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Starting Up RV During Winterization

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Hello all.

I have a question I am hoping I could get help with. I have winterized my Class C Jayco motorhome. I pulled the house battery and brought it inside my house and put it on a battery tender. I want to be able to start my RV and run the generator throughout the winter to get the fluids running through them as I am under the impression the generator should be run every month with load to keep it in tip top shape.

Do I have to reinstall the battery every time or can I run the generator without the battery on? If I can run it without, can I put a load on the generator without battery?

Will the 12V items like lights run without a battery connected even though the generator is on? I am thinking I cannot and will have to reinstall the battery, but wanted to confirm.

Thanks in advance for the help!

James 

 

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James,

If you pulled only the house battery (i.e. chassis battery is still in place), you can easily start the engine.  And, using the boost switch you can start the generator. If you have a constant duty battery boost/battery combine switch AND solenoid, all 12 VDC house systems can be run off the chassis battery.  If a momentary switch/intermittent duty solenoid, this would not work.  But, you could do a hard wire "work around".

Be SURE that you have the positive terminal that goes to the house bank very securely isolated from any metal (ground), as the alternator will be supplying power to that lead as well as to the chassis battery.

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Personally, I think you are better off doing nothing.  If you do start the RV engine then you need to be able to drive it as well.  You want everything to fully come up to temperature so you should take it on a 20-30 minute drive before parking it again.  Just starting and letting it idle is worse than doing nothing and truly, nothing is required.  Just let it sit.

Letting the generator sit for the Winter is also not likely a bad idea.  If you do want to exercise it then I would recommend starting only the generator and run the loads, take the loads off, let it run a bt longer and then shut it down with no load.

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7 hours ago, WILDEBILL308 said:

One outher option is if you have power where the RV is stored, leave the battery installed and on the trickle charger there.

Bill

Even if you don't have power there, install a small solar panel/trickle charger.

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Word of caution. 12 volt charging systems need to see battery storage for output control. Lacking a battery the system may go to max output and that can cause charging system failure. Lacking a better resource contact a reliable vender and get the opinion in writing to give yourself a margin of confidence. If the vender is willing to put it in writing then the are real sure of their answer.

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42 minutes ago, hobart said:

Word of caution. 12 volt charging systems need to see battery storage for output control.

Totally agree.  But, that function should be provided by the CHASSIS battery which is still in place.

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I live in snow country and store my motorhome outdoors in the winter. I never take the batteries out for storage. I have found that the batteries will drain down if left for a long time. In my last coach (and my present one) I installed battery disconnects which made a BIG difference. I usually start the main engine (gas) once a month as well as the generator. Both of them will start up very easily when the batteries have been disconnected for the month. They have almost at full power when turned back on even if the temperature sometimes drop close to 0 F.  I usually plug in a couple of electric heaters to put a load on the gunny since it makes no sense to try the ACs.  It's a little difficult to drive out of the storage area (and possibly a little dangerous, so I will hod the foot brakes on and run the transmission through all shift positions to move the fluids.  I have never had any engine, generator or transmission problems with any of my motorhome in 40 years. I had my last coach for 20 years. :)  Hope this helps. 

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Total winter here in Ontario. Had 29D Jayco Melbourne for 7 winters. 1/2 hour to winterize, remove battery.

Started 1st time, everytime, in spring. 6.8l Ford V10. Religious maintenance  always, with any complex vehicle.

Now we have a 40 'DP , different animal all together from gas. Trickle charge all batteries (maintaining water) after winterizing of course .

Run engine, genset, 1/2 hr every month. Been OK for 3 years so far, and even more religious with maintenance.

Remember, total lubing and tightening, dielectric grease, etc , ,  minimum once a year.

50 years gearhead and  backyard mechanic.

 

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rhuggett and bruxux,

Welcome to the Forum.

Brett and Bill will both tell you and I agree, do not start your engine and just let it run till it reaches operating temp. and then turn it off. If you can't take it out for a drive, 25 miles at least then don't start it. A short run of the engine will create condensation which will get into the oil and you don't want that. It is best to have your unit serviced, water system drained, RV antifreeze put in all drains including the toilet and putting a trickle charger on the batteries. Disconnect the ground cables if you can't put on the trickle charger. Also in some cases you can call your insurance agent and do what is called "Put the coach in Storage". This will drop your liability and collision coverage but keep comprehensive coverage in place. Over a 5 to six months period can amount to quite a bit of money. (Only a few insurance companies offer this.)

Herman   

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I agree with you and would have said the same things except for a couple that are only a difference in personal preferences.

I don't start my engines (this is the first year with my MH and it is outside in MI) because I don't want to drive on roads that are either icy, snow covered or laced with salt. Not to mention potholes!!!   If I can't or won't drive it I won't start it especially in the winter here.

I do have the MH plugged in so the house batteries charge and a Battery Tender is on the chassis batteries.  I know it probably wouldn't hurt to leave them attached all Winter, but I do give them a break once in a while and unplug them for a week or so, maybe once every 6-8 weeks.

I also blow out my system to winterize so antifreeze is only in the traps and toilet.

I do also call my insurance agent and remove the collision etc because I know I'm not going to drive it - at least this winter.

They sent me a nice refund check for taking off the collision part and I can call them up anytime to turn it back on.

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1 hour ago, RedandSilver said:

I agree with you and would have said the same things except for a couple that are only a difference in personal preferences.

I don't start my engines (this is the first year with my MH and it is outside in MI) because I don't want to drive on roads that are either icy, snow covered or laced with salt. Not to mention potholes!!!   If I can't or won't drive it I won't start it especially in the winter here.

I do have the MH plugged in so the house batteries charge and a Battery Tender is on the chassis batteries.  I know it probably wouldn't hurt to leave them attached all Winter, but I do give them a break once in a while and unplug them for a week or so, maybe once every 6-8 weeks.

I also blow out my system to winterize so antifreeze is only in the traps and toilet.

I do also call my insurance agent and remove the collision etc because I know I'm not going to drive it - at least this winter.

They sent me a nice refund check for taking off the collision part and I can call them up anytime to turn it back on.

Welcome to the forum. That is a good idea to cancel the insurance you won't need while parked.

Bill

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