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Old 08-18-2014, 09:24 PM   #1
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winter storage questions

We just got our first AS. There is quite a learning curve! Although it's early, I'm thinking about the winter - it always sneaks up on me!

Anyway, we have a small city lot in the Northeast, with a two car garage and a two car wide driveway. The AS is parked on one side of the driveway, and we have our two cars beside the AS - one in the garage and one on the driveway.

We can already see that this is going to be trouble, especially in the winter when we have to shovel out. On one side of the driveway is a grass area about 3/4 the size of the two car wide driveway. If we move a fence back into the yard a bit and remove a raised flower bed and cut another one off a bit, we could park the AS there for the winter, clearing out the driveway and allowing both cars to be parked in the garage so the driveway can be plowed.

So my questions are - (1) should we put a tarp or something down on the grass, or just park on the grass? (We are thinking of putting in a driveway space there, but may not get to that this fall as it also involves removing part of the sprinkler system.)

And since this is a small lot, the space I could create by moving the fence is 26', and the AS is about 21'. That puts the AS a max of 4' from the 3' sidewalk, and the sidewalk is pretty much right next to the street. They use salt on the streets, spread by those machines that sort of spray it out the back. I'm thinking that will be hard on the finish. So (2) how can I keep the salt off my AS?

Hubby is thinking of a plywood thing shaped sort of like a tall cow catcher. Would that do it? Obviously, we need to make sure it doesn't take off with the wind and cause damage in the process. We can probably just U bolt it to the trailer hitch and maybe use tent stakes to hold it down securely and somehow make sure it doesn't rub on the skin of the trailer. Any idea how tall this "salt catcher needs to be?

Or, is there some other easier method of keeping the road salt off? Maybe a tarp on the bottom half of the font?
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Old 08-18-2014, 09:33 PM   #2
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Firstly, check with your city/municipality. Some do not allow recreational vehicles to be parked on the grass.
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Old 08-18-2014, 10:16 PM   #3
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Ah yes, the town regulations! I've seen other people park on grass, but I'll still check.

Thanks,
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Old 08-18-2014, 10:39 PM   #4
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Our last storage lot was a grass field on a farm. The wheels sunk in and were always muddy so I bought two 8ft pressure treated 2x10's and drove it up on those. Much better. Our new storage lot is gravel but I still use them.

If you are near water in Mass, there are sometimes mobile shrink warp companies that wrap boats for the winter.
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Old 08-18-2014, 10:48 PM   #5
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Shrink wrap

We do have a dock in town, and I see the boats wrapped for the winter. I don't know if they are mobile or not.

But I understood that you weren't supposed to cover a trailer -covers trap moisture inside and cause trouble. Did I misunderstand?
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Old 08-18-2014, 11:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sallye View Post
We do have a dock in town, and I see the boats wrapped for the winter. I don't know if they are mobile or not.

But I understood that you weren't supposed to cover a trailer -covers trap moisture inside and cause trouble. Did I misunderstand?
That I do not know. No moisture will get past it like with a canvas or poly cover in the first place. I cannot see that the effects are much different from wrapping a boat but maybe the local marina knows.

http://mobileshrinkwrapping.com/
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Old 08-19-2014, 09:03 AM   #7
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Probably better to accompany your AS below frost line.

If not an option, wrapping "may" work and not scratch the surface. But you will still have underside open to elements.

However, if they can totally cocoon then you may have something. This would mean a layer on the ground, roll AS into place, then wrap top to bottom. It just might work.

All water and batteries removed. Antifreeze includes water. So all lines must be blown clear. The "holding" tanks will need to be empty and dry. The P-traps under each sink blown clear and refilled with food grade mineral oil.

Across the top and sides you will probably need heavy blankets like moving blankets. To dampen any movement against the skin.

It is risky but might work.

Also, you could put a substantial amount of "Dessicant" to absorb whatever moisture finds its way in.

Get some BOESHIELD spray and apply to all exposed metal like the frame and tongue. That will protect thru winter and can be washed off.

