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Old 05-13-2022, 09:55 AM   #1
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Question for diesel owners

Is there are reason people let diesels idle for prolonged periods before they hit the road in the morning? It's really irritating for those of us in the campground who are trying to sleep in. Had a couple of Harley riders do the same thing recently, so it's not exclusively a diesel thing.
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Old 05-13-2022, 10:07 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by CamJam1 View Post
Is there are reason people let diesels idle for prolonged periods before they hit the road in the morning? It's really irritating for those of us in the campground who are trying to sleep in. Had a couple of Harley riders do the same thing recently, so it's not exclusively a diesel thing.
Old school diesel owners. In the past it was common to just let them idle as it didn't hurt them (for the most part, let's not talk about wet stacking), nobody cared about fuel savings or emissions. You could have heat or AC and plus it is probably sort of a macho thing.
It's not a good idea with modern diesels nor is it environmentally responsible, or very neighborly. Although the new ones are quiet and don't stink unless folks have "deleted" them, idling them is not good for the emissions system.
There used to be a stewardess at O'hare with a Mercedes 240D that would lock it up in the parking lot in the winter and leave it running with the heat on for her entire shift. They also used to let the commuter trains idle all night and all weekend back in the day.
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Old 05-13-2022, 10:12 AM   #3
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Most of the time it’s to warm up the engine, the engine oil, and the antifreeze/water temperature.

It’s not good for the engine to be put under stress/strain (especially when it’s needed to tow the trailer) when the engine is cold.

Same goes with letting it idle for a few minutes after running it hard. It allows the engine and components to cool down before turning it off.
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Old 05-13-2022, 10:33 AM   #4
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Idling diesels is old school thinking. New ones do not require warming up for long periods, the short time it takes to build up air pressure, idle out of the CG, slowly drive down a secondary road and then accelerate up to cruising speed is all they need.

As far as the bikes, well those people are just needing attention.
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Old 05-13-2022, 10:34 AM   #5
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Is there are reason people let diesels idle for prolonged periods before they hit the road in the morning? It's really irritating for those of us in the campground who are trying to sleep in. Had a couple of Harley riders do the same thing recently, so it's not exclusively a diesel thing.


They need to air up, and at least my cat doesnít like to crank and go it wants to warm up a little.
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Old 05-13-2022, 10:40 AM   #6
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For us, we get ready to leave then start up until air pressure is high enough for the rig to get to ride height (need air pressure high enough to inflate the pillows). Probably a minimum of 5 minutes and then we pull out (sometimes stopping in the park somewhere to hook up the toad).

We also do not like it when someone just let's it idle forever - I've read it's really not good for the motor (I think it was from the Camp Freightliner course my DW and I took some years back).

And, just to share my own gripe - how about the person that open and slams his basement doors a million times while trying to figure out how to get packed up at 7:00 so they can get "an early start" by 10:00 when they're done packing and repacking?

But, you know something? We still love it all.
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Old 05-13-2022, 10:43 AM   #7
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I only start the engine when all else is ready for travel. Start the engine, do a final walk-around - ensure the suspension aired up - go.

I shut down for short stops - such as campground check-in, etc.
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Old 05-13-2022, 01:57 PM   #8
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They need to air up, and at least my cat doesnít like to crank and go it wants to warm up a little.
This air up/warm up is in the manual for my cat, but then again; I don't like to wake up early anyway.
No whining now...
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Old 05-13-2022, 02:03 PM   #9
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Idling diesels is old school thinking. New ones do not require warming up for long periods, the short time it takes to build up air pressure, idle out of the CG, slowly drive down a secondary road and then accelerate up to cruising speed is all they need.

As far as the bikes, well those people are just needing attention.
Exactly. Nor do the new ones like idling.
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Old 05-13-2022, 02:05 PM   #10
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We need to air up before suspension, brakes and ( believe it or not ) air throttle will work. This takes up to 10 mins during which I do final walk around, jump in and go. No need for anyone to idle more than 10 - 15 mins.
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Old 05-13-2022, 02:18 PM   #11
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The number one reason for idling is to let the air bags fill. Most DP owner will dump their air, lowering the coach closer to the ground and then use their jacks. When you start up on departure day, it can 3-10 minutes for some coaches to build the air back up and inflate the bags.

On my coach, the engine needs to be running when I bring my slides in, another couple of minutes or so. I usually shut down my engine, while I put away my shore connections and do a quick walk around.

With that said, I think there are some who start their engine, air up their coach, and then do a dozen other things while leaving it running. That can be rude in early in the morning.

Lastly, if I have a chance and my neighbor is outside, I'll often take a moment to explain why my coach ran so long. Many are appreciative of the explanation.
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Old 05-13-2022, 02:27 PM   #12
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The operative issue here is HOW LONG should one idle a diesel engine before driving.


The real answer is "it depends".


Building full air pressure only takes a few minutes. A little faster if one follows "best practices" and after a minute or so at idle ups the idle speed to around 1,100 RPM.


The "depends" part has to do with the initial part of your departure. After air pressure is built, you are free to move at low speed/low throttle positions. So certainly out of CG and on city streets.


The other half of the "depends" is if you are camped at a freeway entrance, then you should idle (1,100 RPM or so) until the engine is close to operating temperature if your first mile or so will involve wide open throttle.


The rest of the "IDLE STORY" is not based on mechanical needs, but owner preference/mis-information.


For doubters, please find a link to any diesel manufacturer's site that suggests differently!
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Old 05-13-2022, 03:26 PM   #13
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Is there are reason people let diesels idle for prolonged periods before they hit the road in the morning? It's really irritating for those of us in the campground who are trying to sleep in. Had a couple of Harley riders do the same thing recently, so it's not exclusively a diesel thing.
What do you consider to be a "prolonged period"?

Mine will idle for about 10 min before it is ready to go.
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Old 05-13-2022, 03:41 PM   #14
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Need to build air, close slides and then retract jacks.
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