truck service shop. They are more used to fighting stuck filters than auto shops.
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Old 01-11-2012, 12:19 PM   #28
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I think some people have more time and money than I do. Most motorhome drivers couldn't tear up an engine or transmission if they tried. Their motorhomes and whatever they pull might get to 40,000 lbs. These rigs are designed to pull 80,000 lbs. or more over terrain and conditions that you never see in a motorhome. I would guess you could drive the thing for 20 years, never change oil, and you couldn't sell the rig for the cost of all these oil changes you are doing. These are "million mile" drive trains. After a million miles, they do an inframe overhaul and put another 750,000 on them. But I guess if it buys you peace of mind, go ahead.....
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