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Old 12-05-2010, 11:14 AM   #15
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I am just wondering why is there moisture in the windings? if the outside humidity is that high everything on your coach would have moisture in it including you expensive diesel engine. i have read my manual and it says to start also once a month, but i do not start it during storage. i have researched this subject and alls i come up with is the mfg. recmondations, but no reason why. has anyone ever had a genset failure due to not running it and from moisture?
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Old 12-05-2010, 11:15 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by TXiceman View Post
Properly store the rig with a very recent oil change and a full tank of fuel with a fuel stabilizer/conditioner. Park it and let it set. You do far more damage with the periodic starts and not getting thing fully to operating conditions.

The generator does need to be run at 1/2 load for a minimum of 30 minutes every month to keep the moisture out of the windings.

Ken
Ken has the correct answer for Cummins engines. My motorhome has sit three winters, twice in Indiana and once in Alabama. I did exactly as Ken said and have never had a problem. A month ago I put my motorhome in storage beside my house and it will not be started until April when I resume traveling.
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Old 12-05-2010, 12:03 PM   #17
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Well...
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Old 12-05-2010, 12:42 PM   #18
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Cummins does not recommend starting the engine periodically.
Heres a quote from my manual...

" Internal combustion engines need to be exercised on a regular basis to ensure an adequate supply of lubricating oil coats the cylinder walls and piston rings. Valve and valve seat surfaces also suffer from non use. Some valves will remain open depending at which part of the combustion cycle the engine has stopped. The heat and cold of the day allows moisture to accumulate through the exhaust system. Start all engines at least twice a month. "

The above quote was the reason for posting my question. I appreciate all the feedback and I am leaning towards the majority who say to let the engine sleep... It only has to sleep til Feb 1 anyhow so it should be fine.
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Old 12-05-2010, 01:04 PM   #19
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Heres a quote from my manual...

" Internal combustion engines need to be exercised on a regular basis to ensure an adequate supply of lubricating oil coats the cylinder walls and piston rings. Valve and valve seat surfaces also suffer from non use. Some valves will remain open depending at which part of the combustion cycle the engine has stopped. The heat and cold of the day allows moisture to accumulate through the exhaust system. Start all engines at least twice a month. "
TaDa!

Now, that does NOT mean to just start it for 2-5 mins and shut it off.. you still have to get the temps up high enough to burn off the moisture, so normal operating temp +15 minutes. That 15 minutes can be used exercising the rest of the coach.

Dont forget the fuel additives: anti-gel and anti-fungal.
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Old 12-05-2010, 01:16 PM   #20
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For just winter storage you shouldn't have an issue at all, however if you decide to start the engine let it run to operating temp then rev it to about 1/3 of it's rev range above idle for 5-10 minutes. Then let it idle a bit and shut it down normally.

That'll induce enough heat to get pretty close to loaded temp.

But honestly it'll be fine to just let it sit till spring.
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Old 12-05-2010, 01:54 PM   #21
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On running the generator, I think it has more to do with keeping the parts that generate the electricity correctly magnetized or keep them being able to generate the magnetism. No flames please as this is not my skill. I remember reading it on the manufacturer's web site. The bottom line is running the generator once a month under 1/2 load for one hour has to do with the parts that create the electricity, not necessarily getting the moisture out of the generator.
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Old 12-05-2010, 03:06 PM   #22
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Question:
Do the northern states start their heavy road equipment in the winter when it sits for months at a time?
An answer to this question will give you the answer you want.
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Old 12-05-2010, 03:14 PM   #23
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Yes they do... for Snow Removal
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Old 12-05-2010, 03:24 PM   #24
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Yes they do... for Snow Removal
How about the ones that are used for repaveing?
I was born and raised in Pa, in the small town that I lived, the town equipment set all winter. front loaders, high lifts, most of the trucks.
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Old 12-05-2010, 05:11 PM   #25
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I have read that there is something called fog that can be sprayed into the breather of gas engines that will keep internal parts lubricated during storage but cannot be used on diesel engines.
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Old 12-05-2010, 06:11 PM   #26
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The winding in a generator are hygroscopic in nature and no matter how well sealed, they will absorb some moisture. The longer they set, the wetter they become. By operating the generator at load, the wings are warmed and the moisture is driven out.

Engine oil is also a bit hygroscopic an will pull moisture. If you do not get it warm enough to get the moisture out, the combustion by-products will combine with the moisture and form mild acids. Left to set in the engine, they will certainly not be good for it.

On larger industrial motors and generators, we install space heaters to slighty warm the generator or motor and keep the moisture our. Larger industrial engines in a stand by service, especially in a damp climate, will have heaters in the oil sump to keep the oil slightly warmed....keeping out moisture.

I strongly do not agree with the manufacturers that advise that the motors should be started and run by weekly.

Emergency generator sets, natural gas or diesel are usually started and exercised every 30 days and bringing them fully to operating temperature...but this is an emergency use item that has to run in an emergency situation.

So do what ever makes you happy, just remember the problems that it can cause.

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Old 12-05-2010, 08:42 PM   #27
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Run the engine in storage?

There was a day when I owned a couple of airplanes. Some of the aircraft owners thought that running the air cooled engine up to operating temperature weekly on the ground was enough. We learned that it was way better to get the airplane in the air and up to temperature there.
Here in Wa State there is too much snow to get the motor home out on the road and up to temperature. I wouldn't even be able to get it out of our driveway. So we store it under cover with the tires on wooden pallets unheated for five months. We don't run the generator but do use the engine fogging spray as suggested by ONAN. I remove all of the batteries and store them in a heated shop with a battery charger/maintainer.
Can't wait for Spring/Summer.
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Old 12-07-2010, 11:50 AM   #28
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So do what ever makes you happy, just remember the problems that it can cause.
What about the problems from sitting idle with no lubrication? Is this the lesser evil of the two?
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