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Long term storage

IH_Fan
Explorer
Explorer
Hi Folks,

Here's the context to my question:

We have a 39' fiver, with all the options, 4 slides, and commercial fridge. Every spring we head to Myrtle Beach for a couple months, then a week or two closer to home (I'm in Ontario, Canada). We have indoor storage for the fiver in a machine shed, insulated with concrete floor, but not heated. During storage, it's out of the elements. Context is done:

With the pandemic, we didn't go anywhere with the fiver and it remained stored. The border closed and local camping this past summer just didn't work for us this year. That means the fiver has been sitting since May 2019. I'm getting nervous of it sitting for so long. I inflated the tires to max (80 psi) to help reduce tire flattening. I also have the tires on mats to avoid direct tire/concrete contact.

I'm wondering if I should pull it out and run all the systems for a day or two, or simply leave it alone. I have not gone this long without using it and hope that the world is somewhat back to normal next spring.

Thoughts???
20 REPLIES 20

Dave_H_M
Explorer
Explorer
I always just leave good enough alone also.

however i do have electricity in the pole barn. So i turn the batt off and keep a tender on the batt.

Why power the whole trailer just to keep the batts charged?

CavemanCharlie
Explorer II
Explorer II
It is to late now but, if I had been you (and I'm not I understand that) I would have taken it camping locally this year during the pandemic just to get out of the house and have fun. That is what I did.

I am just a weekend camper. Partly do to the pandemic and partly due to my brother have rotary cuff surgery I never got far from home this year. Twice I made it up to 70 miles away but, every other weekend I was within 40 miles of my home. We still had fun.

You want to come camping down here and I want to go camping (or move to) Canada.

pasusan
Explorer
Explorer
OP - looks like you now feel comfortable with leaving it alone. I will still add that we have left our trailer alone since the spring of 2018. Not worried about it at all. It is inside like yours - anytime I go in it everything is a-ok. The water lines are blown out so no worries there. We have a smart converter so leave it plugged in 24/7. I do check the battery levels twice a year. Maybe this winter I will run the furnace for fun. 🙂

Susan & Ben [2004 Roadtrek 170]
href="https://sites.google.com/view/pasusan-trips/home" target="_blank">Trip Pics

JimK-NY
Explorer II
Explorer II
I would be concerned about two issues.

First, the batteries. I hope you used a disconnect. If not, the propane detectors and other devices may have drained the batteries. I would check the voltage. If it is less than about 12.0 volts, I would replace the batteries.

Second, I would be concerned about the tires. If stored under weight they can develop flat spots that may not work themselves out. Dry rot is another serious concern. Direct sun will degrade tires but tires stored unused also degrade rapidly due to oxidation and shade or covers do not prevent this. A tire in regular use can last up to about 7 years depending on wear. An unused tire should be replaced after storage of about half that time. When tires are used they flex and heat up. Chemicals inside the tire work to the surface to help prevent oxidation. Covers or tire black do not help. There is some speculation that Aerospace 303 might help if reapplied a few times a year. It is still best to use the tires under load several times a year. If the tires are over 5 years old, I would replace them. If they are younger, inspect carefully for signs of cracking. Drive the RV and check again.

olfarmer
Explorer
Explorer
Our MH has been in closed storage since last fall (2019) when I winterized it. I keep battery tenders on it, I have gotten it out a couple times but never taken it anywhere. I have started the generator and ran the AC a couple times. I am not too worried about it other than starting it and moving it around occasionally.
Ed & Ruby & the 2 cats
2001 Winnebago Brave 30W
7.4 gas Work Horse Chassis
99 Jeep Grand Cherokee

Gdetrailer
Explorer III
Explorer III
IH_Fan wrote:


Thank you VERY much! We are very lucky to have indoor storage that keeps it out of the elements. Moisture is not an issue in the building. The batteries were at the end of their lives and no longer holding a charge by the the time we put it away last summer, so I took them out for replacement this spring, when the virus struck. I'll buy new ones next spring when HOPEFULLY the border is re-opened and we can head south to spend time with our American friends. BTW - we are always on the lookout for mice when we visit the fiver as we do visit it regularly to make sure all is well....and to make sure it's not too lonely!

Many thanks again - it really is appreciated!


Your welcome!

As a side note, in Western PA, because of considerable limestone deposits over the yrs as the deposits run out or get to difficult/costly to reach quite a few of those old mines have been converted to underground storage units.. Big thing for boat/RV and even classic car owners is to put those items to bed for the winter in the underground mines.. Once items are in, the owners do not have access until spring.

Heck one of the largest limestone mines near me houses a lot of Hollywood master films, government and business documents/computer backups and so on.. Have a friend that works as an armed guard at that site.

blofgren
Explorer
Explorer
IH_Fan wrote:
Grit dog wrote:
Gdetrailer wrote:
Leave well enough alone.

It is stored indoors out of sun and possibly extreme cold weather/winds/snow/rain ect.

Tires do not "need" to be isolated from concrete, wood, stone, gravel that is nothing more than an old "wives tale".

As long as your storage does not have extreme moisture concerns, I do not see any reason as to why you would worry about "running" things like furnace, fridge and so on just for making sure..

