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Old 01-27-2018, 07:35 AM   #1
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Question on chassis battery charging and fuel stablizer

Hello all,

It has been 46f here in Michigan since yesterday morning so I am going to take my 2005 F53 out for a drive this afternoon.

The coach has not been on the road since November but has been started.

The chassis battery is flat but I will jump off the house batteries. As the battery is still under warranty I will stop off at the battery shop and have them test it. The house batteries could do with a charge also.

How long should I drive the coach to fully charge the batteries?

My fuel tank is 75gallons and was last topped off in November and added stabil. When I fill up should I add more fuel stabilizer, and if so should I add a whole bottle (normally enough for 80 gallons) or just the amount for the added fuel?

I will be getting an oil change and full service in April.

Also is there anything else I should do or watch out for?

Thanks,
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Old 01-27-2018, 10:01 AM   #2
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I plug my unit into shore power when parked for an extended time to maintain the state of charge on the batteries.... My converter (120 VAC to 12 VDC) is adjustable so I can turn it down for long term maintenance, 13.8 vdc... If I couldn't do that I'd trip the power to the converter and add a very small trickle charger to the circuit.. something in the size of 2 amps or so... with the both sets of batteries connected I'm sure a 2 amp charger would supply enough current to keep both sets topped off IF you have all the demands in the coach shut down...

I also have a thermostat that I put in the coach next to the floor and attach a small electric heater to that thermostat.... its an adjustable unit and I set it for 45 degrees and leave all the cabinet doors open where there is a water trap or water lines... I personally don't care to winterize my unit... with chemicals...

I drain the fresh water tanks, attach a regulated air line to the fresh water inlet (NOT TO THE TANKS) and blow/flush the water lines with 40 psi air pressure... of course the gray and black tanks are empty as well... I pull the plug on the water heater and at this time flush it out with a nozzle from the garden hose... I examine the sacrificial anode and when needed go buy and cut to length an anode from a 50 gallon water heater from one of the big box stores...

I leave the drains open on all the tanks, so that any water in the tanks can evaporate off. If in my case I expect temperatures below 15 degrees I put a second small heater in the basement of the unit.. where some water lines have an issue when I blow it out...

I do part of a simple inspection process at this time... looking for stuff that might need work between the time I put it away and the next use...

I make sure the appliances are OFF and not drawing power and double check these switches... and finally put the cover on the unit and protect it from the cold/winter/snow that's on the way....

I have measured from the plug on the water heater to the back of the tank... my 15 gal tank is about 22 inches.. if I need a new anode I get one.. and cut it with a hack saw to 18"... these anodes are 1/3 the price of a RV anode and when cut to size... have about 75% more surface area... thus they last many times longer...
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Old 01-27-2018, 10:22 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jelag View Post
I plug my unit into shore power when parked for an extended time to maintain the state of charge on the batteries.... My converter (120 VAC to 12 VDC) is adjustable so I can turn it down for long term maintenance, 13.8 vdc... If I couldn't do that I'd trip the power to the converter and add a very small trickle charger to the circuit.. something in the size of 2 amps or so... with the both sets of batteries connected I'm sure a 2 amp charger would supply enough current to keep both sets topped off IF you have all the demands in the coach shut down...

I also have a thermostat that I put in the coach next to the floor and attach a small electric heater to that thermostat.... its an adjustable unit and I set it for 45 degrees and leave all the cabinet doors open where there is a water trap or water lines... I personally don't care to winterize my unit... with chemicals...

I drain the fresh water tanks, attach a regulated air line to the fresh water inlet (NOT TO THE TANKS) and blow/flush the water lines with 40 psi air pressure... of course the gray and black tanks are empty as well... I pull the plug on the water heater and at this time flush it out with a nozzle from the garden hose... I examine the sacrificial anode and when needed go buy and cut to length an anode from a 50 gallon water heater from one of the big box stores...

I leave the drains open on all the tanks, so that any water in the tanks can evaporate off. If in my case I expect temperatures below 15 degrees I put a second small heater in the basement of the unit.. where some water lines have an issue when I blow it out...

I do part of a simple inspection process at this time... looking for stuff that might need work between the time I put it away and the next use...

I make sure the appliances are OFF and not drawing power and double check these switches... and finally put the cover on the unit and protect it from the cold/winter/snow that's on the way....

I have measured from the plug on the water heater to the back of the tank... my 15 gal tank is about 22 inches.. if I need a new anode I get one.. and cut it with a hack saw to 18"... these anodes are 1/3 the price of a RV anode and when cut to size... have about 75% more surface area... thus they last many times longer...

Thanks for the reply.

