Do Motorhomes Need AdBlue?

Congratulations on your new motorhome. It is indeed a prized possession you will enjoy for many years to come. However, before you head out on your first excursion on your motorhome, it is important to take care of a few aspects and ensure you are well aware of its care and maintenance protocols.

These RVs do not come cheap, and you must ensure you cater to all the aspects that can impact their condition and longevity. Make sure you review the owner’s manual to know the in and outs. If your motorhome runs on diesel and has a Euro 6 chassis cab, the manual may mention that it requires AdBlue, and you may be wondering what it is.

Remember to read the fine print carefully, as some manufacturers opt to make a fleeting mention of the fact that the motorhome requires AdBlue.

However, do not despair, as we are here to help and provide you with a helpful guide on all you need to know about AdBlue and how you can keep a check.

What Is AdBlue?

What Is AdBlue?

If you have recently purchased a European motorhome or still waiting for it to arrive, you may want to check if it requires AdBlue. If you have already read the information and it does indeed require AdBlue, it is time to learn what AdBlue is and what purpose it serves.

AdBlue is the most commonly used DEF (Diesel Exhaust Fluid). It helps in reducing harmful emissions in vehicles with diesel engines. AdBlue was made compulsory when the European Union introduced the Euro 6 emissions standard in 2015.

Simply put, AdBlue is a liquid that needs to be poured into the motorhome’s tank every few thousand miles or so. It is a part of the Euro 6 range of diesel engines which are presently being fixed to the chassis cabs for motorhomes.

AdBlue has a dedicated tank, and the liquid is poured into it along the diesel filter. The liquid is sprayed into the exhaust pipe to decrease harmful diesel emissions. When the engine is driven, just like diesel, AdBlue is also consumed, so you need to refill the tank in time to avoid any issues.

When Should I Be Concerned About AdBlue?

If your motorhome has a Euro 5 chassis cab, you do not need AdBlue. However, if it is a version beyond the Euro 5 and the chassis cab is designed according to Euro 6 standards, you need AdBlue. Similarly, if your motorhome runs on petrol, you do not need to read this either.

So, if you are planning a trip that will take you many miles away on your motorhome with a Euro 6 chassis cab or beyond, it is better to learn all there is to about AdBlue before you venture out. If you want your motorhome to drive smoothly without lights blinking on your dashboard, you must make it a point to use AdBlue as required.

AdBlue is usually sold at forecourts, where trucks refuel, and presently, it is mostly available at fuel pumps on motorways in and around major cities in the UK. It may take a while before AdBlue pumps are incorporated into main forecourts instead of being built in truck lanes only.

Is AdBlue Expensive To Buy?

Is AdBlue Expensive To Buy?

Understandably, AdBlue impacts the overall running costs. However, it can also affect your travel itinerary and force you to stop or change your plans to adjust accordingly. It may also affect the resale value of the motorhome.

Unfortunately, when this modification was introduced, buyers were not given much warning about the potential AdBlue systems fitting to their motorhomes. The majority were also not apprised of the implications of incorporating the AdBlue system.

Consequently, the apprehension among the individuals constituting the private motorhome retail market was not unexpected, as most manufacturers chose to remain tight-lipped about introducing AdBlue.

On the other hand, the commercial sector was more receptive to the change since European trucks have had the AdBlue system for many years now. The numbers are still low in the UK, however.

Since there are hardly any dedicated pumps in the main area, you will need to refill from the forecourts with the trucks. In areas where pumps are not available, you can buy AdBlue in small plastic cans, and one can usually lasts a few hundred miles. The tank, however, lasts thousands of miles.

How Long Does AdBlue Last In A Motorhome?

The maximum range of an AdBlue tank may vary according to the driving style, and the motorhome make and model. For a large-sized AdBlue tank, you may need to get it refilled after the motorhome has covered a distance of around 12,500 miles.

However, it depends on the tank’s capacity. For instance, the Euro 6 Citroen Relay’s AdBlue tank has a capacity of 15 litres and may last for 8000 miles or so. Mostly, when you get your motorhome serviced, the AdBlue tank is refilled as a part of the service.

It is, however, important to note that AdBlue has a lifespan of 2 years, and as per its handbook, you should drain its tank every second service. If you exceed these limits, it may damage the vehicle’s exhaust system.

So, when you purchase AdBlue, be mindful of the date on the bottle if you purchase it yourself. The ideal way is thus to get it refilled from fuel pumps since you won’t have to be concerned about the product’s expiry.

What Happens If You Run Out Of AdBlue?

It is important to ensure that you get your AdBlue tank topped up in good time. You must ensure that the AdBlue amount in the tank does not drop below one to two litres. If this happens and you turn off the engine, it will not start.

Can You Mix Different AdBlue Brands?

Like other Diesel Exhaust Fluids, AdBlue comes in different specifications, so you need to make sure that you are adding the brand that matches your vehicle’s requirements.

However, if two different AdBlue brands have the same specifications, you can top up the tank with another AdBlue brand. Just make sure the specifications are the same, the liquid is not expired, and you do not pour the liquid into the diesel tank.

How Do I Check My AdBlue Level?

You do not need to worry about the AdBlue level in your motorhome going too low without you finding out. You will get a warning on the dashboard, usually when around 1500 miles worth of AdBlue is left in the tank. This will be followed by a light turning on to make the warning explicit.

Make sure to refill the tank when you get the warning. If only one or two litres of AdBlue are left, and you turn off the engine, it will not restart. Once you have refilled the tank, the light will take a few minutes to go out.

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