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Old 11-16-2019, 05:36 PM   #1
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Exercising motorhome during winter months

Hello, For those of you that live in northern US and Canada, do you drive your Motorhomes during the winter when there is no snow on the ground, just to keep things from sitting too long?

The reason I ask is the owner of the motorhome thatís parked next to mine at the local storage, drives his motorhome at least 1hr once a month and swears that itís better for Diesel engine. Is there any truth to this?

Thanks,
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Old 11-16-2019, 05:46 PM   #2
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Heís doing the right thing if he wants the engine exercised during the winter. Drive it long enough to warm up to dry the exhaust out and warm all the lubricants. The generator should be run a couple hours/month to dry the windings out.

What I do, in central Illinois, during the winter, is leave mine plugged in for battery trickle charge; run the genny 2hrs/mo; leave the engine alone.

I think about all the tractors, combines, grain trucks, and heavy equipment that sits all winter then works hard in the spring and fall. They seem to last forever.
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Old 11-16-2019, 05:47 PM   #3
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There are many, and I mean many threads on the subject with folks seeming to strongly believe one way or the other without many in between. The prevalent side seems to be that unless you can get the engine well warmed up/run that you’ll probably do more harm than good. I think if you’ll do the search function on here to those threads you’ll see some very good, common sense reasoning both ways. Personally, I do not run it just to exercise it- as opposed to the generator, which I do monthly. On the coach engine getting the engine warmed enough seems to be the key.
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Old 11-16-2019, 05:52 PM   #4
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Mine gets parked mid October and will sit till mid May. Water lines are winterized and coach and house batteries are disconnected.
I own many pieces of diesel construction equipment and it only gets run when I need to use it. Many pieces will sit not running for over 6 months.
I you decide to run you motorhome , you must take it out for at least an hrs drive to properly get it warmed up. Sitting there with the engine idling will do more harm than good. The road salt will also cause damage if you drive on winter roads.
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Old 11-16-2019, 10:11 PM   #5
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There are many, and I mean many threads on the subject with folks seeming to strongly believe one way or the other without many in between. The prevalent side seems to be that unless you can get the engine well warmed up/run that youíll probably do more harm than good. I think if youíll do the search function on here to those threads youíll see some very good, common sense reasoning both ways. Personally, I do not run it just to exercise it- as opposed to the generator, which I do monthly. On the coach engine getting the engine warmed enough seems to be the key.
I'm sure you know and do, run the genset 2 hr/month at 1/2 load or more, running with no load is wasting fuel.
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Old 11-16-2019, 11:13 PM   #6
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Our sits from November to mid-April. I don't start anything on it. I only keep tabs on the wet-cell batteries.

Our roads already have salt brine on them. There's no way I'm driving my coach & getting salt on the chassis. It won't move until plenty of the Spring rains have washed all that gunk off.

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Old 11-17-2019, 08:38 AM   #7
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Question: Why is it recommended to run the engine on generator monthly but not the engine in the motor home?
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Old 11-17-2019, 09:30 AM   #8
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Hi ! Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined the gang!

I can't add to what others have said but noticed you are kinda new on the forum and wanted to say hello!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 11-17-2019, 10:57 AM   #9
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Question: Why is it recommended to run the engine on generator monthly but not the engine in the motor home?
In conditions where there may be moisture in the air it is recommended to run gen set to dry out the entire unit so moisture does not set in all the windings and corrode the electrical generating function. I do not practice this since I live in a dry environment and coach is stored in a heated and covered garage.
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Old 11-18-2019, 06:51 PM   #10
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My rig doesn't get winterized except for draining and flushing all tanks. I will fire her up at least every other week including the generator. Then I will move the coach up and down the driveway and park in a different spot so the tires won't get flat spots. But, we usually will go on a few winter trips to the warm weather to get out of the cold.
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Old 11-18-2019, 08:29 PM   #11
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My rig doesn't get winterized except for draining and flushing all tanks. I will fire her up at least every other week including the generator. Then I will move the coach up and down the driveway and park in a different spot so the tires won't get flat spots. But, we usually will go on a few winter trips to the warm weather to get out of the cold.
That does more harm to an engine than not starting it at all. Unless the engine is at operating temperature for at least 20 minutes, it cannot evaporate and moisture that might be in the oil; in fact it only creates more moisture.
Flat spots disappeared with the common use of radial tires, now if you still buy bias-ply tires you are correct.
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Old 11-19-2019, 01:48 PM   #12
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Thank you all for the feedback and replies.

I think Iím going to play it safe and continue to use the motorhome as late as possible in the fall, and just leave it alone once I put it away.

I pull the house batteries out for the winter so I donít normally run the generator.

Is it even safe to run the generator without house batteries?
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Old 11-19-2019, 04:25 PM   #13
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Quote:
Question: Why is it recommended to run the engine on generator monthly but not the engine in the motor home?
The reason for running the genset is to heat it enough to drive moisture from the power generation wiring (armature & stator). Has little or nothing to do with the engine.
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Old 11-19-2019, 04:55 PM   #14
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Must keep the dealers busy, running the generators once a month, of all of the RVs in stock.
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