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I have let my Motorhome set for 4 years only starting the motor and Gen Set when I think of it, So with winter here I drove it to fill the propane tank and my right rear tires are dragging some leaving black marks on the road, I think my brakes have rusted on that side from not driving on the road,

I also did not start my Gen set enough and now I have a bad solenoid or starter, maybe a bad ground.

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MH's have to be driven on a regular basis. It is just not good letting them sit for extended periods of time. Jim is most likely correct on the flat. I would not be surprised if you have more than one tire problem. Also, just starting the engine is not enough. It must be driven to get to operating temps. The gen must be run at load for a while.

 

I'm afraid you might find expensive problems with that coach. You might also find other problems that have not reared their ugly heads yet.

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We are considering a MH. Each winter we sit for 3 months, how often should we take it out for a drive. We currently take our truck(IH 4700) for a 50 mile run every 2 weeks or so. Would that work for a MH and run the generator for the same length of time. We don't take the 5th wheel out for the duration since it sits in storage for 6 months of the year without being moved. We have always been concerned about the equipment

 

If we buy a MH I guess we would need to take it out of storage every xxx weeks for a run and get the generator going. This is one of our concerns and on the negative side of the ledger for buying a MH.

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SWharton: This has been discussed many times. There are those who are adamant that a motorhome be driven every month for at least 30 minutes along with running the generator under load for at least that much time. Yes, that is best case, but many, many of us have had no problems with the motorhome sitting for 3 to 4 months in the winter, year after year. What everyone agrees on is that idling the engine monthly is bad for the engine, it is better to leave it sit.

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If we buy a MH I guess we would need to take it out of storage every xxx weeks for a run and get the generator going. This is one of our concerns and on the negative side of the ledger for buying a MH.

I am not as expert as some and clearly not a mechanic, but we did live in a gas chassis motorhome for 11+ years and in that time we sat still at a volunteer location for periods ranging from 1 to 4 months, usually about 2/3 months at a time. Because I was not sure based upon what I read on forums, I asked the Ford motorhome hotline for an opinion on just what we should do, and I followed that recommendation. They told me that a dry start of an engine is the hardest thing that most experience and that I should not start the engine while it was sitting until less than one week before travel as a test. They suggest that once you start the engine it should be driven at highway speeds for at least 20 minutes.

 

What we did was to treat our fuel tank with a quality fuel stabilizer and fill the tank completely just before stopping and then drive far enough to get that treated fuel completely through the system. We then parked, sitting on the leveling jacks and I kept pads under all tires and covers on them as well as checking them for proper inflation monthly. Two or three days prior to our next travel I would then start the engine and run it long enough to warm it and also put the transmission in drive with a foot on the brake for a few seconds and then through each gear then back to neutral. I did start the generator and run it under load monthly because it had a corroborator and not injection.

 

In all of that time the only ill effect that we ever had was that I did have my from brake calipers start to drag a bit which turned out to be that they had rusted and had to be replaced, at about year 5 or so. The shop where they were replaced showed me where to lubricate the calipers to prevent that from happening after that and it never happened again.

I also did not start my Gen set enough and now I have a bad solenoid or starter, maybe a bad ground.

So with winter here I drove it to fill the propane tank and my right rear tires are dragging some leaving black marks on the road, I think my brakes have rusted on that side from not driving on the road,

I wonder if your problem might be the same brake caliper problem that we had?

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SWharton,

 

Sitting a few months doesn't matter - sitting YEARS is another story. Just make sure fuel tank is full and when you do start it, make sure you run it for 20-30 minutes to get everything warm and lubricated. With the generator, if you can't put a load on it, don't start it. So in the winter, take a little space heater with you if you are going to start the generator - get it going, plug in the heater and warm the coach up for ~ an hour on the low setting. Good time to do some light cleaning while the generator is working out.

 

Barb

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Don't semi's often have an accumulator or pre-luber?

 

Think of it as a can that oil is forced into by the engine's oil pressure. There is a valve either electric or manual that is opened just prior to starting.

 

We used them in drag racing to prevent dry starts and to prevent loss of pressure when the car launched.

 

It would seem that one installed in a MH would help eliminate dry start issues.

