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Old 12-04-2016, 07:51 PM   #1
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Winterizing my 2012 Forester 2861DS

I recently bought a 2012 Forester 2861DS. This is my first motorhome and my first winterization of one. I had a fifth wheel before this so I am familiar with winterizing the living quarters but my question is this. Once I decide to winterize the RV what do I need to do with the vehicle portion? When I had the fifth wheel, once I winterized it I felt comfortable until spring but I'm not feeling warm and fuzzy with the motor home. In other words, how do I winterize the motor and drive train portion since I won't be using the RV until spring? I know it's not good to let a vehicle sit for extended periods of time without starting and moving it so I'm not feeling very comfortable with letting the RV sit until spring. Is disconnecting the battery sufficient or do I need to do anything else to assure I'm not ruining anything? Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 12-05-2016, 07:29 AM   #2
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Greetings traveler! We are pretty much the same. From my research sitting is bad for the truck and generator. What we have decided is that once a month we will check/service tires and airbags and go for about a 30 minute drive with the generator running loaded with the heat pump. In ATL our cold weather only lasts 2 or 3 months so this works here. Also, I am in an outside storage yard so I can drive it in and out myself without pre-arrangement. I am sure this won't work in all climates.


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Old 12-05-2016, 07:51 AM   #3
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I have the 2010 8526RLWS Flagstaff Ultra-lite and wrote the de-winterizing checklist in the site's FAQ.

Follow it in reverse or one of the other excellent but more generic articles on how to winterize.
Lou, Laura, & Freya the wonder dog
2008 GMC Sierra 3000HD Crewcab SB Allison Duramax
2019 Flagstaff 8529FLS - Pullrite 3300
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Old 12-05-2016, 07:10 PM   #4
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Gidyupgo. Thanks for the information. I'll definitely take it out for a spin when there is no snow on the ground.
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Old 12-05-2016, 07:11 PM   #5
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Herk7769, thanks for the information. I really appreciate it.
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Old 12-06-2016, 02:57 PM   #6
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I also park my rig in storage for the winter and then travel down South from Ontario to Florida in the late winter or early spring. I agree with Gidyupgo that it's not good to let her sit for a couple of months and also take her out monthly for a drive to get all the fluids going in the Ford V10 and charge up the batteries! I also run the generator at the same time as I'm driving and put her under load at the same time.

I use Mobil 1 (synthetic) as I believe it's just better for the cold engine at start up and then on the road and for the extra cost why would anyone skimp using regular oil. That's my opinion anyway!

I also drive at 60-65 mph and don't worry about what my gas mileage is or isn't but I suspect it's around 9 mpg on the highway. The thing I like about the Ford is that once you fill her right up the needle doesn't move for about 100 miles!

My outside storage yard is only a 5 minute drive for me so it's easy access and I can come and go as I please. I add a fuel stabilizer to my 55 gallon tank again it's cheap insurance from gumming up the gas lines in the truck and the generator.

Bob Brown

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Old 12-06-2016, 04:16 PM   #7
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Bobbrown, I appreciate the information. I think I'll do what you and Gidyupgo suggested and periodically take it out on a short trip to keep everything moving.

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