Tips from Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation (FCCC)
“Winter doesn’t have to mean that it’s off season”
Written by: Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation
By Dave Hoover, manager of customer service at Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation
At Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation (FCCC), we know that many RV owners use their coaches year-round, and their plans don’t always include traveling within the warmer regions of the country. For those who remain on the roads when rain turns to snow, we have some tips to help keep winter travel trouble-free.
Before traveling, begin by checking the specifications of the engine coolant and supplemental coolant additive (SCA) to ensure the RV will be operating within acceptable temperature range. Make sure to have SCA test strips on hand to monitor the coolant mix.
Winter grime builds up quickly on windshields, so check wiper blades and make sure to have plenty of windshield wiper fluid on hand. Switching to a cold weather de-icing fluid for the season will make it easier to keep the windshield ice-free.
In terms of winter-specific supplies, a container of rock salt stored onboard will come in handy for clearing icy ground around an RV during stopovers. Also, purchase a bag or two of sand to be used to gain traction in some situations.
Headlights should be kept clean and checked regularly. While many RVs are equipped with daytime running lamps, they become even more important for visibility when driving in inclement weather, day or night.
Add anti-gel diesel fuel additive to the fuel tank in freezing weather. This will keep the fuel from gelling up, which can prevent engine operation.
Top off the motorhome’s Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) tank as needed, but don’t worry about the temperature’s effect on the diesel engine’s Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) technology. While the DEF in the SCR system may get slushy or freeze in cold weather, it won’t shut the engine down. As the engine warms up through normal operation, the DEF will thaw and the SCR system will begin operating as usual.
Keep a close eye on tire pressure. It’s normal for cold weather to cause a slight drop in pressure, so as temperatures fluctuate, regularly check tires. And don’t believe the myth about lowering the air pressure to increase tire traction on snow and ice: Driving on underinflated tires is dangerous and can cause tire failure.
If an RV gets stuck and begins spinning its wheels without gaining traction, stop accelerating immediately. This will prevent the possibility of an axle-damaging shock-load, which can occur when only one tire catches traction in uneven or slick conditions.
Finally, if significant miles are traveled on wintry highways, take some time to wash the motorhome chassis. Both traditional road salt and its alternative, calcium chloride, can cause undercarriage corrosion and rust.
Winter doesn’t have to mean parking a motorhome for weeks or months at a time. With the right precautions and preparation, any season is RV season.
Learn more about RV care and FCCC service in this video:
FCCC enjoys speaking directly with our customers, and we’re constantly seeking new and effective ways to connect with our end-users. Please let us know by commenting on this blog post with any feedback or ideas you may have about FCCC customer support.