Living Life Outside: How the Sun, Wind and Rain Impact Your Horse Trailer’s Paint

Does your horse trailer live outside? Most likely your answer is yes, along with your cars and trucks if you are like most Califorians. Very few of us have a large enough garage for a basic 2-or-3-horse trailer with an attached tack room or living quarters.

So there the trailer sits, day in and day out being bombarded by the sun, wind and hopefully sometime soon, rain! Southern California has some of the highest UV index ratings in the country. It’s no secret that this area is not the perfect environment for your trailer or vehicle’s paint. Neither is the tree sap from the oak trees or the lichens that grow on roofs and in nooks and crannies. All these conditions not only impact the paint on your trailer or vehicle that is supposed to be protecting the metal from rusting out, but also impact the overall value of your vehicle or trailer.



A spokesman for the National Automobile Dealers Association says that the condition of the vehicles paint ranks among the top five items that can affect the vehicle’s value and that paint condition can cost owners thousands when they sell or trade in a vehicle.

Oxidation A Destructive Force

Oxidation is one destructive force on vehicle paint. You might have seen the chalky dull look on a trailer or vehicle that has been outside and not waxed for a long period of time. This isn’t just accumulated layers of dust and dirt, there really is a reaction that is taking place and damaging the paint.

Mobil oil describes the oxidation process this way: “Once this process starts, and the paint is left unprotected for an extended period of time, paint surfaces can decay quickly past the point of no return. The reflective, shining, mirror-smooth tropical lagoon that was once the beautiful painted finish on your vehicle can be reduced to the cracked, arid, dusty, dry desert lake bed in less time than you might think.”

A Solution to Oxidation

Trailer manufacturers recommend that waxing be done every couple months to maintain the protection on the paint.

Jerred of Jerred’s Horse Trailer Wash has seen the results of oxidation on many a trailer. Sometimes his wash bucket turns milk-white with paint that has oxidized and now comes off like chalk. However, he adds, “Depending on how far the surface has degraded, oxidation can be addressed on your trailer. Once addressed, regular waxing will help seal the elements out.”

Rain, now wouldn’t that be a welcome sight here in drought-stricken California? Yes, rain would be a welcome sight in California. Drought or not, waxing does more than protect your trailer from a rain storm. Waxing puts a layer of protection on your paint from UV rays, bird droppings, and other airborne contaminates. Trailer manufacturers recommend that waxing be done every couple months to maintain the protection on the paint.



Fall weather is coming and the hot days of summer will soon behind us, yet the impact of the UV rays coupled with the rain that we hope will fall can leave your trailer’s and other vehicle’s paint in dire straits. Protect your investment; protect the paint by regularly washing and waxing your horse trailer and other vehicles. Your efforts will be returned to you in the long run for the value of your vehicle investments will be sustained.

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Former Pony Clubber, Eventer and Dressage rider who balanced training and showing with getting a college degree (from Cal Poly SLO), becoming a wife and raising a family. Presently she is enjoying riding a Rocky Mounted Gaited horse and exploring Mounted Archery. Her new baby is Whisper, a Connemara filly.

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