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Old 02-28-2023, 12:17 PM   #1
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Red dye diesel

I own a 2018 Dutchstar 4018. The heating system is fueled by diesel fuel. We are snowbirds and the coach is parked at an RV park in Benson, AZ Dec 1st thru April 1st. Fully 4 months off the roads. Is it legally acceptable and mechanically sound to use red dye diesel during that four months rather than highway diesel? I keep my tank full by going back and forth to the filling station with a 5 gallon can about once a week.
Thanks for your input.
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Old 02-28-2023, 12:30 PM   #2
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If, as we suspect you have ONE fuel tank that supplies the engine as well, then, no it is not legal.

And, suspect it will raise some "red flags" (pun intended) if you repeatedly pour red diesel into you coach tank.
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Old 02-28-2023, 12:33 PM   #3
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I would say you can heat with red. Problem is if you put red in your main tank you will never get the red out. Possible set up a separate fuel tank just for the AH, then is that worth the effort doing?
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Old 02-28-2023, 12:37 PM   #4
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Hi ! Welcome to IRV2! Were sure glad you joined the gang here!

Hopefully someone will be along to answer that question.

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 02-28-2023, 12:49 PM   #5
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Your engine and generator will not notice any difference running between red off road diesel an undid on road diesel. It all about taxes. Enjoy your 5 gallon weekly trips to the fueling station.
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Old 02-28-2023, 12:54 PM   #6
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The only difference between the two is the amount of tax paid. Typically off road (dyed) is cheaper since there is no "highway" tax included in the price.

Yes it is perfectly legal to do what you propose, but not legal to operate it on public roadways with dyed fuel. How you over come that is up to you.

The only risk you have, is getting pulled over, getting your fuel tested and getting a large fine if caught using off road diesel while on a public road.

In a situation like you described the risk is quite low.

Here is just one article about it,
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Old 02-28-2023, 12:55 PM   #7
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You can do it, but, if your unfortunate enough to get your tank dipped by D.O.T when you do get back on the road, you will be looking at a substantial fine.

Don't know how many fillups it would take to get rid of any traces of dye.
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Old 02-28-2023, 01:02 PM   #8
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That's an interesting question. From an operating viewpoint, off road diesel is no different than regular diesel, as mentioned, it's about taxes. Technically, there's the fact it's being poured into the fuel tank of a on road vehicle. The letter of the law may differ from the intent.

I'm going to guess that technically, it's not legal because you are pouring it into the fuel tank of a vehicle registered for on road use. You could fill up, and drive off heading down the highway to your next destination using off road fuel. Mechanically, it's fine.

My gut feeling is this is one of those situations where it will never be an issue because you aren't pulling up to a pump and filling your tank with off road fuel then driving off down the highway. Filling a portable fuel can for your purpose, isn't going to look any different than if you were filling it for a portable generator or tractor.

I'm not one for people who skirt the rules for their own benefit, as gaming the system is becoming more popular, but to me this isn't what you are doing. You are truly using the fuel for off road use. At the very worst, when it's time to drive off, and you still have a few gallons in the tank, you'll have to live with the guilt of cheating the state out of a few pennies of tax revenue.

I'm going to guess that technically, it's not legal because you are pouring it into the fuel tank of a vehicle. Mechanically, it's fine.
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Old 02-28-2023, 01:18 PM   #9
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It is not legal. The chance of getting caught is negligible.

Why are you keeping the tank topped off? 16 weeks at 5 gallons a week is 90 gallons. You have a 150 gallon tank.

Even if you subscribe to the whole condensation argument, that is not a problem in AZ.
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Old 02-28-2023, 01:19 PM   #10
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People seem to consider doing this to save money. We heat our home with fuel oil (AKA #2 diesel with red dye) and the cost of delivery eats up most of the savings that you might get from avoiding the road tax on diesel fuel. I have a couple of 5-gallon cans set aside for emergencies, when our 275-gallon tank gets too low for comfort. I take them to a gas station, two miles from the house, and pay the tax. If you know someone with a large diesel tank in the back of their pickup (farmers and heavy-equipment operators around here, but also 5th wheel owners) you might get a large delivery of road-taxed diesel instead of lugging 5-gallon cans.
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Old 02-28-2023, 06:11 PM   #11
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Remember the military saying; don't ask, don't tell? Well, it applies to this situation too. Has anyone participating in this thread ever read about or know of a diesel MH getting tested?
I bet not.

The only times I've read of vehicles being dip-tested is at large farm shows and and OTR truckers.
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Old 02-28-2023, 06:19 PM   #12
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We may have done it before in a 1 ton truck from our office. It took several tanks of fuel to get it mostly out but traces remain for a very long time I'm sure. We ran several over the road trucks locally for 30 years when working and never got tested but I live in a pretty loosely regulated state for emissions and what not. What I can promise is the first time I try it I will be the first RV to get dipped and the fine is in the thousands of dollars.
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Old 02-28-2023, 06:57 PM   #13
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One thing you can always count on in high density housing like RV parks is there will be someone who believes your business is their business. You can also be assured they are anxious to share your indiscretions with everyone, including the authorities.
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Old 02-28-2023, 07:32 PM   #14
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Red diesel is run in diesel boats on the water. I’ve had discussions with Coast Guard officers in the past who stated that putting red diesel in any land motorized vehicle that is registered for road use (ie license plate) was illegal.
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