I know air cleaner life is often discussed with varying opinions. I decided to dissect my air cleaner so I/We could see how dirty it was after 18 months and 15K miles. My coach uses the Parker Racor Ecolite sealed air cleaner. This is hardly scientific, but is a good depiction of a sealed air cleaner.
I will say up front that I like to change my air cleaner frequently, which is a personal choice and I'm not advocating that you do as I do. This air cleaner saw half of it's life in California and the other half on a coast to coast trip. There was a combination of dusty conditions and rain.
This is a photo of my Filter Minder before the change.
Cutting this thing in half proved to be tough. As I disassembled it, the following photo is about 2/3rds of what came out of the air cleaner (dirty side). Not really an unexpected amount.
Lastly, here is a photo of the element cut in half. This air cleaner design flows the air from the inside to the outside. Keep in mind, the filter, when new, is bright white. It was fairly dirty between the pleats (hard to photograph).
The instructions and warranty within the air cleaner box stated that the filter should be changed every 12 months or when the filter minder reaches 20-25.
I would admit that this air cleaner is still in pretty good shape and could go at least another 5K - 10K, which would be two years for me.
As I said, this was not put out to cause a debate, but to give everyone an idea what these filters look like at 15K miles.
Side Note:.....I use to buy the elements for the Donaldson filter on my Monaco a year in advance and keep them stored in the garage. The paperwork that came with the above filter states that no filter should be used if it has exceeded the three year shelf life. For me, that means no more buying these things in advance. Buy them when you actually need them.