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Old 03-27-2018, 10:42 AM   #1
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Unit having to sit for extended time

Unfortunately, it is going to be late summer or fall before I can get my unit de-winterized. I am recuperating from triple by-pass and it will be a least another month before I can crawl around underneath to re-plug, sanitize and drain fresh water supply. I am able to drive now so plan on taking the unit out for a long drive this weekend. Other than exercising the generator is there anything else I need to do with it having to sit this long?
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Old 03-27-2018, 10:46 AM   #2
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Just to chime in to say that glad you are recuperating well.
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Old 03-27-2018, 11:14 AM   #3
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Glad you are getting better, and I canít think of anything else but to be sure your tires are covered, for it to sit on one place that long.

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Old 03-27-2018, 01:42 PM   #4
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Glad they fixed prob. of blockage but do not push as month is not long enough, take it from some one that pushed to soon [after 6 wks. popped to of wires that hold bones together]. IMO would not worry about sitting that long as my AS sat for out side for 9 yrs. w/out moving, only opening door some times in summer if home w/out any prob. part of time tires covered. Caveat if parked on gravel may cause rust underneath.
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Old 03-27-2018, 06:54 PM   #5
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First, so sorry to hear about the triple bypass. And congrats to you & your medical team for successful operation.

Since you are able to start it every now & then and even drive it for a long drive, that will probably exercise most of the "automotive" side of things. It doesnt sound like you are storing too long. I have stored cars longer than that (indoors) & have had little problems provided I am trickle charging batteries & full tank w/ Sta-Bil. I always ran engine a few mIles with the Sta-Bil gas so it cycles though injectors before storing. Tires could develop flat spots if left sitting very long time. Just moving tire contact patch by doing circles around our culdesac & pumping up close to max tire pressure, minimized possibility of flat spotsv. I had a set dry rot in less than 2 yrs. but it was stored outside.

I am new to rv world, so don't know anything about wintering/de-winterizing process yet. Maybe someone can do the de-winterize crawling for you while you just supervise and give instructions, so you can run the rest of the house systems?
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Old 03-27-2018, 07:53 PM   #6
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Thanks Alex, I hadn't thought about the tires getting flat spots. The unit is in a garage and stays plugged in.

One thing I am not sure about is the Def, should that be of a concern it just sitting there since November?
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Old 03-27-2018, 08:28 PM   #7
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This is my 1st diesel, but remembering from driving a friend's MB Sprinter cargo van years ago (how I learned to like driving the Sprinter), I saw in the manual that there is a shelf life and it can also freeze. But shelf life depends on temp. And supposedly, shelf life means it degrades but does not spoil like food. When it degrades, system ends up using more & more as its effectiveness lessens. I think what I got from the info was it will not destroy your engine even if it degrades. Thats what I can remember. But that was 5yrs ago. Not sure if DEF is improved? Our diesel experts out there probably know much more.

In any event, that's not even 1yr. Even at 115 degrees in summer in Las Vegas, my friend's DEF lasted over 2-1/2 yrs before needing refill, as he had limited miles on his cargo van. Ohh, and was always baking outside on his driveway when not being used.
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Old 03-27-2018, 09:54 PM   #8
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Given the situation, I would not hesitate to have "the nice man" de-winterize your coach so you can enjoy it as soon as you're ready, vs. waiting until you can crawl around under it yourself.

Best wishes for continued speedy improvement in your health!
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Old 03-28-2018, 03:25 AM   #9
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A scary time, best to rest and ask for help to jumpstart getting back on the road I agree! Do it right the first time and be back to having fun sooner!
Best wishes friend
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Old 03-28-2018, 03:27 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dalwyn View Post
Unfortunately, it is going to be late summer or fall before I can get my unit de-winterized. I am recuperating from triple by-pass and it will be a least another month before I can crawl around underneath to re-plug, sanitize and drain fresh water supply. I am able to drive now so plan on taking the unit out for a long drive this weekend. Other than exercising the generator is there anything else I need to do with it having to sit this long?
I went through something similar (quad CAB-G) in October 2016, so I can certainly sympathize.

As long as you drive the van every few weeks to make sure the chassis battery stays charged, use up the diesel (which only has about a 3-month shelf life due to the lack of life-extending additives these days), and allow the tires to flex so that they don't dry-rot, you'll be fine. With the house electrical system completely switched off, the solar panel on the roof should keep the house batteries charged up.

Exercising the generator once a month for an hour of so is a good practice. After the generator starts with no load on it, turn on the A/C fan, then turn on the A/C to put the generator under load (so the A/C and fan don't start at the same time). The A/C by itself will put the generator under about 75% load, which is ideal for getting the maximum benefit out of running the generator.