Hope you come thru unscathed!
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Old 08-19-2014, 09:11 AM   #8
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If I were going to shrink wrap, I'd get something like pool noodles (many of them) and create stand-offs so air could circulate around the skin. Also install some of the vents available for boats, and maybe a zipper for door, in case you need to get in during the winter.


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Old 08-19-2014, 09:27 AM   #9
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winter storage questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by arktos55343 View Post
Firstly, check with your city/municipality. Some do not allow recreational vehicles to be parked on the grass.

Also, some city bylaws only permit parking an RV at residents during spring/summer months. For instance, my city allows driveway parking April-October, the other months require to use out-of-town or permitted storage facilities. With that been said, enforcement is pretty lax

The wrapping for boats makes sense where the tops are typically open to the elements...I don't see that being required for trailers.
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Old 08-19-2014, 09:48 AM   #10
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I placed the precast concrete 18x18 inch squares you can get from the home stores to make walkways with under each tire. I also places the smaller 12x12 ones under the level jack and each stabilizer - if you're going to have those down. I like to set mine up as if I'm camping so that when the hard freeze comes I can operate everything and keep it safe. I also have a 30 amp RV plug installed on my garage within reach for shore power. Keeps the battery alive too. Keep the propane tanks full to heat her if it's real bad. Flush the water lines REAL GOOD with air and back fill with the anti-freeze that is non-toxic and made for the water lines - I don't use the anti-freeze, it tastes bad. Add RV anti-freeze to the freshwater tank - even if you drain it. A touch of bleach for sanitation too. Add RV anti-freeze to the grey and black tanks and to each trap in the sinks and shower. Lastly, a dab to the toilet bowl to ensure the moving parts don't freeze up.

Just be ready to power her up when it get real cold. My halogen lights keep her toasty down to the 20's anyway - your just looking to keep the inside above 32.

OPEN ALL THE CABINETS up to increase air circulation behind them and to the plumbing. Run the water pump with anit-freeze in the lines and EMPTY the water heater. Bathroom door open too. I have a small space heater inside vice the ac unit or propane heater - I like the option of having that build up run time vice my AS equipment.

Whew, sounds like alot - takes about an hour. Nothing on the ground for me, nothing on the outside skin but a fresh wash and a winter time prep waxing.
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Old 08-19-2014, 10:18 AM   #11
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Those big wraps would make me worry about moisture being trapped inside. I'd build the cow catcher you describe. Maybe bolt it to the hitch somehow?
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Old 08-19-2014, 10:45 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwf View Post
Probably better to accompany your AS below frost line.

If not an option, wrapping "may" work and not scratch the surface. But you will still have underside open to elements.

However, if they can totally cocoon then you may have something. This would mean a layer on the ground, roll AS into place, then wrap top to bottom. It just might work.

All water and batteries removed. Antifreeze includes water. So all lines must be blown clear. The "holding" tanks will need to be empty and dry. The P-traps under each sink blown clear and refilled with food grade mineral oil.

Across the top and sides you will probably need heavy blankets like moving blankets. To dampen any movement against the skin.

It is risky but might work.

Also, you could put a substantial amount of "Dessicant" to absorb whatever moisture finds its way in.

Get some BOESHIELD spray and apply to all exposed metal like the frame and tongue. That will protect thru winter and can be washed off.

Hope you come thru unscathed!

When blowing the lines, make sure you hold the flush valve on the toilet open to let the air go through there, otherwise the water will sit in there and you will have water all over the floor the first time you turn the city water on in the spring. The crack it causes in the flush valve is almost imperceptible but will put a bunch of water on the floor in a hurry. But the upside is that I have gotten real good at replacing flush valves, but hopefully two is enough.
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Old 08-19-2014, 11:20 AM   #13
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I have found that you need to blow the lines 2 or 3 times over a short period of time - say a day. After one purge the lines seem to let what little moisture remaining settle and collect in the lines in low spots then need to be blown out again to clear..

Yes, blowing out the lines is a two person task. One operating the air input and one walking around activating all the valves inside including the water pump.
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Old 08-19-2014, 11:22 AM   #14
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I thought I was bad asking people if they done their Christmas shopping in July. Kidding aside theirs talk about a polar vortex this fall. I hope it stays a rumor.
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