How to Store a Travel Trailer Outside
Travel trailers are a great way to explore the world and enjoy the freedom of the open road. However, when you’re not out adventuring, it’s important to properly store your travel trailer to ensure its longevity and keep it in top condition. Storing a travel trailer outside requires some preparation and maintenance, but with the right steps, you can protect your investment and be ready for your next adventure. Here are some tips on how to store a travel trailer outside.
1. Find a suitable storage location: Look for a secure and well-maintained storage facility that offers ample space for your travel trailer. Ensure that it has good drainage and is free from potential hazards like low-hanging branches or debris.
2. Clean the interior and exterior: Before storing your travel trailer, give it a thorough cleaning. Remove any perishable items from the refrigerator, clean the kitchen area, and vacuum or sweep the floors. Wash the exterior to remove dirt and grime, and apply a protective wax layer to prevent damage from the elements.
3. Drain and winterize the plumbing system: To prevent freezing and potential damage to pipes, drain and winterize the plumbing system. This involves emptying the water tanks, flushing them out, and adding antifreeze to the pipes and drains.
4. Disconnect the batteries: If your travel trailer has a battery system, disconnect the batteries and store them in a cool, dry place. This will prevent them from draining and prolong their lifespan.
5. Protect the tires: Inflate the tires to the recommended pressure and cover them with tire covers to protect them from UV rays and minimize cracking. If possible, move the travel trailer occasionally to prevent flat spots from forming on the tires.
6. Cover the travel trailer: Invest in a high-quality cover specifically designed for travel trailers. This will provide protection against weather elements, UV rays, and potential damage from bird droppings or tree sap. Ensure that the cover fits securely and has ventilation to prevent condensation.
7. Secure all openings: Close and lock all windows, doors, vents, and hatches to prevent entry of pests or water. Use silicone sealant to seal any gaps or cracks that may allow moisture to seep in.
8. Maintain proper ventilation: Although it’s important to seal openings, it’s equally important to maintain proper airflow inside the travel trailer. Use vent covers or crack open a window slightly to allow air circulation and prevent mold or mildew growth.
9. Check on it regularly: Even if your travel trailer is securely stored, it’s still a good idea to periodically check on it. Look for signs of moisture, pest infestation, or any damage that may have occurred.
10. Consider additional security measures: To protect your travel trailer from theft, consider investing in additional security measures such as wheel locks, hitch locks, or a trailer alarm system.
11. Maintain the hitch and leveling jacks: Lubricate the hitch and leveling jacks to prevent rust and ensure smooth operation. This will also make it easier to hook up and level your travel trailer when you’re ready to hit the road again.
12. Prepare for extreme weather conditions: If you live in an area prone to extreme weather conditions like heavy snowfall or hurricanes, take additional precautions. For instance, reinforce the cover, clear snow from the roof, or secure the travel trailer with straps or anchors.
13. Consult the owner’s manual: Always refer to the owner’s manual for specific storage recommendations and guidelines for your travel trailer. It will provide valuable information on maintenance, winterization, and any additional steps you should take to store your specific model properly.
Common Questions and Answers:
1. Can I store my travel trailer on grass?
Storing your travel trailer on grass is possible, but it’s generally not recommended. Grass can become soft and muddy, making it difficult to maneuver the trailer and potentially causing sinking or damage. It’s best to opt for a concrete or gravel surface.
2. Do I need to remove the propane tanks?
It is generally advised to remove the propane tanks and store them in a well-ventilated area away from the travel trailer. This will prevent any potential gas leaks or accidents.
3. How often should I check on my stored travel trailer?
Checking on your stored travel trailer once a month is a good practice. This allows you to identify any potential issues early on and address them promptly.
4. Should I keep the travel trailer plugged in?
Keeping the travel trailer plugged in is not necessary unless you need to charge the batteries or run any appliances inside the trailer. However, if you do keep it plugged in, make sure to check the electrical connections regularly.
5. How do I protect the travel trailer from rodents?
To protect your travel trailer from rodents, seal any potential entry points with silicone sealant or steel wool. You can also use rodent repellent sachets or traps around the trailer’s perimeter.
6. Can I store items inside the travel trailer?
While it’s possible to store items inside the travel trailer, it’s generally recommended to remove all perishable items and anything that could attract pests. Storing non-perishable items in sealed containers is a better option.
7. Is it necessary to cover the travel trailer?
Covering the travel trailer is not mandatory, but it provides an extra layer of protection against the elements. If you choose not to cover it, ensure that the trailer is properly cleaned and sealed.
8. How long can I store my travel trailer outside?
You can store your travel trailer outside for as long as needed, provided you follow the proper storage procedures. Regular maintenance and periodic checks are essential to ensure its condition during extended storage periods.
9. Can I store my travel trailer with the slides out?
It’s generally recommended to retract the slides when storing the travel trailer. Leaving them out for a prolonged period may cause damage or allow water to seep in.
10. Should I put stabilizer jacks down during storage?
Putting down stabilizer jacks can help distribute the weight evenly and prevent unnecessary movement. However, it’s not necessary if the travel trailer is on a level surface.
11. Can I store my travel trailer uncovered in a sunny area?
Storing a travel trailer uncovered in a sunny area is not advisable. Prolonged exposure to the sun’s UV rays can cause fading, cracking, and damage to the exterior surfaces.
12. How do I prevent mold and mildew growth?
Proper ventilation is key to preventing mold and mildew growth. Crack open a window or use vent covers to allow air circulation. Additionally, consider using moisture-absorbing products inside the trailer.
13. Should I disconnect the tires from the travel trailer during storage?
There is no need to disconnect the tires from the travel trailer during storage. However, inflating them to the recommended pressure and periodically moving the trailer can help prevent flat spots from forming.
Storing a travel trailer outside requires careful planning and maintenance. By following these tips and regularly checking on your trailer, you can ensure its longevity and be ready for your next adventure. Remember to consult your owner’s manual for specific instructions for your travel trailer model.