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Old 03-16-2014, 08:42 AM   #1
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outside storage

When I pick up my 21 in Sept sadly I will have to keep it outside for the winter. I would like to here any suggestions for storage. I was thinking of covering the top of it with a plastic tarp. What about protecting the solar panel and other roof stuff? I live in NW Montana so lots of weather and snow. I'm worried about snow and frozen ice the most.
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Old 03-16-2014, 10:15 AM   #2
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I cover my non Escape trailer with an adco cover, the better of the 2 available. Calmark makes them also customized to fit your trailer, I hear they are the better option. Besides covering it I go out and use a step ladder and roof rake to clear off some of the snow when we get over 6" or so or before it's supposed to rain on top of a snow load. You do have to be careful not to cut the cover and must secure it from wind and sharp edges. hile I got 6 years out of the 1st Adco, I'll go with the Caremark when I get my Escape, at least till I can get a metal car port put up for it.
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Old 03-16-2014, 09:57 PM   #3
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If you have the space and budget I think parking the trailer under a solid roof structure that can handle the snow load is best.
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Old 03-16-2014, 10:21 PM   #4
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When I pick up my 21 in Sept sadly I will have to keep it outside for the winter. I would like to here any suggestions for storage. I was thinking of covering the top of it with a plastic tarp. What about protecting the solar panel and other roof stuff? I live in NW Montana so lots of weather and snow. I'm worried about snow and frozen ice the most.
I would go with one of the ones mentioned that are designed as covers. A regular tarp will scratch the surface areas it rides against when the win blows it about etc. Made that mistake once on storing a car. As for the solar panel I used pvc to and pipe foam to make a small frame over it so the sharp edges wouldn't catch and be cut. Though, I did not think of the rain diverter cover for the water heater sticking out and it did rub two spots in the cover I have but they are low down and will take care of it next season so it won't run anymore with a piece of pipe foam insulation on the edge of it. Just something to think about it is after all your call.

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Old 03-17-2014, 11:59 AM   #5
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Folks here build a peaked pole structure to keep the snow and falling limbs from hitting /damaging the roof. If you do that make sure you won't get hit with additional taxes.

Keeping the snow load off the roof is important...so far we've had 225 inches this year! Ugh!
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Old 03-17-2014, 12:51 PM   #6
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We don't get anything like your weather where I live but this might be a reasonable, cost effective (temporary?) hedge for you. Costco sells these canopies for under $200. I had to raise it up around 8 inches -added serious anchoring and cross bracing to protect from wind, plus, threw an additional tarp on top. So far so good.
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Old 03-17-2014, 03:14 PM   #7
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I figured our 19 was worth a decent cover, so I dropped a bit less than $3k on a quality carport (there are LOTS of crappy ones out there, beware). Ours is anchored in concrete and has a 65 lb snow load rating, a bit higher than our house roof. If you ahve the space, and $, I highly recommend one.
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Old 03-17-2014, 09:50 PM   #8
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We don't get anything like your weather where I live but this might be a reasonable, cost effective (temporary?) hedge for you.
I bought something similar for my trailer but never put it up, in part because the instructions with it clearly said it could not handle snow load. If I were to use one, I would be careful to clear the snow off regularly, as having it collapse onto the trailer would not be good.
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Old 03-17-2014, 10:00 PM   #9
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Whatever do you mean?
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Old 03-17-2014, 10:22 PM   #10
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Anything will collapse with enough of a snow load, even the roof on your sticks 'n bricks house. The best thing I ever did for my Scamp was to have a carport built like Bruce's. I know it's added to the gelcoat longevity and my sanity to not need to scrub all the winter moss, mold and slime off. Now it just gets dusty under the carport.
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Old 03-17-2014, 10:33 PM   #11
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Oh I wish we could do something like that carport. A good cover is going to have to suffice unless we move house.
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Old 03-17-2014, 10:39 PM   #12
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Anything will collapse with enough of a snow load, even the roof on your sticks 'n bricks house.
Sure, but my house roof is not a tarp, supported only every five feet. Also, in a normal winter here I do not need to shovel off my roof, but I do need to shovel off the roof of my (Boler) trailer parked in front of it, and I guarantee that tarp-roof would have failed long ago... and how well does it handle being scraped with a shovel?

