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Author Topic: Parked at a lot - engine starting  (Read 1207 times)

steve407

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  • Our Little House on the Prairie - Big Bertha.
Parked at a lot - engine starting
« on: December 01, 2017, 09:00:18 PM »
I'm not quite sure how to search for this on the forum so forgive me if I'm repeating a previous question.  I've more or less parked my RV in a park and use it mostly as a "lake house". Health demands I not drive it except in an emergency.  My question is how often do I need to start the engine to keep it in working order, and secondly, do I need to disconnect the electric when I start it since the generator will be running. Probably a simplistic question, but I'll appreciate any advice. Any other advice about keeping it ready for someone else to drive?

Thanks in advance.
Someplace new is always just around the next curve. 
2012 Coachman Pathfinder Elite 39' DP, AirForce1, BlueOx Towbar
2012 GMC Terrain Toad
DW=She who must be obeyed
and Freckles the Dalmatian

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Parked at a lot - engine starting
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2017, 08:39:43 AM »
Diesels generally do not require periodic starting and in fact doing so without thoroughly warming the engine could have long term harmful effects.  But since you don't expect to drive it at all, maybe running it for 30 minutes once or twice a year would be useful, if for no other reason to verify that nothing has gone wrong (critters chewed on wires?) since the last time.   Perhaps the biggest concern is water condensation in the fuel tank, and running the engine can't help that.  A full fuel tank reduces the possibility. There are also some fuel additives that claim to absorb water, but I don't know how efective they are in diesel fuel.

No need to turn the genset off or disconnect from shore power. The chassis 12v power system is independent of the house power.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

steve407

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  • Our Little House on the Prairie - Big Bertha.
Re: Parked at a lot - engine starting
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2017, 10:41:16 AM »
Great Gary -- thank you.  I did fill the diesel tank on the way to parking it so it's full to within less than a gallon.  Sounds like it should be good. I appreciate this forum so much because the questions I ask (probably some of them dumb!) always get answered.

Steve
Someplace new is always just around the next curve. 
2012 Coachman Pathfinder Elite 39' DP, AirForce1, BlueOx Towbar
2012 GMC Terrain Toad
DW=She who must be obeyed
and Freckles the Dalmatian

kdbgoat

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Re: Parked at a lot - engine starting
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2017, 11:00:05 AM »
Considering it's essentially just going to be a permanent fixture on a site, why not consider selling the motorhome and getting a trailer, maybe a nice fifth wheel or park model?
I know you believe you understand what you think I said,
But I am not sure you realize what you heard is not what I meant


2016 Leprechaun 319DS

steve407

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  • Our Little House on the Prairie - Big Bertha.
Re: Parked at a lot - engine starting
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2017, 06:35:34 PM »
Yes - that's what I'd love to do, but I'm pretty upside down financially in this unit. I found a really nice 5'er but it means too much lost equity on this, plus buying a truck too, so the money just won't work.  The DW was not amused when I suggested it reminding me of whose idea it was to buy the diesel pusher!   >:(
Someplace new is always just around the next curve. 
2012 Coachman Pathfinder Elite 39' DP, AirForce1, BlueOx Towbar
2012 GMC Terrain Toad
DW=She who must be obeyed
and Freckles the Dalmatian

gwcowgill

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Re: Parked at a lot - engine starting
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2017, 06:42:49 PM »
You may want to consider adding a biocide to your fuel if it is going to set for a long period of time.
2009 Bounder 36B, 2014 Honda CR-V, various grandchildren when school is out. KG4LHS
2014 Honda CRV Toad,
2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Toad

NCSU Dad

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Re: Parked at a lot - engine starting
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2017, 07:55:46 AM »
I'm just wondering if it would be best to actually drive it once in awhile in order to get all the drive-train parts moving to keep them fully lubricated. Also driving would knock the surface rust off the brake discs or drums and get the calipers or wheel cylinders moving so they will remain fully functional. It might be worth asking a park neighbor with good driving skills to get behind the wheel.

