How do you store a horse trailer? (5 winter storage tips)

In this article, we will discuss: How do you store a horse trailer? We will also share some important tips for the maintenance of a horse trailer, not only during winter but all year round. 

How do you store a horse trailer for winter?

If you want to know how to store a horse trailer for winter, follow our advice:

  1. Park the horse trailer on a smooth, level surface. Always winterize on a level surface to prevent the trailer from moving.
  1. Remove items like horse harnesses, blankets or other items stored in the trailer that are not needed for the trailer. These will generally need cleaning before storing them for the winter.
  1. Thoroughly clean the horse trailer. Use hot water and a cleaner suitable for the materials inside the trailer. Scrub all surfaces as well. Choose a mild detergent with antibacterial properties for cleaning. 

Scrub the entire trailer to remove any built-up dirt, grime or hay that might get into cracks and crevices. Rinse everything and wipe dry with a rag to clean even the smallest cracks. Dry the trailer completely to prevent mold and bacteria buildup.

  1. Close the trailer curtains. Some even suggest putting the foil in windows to protect curtains from UV rays. This is only necessary if you are going to store the trailer outdoors. If the trailer will be stored in the shed, skip the sheet and pull the curtains closed.
  1. Turn off all electrical devices in the trailer. Never leave electrical devices through the winter as it can lead to the risk of draining the battery and causing fire.
  1. Drain the water hoses or other hoses on the trailer. The number and method will be different for each trailer and design. Refer to the trailer user manual for specific instructions to remove the water pipe for draining. Once removed, allow the water in the hose to drain.
  1. Drain the water tanks. Empty the water tanks, then clean them with a mild detergent and a scrub brush. Drain the water tanks by opening all faucets, sewers and low point drains in the trailer. Turn off the water tank by flipping the switch to “Off”. 

Close the drains and the water tank valve, then add non-toxic antifreeze to the system according to the antifreeze directions. Turn the water tank on so the SO circulates antifreeze. Turn off the water tank after a few minutes.

  1. Close windows, doors and vents on the trailer. This prevents moisture buildup and insect damage during the winter months.
  1. Move the trailer to the shed or barn, if possible for winter storage. If not, check on the trailer every few days and remove all snow as soon as possible throughout the winter.

Note: Check the barn or shed for problems like damage before storing the horse trailer. If the barn or shed needs repair, fix it before winter.

Tips for proper maintenance and storage of a horse trailer

First tip: before each trip, cover the floor with wood chips.

A big bag will cost you less than $10 for 40 lbs. This technique is particularly interesting for delicate horses who have difficulty urinating outside their box. From a safety point of view, by absorbing urine immediately you will prevent your horse from slipping on a wet area. 

Another advantage is that urine and dung will not come into direct contact with your floor and will be easier to remove. Remember to remove the soiled plates as soon as you return to the stables. For the more economical: you can store the clean shavings in a large bag for your next trip.

Second tip: always clean the inside of your horse trailer in a car wash.

Nothing like a good blow of Karcher to remove traces of dung and urine (the worst enemy of floors whether they are wood or aluminum).  Be careful though to ventilate the van well on your return and only close it when it is perfectly dry.

Third tip: secure your trailer when you are not using it.

Storing your horse trailer under a cover is beneficial in winter to protect it from humidity and frost, but also in summer to limit the risk of discolouration of bodywork, especially those made of polyester. If you are not lucky enough to have a shelter, it is possible to winterize your trailer at a storage centre. They generally offer plans for 6 months or for the year.

Fourth tip: consider investing in a good trailer cover.

I know we are sort of repeating ourselves, but this is important. If you store your horse trailer in your equestrian club, and it has to spend the year outside, it is worth giving it a small cover against rain, frost, sun … Of course, it is an investment, but you will be able to use the cover for years! 

Fifth tip: regularly maintain your horse trailer. 

Entrusting your horse trailer to a trailer maintenance specialist allows you to travel with peace of mind, as he will check:

  • the general condition of the van and the floor
  • tires and bearings
  • the coupling head
  • welding points, bolts
  • the axle
  • the electrical harness as well as the correct functioning of the lights
  • play in the headstock
  • the state of the license plate
  • the brakes (control, dust removal, adjustment)
  • the condition of the brake cables and the lever
  • and grease the different points that need it.

Remember to write down this service in the trailer’s maintenance log (yes, it does exist ….) or keep these very useful documents in the event of a resale.

Conclusions

As a final tip, winterize your horse trailer in the fall so that it is not damaged and is in working order during the spring when the snow melts. Take care of the trailer, even when it is not in use. 

Proper maintenance results in all year round unless prepared for winter storage of the trailer. Once the trailer is ready for winter, it only needs minor check-ups until spring!

Please let us know if you have any questions or comments on the content. 

FAQ on How do you store a horse trailer?

How to maintain a horse trailer?

It is important to maintain and keep your horse trailer as clean and safe as possible, which can be achieved by fixing any problems you are having right away and regularly checking the trailer for any new faults.

How to customize a horse trailer?

A trailer can be customized for trail riding or horse shows with a few different pieces. There is no limit to what can be done to make towing a better experience for both horse and rider, it all depends on your needs.

Where do you store a horse trailer?

You can store a horse trailer at your home if you have a shed or garage, or you could look for either outdoor or indoor storage centres. 

What are the top 5 trailer brands for horses?

The top 5 trailer brands for horses are:

  • Sundowner;
  • Featherlite;
  • Trials West;
  • Exiss;
  • Titan. 

What are the best horse trailers?

Among the best horse trailers are the Featherlite 7442. They are known for being lightweight and easy to tow. 

References