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The best thing I ever did for my Scamp was to have a carport built like Bruce's. I know it's added to the gelcoat longevity and my sanity to not need to scrub all the winter moss, mold and slime off. Now it just gets dusty under the carport.
Yes, I agree a proper structure would be great, and it doesn't need walls.
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Old 03-17-2014, 11:07 PM   #13
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We have had a number of heavy snows on the carport's roof in the last five winters, the biggest pushing 4' on top in 2011. The carport didn't even wince, with a 65 lb/sq. ft. rating. That said, I'll reiterate my caveat - there is a lot of junky product out there. Research thoroughly before you purchase.

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Old 03-17-2014, 11:29 PM   #14
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I am on my second cover, each one lasting 2-3 years, mind you I live in a land of extremes.
The first one was sold by Escape for $600. The second one I found on-line for around $60, and is about the same quality as the first. The important things are to pad your solar panel, antenna etc (I just use foam padding), and, as mentioned, to remove snow before it accumulates too much or turns to ice. Just as important as protection from the snow is protection from rotting leaves etc. which can stain the trailer.
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Old 03-18-2014, 12:21 AM   #15
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Here is a real newbie question, related to outside storage but not to covering the Escape.

Due to limited space at home we will be parking the Escape at an outside secured storage company. So what happens to the batteries over the winter season? Do we leave them covered but on the tongue? If we did that wouldn't they drain the electrical charge over the winter. Do we bring them to our home - which is a townhouse.

I'm not too keen on having two big batteries in the basement. And wouldn't they drain their charge there also? So what do you do about charging batteries when you want to hit the road when camping season starts?

I've read on this Forum that the only stupid questions are the ones you don't ask. So there you go. A question with my lack of electrical knowledge on full display.

I'm told by Escape that we have to have our build sheet done by July for the 17b's hatch in October. We've been reading the forum pondering things like inverters, solar, how many batteries etc. what kind of tug to buy. All these ?'s predicated by the type of camping we envision. So we appreciate this Forum and anticipate asking more questions as we go through this exciting process.

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Old 03-18-2014, 12:54 AM   #16
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Is the trailer plugged in at your storage facility?
Mine sits in the driveway, plugged in, all winter, with the battery in the battery box and hooked up.

If I were to unplug the trailer for any extended time, I would then disconnect the battery or it would be drained by the propane detector.
You could order a disconnect switch to do the same thing.
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Old 03-18-2014, 01:16 AM   #17
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Is the trailer plugged in at your storage facility?
Mine sits in the driveway, plugged in, all winter, with the battery in the battery box and hooked up.

If I were to unplug the trailer for any extended time, I would then disconnect the battery or it would be drained by the propane detector.
You could order a disconnect switch to do the same thing.
The trailer will be on a storage lot filled with other trailers. No power to the trailers.(by the way, I spotted an Escape parked at the lot we intend to use - in Langley.

So it sounds like we can either get a disconnect switch or just unplug the terminals. Then the batteries, if they were fully charged at the end ofthe season are basically good to go in the spring? Actually, since we are going to put on a solar panel, I suppose I can go out to the trailer a week or so before we want to use the thing and get the solar to charge the batteries.

Thanks Gbaglo. I appreciate your answer. It helps me think through these very basic steps.
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Old 03-18-2014, 01:42 AM   #18
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I don't have solar, but that might be the answer to keeping you batteries topped up. With a switch to shut off any draw from the batteries and solar to keep them charged, you might be OK over one of our dismal grey winters.
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Old 03-18-2014, 01:46 AM   #19
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[QUOTE=Then the batteries, if they were fully charged at the end ofthe season are basically good to go in the spring? .[/QUOTE]

No, that's about the worst thing you can do to a battery.

I kept my boat overseas for years and in the several months I was away from it I left a small solar cell keeping the batteries topped up. They lasted for years. Letting a battery deeply discharge risks it sulfating up and becoming useless. Even at home I have a small solar cell keeping the batteries for my seasonal vehicles topped up. A charged battery is a happy battery.

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Old 03-18-2014, 01:56 AM   #20
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I recently pulled my trailer out of covered storage to go camping. After 23 weeks in storage the dual batteries still had 13.2 volts on board (the batteries were disconnected using the installed switch). In a former life, I used to disconnect the single battery (removed the fuse) on my tent trailer over the winter and had no problem charging it up at the beginning of summer and I had that trailer for eight years.
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