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rv1
I have a 31 foot motorhome I live in chicago we keep in indoors but non heated. The motorhome is winterised but I could keep it pulged in all winter no problem dont know if it would help or does not matter it does get very cold in chicago. I do start engine and run gen and furance due to it a gas running motorhome. This is our first winter with motorhome any advise is welcomes.
chickenpants
QUOTE(rv1 @ Dec 3 2009, 06:40 PM) *

I have a 31 foot motorhome I live in chicago we keep in indoors but non heated. The motorhome is winterised but I could keep it pulged in all winter no problem dont know if it would help or does not matter it does get very cold in chicago. I do start engine and run gen and furance due to it a gas running motorhome. This is our first winter with motorhome any advise is welcomes.


I would seriously not run the engine or generator for short periods of time. All you are doing is generating a lot of water and both engines will run very fuel rixh until, and if, they come up to temp. The generator you could probably get away with by running it long enough to come up to temp and then try to run it with a load for a half hour. I wouldn't consider running the main engine unless you are driving the rig.

abbygolden
QUOTE(rv1 @ Dec 3 2009, 07:40 PM) *

I have a 31 foot motorhome I live in chicago we keep in indoors but non heated. The motorhome is winterised but I could keep it pulged in all winter no problem dont know if it would help or does not matter it does get very cold in chicago. I do start engine and run gen and furance due to it a gas running motorhome. This is our first winter with motorhome any advise is welcomes.


I start my MH and make sure the RPMs are at about 2,000 for at least 15 minutes. I also start the generator and let it run with a load for about 30 minutes. I do each of these at least once a month, frequently more often. When I can, I take the MH for a ride of about 20 miles. It is always outside and never plugged in.
joez
If I had access, I would plug it in, as well as running generator under load every couple of weeks and an occasional drive when you can. Keeping current supplied will keep batteries charged.
Jerry S.
Rv1,

While I do not have the mechanical or automotive expertise of many of the folks on this forum, let me give you what my experience has been. I have had Class C motorhomes that have wintered outside in Chicago for almost 20 years. The current and previous RV are/were Ford E-350s with gas engines. My travels usually end around 11/1 and the RV sits on its' level cement pad behind the house until I hit the road again around 5/1 the following year. As others have suggested, I start the engine and run the generator at least once a month for 15-30 minutes. How cold the particular winter is determines how much more often I do this. If we have a really bad cold streak (below zero nights and days in the teens), I treat it like I would a seldom driven car and start it every day or two. During "normal" winter temperatures (high of 30 and lows of 10), I'd do it maybe once a week. The milder the temperatures, the less often I start it. By March, as we start having less below freezing temperatures (<32) at night, the frequency lessens. Maybe I've just been lucky, but this system has never let me down. The engine(s) have always started and the house batteries have always stayed good.

Her are some additional points: (1) My RVs have had battery disconnect switches which allow me to turn the house batteries off while the RV is parked for the winter. I turn them back on while the engine and/or generator is running so that the house battteries will charge and then disconnect when the motors are off. (2) I always start the winter season with as full a tank of gas as possible - for me that's at least 45 gallons. I've never ended up with less than half (25-30 gallons) a tank on 5/1. So, even after the worst winters we've had since 1990, I've used up less than 20 gallons of gas with my system. (3) In my situation, taking the RV out for a 20 mile drive several times a winter is not a practical option. Even without the snow and ice that is likely December through March, I have to drive 5 miles of busy urban streets just to get to an expressway. (4) I've never bothered to run the furnace during these start-ups.

I must admit that I am envious of the fact that you can keep your RV inside and plugged in. That would probably cut how often I start up the RV. If it is kept on your own property (as opposed to a commercial storage area), I'm really jealous. That would make so many things so much easier.

Again, some people may says this shouldn't work or the I am inviting problems, but it has worked for 18 winters so far.

