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Storing vehicle during deployment

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by Krawfish, Nov 8, 2019 at 3:10 PM.

  1. Krawfish

    Krawfish Member Military

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    Getting deployed for 6 months here soon, was wondering if there's a standard practice for what to do with your truck before leaving it sitting for extended periods. It's too big to fit in my garage so it's gonna be stuck out in the elements unfortunately. Has anyone tried a car cover? I've heard they can damage the paint when they flap around from wind and bounce off the truck. Any preventative maintenance tips are welcome.
     
  2. Karlsweg

    Karlsweg Senior Member

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    I would put moth balls in mesh bags and set them in engine compartment to keep rodents from causing damage to wires. As well as rags in tailpipe(s) to keep them out.
     
  3. HemiLonestar

    HemiLonestar Senior Member Military

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    I'm assuming you don't have the luxury of someone to run it like once a week or so?
     
  4. pacofortacos

    pacofortacos Senior Member

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    I would put fuel stabilizer in the fuel and drive it for a few days to get it thoroughly mixed.
    Also, take the battery out and put it inside if it is cold outside - at the very least disconnect it.
    If you can put it up on jack stands to keep the tires from flat spotting.
    Putting covers on the wheels would keep the sun and elements off of the wheels and tires.

    I know what you mean with car covers but I have seen some very expensive cars have them on - maybe the better ones don't scratch?
     
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  5. Rado

    Rado US NAVY VETERAN Military

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    As mentioned all of the above, Fuel Stabilizer is a MUST ! Sea Foam or Sta Bil are very good ! I would also put the battery on a Battery Tender ! Did this on my Motorcycles when stored for winter ! Also I would get a windshield screen or what ever they call it to help block out the sub in the cab ! And I agree if you can Jack Stands to help prevent flat spots on the tires , Thank You for your service
     
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  6. Marley

    Marley Senior Member

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    Yes, I big thankyou for your service.

    When I left for the Army " years ago " my father insured my beloved truck and ran it.
    I'm not a fan of a sitting vehicle outside.

    But if you simply can't avoid it......good advice above.
     
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  7. BWL

    BWL Senior Member

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    6 months isn't a very long time to leave it sit so I wouldn't have many concerns. Fuel stabilizer is a good idea or just fill it with non ethanol premium. Some form of rodent control is really the only must. If nobody will start it then disconnect the battery. IMHO better to leave it sit than start it every week since every week will be a dry start vs just the once when you get back. I leave vehicles sitting long term all the time with no apparent negative effects except rodents in the past. If it lives outside all the time anyways then there's no difference you being there or not apart from it staying cleaner. Try not to leave it where sap etc will end up all over it. Do try to have somebody look at it once in a while in case of a-holes breaking a window or something and exposing the interior to the elements.
     
  8. CtCarl

    CtCarl Junior Member

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    +2 on the Sta-Bil.

    If you can't or don't want to remove the battery, a battery tender is your best bet. That big website named after a river in South America has a huge selection of maintainers, including name brand units starting around $15 (Stanley and Black & Decker).

    I have various B&D, Schumacher, and assorted ultra-cheap Chinese units. My favorite is probably the 1 AMP Schumacher SP2 for the extra long cords, solid construction, and relatively small body with no corners to scratch paint or upholstery. Not sure that one is still available, though. The 1.5 AMP SC1319 is readily available, seems well constructed and works fine, but it's boxy and clunky...Schumacher is an old-school battery charger company and this unit is styled like a traditional battery charger, the kind your father and grandfather used to have.

    The B&D BC2BDW is a close second. Higher output (2 AMP), well made, with corner "bumpers", and it comes with a cigarette lighter adapter, which everybody else spanks you about $15 for. The downsides are shorter cables, and the unit is a little too heavy to leave it "hanging" in a pinch. Great unit otherwise. For a little bit more money, you can get the BC6BDW, which is the same design but puts out up to 6 AMP, so if you ever need a (relatively) quick charge, it can do it much faster than your typical battery maintainer. The 1 AMP BM3B is dirt cheap (less than $20), works, and has decently heavy cables and connectors, but is lightly built and I wouldn't trust it for months at a time...I've seen the insides and the circuitry seems cheap and flimsy...I'd be worried about coming home to a burnt-out shell.

    Other than my own personal preferences, all but the no-name Chinese units do the job just fine.

    If you don't have power available or don't want to leave a charger on your truck, consider investing in AlfaOBD and a cheap Bluetooth OBD II adapter. I've never used it on my RAM, but I know that on my '14 Charger R/T, I can use it to change my car's configuration to "Shipping Mode". As I understand it, that's roughly the equivalent of taking the battery out. I don't know that it'll keep six months that way, in fact, I'm pretty sure that's not the intention. Still, it's an option you might want to consider if you can't or won't take the battery out or run a maintainer, and don't have someone available to start it up every couple of weeks.

    Good luck!
     
  9. Krawfish

    Krawfish Member Military

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    Thanks everyone for the tips! Will definitely be putting them to use. Fuel stabilizer, rodent control, battery tender...got it.
     
  10. Judy

    Judy Senior Member

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    I will take care of it for you! All you have to do is ask.......
     

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