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crazbs

Wisconsin

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Posted: 10/29/21 09:50am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi,
I am about to store my class B camper(1999 Dodge Xplorer)for the winter in Wisconsin. This will be my 3rd winter doing this but the previous 2 winters I have been home. I have stored it covered in my driveway plugged into power and have gone out once a month to start it up, run the generator and move it so the tires can rotate a little. This winter I will be gone for 6 months so I will not be able to do that and it will just be sitting there the whole time. Does anyone have any words of wisdom on the best things to do to prepare for that?

I have already removed everything I can from the camper, drained the water and run antifreeze through the lines, filled the gas tank, added SeaFoam, put mouse deterrent packets around inside, placed mothball cakes in the engine compartment and will be parking it on wood panels so the tires(which will be covered)are not on concrete. Should I remove the batteries (house and engine)? Should I leave it plugged into my house power? Anything extra I should do to the generator (Onan gas generator)? Any help will be appreciated as I am really nervous about leaving it unchecked and untouched over the winter.
Thank you,
Carolyn

way2roll

Wilmington NC

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Posted: 10/29/21 10:16am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Provided you winterized it properly, it will be fine without starting the gen or moving the tires. I wouldn't risk leaving it plugged in and the power go out or you overcharge the batts. I would remove the batteries and put them in your garage.


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PartyOf Five

Wheaton, IL

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Posted: 10/29/21 10:22am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We stored ours in the southwest 2 winters ago - and they got more snow than they had in 20 years. Then Covid hit and there was no traveling, so our 3 month plan became 6 months of storage. No tire covers, no seafoam, no wood under tires, just parked in a secure lot under a cover. The only adverse impact was to the house battery, but it was a couple years old already. For $150 we were back to 100% functional - a small price to pay for no worries. Sounds like you're far better prepared.


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Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 10/29/21 11:12am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

OMG, your generator will die a horrible early death if you don’t run each month! I’m kidding but that’s what the message is in the recent generator thread, lol.
Don’t just leave the house battery cooking off of the converter while plugged in, unless you know it’s a smart charger. Even then, I’d probably yank the batteries, charge them fully and leave them inside.
I also would have run the fuel down real low and treated what was left in the tank so could top it off with fresh fuel. I’m not a proponent of intentionally burning old gasoline in my vehicles and toys. Too many years of hi perf engines to get on board with burning bad gasoline I suppose.
If your worried about a little condensation and that’s why you filled it up, the ethanol content in standard E10 or whatever fuel will eat up some moisture like it was never there.

* This post was edited 10/29/21 12:25pm by Grit dog *


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dedmiston

Coast to Coast

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Posted: 10/29/21 12:09pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'd be more worried about leaving it sitting for months in the heat than in the cold. Your fuel shouldn't go bad in low temps. Did you add any Sta-Bil to it? If not, add some now and run the gen to flow it into the lines. Who knows if it works or not, but it's an affordable placebo and I've never had problems.

Or just like Grit says, your gen will explode and the space/time continuum will implode on itself and we're all goners.


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Grit dog

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Posted: 10/29/21 12:30pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

To what dedmiston said, I'd consider running the generator out of gas. I haven't examined our Onan yet, but starting the generator and then unplugging power to the genny's fuel pump, or just draining the carb bowl would be preferred.

The best way to ensure a carb doesn't get gummed up is to remove the fuel from it if it won't be run for an extended period. IMO

dedmiston

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Posted: 10/29/21 02:21pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Grit dog wrote:

To what dedmiston said, I'd consider running the generator out of gas. I haven't examined our Onan yet, but starting the generator and then unplugging power to the genny's fuel pump, or just draining the carb bowl would be preferred.

The best way to ensure a carb doesn't get gummed up is to remove the fuel from it if it won't be run for an extended period. IMO

That's interesting, Grit.

I do the opposite, but I have no science to back me up. I also live in a climate where heat is a bigger booger than cold or precipitation.

I fill up the tanks in my gen and all of my toys to get rid of any air gaps where condensation could get in.

I also waste gas that way, because when the kids all come home and want their dirt bikes ready for the next trip, the first thing I have to do is drain the tanks and the bowls and add fresh fuel.

My side yard is full of two-liter bottles of bad gas that are slowly evaporating. Sometimes I'll put the caps back on and use the bad gas as fire-starters.

Grit's technique is safer than mine and probably better thought out. But my fires are awesome.

And maybe I'm subconsciously thinking about my Texaco and Chevron shares.

Opinions are like belly-buttons, as this forum proves every day.

Grit dog

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Posted: 10/29/21 03:26pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

No science here either.
That's what I was always told as a kid. Fill the tank to keep the moisture out. And then in high school I worked as a mechanic at a landscape nursery with alot of seasonal equipment, large and small, gas and diesel. And that stuff never got parked with full tanks (intentionally anyway) or stabilized fuel.
I got on that kick the first winter at my job at the ripe age of 15 when my boss asked what I was doing that day and I was like "need to fill up all the mowers for winter storage" and he was like " The F you will. You're not spending $100 to make 50 gallons of bad gas next spring!"

