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Old 07-10-2010, 08:26 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2010
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Leaving A Park Trailer in the Desert Year Around ...a bad idea?

Hi. I知 considering purchasing a Forest River park trailer or sometimes called a destination trailer (either a Salem Villa or Wildwood Lodge) to keep in an RV park in the desert year around. I値l be living in it during the winter and occasionally visiting for short stays in the summer.

However, I知 worried about the damage that will occur keeping a trailer in the desert year around and thinking it may be better to spend a bit more and get a park model instead.

I知 really worried about the fact that these Forest River trailers (or any trailer, not just Forest River), will be completely trashed and worthless in a few years because of the intense sun, UV conditions, and extreme dryness in Pahrump NV (it痴 one of the driest places in the country along with Yuma). Even though there are a lot of people living in travel trailers, fifth-wheels and motorhomes in this location, I知 still wondering if this is a prudent thing to do.

I致e heard that rubber roofs will rapidly deteriorate if not regularly applied with some UV-blocking product like Protect All, 303, etc. and that the caulking can dry up and need replacing frequently. I also have been told by several that exterior decals will peel off and look really ugly in no time.

I know the interior will need special precautions taken when leaving it in the summer but I知 not as worried about that. Although I still have a few questions on that too like do I leave the a/c thermostat on 90 degrees or so? or unplug the power completely and just crack a roof vent slightly and leave buckets of water so there will be a bit of humidity created. In my stick house, I left the a/c on about 92 degrees when I left in the summer.

So, my questions to you folks is if anybody leaves an RV in the desert all year long and if so, any helpful advice you can give me? I've owned a motorhome for a number of years but never have had a trailer.

Is a Forest River-made RV as good as any manufacturer pertaining to this type of use or is there some other manufacturer I should consider? Somebody told me to use a custom builder so I could specify a fiberglass roof and better insulation in general for extreme conditions. Will a rubber roof be ok?



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Old 07-10-2010, 08:36 PM   #2
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Location: Enumclaw, WA
Posts: 2,617
Anything and I mean ANYTHING left in the desert for extended periods of time will deteriorate terribly. Our first rig (Fleetwood) had spent the beginning of it's life in Yuma, AZ (about 3 years) and when we got it the stripes on the side were shrunk, faded and falling off, anything plastic on the inside was brittle and falling apart and all the caulking on the roof had shrunk and allowed lots of leaking until I could re caulk it. The roof on the rig was a rubber roof (EPDM) and faired fairly well but they tend to cause black streaks down the side of the rig that are a real pain to clean. I absolutely hate rubber roofs myself.

My mom lived for several years in Yuma and is now in Benson. Any vehicle she owned suffered from the heat. Batteries do not last very long and tires dry out quickly.

I would not leave anything as expensive as an RV unprotected in the desert, you will just be throwing your money away faster than usual.

"I can fix it, and if I can't fix it, I can fix it so no one can fix it!"
Ed & Wendy
2009 Georgetown 378TS | 1998 Jeep Wrangler | 1998 Skeeter ZX202C
Nights camped in 2009: 53 | Nights camped in 2010: 55
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Old 07-10-2010, 10:04 PM   #3
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Join Date: Jul 2010
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Thanks for the quick response, Jeeper. Disappointing but, yes, but I anticipated such a response.

There are so many living in RVs in the desert I just thought I might be missing something.

Maybe I'll consider going the park model route. I just think those park trailers are pretty neat rigs, though. It seems as if you're getting a lot for your money. But if you have to essentially trash them after a few years, then I guess they're not that smart a purchase.

Thanks, again.
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