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Don’t Let Your Motorhome Sit Too Long

Originally Published in MotorHome Magazine

Products designed to help prevent fuel system problems in a motorhome that’s been in storage

The current crisis has forced us to change many aspects of our lives, including the ways we use our RVs. One thing is certain: we’ve had to store our gas motorhomes and diesel motorhomes longer than we anticipated. Motorhome fuel stagnation can cause operational problems that are expensive to fix. Motor fuels are actually perishable to an extent, especially if not properly stored.

While a gas motorhome or a diesel motorhome should be serviced before it goes into long-term storage, taking steps now may prevent issues that will cause problems when you’re ready to hit the road.

Gasoline is a volatile fuel that degrades over a few months. As the gasoline ages, certain chemicals in the fuel evaporate, which causes the fuel to lose its potency and leave behind a varnish that causes engine issues. It can turn a darker color, can thicken, and will even smell different. The more oxygen the gasoline is exposed to, the quicker it oxidizes or degrades.

Diesel fuel is more stable than gasoline. However, diesel fuel stored for an extended period can grow organics, commonly (though inaccurately), called algae. These organisms create a black slime which, along with the microorganisms themselves, plugs fuel filters quickly.

Condensation can accumulate in a partially filled tank as it sits. In gasoline, this encourages oxidation of the fuel. In diesel, it promotes microbial growth. In both cases, it can cause the inside of the fuel tank to rust, which creates more problems. Remember, this goes for any fuel storage medium, including cans, auxiliary tanks and so on. There are two easy things you can do to prevent fuel problems.

Before you fill the tank, add a stabilizer or fuel treatment (such as Sta-Bil for gas motorhomes or PRI-D for diesel motorhomes), then fill the tank and run the vehicle, so the treated fuel gets into all the filters, carburetors, fuel injectors, etc. Again, there’s a variety of products available, so use one that fits your needs. Always store the vehicle with a full fuel tank, which helps to reduce the amount of air in the tank, reducing condensation-related problems.

If the engine didn’t get stored with an additive, adding one now may help until you can add fresh fuel.

Remember to completely service all of your motors before you put them in storage to ensure they’ll be raring to go when you are.

Diesel RVsmotorhome maintenanceRV DIYRV Tech

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