As far as wheel bearings, they are reasonably sealed from moisture and they should have plenty of grease and you are storing indoors, there is no reason to go to the hassle of hooking up and towing 10 or 20 miles.. They will not go bad or freeze or break sitting.

Tires losing pressure is normal, 1-2 PSI per month is considered normal, simply add pressure to sidewall max rating periodically which you have already done.

You didn't mention the battery, as long as you have a multistage converter, leave it plugged into shore power or disconnect battery and use a manual charger once every three months.

Thats it!

By the way, the 30+ yr old TT I am using sat on a campground lot for 10 yrs before I bought it. All I did was fix a broken brake wire, replace the breakaway switch and add pressure to the crusty cracked tires and towed it home 18 miles that way..


^ This 100%. Batteries and mice would be the only 2 things I'd be concerned about.


Thank you VERY much! We are very lucky to have indoor storage that keeps it out of the elements. Moisture is not an issue in the building. The batteries were at the end of their lives and no longer holding a charge by the the time we put it away last summer, so I took them out for replacement this spring, when the virus struck. I'll buy new ones next spring when HOPEFULLY the border is re-opened and we can head south to spend time with our American friends. BTW - we are always on the lookout for mice when we visit the fiver as we do visit it regularly to make sure all is well....and to make sure it's not too lonely!

Many thanks again - it really is appreciated!


Yep, all is good then. We store ours indoors for 6 months every winter and usually don't look at it until we pick it up. It will be just fine. 🙂
2013 Ram 3500 Megacab DRW Laramie 4x4, 6.7L Cummins, G56, 3.73, Maximum Steel, black lthr, B&W RVK3670 hitch, Retrax, Linex, and a bunch of options incl. cargo camera
2008 Corsair Excella Platinum 34.5 CKTS fifth wheel with winter package & disc brakes

dedmiston
Moderator
Moderator
Grit dog wrote:
dedmiston wrote:
I'd take it for a spin just to fight the pandemic boredom.

I'd use this time to go through it from top to bottom and make a list of anything that needs attention.

I assume you don't have an onboard gen, otherwise you would have been exercising the gen every month.



Reading comprehension. It's a 5TH WHEEL. Not sure there's any satisfaction in "taking it for a spin" however, presuming the OP is retired, unless they're unable to camp for some real reason, there is no reason not to go camping, IMO.

Also zero need to "exercise" the generator every month. Yes if gasoline powered, if the fuel wasn't tended to properly, then running it periodically is advised to keep it from gumming up. However, done is done with that, since it's sat for a year now.
Monthly exercising seems like a rule made up by someone who is bored and looking for projects.
If any of y'all fit the bill, live around here and need to occupy some time, I can help you with that!


Yep. I read the fiver part. I still say that as bored as I am during the pandemic, I'd hitch it up and take it out. That's what we've done with ours. We've found places we can go for the weekend despite the pandemic lockdowns.

And as for firing up the gen every month or so, do you think I just made that up myself? It's pretty standard practice to use it or deal with the consequences.

I know you're peeved at me for deleting a couple of your posts (your fault, not mine), but my reading comprehension is pretty sharp.

2014 RAM 3500 Diesel 4x4 Dually long bed. B&W RVK3600 hitch • 2015 Crossroads Elevation Homestead Toy Hauler ("The Taj Mahauler") • <\br >Toys:

  • 18 Can Am Maverick x3
  • 05 Yamaha WR450
  • 07 Honda CRF250X
  • 05 Honda CRF230
  • 06 Honda CRF230

IH_Fan
Explorer
Explorer
Grit dog wrote:
Gdetrailer wrote:
Leave well enough alone.

It is stored indoors out of sun and possibly extreme cold weather/winds/snow/rain ect.

Tires do not "need" to be isolated from concrete, wood, stone, gravel that is nothing more than an old "wives tale".

As long as your storage does not have extreme moisture concerns, I do not see any reason as to why you would worry about "running" things like furnace, fridge and so on just for making sure..

As far as wheel bearings, they are reasonably sealed from moisture and they should have plenty of grease and you are storing indoors, there is no reason to go to the hassle of hooking up and towing 10 or 20 miles.. They will not go bad or freeze or break sitting.

Tires losing pressure is normal, 1-2 PSI per month is considered normal, simply add pressure to sidewall max rating periodically which you have already done.

You didn't mention the battery, as long as you have a multistage converter, leave it plugged into shore power or disconnect battery and use a manual charger once every three months.

Thats it!

By the way, the 30+ yr old TT I am using sat on a campground lot for 10 yrs before I bought it. All I did was fix a broken brake wire, replace the breakaway switch and add pressure to the crusty cracked tires and towed it home 18 miles that way..


^ This 100%. Batteries and mice would be the only 2 things I'd be concerned about.


Thank you VERY much! We are very lucky to have indoor storage that keeps it out of the elements. Moisture is not an issue in the building. The batteries were at the end of their lives and no longer holding a charge by the the time we put it away last summer, so I took them out for replacement this spring, when the virus struck. I'll buy new ones next spring when HOPEFULLY the border is re-opened and we can head south to spend time with our American friends. BTW - we are always on the lookout for mice when we visit the fiver as we do visit it regularly to make sure all is well....and to make sure it's not too lonely!

