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Old 12-26-2012, 04:50 PM   #1
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sTARTING DIESEL MOTOR HOME IN STORAGE

Hi All,

Need some advice on general policy of how often if at all I should start our 330HP Cat diesel engine. Plan to store our 2001 Winnebago Journey in AZ this summer. Rig will be in storage from April 1, 2013 to January 31, 2014. I live in Minnesota, but have friends near the storage lot that could start the rig and let it idle for a while if that would be good for it. Friend connot drive it however. Same question about the Gen-set.

I have heard pros and cons to starting and not drive, so I would like to know which is best. Start or leave it sit. I could take the starter batteries out and keep them charged in MN if leave it sit is the thing to do. The cut out switch for the 3 house batteries should keep those out of harms way.

What would be best to do??

Please advise

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Old 12-26-2012, 05:18 PM   #2
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I don't own a diesel coach, but from reading these forums I've heard that its better to leave them sit than to start them and not drive them. Maybe someone with some more diesel knowledge will chime in soon.
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Old 12-26-2012, 05:31 PM   #3
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If possible I would leave it plugged into shore power. If not I would unhook all neg battery cables. On last days of running I would give it a strong dose of stable for diesel and top off fuel tank. Run geny also to get stable into system. I would also change oil in geny and MH. Either way under no circumstances would I want the MH or geny started. Just let her sleep.
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Old 12-26-2012, 05:42 PM   #4
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My understanding of conventional wisdom is a bit different.

True that most say to leave your engine sleeping after preparing it for storage. Do Not just start it up and let it idle periodically.

But, I believe that it's best to exercise your gennie once per month for an hour or so while under at least 50% load.

I'll leave the cold weather battery storage questions to those who spend time in cold weather.

Good luck.

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Old 12-26-2012, 05:43 PM   #5
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As said I would let it sleep also but take out your batteries and possible instruct you friend how to maintain them for a periodic charge with battery charger and check the water levels also.
If he can do that you will be ahead of the game next JAN.
If you read this thread it will give you some information on what could occur if some things are not followed when you disconnect your batteries and complications that could result.
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Old 12-26-2012, 05:44 PM   #6
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Beings that's a 11 month nap it would be nice if you could leave it pluged in as that's a long time for batteries to set. Or just remove all batteries and install new ones when you get ready to take her back out. If they are over three years old that what I would do. Setting idle for long periods is hard on batteries.
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Old 12-26-2012, 06:03 PM   #7
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I agree that as long as you have run both the engine and generator with fuel stabilizer you should leave them alone. The biggest problem you have is with the batteries and the tires. If possible remove the batteries and have them on a float charge. With the tires they should be inflated to the max sidewall rating and kept off contact with concrete or asphalt surfaces.
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Old 12-26-2012, 06:04 PM   #8
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Put in the appropriate amount of diesel fuel stabelizer, drive it long enough to make sure it is mixed well and has made it through the entire system.....including the ginny. Ensure you have a full tank of fuel, this keeps condensation out of the tank. Park it, plug it in if able, if not turn batts off and remove them then leave it alone. If your friend can start the ginny once per month and put a load on it for an hour or so then so be it, but if the batts are out then that is not possible. When you get ready to go again she will fire right back up. Other than that, do an oil change when you are ready to start it up again.
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Old 12-26-2012, 06:33 PM   #9
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Diesel mfgs say if you don't drive it and get all systems to operating temperatures for 30 mins or more, don't start it. This is pretty much true for gassers too. If you don't, the water/condensation is not expelled from the systems.

As far as the genny engine, the same applies, for one exception. It is recommend they be run about once per month at least at 50% load to keep brushes and other power generating surfaces clean and free of rust and corrosion. Running them like this wlll expel the condensation from the engine.

Other thoughts are keeping both batteries banks on some sort of charger. If you dont have shore power, you will certainly want to run the genny for 1-2 hours a month. I will assume you have a B.I.R.D. system which will also keep the chassis batteries charged.

Most coaches will Not disable the smoke, propane and CO2 detectors when the coach battery disconnect is used. These can drain coach batteries in short order. If you don't have a chassis battery disconnect, they can go dead in 1-2 weeks.

Many things to consider leaving a coach that long depending on all the above.
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Old 01-03-2013, 02:39 PM   #10
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Hi Ho: As others have stated, starting the engines is not a great idea. However maintaining the batteries is. If you leave the batteries alone for that period of time you will probably need new batteries. If it is much below freezing you will probably also have a big mess do to the cases breaking and spilling battery acid all over the place.

The best way to maintain batteries is to leave them connected to a float charger. I didn't notice what coach you have, but the house batteries will normally do ok if the coach is plugged in and the electrolyte is maintained above the plates. The chassis (truck) batteries will also require charging, so most of us use a trickle charger like the Trik-L-Start or something similar. You will probably have to get your friend to go by and put water in the batteries a couple of times. Fill to about 3/4 inch from the top.

If the coach is well winterized, i.e. tanks drained, lines empty of filled with antifreeze, propane shut off, refrigerator and washer winterized, etc. you should be fine for that period of time as long as you take care of the batteries.
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Old 01-03-2013, 03:28 PM   #11
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Most engines (I know gas better than Diesel) have a "Storage procedure" for long term storage.. What it is for Diesel I do not know (I do know for gas) but I'm sure it involves an oil cange just before storing. Beyond that I'm not sure due to the differences in the engines.

My suggestion would be to find out what it is. and do it. Then let it sit (With shore power to the converter if you have a modern BIRD type battery control system or to a pair of Battery minder'/Tenders if you don't (Engine and house)

Same for the generator. though it may need some special attention when it's restarted.
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Old 01-03-2013, 05:05 PM   #12
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Good advice on not starting it. Treat the fuel as advised above and just remove the batteries and replace when taking it out of storage. Full fuel tank is important. Make sure that birds can't nest in the exhaust.
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Old 01-20-2013, 02:37 PM   #13
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Does these storage/wintering type rules apply to the small MB diesel engs. and also to lp generators. 2012 winnie view. Thanks Jay
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