Putting Your Trampoline Away For the Winter
So your kids (and you too, probably) have spent some happy months bouncing away on your trampoline. You may have discovered the joys of getting in shape on there as well as a load of new ideas to keep kids entertained. But the days are getting a little shorter and colder. Sitting inside seems like a better idea than playing outside. So it is time to put your trampoline away for the winter. what do you need to know?
Actually, you might be wondering why you should bother at all. I mean, why not just leave it there in the garden and then deal with stuff in the Spring? This might seem tempting but you really shouldn’t. The number of people who do this and then either have to buy another one come springtime of spend a fortune getting it back into usable shape is huge. Why not just do things right now and then you can start again quickly (and cost free) when the sun comes out again next year?
Of course, a lot of what you do is going to depend on the space you have available. Some people are lucky enough to have a garage or hanger where they can put the trampoline over the winter months. For others, this just isn’t a possibility.
If you do have space to store it indoors, it is definitely the best option. You actually didn’t need that much space, even for a something approaching 20ft. Of course, this means that you will have to take it apart. If putting it together was a terrible experience involving blood, sweat and tears, you might be a bit nervous about undoing everything, but it isn’t that bad.
Take things one step at a time and the key is to clean, grease and store parts in order. Don’t just throw the springs in a bag and hope for the best. Take 10 minutes to put a quick layer of anti grip or grease on each one and then put them in separate, labelled bags. I promise you that you will thank me when it comes to putting everything together next year!
The other thing that is a smart move is not taking everything apart. For example, I leave some of the springs attached to frame parts. I know that I won’t lose them this way and they are already attached at least to one end. The first time I did this, I actually left them connected to the main rubber flooring. This is a terrible idea because it is just too easy to rip when you are folding it away with springs inside. Why take the risk?
Make sure all your parts are dry before putting them away. If there is still a bit of moisture there, you might find that they have rusted in storage. But what if you have to leave everything outside?
More and more trampolines claim to be ‘winter friendly’ or ‘rust proof’. In my experience, some are certainly more resistant than others, but none really appreciate spending a few months untouched in rain and snow. For example, everyone thinks that the floor section simply acts as a sieve. This is true. If it rains, the water will drain through. This is why you don’t have to put it away every time the sun disappears behind the clouds. But what about a snow storm? A reasonable covering of snow is heavy and won’t drain away. What it will do is stretch the fabric and make your trampoline either unusable or dangerous. At the very least, you will have to get your wallet out and buy a new jumping surface.
Of course, you can get round this. Firstly, make sure you brush off any snow after every fall. Don’t let it sit there because over time it will stretch the fabric and ruin the springs. Secondly, think about removing the mat even if you leave the rest of the frame there. Once clean, dry and folded it really doesn’t take up that much space. One thing that you probably want to avoid is putting a cover on the mat. This seems like a great idea to protect the surface but it often does more harm than good. Moisture tends to get trapped inside and leads to mildew and even rotting.
The other big problem through the winter is the wind. If you have read the safety advice on this site, you know how important it is to secure your trampoline against the wind. If the wind gets underneath, it will turn your fun toy into a dangerous projectile that can do a lot of damage. If it wasn’t secured properly, insurance companies can become a little bit less keen to pay for any damage!
Once more, think about simply removing the rubber jumping surface because this is what catches the wind. If you do this and then secure the frame with pegs (making sure they are deep enough), you really shouldn’t have any problems. Don’t make the mistake of just leaning your trampoline sideways against a wall. This is terrible even in the case of a light breeze.
Doing a few simple things right before the winter is an intelligent move. It will protect your trampoline from expensive damage, save time when Spring rolls round and also keep you safe from any accidents that could occur over the cold season.