Winter Storage in the Pacific Northwest - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 10-21-2017, 05:52 PM   #1
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Winter Storage in the Pacific Northwest

In the past I've kind of winged it with a few RV's with mixed results of leaks, mildew, cooked batteries, tarp damage, black streaks, and just crud growing everywhere. Three to four months of almost constant rain or high humidity takes its toll and makes for a lot of work in the spring. Covered storage wasn't always an option for older RVs, too far away, or just expensive.

Now that we have a carport to store our new to us 2012 Escape I want to get it right. Our Escape is well protected from rain downpours except for wind-driven rain which can place a fine mist of moisture everywhere. From my experience of living here for almost 30 years, that without heat, almost anything slightly dirty will mildew. We also have access to 15 amp shore power and also see the camper as an emergency shelter or an escape pod when the big earthquake hits the NW.

Here's the plan:

-typical water and waste system winterizing
-keep the roof vents open and a protected window cracked open for air circulation
-check and/or seal all undercarriage openings to prevent rodents from moving in.
-open all cabinet doors for air circulation
-remove all linens, bedding, and cushions
-turn off propane at the tanks
-plug into shore power once a month to keep batteries charged and turn off the battery isolation switch
-lube all keyed locks and stabilizer jacks (they get very rusty)
-complete a good interior cleaning to reduce the chance of mold

Did I miss anything? Is any of this overkill? Some have recommended using a dehumidifier, but then I would have to close all the vents and install a drain through the floor and the batteries might overcharge from constant shore power... It's really nice that our camper smells nice and clean and doesn't have that musty smell that so many have around here.

Looking forward to hearing how others deal with our wet winters.
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Old 10-21-2017, 05:59 PM   #2
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You can leave the trailer closed and plugged in with a dehumidifier that can drain to your gray tank which you can leave open with a hose adapter to drain outside. There is a main battery switch that cut's off all power to battery except for solar. Assuming you do not have solar thus you can isolate the batteries and just remember to switch them on monthly to charge for a couple of days.
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Old 10-21-2017, 06:07 PM   #3
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In addition to open cupboards, leave fridge door open a couple inches. I place an oven mitt in the top door shelf to hold it open.
I close mine up and use two Dri-Z-Air containers ( checked and emptied every couple of weeks ). From time to time, I open a vent and run an electric heater.
Cushions and bedding propped up for air circulation ( no room in my house for more stuff ).
Remove canned and bottled foods that could freeze.
My trailer lives in the driveway, under a cedar, plugged in 24/7.
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Old 10-21-2017, 07:28 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DMPortland View Post

Is any of this overkill?
Yup.

I use a 60 watt bulb in a tomato juice can and leave the overhead vent cracked open. Trailer is outside in the rain forest covered by a Camping World cover.

I have an independent 110 volt cord to power the light bulb. The rest of the electrical system is off.

I find that the light bulb makes enough of a convection current that it moves the damp air on the floor up and out. It must because our trailer is left with all bed covers etc. in place and there's never been a problem. I used the same thing on boats for years without any mildew issues.

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Old 10-21-2017, 07:43 PM   #5
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Additionally, I keep an electric baseboard heater onboard throughout the winter . . . keeps the interior temp around 40-43 degrees F. No condensation, mold or freezing interior.
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Old 10-21-2017, 08:08 PM   #6
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Near Portland (Hillsboro) and I stay plugged in year round. Trailer is under a roof next to my shop - in rainy season I use a small electric dehumidifier in the sink; I drilled a hole in the dehumidifier tank so it drains into the gray tank, and I leave the gray dump valve cracked enough that water gets out but mice don't get in.

