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Old 10-20-2015, 07:49 PM   #1
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1979 31' Excella 500
Charlevoix , Michigan
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 258
Outside... For an entire Michigan winter!

Ok, so not exactly a winter camping question, but I'd like to store my 31 foot AS behind my house under a gigantic tarp this winter instead of putting it in storage. I'd like to do this for a couple of reason...

1. I've got some work to do on our AS and it's easier to get it done when it's behind our house.

2. Save on storage fee.

My question is what precautions I need to take for this little endeavor, specifically I'm wondering about the tires. Should I put the tires on wooden blocks or something to get them off the ground?

Thank you for any tips and advice you can provide!

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Old 10-20-2015, 08:04 PM   #2
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2007 22' International CCD
Corona , California
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Don't let the tarp rub or touch on any part of the AS shell at any time. It will leave rub marks on the aluminum that's basically permanent damage. Rig the tarp on a frame such that it never touched the AS. There are a few threads that mention this... Try a Google search of the forums.

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Old 10-20-2015, 08:50 PM   #3
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1964 17' Bambi II
Vintage Kin Owner
Schererville , Indiana
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If you have no clearcoat on the trailer & or you plan to polish it, a cover won't hurt. I've used a cover on my Bambi II for the last couple of years. I does leave some marks, but they polish right out..better than leaving it out in the elements, IMHO. If you're trying to keep the clearcoat, do not put a cover on it.
As far as the tires...put them on wood & they'll be fine.

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1988 Avion 32S
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Old 10-20-2015, 09:28 PM   #4
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Good Ol' , USA
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If I was needing to do what you are contemplating........ First, I would park the tires on some 2x12's. Then.....Do you have access to any used tires? I'd find enough of those to lay on the roof of the trailer to provide a way to keep the gigantic tarp up off of the trailer. Then, assuming the gigantic tarp is gigantic enough, stake the edges of the tarp out away from the trailer. I cannot imagine the amount of snow you might get, so this idea could be impossible to consider.

Does it have to be under cover to accommodate the work you need to do? If not, I'd consider not covering it, but still park it on the 2x12's.
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Old 10-20-2015, 09:34 PM   #5
The Sign Lady
1969 23' Safari
1974 Argosy 22
1964 24' Tradewind
Victoria , British Columbia
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 674
Here's what it can look like if the tarp is able to rub against the trailer and that black does not wash off. If you are not in a super windy area I would recommend building a shelter if you are able
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Old 10-21-2015, 10:59 AM   #6
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Greenwood , Mississippi
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That trailer may have been next to an overgrown Crepe Myrtle or some other large bush/shrub-
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Old 10-21-2015, 11:03 AM   #7
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1978 31' Sovereign
Decatur , Georgia
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 5
My trailer is in Canada

I purchased my 1978 airstream from neighbors 2 years ago. It has never been tarped and no ill effects. Most everyone up here said, when asked, that if you put a cover of any kind that is in direct contact with the trailer you are introducing something that can now rub the trailer no matter how well secured. It also increases the chance to trap humidity/moisture inside. If you have to cover I would only do dome structure that has ventilation and is not touching the trailer or nothing at all. Anyway, snow can't hurt aluminum.
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Old 10-21-2015, 11:19 AM   #8
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2006 22' Interstate
Normal , Illinois
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What everyone else said about not letting a tarp rest and rub on your exterior.

Also, with a tarp or any other kind of cover in areas where you get snow and ice, etc.......when you get brief warm ups or ice and sleet storms, the re freezing causes a mass of frozen snow and ice on the roof of your trailer.

If you want to move your trailer before everything has thoroughly thawed, removing the block of ice and snow on the roof before you can remove the tarp becomes an ordeal.

Ask me how I know this.

Unless you have a shelter, I would just leave it uncovered and your entryway cleared so you can access it.

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Old 10-21-2015, 11:19 AM   #9
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2009 25' FB Flying Cloud
2009 25' FB Flying Cloud
Dade City , Florida
Join Date: Aug 2005
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AS in winter

We live in Maine and put our 2009 Flying Cloud on 2x12 boards and no cover at all. We waxed our trailer 2x a year and have had no problems.
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Old 10-21-2015, 11:32 AM   #10
1 Rivet Member
Montrose , Colorado
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 7
Tires on 2" x 12" lumber?

Interesting discussion regarding the tarp cover. Mine is under a carport, so that is not my question.

In reading these posts, I see several comments about the tires being up on 2" x 12" lumber. Why?

Mine is sitting on gravel under the rv carport. The gravel rarely even gets wet, let alone soaked. Am I missing something regarding tires and the ground?

Thank you in advance for my education.
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Old 10-21-2015, 01:12 PM   #11
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2016 26' Flying Cloud
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1997 21' Excella
Watervliet , Michigan
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 242
I agree with RMKRUM, I would not lay a cover over your AS. Two reason, it will most likely abraid your finish with the wind blowing the tarp. Also the tarp will trap moisture under it. I live in Michigan too!

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Old 10-21-2015, 04:36 PM   #12
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1996 25' Excella
Tillsonburg , Ontario
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 586
No Tarps...learned the hard way with my boat. Flapping tarp, fabric or plastic will scrub the finish. Snow and ice won't hurt the aluminum.

I've done both outside and inside storage. Inside you get mice! Outside you need to keep away from ice on barn roofs, ice on tree branches and dead-fall from trees. So park out in the open, away from things that fall or fly in the wind.
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Old 10-22-2015, 04:19 AM   #13
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1967 17' Caravel
Cadillac , Michigan
Join Date: Jul 2009
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My Caravel stayed out in Michigan winters for 5 years that I've had it and who knows how many before that.
I had a garage built for it. Best thing I could have done.
The parts of my trailer that suffered the most were the plastic roof vents. I had put new on and now they are all cracked. Sun , heat and cold I'm sure contributed to this.
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Old 10-22-2015, 04:53 AM   #14

2003 25' Classic
Zanadude Nebula , WNY
Join Date: Jun 2007
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Red face Please go tarpless....

Sno & cold is rarely a comes & goes.

FWIW....Winter storage on jack stands.


AF #1

"Sticks & stones can break your bones...and hail will dent your Airstream"

So when is this..."old enough to know better" supposed to kick in?
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