Fluid levels for RV storage

Joined
Jul 27, 2019
Messages
2,353
Location
Midlothian, VA
RV Year
2017
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Ventana 4037
RV Length
40' 11"
TOW/TOAD
2017 Chevy Colorado
The question comes to mind for various people at various times of the year whether long term storage, winterization, etc. Here are various fluids of concern for storage. I welcome suggestions on what levels fluids or tanks should be for storage:
  • Diesel
  • Gas
  • DEF
  • Fresh
  • Gray
  • Black
Diesel - I'm not sure but I would think full is preferred
DEF - on the fence, full probably preferred but putting fresh in at the time of next trip probably has benefit. What is the shelf life of DEF in a tank?
Fresh - again not sure from my point of view. I'd rather have it low likely, drain it prior to filling for next use, possibly sanitize it first as well. Full may be an alternative
Gray - empty
Black - empty and rinsed

Feel free to add anything else of interest for storage discussion and what your opinion is on the levels.
 
Joined
Nov 3, 2019
Messages
290
Location
Fremont, California
RV Year
2017
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Dutch Star 4018
RV Length
40’
TOW/TOAD
Jeep Wrangler Sahara
Because of where we live (Northern California) we store our coach in the backyard, with the thought always in the back of our minds that an earthquake could happen at anytime. The coach, thus, becomes our emergency home in case of power and water outages. With that in mind we always store with:

1. Completely full diesel (always)
2. Full DEF (usually, not mandatory)
3. Fresh water filled to the brim (always)
4. Grey empty (always)
5. Black empty (always)
Storing in this manner should allow us to “boondock“ in our backyard long enough for power and water to be restore, hopefully.
 
Joined
Nov 14, 2019
Messages
409
Location
Orinda, CA
RV Year
2017
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Ventana 4002
RV Length
40’10
TOW/TOAD
2015 Jeep Trailhawk
From what I have heard and I am not an expert by any means of imagination...
-Diesel-I have heard a full tank as anything less can cause condensation which is bad. If sitting for a while, I use the cummings treatment as well then and on the road.
-Gray Tank Empty
-Black Tank 1-2 gallons of water with the tank treatment in it.
Fresh Tank-empty until needed. Sanitize as needed.
DEF-I have heard there is a shelf life on DEF so I typically stop at the Love's near me (anyone need a reward card besides @Neal and I?) ;) and fill up on both before the long journey somewhere. Not sure about the shelf life but that is what I either read or heard.
 
Joined
Jul 27, 2019
Messages
2,353
Location
Midlothian, VA
RV Year
2017
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Ventana 4037
RV Length
40' 11"
TOW/TOAD
2017 Chevy Colorado
My concern with FRESH not being full is you're allowing space for something to grow. Imagine an empty fresh tank, something is going to grow on that tank bottom. If full you can at least drain it, or even partial. I'm not thinking empty fresh is a good option.
 
Joined
Nov 14, 2019
Messages
409
Location
Orinda, CA
RV Year
2017
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Ventana 4002
RV Length
40’10
TOW/TOAD
2015 Jeep Trailhawk
You could be right @Neal I always heard dont let your water sit too long or it can go nasty so I kind of went on that...Probably be good to keep something in it. I read something somewhere that I have to dig up where an experienced RV had a detailed explanation and I will see if I can find it.
 
Joined
Nov 3, 2019
Messages
290
Location
Fremont, California
RV Year
2017
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Dutch Star 4018
RV Length
40’
TOW/TOAD
Jeep Wrangler Sahara
My concern with FRESH not being full is you're allowing space for something to grow. Imagine an empty fresh tank, something is going to grow on that tank bottom. If full you can at least drain it, or even partial. I'm not thinking empty fresh is a good option.
When I fill my fresh tank prior to storage I drain the tank. I then fill with city water with the charcoal filter removed. I know my city water here at home has been treated with chlorine so by removing the charcoal filter I allow treated water to sit in the tank. Maybe I’m all wet with this logic but it has worked for 15 years with no problems with the tank water at all.
 
