Tim Heintz provided us with some very practical hurricane advice:
Hurricane Dorian will impact so may of us with vintage trailers. As a native Floridian that has prepared many of my own vintage trailers for such storms I feel it may be helpful to share some helpful tips for preparing your trailer for such an impact….. of course the best course of action is to evacuate with your trailer if possible, PLEASE DO NOT STAY if you are in the general path of such a storm!
- If you are able to store your trailer inside a building make sure it is a sturdy building and even if it seems to be a strong building I would suggest chaining your trailer to a wall column or other anchor point. My personal barn was built for 150mph winds but hurricane Michael blew the large front doors out and my 1968 Scotty was blown completely through my barn and out the back wall, simply chaining the trailer to a column would have reduced a lot of the trailer damage.
- If your trailer must stay outside position it as close to your house or building as possible on the side of the structure that will experience the least amount of wind. Also lower the front of the trailer all the way to the ground to lower the center of gravity and encourage water to flow off the roof as quickly as possible
- Move your trailer out from under any trees, even the largest and strongest trees will come down!
- If you have time install hurricane tie downs into the ground (like used in mobile homes) so you have ground points you can attach chains to and fasten chains to the front hitch and around the axle… this can help keep the trailer from blowing over.
- If you have scissor jacks attached to the bottom of your trailer, lower them to the ground after lowing the front hitch all the way down on the front for additional perimeter support.
- If you have to leave your trailer exposed in a field, try to tie it down to the ground like mentioned above while also lowering the front, then point the front of the trailer into the wind, and place stability jacks or blocks under the edge of the trailer to keep it from rocking and working loose from any tie downs.
- Do not try to tarp your trailer… with 100+mph winds it will only do more harm to your trailer!.
- If you have jealous windows and/or awning windows tape the edges of the glass/framed to help seal blowing rain out.
- One of the best things you can buy before the storm hits is a large 9’ wide roll of Tyvek (or other brand of water proof roof barrier) as it is much better to cover a vintage trailer after the storm that has been damaged. Tarps are all very large and square but a 9’ wide roll of roof barrier is just as good and much easier to roll down the roof of a trailer and hang down the side just enough to tape it into place for a temporary water proof cover to protect your trailer after it has been storm damaged…. the ‘tyvek’ or other roof barrier brand specific tape works best for attaching the roof covering to the aluminum sides. This same material can be used to cover broken windows.
- If it comes down to saving yourself or your trailer, GET OUT! Your life is much more important than any trailer! Do not think you can stay in place and take care of your property/vintage trailer during the storm. Once the storm starts you are stuck and although surviving such a storm can be extremely traumatizing the after effects for the next several days can sometimes be even worse…. so prepare the best you can now, get out, and hope for the best! (Photos below are my own personal trailers after Hurricane Michael last October with 165mph winds and gust up to 208mph!)