June 2, 2014 by Rider Newsletter Staff
Care and feeding of your Solace camping trailer
Keep it dry and well-greased, and the fun will last for years.
If you’re fortunate enough to own a Solace motorcycle camping trailer from The USA Trailer Store, you know what it’s like to travel in comfort and style, while still keeping in touch with the natural world. You also know how easy Solace is to tow and set up. What you may not know is how easy this camping trailer is to maintain. In this article, we will review a few key maintenance items you can’t afford to ignore if you want your camper to keep you comfortable for many seasons.
Like in many high quality tents, the makers of the Solace camping trailer use a special thread that expands when the material gets wet. This helps prevent tears and other potential damage to the seams. If you are an experienced camper, you probably know that with most tents you have to seal the seams with a gooey sticky seam sealer before you use it. Fortunately, for Solace owners, this is NOT something that you have to do with this tent. As a matter of fact, the manufacturer explicitly states NOT to use seam sealer. Instead they offer a simple preconditioning process: Set up the tent. Wet it thoroughly with a hose for about 30 minutes on each side to stretch the seams. Let it to dry completely. Then, once dry, wet it and let it dry two more times.
As you can imagine, going through this process with each tent that The USA Trailer Store sells would take up a lot of time, not to mention space, so that’s most likely the reason that they do not precondition the tent for you. Plus, preconditioning is a great way to familiarize yourself with your camping trailer and the setup process before you attempt to do so in the woods or at a biker rally with everyone watching.
Another simple but essential maintenance item is greasing the wheel bearings. When your Solace is new, the bearings are fully packed with quality grease. However, after the first 500+ miles of road trips, you need to repack the grease — and probably sooner if riding in 90+ degree weather. The wheels on the Solace camper are smaller than those on the tow vehicle which means that they turn at a much higher RPM than their larger counterparts. So, the grease around the bearings loses its viscosity sooner and needs maintenance more frequently. Another thing to be aware of is that the bearings should be checked and repacked with grease any time the wheels get submerged in water.
Detailed instructions are included in the Solace Owner’s Manual, but basically, you remove the wheel, pry off the grease cap, attach a grease gun to the fitting and, while turning the assembly, pump grease into the bearing until new grease appears at the front of the hub. Then, wipe away the old grease and tap the cap back on with a rubber mallet —quick, easy and absolutely essential for maximum life and trailering ease.
The last piece of maintenance advice involves drying and storing your Solace. When it comes to tents, wetness is the enemy. If you fold up a tent when it’s wet without allowing it to dry, you are inviting mildew and shortening the life of the material. Don’t worry if Solace gets wet and you can’t allow it to dry before packing up. Just be sure to open the tent and allow it to dry thoroughly as soon as you can. The less time it spends folded up while damp, the better.
Finally, be sure to store your Solace in a garage, shed or carport where it is protected from precipitation. You can use an auto cover, but be sure it is a breathable material specifically designed for RV or camper storage. Storing your Solace properly will make things much easier and more pleasant the next time you’re ready to hit the road.
Your Solace will make you the envy of every other motorcycle camper around. All you have to do is spend a little time on maintenance, and you’ll be camping in style for years!
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