Good luck with your first winter.
DavyD
QUOTE(Jerry S. @ Dec 4 2009, 11:15 PM) *

Rv1,

While I do not have the mechanical or automotive expertise of many of the folks on this forum, let me give you what my experience has been. I have had Class C motorhomes that have wintered outside in Chicago for almost 20 years. The current and previous RV are/were Ford E-350s with gas engines. My travels usually end around 11/1 and the RV sits on its' level cement pad behind the house until I hit the road again around 5/1 the following year. As others have suggested, I start the engine and run the generator at least once a month for 15-30 minutes. How cold the particular winter is determines how much more often I do this. If we have a really bad cold streak (below zero nights and days in the teens), I treat it like I would a seldom driven car and start it every day or two. During "normal" winter temperatures (high of 30 and lows of 10), I'd do it maybe once a week. The milder the temperatures, the less often I start it. By March, as we start having less below freezing temperatures (<32) at night, the frequency lessens. Maybe I've just been lucky, but this system has never let me down. The engine(s) have always started and the house batteries have always stayed good.

Her are some additional points: (1) My RVs have had battery disconnect switches which allow me to turn the house batteries off while the RV is parked for the winter. I turn them back on while the engine and/or generator is running so that the house battteries will charge and then disconnect when the motors are off. (2) I always start the winter season with as full a tank of gas as possible - for me that's at least 45 gallons. I've never ended up with less than half (25-30 gallons) a tank on 5/1. So, even after the worst winters we've had since 1990, I've used up less than 20 gallons of gas with my system. (3) In my situation, taking the RV out for a 20 mile drive several times a winter is not a practical option. Even without the snow and ice that is likely December through March, I have to drive 5 miles of busy urban streets just to get to an expressway. (4) I've never bothered to run the furnace during these start-ups.

I must admit that I am envious of the fact that you can keep your RV inside and plugged in. That would probably cut how often I start up the RV. If it is kept on your own property (as opposed to a commercial storage area), I'm really jealous. That would make so many things so much easier.

Again, some people may says this shouldn't work or the I am inviting problems, but it has worked for 18 winters so far.

Good luck with your first winter.



Jerry, I agree with your "winter maintenance system" 100%.

rv1
QUOTE(Jerry S. @ Dec 4 2009, 11:15 PM) *

Rv1,

While I do not have the mechanical or automotive expertise of many of the folks on this forum, let me give you what my experience has been. I have had Class C motorhomes that have wintered outside in Chicago for almost 20 years. The current and previous RV are/were Ford E-350s with gas engines. My travels usually end around 11/1 and the RV sits on its' level cement pad behind the house until I hit the road again around 5/1 the following year. As others have suggested, I start the engine and run the generator at least once a month for 15-30 minutes. How cold the particular winter is determines how much more often I do this. If we have a really bad cold streak (below zero nights and days in the teens), I treat it like I would a seldom driven car and start it every day or two. During "normal" winter temperatures (high of 30 and lows of 10), I'd do it maybe once a week. The milder the temperatures, the less often I start it. By March, as we start having less below freezing temperatures (<32) at night, the frequency lessens. Maybe I've just been lucky, but this system has never let me down. The engine(s) have always started and the house batteries have always stayed good.

Her are some additional points: (1) My RVs have had battery disconnect switches which allow me to turn the house batteries off while the RV is parked for the winter. I turn them back on while the engine and/or generator is running so that the house battteries will charge and then disconnect when the motors are off. (2) I always start the winter season with as full a tank of gas as possible - for me that's at least 45 gallons. I've never ended up with less than half (25-30 gallons) a tank on 5/1. So, even after the worst winters we've had since 1990, I've used up less than 20 gallons of gas with my system. (3) In my situation, taking the RV out for a 20 mile drive several times a winter is not a practical option. Even without the snow and ice that is likely December through March, I have to drive 5 miles of busy urban streets just to get to an expressway. (4) I've never bothered to run the furnace during these start-ups.

I must admit that I am envious of the fact that you can keep your RV inside and plugged in. That would probably cut how often I start up the RV. If it is kept on your own property (as opposed to a commercial storage area), I'm really jealous. That would make so many things so much easier.

Again, some people may says this shouldn't work or the I am inviting problems, but it has worked for 18 winters so far.

Good luck with your first winter.



