Getting Restrooms Ready for Hibernation

Take proper steps to winterize and store your inventory before your storage yard becomes a winter wonderland
Getting Restrooms Ready for Hibernation

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Let’s face it, for most of us winter can be a rough season. For those of you lucky enough to live in Florida and other southern states, winter doesn’t even cause a blip on your radar. Working for a company based out of Connecticut and New York means that winter requires planning and a couple months of prep work.

We own over 10,000 portable restrooms, most of them Satellite Industries Tufways. Those are the easiest of our equipment to winterize. Basically, we pump them dry and store them in our yard. Piece of cake!

The sinks and the VIP toilets are a little different. We never rent sinks or VIP toilets in the winter. There is too great a chance of the equipment freezing and that would destroy the units. For the best winter storage, we store the sinks upside down, so they are free of water. The VIP toilets are repaired, drained and stored inside of trailers that we have parked in our yard. 

We think winter is a great time to sort out our inventory and clean up our yard. We try to group our equipment by use and type. There is no other time of year when so much of your equipment is in one location. Take advantage of this downtime to get yourself set up for next year.

The biggest sorting process is the portables. All our construction units, mostly blue Satellite Tufways, go in one area of our yard. All our special event units, which are forest green and a combination of Satellite and PolyPortables brands, go in another location in our yard. The third grouping is toilets that need some repairs. Either they are fixed at that point or we scrap them for parts to repair our other toilets.

We find that grouping by use allows for easy access and loading for our drivers. It also means that one of my brand-new special event toilets doesn’t end up on a construction site where it probably will get damaged.

Winter storage can mean you have to get a little creative. All this equipment requires a lot of space, which not everyone has. If things are tight, sinks can go inside of handicap units, holding tanks inside of trailers, etc. 

The restroom trailers are a completely different process. When you own a piece of equipment that costs that much, you need to take care when you store it for the winter. We own over 50 restroom trailers. They cover all the manufacturers from the JAG Mobile Solutions Porta Lisa all the way up to the Black Tie ELtia.

The first step is to clean them and check for any necessary repairs. We repair everything before the trailers are stored for the winter. This ranges from broken faucets to exterior dings to more serious repairs to the structure of the trailer. When spring comes and business starts to pick up, I don’t want to waste time on repairs. I have trailers to deliver!

After the trailers are cleaned and repaired, we pump the waste tanks completely dry. Sometimes this requires filling the waste tank with water and pumping them a second time. Any waste that lingers causes odors and that is bad for business. 

Lastly, we fill the trailers with antifreeze. This prevents any freezing over the winter, which damages the trailers. The most important part of this is to check all the lines, so you can see the antifreeze. Run the faucets until only antifreeze comes out. The smallest drop of water can cause a lot of damage so take your time with this. Then we park them in our yard and count the days till spring!

Every area of the country is a little different, weather wise. How do you handle winter storage? Comment below.

About the Author: Alexandra Townsend is co-owner of A Royal Flush, based in Philadelphia.


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