Winterizing - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-04-2006, 04:47 AM   #1
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Name: Gerry
Trailer: 1979 Boler 1300 / 1991 Casita Freedom Deluxe
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I have a 13 foot Boler and this is my 2nd year that I need to get it winterized. I went to the tutoirals on this subject but it just talked about winter camping.
Anyway, I was wondering if there was anything else I need to add to the following or if anyone does anything else that I should do before the snow is piled high on top and around it making it imposible to get to.
1) I park it on grass and this year plan to put plastic sheet under to keep ground moisture down..Good idea??
2) I have no water tank but I have drained the city water line and drain of remaining water.
3) I take battery out and charge and store in warm basement.
4) I put grease on and in front Jack.
5) I place board on floor then upright post with another board on ceiling to help support show weight.
6) Put all cushions in large plastic X-mass tree bags to keep moisture out.
7)Put in some d-con for those little mice that may want to winter camp.
8)Place 4 greased jacks under frame and lift tires just off ground and let air pressure down to about 10 lbs
9)Cover top 1/2 with another tarp and tie down around corners so wind wont take it away. The airconditioner holds up the tarp but it does let snow and water collect on rear section of roof.
Anything else need to be done?

I was wondering is there any reason why shouldn't or couldn't jack up the front of the trailer 8 inches higher then back, so this low area in the roof wouldnlt collect water during day thaw out and refreeze at night?
Would leaving the trailer not level all winter put stress and cause breakage.
Gerry
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Old 10-04-2006, 05:47 AM   #2
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Name: Normand
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Everything is perfect except this :

Quote:
8)Place 4 greased jacks under frame and lift tires just off ground and let air pressure down to about 10 lbs
You should never put any kind of stress on the frame. Keep it on wheels.

And this :

Quote:
I was wondering is there any reason why shouldn't or couldn't jack up the front of the trailer 8 inches higher then back, so this low area in the roof wouldnlt collect water during day thaw out and refreeze at night?
Would leaving the trailer not level all winter put stress and cause breakage.
Yes that would cause stress and particularly uneven stress which is even worst. That would also be bad for your refrigerator.
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Old 10-04-2006, 07:05 AM   #3
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Gerry,

I've had a number of trailers (and a motorhome) over the years. There are only a couple of things on your list that are really necessary.

The most signficant part of winterizing is to make sure that no water freezes anywhere in the plumbing. Your Boler has a pretty simple system. Draining the city water line, and leaving the faucet should pretty well do it, as long as you don't have a low point in your water "in" line that wouldn't drain. If there's any question, buy an air compressor fitting (schrader valve) for your water inlet, and blow it out with compressed air. If you have a P trap in your sink, pouring a cup of RV anti-freeze down the drain is much easier than having to disassemble it.

Those of us with tanks, pumps, water heaters, showers, etc. have a little more complex chore.

I don't see any reason to lift the trailer or reduce the pressure in the tires. UV light will kill the sidewalls long before anything winter storage, pressurized or unpressurized can do to them. I agree that stressing the frame in the middle by jacking up the ends probably isn't a good thing to do. If you MUST jack it up, just use a single jack stand on either side near the axle mount. The frame was designed to take stress there from the axle. Covering the tires to protect them from UV is much more important than airing them down and lifting them up.

While it has been suggested that taking stress off the torsion axle for the winter will make the axle last longer, experience shows that for a trailer with a properly sized and rated axle, there's very little difference that it makes. Torsion axles are designed with about a fifteen year lifespan. Most will make it twenty, and some have gone as long as thirty years before they need replacement!

I have heard that early Bolers particularly are subject to snow weight stress, so it can't hurt to support the ceiling. "Winter" means lots of things to lots of people, but around here, it's so cold and dry that there aren't moisture issues anywhere. I don't think that "bagging" your cushions is a good idea though, as it can lead to mold and mildew if the fabric and foam can't 'breathe' with the changes in ambient air pressure and humidity. If you're concerned about them getting dusty from sitting, perhaps merely covering them on the top with old towels or sheets would be more appropriate.

I don't know what the purpose of putting a ground cloth under the trailer would be. I'd think it would merely make it more difficult for the snow under the trailer to melt away in the spring.

Good luck, and happy winterizing!

Roger
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Old 10-04-2006, 09:03 AM   #4
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I second the motion about putting the cushions in "plastic bags". I've seen a lot of stuff destroyed by putting plastic bags. You'll want them to breath. If you insist on putting them in something use large game animal game bags. I store a lot of stuff in game bags. We have a lot of backpacking equipment, tents, sleeping bags, backpacks, etc. that we keep stored in game bags in the attic.

My $.02 worth.
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Old 10-04-2006, 09:39 AM   #5
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1) I park it on grass and this year plan to put plastic sheet under to keep ground moisture down..Good idea??
Probably not if you like the grass. The worms will thank you tho.