QUOTE(Jerry S. @ Dec 4 2009, 11:15 PM) *

Rv1,

While I do not have the mechanical or automotive expertise of many of the folks on this forum, let me give you what my experience has been. I have had Class C motorhomes that have wintered outside in Chicago for almost 20 years. The current and previous RV are/were Ford E-350s with gas engines. My travels usually end around 11/1 and the RV sits on its' level cement pad behind the house until I hit the road again around 5/1 the following year. As others have suggested, I start the engine and run the generator at least once a month for 15-30 minutes. How cold the particular winter is determines how much more often I do this. If we have a really bad cold streak (below zero nights and days in the teens), I treat it like I would a seldom driven car and start it every day or two. During "normal" winter temperatures (high of 30 and lows of 10), I'd do it maybe once a week. The milder the temperatures, the less often I start it. By March, as we start having less below freezing temperatures (<32) at night, the frequency lessens. Maybe I've just been lucky, but this system has never let me down. The engine(s) have always started and the house batteries have always stayed good.

Her are some additional points: (1) My RVs have had battery disconnect switches which allow me to turn the house batteries off while the RV is parked for the winter. I turn them back on while the engine and/or generator is running so that the house battteries will charge and then disconnect when the motors are off. (2) I always start the winter season with as full a tank of gas as possible - for me that's at least 45 gallons. I've never ended up with less than half (25-30 gallons) a tank on 5/1. So, even after the worst winters we've had since 1990, I've used up less than 20 gallons of gas with my system. (3) In my situation, taking the RV out for a 20 mile drive several times a winter is not a practical option. Even without the snow and ice that is likely December through March, I have to drive 5 miles of busy urban streets just to get to an expressway. (4) I've never bothered to run the furnace during these start-ups.

I must admit that I am envious of the fact that you can keep your RV inside and plugged in. That would probably cut how often I start up the RV. If it is kept on your own property (as opposed to a commercial storage area), I'm really jealous. That would make so many things so much easier.

Again, some people may says this shouldn't work or the I am inviting problems, but it has worked for 18 winters so far.

Good luck with your first winter.



Thanks Jerry good advice I am doing this now. Yes I own the property its one of my companys wearhouses no heat but no snow or wind hitting rv I can start rv anytime but driving it for 10 or 20 miles in the hart of chicago would be a rough. I am going south in april so hope i do everything rite intill then.
Texasrvers
I have a related question. How many of you leave your refrigerator turned on when you aren't using the RV (short term storage of 4-6 weeks)? Since we live in south Texas we do not need to winterize, and we do keep our MH plugged in when not in use. In the past we have always turned the fridge off, but recently we met another RVer who said he keeps his turned on. Are there any advantages/disadvantages for doing one or the other?
John Blue
TX,

On refrigerator, no need and a waste of AC power. It takes 1/2 day to cool it down and you are ready to load it up. Open doors if not in use. U-Line ice machine same way, if we travel I turn it on one day before we need it and ice tub is full in ten hours.

We do keep the AC power on 24/7 to keep batteries on float charge.

Jerry S.,

Very good write up and information. Your motorhome will last a long time.
pianotuna
Hi TX,

Turn it off. The heater coils do have a finite life span. It's also as John suggested a waste of electricity. Where I live that would be about 3 cents an hour. It doesn't sound like much--but there are a lot of hours in a month--so it would save $21.60 per month here.

I like to "help my fridge out" by having freeze packs in my regular house freezer. When I go to start up the RV fridge I place two in the freezer and one in the fridge.

This time of year I don't need to bother as the RV Fridge and Freezer are both sitting at -13 C today.

QUOTE(Texasrvers @ Dec 5 2009, 12:42 PM) *

I have a related question. How many of you leave your refrigerator turned on when you aren't using the RV (short term storage of 4-6 weeks)? Since we live in south Texas we do not need to winterize, and we do keep our MH plugged in when not in use. In the past we have always turned the fridge off, but recently we met another RVer who said he keeps his turned on. Are there any advantages/disadvantages for doing one or the other?

Texasrvers
Thanks John and Don,

I guess we will just keep doing what we have been--turning it off. BTW we do open the doors when its not in use and I also use the cold packs the way that Don mentioned. I also take the cold packs with us on trips and keep them frozen. Then I put them in the fridge part on travel days as we usually turn the fridge off while we're moving. They work great that way, too.
Jerry S.
rv1: You're welcome. You are probably one of the few people on this forum who can appreciate what driving an RV on the streets of Chicago, especially in the winter, entails.

