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Trailer Storage - Cold weather

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  • Trailer Storage - Cold weather

    Finally buying an equipment trailer. I live in cold, cold Michigan.

    Wondering what of my PA equipment I can leave locked in the trailer in sub-zero temps between gigs.
    Equipment - We're talkin: Yamaha Club series non-powered speakers/monitors. Yamaha mixer. Yamaha amp/mixer. TC M-One effects unit. Pedals, direct boxes. Lots of cords and cables.

    We get a lot of temp changes in Michigan, freezing/thawing/freezing.

    What is your experience with leaving stuff in your trailer/van?

  • #2
    What is your experience with leaving stuff in your trailer?

    It can get really wet from the trailer sweating on the inside.


    • #3
      I've never done that.

      I have left all my gear in an unheated garage all winter (in NJ) with no ill effects.
      Unless you count being out of tune.

      I usually did warm up the garage with a space heater for an hour or so before practicing though.

      Other than condensation issues, I'd let everything adjust to room temperature for 30-45 minutes before playing.
      "If you don't feel like dancing when you play, neither will anyone else." Bassgeek

      Musicman StingRay 5 Fretless H Piezo / G&L L2500 MIA / Reverend Rumblefish 5XL
      Reverend Rumblefish 5L FS PM
      Epiphone Les Paul
      Mesa Boogie 400+ (backup amp)
      Hughes & Kettner Fortress / QSC PLX 1804 / Bergantino NV412
      Eden WT800B / Peavey 215
      Markbass Little Mark II (backup amp)
      Eden Nemesis ENX-260 / Mesa Boogie PH112 / Mesa Boogie PH112


      • #4
        I leave mine in my trailer. but the only thing i take out is my mixer, that comes in the house when i am done with my jobs ( each job). but as far as my other gear i just leave it in there and it's is fine. I have a cargo trailer , I think a 5 x 8 cargo trailer and my gear is always fine. at the end of winter i always get my gear out and test it out to make sure it made it good through the winter months and it always works.


        • #5
          In my experience, summer tends to be worse than winter because of the higher humidity. Neither is too bad though. The only thing I've really noticed an effect on are steel ball corners and latches on cases, and it's not too serious.

          In the winter, let your stuff adjust to the indoor temperature when you bring it in for the show and let the condensation evaporate, and you should be fine.

          Desiccant packets inside cases and racks would help with the humidity issues, if that's an option for you.

          I don't typically leave guitars, especially acoustics, in the trailer in summer or winter. I know people who do, but I don't. You definitely need to let those acclimate to the indoor temperature when you finally bring them inside.


          • #6
            No problem - I use my equipment all year round in cold and hot weather and leave it in the trailer when it is not being used and have done that for over 20 years now. Never an issue. But, I will not leave guitars out. Unlike electronic gear, they are made of wood with delicate finishes that are very sensitive to temp changes(crack!)

            It can get really wet from the trailer sweating on the inside

            True, but it helps to have a trailer with vents(not on the roof!) My new Car Mate has a nice ventilation system that keeps out the weather.


            • #7
              Do it all the time in Canada with temperatures down to -40 Celcius and have never had an issue with anything. Just let things warm up for a bit before operation once I move them indoors and have never had a problem i could say was caused by storing in a trailer/van/etc.

              Edit: Also used to rehearse in a garage that was not heated in the winter unless we were rehearsing. Turned the heat on half hour before we went in there so we ourselves didnt freeze, but never had any problems with equipment.


              • #8

                True, but it helps to have a trailer with vents(not on the roof!)

                Yes, vents should help some. The problem with sweating seems to be when snow and/or ice is piled on the roof and the sun hits the side of the trailer, warming the air in the trailer. The colder (maybe upwards of 50 degrees colder) snow & ice on the roof temperature is fairly effectively transferred through the roof skin of the trailer, so the saturated vapour pressure is exceeded where the warm/moist interior air contacts the cold roof metal... moisture condenses on the roof and commonly (as I found), it basically rains inside the trailer, on a clear sunny winter day. I'd guess so-long as the vents could keep the inside temperature similar to the roof tin temperature or keep the inside below freezing on clear sunny days, that should diminish or eliminate the possibility for inside roof sweating. Parking the trailer in the shade, so the sun can't get to it on sunny winter days, seems to help too. Removing the snow and ice from the roof before the sun comes out seems to help too. I still tarp my stuff in the trailer... just in-case.


                • #9
                  I have an enclosed trailer, NE Ohio, and haven
                  Hate is like taking poison, hoping the other guy gets sick.

                  How above being tricked are you? Take the test


                  • #10
                    Condensation is only a problem when the air inside the trailer has enough humidity that the water condenses out as the temperature falls below the dew point (100% relative humidity).
                    Former product development engineer: Genz Benz, a KMC Music/FMIC/JAM Industries Company, continuing factory level product support and service for Genz Benz

                    Currently product development engineer: Mesa Boogie


                    • #11
                      Can we sticky this thread?
                      "A performer without techs is standing naked, on a dark stage, and no one can hear them. A tech without a performer... has marketable skills."


                      • #12
                        Can we sticky this thread?

                        I copied it into the Guide for Goobers PA Basics thread.
                        "If you don't know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else" - Yogi Berra, 1925-2015