Quote:
2) I have no water tank but I have drained the city water line and drain of remaining water.
What Roger said. I live where it snows and freezes often in the winter. I have never put pink stuff in my lines. The trouble with freezing is expansion of the water, putting pressure on the sides of whatever it's trapped in. A liitle drop or trickle can do no damage if it's in a normal sized line. It freezes, expands a knats hiar and melts. Valves may be another problem, but it sounds like you have a Simple 13 without the bells and whistles to worry about.

(I think I will have a love/hate relationship if I ever get my BF 17 with bathroom )

Quote:
3) I take battery out and charge and store in warm basement.
Speaking of worms, here's a can of them. Some swear by doing this, some swear AT doing this. My battery stays put, with 7 watts of solar trickle charger hanging on it. I have no problems.

Quote:
I was wondering is there any reason why shouldn't or couldn't jack up the front of the trailer 8 inches higher then back, so this low area in the roof wouldnlt collect water during day thaw out and refreeze at night?
I simply crank my tongue DOWN an inch or 2. any slope works, gravity is gravity. There is no stress on the frame this way.

I also wouldn't cover with a tarp if you like your finish. A proper trailer cover will protect it. $$$$ I know.

Here is what my trailer lives thru part of the year, with only the simple things listed above. (Once again, I hear laffing from Minnesota)
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Old 10-04-2006, 11:32 AM   #6
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1. Drop down the front jack and fit the hitch over the ball on your tow vehicle
2. Head south to Caballo Loco RV Resort just west of Tucson, Arizona
3. Join us for margaritas on the patio at 4 PM daily. (Light Sweater optional).


Really, you can't beat Arizona in the Winter. Last year I finally got rid of all my winter coats. Now when I visit any relatives up north, I have to borrow a jacket!
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Old 10-04-2006, 12:43 PM   #7
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Judy...(put smilie sticking out tongue here!!!)





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This winter, we'll trade you some rain for some

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Old 10-04-2006, 01:46 PM   #8
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My winterizing story goes like this.
1. Keep the fresh water tank filled. If we should get good freeze it's a lot harder to freeze 14 gallons than smaller amounts.

2. Put an electric heater in Mountain Egg set keep the temperature above 50°.

3. Open the cupboard door under the sink.

4. Open the hatch over the fresh water tank.

5. At least once a month back the tow vehichle up to the Mountain Egg, hook up and go some place. Twice a month even better.
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Old 10-04-2006, 01:47 PM   #9
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Great questions and ideas. Do any of you use a dehumidifier to keep down mold and mildew? Since our Burro is stored without heat, I thought about using a dehumidifier that works without electricty (eg crystals). Any thoughts?
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Old 10-04-2006, 01:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Great questions and ideas. Do any of you use a dehumidifier to keep down mold and mildew? Since our Burro is stored without heat, I thought about using a dehumidifier that works without electricty (eg crystals). Any thoughts?
Dri-Z-Air is what I use Charlene and has worked as advertised. Costs about $7 a year. I put two canisters inside the trailer, one in the sink (on a plastic bag...if the liquid runs over it won't EAT the stainless steel sink) and one just inside the door on the floor...in a plastic tub. I check and drain the containers about every 4 weeks.

I even use the Dri-Z-Air after a weekend of camping. Turn the cushions up on their sides and the dehumdifier crystals help to dry them out as well as all the other fabrics in the trailer
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Old 10-04-2006, 02:15 PM   #11
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Quote:
Dri-Z-Air is what I use Charlene and has worked as advertised. Costs about $7 a year. I put two canisters inside the trailer, one in the sink (on a plastic bag...if the liquid runs over it won't EAT the stainless steel sink) and one just inside the door on the floor...in a plastic tub. I check and drain the containers about every 4 weeks.

