Renown Cargo Trailers

Getting Your Enclosed Trailer Heater Ready for the Winter

December 22, 2020 /
gooseneck trailer

Winter fun can mean awesome trips with all the toys inside your enclosed trailer to beautiful and remote locations. With Renown’s full line of toy haulers, you can outfit your trailer to keep you warm, toasty, and comfortable no matter what mother nature throws your way. Or perhaps you’re running a crew during cold winter months and would like a way to keep your trailer warm between runs. 

Either way, you’re in luck since today’s spotlight series is pointed squarely at the best ways to heat an enclosed trailer safely and efficiently. With two air conditioning options available on new trailers, you can always find the perfect set up for your situation.

Heating and Cooling with Enclosed Trailer Air Conditioners

Heating or cooling your trailer to temperature is easy with enclosed trailer air conditioners. The roof-mounted units we carry are available on any trailer size and require an electrical package upgrade in order to function. While there are many DIY projects out there for heating an enclosed trailer, some of these methods can be downright dangerous.

It’s much easier and safer to simply trust a dealership like Renown to get your trailer ready to roll off the lot with its very own heating and cooling system installed. 

What Trailer Air Conditioners Do

Trailer air conditioners with heat strips like those available with Renown cargo trailers don’t just blow a bunch of cold or warm air but rather rely on a clever induction method to get the temperatures closer to where you want them. By sucking up hot air, the process of circulating helps cool down air. With internal components like your air conditioner’s evaporator working to pull heat and moisture before the coolant works to cool the air, you can really cool things down in the summer. 

The heat strip is much simpler and works more like a space heater. When the air conditioner blows the air across the heat strip, the air warms before being sent into the trailer and keeping things more bearable in the winter.

When Are Trailer Heaters Used? 

Heating your trailer is easiest when you take a few additional steps to help maximize the efficiency of the unit. The best ways to help make the temperatures less extreme inside the trailer are by adding ceiling and wall insulation. Helping to cool in the summer and retain heat in the winter, insulation is the first step to making your trailer a lot nicer to be in, especially come cold winter months. 

Setting Up a Trailer for Air Conditioning

Roof mounted trailer air conditioning units can be used instead of the standard roof vents that come with a trailer. The vent can also be retained and the trailer A/C mounted in a different location, as desired. To set up a trailer for this upgrade requires both wiring upgrades and additional bracing to be added to the trailer to accommodate the unit. 

An electrical package is required to run a trailer air conditioning unit. This package includes everything needed for running the trailer’s AC system, as well as 110 outlets. With the electrical package installed you get a 60 amp panel box, two receptacles, one switch, two (2) 2-foot LED lights, and a 25’ cord.

Benefits of Using a Trailer Heater

With precious cargo (including yourself!), trailer heaters can be a Godsend for keeping the interior temperatures within more manageable levels. Perhaps you’re transporting a prized show car to and from events around the country in a custom 8.5 x 28 Tandem Axle Enclosed Trailer and you plan on spending a good deal of time inside the trailer preparing and maintaining the vehicle. In cold winter months, doing this would be unbearable and can wreak havoc on many supplies like car fluids and cleaning materials. 

With a trailer heater system installed and ready to go on your new enclosed trailer, there’s not a moment’s thought to flipping a switch and enjoying toasty temperatures. With a 13,500 BTU and 15,000 BTU option for trailer air conditioners with heat strips, you can get your trailer exactly where you want it to be this winter.

How to Maintain Your Trailer’s A/C System

For the many different parts of your trailer, maintenance is key to ensuring the components are operating at their peak levels for as long as possible and your AC system is no different. Dividing up the work between inside and outside maintenance is a good way to make sure you’re doing everything possible to get the most life out of your trailer’s AC system.

  • Outside Maintenance for Trailer AC Systems: using a good sturdy ladder, or better yet having a ladder installed on your trailer as one of the many customization options available, you’ll need to gain access to the top portion of your trailer AC system. Being careful, at least once a year give your system a good once-over. Make sure the cover is in good condition, without cracking or splitting in the plastic. This may seem like aesthetics but a good housing will make sure that water and snow don’t make their way inside the unit and diminish its overall lifespan. UV radiation, rain, and roadway debris can all damage this cover over time. 

While you’re on top of your trailer, check the outer seals of the air conditioner where it’s secured to the trailer. If you see that the gasket is failing, it’s important to get a repair or replacement as soon as possible. Water intrusion is one of the most damaging natural forces to both your trailer and your cargo. You should also take a minute to check out the air conditioner fins. Being careful not to rub the delicate fins, make sure you don’t see any crushed or bent fins. A professional can help straighten these to help get your air conditioner working at peak performance again. 

There are many DIY products out there to accomplish this as well but be forewarned – a small slip of pressure can cause irreparable damage to your system which is why it’s always recommended to let a professional do the work.

  • Inside Maintenance on Trailer AC Systems: being careful to remove the plastic cover from your trailer’s interior air unit, you’ll typically find reusable foam filters. These filters can be washed with mild soap and water and should be cleaned frequently to keep them working at their best. Using a clean cloth, you can also hand wipe the system with the filters off to remove dust and grime. Use a flashlight and inspect the evaporator coils, making sure they are free of the gunk that accumulates. 

With both the inside filters removed and the outside shroud removed you can use a can of compressed air to blow out the unit. If done once a year, this can prevent the buildup of performance robbing dust and debris.

For both inside and outside maintenance for your trailer’s AC system, a maintenance log is highly suggested. This log helps you keep track of all the different maintenance tasks you’ve completed with your trailer so that you can keep on a good schedule. This simply helps your trailer perform better for longer.

Avoiding Mistakes with Enclosed Trailer Heating Systems

Rather than face the cold, many trailer owners have turned to DIY methods for heating their trailers. Unfortunately there are many ways that a trailer heater could mean a costly mistake. Using combustion heaters like what you’d see with those portable propane heaters could prove disastrous in cargo hauling situations. 

Gas and other combustible materials and propane heaters definitely do not mix. As well, heaters like this propane heater produce carbon monoxide. If you’re sleeping or just spending a lot of time in an unventilated trailer with a propane heater going, you’re at a serious risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Another way that air conditioning units in trailers are doomed for failure is when the improper electrical circuit is used to power them. With a low voltage situation, the trailer heater can become irreparably damaged. That’s why our air conditioning units with heat strips for trailers require an electrical upgrade first.

Getting a New Trailer with an A/C System Already Installed

When it comes to getting your trailer exactly the way you want it, working with a reputable trailer dealership is critical. Our trailer pros have spent years simply listening and helping. We listen to the needs of our customers and then provide a custom enclosed trailer solution that meets that need. If we can’t do that, we never, ever push customers into a trailer that isn’t right. Being a trailer dealer of integrity isn’t some sales gimmick – it’s who we are and how we do business. 

Browse our full line-up of enclosed trailers from the top names, choose your customization options, check out, and even have your trailer delivered to your door – all online. Come see what a truly superior level of service before, during, and especially after a sale is made feels like. 

2 thoughts on “Getting Your Enclosed Trailer Heater Ready for the Winter”

  1. Rock solid roofs in stock form are too weak to support an AC unit. What is done by the factory to make the roof strong enough to support it for a factory installation?


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