John: Thanks. I'm at the point where this RV may be my last. The first three averaged a six year life, 80,000 miles, and about 130 days a year of use. I'll only be pushing 70 in six years but my better half will be pushing 80 by then.

TX: I certainly agree with the others on the fridge issue. As for the "open door" issue, my RV usually sits for most of June and September before and after my big summer trip. I initially clean after it completely defrosts and dries and leave the door open for at least a couple days. After that I see no problem with leaving it shut for a few weeks if for no other reason than keeping dust, bugs, etc. out. I may check for odor once or twice before I turn it on a day or so before the next trip.

I, too, have a related question that came to mind with the TX's question and the responses to it: Why would you leave the RV plugged in for weeks? I would think that occasionally plugging it in (like my running the engine) would suffice in keeping the batteries charged.
rgatijnet
Keep your gas tank close to full and be sure to use some type of fuel stabilizer like Sta-bil, or equivalent. If you run the engine at all, just make sure that you bring it up to normal operating temperature for at least 15 minutes before you shut it down. This circulates the oil and also helps to burn off some of the moisture that may have accumulated in the crankcase.
Also you want to check your batteries on a regular basis to make sure that the water level stays high enough.
Texasrvers
Hi Jerry,

You know how technically challenged I am, but I will give this a try. You may not have seen my post, but in another thread I mentioned that we bought AGM batteries recently. When we went to the RV service center the first question the service rep asked was if we kept the MH plugged in. He said you really need to be plugged in to keep the AGM's charged; otherwise you have to charge them about every 2 days. Someone who knows more about this may disagree, but that is what he told us, and so that is why we stay plugged in now.

Before the AGM's we probably didn't need to stay plugged in, but again we did so just to keep the batteries charged. It was just less of a hassle than having to remember to go plug in. Others may have better reasons for plugging in, but with us I guess it was really just preference.
pianotuna
Hi Texasrvers,

AGM batteries discharge at a rate of between 1 and 3% per MONTH!!! If there is a battery disconnect switch there is imho zero reason to keep them on charge--and lots of reasons to *not* do so.

I would, however, make sure that the charging voltage is what the particular battery maker recommends.

If there is no solar charging system then before any trip plug in for 39 hours.

QUOTE(Texasrvers @ Dec 8 2009, 11:14 AM) *

Hi Jerry,

You know how technically challenged I am, but I will give this a try. You may not have seen my post, but in another thread I mentioned that we bought AGM batteries recently. When we went to the RV service center the first question the service rep asked was if we kept the MH plugged in. He said you really need to be plugged in to keep the AGM's charged; otherwise you have to charge them about every 2 days. Someone who knows more about this may disagree, but that is what he told us, and so that is why we stay plugged in now.

Before the AGM's we probably didn't need to stay plugged in, but again we did so just to keep the batteries charged. It was just less of a hassle than having to remember to go plug in. Others may have better reasons for plugging in, but with us I guess it was really just preference.

Texasrvers
Don,

Thanks for the advice and info. I am the first to say that you know WAY more than I do about batteries and maybe it is possible not to keep the coach plugged in and only charge the batteries once in a while. I'm only going on the info the service rep gave us and that was to keep them plugged in. However, another thing he told us is that if the AGM's completely discharge there is no way to recharge them. They will have to be replaced. If that is true we do not want to take the chance that we may forget to charge them and lose one or both. So for us it is better to keep them plugged in. And as per your advice I do plan to check out the manufacturer's recommendations.
DXSMac
I'm hoping my RV will stay ok this winter, as I am "elsewhere" for the winter, but not in my RV.

I left it plugged in, but turned off the battery (or did I leave it on, I CAN'T REMEMBER!!!). Don't know if that was the right way to go. I did winterize it, but normally don't as I live in a mild area, and for the one or two nights it gets cold, I just run out and turn on a space heater.

JJ
Texasrvers
JJ,

I have to ask. Is Kitty with you or did you leave him with someone who is taking care of him?
pianotuna
Hi TX,

I believe the service rep may not be the brightest bulb in the lighting system.

