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Old 12-04-2010, 07:53 PM   #1
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To run engine or not during storage

I have been involved in very brief discussions as to weather it is good or bad to start the engine occasionally while motor home is stored for winter. I am torn as there are arguments for and against this. I know it would be best to take the RV for a good drive but then salty roads would be the down side. ( plus I take road insurance off for winter) Condensation issues arise if I simply run the engine at idle but then if not the internal components of engine will dry out from lack of lubrication. Whats the worse of these evils?

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Old 12-04-2010, 08:49 PM   #2
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My suggestion would be to ask your RV mechanic you regularly use or HR. I live in a warm climate and we do use ours fairly frequently year around. And I just take it out for an hour spin sometimes to get my class A "fix". I have heard pros and cons. Maybe you could do loops around your storage lot to lube the trans and other parts but not get into the snow salt.

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Old 12-04-2010, 09:19 PM   #3
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I would brave a few minutes of salt over letting motor/trans/bearings/brakes sit that long. It doesnt have to be a long ride..good warm up of the motor then 5-10 miles to warm the tranny maybe once a month with just a 30 minute engine run every week... and you can do it on the nice days after the salt is dried up and stuck to other cars already
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Old 12-05-2010, 06:11 AM   #4
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I don't know about Cummins, but CAT has a procedure for prepping the engine for storage in the owners manual. CAT says it is not necessary to periodically run the engine.
If it's not covered in your Cummins manual I'd call Cummins.
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Old 12-05-2010, 07:08 AM   #5
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I don't know about diesel engine in a MH, I have had 4 gas class A's. I do however install diesel driven fire pumps in my business. By code the power plant has a 15 min auto run per week to keep everything in condition.

We also live in warm state Florida and use the MH often. If we are off the road for a month or longer I drive the MH every 2 weeks for 20 min or so. I do that for the tires and the engine. I run the generator while I am driving for the 20 min. Never had a problem with the tires, generator or the Ford engine's yet.

Our MH's have always been under cover while in storage. I think that has made a big differance to the MH.
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Old 12-05-2010, 07:10 AM   #6
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Cummins does not recommend starting the engine periodically.
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Old 12-05-2010, 07:30 AM   #7
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I'm sure that the engine would be fine, however I do run mine at least once a month for the other components such as the tires, bearings, brakes, etc.

IMHO I think letting it sit is not good for the rig or me.
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Old 12-05-2010, 07:32 AM   #8
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I have worked for a manufacturer of large industrial engines and compressors for 37+ years, most of those in technical management positions. Many of our engines sit for months without running. I would strongly recommend against periodic startups if you aren't going to bring the engine up to full operating temperature as the moisture and weak acids generated by combustion can be far more detrimental than the engine sitting idle.

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Old 12-05-2010, 08:43 AM   #9
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Hi Monacoach,
The worst of these evils is to start an engine and not get all the parts and fluids (from engine to tail pipe) up to operating temp. Let the engine sleep. That is the best thing to do. One should run the generator once a month or so for at least 1 hour at at least 1/2 load.

If you remain unsure, contact your engine manufacturer.
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Old 12-05-2010, 09:44 AM   #10
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I was glad to see a lot of folks agree with me about frequently running your diesel powered MH. On another forum, i just about got run out of town for stating it was not necessary to do this. I think a lot of the old folks, me included, are relating to what we did back in the old days, like change the oil every 1000 miles, etc.

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Old 12-05-2010, 09:59 AM   #11
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Storage is storage. everytime you start something,what ever it is, you are one start closer to a problem. everything wears. if you are not going to use it don't start it. people up north don't start their lawn mowers and weed wakers in january i don't think,at least i don't. my post is a quote from a 30 year cummins mechanic.
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Old 12-05-2010, 10:00 AM   #12
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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.

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Old 12-05-2010, 10:00 AM   #13
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I know of some external oil pumps that can circulate oil with out starting the engine. You might do some research on them.
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Old 12-05-2010, 10:02 AM   #14
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Question Drive ?

When the roads are dry, we go for a little rite around the Lower Mainland.
I winterized the water system, the rest just begs to be driven
Right now the weather is just great for the west coast.


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