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Preparing to Store Your Trailer for Winter

Thourough cleaning before storage can lengthen trailer life.

  • Author: canpubco
  • Number of views: 1110
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Preparing to Store Your Trailer for Winter
Then there are USRider members in Florida and other southern states where winter is their ride and show season.any make the mistake of unhooking from their trailer and leaving it for the winter – Out of sight, out of mind. What horse owners need to remember is that your trailer provides a safe way for your horses to go to and from horse shows, veterinary appointments, trail rides, etc. They represent a significant investment and should be well maintained.

 

With help from Neva Kittrell Scheve, and her husband Tom, author of The Complete Guide to Buying, Maintaining, and Servicing a Horse Trailer and designers/owners of EquiSpirit Trailers, here are some helpful tips to keep your trailer in top shape throughout the winter.

•  Remove the emergency breakaway battery and store inside, out of the weather. Charge the battery at least every 90 days. If the trailer has an additional RV battery (a popular option) remove and store battery properly and charge before re-installing it when putting the trailer back into use.
•  Inflate the tires to the maximum psi and if stored outside, cover the tires with vinyl tire coverings that are easily removed in case you need to activate your trailer quickly in an emergency. If the tires are over six years old, now is a good time to replace them. Whether the tires have good tread or not, the integrity of the tire changes, glues weaken, etc. There is a build date on the tire that states the week and year the tire was manufactured. For more information visit www.tirerack.com.

•  Lubricate mechanical moving parts, such as the hitch and suspension parts that are exposed to the weather. Leave some windows partly open so moisture doesn’t build up in the tack or stall area, causing mildew and mold. Since it will be out of service for a while, it’s a good time to have the bearings checked and greased, the brakes checked and adjusted, and the lights, turn signals, and electric brakes inspected.

 

Make a point to wash and clean your trailer’s interior and exterior, and wax all painted areas before storing
Along with these recommendations, it’s also a good idea to store your trailer inside, out of the elements if possible. If you do not have a place, you may want to consider a cover. If so, consider a cover that will shed water but also “breathe” so that condensation doesn’t build up. A good cover will protect it from sun and wind.

Hinges and jack stands should be oiled or greased. Make a point to wash and clean your trailer’s interior and exterior, and wax all painted areas before storing. Remove any floor mats before cleaning. If the floor is aluminum, inspect it thoroughly for corrosion – alkaline in urine and manure is very harmful to aluminum floors. If the aluminum floor has a covering that is not removable such as Rhino Lining, check the underneath for signs of corrosion. If it has a wood floor, check for soft spots or rotting.

 

When the time comes to store your trailer for the off-season, take stock. It’s a good time to evaluate worn and broken items that need replacing, such as latches, tire covers, running lights, turn signals, etc. Try and get those repairs, parts, and possible upgrades done before show season comes in order to beat the rush.

USRider – in its 15th year of operation – is the only company to provide emergency roadside assistance for horse owners. Through the Equestrian Motor Plan, USRider provides nationwide roadside assistance and towing services along with other travel-related benefits to its Members. The plan includes standard features such as flat-tire repair, battery assistance, lockout services, and roadside repairs for tow vehicles and trailers with horses, plus towing up to 100 miles.  As an additional service, USRider maintains a national database that includes emergency stabling, veterinary and farrier referrals.

 

For more information about the USRider Equestrian Motor Plan, visit www.usrider.org online or call (800) 844-1409. For additional safety and travel tips, visit the Equine Travel Safety Area on the USRider website at www.usrider.org.
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