I do not "winterize" other than blow out the lines if a hard freeze is coming as we camp year round.
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Old 10-21-2017, 11:45 PM   #7
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Along this line of 'winterizing' questions ... Here we are in 'sunny' California. Last winter, we had enough rain to make Noah proud and our Escape was outside, sans cover. Because we were dealing with water issues on our property, we forgot to plug in a dehumidifier in the trailer and ended up with a little mold behind the dinette cushions (yuck, but easily cleaned up). In addition, the uber-wet winter was followed by a scorching hot Spring/Summer in which our trailer suffered a bit of oxidation on the top and back (yep, didn't get the wax on in time). Our question now is ... after washing the trailer, should we cover it with the Camping World cover for the winter (just to avoid any more sun until we can polish in the Spring) or would it be best to leave the cover off? The cover is not waterproof which is good/bad in that it doesn't stop the water coming through but doesn't really trap moisture either. Opinions??
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Old 12-13-2017, 05:29 AM   #8
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Good suggestions. We also run a small electric heater that has its own thermostat.
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Old 12-20-2017, 03:09 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DMPortland View Post
...
-check and/or seal all undercarriage openings to prevent rodents from moving in.
....
-lube all keyed locks and stabilizer jacks (they get very rusty)...
(1) With undercarriage foam, are there openings to tend to typically?
(2) What do folks use to lubricate the stabilizer jacks?

Thanks - Susan
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Old 12-20-2017, 04:46 PM   #10
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I like using paraffin as in candle wax on my stabilizer jack threads. Its non greasy and will not pick up sand and dirt. Works the best and the price is right. For locks, the industry standard is graphite powder or frequently I use spray Tri-Flo ... has Teflon in it for the lube .... also wont attract dirt.

Tom
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Old 12-20-2017, 07:46 PM   #11
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Tri Flow

I am a big fan of a spray lubricant called Tri Flow. It is a polymer based product that does not easily break down, lubricates well and does not attract dust and get gummy. If whatever I’m lubricating already has a buildup of dirt and grease I clean it with a solvent. Carburetor cleaner, Hoppes solvent, etc. Once clean and towered dry with a paper shop towel, spray down and you’re set for quite a while. Gears, chains, threaded jack shafts, cables, fishing reels, etc. one can lasts a long time. With the exception of the spinning wheels,’not much moves very fast in the exterior of the Escape so sling off is not a problem. Ever run a two man chainsaw and get to be the helper on the bar end? Nasty.
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Old 12-20-2017, 09:54 PM   #12
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I use a bicycle chain lubricant which is very similar to tri-flow. Much cleaner than a big glob of chassis lube.
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Old 12-21-2017, 05:39 PM   #13
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We have had our 19 since May of 2012. It is stored, winterized, outdoors for at least 6 months every winter. We take out all cloth items but leave in the mattress and cushions. The trailer is all closed up and not covered. The solar panel keeps the batteries charged so they don't freeze. We clean very well and then do not visit again until spring. We have not had any mould or mildew.
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Old 12-21-2017, 06:51 PM   #14
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I leave most of my things in the trailer but its by my house and I keep a dehumidifier running and check it weekly. I leave the bathroom door open also the refrigerator doors ajar.
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Old 12-22-2017, 01:08 AM   #15
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We also live in the Pacific North West. With our previous trailer we didn't have success battling mold or mildew by leaving our windows open for air flow. With our Escape we have a cover, use a Stor-Dry humidity control device plus a Dri-Z Air moisture absorption device and have no issues with humidity. I empty the Dri-Z Air of the collected moisture twice over the 5 months we have the trailer sealed up tight.

https://www.caframolifestylesolution...rine/stor-dry/

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Old 12-22-2017, 07:07 PM   #16
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Quote:
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We also live in the Pacific North West. With our previous trailer we didn't have success battling mold or mildew by leaving our windows open for air flow. With our Escape we have a cover, use a Stor-Dry humidity control device plus a Dri-Z Air moisture absorption device and have no issues with humidity. I empty the Dri-Z Air of the collected moisture twice over the 5 months we have the trailer sealed up tight.

https://www.caframolifestylesolution...rine/stor-dry/

Bob K
Likewise Bob. Two Dri-Z-Air desiccant containers and sealed up tight. Empty them every 4 to 5 weeks. Cupboard doors are all open as well as the bench storage area's. I always empty the trailer of all upholstery and contents before winter storage. Check all surfaces and cupboard interiors when I replenish the desiccant, always completely dry. Never had an issue over the last 3 years I have lived in the PNW.
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