Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Winter Put-Away Time

In the Girl Camping world, our least-favorite day of the year is when the trusty trailer has to be put away for winter. (Yes, Virginia, those really are snowflakes.)

Not only does it mean a long wait until spring, this final surrendering to the cold/damp season adds up to a chores list:

* Drain and blow out water lines, if the trailer is self-contained.
* Remove anything else from the trailer----canned goods, sunscreen, what have you----that could freeze and burst.
* Remove bedding, decorative pillows, and probably the curtains, too.
* Look for and seal up any possible entry points for those meeces we hate to pieces. Remove any paper goods or other items that mice could chew up and nest in.
* Put D-Con or other rodent bait in strategic places (if so inclined). Girl Camping Girl's theory: Better safe than sorry, cuz it it only takes one mouse to eat, poop and pee the heck up out of your trailer over a winter's time. And that one's probably pregnant, for more of the same.
* Some folks swear by the use of Bounce dryer sheets, placed inside the trailer, as a rodent deterrent. However, pans this idea as an urban myth, so just sayin'--you might not want to rely on this alone to keep mice from damaging the interior of your trailer.
* Place a moisture-absorber product, like DampRid, in the trailer. Or if you have power access, plug in a dehumidifier (which you will need to check and empty periodically throughout the winter).

GCG's good fortune in having a big roof is moderated by the gravel-on-dirt parking surface. Moisture is constantly rising and hitting the undersides of the trailers. To help combat this, GCG lays and anchors enough large tarps to cover the gravel. This helps the moisture issue considerably.

Minus covered storage, there's also the matter of putting on the RV cover or tarp.

Parking tip in this case, of particular value if your trailer has a flat roof: Block your wheels securely, then jack the front up to a point higher than level, so that rain can run and snow can slide off the back. Otherwise, it'll pool or stack, and eventually could get heavy enough to damage the roof.

If using tarps, tarp carefully down the entire back, so you don't inadvertently end up directing ruffoff right onto at the rear window or other important areas.

If you have any other put-away tips to pass along, please do!


  1. My Boys at Flytecamp told me to open two windows just a crack. Here in Central Oregon it can snow/rain and be really cold and then warm up. This lets the moisture that forms inside from the warm up escape. Works great for me and my girl Trixie the Scotty.
    Cheers All, Jen and Just A Little Charm

    1. Ah yes, cracking a window--I forgot to mention that, thank you!

  2. I bought a boat "turbo dryer" last year. It is made by West Marine and costs around $60-70. It uses about the same amount of electricity as a 90 watt light bulb. It has a gentle fan and puts off a little bit of heat to fight mold, mildew and dampness. I also leave a light on, one guy told me that he always did that in his RV at the beach to fight the mold.

    I also do the mouse bait, the little green sticks. If they eat it they need to go and find water and so far none have come back to the trailer to die. Fran #487

    1. Another great idea on the boat dryer, and on the light. Thanks, Miss Fran!

    2. THANK YOU for this post. My Mister and I bought Scout the Scotty in April. He suffered a massive stroke in July at a Rally and his unable to speak to me. I had know idea how to winterize my baby! THANK YOU! I hope you don't mind I shared your post on my fan page for Scout!

  3. Campers, what brand of trailer cover would you recommend? They start at about $200 and I see very mixed reviews. I don't yet have covered trailer parking here in Austin, Texas. Any suggestions?

    1. Haven't tried enough of them to recommend a brand, but some qualities you want are:

      * Waterproof but breathable fabric. Otherwise, condensation will form under the cover.
      * Zipper-entrance located over the door of the trailer, so you can enter it without having to take the entire cover off.
      * Fabric sturdy enough to not rip in a strong wind.

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