I even use the Dri-Z-Air after a weekend of camping. Turn the cushions up on their sides and the dehumdifier crystals help to dry them out as well as all the other fabrics in the trailer
Dri-Z-Air
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Old 10-04-2006, 07:57 PM   #12
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Thanks for the recommendation. I plan to get some Dri-Z-Air this weekend. I had read about it but didn't know if it was really a good idea. Thanks!
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Old 10-04-2006, 11:10 PM   #13
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Dri-Z-Air, drain water ...flush with air fitting at water inlet ...loose the cover, keep'er on the ground, remove ANY/everything you can to the safe warm cilmate inside your house/shop/garage. Batt on charge, top vent cracked a smidge plus at least ONE window. Open all cupboard/storage areas to let air circulate. Protect tires from U.V. and park on a coupla 2X8's to get tires off DIRECT ground contact. Find something better than a sheet of plastic to park on, even a coupla scraps of plywood would be better, but whatever you decide to use, you will end up KILLING the sod under the trailer at least for a week or two AFTER you move it in the spring!!
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Old 10-04-2006, 11:59 PM   #14
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Anything else need to be done?
Gerry
On the Left NavBar you will find a Link to [b]<span style="font-size:10pt;line-height:100%">Winterizing</span>
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Old 10-05-2006, 03:55 AM   #15
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Name: Gerry
Trailer: 1979 Boler 1300 / 1991 Casita Freedom Deluxe
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Thanks all for your input and alot of it makes sense when you read it.
I will take the cushions inside the heated basement and for peice of mind the batery also
I am hesitent to have electricity running in the trailer all winter with 4 or 5 feet of snow around it.
I guess common sense will tell me what can and cannot be left in the cold
I do have a new 3 way check valve under rear bench seat with the one line that use to go to the storage tank under trailer now just going to a longer line that I put into a portable water tank when I get to a camp without running water so I will have to make sure this is dry. The one that was in the trailer when I got it was cracked due to freezing at one time.
I guess your right also about jacking frame and reducing air pressure in tires will put stress on frame where it was not made to handle it, so this year I will just support weight with jacks and leave tires on ground.
I want to raise the front end because the pooling of water is in the rear part of roof, where heavy air conditioner sits.
If I keep the majority of weight on tires, on ground, and lower rear end so water will not collect will this cause a problem?
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Old 10-07-2006, 07:01 AM   #16
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Looks like you are on the road to a good "storage season". Having the trailer on an angle shouldn't cause any problems. What are you doing about keeping your refrigerator "fresh"? (Odor free??) We keep a couple of tablespoons of baking soda in a small bowl and leave the door open. If your door wants to close on its own accord, you might want to consider parking the trailer with a sideways tilt (to keep the door open by itself!) instead of front to back. Be sure that all your water taps are left open as well. This helps ensure against freeze up problems because when water freezes, it needs to expand. IF there is air trapped in a closed water line the water freezes, expands and cracks the piping "somewhere". IF all water lines are open and the water freezes, it has room to "push" the surrounding air outwards thus negating a burst water line...... (I'm not 100% sure I have a solution to keeping the line open to the toilet however!!!)
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Old 10-07-2006, 09:16 AM   #17
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I back the trailer up onto three sets of leveling blocks to raise it about four or five inches then lower the tongue to the ground so as to drain all water from the tank. Leave the draincock open and lower trailer to the ground and drop the tongue all the way down to let the snow slide off. Inside I lower the table to the bed position and put bedding in large nylon stuff sacks[breathable] and add one of those drier softener sheets to each. Makes them smell good in the spring. Make sure the dometic fridge latch is locked in a cracked open position so air can circulate. Don,t forget to remove the foodstuffs from the cupboards. Leave nothing that can freeze and then leake all over, or things that will attract critters. Better to use up these things during the winter and restock with fresh in the spring. I clean and spray the tobar and ball with WD40 then stow it in the garage so it won't rust in place during the winter. A little WD40 in the recepticle helps to keep the roadsalt at bay as well.
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Old 10-07-2006, 09:58 AM   #18
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(I'm not 100% sure I have a solution to keeping the line open to the toilet however!!!)
Could you actuate the "Valve" (I think we are talking about the flap in the bowl that opens to allow your rosey smelling waste down) and put a paper towel tube in there to block it from closing all the way? The tube would not only keep it from closing, but allow air to get down there.

What do I know? I just pull a handle and it stays open, or I pick up the thing and bring it inside...
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Old 10-07-2006, 01:13 PM   #19
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Quote:
Could you actuate the "Valve" (I think we are talking about the flap in the bowl that opens to allow your rosey smelling waste down) and put a paper towel tube in there to block it from closing all the way? The tube would not only keep it from closing, but allow air to get down there...
The flush valve in the toilet of my Boler B1700 is a sliding design (a gate valve). Last winter I placed a plastic bottle in the opening, tied up to something so it wouldn't fall in. I don't really know if the water supply valve was open - that may require holding the flush pedal down.
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Old 10-07-2006, 01:58 PM   #20
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Quote:
Probably not if you like the grass. The worms will thank you tho.
What Roger said. I live where it snows and freezes often in the winter. I have never put pink stuff in my lines. The trouble with freezing is expansion of the water, putting pressure on the sides of whatever it's trapped in. A liitle drop or trickle can do no damage if it's in a normal sized line. It freezes, expands a knats hiar and melts. Valves may be another problem, but it sounds like you have a Simple 13 without the bells and whistles to worry about.

(I think I will have a love/hate relationship if I ever get my BF 17 with bathroom )
Speaking of worms, here's a can of them. Some swear by doing this, some swear AT doing this. My battery stays put, with 7 watts of solar trickle charger hanging on it. I have no problems.
I simply crank my tongue DOWN an inch or 2. any slope works, gravity is gravity. There is no stress on the frame this way.

I also wouldn't cover with a tarp if you like your finish. A proper trailer cover will protect it. $$$$ I know.

Here is what my trailer lives thru part of the year, with only the simple things listed above. (Once again, I hear laffing from Minnesota)
Hi: Where can I buy a Gnats Hair for my drain Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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