Joined
Jul 27, 2019
Messages
2,353
Location
Midlothian, VA
RV Year
2017
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Ventana 4037
RV Length
40' 11"
TOW/TOAD
2017 Chevy Colorado
You could be right @Neal I always heard dont let your water sit too long or it can go nasty so I kind of went on that...Probably be good to keep something in it. I read something somewhere that I have to dig up where an experienced RV had a detailed explanation and I will see if I can find it.
This is why I posted this topic. I'm curious of the opinions and knowledge on this as I'm not sure. I can see various options on different fluids.
 
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Messages
1,290
Location
WA, MT or somewhere else!
RV Year
2018
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Mountain Aire 4047
RV Length
40'
TOW/TOAD
2014 Honda CR-V
If you store the coach in an unheated area where temperatures get below freezing, the fresh water tank needs to be empty. We have stored trailers, 5th wheels, Class Cs and Class As with empty FW tanks over the winter and have never had an issue with anything "growing" in them. If you get them truly empty, there should never be a problem.

Each time we refill FW tanks that have been stored empty, we do a thorough sanitizing. Until recently, we used the time-tested chlorine bleach solution and let it sit overnight before flushing (several times) with fresh water. Lately, we've been using the two-part Thetford Fresh Water Tank Sanitzer as there's no residual chlorine taste.

TJ
 
Last edited:
Joined
Nov 14, 2019
Messages
409
Location
Orinda, CA
RV Year
2017
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Ventana 4002
RV Length
40’10
TOW/TOAD
2015 Jeep Trailhawk
Everything I glanced at as I tried to find the original paper on this topic seems to indicate that storing water in the tank is not a good idea.

Everyone does it differently perhaps depending where you live, where you store, ambient temperature etc.

I have had good luck with this product.

 
Joined
Nov 3, 2019
Messages
290
Location
Fremont, California
RV Year
2017
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Dutch Star 4018
RV Length
40’
TOW/TOAD
Jeep Wrangler Sahara
I believe the key to fresh water tank storage is “clean water in, clean water out”. How many times have I seen rvers drag their water hoses across the asphalt, grass, concrete right next to the sewer connection. They never disinfect the hose bib and rarely clean/disinfect their hands while working with the fresh water hookup. If you always follow sanitary procedures when filling your tank you can be assured that the water in your tank will be safe for many weeks of storage.
 
Joined
Jul 27, 2019
Messages
2,353
Location
Midlothian, VA
RV Year
2017
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Ventana 4037
RV Length
40' 11"
TOW/TOAD
2017 Chevy Colorado
Everything I glanced at as I tried to find the original paper on this topic seems to indicate that storing water in the tank is not a good idea.

Everyone does it differently perhaps depending where you live, where you store, ambient temperature etc.

I have had good luck with this product.

Interesting. I'd like to find something good for properly sanitizing fresh, maybe this is it. Here it is the order page, it's cheaper from them vs. amazon:

 
Joined
Jul 27, 2019
Messages
2,353
Location
Midlothian, VA
RV Year
2017
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Ventana 4037
RV Length
40' 11"
TOW/TOAD
2017 Chevy Colorado
Thanks for spending my money @sheridany - you got me! :) I'm going to order some of this stuff and the crystals you need with it as I haven't in 3 years done anything other than chlorine bleach at times.
 
Joined
Nov 15, 2019
Messages
192
Location
SW Florida
RV Year
2017
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Ventana 4369
RV Length
43
TOW/TOAD
24' Enclosed (Mini & Harley)
We generally will sit for a few months each year, therefore no planned use of diesel, DEF, or water from fresh tank.

I like to keep the diesel tank close to the top with a good additive. I will bring the DEF close to the full level also for stationary periods. I guess my thinking is that there will be less crystals formed in the unused portion of the tank. Since I almost always use bulk DEF instead of packaged I know it is fresh.

We generally use city water hook up and seldom use our pump when stationary. I still like to keep around 1/3 or more in my fresh tank though. There is a product I have used since my boating days called "FreshWater" that I add. I only have to drain the fresh tank about every month or so (depending on temps and use) and refill when adding FreshWater additive.
 
Top