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Old 10-13-2009, 10:00 AM   #1
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Nancy G.
Winterizing question

This is our first year winterizing a TT--previously we had a popup. Our TT will be stored in a garage/barn setup with no door on the front. Previously our popup was stored next to our house. I always took the mattresses and cushions out to prevent rodent damage and put Bounce everywhere. Things were always fine except for a musty smell in the spring. Will that happen with our TT and if so--how can we prevent it??

Nancy
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Old 10-13-2009, 10:12 AM   #2
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Nancy,

A musty odor could be a sign of a small leak.. or not..

That said, of course anytime a room/house/whatever is locked up tight for a while you get that stale odor. Add in the temperature and humidity changes and there is that slight musty odor as well.

I purchased one of these damp rid containers last year and kept it in the trailer over the winter. It picked up maybe a pint of water from November - March and there was no musty odor in the trailer. Now that was the first winter we had it so I dont really have experience without the damp rid in there.

Anyway, here's the unit I bought:

http://shop.wmbarr.com/store/p-17-ea...-per-case.aspx

I paid about $20 at home depot.

- Frank
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Old 10-13-2009, 10:44 AM   #3
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Re: Winterizing question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy G.
This is our first year winterizing a TT--previously we had a popup. Our TT will be stored in a garage/barn setup with no door on the front. Previously our popup was stored next to our house. I always took the mattresses and cushions out to prevent rodent damage and put Bounce everywhere. Things were always fine except for a musty smell in the spring. Will that happen with our TT and if so--how can we prevent it??
Nancy, our Sunline is now 10 years old. We store it outdoors next to our home in the country. Mice in particular are a continuous problem for us both in the house and in the trailer. We deal with that by leaving D-Con mouse baits in the trailer and our basement.

In the trailer I place baits where they can not be reached by our dog. In the kitchen, I pull a bottom drawer and place a bait on the floor inside the cabinet. Same for the bathroom, under the bed storage area, and one in the compartment where the shore line is stored. Basically, I put them where ever mice might first explore if they enter the trailer at all.

I also place fresh ant traps in the same locations several times a year. We maintain mouse and ant control in the trailer year 'round.

Since we started using mouse and ant baits, we've had zero problems with either. D-Con forces the mice to seek water - makes 'em hugely thirsty. So unless you leave an open water supply in the trailer, they will exit looking for water. So no mouse carcasses to deal with, at least in the trailer.

Our trailer has Maxxi Vent Covers on all three roof vents so I leave the vents wide open. Since you have sheltered storage, you can leave the vents open even if you don't have the Maxxi's. That will take care of most, if not all, of the musty odor problem. That occurs when the TT is completely closed up. Ventilate it and the problem disappears.

We leave all bedding and cushions in the trailer year 'round and have never had an odor problem.

I pull all the drawers out and place them on the bed. That way, I can see into most of the normally hidden spaces looking for mouse droppings or traces of ants. The first year we had the trailer, I left the drawers in place, and the mice nested in several of them. Cleaning up that mess was not a chore I ever want to do again. Even if they don't nest in a drawer, they will explore them. If the drawers are out in the open, the mice (if they get past the baits) seem to largely ignore them. I think they like dark, enclosed spaces best.

Find a way to prop your refrigerator door open just a couple of inches. I use an improvised door stop so that the doors can not close, and then bungie the door to the shelves in the fridge so that they don't swing open all the way. If you leave the fridge closed up, it will be full of mold and mildew come spring time. This is a good thing to do anytime you let the trailer sit for more than a few weeks unused.

Make sure you put enough RV antifreeze into every drain trap so that the traps continue to block odors from the tanks backing up into the trailer. After I fill the traps, I place the drain plugs in the drains. Helps prevent evaporation of the antifreeze and blocks any stray odors.

Some other helpful ideas:
Don't leave any food in the trailer anywhere.
Give the kitchen area an extra good cleaning. (Eliminates stray food residue.)
Put a 1/2" or so of RV antifreeze in the toilet. Keeps the seal from drying out and prevents stray foul odors from backing up into the trailer.
Leave interior doors wide open to allow air circulation throughout the TT.
I leave all interior compartment doors open, too.

If you decide to store the trailer with some kind of air freshener in it, pick something you really like because over several months it will penetrate everywhere. I like the ones made especially for closets myself.

That should help a bit....
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Old 10-13-2009, 11:46 AM   #4
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Nancy, Search on "winterizing" (without the quotes). There have been several good discussions on different ways to winterize.

This was one good one:

http://www.sunlineclub.com/forums/ph...ht=winterizing

Also, here is the link to the Sunline Winterizing Guide in the "Files" Section:

http://www.sunlineclub.com/docs/Sunl...izingGuide.pdf

Mack
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Old 10-14-2009, 04:45 PM   #5
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Thanks everyone--I bet the musty smell in the popup was because it was so closed up--shouldn't happen in the TT. I will opt for mouse traps and ant repellent also, in addition to Bounce. Does everyone agree that Bounce works as well as mothballs? I still have that smell in our TT from the previous owner!

We are also getting a little nervous about the weather here in the great northeast--planning to go to Mystic, CT the week of Oct. 24th--hope we make it without blowing our lines! Maybe we'll try some of those "in between" tips. How does the propane heater protect the water lines and not an electric portable heater?

Nancy
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Old 10-14-2009, 05:29 PM   #6
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I would avoid mothballs if at all possible. The odor is very intense after 4 or 5 months, is difficult to get rid of, and can make some folks ill.

A lot of people swear by the Bounce sheets. I've never used them. The mouse baits and ant traps have kept our trailer pest free for 9 years.

The onboard propane heater circulates warm air throughout the trailer via its ducting. An electric heater can only put out warm air from itself.

It takes an extended freeze down to low to mid 20's to cause damage to the waterlines in your trailer. Enough heat from the heater will radiate through to the lines to prevent damage at temps near or just below freezing. If you encounter really cold weather unexpectedly, open as many interior compartments as possible including removing some of the kitchen drawers. Heat will circulate into those spaces much quicker. It only has to keep the pipes above freezing by just a few degrees to prevent damage. The trailer is not terribly efficient when it comes to keeping the cold out and by the same reasoning, it will let heat radiate out just as well. Keep the pipes at 35 or 40 degrees when the interior is 72 and no freeze damage.

If all else fails, completely drain the system including the water heater. Open the low point valves and open all faucets, both hot and cold. If you have the capability, blow out the water lines and the drain traps in the sinks and shower. Don't forget the outside shower. Drain the hot water heater and fresh water tank. Leave those drains open. When they are completely drained, cycle the water pump for just a few seconds to reduce or eliminate the amount of water trapped in the pump mechanism.

Freezing damages pipes and toilets and such because the water expands with no place to go. If you give it a place to go by even getting the system 75 or 80% empty, the likelyhood of freeze damage is minimal. If you can blow it out as well, then you are way over in the safe zone.
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