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Old 10-28-2019, 07:29 AM   #1
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Thor Owners Club
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What to do?

Just curious if anyone has a list of things to do in the Midwest region when they are putting their motorhome to bed for the winter. I have already winterized it. I just bought it this summer and this is my first one. Also a list of things to do and check before waking her up next summer.

I will be starting the genie and vehicle once a month just to keep her from sitting idle for so long.

2005 Thor Four Winds Hurricane 33'
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Old 10-28-2019, 08:11 AM   #2
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Not recommended to start up the engine unless you plan on driving it for 20 miles or so. Driving it circulates the oil, drives out moisture, and exercises the tranni. Check your RV operators manual for recommendations just to be sure. Better to let it sit in most cases. Especially a diesel. Most fill the tank to prevent condensation and add something to the fuel to keep it fresh. Also, park the tires on wood, extend the jacks (also on wood so they don't freeze to the ground) just to take a bit of pressure off the tires, remove snow from the roof when it reaches 1 foot deep.

The generator, if started at all, should be exercised with a load, like electric heaters or something...see your manual. I usually let mine sit over winter as it's diesel and I've never met a farmer who went out every winter month and started all his diesel engines. Now that I think of it, I've never seen a bunch of RVs sitting in a dealers lot with their engines all running in the winter either. Gas or diesel.

Service the batteries and then just disconnect the ground leads. I extend the steps first to make it easier to get in and out of the parked RV if necessary. No need to put the batteries on the charger until next spring before you start it. If they freeze, they were no good anyway.

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Old 10-28-2019, 11:19 PM   #3
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Once winterized, we didn't start any of our motorhomes during the winter. There's no way I was going to take them out on snow/salt-laden roads to exercise the engine/generator enough. As Jim stated, you'll do more harm with your brief startings. Being idle is better than getting moisture in that'll wreak havoc.

Tires on plywood, jacks on wood pads & jacks down just enough to take some weight off the tires. We're under an RV port, so don't have to worry about snow or ice on the roof.

Empty out any food, linens, paper products or anything a mouse would find enticing to make my RV their home. Leave behind Fresh Cab packets (jury is out whether or not they work, but only had a mouse once in 20 years & that was because I forgot the FC).

The only thing we do for maintenance is check the water levels in the batteries about every 6 wks as we kept our coaches plugged into power 24/7/365.

I would, occasionally, during those 6wk check-ups, pop inside just to be sure there wasn't any indications of mouse visitors.

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Old 10-29-2019, 09:24 AM   #4
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Excellent advice above.
Two methods of battery management. Lead acid batteries need to be stored fully charged.

Method 1)
Fully charge (14 to 18 hours).
Check water levels.
Disconnect batteries.
New flooded cells are good for 3 to 6 months before fully charging again. New AGM's are good for 6 to 12 months.
Check battery voltage at the battery terminals. Static voltage must be above 12.4 volts or better yet above 12.7 volts.
Recharge 14 to 18 hours if voltage drops to 12.4 volts or better yet below 12.7.
Old batteries need to be checked more often.

Method 2)
Use built in smart charging system or high quality battery maintainer and leave it plugged in full time.
Do not shut off disconnect switch's because charger needs to be connected to the batteries.
Monitor water levels. Start checking for short periods like 2 weeks then extend time to next check as you get a feel for how much water is consumed. AGM's don't need water, but must not be overcharged. 13.6 volts is high for AGM's and may cause venting. Venting is a permanent loss and shortens battery life.
Check older batteries for temperature. They should not be warm or hot. Battery voltage is expected to be between 13 and 13.8 volts. 13.3 is ideal. Lower than 12.7 means something is wrong with charging or batteries. Above 13.8 means overcharging or bad batteries.
Some of the smartest charger/maintainers shut off and turn on during storage so voltage may cycle between 12.7 and 13.6. You may even see 14.4 for very short times. 14.4 is usually not good for AGM's in storage. See manufactures instructions for "conditioning" cycles.
I like to keep a small electric heater on low inside the cabin to keep things dryer.

Don't forget both house and chassis batteries need to be fully charged and maintained.
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Old 10-29-2019, 10:54 AM   #5
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After draining the grey and black water tanks, I use a cleaning wand like this inserted down the toilet to flush the remaining "stuff" out of the black tank https://smile.amazon.com/Valterra-A0...s%2C290&sr=8-4(There will be something remaining after merely draining the tank). Then I drain the water heater tank, remove the anode, and flush with a little wand like this https://smile.amazon.com/Camco-Rinse...s%2C290&sr=8-8 and replace the anode after verifying it's material has not been depleted. This can be messy so stand to one side as you squirt into the tank. If your water heater tank is a few years old, a quantity of hard whitish residue will come out when you flush it.
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Old 11-04-2019, 02:43 PM   #6
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Winerize extras

AS a note.. if you have water all finished blown oiut and antifreeze added as needed.. Couple more things to be sure you check.. if you have a washer dryer.. run some pink in by starting a rinse cycle till you see pink.. IF you have a residential Fridge/Freezer and have water and/or Ice.. try to blowout or drain and pump Pink in by waiting for it to try to create ice.. Missing these when it freezes can mean a split solenoid valve to fix in the spring!.
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Old 11-04-2019, 02:51 PM   #7
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Plug it in to keep the batteries warm. Exercise the generator, don't just start it.. Run it for a few hours at about half load. Cover the tires and wheels. Slides in.

2006 Monaco Safari Cheetah 40PMT
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