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Old 12-08-2022, 12:14 PM   #1
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Periodic Running After Winterizing

Hello again, are you sick of me yet! lol
So, my motorhome was winterized by the person I bought it from. I now have it stored on the side of the house. Unfortunately, I don't have the ability to have it connected to any power. My plan is to start it and run the engine and generator about once a month.
My question is;
Do I have to do anything before running it? I know I need to turn the battery disconnect off but is there anything else that I should do before running it? How long should I run it?
Thanks again.
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Old 12-08-2022, 12:35 PM   #2
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Check the engine and transmission fluid, check both the under the radiator cap and in the coolant reservoir - check under the vehicle for signs off fluid leakage onto the ground.

Check for critter and varmint nests on top of the engine and transmission and entangled in the engine belts or within the engine cooling fan radiator shroud.

Where you are located (in the city or out in the country) will have a lot to do with how closely you inspect for critter and varmint nests.
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Old 12-08-2022, 12:40 PM   #3
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So a gasser need not be run except to keep fresh fuel up into the injection system. A diesel has not been recommended to be run at idle only over and over. The generator needs to be run with a 50% load periodically to keep moisture driven out of the windings. So they say.
I try to run my stuff every month.
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Old 12-08-2022, 01:06 PM   #4
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I run my engine up to running temperature every month.
Also, I start the generator and run it for about 1/2 hour every month.
If you have Aquahot you should run it every month.
The 1st of the month is a good day n
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Old 12-08-2022, 01:47 PM   #5
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Then there are people like me who have rarely started an engine unless I was going to use it. Having owned many gas and diesel engines over my 50 years in business, it just wasn't necessary to start it unless I needed it. That's the way most seasonal businesses operate, but when it comes to a motorhome, somehow, the rules change. At least that's how they are treated. Start the unit every week, month or six months. It won't matter. Some of our diesel power units w/3 phase 440 volt generators sat outside at the well from Sept to May. Never an issue from siting. They all ran fine and put out 20 KW power for years. Add Fuel stabilizer to the gas and leave the tank full. I don't know that I ever added anything to the diesel tank, but we also had cold winters too.
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Old 12-08-2022, 02:43 PM   #6
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I think the only reason to run it would be to charge the batteries if it's not connected to power. It takes more than just starting and getting things up to operating temperature to fully charge the batteries.

Much easier to pull the batteries and keep them in a warm place until want to go somewhere.

Cold starts are not good for any engine, gas or diesel, in my opinion unless you drive it more than 25 miles or so.
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Old 12-08-2022, 03:10 PM   #7
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Take it out for a drive if possible. The rest of the systems need to be exercised also. I would drive it a minimum of 25 miles after a few minutes of engine warmup.
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Old 12-08-2022, 03:53 PM   #8
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A lot depends on where you live and the environment. Moist air / near the coast very different than cold dry air in most of the Continental north.

IMO If you want to exercise the engine & chassis then drive it for 30-40 miles / mins. Short runs especially at idle do more harm than good.
Gennies are a little different but again depend on the environment. Run for 40-60 min with min 50% load to heat it up / dry it out. Then 5 min w/o load before shutting down.
Best to fully charge (min overnight) then disconnect battys for storage. If you leave them connected better check V / SOC weekly until you learn how fast the drain while connected, even with everything off.
If gasser last fill up best w non- ethanol and add stabilizer... run eng & gen long enough to getvtreated fuel to them.
Literally 1,000s of boats (gas & diesel with & w/o gens) get stored for 6 mos w/o any additional attentionmand w/o issues.
I've stored gas & diesel boats & MHs for 30 yrs w/o issues.

Many opinions, theories and recommendations out there. Chose what works for you and you can usually find someone that agrees and others that disagree.
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Old 12-08-2022, 04:29 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by dons2346 View Post
Take it out for a drive if possible. The rest of the systems need to be exercised also. I would drive it a minimum of 25 miles after a few minutes of engine warmup.

