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How often do you drive your MH?
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userCrumpleton
Posted: 11 May 2016 8:57 PM
Subject: How often do you drive your MH?
 
Just joined

Posts: 7

Location: North Staffs. Autocruise Starfire


Hi Everyone,

Apologies if this has been covered before but I could not find a previous thread on the subject. I am a newbie and a bit concerned about leaving my motorhome standing for long periods without being driven and the problems that this may cause.
My question is this - how often and how far do you take your motorhome out for a drive to keep the engine and mechanicals in good condition? I was thinking maybe a ten mile drive once a fortnight would be enough but would be very interested in your thoughts on this matter. Thanks.
userCaddies104
Posted: 11 May 2016 9:16 PM
Subject: RE: How often do you drive your MH?
 


Epic contributor

Posts: 1063
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Location: Birmingham, Auto Trail Apache 632 (2017)


Hi
What you do is perfect, even if not able, moving the van a few feet to change tyre position, and start engine for a while would be my minimum...
usermalc d
Posted: 11 May 2016 9:23 PM
Subject: RE: How often do you drive your MH?
 
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I like to use mine at least every two to three weeks - and run it up to normal operating temperature - usually 15 to 20 miles- and getting it up to around 60 mph to clear the cobwebs.

userKeith T
Posted: 11 May 2016 9:42 PM
Subject: RE: How often do you drive your MH?
 
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Location: Autotrail 610SE Dawlish, Devon


As far as possible about every three weeks, for about 10 miles or more, but if not, then we would try to bring it home for a night or so- we have short term parking on the driveway - and hook up to mains to ensure battery doesn't drop too much.
userRogerThat
Posted: 11 May 2016 9:49 PM
Subject: RE: How often do you drive your MH?
 
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As suggested, getting the engine up to normal operating temp is the key here.

I live just 10 mins away from the motorway so I usually run it down to the next junction and back again once every few weeks if I know I won't be using it for a while.

userCharles
Posted: 11 May 2016 10:14 PM
Subject: RE: How often do you drive your MH?
 
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Location: Derbyshire Elddis accordo 105


Ours is SORN over the winter. It's last used in early November and I run the engine up to temp in January. It's retaxed in April, driven to Spain and so far everything is OK. It's stored in a nice dry garage over winter which I think counts for a lot.
userStuartO
Posted: 12 May 2016 8:37 AM
Subject: RE: How often do you drive your MH?
 


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Location: Suffolk, Hymer B674 2006


I've heard advice from experts to run the engine frequently while in storage - and others saying that running it while stationary does as much harm as good.

I've always avoided starting the engine unless I am taking the MH for a run (of 15-20 miles) and if I do start up without taking it for a run, I run the engine for at least 20 minutes - it takes at least that long for mine to reach normal running temperature. 

I read somewhere that Diesels do best if "worked" as they warm up, which is counter-intuitive but I do it, driving off and driving at normal road speeds straight away.  If this thing about working while warming up is right then running the engine while stationary is far from ideal.

As Euroserv has told us, MH base vehicle are designed for daily work, not occasional journeys with long periods of idleness.  Most of us can't manage weekly let alone daily runs when the MH is out of use and in practice mine is lucky to get a couple of outings between September and March.  I'm tempted it SORN it to save half the road tax but doing that would clearly be counterproductive.

Not good enough really - and I'm retired so I haven't really got an excuse for not running it every fortnight or so, as I should.  Just lazines really.  Next winter I will try harder.  At least my MH gets a full service every year.  I do that in Spring, so that the chassis service is fresh as we start the season - but ideally of course the engine oil should be changed before the MH is laid up.

I suppose the ideal would be not to lay the MH up at all and keep using it through winter - but I have no appetite for either winter motorhoming in UK or migrating to Spain and motorhoming is after all a pleasure activity.
userTall_Mike
Posted: 12 May 2016 9:37 AM
Subject: RE: How often do you drive your MH?
 
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Probably not enough.

We have a Fiat Ducato, our dealer advised that after 4 weeks, there is a fair chance it wont start, - after 6 weeks no chance, due to a discharged engine batters, we are not able to keep it on hook, our storage area doesn't have this facility - So I make a point of using the van at least once in 3 weeks.

The dealer complained to Fiat - the reply was essentially, Underneath everything these are high mileage Light Goods vehicles which are designed to expect near constant and regular use, the only option they presented was to disconnect the battery. So we have a vehicle that is near to being overweight and is always driven fully loaded which isn't used as often as it should be. Most motorhomes I have seen have very low mileage in comparison to cars, - some very low, less than 2k a year.

