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Old 04-18-2014, 11:14 AM   #1
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Question What about Summerizing and Hurricanizing?

Hi Folks,

I apologize if I'm duplicating a thread, but I haven't found one in my search yet for how to secure a trailer in a very hot climate subject to hurricanes. If you can direct me to a thread, that'd be great. In case there isn't one, here are some questions that I imagine others might have, too.

I am surrounded by fiberglass trailers and MHs that have been elevated onto concrete blocks, have holes drilled through their frames and bolts and chain tie-downs attached in the hopes that when their owners return, their trailers will be in the same place their owners left them.

My question is, what are the best practices for doing this with a 34' AS trailer (1982 Limited), with 3 center axles? Where are the best locations for tie-downs, and what is the best way to attach them?

Also, do we elevate the trailer off the tires? What is too high? And what do we do with the tongue?

I know this is a lot of questions, but I have never owned a trailer before and I've never had to secure our motor home this way.

Thanks for any help!
Jennifer
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Old 04-18-2014, 11:34 AM   #2
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I probably do not know the "best way". But I do keep a 32' trailer in a park in Florida that has lots of airstreams and also lots of other trailers. The trailer parking spot has gravel so the trailers are parked on the wheels. Actually that is a requirement at this park, I think. The tongue rests on the same aluminum cone that is used for travel. Tie downs are required at this park in the front and rear. We have eyebolts through the bumper frame at the back on each side and chain tiedowns. The lot had the tiedowns installed before we leased it and it was for an Airstream so ours fit the pattern. Not sure how long or deep the anchors are in the ground. On the front the chain tiedowns are wrapped around the A frame. Turn buckles are used to be able to adjust the chain length but probably are not necessary. I leave the stabilizers down. We cover the tires on the sunny side. We put reflective insulation over the window on the inside. Some disagreement with this but we do it. Previously we have put charcoal in pans scattered around inside. We fold all bedding and put it in plastic bags. This year we are running a dehumidifier draining into the kitchen sink. Gray water valve open, sewer valve closed, hooked to sewer. The most important thing is to address any leaks. Leaks on a stationary trailer are at best very bad and can be devastating. My door does not seal well so I tape it with Al tape. It would be really good if you could arrange for someone to look at it from the outside every once in a while. We had a tree limb fall on ours that made a small leak that I wish I could have caught earlier. Actually I would have had to be on the roof because it did not show from the ground. No loose stuff is left out on the site. You can leave a car or a golf cart, but nothing lighter. Awnings folded. There is a storage shed and everything like tables, chairs, grills, etc. must be stowed. I like trees and our lot is under a live oak and at home we have trees along the driveway. Have had 4 limb-airstream events with dents and 1 leak. So do not park under a tree if you want to be safe. There are probably 100 Airstreams there now and all seem to do okay over the summer. Sometimes we get a mouse and roaches. Try sealing openings with steel wool
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Old 04-18-2014, 02:12 PM   #3
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Thanks so much Bill, this is very helpful! I hope you don't mind if I ask a few more questions:

I have been warned not to leave ether valve open, but I guess the value of using a dehumidifier outweighed it. So the humidity in the interior overwhelmed your charcoal strategy? Did you find mold when not using the dehumidifier? I'm leaning toward closing the valves and using a half-dozen DampRid-type products. Maybe that's how the mouse and roaches got in? I guess roaches can get in almost anywhere.

Also, can you get Aluminum tape in a hardware store? (Is that what you meant by Al tape?) or do you have to special order it? I'm not sure I've ever noticed a product like that.

People around us build shallow wood boxes to shroud their fan/vent openings. I don't know if the advantage of doing this would outweigh the danger of scratching the shell. I suppose we could pad the edges where they touch the trailer but do you think this is worth the effort?

Thanks!
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Old 04-18-2014, 02:24 PM   #4
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When I lived in FL all trailers had to have tie downs that went over the roof but I assume travel trailers can get by with chains hooked to the frame. The chains would be hooked to a screw in anchor. These are about 4 feet long with a big screw on the end to auger them into the ground. In FL this is not a big deal but places with real dirt a pilot hole would be needed and dirt filled on top of it. Your Airstream will probably not need tied downs as long as the wheels are chocked. I still think you should use them to comply with local regulations and give you piece of mind. My Airstream survived a tornado sitting in the yard with the wheels chocked (yes they are that aerodynamic). SOB trailers in the same area were turned to tooth picks and Reynolds wrap.

If you are going to leave it year round then leaks and heat are your biggest hazard. Ventilation is important and dehumidification is not a bad idea in places like FL.

Perry
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Old 04-18-2014, 02:41 PM   #5
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hurricane coming - best protection

Hitch up and LEAVE.
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Old 04-18-2014, 02:57 PM   #6
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There's an idea. It's not that I haven't considered that. So far, I'm leaning toward indoor storage but not sure I'll find it.
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Old 04-18-2014, 04:59 PM   #7
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I like the hitch up and leave idea. Storing inside is the best way to keep the trailer from deteriorating.

Perry
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Old 04-18-2014, 05:14 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Foiled Again View Post
Hitch up and LEAVE.
I always thought it would be a neat idea to build a big turntable and mount one of the monster V-style snow blades at the front of the Airstream to deflect windblown debris and let it wind vane into the hurricane winds. Should work... they do great at 70 mph.

Don't recall which hurricane it was, possibly Rita, they were showing an RV park that had taken a direct hit, the only trailer in the park that was still usable was an elderly AS. It had been rolled on it's side, but it was still in one piece. The folks rolled it back over and were in it, while the other people were picking through the leftovers of their SOB's.

I use reflectix in the windows on mine when it is going to be parked in direct sun for any length of time.

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Old 04-18-2014, 05:38 PM   #9
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Aaron, that's such a cool idea! "It's crazy, but it just might work!" to quote every sidekick in comic land. I wish I could try it this year.

Don't know what reflectix are, but I'll look into it. I hear it gets to be 130 degrees plus inside these RVS.
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Old 04-18-2014, 05:51 PM   #10
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12 years ago I had a 16 foot scamp travel trailer in the lane way ,wheels blocked ( but only one side of wheel to keep it from going down lane way) and we had a very strong wind not sure if it was a tornado authority's called it a micro burst but it was strong enough to rip a roof off a barn ,knock over and uproot some trees ,also ripped the flashing on the top of my chimney and pulled out some bricks were the flashing was attached as for the scamp trailer sitting in the lane way not secured in any way it lifted the tongue off the ground and moved the front of the trailer over 2 feet , but no damage ! For those that are not familiar with scamp trailers it's a similar shape to airstream but made of fiberglass .
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Old 04-18-2014, 06:08 PM   #11
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That's good news, scamp. A key does seem to be getting a purchase on it somewhere and these don't have much of a purchase on them.
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Old 04-18-2014, 06:10 PM   #12
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So now I see what reflectix is. If I cut it to fill my windows that would keep the heat down. Will it create more condensation on the windows though? Or is there a fix for that?
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Old 04-18-2014, 06:21 PM   #13
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Having lived in Florida for 24 years and dealing with Hurricanes, I wouldn't worry about strapping your trailer down. Because if you have wind speeds high enough to tip the trailer, it has already been dinged and dented into a total loss by flying debris. The safest place will be inside storage garage. I did that for two years and then finally moved away. There have been no direct hits since I left!
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Old 04-18-2014, 06:30 PM   #14
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Most places in central FL are safe in Hurricanes. It is the coastal areas that get hit real hard.

Perry
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