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arosen2176@msn.com

Advice for storing our motorhome for three weeks a month

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We are taking delivery of our very first motorhome this weekend!! Our new vacation home on wheels is a Fleetwood Providence 40x 2008. We will be taking her out at least once every three weeks during the school year and month-long trips during the summer. I would appreciate any advice regarding how to properly store the motorhome in between our trips. We have secured space at an RV storage facility under covered parking. Thank you!!!

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A couple of questions to better answer your question:

1. Will you have 120 VAC shore power available where you store it?

2. How long (time) will it take you to burn a tank of fuel?

Brett

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Modern coaches have 12 VDC parasitic loads that can run the batteries (both house and chassis) down -- easily within the three- to four-week time period.

So in the absence of charge by shore power, running the generator or solar (if in the sun), you will want to have a battery disconnect on each battery bank. If you have the ability to charge the batteries once a week or so, no need for a disconnect (but do NOT start the coach's engine to do this -- in fact, if you can't drive at least 25 highway miles it is better to not start it at all).

And top off the fuel tank at the end of each monthly trip if possible to reduce condensation. Since it will take you three or more months to burn a full tank, I would add a BIOCIDE (available at marine stores) to the diesel.

Enjoy your new coach.

Brett

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An excellent question by Tom. One often overlooked by those of us living in south Texas (or south Florida).

As few times a year as it freezes hard enough to do harm (enough hours below freezing to affect water systems) you might just go over those very few times a year and turn the propane heater on to its lowest setting. Yes, you will need to verify with your coach maker that the propane heater heats the wet bay, but most do. Remember, the furnace (fan mostly) takes close to 10 amps of 12 VDC while running, so charge the batteries up before and after with generator or shore power.

We have friends in Texas who just bring their coach over to their house and plug it in the few nights a year temperatures warrant it.

An ALMOST true statement about temperaturet: "If an orange tree is happy a motorhome (or person) is happy"

Brett

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Hi arisen2176,

On the topic of water freezing, consider 29 degrees F for four hours or longer. Living in Tampa you've heard this on the news about the orange groves. The 29 for 4 is about an exposed orange. All your water lines should be enclosed. Just to be on the safe side, follow what has been previously posted. My concern is the coach batteries. Whenever the furnace is on the batteries will be under stress. The can easily be run down in one night of cold weather. If you have one of these cold spells, put on your list of things to do to visit the coach the next day and recharge the batteries with the generator or a really long extension cord.

Do you have 2 or 4 coach batteries?

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We have 4 Coach batteries.

We managed to drive her home AND back her into the storage spot yesterday!!!!

My checklist for storing for the next few weeks until our next trip was the following...

dump our black and grey tanks,

add 2oz of black tank " liquid " and about 1 gallon of water into toilet and flush,

turn off the water pump and dump the water tank,

made sure slides were in tight,

made sure every light switch was off (who knew there would be so many!!)

dumped ice tray and turned off the fridge and propped open the doors,

let the air out of the "airbags"

closed the window blinds

turned off the the main and aux power switches (all 6 of the batteries)

Turned off the Invertor

Locked her up and kept myself from kissing her goodbye!!

Am I missing anything??

I left absolutly no food supplies of any kind, I live in Florida with LOTS of bugs and critters, what else should I do to prevent anything from coming inside??

Thank you for all of your help!!

April

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I would drive around some with that black water mixture and slosh it around the tank probably do the same for the gray tank to keep the sensors clean. I would also spray insecticide/repellant around the tires and any thing that touches the ground...keep those fireants palmetto bugs and picnic ants at bay. In fact down South we spray at every camp site before we do anything else. Walmart has a clear no odor repellant that works good.

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Guest Wayne77590

I'm one of the ones that will drive the MH home and park it in the driveway when it gets, or is going to get, down to freezing or below. Even though we have 120vac at the storage unit. I just don't trust it. they are on 20 am circuits, but there are several stalls on each circuit, in series. I've had the GFI on the pole trip a couple times. For one night there would be no problem, but if the power goes out and it's 3 or more nights, weil, I'm a worry wart. I have 50 amp here in the driveway, dedicated.

Something that was not mentioned that I think needs to be, although your "cold" spell should be well over for the year, is the winterization of your fresh water system. You mention dumping the fresh, and that is good. If you do have 120, and intend to run the heater, your fresh water system should be okay, but I am assuming that you have heated water areas. So, since you use the coach 1 week a month, using the "pink" stuff is not a very good option. Using a regulated air pressure of about 30 PSI, and using a fresh water adapter for the purpose, blow out the water lines. Please read your operators manual for the correct procedure. If you don't have a manual that explains the process, just give an ask. (Brett can answer. Hee! Hee!)

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I do the same thing, we also have covered storage and our motorhome will sit in storage for 3-4 weeks at a time until the traveling bug hits us. But, when we take off we usually drive long enough to use a couple of tanks of diesel through our Cat C9. When in storage, I disconnect the chassis master battery disconnect switch that disconnects everything 12V. I have AGM house batteries and they discharge very little in 3-4 weeks. All good suggestions from the previous posters. Enjoy your new motorhome...

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We are taking delivery of our very first motorhome this weekend!! Our new vacation home on wheels is a Fleetwood Providence 40x 2008. We will be taking her out at least once every three weeks during the school year and month-long trips during the summer. I would appreciate any advice regarding how to properly store the motorhome in between our trips. We have secured space at an RV storage facility under covered parking. Thank you!!!

I probably have no business giving advice since I am a novice and new motorhome owner but we recently had an experience with our furnace (hydronic) which I would like to not have happen again and I believe it happened while in storage. We got it out and prepped for a weekend trip only to find out that our furnace fans were not working and eventually no furnace nor hot water at all. We spent a couple of pretty chilly nights before we could get it in for service. Turns out, there was some obstruction in the furnace exhaust pipe which the service tech blew out. He wasn't sure what it was but he said something came out of the pipe. Then it worked great. The furnace fans will not work if the unit cannot expel fumes through the exhaust pipe.

I am not sure how to prevent this from happening in the future, but when we have everything turned off in storage, I guess it is inviting for small critters/spiders to get in the pipe and build their nest for a cozy winter stay. We were told that in warmer weather, dirt dobbers can be tempted as well.

Our exhaust is about 1 1/2 to 2 inches in diameter. You pros out there, do you do anything to screen it or cover it when it is not "hot"?

Don

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Don,

While in storage, I cover all appliance openings with inexpensive fine nylon screening (usually by just opening the outside access panel and closing the screen in the door).

Never had a problem with critters in a tail pipe, but it would sure be easy to use a rubber band to hold a piece of screening over the pipe.

Brett

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