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Old 04-22-2014, 01:52 PM   #1
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Monthly maintenance while in storage

Hey Guys,

I was wondering what you guys do to your rigs on a monthly basis if they are in storage. I was thinking I had to run generator for a hour to keep the house battery topped off and give the generator some work. I DO have a battery disconnect for the house, but it can't hurt to let the converter do what it does ever month or so right?

Should I also be letting the chassis engine run? If so, how long?

Anything else?
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Old 04-22-2014, 04:17 PM   #2
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Mine is in storage from October to April/May. I take out all three batteries and check them periodically during the winter when we are back from Florida - they have stood up very well. We winterize of course.

We do nothing else.

Our first MH was a Class A on F53 and when I asked for about the MH sitting during the winter they made it clear - DON'T EVEN START IT (unless I could take it for a good long drive). Went on to a DP and CAT tech desk said same thing.
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Old 04-22-2014, 04:21 PM   #3
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Same as above. Batteries are stored at home. Give them a charge just before re-install. Visit once a month for a well check.
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Old 04-22-2014, 04:45 PM   #4
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Exercising the genny is a good idea, which you seem to be doing. Check the water in your batteries so it doesn't go below the plates. If you are going to run the engine allow it to come up to full operating temperature so that you evaporate any water that has gotten into oil pan or exhaust pipes.
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Old 04-22-2014, 06:19 PM   #5
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This is what Onan has to say about exercising the genatoror.

"Exercising Your Generator
It may seem surprising that “not” using a machine could cause performance
problems, but with RV generators that’s exactly the case. Regular “exercise” is
an important part of keeping your generator healthy. Lack of exercise can cause
moisture build-up and fuel system degradation that make it run poorly. In fact,
in as little as 30 days, the fuel in gasoline-powered generators can begin to gum
and varnish the fuel system. Fuel varnishing results in hard starting and surging. (A
surging generator never settles at a stable operating speed.)
To prevent such problems, it is recommended to run gasoline generators at a
minimum of 50 percent capacity (2000-watts, or one air conditioner for a 4000-watt
set) for two hours once every four weeks. This is necessary to help keep moving
parts lubricated, expel moisture and control fuel varnishing in the carburetor. A long
two-hour exercise period is preferable to several short periods. While traveling, this
can be accomplished by running the air conditioning. If you own a diesel generator,
regular exercising can help reduce internal condensation and helps keep seals
lubricated."
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Old 04-22-2014, 06:27 PM   #6
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I put Sta-bil in the gas tank and run the generator for about a half hour to make sure it is in the carb. No way I'd fire up the generator (carry the battery over since I pull them [also, I'm in FL]) and run it for an hour with a/c on when the outside temp is 20 deg F.

Ever see a dealer in the north with MHs in inventory all winter who runs around firing up generators and a/c units every month? I haven't.

Cummins/Onan had a booth at an RV show I attended. I got the two guys arguing with each other over the 1 hour vs 2 hours per months exercise time.
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Old 04-26-2014, 04:14 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s1njin View Post
Hey Guys,

...

Should I also be letting the chassis engine run? If so, how long?

Anything else?
I would take the RV out and run it long enough to dry out the exhaust system. Simply letting the engine warm up will not dry the exhaust out. The moisture that comes out of the engine (a mixture of water and sulfuric acid) can destroy the exhaust in a few months if you run the engine for short periods without putting it under enough stress to heat up the exhaust system.

I had to replace an exhaust system in 9 months once from driving a car 1 mile to work daily.

