The second part in our series of articles about preparing your trailer for winter storage looks at.
What to consider when storing your trailer over winter
You may think that not much can be done, if any thing at all to prepare one of our Erdé or Daxara box trailers for winter storage. But you might be surprised if you read on.
Where to store
As all the Erdé and Daxara trailers can be stored on their ends, this increases the number of places the trailer can be stored as to reduces the amount of floor space required. Storing the trailer on its end also helps to prevent flat spotting (see How To Prepare Your Trailer For Winter Storage – Part 1).
Ideally it is best to store the trailer indoors, in a garage or large garden shed as this will keep the trailer out of the elements and most importantly dry. It will also help prevent the premature tyre ageing through reduced exposure to UV radiation from the sun. If you don’t have the space to store your trailer indoors there are a couple of factors to consider when deciding when to store your trailer.
- Look up – Parking a trailer under a tree might initially seem like a good idea, but consider that leaves might not have dropped yet and some trees also release sticky sap on to anything placed under them. Birds also like to use trees to perch and/or roost in and are not fussy where they do their toileting, potentially tarnishing the finish of the trailer and create additional cleaning of the trailer.
- Look down – Is it soft grass or gravel? Is it paving slabs, hard core or asphalt? Consider the hardness of the surface you are going to site the trailer on, especially if there is a chance that the trailer may be required during the winter months as tow vehicles and soft wet ground tend not to mix well. This is more of an issue with the bigger trailers that are harder to manhandle or trailers that have items stored in them.
- Site security – If stored at a property where you live means you will be able to keep an eye on the trailer at most times and this will act as a strong deterrent to would be thieves. As will placing obstacles in the way of the trailer, be it a parked vehicle or gateway if stored in a rear garden.
In addition to the site security mentioned above, you can also place security devices on to the trailer directly. There are lots of different security devices available to buy, these to tend to work by either disabling the coupling head or by disabling the wheels to prevent the trailer being towed away. Alternatively we offer a range of security product available to buy online at our Wilstow website. Prior to buying a security device it is always worth checking with your insurers if they require security to be fitted or have a list of recommended products, as using these may reduce your insurance premium. If they don’t a security device will always act a visual deterrent to most would be thieves.
Tip: A cost free solution, particularly if the trailer is stored on its end is to remove the wheels and store them separately.
Check your electrics
Prior to storing your trailer check the plugs and wiring loom for any wear and tear or damage. If no damage is found the electrical connections should be cleaned and wiped over with petroleum jelly or a penetrating oil such as WD40 or similar. This will help prevent future corrosion leading to lighting issues due to bad electrical contacts between the trailer and tow vehicle.
Tip: While you are doing the above, take advantage of having all the stuff our and clean the socket on any tow vehicles you have too.
If anything needs replacing we can supply replacement plugs or complete wiring looms for any of the Erdé and Daxara trailer regardless of whether they are a current model or not.
Brakes & Prop Stands
When putting a trailer into storage the handbrake (if the trailer is braked) should be off to prevent sticking brakes and should be chocked if if stored on its wheels. Also if trailer is fitted with prop stands or similar, these should be lowered to reduced the load on the tyres.
Grease should be applied to any moving parts on the trailer, including spare wheel supports, tipping mechanisms, latches to prevent these parts corroding and seizing.
If you have used your trailer late in to the year after the council has started gritting the roads is it always worth hosing down and brushing the trailer to remove the corrosive salt.
Tip: Pay particular attention to the underside of the trailer, it might be out of sight but it where most of the salt will collect.
Whole Trailer Covers
If you are planning on storing your trailer outside over the winter there is a temptation to throw any old cover over it to stop the trailer filling up with leaves and water etc. However using ‘any old cover’ can cause you more problems than it solves if the tarpaulin or sheeting you use is not breathable. As this could potentially trap moisture under the cover that will condense on the trailer, increasing the risk of corrosion.
Tip: Source a trailer cover from a trailer or caravan specialist instead of the local builders merchants.