Storing a Coach

storedcoach

This is where we have left our coach until April of 2017.

Gan 401 Storage offers roughly 160,000 square feet of climate controlled storage. Errol, the owner, and Mike, the building superintendent, helped guide me in to this sprawling building, the site of a former manufacturing company that used to make dashboards for cars. This former plant now holds roughly 150 cars, 150 boats and a handful of Class A coaches, keeping them warm and dry over the harsh Canadian winter.

Getting the coach into our assigned spot proved to be a challenging test of navigating backwards, not once but twice.

Both times were successful however when Errol and Mike learned that we would need to pull the coach out in April, they decided that it was best to move us to another location in the building.

Although the space is quite large inside, there are support columns everywhere and most of the turns are very tight. Easy to maneuver forward, much more demanding to maneuver backwards especially in a dimly lit building. Very hard to see clearly through the mirrors.

That was probably the most difficult part of getting the coach stored.

We had cleaned out the coach before heading to the storage facility. I then completed one final circle check of the coach and everything looked fine.

Once we arrived to the storage facility and parked the coach into our assigned spot, I lowered the jacks and I made a few changes to the onboard systems of the coach.

We are plugged into a 15-amp service for the winter. This will keep our batteries charged. However, I did not want any of the 120 AC service to be available and that meant turning off the inverter but making sure that the charger was still active. I then set the power management system to read a 15-amp service.

I went back to the fuse system and turned off most of the fuses in the coach. I wanted to make sure that most of the 120 AC services were turned off at the breaker panel.

The final change was to the hot water heater. I had been using the diesel burner for most of the season and, since the coach would not need hot water during storage, I made sure to set the source of heat to off. No diesel, no AC.

Climate systems had been turned off. Ice had been cleared from the fridge — I left the fridge doors slightly open to allow the moisture to dissipate. Black and grey tanks had been emptied. Half a tank of diesel fuel left in the fuel tank.

That was pretty much it. We are in Florida this week and once we return home we will drop by to make sure that everything is working okay with the coach.

Moving Day

movingday

We have pretty much packed everything up from our coach and brought it back into the house. Tomorrow we will need to empty our tanks, add a bit of diesel fuel, and complete a final check of the coach before taking it into storage.

Once the coach has been placed into storage, Lorraine and I will be heading out to Walt Disney World for the week. We will be at Fort Wilderness on Saturday and we intend to do a pretty thorough check of the park. We have booked two weeks at Fort Wilderness in May and we will be taking the coach down for those two weeks. This will be our first time staying at a campground on the Disney property. Of the many times that we have been down to Disney — somewhere above 20 vacations — we have always stayed at one of the resort hotels. We have never walked through the campsites at Disney before so our time there on Saturday will give us a bit of a preview before we drive down in May.

Because of the travel and a few other commitments, the posts on this site will resume on Monday.

Storing Our RV For The Winter

storage

We received a lot of feedback on the iRV2 Forum about storing our coach in a climate controlled storage facility.

And this is what we are going to do when we put the coach into storage next week.

1. Clean Out The Coach Before Delivery

We will remove everything that does not need to be held within the RV, things like clothing, food, as well as everything stored in the basement of our coach. And, to the extent possible, I will make sure that the coach is really clean inside and out.

2. Deliver Coach to Storage Facility

We are using a large storage facility in Eastern Ontario, Gan 401 Storage. They offer a heated facility with backup generators, electrical service, indoor and outdoor surveillance cameras, sprinkler systems as well as a full time building superintendent.

3. Prepare Coach for Storage

We will turn off our inverter, adjust our charger to 15 amp shore power, reduce the charge rate 10%, shut off our water pump and empty our ice maker. We will shut off all 120V AC breakers except for the main. We will confirm that our Auto Genset Start is not enabled. And we will bring the air down to bottom.

4. Inspect Coach Monthly

We will go to the storage facility monthly to exercise the generator and engine and to inspect the coach for any issues. We will also be on call should there be any issues with power or break-ins.

Other suggestions we received included winterizing the coach just in case something might happen. Although power outages do occur, they are typically short in duration and, if it looks as though the power will be out for a long period and the backup generators aren’t working, we should have enough time to take any corrective action given our proximity to the storage facility.

Winter Storage

frozen

In a few short weeks we will be taking our coach to a climate controlled storage facility for the winter.

I wasn’t really sure how to get the coach ready so I posed the question on the iRV2 forum and, within a few minutes, I had an answer, from a fellow Canadian no less:

I also store my coach in a climate controlled facility. I also have 15 amp power. So, here’s what I do.
* Air down to bottom
* Adjust charger to 15 amp shore power and reduce the charge rate 10%
* Shut off water pump and empty ice maker
* Shut off inverter
* Shut off all 120 ac breakers except main
* Confirm AGS (Auto Genset Start) is not enabled

Oh, and of course plug it in and verify that charger is responding and drawing very little power.

NOTE: DO NOT turn off batteries at switch overhead driver.

I store mine 165 miles from home, so I have to get it right. Hope this helps and I have not missed anything. If I have, hopefully someone will jump in.

RVs Catching Fire

fire

I had posted about RVs catching fire over here.

Nothing to worry about, I thought. We do circle checks. We have a coach that is almost new. I mean, coaches don’t just catch fire for no good reason, do they? Newmar coaches wouldn’t just catch fire, would they?

I was browsing through the Newmar Owner’s Corner on iRV2 and I came across this thread.

Oh no, I thought, a Newmar caught fire. More concerning, a 2016 4369 Dutch Star caught fire. How could that happen?

Tom and Bella had recently started full-timing in their beautiful Newmar coach. According to news reports, Tom suddenly lost power steering and a nearby driver stopped and told Tom that his coach was on fire.

Both Tom and Bella are fine. The rear cap of their coach does not look so good (source of photo here).

dutchstarfire

What a heartbreaking experience for them.

They do post on the Newmar Motorhome Facebook group and they have been providing some updates. They posted a video of their coach on fire. So sad. They do not yet know what caused the fire.

The probability of a fire in a coach is very low based on the statistical evidence. However, seeing it just happen on the same year and model of our coach is more than a bit concerning. Is there a design flaw? A recall that we do not know about?

I will be watching this story carefully to see if there is anything Lorraine and I need to do on our coach. And I may pick up one of these products.

I hope that Tom and Bella’s insurance company helps out. And I hope that Newmar helps out.