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Don't semi's often have an accumulator or pre-luber?

I'm not sure how common they are but pre-lub pump kits are available for some larger engines. I only remember seeing one on a gas engine but I know that they either are, or were available. I have also seen them on diesel tractors.

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I am not as expert as some and clearly not a mechanic, but we did live in a gas chassis motorhome for 11+ years and in that time we sat still at a volunteer location for periods ranging from 1 to 4 months, usually about 2/3 months at a time. Because I was not sure based upon what I read on forums, I asked the Ford motorhome hotline for an opinion on just what we should do, and I followed that recommendation. They told me that a dry start of an engine is the hardest thing that most experience and that I should not start the engine while it was sitting until less than one week before travel as a test. They suggest that once you start the engine it should be driven at highway speeds for at least 20 minutes.

 

What we did was to treat our fuel tank with a quality fuel stabilizer and fill the tank completely just before stopping and then drive far enough to get that treated fuel completely through the system. We then parked, sitting on the leveling jacks and I kept pads under all tires and covers on them as well as checking them for proper inflation monthly. Two or three days prior to our next travel I would then start the engine and run it long enough to warm it and also put the transmission in drive with a foot on the brake for a few seconds and then through each gear then back to neutral. I did start the generator and run it under load monthly because it had a corroborator and not injection.

 

In all of that time the only ill effect that we ever had was that I did have my from brake calipers start to drag a bit which turned out to be that they had rusted and had to be replaced, at about year 5 or so. The shop where they were replaced showed me where to lubricate the calipers to prevent that from happening after that and it never happened again.

I wonder if your problem might be the same brake caliper problem that we had?

Yeah Kirk

After watching a lot of you tube I think I have a rusted brake caliper or caliper bolt, when it warms up I will take the duel wheels off and lube them or what ever they need, no shop around here that I have contacted work on them even when I tell them it is just a one ton Chevy like a bread truck.

 

My tires are aired up but I will check them again good point, course they are going to be replaced before using the motor home, one rear tire was replaced just before parking it but it has cracks in the side wall as bad as the older ones.

 

I do have fuel stabilizer in the gas and have put fresh gas in while it set from gas cans, it is parked in a place I do not like to park in as I almost rack the body when coming around the corner to get it in my yard, I have run the gen set under load about every two months but the last time I tried to start it I think the starter or solenoid went out and I did not crank it very long less than 30 seconds, Just another problem, this motorhome has been trouble even when I used it more.

 

I think I have used it 5 times on long trips in 10 years and four times I had a problem, my other motorhome I had before this one never gave me trouble,

 

One more thing for people that have the parking brake on the drive shaft, I know about the rotten green sw.

 

Make sure it goes in to park and the brake pads really do engage, this one did not when I was in the state park in Branson MO. and the dump station was (is) on top of a hill above the campground it rolled away down hill into the campground as I was loading my car on the dolly,

 

Talk about a bad feeling seeing your big motorhome headed towards a pop up camper and other rv's while all I could do was sit and watch, I just knew it was going to kill some people in the pop up, but thank God it took out a bass boat, a electric hook up and wedged under a cedar tree, missing the pop up by 12 inches, (they hooked up and were gone very fast after that).

 

It tore up the front of motorhome and I was able to drive it home (150 miles) and then on to the repair shop and back. that was the last time I used it.

 

My parking brake that also goes to the drive shaft did not hold either. it does this about every 20 times that I put it in park, the micro sw on bottom of steering col. most likely defective, It started to roll one other time but I did not remember if it was this one or my other motorhome. now I know and it will never get away from me again.

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What works for us as far as driving the MH during our 6 month stays is refilling the propane tank. Wintering on the gulf coast, we start with a full propane tank. Approx 3 mo later we will need propane as we do run the furnace on cold nights. DH then drives the mh to get propane and makes sure it gets 20 miles or so put on it. Last winter we did this 2X in the 6 months. Warmer this winter but we will need to do it at least once. We run the generator every couple of months and put a good load on it. Run it for 1/2 hr - 1 hr. In between stops we drive approx 1,000 miles each time. That will change in a couple of years and we will be putting more mileage on and traveling more.

