Helpful Tips to Store Your Enclosed Trailer Over Winter

Enclosed Trailers

Not all enclosed trailers are used year round. If you’re a winter sport’s enthusiast you’ll definitely be using your enclosed trailer to transport snowmobiles but if you’re a landscaper you may need to store your trailer until the weather warms up. Fortunately storing a trailer is not a complex procedure but taking the time to do correctly will mean less work when you need to get it back on the road again.

So how do you ensure that your trailer is safely tucked away for the winter?

Safety First – Safety is paramount when working on or storing your enclosed trailer and it is important to do things properly to avoid damaging your trailer or, worse still, injuring yourself. Never lift or support a trailer on any part of the axle or suspension system. Don’t crawl underneath a trailer unless it is properly supported on load-rated jack stands.

Store indoors – Weather is your enclosed trailers greatest enemy so, if at all possible, it is best to store it indoors. Exposure to direct sunlight, rain, and harsh elements can destroy rubber seals, degrade awning fabric, fade your paint job, wreck your tires and even cause leaks in the roof. If a totally enclosed garage is out of the question, then try and find a covered area where your trailer will at least be partially protected from the elements, and invest in a good quality trailer cover.

Take a load off – When your enclosed trailer is going to stand for a few months, jack it up and place the frame on jack stands to take the weight off the tires and suspension. When doing this, always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and never use the axle tube or suspension equalizers as a jack support or standpoint. These points are far less stable than the frame and this can cause damage to the running gear.  

Remove all batteries – Some enclosed trailers have batteries that power the hydraulics and emergency breakaway systems, and disconnecting and removing these power sources is essential to prevent corrosion during long-term storage. It is far quicker and easier to remove and replace the batteries than it is to deal with corrosion damage later. If your trailer is stored outdoors, make sure you store the batteries indoors and charge them every 90 days to ensure they are ready for use when you need them again.

Grease the moving parts – All moving parts, like the trailer hitch, suspension and hinges need to be coated with a suitable lubricant or grease before storage. This is important for all trailers but it is vital if you store your enclosed trailer outdoors.

Wheel bearing care – On oil lubricating hubs, the upper part of the roller bearing isn’t immersed in oil all the time but during regular use, this is not a problem because the bearing rotates in the oil as the wheel turns. Obviously, when the trailer is stored for the winter the wheels aren’t turning, so in order to prolong the bearing life you need to revolve your wheels every two to three weeks. This will keep all of the bearings evenly coated with oil and well protected.

Inspect for rust and corrosion – Before you put your enclosed trailer away for the winter, give it a good once over and check for rust, corrosion, paint chips and scrapes that may require a touch-up. If these areas are left exposed to the elements they will begin to rust.

Special care – Some trailers have a specialized purpose and need specialized care before they’re put away for the winter. Enclosed horse trailers need a good clean before being stored for any length of time.  Sweep out all the old bedding and mess, remove and hose down the mats, hose down the interior and the floor, and only put it all back together when everything is dry.

Storing your enclosed trailer correctly during the winter will increase its lifespan and keep it running smoothly for many years. If you have any questions regarding trailer storage and maintenance, contact McFarlane’s and we will be happy to advise you.