I have a '01 Dodge Ram 2500 (~135000 miles, diesel) whose sole purpose is to pull my horse trailer, but doubles as my daily driver (over 15000 miles/yr). I have recently decided to invest in a hybrid and use my truck to only pull my trailer (~20-30X/year, <3,000 miles). I have permission to store it at my barn, outside. What is the least amount I can “exercise” it to keep it “healthy”? Would this be truck homicide?
It would be perfectly fine to drive it those 3000 miles.
I am not sure what you are asking. However I would suggest that it should be good to drive it say 20 minutes two or three times a year making sure you keep the battery charged between. Keep in mind that diesel fuel does not have the same problems with storage as gasoline, but it does not like long storage. Special diesel fuel stabilizers are available and I would suggest using one. Make sure the fuel system stays dry, as moisture can cause the growth of algae type stuff.
Assuming that you have dual tanks, putting fuel stabilizer in one and running with the other might be a good idea. I agree that 20-30 trips and 3000 miles is not a worry at all assuming they are spaced out relatively evenly. If you have a horse transport season and then a few months off, I would consider taking the truck to work every few weeks if you have not taken it out for other purposes in that time.
If you do nothing else, keep it inside, not outside. At least get a plastic tarp. One better is one of those $800 shelters with a roof and open sides. Sunlight, hail, bird droppings, rain, snow, tree branches etc. are not good for the finish and tires.
There is an anti-algae additive for diesl fuel; standby generators don’t run frequently and they have it added to their fuel tank. Just forgot the name of it.
There are several brands out there Stanadyne and Power Service are two that come to mind.
It actually does not have dual tanks, but I will look into the stabilizer that you all have mentioned. And it would definitely be driven more in the summer (horse shows) than winter. But if it is ok to leave it for a month or two here and there, that is what I wanted to hear. Thanks!
Drive it to work one a week or run errands with it. If you use it occasionally to haul horses you will still need to insure it. Give it at least 20 minutes of continuous use one a week and you’ll be fine. You can skip the weeks (about half) that you and the horses take a trip together.
if it is going to sit unused for more than 2 weeks, put the battery on a trickle charger of some sort. There are solar cell models if it’s in the sun for part of the day.