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I'm not sure how common they are but pre-lub pump kits are available for some larger engines. I only remember seeing one on a gas engine but I know that they either are, or were available. I have also seen them on diesel tractors.

There are pre-lube pumps but I am referring to an accumulator. Think of it the same way a lot of people use accumulators on their water line to reduce the pressure drop. Same idea and much cheaper than a pre-lube and relatively inexpensive to install.

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The problem with either a prelube pump or accumulator is the volume of oil it has to flow to actually get oil forced to all the bearings. I had a prelube pump on my 530 IH truck for a while and it never made any real oil pressure, even when the oil was very cold I was lucky to see the needle move. Talking to IH about it they told me that between the bearings and the oil jets that cool the bottom of the pistons I needed a much larger pump if I was going to force oil to all the bearings and the turbo.

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Coaches on a dealer lot do not sit for more than a few months at a time. Generally they are moved more often than that. Plus they do get test driven quite often.

 

Here we're not talking 3 or 4 months, but 3 or 4 YEARS. The OP even stated the new tire he had installed on the coach prior to parking it showed as much weathering (side wall checking) as the older tires. Just sitting in the sun and weather will, over time, cause damage to a tire. Most tire experts state tires should be exercised regularly to re-align (I think this is what they call it) the belts in the tire.

 

Over this much time parts can and do rust together to a point they do not move well. I'm not sure if the motor would have a problem just sitting as it is a closed system although I am not an expert on this. Obviously in the OP's case the generator has a problem after sitting for that period of time.

 

I would think a good rule of thumb is to drive the coach every 2 or 3 months for about 20 minutes to get oil throughout the motor and get it to operating temp. I have never let mine sit for 6 months without driving it, but 3 months is a pretty regular occurrence. I do not start the motor monthly and let it idle as I have read, as others have stated, that this cold start without obtaining operating temps. is bad for the motor. I do run my generator under load at least once per month for about 20 minutes. I ran it overnight about a month ago at a dealer (having service work done) and only used a dew gallons of diesel. (By the way no-one else was around and the dealer plug was tripped in the building, which we did not know until we started having electrical problems. We had been running everything off our batteries for several hours without realizing it. I would never recommend running the gen at night with other campers around. This was an unusual situation.)

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ED, the parking assist brake (GM says it is not an emergency brake) on my dually quit working, after repairs were made, the GM service manager told me that brake must be used at least weekly to prevent it from sticking/freezing up.

Before throwing money at the disc brakes, I would try some PB Blaster on everything that moves, tap with a hammer a few time, then try backing, stopping, and repeating several time to see it they break-free. If/when they begin to move, lubricate the desiganated points with the "special" brake grease.

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ED, the parking assist brake (GM says it is not an emergency brake) on my dually quit working, after repairs were made, the GM service manager told me that brake must be used at least weekly to prevent it from sticking/freezing up.

Before throwing money at the disc brakes, I would try some PB Blaster on everything that moves, tap with a hammer a few time, then try backing, stopping, and repeating several time to see it they break-free. If/when they begin to move, lubricate the desiganated points with the "special" brake grease.

Thanks Ray, My parking brake may be locked up as the foot pad has been on and off a few times as I have to set it to use the jacks, but my parking brake I am pretty sure is part of the pads that grab the drive shaft when the pressure is let off the big spring, that would cause both rear wheels to be hard to turn, The driver side rear wheel is doing most of the forward movement and the other side is not as free and drags the tires on that side, I will shoot everything with PB blaster and tap with a hammer Thanks for that,

 

My parking brake and foot brake do need adjusting as they are not holding very good, I have to find a safe way to get under there as my motorhome has two big steel plates on each side under it just waiting to fall and almost cut a person in two.

I have been under it before just praying the jacks did not fail but next time I will drive on some solid concrete blocks, put my big floor jack and extra jacks under it and adjust it.

 

I am betting the brake has rusted on the side that drags. The reason it has set so long is one rent house after another has come empty and destroyed and I have to rebuild them. I have 5 just enough for trouble, anyone thinking about renting their home till it sells and going full time is you can try your best to get good renters but they will fool you almost every time, after 25 years I have heard and seen it all.

