We are excited to share a few tips from Ronnie, head of the service department at C&R. Today he is sharing the do’s and don’ts of preparing your trailer for winter.
For many of us it is that time of year again! Whether we like it or not, it is time to put away our trailer for the winter. Today I am going to give you a checklist of what to do before the cold weather hits, and hopefully reduce any unwanted surprises come spring.
- First of all, check your roof. Watch for cracks in your caulking. Water can get in these cracks and freeze, which will increasingly widen until it creates a channel for water to get into your trailer. Once this happens, the water can soak the plywood, insulation, and roof trusses – leading to rot. Of course, this leads to expensive repairs. If you have these cracks and the caulk is still flexible, clean them with a light soapy cleaner, followed by window cleaner or product that has alcohol content (not whiskey :)!
- Once clean, apply a layer of self leveling caulk over the crack. If the caulk is dry and flaky, it needs to be removed before re-caulking. NEVER apply a paint caulk over it. These do not work because they will not expand and contract with heat and cold, and will only adhere for a very temporary period of time. Using the wrong product will only create more work to do it right later on. (We do not sell paint-on roof sealant for these reasons.)
- How is the condition of your roof surface? If it is chalky or flaky, you are in need of a Roof Clean & Treat. We sell a kit for this for under $60.00. If your trailer is 30′ or under, the kit will have enough product for 2 treatments. We recommend doing this every two years to prolong your roof life. If your roof is turning black, this indicates that it’s white, protective layer is gone and the rubber needs to be replaced. Again, do not be tempted to paint on a new roof! Regardless of the claims, such products do not work and are a waste of your money!
- Check the caulk around windows and trim. If you need new caulk, use a caulk called Proflex. The exception to this would be if your manufacture used silicone. If so, you will have to use it again, as Proflex will not stick to silicone.
- Next, make sure you winterize your water system. You can suck antifreeze through the system or blow the water out. To blow out your system, drain your water heater and put the plug back in. Connect an air compressor fitting to your city fill and then connect your air hose to the fitting (we sell blowout fittings that hook to your compressor.) Next, turn each faucet on individually until all the faucets are dry. Don’t forget the toilet and outside showers. Be sure to put a bit of antifreeze in your P-traps so they don’t freeze. The other option is to pull antifreeze through your trailer plumbing. This method is more expensive and creates a nasty taste in your water system – so it is not the preferred method. Remember to drain all of your tanks. We can winterize your water system for less than $60.00 for most units.
- You’re doing great! Now it’s time to focus on battery maintenance. Make sure your batteries are fully charged. It is important that your water level on the battery is up before charging. You can take the batteries out of the trailer and store them in a warm place. Or, if they are fully charged you can disconnect them from the trailer with either the kill switch, or by taking the wires off of the terminals and leaving them in the trailer. As long as they are fully charged and have no loads on them, they will not freeze in our climate.
- The last thing you can do is cover your tires and the trailer itself. There is, however, some controversy as to whether the trailer cover helps or hurts. I have seen a lot of damage caused by covers, especially in high wind areas. You decide. If you decide you want a cover, this is a great time to buy one. We sell them for a better price in the fall than we can even buy them the rest of the year. If you want a quote for a trailer cover, measure the box size of your trailer and give us a call. We would be happy to help you!
We hate to put away our trailers too! However, following Ronnie’s tips will help you prolong the life of your trailer and is sure to give you peace of mind this winter. Once your winterizing chores are complete, you can curl up next to the fire, dreaming of sunshine and the freedom that will come the following year as you explore the world in the comfort of your own RV!