Also seemed carb problems only happened to things that didn't get run out of gas or gas shut off to the carb. (Not scientific, but when you have a dozen commercial mowers to prep for the season, you kind of learn what doesn't work) And fresh gas helps start an old engine vs some cheap gas station fuel that sat for 6-8 months in effectively open to atmosphere (vented) and sometimes plastic tanks. Plastic and air are major contributors to fuel quality degradation. Part of the reason those little overpriced quart cans of happy homeowner chainsaw gas last so long.
I don't doubt that an empty tank does get some condensation under the right conditions (humidity and dew point). But thinking back, most/all fuel tanks on anything were metal and gasoline didn't contain any alcohol (unless you added it).
Metal tanks and moisture = potential/likely rust. Moisture = doesn't mix with gasoline = water in fuel system, engine dies from a slug of water or fuel line freezes.

What did they do back then for moisture in gas, add some alcohol (Heet). Either methanol or isopropyl. Yellow or red, right? And that little teeny bit of alcohol would make the water "disappear", or more accurately mix with the fuel so that it would burn and not freeze either.
Unless buying non ethanol, gas comes pre=loaded with a 1000% bigger dose of Heet than back in the day.

So the ethanol takes care of 10x the condensation as a can of Heet would theoretically.
Plus newer vehicles' fuel systems are much better sealed from atmospheric conditions, with ventless tanks.

And in the last 30 years, metal gas tanks have largely been phased out of, everything. So no rust concern either. If your rig still has a metal gas tank, filling it may be more appropriate as you should do anything you can to keep that antique gas tank in good enough condition to not have to replace it.
But even then, I just had a rusted out gas tank on the 86 GMC. It rusted out from the outside though, mud and debris trapped moisture against it. pretty sure I powerwashed dirt out of there that was at least of legal drinking age! Inside of tanks had very little to no rust in them and I guarantee the truck didn't sit with full tanks for the last 34 years. Well almost guarantee...lol Heck, it sat for at least a couple years with one tank almost empty. The PO used one tank (the bad one, it didn't leak until the pressure washer got into it) for "cheap" gas to drive around with and (said) he used a little race gas or AV gas in the other saddle tank to "run through" it before parking it for extended periods.


That's why it's largely a wives tale to "fill your tanks" before storage anymore.

Best way to maximize shelf life of gasoline is sealed from the environment in a metal container.
As that is not practical in most situations, having a small amount of "old" fuel diluted with fresh, possibly better fuel than needed IMO is better to burn than 100% "old" fuel.

And poor fuel, low octane, is tolerated better in low performance 4 stroke engines (your basic vehicles and generators). May or will get some detonation but the bad effects are not as severe as 2 stroke and high performance engines. And I'm not going to save a buck on a $3000 engine in a $7000 bike! But I can treat it the best for FREE by not having schitty gas to ever run through it.

Grit dog

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Posted: 10/29/21 03:36pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm curious to hear any other benefits of storing with a full tank that overall are a better solution than low or empty tank.

Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 10/29/21 03:53pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

dedmiston wrote:

But my fires are awesome.



That right there is worth something!!

I don't have any old gas to burn, so unless I start the fire like a Boy Scout, it's propane bottle and tiger torch for me!

I also seen the after affects of likely massive evaporation and the resulting varnish and fuel degradation.
The ole new to us 2017 toy hauler had what was apparently just enough gas left in the tank to run the generator but not enough to pump any out through the fuel station hose.
To the extent I KNEW the gas had to be 4 years old, the PO swore the generator was LP fired as he never put gas in the fuel station (according to him and the generator only had 8 hours on it and he swore that 5 or 6 of those hours had to be from the dealer when he had it worked on in 2017 or 2018). But he said if he started the generator it wouldn't start without the propane tuned on, LOL. After de-bunking his theory and taking one sniff of the tank, it was nasty.
I've said it before idk how that genny even started.

First thing i did was dump in 5 gal of cheap 87 octane and take a drive around the block to slosh it around. Only Got about 3 gal back out of the fuel station hose, it was that low on gas.
What came back out looked worse than your first p!ss after a hard night of drinking and you're dehydrated! (And may have smelled similar....lol)
After that I dumped in 10 gal of AV gas and let the genny run for a while.
The filled it up full before vacation. Only used about 20 gallons of the gas this summer. Yet in about 4 months, the 10 gal of sweet smelling blue AVgas and the 20 gal of 92 non ethanol, came back out smelling like old gas, again, and pretty yellow, less than a bad hangover, bout like working in the sun for a few hours with no water breaks!

For the winter I dumped in another 5ver of AV gas and put the cover on it.

Couple key points:
If the PO of my camper had 20-30 gal of old gas in it, there would probably been alot more varnish in the tank, but I could have started like 10 kick @ss bon fires!
If he had kept the gas relatively fresh in it, well, I just got lucky that I didn't have to pull the carb and clean it out.

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