However, I would recommend that you get someone to put the plug back in the fresh tank and water heater— if they're out— before you drive it very far, so that you don't end up with road grime in them, even if you don't de-winterize or sanitize the freshwater system for a while. The cleaner you can keep the freshwater system now, the easier it will be to sanitize later. For future reference, after draining the system when you winterize, put the drain plugs back in right away to keep out insects/spiders (and other vermin) and dirt. An empty tank of water heater with the drain plug in is just as winterized as an empty tank or water heater with the drain plug out. And that way you also don't have to worry about misplacing the plugs, either.
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Old 03-28-2018, 05:44 AM   #11
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I am happy to hear you are feeling better and I agree with the previous poster and would get someone to close all of the plugs even if it meant taking to a local garage. Besides dirt etc spiders and other small insects might find there way In there
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Old 03-28-2018, 05:55 AM   #12
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"The shelf life of DEF is a function of ambient storage temperature. ... Expectations for shelf life as defined by ISO Spec 22241-3 are the minimum expectations for shelf life when stored at constant temperatures. If stored between 10 and 90 deg F, shelf life will easily be one year."

Source
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Old 03-28-2018, 06:34 AM   #13
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This is all very good information.

My Interstate, tho it’s tires are covered, has been sitting in storage these past 5 months, a first in length by several months in its 11 years of ownership.

Medical emergencies tend to shelve us, and our rigs.

Once the threat of freeze here has passed, I’m going to spend a couple of days at a nearby campground to dewinterize, sanitize the fresh water system, etc., readying the unit for the season.

I’ll report back here on anything I find.

Maggie
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Old 03-28-2018, 10:37 AM   #14
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Dalwyn, I'm just across the river from you and would be glad to help. I have a 14.5 lounge and have winterized myself for the last 4 years. If interested then PM me. Since this is my first post although I've followed the forums for several years.
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Old 03-28-2018, 11:15 AM   #15
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My former MH sat for five years.
When time came to sell, I replaced the batteries and it fired right up! (Cat Diesel).
However, the tires (new when I parked it) got flat spotted. I thought they might flex back to life, but they never really did. I wasn't about to spend $3500 to replace tires with zero miles.

If I was to store the AS for a long period (It's inside a storage facility) I'd put it on Jackstands and remove the batteries to home.
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Old 04-05-2018, 11:03 AM   #16
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Note to self....if your Interstate has to set a spell, not only do you need to check on it, it but be sure to start the engine.

Mine makes some noise, but would not start.

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Old 04-05-2018, 11:10 AM   #17
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Not to worry, this could easily be a weak starter battery. Does the Interstate let you start the engine using the coach batteries as backup? Maybe there's a button you can push or something. We had a B+ motor home that had this feature. If it does and you can start your generator to provide full power to the coach batteries, you could then use that energized system to start the engine. Don't ask how I know this for our old B+ motor home, haha.
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Old 04-05-2018, 11:22 AM   #18
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Does the Interstate let you start the engine using the coach batteries as backup?
2013 and newer Interstates do. 2012 and older don't.

Since my Viper alarm system draws off the chassis battery, I've had to jump-start my 2012 Interstate a few times after letting it sit too long with the alarm system activated. If the chassis battery is so low that the RFID reader in the ignition switch doesn't work and the key won't turn, then whether you use jumper cables to a car or use a battery booster pack, you will need to connect the good battery to the chassis battery, let it sit connected (without trying to start the engine) long enough for the chassis battery to recharge enough that the RFID reader in the ignition will power up, and THEN start the engine.

I would assume that on newer Interstates, if you use the "boost" button to connect the house batteries, you'd have to follow the same procedure if the chassis battery is so dead that the key won't turn in the ignition because the switch can't read the RFID chip in the key.
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Old 04-05-2018, 12:34 PM   #19
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I have no such magic button, I don’t believe.

The engine makes a noise when I turn the key, but doesn’t catch and fire up, and was weaker with each try.

Checking my paperwork, this was a new battery in January 2014, and when I called Interstate last year to check on the life expectancy, I was told 5-6 years.

When I get AAA out to give it a jump, they will be able to tell me if it needs to be replaced.

It never occurred to me til this thread started up that I should have run the engine a time or two these last 5 months.

I have time to deal with this before I head to Edisto in a few weeks.

A lesson learned. Sigh.

Maggie
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Old 04-15-2018, 09:30 AM   #20
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I’m happy to report that the well maintained Diesel engine in my Interstate seems none the worse for having sat, undriven, since October.

I’ve taken it for a drive in the country and, but for the battery I let run down , there hasn’t been a hiccup.

Tho AAA was unable to tell me anything when they jumped it last week, I’m going to have the battery replaced this week...it just seems prudent to do it pre-emptively, after 4+ years of use and being allowed to nearly fully deplete.

These engines are supposed to easily go several hundred thousand miles, if well taken care of, so mine will hopefully run til I’m ready to stop.

I recall a couple we met early in our travels, who had a 2005 Sprinter van with our same engine and something like 267,000 miles on it, still going strong.

They used it for private deliveries, all over the country, having a futon in the back that they slept on each night.

Maggie
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