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Winterizing your horse trailer

 Following these pointers for horse trailers with living quarters is especially important for maintaining your trailer for a long-lasting life and higher resale value.

 

Water Systems

If the fresh water storage tank is located inside the coach, the normal heating of the coach during cold weather should be enough to insure its not freezing. In severe cold weather however, it is wise to monitor the water temperature in the tank, and take appropriate steps to drain and winterize if necessary. In severe cold it may be necessary to open lower cabinet doors at night in both the bath and kitchen areas to keep warmer air circulating around water fixtures.

If you are going to have to leave the coach unheated for any length of time in severe cold conditions, it is best not to keep water in the fresh tank. It may work best to carry cooking and drinking water with you in plastic jugs instead. 

If you will be using your horse trailer when temperatures fall below the freezing level, it will be necessary to protect the drainage system components from damage by the addition of an approved antifreeze solution as outlined in the product instructions. Drain lines which are exposed outside the horse trailer are especially susceptible to freezing, and steps should be taken to protect them from damage.

Food Storage

In the event the horse trailer is left for a period of time without the furnace in operation, canned goods and other foods packed in water should be stored as high as possible, since heat rises. They may also be stored in the refrigerator as insulation against the cold. Store dry foods and other items that are not damaged by freezing in the lower storage areas.

LP Gas System

Make sure to use an LP gas that will vaporize properly in colder temperatures. Check with your LP gas representative for the proper fuel, and reread the information on LP gas selection in the LP Gas section of the owner's manual.

Heating

Use ONLY the furnace to heat the horse trailer. It is properly vented to the outside. NEVER USE THE RANGE FOR HEATING – ASPHYXIATION AND DEATH COULD RESULT. 

Condensation

Cooking produces large amounts of moisture, not just as steam from pots and pans, but also as a product of combustion. Make sure to use the exhaust vents and open a window slightly to control the humidity. At night, leave a roof vent and/or a window slightly open.

Storage Preparation

When storing your horse trailer for winter (or other extreme conditions), certain precautions need to be taken to protect it until you open it again for use. Make sure to talk with your local dealer concerning any special requirements for storage in your particular geographic area. The following steps are general, and your dealer can help you choose those that are most appropriate for your needs.

Make sure to park the horse trailer on a level surface.

Clean the horse trailer thoroughly, both inside and out, including the refrigerator.

Make sure all electrical switches and appliances are turned off.

Close all the drapes and curtains, and protect the curtains from sun fading by placing foil or paper between the windows and screen.

Make sure all windows, doors, and vents are closed securely. Cover exterior vents on appliances to prevent moisture and insects from entering during storage.

Check the interior of the horse trailer periodically while in storage to make sure leaks have not developed or condensation formed that can cause damage to interior components. Condensation can most readily be observed as moisture accumulation on windows and mirrors. To reduce condensation, make sure to air the horse trailer out occasionally during storage.

Be sure that the battery has the proper electrolyte level and that it is fully charged (specific gravity of 1.260). A discharged battery will freeze and crack the case, ruining the battery. In storage, a battery will lose charge gradually over a 30 to 45 day period, even when disconnected by use of the battery disconnect switch. We recommend that the batteries be checked at least once a month for charge. If the charge is 80% (specific gravity of 1.235) or less, it must be recharged. You may wish to remove the batteries from the horse trailer and store them in a heated area. Even when warm, the battery charge level must still be maintained. A warm battery accepts charge much more readily however, than a cold one. Make sure to follow precautions associated with battery care and maintenance outlined in the electrical section of your owner's manual.

If snow accumulates on the horse trailer, try to remove it as often as you can.

A primary concern when winterizing the horse trailer is to make sure the water systems are protected against damage caused by freezing. These steps are a general water system winterizing procedure. Please see your owner's manual and ask your dealer for instructions suitable to your geographic area.

If you intend to store your horse trailer through periods of sub-freezing weather in an unheated environment, it will be necessary to winterize the water system. Damage to water system components will result if the proper winterization steps are not taken.

Level the unit for good system drainage.

Drain the waste water tanks.

Turn the water pump switch off.

Open all faucets and the water heater drain.

Open low point drains on the water lines.

Drain the fresh water tank.

When all lines are drained, close water tank valves, water heater drain, and low point drains on water lines.

Fill the fresh water tank with a non-toxic antifreeze solution per the product directions.

Turn on the water pump, and allow the winterizing solution to circulate and fill the system.

Close each faucet as solution flows freely from it. This also includes the water line to the toilet.

Turn off the water pump.

 

Be sure to read your owner's manual and follow any additional information on storage, cleaning, and winterizing procedures.

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