If any lead acid cell is totally discharged it may be impossible to recharge it. That is not specific to AGM batteries.

How many batteries, what voltage, and how many amp-hours?

QUOTE(Texasrvers @ Dec 8 2009, 12:34 PM) *

Don,

Thanks for the advice and info. I am the first to say that you know WAY more than I do about batteries and maybe it is possible not to keep the coach plugged in and only charge the batteries once in a while. I'm only going on the info the service rep gave us and that was to keep them plugged in. However, another thing he told us is that if the AGM's completely discharge there is no way to recharge them. They will have to be replaced. If that is true we do not want to take the chance that we may forget to charge them and lose one or both. So for us it is better to keep them plugged in. And as per your advice I do plan to check out the manufacturer's recommendations.



Hi JJ,

Don't worry about the batteries. Your arms are not long enough to check it out.

Perhaps surf to the web site for the RV and find out what sort of converter it has. If it is a modern one with three stage charging, most likely the batteries will be ok, if they were left connected!

If they were disconnected then, after arriving home, charge them for about two days. Do check them to see if the electrolyte level is low--and it is add just enough water to cover the plates, before charging.

QUOTE(DXSMac @ Dec 8 2009, 01:11 PM) *

I'm hoping my RV will stay ok this winter, as I am "elsewhere" for the winter, but not in my RV.

I left it plugged in, but turned off the battery (or did I leave it on, I CAN'T REMEMBER!!!). Don't know if that was the right way to go. I did winterize it, but normally don't as I live in a mild area, and for the one or two nights it gets cold, I just run out and turn on a space heater.

JJ

Bigdog
I have a TT and keep it at the house where I have a pad and a 30AMP h/u. I try to get out at least once a month for several days so I keep it plugged in with the fridge turned on as we always keep things like the beer and condiments in it. I also keep a small electric heater on all the time to keep things dry and fresh. Right now we are getting ready to head for Ca next week for Christmas and since it's 25,got down to 10 last nite, degrees here,I'll have to wait to put the water in the fresh water tank,hose is frozen gotta carry it up the hill by hand,but we're ready to head out now.Really,really ready..
DXSMac
QUOTE(Texasrvers @ Dec 8 2009, 01:45 PM) *

JJ,

I have to ask. Is Kitty with you or did you leave him with someone who is taking care of him?


Kitty is with me and doing fine! Kitty even did great in the hotel rooms on the way! I was surprised as each time I got a new RV (I'm on my third one...) kitty MEOWED until he was used to the RV.

And Don (pianotuna), when I was in Kentucky this summer, I did have to have the converter replaced. The repair person said I had damaged the converter because I messed it up when I turned OFF the battery when I was plugged in to shore power. (Or at least I THINK that is what I was told....)

JJ
pianotuna
Hi Tx,

Of course, kitty is with JJ. She would never leave a "family member" behind smile.gif

JJ,

I'm sorry that the converter ended up being "toast" I hope that they upgraded it to a "smart" unit! Now if I could convince you to go solar...... LOL (confirmed solaraholic, here).

I'm itching to try my inverter/battery bank on Dec 18. I'll be trying to run the block heater for a number of hours. It is going to be a torture test for sure, if current conditions continue.

I'm also itching to go on my trip south--but it looks as if I may be changing my route. I've always wanted to see the Shuttle take off.....and there is one scheduled for Feb 4th.

QUOTE(DXSMac @ Dec 11 2009, 09:55 AM) *


And Don (pianotuna), when I was in Kentucky this summer, I did have to have the converter replaced. The repair person said I had damaged the converter because I messed it up when I turned OFF the battery when I was plugged in to shore power. (Or at least I THINK that is what I was told....)

JJ

Texasrvers
QUOTE(pianotuna @ Dec 11 2009, 01:15 PM) *

I've always wanted to see the Shuttle take off.....and there is one scheduled for Feb 4th.


Don,

We saw Endeavor blast off, and it was spectacular!!! It was the last launch of the 20th century (if you consider the year 2000 as the end of the century, which it really is). It was a night lift off which made it even better, although I would also like to see one in daylight. I hope you get to see the Feb 4th launch. It is something you won't ever forget.

TX
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