Our Fiat dealer pointed out that technically our van needs a service every 2 years but because of the usage pattern he recommends his motor-home owners to have an oil change every year, I can believe this is for good reason, - not simply to make money.

If we don't go out, - I drive a 25 to 30 mile route on the third week down the M4 and back, - being a diesel and an auto, my theory is that it must get fully warm to clear the DPF filter, which if allowed to clog up is hugely expensive to replace, - saying that we try and go out actually camping every fortnight if we can, all year round so it doesn't hit this situation, although it has a couple of times in our ownership. Personally I don't believe in simply starting the vehicle and let it run, - everything needs to be exercised for example suspension and brakes- not just the engine but that's only my view
usermalc d
Posted: 12 May 2016 9:41 AM
Subject: RE: How often do you drive your MH?
 
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If not used for a while ( in winter ) I sometimes run the engine while stationary on my drive, for fifteen minutes or so, but only if all the neighbours are out.



Edited by malc d 2016-05-12 9:42 AM
userlennyhb
Posted: 12 May 2016 10:42 AM
Subject: RE: How often do you drive your MH?
 


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Location: West Sussex: Hymer B678 Dynamic Line, 150hp Auto


Running a modern diesel engine with vehicle stationary is about the best way to cost yourself a fortune, a diesel should be driven as soon as possible after starting otherwise you stand a high chance of wrecking the CAT and DPF.

I try take my out for run getting it fully up to temperature every 3 weeks, not always possible, no problem during the winter as that is when it gets most use.
userArchiesgrandad
Posted: 12 May 2016 6:10 PM
Subject: RE: How often do you drive your MH?
 
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My understanding is that we should never leave the van standing with the engine turning over with no load, it can cause problems with almost everything.
In the past. We have not been able to use our van in the winter so it spent several months standing on the drive. We can plug in the mains, so the batteries are kept topped up, I learned not to keep them on charge all the time, but we can turn that on or off at the control panel so no problem. We are also able to plug in a 500w oil radiator during the coldest or dampest weather to keep everything fresh and dry.
I firmly believe that the best way to treat the engine is to not start it unless you intend to go somewhere in it, and if possible always make sure you go far enough to get it fully up to working temperature, and that includes the oil. I have the van serviced when I am ready to put it away for the winter, as I believe that it will be fine with a sump full of fresh oil, with all the additives and chemicals doing their job and protecting the internals.
AGD
userCrumpleton
Posted: 12 May 2016 8:09 PM
Subject: RE: How often do you drive your MH?
 
Just joined

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Location: North Staffs. Autocruise Starfire


Many thanks to everyone who replied to my post. Seems that I am doing the best thing - taking it out on the road every couple of weeks. Luckily we have a nice country park that we can drive to, make a cuppa and watch the birds. Of course we intend using it for holidays as much as possible but when this is not possible we'll try and stick to this routine.........
userRogerThat
Posted: 12 May 2016 9:19 PM
Subject: RE: How often do you drive your MH?
 
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Archiesgrandad - 2016-05-12 6:10 PM

I firmly believe that the best way to treat the engine is to not start it unless you intend to go somewhere in it, and if possible always make sure you go far enough to get it fully up to working temperature


This gets my vote too
userBrian Kirby
Posted: 12 May 2016 10:30 PM
Subject: RE: How often do you drive your MH?
 


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Location: East Sussex. Motorhome: Knaus Boxstar 600 Street


20 - 30 miles once a month or so, but depends on weather. Don't drive it if roads are salted, as the stuff sticks everywhere and if the van then stands another month it will remain salt caked anywhere that doesn't get washed off.

I usually pick a dry day, with generally dry roads - so that once per month can get stretched in winter. It is a balance, but Starting the engine merely to let it idle does no more than circulate and warm up engine oil and coolant. Driving it gives the tyres, the brakes, the whole power train, the steering etc etc all a work out. Better that, IMO, when weather is favourable, than driving by the calendar irrespective.
userPaul in Brum
Posted: 13 May 2016 9:09 AM
Subject: RE: How often do you drive your MH?
 
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Location: Rapido 962M '02


V useful for fellow newbies like myself!
userCampfos
Posted: 13 May 2016 5:05 PM
Subject: RE: How often do you drive your MH?
 
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Location: West Lothian. Scotland.


I generally take mine for a run every month as I like to use it when the wife goes shopping as me and the dog can stay in it while she wonders round the shops and can take all day.
Flash up the sat tv and the kettle to have a coffee.
This works for me

Campbell
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