How do you exercise steel, brass, aluminum, oil, grease, plastic, rubber and the rest of the inanimate material that make up a motorized vehicle. How can trucks, tractors, combines, heavy excavators and other industrial equipment sit for 6-8 months without being "Exercised" and still be put into service without any problems, but a motorhome should be driven every month? I suspect it is more for the benefit of the owner than the MH. If one feels they must "Exercise" their coach, and it is driven far enough to thoroughly warm all systems, probably no harm done, but I haven't found it necessary.
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Old 12-08-2022, 04:39 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by 2cyber71 View Post
I run my engine up to running temperature every month.
Also, I start the generator and run it for about 1/2 hour every month.

OK, PROBLEM/potential problem:


Running the COOLANT temperature up to temp is NOT what this is about!


The OIL has to get up to operating temperature, or you will be adding WATER to the engine (water vapor is a natural product of combustion).


If you can drive at least 25 highway miles, do NOT start the engine!
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Old 12-08-2022, 06:08 PM   #11
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Is solar an option for the batteries ? If no, remove and store them at home. I agree 100% with the "don't exercise" club. But like gas treatments and other religious topics you will get people on both sides with passionate opinions. I myself have no passion for starting stuff because. I let my boats with gas engine and gas generators sit and sit for 6 months, no problems ever. Only problem was potentially falling on butt on iced up docks, so I made my risk based analysis and decision.
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Old 12-09-2022, 03:58 PM   #12
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Why not just start the generator to keep the batteries charged?
Also run a 1500 watt heater to make sure you have a decent load on the generator.
As Wolfe10 stated, don't start the coach engine unless you're going to drive it 25 miles.

Richard
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Old 12-09-2022, 10:52 PM   #13
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This start or don't start, exercise or don't exercise debate has been around for several decades and probably won't change anytime soon. The believers can not sleep well if they don't start their MH once a month. The non believers are content to let them sit until the next season. Neither side is likely to change their practice. In the end each person should do what they feel is best for them. They will all be up and running in the spring for another season. At the campground, you probably won't know what your neighbor does, but you will both enjoy the experience the same.
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Old 12-10-2022, 08:50 AM   #14
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Let me take a different tact on this argument -

After owning a lake property and several boats prior to our MoHo’ ming days, we came to the conclusion of “use them or lose them”.

It seemed every time we went to the lake place for a “relaxing weekend”, we ended up working our buns off getting things cleaned up and finding things that didn’t work or quit working that had to be fixed on the next “relaxing weekend” when we had parts in hand.
Our friend’s who have a cabin in CO but live in Texas are selling that cabin for the same reasons - they've owned the place for 5 years and have barely spent 2-3 months/year up there. We went up in September to help rebuild their rotting deck entry, to help him install and reassemble his washing machine after the water valve assembly had frozen and cracked from the previous years freeze, and replaced the dishwasher control valve that I had identified as bad 3 years ago (but we had not been up there until recently to install).

And it seemed every time we got in the boat, as the boat aged, we were always finding something wasn’t working right or didn’t work at all. Or rotted wood caused by accumulated rain water because leaves plugged the drain at the transom.

Granted, many of the issues I mention above are caused by our own lack of follow thru or proper monitoring and care of whatever is being “set aside”.

And that’s where getting out and starting up your coach once a month or so comes in - it gives you a chance to discover and correct those things that could or would be more problematic if left alone for a longer period.
Rats/mice finding comfort nibbling that last forgotten box of cereal and then nesting in the torn urethane foam cushion material they gnawed out the seat cushions - better to find sooner than later.
Exercising the tires is better than not exercising as it helps to distribute the chemicals used to make the tire.
The damage done by varmints, whether they just find a place to live on the coach or find a way to breach to the interior can be reduced when caught early. And what damage is done can be easier to repair the earlier it’s caught.

So - for us - running our coach is as much about keeping an eye on our coach as it is for any other reason.

YMMV

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