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Old 08-14-2006, 09:29 AM   #1
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Empty Barn or RV Storage for winter?

Hello all -

New owner here!

While we're enjoying getting out in our new baby and ironing out the wrinkles (black tank sensor not working; electrical issues, etc...) and making newbie mistakes, I've been thinking ahead to winter storage.

I've got the option to store the A/S in a friend's empty barn over the winter, or an RV Storage place, outdoors, no trees overhanging.

My initial inclination is to go with the RV Storage place as it's secure, but it is outdoors. I live in Ottawa, Ontario and we've got lots of snow and lots of low temps in the winter. I've read that Airstreams can handle snow and whatever winter can throw at it (except hail but that's another issue altogether).

Would it be better to be covered and "protected" from the winter or better to be in an RV storage place?

Any insights would be great - thanks!!

Michelle
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Old 08-14-2006, 10:54 AM   #2
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Michelle, If you store outside do not cover the trailer as any wind will scratch the clear coat. I live in Minnesota and we also get heavy snow. As the sun comes out the snow will slide off without any damage. High wind will buffet the cover and that is what scratches the clear coat.

I hope this info. helps,

Pat370
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Old 08-14-2006, 11:05 AM   #3
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I'm inclined to think the indoor would be better but how is the condition of the structure? Hate to hear that heavy snow would cause the roof to collapse. Something to think about.

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Old 08-14-2006, 11:06 AM   #4
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I would opt for inside storage, but be careful to check frequently for mice.

Inside, you do not have the sun beating on the tires and the finish. Also, there is less possibility of a leak starting unnoticed while you are not using the trailer.

Mine is under cover in a secure storage yard with cameras and barbed wire topped fence. The very front gets some morning sun, but the tires and 80% of the clearcoat are never in direct sun. Even so, I have multiple locks on the hitch.
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Old 08-14-2006, 12:30 PM   #5
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The more I think about it the more I think it's a six of one, half dozen of another type of thing. The RV storage costs money (not expensive at all, almost but not quite free) but is under lock and key with video surveillance.

The barn is free, sheltered from the winter conditions but may have critter issues. And if the barn comes tumbling down....

Will probably end up going with the professional storage. The friend with the barn would feel awful if something out of his control were to happen, and that's not a good thing.

Thanks to all!

Michelle
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Old 08-14-2006, 12:55 PM   #6
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Sun is the enemy more than snow

Thatís a mistake Michelle. Find indoor if at all possible.

When I found my 30-year-old beauty at North Gower it was that way because it had been stored in a barn for every Canadian winter of its life.


Sergei
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Old 08-14-2006, 01:08 PM   #7
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We, too, would have a hard time deciding between the secure outdoor vs. the not as secure indoor storage for your precious baby. We would lean toward the covered storage. We currently store our Lucy at a fenced RV facility, but we are planning of putting up a metal building on some property that we have in order to get Lucy under cover during periods of storage.
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Old 08-14-2006, 01:11 PM   #8
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Hi Macfrodge--Indoor storage is real happiness for an A/S. Set lots of mouse traps around, and in the trailer. Advantages: less rust, less ultraviolet on tires, less deterioration of clear coat, less rain water inside, less hail damage.--Frank S
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Old 08-14-2006, 02:18 PM   #9
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Macfrodge -

I would definitely vote for the indoor option. My '92 has only spent one winter outside, and the skin is in excellent condition. I have my own barn, and LOTS of mice. Do a fanatic, obsessive job of sealing up even the tiniest cracks, gaps, or cavities before it goes into the barn. If you have 110 volts available there, you might also try small (4 inch or so) plug-in ultrasonic noise generators, sold at Home Depot. I have one in front and back ends of the trailer interior, and another on the barn wall close to my rear bumper. I've had no mice inside in the last 3 winters - or at least, I've seen no evidence of them. Conversely, I had a family or three in my '72 Overlander that was parked outside (and had a lot of easy mouse-entry points).
The mice are a definite minus, but indoor storage is otherwise very kind to the trailer's exterior.

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Old 08-14-2006, 02:18 PM   #10
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Thanks for the info. I'm very leery of mice and general critter damage - I've done some initial searches on the site and found people putting out dryer sheets (which I'm pretty sure doesn't do much except make everything smell nice and flowery but I could be wrong) to aluminum wool in cracks and crevices....

Maybe I'll do a more thorough search on mice and closely investigate the barn for it's structural integrity.

Cheers!
Michelle
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Old 08-14-2006, 02:22 PM   #11
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Hmmm - ultrasonic noise generators. Never thought of that.

So for the money I'd be spending on outdoor RV storage, I could buy a few little anti-mouse things at Home Depot, and taking the barn owner out for a thank you dinner. Sounds like the barn option is way more fun!

Cheers!
Michelle
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Old 08-14-2006, 02:26 PM   #12
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inside is better!

do they have animals or feed in this barn? if they do you will have mouse problems.

i would take a little exterior damage from the elements vs mice on the inside!

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Old 08-14-2006, 02:29 PM   #13
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Michelle -

I too think the dryer sheets are voodoo at best. I'm not certain that the ultrasonic devices are in fact responsible for my good luck. A painstakingly thorough sealing of all possible mouse entry points may, in itself, do the job. A few lean cats wintering aboard the trailer (if you have heat) would raise the level of trailer defense . . . .

Mark
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Old 08-14-2006, 02:41 PM   #14
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Another thing to consider with indoor storage is there's a lot less chance you'll come out to discover some buffoon has backed into your trailer, as you run the risk with in uncovered, outdoor storage. And those surveillance cameras can't catch everything.
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Old 08-14-2006, 02:59 PM   #15
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Don't equate locked outside storage with video cameras as being mouse free. Every one of my friends who store trailers in such places get mice in their trailers every storage period.

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Old 08-14-2006, 03:30 PM   #16
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The barn is empty, and is currently only housing metal rails - basically it's a storage for stuff that would definitely not attract mice. This is a hobby farm, with some outbuildings on the property. The owner/friend has graciously offered us the use of one of these barns.

So I'm assuming that an empty barn will have less "live action" than one that has livestock heating up and using it. So I suppose if we take extra time to make sure entry points are blocked it should be all right.

Now to find me some hungry cats...!

Cheers,
Michelle
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Old 08-14-2006, 03:53 PM   #17
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Without question, inside is best. I've been fortunate enough to have our unit inside all but one year. Every storm, rarely worry about hail, wind, tree branches, etc. No sun hits it, just collects dust that is easily blown off on the first trip out of "the cave".

When it's rainin' out, snowing, sleet, etc I can still work on the exterior if I need to or other things outside without any issues. Though there is no heat inside,it typically stays warmer than outside, sometimes 30 degrees warmer since it's next to a wall that is heated on the other side.

As long as the barn is sound, I say pull it in the barn and don't think twice about it. If need be put some Decon dishes around the camper. You should have no issues.
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Old 08-14-2006, 06:56 PM   #18
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Barn

Wish I had that offer down here, so hot for my Caravel. Put it in the BARN after a close inspection of the structure. See what the owner has in there and iff it's valuable. Gives you some idea of his feelings for the structure.
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Old 08-14-2006, 07:11 PM   #19
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Barn! You will save the trailer from sun, rain, snow, leaks. I lost my access to a pole barn a year ago, found temporary indoor storage last winter, and am desperately seeking indoor storage now. Think of all the posts here about replacing rotting floors!
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