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Old 03-03-2015, 02:49 PM   #1
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DEF message

I just got home from a long trip in my 2015 Winnebago ERA. The DEF warning came on during the last leg of the trip. I have been told that I can add at a truck stop or buy from the automotive store. It seems like it would be hard to add at a truck stop because it is under the hood and not by the diesel fuel tank. I have to pull my book out and read but was wondering if any here had experience with this. I have just under 5000 miles and am not due for an oil change until 15,000.
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Old 03-03-2015, 04:10 PM   #2
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Your can buy it in 2 1/2 gal containers and 1 gal containers at most truck stops, auto-part stores, and WalMart. I always carry a spare just for when the warning comes on and I'm not close to a place to buy.

Most big truck stops, you can get it in bulk from the pump but requires a special filler neck to enable the nozzle. So I just buy the containers.
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Old 03-03-2015, 04:37 PM   #3
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So this is a do it yourself project that my husband can handle? The dealership acted that it was a big deal and not a do it yourself project. He does oil changes checks levels, etc on all our other vehicles.
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Old 03-03-2015, 05:03 PM   #4
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I found the owners manual for your coach on line. The DEF fill tank is under the hood. Should be as easy as adding oil.
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Old 03-03-2015, 05:49 PM   #5
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Adding DEF is very easy. The tool to open the cab is on the passenger side - at least it was on ours. Dealers want you to come in so they can overcharge on anything...
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Old 03-03-2015, 10:52 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by TinStarArabs View Post
So this is a do it yourself project that my husband can handle? The dealership acted that it was a big deal and not a do it yourself project. He does oil changes checks levels, etc on all our other vehicles.
It really isn't a "project" because DEF is required regularly-just like fuel-only you need to add less of it. It is a "consumable" anti-pollution feature associated with diesel exhaust, but DEF is added to a different tank than the fuel.
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Old 03-04-2015, 07:43 AM   #7
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DEF message

I go along with the post above, it is just like checking your fluids. Something you do yourself.

As I said above, you can buy it at numerous places. The larger container comes with a flexible nozzle making it a little easier to pour into your fill spot. I always keep a spare nozzle to use with the smaller 1gal containers.

You can also order DEF fluid online and have it delivered to your home.
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Old 03-04-2015, 07:58 AM   #8
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Adding DEF isn't something that is difficult. It is just as easy as adding a quart of oil to the engine. It is a necessity as if you do not add it and you run out of DEF, your engine will eventually stop on you and you will not be able to go anywhere. Pick up a 2.5 gallon jug of it and keep the jug after filling the DEF tank. You can use it to pump DEF at truck stops. Bulk DEF is a lot cheaper than buying it in 1 or 2.5 gallon containers.
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Old 03-04-2015, 02:40 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the input. Glad I asked!
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Old 03-05-2015, 10:25 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by TinStarArabs View Post
I just got home from a long trip in my 2015 Winnebago ERA. The DEF warning came on during the last leg of the trip. I have been told that I can add at a truck stop or buy from the automotive store. It seems like it would be hard to add at a truck stop because it is under the hood and not by the diesel fuel tank. I have to pull my book out and read but was wondering if any here had experience with this. I have just under 5000 miles and am not due for an oil change until 15,000.
I was so intimidated by the DEF filling when I first got this coach over 1 1/2 years ago. I did not have a clue. Now I just consider it an adventure.

The most important thing is not to run out of DEF. It won't do any harm but your day of travel will get real long because the engine drops into the limp mode and you just creep along.

Follow the advise of those who have previously posted, but learn to gain access to the DEF fill while you are parked. If you need to practice gaining access to it then just do it. There is no bad way to learn a new thing.

A word of caution about the DEF. It is urine. It stinks and you don't want to get it on you.

If you get diesel at a big rig stop that has a DEF pump don't hesitate to use it. I had to learn how with my coach because access to my tank is on the left and most of the truck stops have the DEF pumps on the right only. I have to wait for the lane to my left to clear and then use that DEF hose in my tank. It is a good thing that the process goes quickly. I don't like holding up a trucker. His time is money to him.

