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Oil change interval


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The manual for our ISL 400 engine says, for a recreational vehicle, the oil drain interval is 18,000 miles, or 500 hours, or 12 months. We drive our motorhome far fewer than 18,000 miles or 500 hours a year, so it seems the number of months is the controlling parameter. However this time specification may expect that the engine is being used continually during those months. But our motorhome sits in storage for six months a year. So does time not being run count the same as time running? Is the oil drain interval the same for an engine that sits idle half the time? What engine oil change interval would the readers of this forum recommend for a rig that has this (common, I would think) situation, and why? Thank you very much for your help!

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Annually 

Sitting is tough on oil and moisture contamination accumulated potential. 

Personally 

Regardless of millage and sitting time

Tractors, trucks, rv's 

Annually is my practice 

Oil and filters are very cheap.

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It's a good idea to run the coach, genset, furnace monthly if that's possible.  It certainly won't hurt to change oil more frequently.  If you are concerned about the condition of the oil, getting an oil analysis is a good idea.  I've been using Blackstone for many years; there are others too.   I generally send in a sample for analysis each year before the oil change.  Sometimes Blackstone will tell me the oil is good for more, but I change it anyway.

 

Edited by rpasetto
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I send an old sample to an outside testing service and go on their recommendation.  I get about 2 years between service based on test results.  Have been doing this since all my warranties expired.

Ron 

2006 Camelot 145000 miles give or take.

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The ole saying goes, "if you do not use it, you loose it" .  Acidity can build up in oil that can cause damage to the engine.  On the chassis, rubber air bags, tires, can begin to dry rot.  The transmission clutches will get exercised too. Exercising rubber components keep them from dry rotting.  I recommend a 100 mile trip once a month.  Check into a RV park overnight to exercise the house components.   At least the trip will get you out of the house.  That way when you take a trip, you will make it past the first 100 miles and the first nights stay.

Chuck B 2004 Windsor

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I always have the oil changed at least once every 12 months, usually a few months prior to leaving our winter home and getting on the road. Normally we would put about 3000 miles or so in the next 6 months unless we do a major trip which could be 6000-15000 miles on those types of trips.

I just bite the bullet and have it changed versus sending in a sample to see what the condition is.

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A $25 oil sample will give you better advice than what some are giving you. I take a sample at 15K miles and based on the good results , change at 20K...every 2-3 years. When I shut the engine off, it doesn’t get restarted until the next trip... could be 4+ months.

Started oil sampling 50 years ago when Cat recommended 100 hour oil changes ... went to 250 hours as that was easier to keep track of as the oil was still OK.

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6 minutes ago, Ivylog said:

A $25 oil sample will give you better advice than what some are giving you. I take a sample at 15K miles and based on the good results , change at 20K...every 2-3 years. When I shut the engine off, it doesn’t get restarted until the next trip... could be 4+ months.

Started oil sampling 50 years ago when Cat recommended 100 hour oil changes ... went to 250 hours as that was easier to keep track of as the oil was still OK.

I agree with Richard 100 percent 👍

But thats personal choise that's workd for us.

We have run semis and farm, construction equipment since the 50s, we have never blown, nor had to rebuild a diesel nor a gas engine on any truck, tractor, skid loader or RV.

we have ( Never Ever ) done an oil analysis. 

There are several ways to skin a squirrel 

And no

100 percent ( only ) correct way

I see no advice above thats harmful nor incorrect,  damaging. 

 

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There’s a good possibility that those that change the MH’s oil annually also change the oil every 3,000 miles in their cars like the sticker in the windshield calls for. Consumers reports debunk’d that myth 50 years ago in Checker Cabs in New York City. No difference in engine wear in the cabs that went 5000 miles between oil change.

I use 5000 miles because I can look at the odometer to know when the oil needs changing...own to many vehicles. One vehicle recommends synthetic oil so I go 10,000 miles between oil changes in it. If you change annually there is no reason to use synthetic oil as you are just throwing away more money each year.

Before you do your annual oil change,  pull an oil sample which will tell you the condition of your engine, which is good to know, and how much longer you could go on your oil...$25 or $200+ for a DP.

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My uncle was a chemical engineer for Standard Oil and told me point blank that the claims made as far as how long you can go between oil changes was based on ideal conditions.  Back then the interval was 5,000 miles and he said 3,000 was safer.  Then synthetics came out and intervals started creeping up to the 10,000 mark.

My boat mechanic advised I change once in the spring and once in the fall (up north).  The idea was to put into storage with fresh oil, and then start fresh at the beginning of the season.

Now I feel it depends on how you use the rig.  If you can start and run the engine(s) for a couple hours each month, once per year is sufficient as long as you are using synthetic.

 

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My boat mechanic advised I change once in the spring and once in the fall (up north).  The idea was to put into storage with fresh oil, and then start fresh at the beginning of the season.”

So the new oil sits in the bottom of the pan over the winter. If he drains it out, he  probably puts it in another boat as new oil, which it is. How can the boat sit all winter but we’re supposed to run our engines every month...only in the RV world were annual air filter replacement was recently recommended by a manufacturer’s idiot (not on this forum).

