What is Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) for an RV?

Diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) is a solution made up of urea and deionized water that helps to break down harmful nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from diesel engines. When sprayed into the exhaust stream, DEF reacts with NOx to form harmless nitrogen gas and water vapor.

RVs are equipped with diesel engines, which means they also require DEF in order to operate properly and reduce their emissions.

Adding DEF to your RV is a simple way to help reduce emissions and keep your engine running smoothly. DEF helps to break down NOx emissions from your engine, reducing the amount of harmful gases that are released into the atmosphere. Additionally, using DEF can help improve fuel economy and extend the life of your engine by preventing deposits from forming on critical components.

How do you know when to add DEF to your RV’s fuel tank?

There are a few different ways to tell when it’s time to add DEF to your RV’s fuel tank. One way is to check the display panel in your RV. Many RVs are equipped with a DEF gauge or light that will indicate when it’s time to add more fluid.

Another way to tell if it’s time to add DEF is by listening for a beeping sound. Some RVs are equipped with an audible warning that sounds when the DEF level is low.

You can also check the owner’s manual for your RV, as most manufacturers will include information on how to check the DEF level and when it needs to be refilled.

Adding DEF to your RV is a simple process, and there are a few things you should keep in mind to ensure you’re using it correctly.

The first thing to know is that DEF should always be stored in a clean, dry container. It’s also important to keep the container sealed when not in use, as DEF can absorb moisture from the air. When adding DEF to your RV, be sure to use a dedicated funnel or spout to avoid contamination.

It’s also important to keep an eye on the expiration date of your DEF. Urea can break down over time, so it’s important to use fresh fluid for optimal performance. Most containers of DEF will have an expiration date printed on them, so be sure to check before adding it to your RV.

How much should you add each time you fill up your tank with diesel fuel? 

The amount of DEF you’ll need to add to your RV will depend on the size of your tank and the level of NOx emissions from your engine. However, a good rule of thumb is to add 2.5 gallons (9.46 liters) of DEF for every 100 gallons (378.54 liters) of diesel fuel.

It’s important to note that you should only add DEF when you’re filling up your tank with diesel fuel. Mixing DEF with gasoline can damage your engine, so be sure to use it only in diesel.

How to properly store and handle DEF fluid?

DEF should always be stored in a clean, dry container. It’s also important to keep the container sealed when not in use, as DEF can absorb moisture from the air. When adding DEF to your RV, be sure to use a dedicated funnel or spout to avoid contamination. Most containers of DEF will have an expiration date printed on them, so be sure to check before adding it to your RV.

When handling DEF, it’s important to avoid contact with your skin, eyes, or clothing. Urea can cause irritation, so be sure to wear gloves and protective eyewear when handling the fluid. If you do come into contact with DEF, be sure to wash the affected area with soap and water as soon as possible.

DEF is a non-hazardous solution, but it’s still important to handle it with care. Be sure to follow these tips to stay safe while using DEF in your RV.

FAQs

The best way to check the quality of your DEF is to use a test kit. Test kits are available from many suppliers, and they'll help you determine whether your DEF is still good to use.

If you don't have a test kit, you can also check the color of your DEF. If it's dark brown or black, it's likely contaminated and should be replaced.

DEF that's been stored properly and hasn't expired should be a clear, bright blue color. If your DEF is this color, it's still good to use.

If you accidentally put gasoline in your DEF tank, it's important to get it out as soon as possible. Gasoline can damage your engine, so it's not something you want to leave in there.

To remove gasoline from your DEF tank, you'll need to drain the tank and flush it with water. Once the tank is empty, add a few gallons of water and swish it around to loosen any remaining gasoline. Then, drain the tank again and rinse it with clean water until all traces of gasoline are gone.

No, you should not use tap water to top off your DEF tank. Tap water can contain minerals that will contaminate your DEF and damage your engine. If you're low on DEF fluid, be sure to get it from a DEF pump rather than using tap water.

Yes, it's bad if your DEF freezes. When DEF freezes, the urea crystallizes and can clog your system. This can lead to costly repairs or even replacement of your DEF system.

It's a good idea to top off your DEF tank whenever you fill up your RV's gas tank. This way, you'll always have a full tank of DEF and won't have to worry about running out while on a road trip or camping trip.

Conclusion

DEF is an important part of your RV’s emission control system, and it’s important to handle it properly. Be sure to store DEF in a clean, dry container and keep it sealed when not in use. Check the expiration date before adding it to your RV, and be sure to use a test kit to check the quality if you’re not sure. If you accidentally put gasoline in your DEF tank, be sure to remove it as soon as possible by draining and flushing the tank. And finally, always top off your DEF tank when you fill up your RV’s gas tank. Following these tips will help you keep your RV’s emission control system running smoothly.

Citations

https://www.irv2.com/forums/f106/def-413761.html
https://www.rvforum.net/threads/def-diesel-emission-fluid-pros-or-cons.107972/
https://www.forestriverforums.com/forums/f112/def-diesel-exhaust-fluid-10499-3.html
https://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fuseaction/thread/tid/30338651.cfm

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