In a pinch you can buy it at Walmart. It is more expensive than pumping and then you have the box to deal with.

I do hope we have all encouraged you. Relax and have fun, even when filling the DEF tank.

Happy trails and many of them.

Rick Y
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Old 03-05-2015, 12:37 PM   #11
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DEF message

A misnomer about DEF being urine. It is not urine. It is comprised of urea and water. Urea is a chemical that is discharged from your body via urine. With that being said, you still do not want to get any on you, especially your eyes. It stinks and is an irritant!!
Also, try to buy DEF in bulk. You will pay about 4 times the amount if bought in a container.
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Old 03-05-2015, 02:13 PM   #12
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Well, gee. So glad that we get to recycle. LOL
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Old 03-06-2015, 08:58 AM   #13
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DEF message

Artificial chemically produced urea that is found in DEF fluid is a carbamide comprised of ammonia and carbon dioxide CH (NO2)2. The urea found in DEF fluid does not come from humans or animals.


Urea is the active ingredient of Diesel Exhaust Fluid. Urea is created from synthetic ammonia and carbon dioxide when subjected to high heat and pressure and can be produced as a liquid or solid. Synthetic urea is used mainly in fertilizers but is used in plastics, animal feed, cleaning agents, and pharmaceutical applications.

You probably have some in the feed for your horses, or use it in fertilizer.

It is simple to add to your DEF tank.

As far as your oil changes, think again about waiting until 15,000 miles. You need to change your at least annually, regardless of miles driven. Few RV'ers drive 15,000 miles per year.


Cheers!
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Old 03-06-2015, 09:09 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by jerichorick View Post

A word of caution about the DEF. It is urine. It stinks and you don't want to get it on you.



Rick Y


No, it isn't. Chemically produced urea in DEF fluid is a mixture of ammonia and carbon dioxide. What you smell is the ammonia.
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Old 03-06-2015, 10:25 AM   #15
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I carry a gallon of DEF with me and top up the DEF tank every 2,000 miles. Good time to also check the windshield washer fluid.
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Old 03-06-2015, 10:38 AM   #16
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DEF has a shelf life that is affected by temperature and exposure to sunlight. If you carry an extra jug of DEF, make sure you use it before it goes bad. Here's a link to one of several fact pages about DEF:
FAQ - discover Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF)
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Old 03-06-2015, 04:41 PM   #17
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I should have said oil change at 15,000/ 1 year whichever comes first. Thanks again, everyone. Just bought a jug of DEF. Let the good times roll!
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Old 03-06-2015, 05:31 PM   #18
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If your not in a rush, look online for DEF. I've been buying Blue DEF on amazon for about 2 years now. You should always carry a jug of it with you. If you run out, the engine shuts down and the tow, refill and clearing of codes will NOT be covered under warranty.
The Blue DEF comes with a fill tube. When done simply rinse the fill tube with water or discard if not needed. Before you fill, make sure there's no dirt or dried up, "white crystal looking stuff", DEF around the fill. If so just wipe off. Don't get any contaminants in the DEF fill port. Don't get the DEF on your paint. If you do rinse off well with water. It can discolor some paints.

If you have any questions, please ask...
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Old 03-07-2015, 09:43 AM   #19
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No, it isn't. Chemically produced urea in DEF fluid is a mixture of ammonia and carbon dioxide. What you smell is the ammonia.
Your chemical correctness lesson is very nice and chemically correct. But the truckers still call it urine and its stink lasts if you get some on you. It defiantly does not smell like common ammonia. A rose by any other name...

If you sample and send your oil for testing annually with a reputable lab there is no need to do annual changes. This is a very excepted method by the engine and transmission manufactures and there are many threads on the topic.

Happy trails,
Rick Y
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Old 03-08-2015, 03:12 PM   #20
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So we just added 2.5 gal of DEF. Kind of hard to know what size the tank is. I looked it up in the owner's manual and no specifics for my motor. It could be as little as 3 gal and up to I think 5. And no way to gauge since you just have to listen to the gurgle and hope you don't overflow. The light went off, so I think I'm good. Smell was minimal. We used latex gloves and had paper towels handy.
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