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I too am running out of space in my house to store my bikes. I have three bikes inside my house and my 5 kids bikes are outside in a shed (which is also over crowded). My idea is to buy a 6X12 enclosed trailer to store our bikes and modify it to also be like a bike shop. We take our bikes everywhere. My concern though is keeping the bikes in an environment that is not controlled. Although they will be completely sealed off from rain, etc., they will still be exposed to varying temperatures and humidity. Does anyone think storing these bikes in a trailer is a good idea?

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3 Answers 3

I would suggest not sealing the trailer but leaving the vents open.A natural exchange of air will actually reduce condensation.Think in terms of an unheated crawl space in a home.If you close the trailer up on a warm humid day that humid air will form condensation the first time the inside of the trailer gets cold.Condensation will also occur if the trailer is cooled for several days and you open it to the weather on that first warm day.All that cold metal inside will not warm up as fast as the air.The warm and moister air will loose its water content as it comes in contact with the colder metal, again think cold beer, warm day,wet bottle.So basically allow the humidity to fluctuate with the ambient temp via ventilation.

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The fact that the trailer is elevated off the ground means that the main source of moisture -- the soil -- is largely removed. Condensation could only occur in conditions that would cause dewfall or frost, and even then, given that the inside of the trailer will be a few degrees warmer than the air outside, and given that the inside will not radiate heat to the cold sky, condensation is unlikely. –  Daniel R Hicks Feb 13 '12 at 3:34
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It's definitely not as good as storing them in a climate controlled environment like your house but if you're buying a camper-style trailer it's going to be a little better than throwing them in a shed out back and a lot better than leaving them out in the elements. As long as the bikes are getting ridden and maintained regularly, normal wear and tear should catch up to them before the effects of the storage method you have in mind will. Unless you're running a climate controlled environment the two things you're going to have to watch out for are high humidity levels, high temperatures.

Unless you're running an AC or storing your bikes in a giant ammmo box, humidity is going to be a concern. Keep in mind that even if you don't have a steel framed bike, many of your components are either made of steel or have steel bits which are especially susceptible to corrosion. Even if the trailer is reasonably well sealed you may want to consider getting a chemical dehumidifier. These are often made of a type of clay or silica gel and you should be able to find them at your local hardware or home improvement store, or obviously online. If you find that they're getting used up faster than they should be then you probably have an issue with how well your trailer is sealed. Make sure to change the dehumidifier out as needed since the chemical type does get used up.

Regarding temperatures, extreme heat is the one you really need to watch out for. High temperatures won't affect the metal parts of your bike but they will degrade most anything made of plastic or rubber over time. Try to position the trailer somewhere that doesn't get much sun. If you live in an arid climate, consider venting it during the summer. However if you live in a humid climate leaving a vent open is probably just trading one problem for another. Cold shouldn't be much of an issue.

As an aside, don't store your bike in direct sunlight either. This is true of any storage method. The paint and/or anodization can fade over time which is purely aesthetic, but once again rubber and plastic parts (leather as well) are susceptible to degradation from sunlight. Hang curtains/towels/whatever in the windows of the trailer so that they absorb the harmful rays instead of your nice bikes.

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+1 for the sunlight part. Ultra-violet light causes a lot of harm to polymers like rubber, plastic, and sometimes even paint. –  heltonbiker Feb 10 '12 at 11:50
    
Why is humidity a concern, if condensation doesn't occur? –  Daniel R Hicks Feb 10 '12 at 12:22
    
@DanielRHicks condensation is not necessary in order for corrosion to occur. –  joelmdev Feb 10 '12 at 12:50
    
Humidity is not necessary for corrosion to occur. –  Daniel R Hicks Feb 10 '12 at 16:53
    
That is not a constructive addition to this answer. I recommend that you get past the fact that I downvoted one of your answers and we move on. –  joelmdev Feb 10 '12 at 17:59
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So long as the trailer is reasonably weather-tight it shouldn't be a problem. Since there's nothing in the trailer generating humidity, no significant condensation will occur, and, within reason, temperatures won't hurt bikes. (The only caveat would be that you maybe should have some vents that can be opened if temps rise above 90F or so, so that temps don't get over about 150F inside.)

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Agreed. Inside house might not be so tightly controlled an environment sometimes, and a shed definitely is much less controlled than inside the trailer. Besides that, bikes are meant to be in a very wide range of atmospheric conditions by design. –  heltonbiker Feb 10 '12 at 11:48
    
Thanks Daniel and jm2 for the comments. They are quite helpful. The trailer will have a vent and as long as the temps are not to extreme, it sounds like the trailer may be a good option. I really appreciate your insights. –  Brett Doggett Feb 11 '12 at 5:03
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