Tte house batteries are fully charged, its the chasis battery that needs charging.
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Old 01-27-2018, 11:50 AM   #4
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If the house batteries are fully charged, then the coach must be plugged into shore power when in storage. If true, just install an Amp-L-Start. It will assure that your chassis batteries are always charged full as long as outside power is available. Unlike a trickle charger that can discharge the chassis batteries when not on shore power, the Amp-L-Start will not. It's much less hassle than starting the engine to charge the batteries and taking the coach for a drive every few months serves no useful purpose.
If you have stabilizer in your fuel now and will be doing a service in April, there is no need for more stabilizer. Your temps in Michigan are cold enough that more is not needed. Now in the heat of AZ, it's a different story. Even with stabil in the fuel, it can go bad in just 60-90 days in the summer.

Check it out here:

AMP-L-START Starting Battery Charger/Maintainer - Overview Page
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Old 01-27-2018, 11:56 AM   #5
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Don't "overmix" fuel stabilizer as I've seen it create goopy gel stuff. Properly mixed it's fine. As quoted above the amp L start is a great addition.
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Old 01-27-2018, 12:20 PM   #6
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First,

Nothing good happens to an idling engine. So, don't start the coach just to hear it run. If you do have to start it, plan to run it until it is completely warm. This means taking it out on the road. Between the first snow and the warm rain of spring, this is a bad idea in Michigan. The MDOT people love to spread "fender solvent" all over the roads so idiots can drive too fast when they should stay home. Unless you plan to never have any service or repairs done, you should think about rust.

Of course the chassis (engine) battery was dead. The engine controls are powered all the time. A battery would stay charge over the winter but for that. So, find the chassis battery when you get home and pull one cable off and leave it that way. When you see green again, and there is no salt except on food, then hook it back up and take the coach out for a drive.

Frank - in the shadow of DTW
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Old 01-27-2018, 01:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crasher View Post
If the house batteries are fully charged, then the coach must be plugged into shore power when in storage. If true, just install an Amp-L-Start. It will assure that your chassis batteries are always charged full as long as outside power is available. Unlike a trickle charger that can discharge the chassis batteries when not on shore power, the Amp-L-Start will not. It's much less hassle than starting the engine to charge the batteries and taking the coach for a drive every few months serves no useful purpose.
If you have stabilizer in your fuel now and will be doing a service in April, there is no need for more stabilizer. Your temps in Michigan are cold enough that more is not needed. Now in the heat of AZ, it's a different story. Even with stabil in the fuel, it can go bad in just 60-90 days in the summer.

Check it out here:

AMP-L-START Starting Battery Charger/Maintainer - Overview Page

No power, I have been running the generator as have been working on the coach.
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Old 01-27-2018, 01:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by F76Marion View Post
First,

Nothing good happens to an idling engine. So, don't start the coach just to hear it run. If you do have to start it, plan to run it until it is completely warm. This means taking it out on the road. Between the first snow and the warm rain of spring, this is a bad idea in Michigan. The MDOT people love to spread "fender solvent" all over the roads so idiots can drive too fast when they should stay home. Unless you plan to never have any service or repairs done, you should think about rust.

Of course the chassis (engine) battery was dead. The engine controls are powered all the time. A battery would stay charge over the winter but for that. So, find the chassis battery when you get home and pull one cable off and leave it that way. When you see green again, and there is no salt except on food, then hook it back up and take the coach out for a drive.

Frank - in the shadow of DTW
Hi,

I plan to drive it and not leave it idle.
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Old 01-27-2018, 01:54 PM   #9
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Your in Michigan and your battery was dead.

Dead batteries can freeze and the ice can crush the plates, causing shorts in the battery

Be careful driving with a shorted battery, it can overwork your alternator.
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Old 01-27-2018, 03:34 PM   #10
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Thanks all for the replies.

I have veen having issues with this battery for a while. Its not even holding a charge overnight.

The batteey shop will change it out under warranty.
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Old 01-27-2018, 03:36 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by F76Marion View Post
First,

Nothing good happens to an idling engine. So, don't start the coach just to hear it run. If you do have to start it, plan to run it until it is completely warm. This means taking it out on the road. Between the first snow and the warm rain of spring, this is a bad idea in Michigan. The MDOT people love to spread "fender solvent" all over the roads so idiots can drive too fast when they should stay home. Unless you plan to never have any service or repairs done, you should think about rust.

Of course the chassis (engine) battery was dead. The engine controls are powered all the time. A battery would stay charge over the winter but for that. So, find the chassis battery when you get home and pull one cable off and leave it that way. When you see green again, and there is no salt except on food, then hook it back up and take the coach out for a drive.

Frank - in the shadow of DTW

Hi Frank,

They sure put a lot of salt on the road up here :-)
I do plan to install a battery disconnect kit.
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