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Old 09-26-2010, 10:01 AM   #1
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Workhorse Chassis Owner
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Bellevue, Washinton
Posts: 11
Cool Winter Storage

Thanks for allowing me to join this club.
We have be RVing for over 20 years. We have been pulling a trailers and we have just upgraded to a Class A motorhome. We have are very excited with our "new" rig. It was pre-owned and great condition.
I would like to know more about the winter storage of the Class A. Is just simply getting all the liquids out? What about keeping it level? Please share with me more information. My rig is a 2004 Southwind 37C with 3 slides.

David H Henry
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Old 09-26-2010, 03:44 PM   #2
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Hi David and welcome to iRV2.

Winterization of a Class A is really no different than a Trailer - you have to deal with the very same water systems, including the fridge ice maker if you have one, and you have to keep the batteries charged enough so they won't freeze.

The engine, of course, has the same winter needs as any other vehicle, but the radiator has antifreeze (change periodically, per the chassis owner manual schedule) and is protected. The generator is probably air cooled, but if not it (large diesel gensets), it too already has antifreeze in the radiator.

If you bought a used coach, I would suggest replacing all the coolant and other fluids so that you know when to start timing the replacement intervals. Unless, of course, you have maintenance records from the previous owner that shows where you now stand.

Gary Brinck
2004 American Tradition; 2014 Buick LaCRosse
Homebase in the Ocala Nat'l Forest near Ocala, FL
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Old 09-26-2010, 07:46 PM   #3
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Location: Weyauwega, WI US
Posts: 5,216

We are glad you joined us. Congratulations on the purchase of your Southwind. Gary has answered your questions well. You did not state if you have electricity available. If you can't keep a charger on your batteries I would suggest removing them and bringing them into a place where you can keep them from freezing or keep them charged.

Post often and share your RV adventures with us and don't be afraid to ask questions.

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Old 09-27-2010, 05:53 AM   #4
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Location: Hoagland,IN
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I am in the midwest and store in a metal barn with dirt floor. One of the issues we have here is keeping the mice from nesting and perhaps chewing on wires and such. "Bounce" or other dryer sheets placed around the coach interior has been recommended to me. Supposedly keeps them away. Amazing how they find entrance, but a good precaution. I use moth balls in the engine compartments for rodent control. I use small plastic butter dishes for some, others just placed about. They vaporise over time. I check their condition/remove before warming the engine/gen set periodically thru the winter storeage and then replace.
I keep an eye out for rodent nests anyway...despite taking similar precautions a brother had nests built on his exhaust headers and then a nice little scary fire which smoked more than anything else but filled his DP coach with (stinky)smoke when he started the engine later.
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Old 09-27-2010, 07:45 AM   #5
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Location: MAINE, The way Life should be.
Posts: 1,086
Originally Posted by Hvnbnd2 View Post
Thanks for allowing me to join this club.
We have be RVing for over 20 years. We have been pulling a trailers and we have just upgraded to a Class A motorhome. We have are very excited with our "new" rig. It was pre-owned and great condition.
I would like to know more about the winter storage of the Class A. Is just simply getting all the liquids out? What about keeping it level? Please share with me more information. My rig is a 2004 Southwind 37C with 3 slides.
Depending on the length of your storage season I might suggest removal of the coach battery,(ies?). Personally I like to have them in a warm spot over the winter which is a great time to clean them up. I use a trickle charger/Battery tender to raise the specific gravity by completing an equalize charge. I check them weekly with a bulb type tester and have not had any issues to date. By spring they are fresh and ready to go with cleaned terminals. Don't forget to clean up the cable ends as well before winter sets in.
On another subject, you may want to add 1-1 1/2 oz of mineral oil to each cell before you put them back in the coach. You should notice a substantial reduction in evaporation after you do so. You can also do a search of "mineral oil" on this site.
I also made the mistake once of trying to remove the winter cover before the ice and snow had melted for an early spring trip. If you don't want to damage your cover, WAIT!
If you are all set on winterizing the plumbing great. If not you can search here a well.
Welcome to IRV2..
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Old 09-27-2010, 08:43 AM   #6
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Location: Johnstown, PA USA
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Hi David and welcome to the forum. If you are able, you should run the engine and generator at least once a month letting them warm up. I have ours covered and sits behind our house. When warming up the engine ,I also run the gearshift through all the gears to circulate fluid. Should have a small load on generator also while warming up. I put dryer sheets in every compartment and cupboard, inside and out. Not positive it keeps rodents out, but I haven't had any in yet. Also keeps MH smelling good. I also throw mothballs on the ground under the MH. Can't hurt. I keep a battery minder on the coach batteries 24/7. You will also want to add Sta-Bil to your gas tank. Good luck.... John H...
John, Deb; & our dog, Benji, Forever in our hearts.
2014 Coachmen Leprechaun 319DS V-10
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Old 09-27-2010, 08:53 AM   #7
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Newmar Owners Club
Spartan Chassis
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: On the road again
Posts: 6,164
I'll always top off the gas tank, adding Sta-bil, in an amount recommended by the manufacturer. I'll do this while still at the gas station so it has time to mix and then get run through the engine (and the gen set).

I've never started my engines over the winter, including my 11 year old Camaro I've owned since new and which 'sleeps' six months each year. The frequent cold start ups will do more harm than good. If you've protected the fuel system, and have relatively fresh oil in it, you should be good to go.

I leave the batteries in (both the car and the coach), but they are all connected to a battey maintainer (the original Camaro battery lasted 9 years), or in the case of the 'house' batteries, the converter / charger. The OEM converter caused the batteries to use quite a bit of water in storage, but the new one does a great job and the batteries can now go all winter and need a minor top off in the spring.

Jay & Peggy Monroe with Dolly
Can't take it with you - don't plan on leaving any behind
2016 Newmar London Aire 4553, Spartan chassis
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