 

I am a retired Home Builder and I have to do everything myself because of the housing market, I am about to go anyway, that's why I am getting the motorhome back in shape. Salt water is calling my name.

Thanks Everyone for your help. Ed

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Guest ticat900

We are considering a MH. Each winter we sit for 3 months, how often should we take it out for a drive. We currently take our truck(IH 4700) for a 50 mile run every 2 weeks or so. Would that work for a MH and run the generator for the same length of time. We don't take the 5th wheel out for the duration since it sits in storage for 6 months of the year without being moved. We have always been concerned about the equipment

 

If we buy a MH I guess we would need to take it out of storage every xxx weeks for a run and get the generator going. This is one of our concerns and on the negative side of the ledger for buying a MH.

Letting your MH sit for 3 months hurts nothing. If its gas run the gen set under load about once a month or even month and a half is all needed.IF you somehow feel you need to run the engine(you really don't have to) run it long enough that its up to running temperature on the gauge

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Guest ticat900

I agree that it won't sit on a lot 3-4 years but I do not think it needs to be driven every few weeks either.

your correct. It should be driven every 4-5 months or so and fresh fuel left in it along with fuel stabilizer .Park on plywood for tires and run gen set every 6 weeks or so

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  • 4 months later...

Well, the Generator problem was a bad starter, runs great now, many are priced online for $150.00 , I found one for around $35.00 new and replaced it by laying on top of the Gen set, A person needs to check around before buying RV parts.

 

I now have found a new problem, the roof top layer has come unglued, all that is holding it on is the ac's, vents and side molding.

 

I am going to post a question about it as I have looked everywhere for a way to glue it back in place without removing the top layer, some glue as thin as water that I can open the center tape seam and shoot down the roof under the top layer,

 

I do not want to remove the 1/8" fiberglass or what ever the top is made of, it is a 1997 Holiday Rambler class A

Motorhome.

 

It has a layer of Fiberglass ?.. glued to 1/8th or 1/4" plywood glued to 3" of foam glued to plywood and the ceiling glued to that, I found that by looking at the AC with filter out.

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I glued a wooden mast together by using a veterinary hypodermic injector filled with appropriate glue. You may not have to glue all of the rooftop down... just strategic places. A series of small holes to inject the glue which are then covered up by appropriate chemical compound (Dicor?).

 

Good luck!

 

WDR

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I glued a wooden mast together by using a veterinary hypodermic injector filled with appropriate glue. You may not have to glue all of the rooftop down... just strategic places. A series of small holes to inject the glue which are then covered up by appropriate chemical compound (Dicor?).

 

Good luck!

 

WDR

WDR,That was my plan until I found out by Kirk that it is a aluminum roof and is made to expand so I think I am ok. Thanks for your reply. Ed

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AS far as my Motorhome sitting long periods and my exercise methods:

 

I cant prove if it helps or not, and yes I agree dry starts absent enough oil on bearing surfaces is hard on an engine, BUT I USE LUCAS SYNTHETIC OIL STABILIZER EACH OIL CHANGE PLUS AN ANTI DRAINBACK OIL FILTER which might possibly perhaps????? help, it likely doesn't hurt lol. I also use plenty of Gas Stabilizer and drive it prior to storage so it gets into the fuel system including generator.

 

I do start it at least once a month but let it run a good while to warm up and dry out condensation, put in gear using brake and run it through shifting. Then I start the generator and put it under a load for maybe 20 or more minutes.

 

My biggest concern is sticking brake calipers, but unless its actually driven (not just started and sitting there) other then lubricating them, I'm unsure just what to do.

 

QUESTION if a person lubes them should you use like that gray colored ANTI SIEZE or regular grease or is there a special grease for that purpose?????

 

John T A true believer in preventive maintenance

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My biggest concern is sticking brake calipers, but unless its actually driven (not just started and sitting there) other then lubricating them, I'm unsure just what to do.

 

QUESTION if a person lubes them should you use like that gray colored ANTI SIEZE or regular grease or is there a special grease for that purpose?????

 

John T A true believer in preventive maintenance

 

I use NAPA's "Sil Glyde" silicone grease on brake caliper slides and pins. There are other specialized caliper slide lubes from Valvoline, etc., as well.

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