It is generally recommended to exercise a generator set once a month. Make sure you put in under load, such as running A/C or hot water heater. It too needs to have it's exhaust system dried out.
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Old 04-27-2014, 06:19 AM   #8
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When I called Ford's RV division, they recommended I turn the E450 over and let it run for 2 hours. So, between the generator and the truck it looks like I'll be reading or do something in this rig for 2 hours a month with a lot of noise.
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Old 04-27-2014, 06:34 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s1njin View Post
When I called Ford's RV division, they recommended I turn the E450 over and let it run for 2 hours. So, between the generator and the truck it looks like I'll be reading or do something in this rig for 2 hours a month with a lot of noise.
A 15-20 minute drive will do just as much as idling for 2 hours. Same with the generator with a load on it.
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Old 04-27-2014, 06:58 AM   #10
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I simply disconnect the negative terminal from the batteries. No need to run everything on a monthly basis. ..keep oil changed, tire pressure correct. ...and then when you do use it. ..make sure you use everything
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Old 04-27-2014, 11:22 AM   #11
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I had also considered taking the coach out for a 1/2 hour run instead of letting it just sit there for 2 hours. I was hoping somebody would chime in with that.
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Old 04-27-2014, 11:39 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s1njin View Post
When I called Ford's RV division, they recommended I turn the E450 over and let it run for 2 hours. So, between the generator and the truck it looks like I'll be reading or do something in this rig for 2 hours a month with a lot of noise.
When I called them that is not the answer I got. We had a 2000 model F53 based MH also with the V10 and it called for an oil change every 3 months. I told Ford's RV div (in Arizona at the time) we would not be using it in the winter (we went to Australia and NZ that winter) and asked them if it was necessary to have the oil change at the end of January with no miles on it. They were very clear - change the oil before storing, add a fuel stabilizer and don't even turn it on for the six months - and then have the oil changed at the end of that storage period.

CAT was similar when we sat in FLA for almost six months. They said turn it off and leave it off (of course, this was in warm weather not freezing weather). We did add a diesel fuel stabilizer though and after 5 months plus it started immediately. Our next was a Super C Kodiak gas unit and we did the same thing in FLA - started first try after sitting 5 months+.

This year our Itasca has sat since October with batteries out. In the next week they will be installed and I'll take it for an oil change with less than 10 miles on it since the last one. The guys at the Ford dealership really chuckle at that mileage.
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Old 04-27-2014, 12:04 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s1njin View Post
Hey Guys,

I was wondering what you guys do to your rigs on a monthly basis if they are in storage. I was thinking I had to run generator for a hour to keep the house battery topped off and give the generator some work. I DO have a battery disconnect for the house, but it can't hurt to let the converter do what it does ever month or so right?

Should I also be letting the chassis engine run? If so, how long?

Anything else?
s1njin
My coach is stored outside for 3-6 months at a time, (often in sub zero weather).
I simply keep it plugged into 20A 120VAC so the inverter/charger maintains the charge in the batteries.
That is NOT my recommendation....just what I do, (and have done for 13 years).
I do nothing monthly, (although "exercising the generator" is a good idea

BTW, unless you are going to drive the coach, (and really warm it up), don't bother to start the engine.

Mel
'96 Safari, 132k miles, (105K mine).
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Old 09-06-2014, 01:41 AM   #14
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Ford e450 To run or not run engine during 8 mos storage

All of the above comments are interesting and also complicated in determining what is the best thing to do when storing a class C motorhome for about 8 months of the year. Also, the 4 months of usage may be almost entirely having the rv parked at one or two rv parks so it has minimal mileage put on it annually.
So for storing a 2014 E450 motorhome from October thru May I am trying to determine what to do. The Ford E450 book says to start up every two weeks to normal operating temperature. But this site says Ford RV technicians say just change the oil, add gas stabilizer and leave it. The RV will be stored indoors so I am not sure if that is a factor where people say the concern of starting the engine is water condensation problems. Perhaps being indoors eliminates that issue? Does anyone have the answer on this?
Also, if we are parked at an rv park for 2-3 months I am wondering if i have the same issue and should be running the engine for an hour or so each month.
I plan on using the battery disconnect on the house batteries and perhaps pull them out for the 8 months. Perhaps put a trickle charger on the engine battery if the decision is to not run the engine monthly.
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