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Winterizing a Horse Trailer

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  • Winterizing a Horse Trailer

    What do you do to winterize your non LQ trailer?

    I plan on taking out the mats, giving the entire interior a good scrubbing, and once everything is dry, pile them in the center of the trailer so air can circulate through the floor boards. Also, removing the battery.

    Anything else I should do? What about the tires? Electrical? Wiring? Greasing anything?

    Should I cover it for the winter? Trailer is all steel.

  • #2
    You might think of putting the mats on the ground, then parking trailer on them. Wood floors, trailer underside does collect moisture from the ground under them if it is dirt. This can show as excess rust on the metal, shorten the life of boards a bit. If you know trailer won't be used for sure, you might check for rental places to store it inside. Our local Fairgrounds will store trailers, boats, stuff, inside the cement floored buildings over winter for a nominal fee.

    Talking about mats, I am presuming you have one-piece solid rubber. The old-fashioned ones with metal holding strips of rubber together would rust faster, if left outside in the weather. If you MUST store the mats inside the trailer, I always hang them over the divider. This lets the wood breathe better, no moisture held against it with the rubber. Make sure that both ends of divider are anchored solidly. A pile of mats is PRETTY heavy to pile on it.

    I always jack up the front end to be higher than rear end, so any rain or wet will drain better. If this is a stock trailer, you might consider covering the slats for storing. Plywood over slats screwed on, or a tarp hung from inside out over the slats and down the wall, prevents wet from blowing into the trailer. Tarp needs to be tied down to prevent flapping in the wind. Again, water prevention adds length to the life of floor if kept dry.

    Are there any leaky spots in the roof? Get some sealer, take care of that problem.

    A good waxing will help the paint stay protected, shed water better. Tires up to pressure? The spare too? Cover them from the sunlight with a couple large plywood pieces over them or tire covers from an RV place. Sunlight kills more trailer tires than driving ever does. Make sure the plug is not collecting water hanging from the hitch. Grease and close the hitch to prevent rust. Remove any tack and bottles from the storage areas. Freezing is not good for them. Blow out the tack area.

    I probably would not cover my trailer. Locally the wind is often severe, and always constant in the winter months. The constantly moving cover can really do a number on a vehicle and it's paint. You can try your best, but there is some part that can't be stretched tight. Moisture collects under a tarp cover, so vehicle is always wet, causing other problems.

    When cleaning out the horse area, take a screwdriver and dig any material out where walls and floor come together. These are the major rot and rust spots in a steel trailer. Sawdust bedding, hay flakes, all pile up there and keep moisture against the wood and metal. You might try blowing the trailer out when you think you got everything. An air compressor, leaf blower, can get a lot of little stuff out of the crannies of a trailer. Mangers are also cleaned well.

    Come spring, have trailer serviced for brakes and lights first thing. Do not just flop the mats back into place. Do a floor inspection for rot in the wood, floor corners and along the walls are your most likely areas. Have a welding shop check the metal if you are unsure of rust damage. Blistering is a bad sign in steel underneath. Get everything done BEFORE you even think of hauling a horse, so he is safe when you load him in that trailer.


    • Original Poster

      Awesome post, thanks! I will printing it out and taking it to the barn this weekend to use as a checklist.