Summer Storage Between Trips
Unless you’re a full-timer you store your trailer between camping trips. Believe it or not, there are some must do’s in order to maintain the trailer’s integrity in summer storage. While this blog post is focused on what we do for Blue Steak, our International 25 CCD Airstream, summer maintenance principles are important for all trailers.
Basically, there are two trailer storage procedures, 1) Winterization (Go Here to read) and 2) Summerization (which is the goal here).
The question is why? Why is it important to “Summerize” between trips? Think about your trailer …
- The temperature during the summer sun can go as high as 50 Degrees Celsius (120+ Fahrenheit) inside this closed-up aluminium can ?.
- The sun beating in the windows can destroy fabrics, melt/make brittle plastics and suck the life out of sealants that keeps the summer rain at bay (you know outside not dripping inside ?).
We happen to live in British Columbia, Canada not down south, which can be a sauna during the summer. Never-the-less, Blue Streak lives her life outdoors, exposed to the elements 24/7.
Let’s begin with the obvious: ?
- Empty the refrigerator! and don’t forget the freezer if you have one. Make sure it’s clean and dry then place an open container of Baking Soda in the fridge (called odour control).
- Remove any perishable foods from the storage lockers; i.e., dry goods (cereals), things that melt (chocolates etc.). This will also lessen the invitation of creepy crawlers and mice.
- Remove soft drinks, booze and wine .. these really don’t do well in the heat.
- Garbage (say what?) Yep, it’s easy to forget.
- Remove batteries from things like fire detectors .. they can fail in the heat.
- Remove things that melt, like candles.
- Empty the medicine cabinet.
- Remove personal electronics, you know, things that are not fixed to the trailer.
- Remove clothing from hanging lockers. If these get damp they encourage mildew.
Moving on to the good stuff: ?
- House batteries need maintenance .. this means having some way to keep them charged. If you have solar – then not a problem. If not, then some way to provide a trickle charge. Even one of those cheap in-the-window solar panels c/w controller will do the trick.
- Needless to say, make sure everything is turned off (electrically) and the trailer battery disconnect is in “Store Mode”.
- It is important to have ventilation .. what we do is “crack open” the “fantastic fan lids” and the “bathroom vent fan”. Heat rises, so this will help in keeping the temperature down a bit. We also, use Dri-Z-Air to control moisture (which we use during the winter as well). I swear that the inside of Blue Streak “sweats” in the summer heat when closed up!
- Open Up all the interior doors and cabinets to assist in air circulation.
Moving to the Outside: ?
- Again the obvious .. “Dump the holding tanks” then add a couple of gallons of water to the Black Tank with a dose of treatment. It’s a good idea to add this to the Grey Tank as well. This way the enzymes will continue their work and reduce odour.
- Personally, we sanitise the fresh water tank at the beginning of each trip if the tank sits unused for more than a week. We do this because we Boondock and the only water we have is what we carry.
- Lubricate the window gaskets so they don’t stick. We use a silicone grease several times during the summer to keep the rubber from failing.
Lastly, we visit Blue Streak once a week if she sits longer between trips. It’s important to check (look), touch and sniff to make sure to catch any problems before the next trip so it will start out as great as the one before. ?
We are brand new owners of a 2022 Caravel. I appreciate your tips for summer storage.
Lots to read about in this Blog about the Journey of “Blue Streak”