For many families, their first recreation vehicle purchase is a tent trailer, also known as a fold down trailer. Economical, fun, and comfortable, tent trailers are a luxurious step up from sleeping on the ground. They are easy to tow, easy to set up and take down, and easy to store. To make sure you get the longest life out of your tent trailer, there are some things you must do to maintain them.
The most important thing you can do for your tent trailer is to make sure it’s dry before you fold it down. If it is stored wet for any length of time, mildew and rot can set in. If you must put it away wet while you are traveling, open it up and dry it thoroughly as soon as practical. Watch for condensation too, because even if it’s not actually raining, your tent trailer can get damp.
Clean the outside of your tent trailer regularly. Always use a mild detergent and a soft bristle brush, and rinse thoroughly to remove all soap residue. Harsh detergents, soaps, solvents and aerosol cleaners can remove the water repellent finish of your fabric. Cleaning off bird droppings, tree sap and dirt right away will keep your tent trailer looking new, and improve the resale value of your trailer. After washing and rinsing, check the interior for any leakage, especially around the roof vents, corner moldings, exterior doors and compartments. If you do find any leaks, reseal the area right away before you forget where it is.
Be very careful using insect repellent, hair sprays and sun tan lotions around the fabric of your tent trailer. An agent used in most of them will damage or destroy water repellent finishes. Step well away from your trailer before you spray or slap on the lotion, and watch what you touch or lean against after you’ve protected yourself. If there is accidental contact, apply something like Scotch Guard Fabric Protector to the affected area as soon as possible to restore the water repellent finish.
When you are storing your trailer for any length of time it’s worthwhile to block the unit up to relieve the weight on the wheels and tires. If you are storing it outside, remove the cushions, mattresses and curtains, and try not to park it under any trees. Baked on tree sap is very difficult to remove, and can certainly affect the finish of your unit. Crank the tongue jack up so that the front of the trailer is higher than the rear. This allows water to run off it more easily.
In warm weather, don’t cover the top with a tarp, because heat build-up can warp the road cover of the trailer. In the winter, however, it is a good idea to cover the closed trailer loosely with a tarp to help stop any water leakage. Remember to check your tent trailer once a month during the off season. Open it up and let it air out for a couple of hours, as long as it won’t get wet while you are doing it. Leaks can develop while it is in storage, and small animals can decide to make it their winter’s nest. By checking on it monthly, you can stop small problems before they become big ones.
For many people tent trailers are the best of both worlds – comfortable and convenient but still close to the outdoors. Take care of your tent trailer and it will give you many years of enjoyment.
Article found here: http://www.rvhotlinecanada.com/Tent-Trailer-Care.asp?loc=rv-resources
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