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Old 12-17-2013, 10:26 PM   #1
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Sitting in cold weather for weeks, then what

Hi guys, it's been about 2 months since I have been to this site. We have been thru 4 states and visited family and then trying to get settled in at our stop for the upcoming 10 months in Santa Fe, NM.
My question for all you owners with experience, we have a cat engine in our DP and have been here 2 weeks. It has been below freezing each night and a few days barely above freezing as well. How long can we sit before we need to start the engine? I know we have a heater switch to turn on before we do start and I have read that a diesel has to run to heat up, not just idle. Does it hurt anything to sit for a month or two? We want to take care to this as this is our home and we don't want to cause any problems.
Thanks in advance for your help,
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Old 12-17-2013, 10:31 PM   #2
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Top off your fuel tank and let her sit till your are ready to move. Big diesel engine's don't like to be "woke up" for nothing......let her sleep till you need her, she will love you for it.
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Old 12-18-2013, 09:33 AM   #3
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These are the same engines that go into small construction equipment and they will sit for months on end in the winter not being used. Just make sure all of your fluid levels are topped off and the batteries are fully charged before shutting down and letting the vehicle sit.

Cycle the starting aid a couple of times (Glow Plugs) and then crank the engine over. If the engine does not start in 20 to 25 seconds let the starter cool for 20 min's than repeat the above procedure until it does start. DO NOT use EITHER as a starting aid on the newer direct injected engines this will damage the engine.

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Old 12-18-2013, 09:50 AM   #4
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Make sure you have a good quality fuel additive like Howes or Power Clean Arctic in the tank and run the engine and gen long enough for it to be completely in all the filters and lines. All diesel fuel has water and that water will freeze. Anytime diesel gets below apx 20f it starts to gel.

Turn on your block heater 24hrs before starting.

Make sure your gen and coach engine oil are of the proper viscosity for the lowest temps you will be operating in.....very important. I like running a full Syn diesel oil like Rotella T6 because its a 5w-40 it can handle the coldest Alaska temps and the hottest Death Valley temps. Syn diesel oil is one viscosity for all temps unlike conventional diesel oil which will require changing viscosities w the seasons.

Sit and enjoy. Don't start till your leaving.

Cheers
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Old 12-18-2013, 10:15 AM   #5
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Make sure you have a good quality fuel additive like Howes or Power Clean Arctic in the tank and run the engine and gen long enough for it to be completely in all the filters and lines. All diesel fuel has water and that water will freeze. Anytime diesel gets below apx 20f it starts to gel.

Turn on your block heater 24hrs before starting.

Make sure your gen and coach engine oil are of the proper viscosity for the lowest temps you will be operating in.....very important. I like running a full Syn diesel oil like Rotella T6 because its a 5w-40 it can handle the coldest Alaska temps and the hottest Death Valley temps. Syn diesel oil is one viscosity for all temps unlike conventional diesel oil which will require changing viscosities w the seasons.

Sit and enjoy. Don't start till your leaving.

Cheers

I would also recommend the above, if you can't find Howes, you can use Seafoam. fill the fuel tank and put seafoam in the tank and make sure I drive at least 20 miles to make sure it is mixed and through out the fuel system. Then as OutAround said sit and enjoy.

Starting a diesel engine without driving for at least a half hour is way worse than letting it sit,
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Old 12-18-2013, 11:34 AM   #6
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I would also recommend the above, if you can't find Howes, you can use Seafoam. fill the fuel tank and put seafoam in the tank and make sure I drive at least 20 miles to make sure it is mixed and through out the fuel system. Then as OutAround said sit and enjoy. Starting a diesel engine without driving for at least a half hour is way worse than letting it sit,

Agreed......same w the gen. If your gonna start it......run it to operating temps and load it up.....I always say in RV apps the drivetrains need some abuse.

They are a bit like the girls that's always seem to want to be treated "rough". (Just a joke folks
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Old 12-18-2013, 12:38 PM   #7
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Thanks everyone. We got here December 2 and by the 5th we had 12 inches of snow. I don't know how much fuel is in the tank, but I think it's over half. Will that hurt? We will have to move in a few weeks to fill up the propane, so we will put a load on it then. But not long. I think we have the Rotella oil and we just had all fluids and filters checked and/or replaced before we left Texas in November. So I hope we are good. You all have a Great holiday and we hope to see you on the road!
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Old 12-18-2013, 12:49 PM   #8
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It is best to have a full fuel tank to minimize the condensation that will occur in the empty portion of your tank, putting water in the fuel. When you go for the propane fill, fill up your fuel tank. As recommended, put the fuel additive in just before you fill the tank.
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Old 12-18-2013, 09:42 PM   #9
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Thanks everyone. We got here December 2 and by the 5th we had 12 inches of snow. I don't know how much fuel is in the tank, but I think it's over half. Will that hurt? We will have to move in a few weeks to fill up the propane, so we will put a load on it then. But not long. I think we have the Rotella oil and we just had all fluids and filters checked and/or replaced before we left Texas in November. So I hope we are good. You all have a Great holiday and we hope to see you on the road!

Just having "Rotella" doesn't mean you have the right viscosity oil for the temp conditions. Rotella is a brand of oil by Shell. Saying you have Rotella is like saying "I have Vavoline". The proper viscosity for the temp conditions you are operating is is important to protect the engine and make starting as easy as possible.

If you are running a conventional oil check your manual for the engine to see what viscosities are recommended for the coldest temp you will be operating in this winter. In the summer look for the hottest temp you will be operating. Use the corresponding oil.

This might mean changing oil viscosities for winter and summer.

I personally prefer running synthetic diesel oil because the Syn diesel oil is 5w-40 and good for the coldest as well as hottest temps you could operate in anywhere in North America.

Also, very few RVs owners need to change their oil more than every 12 months.......so running the Syn diesel oil costs are offset by the possible needed change of conventional oil viscosities for hot and cold seasons.

In your gen and coach engine proper viscosity is essential for extreme temperatures. Wrong viscosity oil leads to excessive wear at start-up, poor fuel economy and hard starting. If the oil can't flow properly in cold temps it makes it much much harder to start an engine.....takes more cranking and is hard on the engine...starter...batteries...everything

Jim
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