Getting ready for winter - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-12-2002, 01:22 PM   #1
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Getting ready for winter

Aaach! I hate to think about it, but winter is coming. It will be my first with my new/used Scamp and so I've been reading my Scamp manual.
Under the topic winterizing, there is a paragraph that reads:
“Jack up the axle and block it up to take the weight off the suspension. Leaving the weight of the trailer on the suspension for extended periods while stored is extremely hard on the torsion axle. The rubber tends to compress and not relax as fully as before. Relieve tire pressure to 10 or 15 pounds while stored. This extends tire life.”

My questions...
1. To do this do I just jack up each side until the tire comes off the ground and put wood/cement blocks under the axle near each wheel? Any advice on this procedure or is it a simple as it seems?
2. If my 1998 Scamp has never been stored for the winter this way, should I assume the suspension is already damaged? How would I know? What are the repercussions of compressed rubber?
3. Should I take the tires off during the winter? I will be storing the trailer outside with a plastic tarp for cover. Winter temps average 20 degrees but can get to minus 40 degrees here. If I were to take the tires off they would be stored below my house where temp does not go below freezing.

Any help, besides packing up the trailer and heading south, would be appreciated.
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Old 10-13-2002, 11:11 PM   #2
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Good questions Jean

:wiggly Jean,

I live in California and so I don't have to deal with the really cold weather. I'm not the best person to help you, but thought maybe I could give you some help and bring this thread back up to the top.

The axles use round rubber cords inside the square tube to act as the torsion suspension. The rubber also acts as a dampening system too. When the trailer sits full weight on the wheels it does compress the rubber cords. After awhile the cords lose their resiliancy, they get compressed. This takes a while. Each area, temperature, etc. makes the process very.

I go camping all year round and so I want to keep the trailer ready to go. What I do is very simple. I lower the front tongue as low as I can. I then lower the rear jacks and put blocks under each to make up the difference. I than crank up the front so the trailer is level. This takes almost all of the weight off of the axle. It is easy to lower the trailer and hook up to go once again.

I hope this helps.
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Old 10-14-2002, 03:05 AM   #3
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JEAN

Don't forget to drain all your water (open all faucets too), make sure your HOT and COLD tanks are empty, everything including your grey and black water. Buy some RV ANTIFREEZE and pour some down the drains and toilets, etc.

(I have to do that after camping on the 20th - if I go out again I can just repeat the procedure.)


Hope this helps - you may want to do a search on www.google.com for rv winterizing tips. :)
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Old 10-14-2002, 07:34 AM   #4
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Winterizing

C'mon folks, it's two months yet before winter starts.

What's the rush? :lol
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Old 10-14-2002, 03:58 PM   #5
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Winterizing 13' Burro

Heh heh heh
No bathroom, snicker. (This is the only time I am happy about that)

Drained fresh water tank, put in 1 gallon of pink stuff,pumped till pink stuff flowed freely out of drain hose, closed off drain, put pink stuff thru funnel and short hose into city water inlet, had wife press faucet till all pink stuff came out and drain filled,cap off city inlet.
Done
Total time 10 min. ( 5 min. looking for funnel)
Now where was that TV clicker.................
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Old 10-14-2002, 10:49 PM   #6
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Hey, Just Pete, I could cut your time in half and not need a helper, to boot!

I just took out my city-water plumbing (because the only time I tried to use it, it leaked and I gave up on trying to fix it -- I just use the tank and hand pump).

Plugged the holes in the side with a shiny metal disk and two small plastic hole plugs; will prolly put one of those nifty shorepower entry boxes with 15A plug and GFCI outlet where the plugged holes are. I put a vertical paper towel holder made of 1/2" PVC pipe in the galley-top hole (nice thing about a hand pump is there is much less water splashing around.

All said, however, the very best way to winterize is to use the black round things connected to the Dexter axle (biiiiig snicker and outright laughter).:laugh

Pete and RatLadies currently hiding in rain shadow of the Olympics
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Old 10-14-2002, 11:15 PM   #7
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winter

Huh? 'use the black round things connected to the Dexter axle' ????
What are you talking about? drain plugs? what?

Oh!! I got it, tires, Move the trailer. good one :lol

Like the idea of only using hand pump. Do they come with a tall spout? mines so low I don't think I can get a glass under it.
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Old 10-15-2002, 05:29 AM   #8
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Pete,

I am all for your idea about moving the camper...... but......
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Old 10-15-2002, 03:14 PM   #9
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black round things

Uhhh Pete, you're killing me. I would love to take those black round things and everything it can carry to warmer temps, but I think it would take more effort to winterize my house than to do so to my Scamp. Some day, some day.
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Old 10-15-2002, 05:06 PM   #10
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Senior Staff Beachcomber

In a former life, I was a Corporate Cubicle Convict, just like Dilbert and company. I decided to become a beachcomber in part because it was a life-long ambition and in part because I wanted to give some hope to those poor souls who are still trapped...It's a tuff life, having no anchored home or posessions to own me, but someone has to do it!:sunny

There are lots of variations on the pump faucets, but since my sink is usually empty, and I can get my espresso pot, saucepan and water bottles under the spout, I guess mine's high enuf. Each six stokes of mine will deliver almost exactly a cooking cup (8 fl oz; not coffee cup 5-6 fl oz) of water.

There are also variations where you can have up to three different modes, hand pump, elec pump or city water, all in one unit.

When I am in really cold weather (which I try not to be, but don't always succeed), I leave the pump handle in the drain position so the water in the line runs back into the tank, because while the tank is very unlikely to freeze overnite, the line (which runs along parts of three outside walls to get from my tank to my galley) might. In the event the line did freeze:weep , I know how to open the tank drain and catch the water outside to get some water, plus I prepare the coffee pot at nite before retiring, as the RatLadies romp around the place in their exercise time:cblob :cblob :cblob

Pete and rompers
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Old 10-15-2002, 07:32 PM   #11
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Winterizing

Well I finally did it. She is all winterized and it's a sad sight. Just to pep up we mght have to do a winter campout! I knew we had to do it because there was a heck of a frost outside this morning. I am glad I saw the weather report because I had our little electric heater going in her to keep her warm.

Oh well at least we don't have to worry now!
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Old 10-16-2002, 06:59 AM   #12
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Me too

I, too, winterized the trailer yesterday Steve!

But have no fear ... the best camping season is just upon us! Trust me!

Start looking around for campgrounds that stay open year round. They're out there! Most of our Illinois State parks stay open year round ... as do some along major expressways.

The shower houses are all closed, but you can camp ... and camp quite well ... using gallon jugs of water ... and a little ceramic heater. I strongly feel you do need electricity to camp in the dead of winter, however!

I'm working up a little something on how we winter camp.
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Old 10-16-2002, 07:55 AM   #13
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off the axel

Quote:
from Michael,
I lower the front tongue as low as I can. I then lower the rear jacks and put blocks under each to make up the difference. I than crank up the front so the trailer is level. This takes almost all of the weight off of the axle.
I've read that you can bend your jacks this way because they are not ment to carry the whole weight of the trailer. obviously you are not having that problem.
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Old 10-16-2002, 12:49 PM   #14
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I think the bumper jack-stands can take the weight when set (certainly do on my S13), but they will NOT function well if you try to jack up the trailer using them, because the scraping action (esp if you release rear first) may eventually wear out the notches in them.
Also, when rear-jacking, you have all the rear weight on the jack you just raised until the other jack is moved (I used to jack 'em up but I don't anymore; I lower the front, set the stands and raise the front to a stable position).

To be safe, however, with a larger trailer with options, look 'em up and read the spec.

Pete and Rats
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