Nothing is as exciting as enjoying adventures in your recreational vehicle. That cruise with family and friends is an opportunity to bond and get to know each other better. It’s a perfect relaxation moment and an excellent way to create memories. But what happens when the cruise is over? What do you do with your trailer? Of course, you need to store it.
There are many things to keep in mind when storing your trailer. You have to preserve its value, protect it from extreme weather, and keep it away from unauthorized access. You don’t want a situation where you store your trailer for the long-term, and then you can’t use it anymore because it’s damaged. Safety and security should be your top priority when preparing your trailer for storage.
If you’ve never stored a trailer before or never use the right storage, this article is for you. Here are ten tips you need to keep in mind when preparing your trailer for storage.
1. Consider Your Storage Location
Pay attention to environmental concerns when picking a resting spot for your expensive property. Don’t store your trailer under a tree where branches can easily fall on it and cause damage. Avoid packing your monetary investment where there are weeds and tall grasses. Such places are breeding grounds for insects, and critters can turn your trailer into their habitat.
In case you’re storing your trailer in a storage yard, ensure the location is very secure. Remember to double-check your storage insurance cover. Understand whether it covers your precious investment against damage while in storage.
2. Wash and Check all the Seals
Give your trailer a good wash and wax before storing it. If your trailer is likely to face lots of sun of rain, wax it to provide adequate protection from sun damage and keep the dirt from building up on the exterior. This will make it easy and consume less of your time when cleaning after storage. It will also maintain its appearance as the wax offers protection from fading and rust.
After cleaning your trailer, look at the silicone seams, caulking, and rubber seals. Ensure you repair any cracking that you come across to eliminate any leaks and prevent insects that might turn your trailer into their home.
3. Leave the Vents Open
Ensure you keep the moisture out of your trailer when storing it. The best way to do so is to allow ventilation. If you leave moisture to accumulate, be ready to deal with mold growth and musty smells when retrieving your trailer from storage. Ensure you leave the rooftop vents open to keep the interior of your property dry.
You can install special vent covers in your roof vents and leave them wide open all the time. These special vent covers are designed to keep out rainwater and allow lots of air to flow in your trailer. Ensure proper equalization of air temperature inside and outside your trailer to stop moisture from getting inside. You can also leave open the interior cabinets, open refrigerator doors, and closets to ensure there’s enough air temperature inside.
4. Prepare both the Interior and Exterior
For a start, make the interior of your trailer superbly clean. You can add some cleaning treatment. However, cleaning alone won’t be enough because you’ll need to protect the interior of your trailer from mildew and unpleasant odors. You can close windows, curtains, and blinds if you are protecting your interior from the scorching sun.
But curtains and blinds cannot combat the growth of mold, mildew, and odors. You’ll have to use full nighttime shades to allow light to penetrate inside your trailer for mold growth. Curtains can turn into a breeding ground for mold. On the other hand, ensure everything in your rig’s interior is sparkling clean and remove anything perishable to keep mildew away. You can use draining water tanks and ensure pipes are clean to get rid of mold.
For the exterior, inspect the roof of your trailer thoroughly. Inspect the sidewalls, windows, exterior doors, seams, reseal, cracks, re-caulk, and access panels. Take it to the service center for proper inspection. This will prevent water from getting in the wrong place and will protect you from potentially costly repairs. Get help from your dealer to reseal cracks properly.
5. Cover Your Trailer
Remember that your trailer will be outside all winter, period. Invest in a specially made cover that can protect it from the harsh weather. This type of cover will protect your trailer against too much exposure to ultraviolet rays that can damage the exterior paint. The cover will also protect your property from tree sap, wind damage, and bird droppings.
Avoid using a plastic tarp because it will trap moisture between your trailer and the tarp, hence damaging it. Also, a tarp can flap around in the wind and damage the exterior surfaces of your trailer. Make sure you get a cover that’s specifically designed for your trailer and the climate.
You can invest in universal covers, which contain a system of straps that keeps your trailer wrapped tightly. These universal covers also have zippered openings to give you easy access to your trailer. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions when putting on the cover to ensure it’s cinched tight to prevent moisture and wind from getting inside.
6. Take Care of the Electrical
When leaving your trailer in storage, remember to use a battery disconnect switch near your batteries to turn off all electrical. This will improve your battery’s lifespan. You won’t have to deal with the shock of getting a dead battery when retrieving your trailer.
Ensure that your batteries are fully charged so they can withstand cold weather without freezing. You also don’t want to see your weak battery beeping alarm all day in the storage yard. If your trailer has solar power, you can hook it up with the battery to maintain its complete charge.
7. Protect and Jack Up the Tires
Tires are very prone to damage when exposed to ultraviolet rays from the sun. Ask your trailer dealership covers to protect your tires. Remember that not all body covers of a trailer can cover the tires. Proper tire covers will protect the tires from any weather condition. Additionally, you can inflate all the tires to the pressure indicated on the sidewalls before the storage.
After storage, check the tires more often and inflate them before embarking on your road trip. Another way to ensure your tires are in good condition is to use jacks and blocks to keep the pressure off and avoid costly replacement. You can also keep the tire safe from damage by taking your vehicle out for a spin occasionally.
8. Beware of Pest Infestation
Various parts of the country have different problems of pests to deal with. These pests can make storing your trailer unbearable. Ensure you screen or block all your trailer’s external openings to curb the menace of pest infestations. Bugs are known for settling at the rooftop, plumbing vents, air intake piping, furnace exhaust, exterior fridge panel, and vent.
The worst pests that you won’t love dealing with in your storage are rats and mice. Rats and mice can chew your electrical wiring, and you won’t even locate the damage easily. You can only eliminate these pests by removing all food sources and nesting materials from your trailer. Don’t leave things like soap, paper towels, and toothpaste inside your trailer. This will only attract rats and mice.
You can also get rid of the pest in your trailer by setting out bowls of mothballs to chase them away. Seal your firewalls, access holes around tubes and hoses. Rodents can use these small openings to sneak into your trailer.
9. Drain the Water System in Your Property
Ensure you drain dry your trailer because leaving any water in the plumbing system can freeze, hence breaking the fittings and lines. You’re not ready to deal with the costly repairs associated with such systems. You can winterize your property by yourself, depending on the complexity of your trailer’s plumbing system.
You only have to drain all water out of the pipes and pumping non-toxic antifreeze through your vehicle’s entire water system. Also, drain fresh water and waste tank to prevent leaks and broken pipes in your trailer.
10. Security is Paramount
Of course, you don’t want to store your expensive property in a place where there is no proper security. One of the ways you can ensure your adventure friend’s safety is by attaching a special hitch lock to the kingpin. You can also use a chain to lock the wheels.
More importantly, you can store it in a location with onsite security. Let there be someone in the storage yard that is keeping an eye on the vehicles. Ensure you store your trailer close to the doggie. You can also change your storage bay locks to keep off thieves.
Well, the best thing shouldn’t be to store your trailer. You should always be on the road enjoying the adventure. However, weather patterns and some unplanned instances can force you to store your road track investment. When that time comes, you have to ensure proper storage. Follow these steps if you want your trailer to be safe until the time it’s ready to hit the road again.