Tip 1 Chassis Air Vents
Are you getting a cold draft in the cab area on cold nights, and a warm draft in the cab on warm nights? Try closing all heating/cooling air vents in the chassis cab whenever parked and camping — this should significantly lessen the warm/cold draft up front. I have 6 individual vents on my 2016 Mercedes chassis and it’s important to close them all for the draft to stop. To test the draft, turn the bathroom exhaust fan on its highest setting and have all windows/doors closed as well as all chassis vents. Then, with the exhaust fan on high, open a single chassis vent and feel the draft coming from the vent that the fan draws out. Day and night, even with the fan off, outside air is “leaking” in through these chassis air vents if the vent sliders are left in the “open” position. To further ensure that the vents are closed upstream, prior to removing the key from the ignition, press the “recirculation” button on the climate controls. This will close the dampers that lead to the outside.
Tip 2 Water At Campsite
If you’re connected to city water at a campground and you leave your rig for any significant length of time (i.e. on a hike, bike ride, kayak or to explore the area) consider turning off the water valve at the campground’s post. You can keep the hose connected, just turn off the water source while you’re away. The potential issue is the failure of a plumbing fitting inside the RV in your absence. If a fitting fails while under pressure, the leak would be continuous until someone eventually turned off the water valve outside.
Tip 3 DEF Tips
Check the seal on your DEF container before pouring the DEF into your vehicle. A common practice by some dishonest people is to refill a used DEF container with water and then return it for a refund (this is a known issue at Walmart). You don’t want to mistakingly put water into your DEF reservoir!
Another DEF tip: check the code on the box to determine if the DEF is fresh. Unfortunately, it’s a code and not a simple expiration date since the shelf life varies based on stored temperature (higher temperature = shorter life). On BlueDEF (made by Peak), you’ll see a code stamped on the box (example: CT193415733). The most important part of the code is the third through seventh digit.
The first two letters/numbers represent the blending facility code (which isn’t relevant to the date). The third and fourth number, however, indicate the year following the year of manufacture. The fifth, sixth and seventh digit indicate the days left in the year on the date of manufacture. To figure out the day of the year it was made, you’ll need to subtract those three digits from 365 (total days in a year).
Here’s a breakdown of the example code CT193415733:
CT: The designator of the plant that manufactured the DEF.
19: The year following the year of manufacture, so the DEF was made in 2018.
341: 365-341 = 24, so the 24th day of the year, or January 24th.
5733: The batch code.
In this example, the container of DEF was made on January 24th, 2018.
Storage life is highly dependent on temperature. If stored at 77° F or cooler, the shelf life would be 18 months. Assuming this DEF was stored properly, it would be good thru July 24th, 2019 (which is 18 months after the manufactured date). DEF stored at 86° F is only good for a year. Storage above 95° F (not unusual if stored in an RV parked in the sun during the summer) is limited to 6 months or even less if the temperatures were greater.