End of Season Care Tips for Your Trailer
Tips for preparing your trailer for winter storage
It’s around this time of year that many of us have already felt the first kiss of a winter chill and are starting to accept snow is on the way, if it’s not on the ground already! The colder weather also signals, as sad as it may be, that it’s time to start preparing your trailer for winter storage.
Prepping your trailer for winter is critical to keeping your trailer, and its systems, in good working condition. Winterization includes more than just caring for water and plumbing systems. It’s also a great time to inspect, organize, and deep clean so you’re ready to hit the road come spring.
We’ve gathered some helpful tips on getting your trailer prepped for winter storage and ready for next season:
If you’re not storing your trailer at home, there are many places that rent secure, temperature-controlled space at an affordable price. Most also allow you to periodically check on your trailer during the winter months to make sure all is well and to help avoid surprises come spring.
Wash the exterior
Think of all the places you’ve gone this past season…then think about all the grime you most likely collected along the way! Before washing, inspect the shell of your trailer for cracks, gaps, and the condition of sealants. Make a note of any adjustments or repairs that may be needed.
Follow your owner’s guide for guidance on how to properly clean your trailer. Always make sure your trailer is completely dry before storing. This will help avoid any moisture issues.
Prepare water and plumbing systems
Winterizing your water and plumbing systems is critical if they are to withstand freezing temperatures. If systems are not properly prepped, any liquid in your pipes can freeze, expand and break causing major damage and leaving you in the cold.
Escape offers two ways of winterization, a compressed air method or a traditional antifreeze method. Following the step-by-step instructions will ensure your trailer is properly winterized and ready for a winter trip.
Clear things out
It may seem a little extreme to take items out of cabinets, drawers, and closets but it’s a great way to take inventory of what items need to be restocked for next season and clears out areas for proper cleaning. Identify items that need to be washed, stored elsewhere, or tossed.
Now that items are cleared out, go through every inch of your trailer and toss any food, trash or unnecessary items that may have fallen into the cracks. Wipe down counters, cabinets, bathroom surfaces, and floors per manufacturer’s recommendations. It’s also a perfect time to vacuum upholstery, under the mattress, and in hard to reach crevices.
Protect against pests
Whether you’re storing your trailer inside or out, pests always make it their mission to get inside. Be sure to tightly seal any openings such as pipes, windows, and vents. Many people use dryer sheets throughout their trailer as a pest deterrent and often report positive results!
Avoid flat spots
If your trailer will be sitting in one place for a few months, you may want to consider using stabilizing jacks. This will help to avoid flat spots on your tires which cannot be easily fixed. If it’s possible and the weather allows, take your trailer for a few short local trips just to normalize tire pressure.
Below is an important checklist with additional recommendations if you are planning to store your trailer for a prolonged period of time:
- If you are able to, you can remove and store the batteries in a warm dry place. If you have access to electricity, you don’t need to remove the batteries, simply keep them charged up during winter months.
- Close the propane container’s service valve
- Extinguish all pilots and close all appliance propane valves (oven/range, water heater, refrigerator, furnace)
- Remove batteries in your smoke detectors
- Turn off the battery disconnect switch
- Open the Maxx fan slightly to help with air circulation
- Leave the refrigerator door open slightly to reduce mildew and odors
- Check your owner’s manual for additional recommendations from your manufacturer
Taking the time to prepare your trailer properly for winter means you spend less time worrying and more time planning your adventures for next season.
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