PS I don't know what steering motorhomes typically use. I would think if they have rack and pinion steering it would also be good to exercise that step-up.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2017, 11:54:17 AM by NCSU Dad »

spencerpj

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Re: Parked at a lot - engine starting
« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2017, 10:47:23 AM »
I agree, have someone drive it occasionally.  The engine has seals that get lubricated while running, like water pump.  Tires can get flat spots if sat in same spot for long periods, etc etc.  If at all possible, have someone put 10-20 miles on it a couple times a year, and like others suggest, I would for sure get a gas additive.  I understand you are upside down with trading it, but sitting a long time might cause it to become worthless. 

billwild

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Re: Parked at a lot - engine starting
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2017, 09:26:13 AM »
Steve, It is a depreciating asset just sitting there. You may have to just swallow your pride and let her go. You mentioned health concerns so you may just have to have a  sit down with your wife someday and talk it over. We sold our coach after a sit down talk just because of the cost of maintenance and ownership. I miss it but is was the right thing to do at the time.  2 years later we have not replaced it yet with anything else.  Good luck.

Bill

CharlesinGA

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Re: Parked at a lot - engine starting
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2017, 08:35:47 PM »
Yes - that's what I'd love to do, but I'm pretty upside down financially in this unit. I found a really nice 5'er but it means too much lost equity on this, plus buying a truck too, so the money just won't work.  The DW was not amused when I suggested it reminding me of whose idea it was to buy the diesel pusher!   >:(

Why would you need to "buy a truck" if the trailer is not going anywhere? Park model trailers can be had reasonable. If you need it moved, hire someone to move it. There are people who advertise in Craigslist to move RV's, 5th wheels, etc. You don't drive the MH now, so why would you need to tow a trailer.

Sell the MH while you can, before it becomes so worn from daily use, and mechanically trashed just from sitting, that no one wants it.

Charles
2007 Winnebago View 523H, 2006 Dodge (Daimler-Chrysler aka Mercedes) Sprinter 3500 chassis. Bought Sept 2015 with 18K miles, Prog Ind HW30C, Prog Dynamics PD4645, Chill Grille, Fanstatic Fan Ultrabreeze, PML/Yourcovers.com deep alum trans pan, Roadmaster sway bar

steve407

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  • Our Little House on the Prairie - Big Bertha.
Re: Parked at a lot - engine starting
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2017, 02:03:13 PM »
Thanks to everyone for the advice - that's why I love this forum. I'll look for some bicide and do that to start. I think my daughter is planning to drive it after the first of the year and again in July so it will get some travel time.  We love where it's parked right now so we'll hang on a bit longer. With each payment the equity goes up by .. what, maybe $3.50! LOL  Seriously, thanks and we are actually thinking about how to get out from under it but haven't come up with a solution just yet.  But I do appreciate all the help.

Steve
Someplace new is always just around the next curve. 
2012 Coachman Pathfinder Elite 39' DP, AirForce1, BlueOx Towbar
2012 GMC Terrain Toad
DW=She who must be obeyed
and Freckles the Dalmatian

QZ

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Re: Parked at a lot - engine starting
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2017, 08:34:42 PM »
I would drive it. I've rebuilt drive axles that have sat too long and the exposed portion of the ring gear was rusted. The portion that was in oil was like new. Brake parts, bearings, seals etc will all be better off. Brake drums can become heavily rusted since it's bare  metal. Starting an engine over and over and not running it long enough will kill a battery. Grandpa used to say "If you don't use it you lose it".

I'd also keep up on maintenance like coolant changes etc.

KandT

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Re: Parked at a lot - engine starting
« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2017, 07:45:50 AM »
Thanks to everyone for the advice - that's why I love this forum. I'll look for some bicide and do that to start. I think my daughter is planning to drive it after the first of the year and again in July so it will get some travel time.  We love where it's parked right now so we'll hang on a bit longer. With each payment the equity goes up by .. what, maybe $3.50! LOL  Seriously, thanks and we are actually thinking about how to get out from under it but haven't come up with a solution just yet.  But I do appreciate all the help.

Steve

You have a pretty new RIG.  You may want to run the numbers and see if your equity is indeed going up with each payment.  Being a 2012 and a diesel pusher you are still in the steep part of the depreciation curve although it would be starting to slow down.  Sometimes you can actually be losing more money each month until the depreciation curve flattens out and then you start to gain equity.

Like most things that are super fun (I will avoid all tasteless jokes but you can insert your own here  ;)  )  Rv's can be quite expensive.

We did buy an 06 class "C" from a distressed buyer and ran it for 18 months.  We put $800 worth of tires in it and one battery as the main expenses.  Sold it for $1000 less than we paid for it.  That's pretty good for an RV.  I expect to lose more money on the 05 Vectra but it sure is a lot more RV.

Good Luck!!
2005 Winnebago Vectra 36RD
American Car Dolly
2009 Accord Toad
It's not a problem.  It's a project!