Wrapping a trailer for winter - Fiberglass RV

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Old 06-17-2008, 07:02 PM   #1
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Roy in TO's Avatar
Name: Roy
Trailer: 1972 boler American and 1979 Trillium 4500
Posts: 4,852
Camping season may not be the time to think of a winter shelter but what you need to make one is currently on the store shelves. I'm posting this now because I'm at that point in posting the chronological history of Restoring Our 1972 Boler American and hopefully someone who wants to do this can readily get the seasonal components.

We found a place to store our trailer at a friend's cottage up north. They suggested we pull it up as close to the wall and under the roof overhang as possible. We were concerned with three things: Snow, leaks in the duct taped roof and the potential for the return of the black mold in a "sealed" trailer.


7 8' 2x2
1 8' 1x4
4 10' 1x4
4 4" pieces of pipe hanger
Some cable ties
10' construction fencing
1 Instant shed kit
1 canoe car topper kit
1 tarp and a few extra bungee cords

Essentially this is a peaked roof sitting on rectangular frame that is sitting on foam blocks on the roof of the trailer all wrapped up in a plastic tarp.

We used 5 of these parts:

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From the kit that makes a frame like this:

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and one of these Canoe Car Topper kits.

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To make the peaked roof 5 of the 8' 2x2's were cut in half for rafters and the other 2x2's cut at 4' and 6' to make the 10' ridge. 2 of the 10' 1x4's were used as a fascia which also formed part of the frame work.

The other half of the roof was a rectangle made from the 2 remaining 10' 1x4's , the 8' 1x4 cut in half and some of the 2x2 scraps as corner braces. The two halves were held together using the pipe hanger and screws. The fencing was cable tied to the top of the roof that would be exposed to snow. Everything sat on the 4 foam blocks that came in the canoe topper kit.

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A tarp was placed over all of this and tied down using the rope in the canoe kit and a few bungee cords.

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The advantages of doing it this way were to keep the elements off the leaking roof while allowing air flow through the slightly opened windows. The trailer was not tightly bound and the whole thing comes apart into 3 flat sections using 9 screws. It is inexpensive and very easy to dismantle and store till the next fall when 9 screws puts it all back together again. I've used this two winters now without a leak or return of any mold.

Edited to correct formatting

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Old 06-17-2008, 08:44 PM   #2
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David Swinnard's Avatar
Trailer: Had to sell, no longer an egg owner
British Columbia
Posts: 109
A big hat with a scarf to hold it down... What a nifty solution Roy. I have been wondering about keeping the trailer "dry" during the upcoming winter. (I know it's not even summer, but planning ahead sometimes works for me...)

We were just away for a couple of weeks and came back to find water in the "well" under the "driver's side" dinette seat. I think it's coming from the hole where the brake light wires pass through - based on the soak-it-with-the-hose test I did when brought the trailer home earlier this spring. As the trailer won't fit in the garage, I've been contemplating a way of covering it without completely encasing it. This looks like a potential solution. (and inexpensive to boot).

(We just visited Rosslyn Chaple in Scotland - think, Tom Hanks, DaVinci Code movie - and it's been under an "umbrella" since 1997 to dry out, this can be my neighbourhood's version of it!)
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Old 06-18-2008, 12:27 AM   #3
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Doug & Anna-Marie P's Avatar
Trailer: 2008 17 ft Escape B
Posts: 128
Great job and so easy to take down and put up...
I do know some municipalities are "thinking" of banning those garage canopies... Would check before you bought one..
We have just used a tarp on our trailer the last number of years. Tie one side of the tarp to the fence, so there is lots of air flow (also crack open the vent a bit) and have the windows cracked open on that side... We go in and out frquently, so not a lot of tarp on the door side---long strings to tie it down on the bumpers...

For about 10 years we have used a "stor dry" fan in the trailer for probably 6 months of the year.. Works very well...no mold at all. And easier than remembering to empty those crystal units...Here on the "wet" coast we have a LOT of humidity...

Last week I bought one of those "van covers'---(like a big fitted sheet) at Princess Auto for $33..It is quite large for the Boler but I figure we can fit it really well on the back end and kind of bunch it up on the tongue end..Goes quite far down on the trailer.. Used it the night before the trailer went in for its paint job (where it is right now) because we had no front and rear windows....

I know they aren't waterproof, but figure it will be a good enough protection in the winter from some of the elements....
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Old 06-18-2008, 06:29 AM   #4
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Name: Roger
Trailer: Y2K6 Born Free 32RQ on the Kodiak chassis, 1995 Coachmen 19' B-van and 1996 Precision 21' Sailboat
Posts: 5,000
Just remember that the slightest amount of grit under one of those covers has the potential of wearing a hole through your gelcoat if the wind moves the cover. It'll act just like a piece of sand paper. You're really better off in most cases just letting it sit in the elements and waxing it twice a year.

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Old 06-19-2008, 07:46 AM   #5
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Name: james
Trailer: Boler 1984
Posts: 2,909
I agree with Roger, I used to wrap the trailer in a big tarp and tie it down well, but after about three or four years I noticed that the outside finish was taking a real beating so I left the cover off after that and had no more problems. I do give it a good waxing in late fall and use a car polish in the spring. If your cover is raised so as to clear the trailer and leave an air space I would see no problem.
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