Folks, do whatever you want as it’s only money. If $25 is too much to find the health of your engine and oil, don’t do a oil sample. If changing  annual with only a couple thousand miles makes you feel better...”Just Do It”.

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35 minutes ago, 6Wheels said:

My uncle was a chemical engineer for Standard Oil and told me point blank that the claims made as far as how long you can go between oil changes was based on ideal conditions.  Back then the interval was 5,000 miles and he said 3,000 was safer.  Then synthetics came out and intervals started creeping up to the 10,000 mark.

My boat mechanic advised I change once in the spring and once in the fall (up north).  The idea was to put into storage with fresh oil, and then start fresh at the beginning of the season.

Now I feel it depends on how you use the rig.  If you can start and run the engine(s) for a couple hours each month, once per year is sufficient as long as you are using synthetic.

 

You make some good points 

This 15 KW generator gets O F gas filter every 6 months.

The merc annually. For the past 21 years.

Neither have ever been winterized. 

Right or wrong ? Either way can work for a specific usage. 

And the owner operator makes the call.

Best he can.

Each owner has to live with the maintenance decisions they make.

Synthetic versis non synthetic or blends

Ha, that's like talking Chevy versus Ford.

Then fuel filters manufacturers and changing intervals. That like

Farming with J.D.s or Case IH

Or Massys 

The main thing, issue is.

We pay for service and not tow bills.

Or down time.

That's very important 

Reality is, I Change the air filter in my coach annually. 

Farm tractors

Daily at times. Under specific conditions 

 

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With the cold we find moisture condenses in the engine over the winter.  Changing it out hopefully removes the condesation and we have fresh oil.

Just a theory.  It is only money.

 

Hey John,

Us boaters are famous for over-maintaining our craft.  Never want to get stuck adrift somewhere where there is no help.

 

towboatus-boat-big.jpg

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Thanks for the lead up... “Reality is, I Change the air filter in my coach annually.” 

I took a picture of what I do every day with the air filter in my skid steer. I tap the dirt/dust out on the rubber track and put it back in. That filter is probably 5 years old and occasionally I’ll take it to the shop and blow it out with air.

 They put filter minders on our rig for a reason OH, never mind...change the oil and all filters every year. New tires at 5 years (If cracking Michelin’s probably a good idea)  drive it every month and exercise the generator too...only in the RV world..

Best estimate of hours on equipment I’ve owned without a engine failure is 150,000+ hours with most in a mining operation over 20 years. Did have a erosion/cavitation liner pin hole on a early turbo diesel before we knew cca was needed.

 

483C6476-19B1-4F69-9C2A-EBA76B658AC4.thumb.jpeg.22ee1fa7cd539403e71a32da89aea4ce.jpeg

 

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32 minutes ago, 6Wheels said:

With the cold we find moisture condenses in the engine over the winter.  Changing it out hopefully removes the condesation and we have fresh oil.

Just a theory.  It is only money.

 

Hey John,

Us boaters are famous for over-maintaining our craft.  Never want to get stuck adrift somewhere where there is no help.

 

towboatus-boat-big.jpg

Yes, Great Points,  They want $120. Annually for membership here on this body of water 100 plus miles long. 

I have never bought a membership. 

I put those $s toward service and Our insurance policy's 

I have changed generator water impeller s

Several times out on the river.

Got to have those thrusters working when docking.

But we carry enough tools and spare parts to always get back in safely. 

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“Us boaters are famous for over-maintaining our craft.  Never want to get stuck adrift somewhere where there is no help.”

Dang, I hope someone comes up with that service (Air Tow US) for me and yes I do oil samples on it too. Helps to have the wheels down when landing. Only 2200 hours over 40 years doing most of the annual inspections myself.24A0456D-E1CF-47E5-B632-AA61E8F1202B.thumb.png.bac1d2a65ff8c3d5cfceb34fc524f027.pngA5086B53-32A1-4CA0-B0A7-0E9C670693E2.thumb.jpeg.f5bbc7f7c1285401782631b8e4bdcc8f.jpeg

Edited by Ivylog
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38 minutes ago, Chuck B said:

Wow, this oil change thread has gone a long way.  I was wondering when a member would bring air planes into the discussion.  I wonder what the oil change interval on my lawn tractor is?  Chuck B 2004 Windsor

Yes Chuck 

I'm so confused ( now ) that 😕 I ran out and bought this for my summer RV  site.

Now I will be told 🙂😌

It's the wrong color. 😕

 

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20210426_101037.jpg

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4 hours ago, Ivylog said:


“Us boaters are famous for over-maintaining our craft.  Never want to get stuck adrift somewhere where there is no help.”

Dang, I hope someone comes up with that service (Air Tow US) for me and yes I do oil samples on it too. Helps to have the wheels down when landing. Only 2200 hours over 40 years doing most of the annual inspections myself.24A0456D-E1CF-47E5-B632-AA61E8F1202B.thumb.png.bac1d2a65ff8c3d5cfceb34fc524f027.pngA5086B53-32A1-4CA0-B0A7-0E9C670693E2.thumb.jpeg.f5bbc7f7c1285401782631b8e4bdcc8f.jpeg

Nice panel.  My 172 has a whiskey compass & an iPad.  No IMC with it though.

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