Looking after your horse trailer or horsebox is an essential task so it will have a long and useful lifespan. This has to include preparing it for the long winter months where it will be in storage and idle. It is true that most horses do like the outdoors including during the cold winter months, but the horsebox you use to transport them would prefer to be indoors and out of the inclement weather. Given that you have already insured your horse trailer or horsebox follow the guidelines below to prevent winter damage.
Storage Location for Winter
Where you park your horsebox or trailer for the idle winter months is just as important as how you prep it for that time it is idle. Most people are fully aware that security is very important, but this has to include being secure from the weather and not just thieves.
The shed or garage should have good locks goes without saying. It is also advisable to make sure the weather stays out including drafts. By having a sealed structure, not only will the moisture fail to penetrate it, but also the cold and its drying effect on materials the horsebox has in and on it.
Cold dry weather means low moisture content in the air. This is when the wood dries out and cracks. The tires and other rubber items on the horsebox also can become dry-rotted. Parts that are affected by dry-rot include;
● Brake seals
● Window and windscreen seals
● Rubber grommets
Once dry-rot takes hold the parts will have to be replaced because the cracks are permanent.
Another reason to make sure the shed is sealed is to keep the birds out. Most do not realize it but bird droppings are acidic, according to the RSPB. Over the months the droppings are on your horsebox, the paint will be removed and rust will appear ruining the finish.
Prepping the Horsebox for Winter
With the storage area sealed and secure, your focus should then turn to the horsebox itself. Winterizing it is simple, but does take some work. The following recommendations are suggested.
● Remove the tires and place the horsebox on blocks. This way the tires can be coated or placed in plastic to prevent dry-rot and grease the tire stems so they do not become rusted. If this is not done, more than likely you will have to jack the horsebox up in the spring to replace the ruined tires.
● Lubricate the locking mechanisms. This can be accomplished with WD-40 (as advised here), Vaseline or ball bearing grease. Once in place cover the lock with tape to seal the lubricant in and moisture out.
Cover the entire horsebox with a cover, plastic shield or another item to keep the dust and moisture off the finish.
In the Spring
When you are ready to pull the horsebox out of storage, you will have to remove the cover, remount the tires and wire up the battery, but that is far less than if you just park it and hope it did not age over the winter. A little preventive maintenance in the fall shortens the time in the spring you need to prepare it for the road. This is why looking after your horsebox helps it have a longer and more useful lifespan.