Many thanks again - it really is appreciated!

Grit_dog
Nomad III
Nomad III
dedmiston wrote:
I'd take it for a spin just to fight the pandemic boredom.

I'd use this time to go through it from top to bottom and make a list of anything that needs attention.

I assume you don't have an onboard gen, otherwise you would have been exercising the gen every month.



Reading comprehension. It's a 5TH WHEEL. Not sure there's any satisfaction in "taking it for a spin" however, presuming the OP is retired, unless they're unable to camp for some real reason, there is no reason not to go camping, IMO.

Also zero need to "exercise" the generator every month. Yes if gasoline powered, if the fuel wasn't tended to properly, then running it periodically is advised to keep it from gumming up. However, done is done with that, since it's sat for a year now.
Monthly exercising seems like a rule made up by someone who is bored and looking for projects.
If any of y'all fit the bill, live around here and need to occupy some time, I can help you with that!
2016 Ram 2500, MotorOps.ca EFIlive tuned, 5” turbo back, 6" lift on 37s
2017 Heartland Torque T29 - Sold.
Couple of Arctic Fox TCs - Sold

dedmiston
Moderator
Moderator
I'd take it for a spin just to fight the pandemic boredom.

I'd use this time to go through it from top to bottom and make a list of anything that needs attention.

I assume you don't have an onboard gen, otherwise you would have been exercising the gen every month.

If you have the time, go say "hi" to it in storage and make it feel loved.

2014 RAM 3500 Diesel 4x4 Dually long bed. B&W RVK3600 hitch • 2015 Crossroads Elevation Homestead Toy Hauler ("The Taj Mahauler") • <\br >Toys:

  • 18 Can Am Maverick x3
  • 05 Yamaha WR450
  • 07 Honda CRF250X
  • 05 Honda CRF230
  • 06 Honda CRF230

Grit_dog
Nomad III
Nomad III
Gdetrailer wrote:
Leave well enough alone.

It is stored indoors out of sun and possibly extreme cold weather/winds/snow/rain ect.

Tires do not "need" to be isolated from concrete, wood, stone, gravel that is nothing more than an old "wives tale".

As long as your storage does not have extreme moisture concerns, I do not see any reason as to why you would worry about "running" things like furnace, fridge and so on just for making sure..

As far as wheel bearings, they are reasonably sealed from moisture and they should have plenty of grease and you are storing indoors, there is no reason to go to the hassle of hooking up and towing 10 or 20 miles.. They will not go bad or freeze or break sitting.

Tires losing pressure is normal, 1-2 PSI per month is considered normal, simply add pressure to sidewall max rating periodically which you have already done.

You didn't mention the battery, as long as you have a multistage converter, leave it plugged into shore power or disconnect battery and use a manual charger once every three months.

Thats it!

By the way, the 30+ yr old TT I am using sat on a campground lot for 10 yrs before I bought it. All I did was fix a broken brake wire, replace the breakaway switch and add pressure to the crusty cracked tires and towed it home 18 miles that way..


^ This 100%. Batteries and mice would be the only 2 things I'd be concerned about.
2016 Ram 2500, MotorOps.ca EFIlive tuned, 5” turbo back, 6" lift on 37s
2017 Heartland Torque T29 - Sold.
Couple of Arctic Fox TCs - Sold

Grit_dog
Nomad III
Nomad III
Lwiddis wrote:
Yup, get it out and drive around for an hour and run every system. Flush the fresh water tank, water lines and water heater.


And please for Lwiddis sake, post a youtube vid of yourself driving a 5th wheel trailer!
2016 Ram 2500, MotorOps.ca EFIlive tuned, 5” turbo back, 6" lift on 37s
2017 Heartland Torque T29 - Sold.
Couple of Arctic Fox TCs - Sold

Gdetrailer
Explorer III
Explorer III
MFL wrote:
Gdetrailer wrote:


As far as wheel bearings, they are reasonably sealed from moisture and they should have plenty of grease and you are storing indoors, there is no reason to go to the hassle of hooking up and towing 10 or 20 miles.. They will not go bad or freeze or break sitting.


IIRC...you posted pics a while back of your pitted bearings! This is mostly do to sitting long term. You claimed cheap bearings. Yes, some bearings are higher quality than others, but most will serve you well, if you take care of them, and best to use them, not letting sit long term. The tires will also benefit from a good warmup.

I do agree, the bearings will not break or freeze! :S

Jerry


Sorry, you have the wrong person.

Never posted pix of "pitted bearings".

Never claimed anything about "cheap bearings".

There are folks who insist on special name brand bearings, the reality is those more expensive name brand bearings come from the exact place the cheaper bearings come from and a good chance from the SAME factory.. China.

I did once have an issue with bearings on a 4x2 truck, the vehicle manufacturer made a cost savings move to reduce the lip the grease seal touched.. That allowed water to easily make it's way into the bearings and grease. The grease was full of rusty water.. Had noting to do with quality of bearings though.