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Old 02-28-2006, 06:06 AM   #1
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Storage in garage ??

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Hi Gang,
Live in Kansas temps range from -0 to 110+.
Have a double detached unheated, unairconditioned DRY garage. Humidity in summer runs 60-80% of course winter is much lower 10-30%
What are your comments about storing models in these conditions ?
Have everything from 1/4 scale to indoor electrics, and two cars.
Don-Basehor, Ks
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Old 02-28-2006, 08:08 AM   #2
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I'm no expert, but I follow these simple rules.

For typical storage requirements you will need to seal the plane and engine from dust. Humidity can be a problem during temperature change, that is why most sensitive equipment specifications state "temperature change no more than 10 degrees F per hour" - the reason being, that changes faster than that will create condensation.

If your climate allows you to do that, and you don't have too much heat to distort, remove or damage the covering, you should be OK.

Hope this helps.


Wayne Miller
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Old 02-28-2006, 08:13 AM   #3
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Humidity is a killer for electronics, glues, fabrics, wood etc.

A dehumidifier is an absolute minimum. I also maintain fresh silica packs in my transmitter cases, and in some aircraft I don't fly often.
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Old 02-28-2006, 08:13 AM   #4
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I leave my wings in the garage, but bring the fuselages with all the electronics inside during the winter

The sooner you fall behind, the more time you will have to catch up.
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Old 02-28-2006, 08:27 AM   #5
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I am an "Expert" on this . For the last 14 years I have had to store my planes and R/C gear in an UNHEATED & UNAIRCONDITIONED attic in my home in Nova Scotia while I go to work about 2500 miles away. They are there usually from July - May in the heat, the cold & the extreme humidity you can only get in a Martime area. I use absolutely no special treatment. The engines are oiled and put in plastic bags but the airplanes are just left in the open.

I have about 10 finished planes and 20 kits there. I have a 1/5 P-51, a Typhoon pattern plane, a 27% Ultimate, 2 - strokes, 4 - strokes, gassers, etc. etc. All in all I would say I have over $30,000.00 in stuff ( just ask my wife ). Every year I go home, take 3 or 4 planes out of the attic and there has never been a twist or warp in any of them and some have been there for 10 years.

3 years ago I had to leave town in a big hurry and left my Typhoon in the attic fully equipped ( YS 140, digital servos, rec, everything but the battery ) last summer 2 years later I dragged it down expecting the worst. I put a battery in it, fueled it up and flew it for 75 flights without a hiccup.

2 years ago I decided to build a Balsa USA Smoothie that had been there since 1988. Every piece of wood in the kit was usable and it was straight & true when finished.

I just had a member of RCC ask to buy a Quadra 42 from me that has been sitting there since the early 90's and I bet I can mount it, prime it and it will start first crank, if I can find it
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Old 02-28-2006, 03:09 PM   #6
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All my air worthy models (the ones I actually fly) are stored in my garage. I have an insulated attatched garage. I store soda pop out there in the winter too, which never freezes so it's not getting below 0c in there. I find servos and receivers are fine, I try to keep my transmitter indoors though.

If it's not already insulated, get some good quality insulation with a high R value. Fiberglass works the best. Stuff that in the walls and seal with particle board (as it's more durable), or drywall. Upgrade your garage door to an insulated one.

As for humidity, balsa is a soft wood so it won't crack in dryness. Humidity does not damage electronics as heat is the greater enemy. Your average computer can withstand humidity from 20-80%. The only problem with humidity is if condensation is forming, then it will short out electronics. Humidity will not be a problem in a garage that has been properly insulated. If it concerns you, consider buying a cheap/used dehumidifyer to keep the moisture down.
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Old 02-28-2006, 10:09 PM   #7
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I have all my flyers hanging in the garage. From brushless electrics to a 300 Saito twin. As the season winds down, I always cycle my batteries, lubricate the gearboxes on my electrics, and really oil up my motors with rislone or marvel mystery oil.. It is not insulated, I park my cars in it, has a cement floor and is drywalled.

Never had a problem. When I fly, I cycle my batteries again as I take them out, turn the motor over by hand a couple times, fill er up, make sure it's really well primed, fire it up, do a range check and fly. Some planes get flown more than others, but everything gets flow at least 4-5 times in a season(one full day). I'm talking about 15 planes.

With the wings on, I don't think condensation is an issue because the atmosphere doesn't change that much inside the fuselage. In fact winter is usually less humid than in the summer. I can't comment about Kansas, I can just tell you about my experience.

Frankly I have done more damage to them over the years loading and unloading my van, than any weather has!!!

Just my 10 cents worth (inflation).
John Kovats

aka Johnny Versatile

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Hespeler Model Aviators Inc.
Cambridge Float Flyers

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Old 03-01-2006, 07:52 AM   #8
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I think the problem will lie with sudden and rapid changes in heat/humidity.

I remember a mini-article in RCM about a guy who decided to go for the record of the most norterly RC flight. Built the plane indoors, got it set up and ready to go. Took it outdoors, fired it up and took off.

Flight was short and sudden -- the moisture in the balsa froze (middle of artic winter) and flight stresses shattered it.

A well-built airplane should be able to ahndle the gradula changes that occur naturally without major problems. Making sure that the batteries don't freeze (take indoors), that the engines have a good squirt of a protective oil (people swear by Marvel Mystery, but some recommend tranny fluid if you can't find MMO), then everything else should survive a winter.
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Old 03-01-2006, 09:03 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by byrocat
I think the problem will lie with sudden and rapid changes in heat/humidity.

I remember a mini-article in RCM about a guy who decided to go for the record of the most norterly RC flight. Built the plane indoors, got it set up and ready to go. Took it outdoors, fired it up and took off.

Flight was short and sudden -- the moisture in the balsa froze (middle of artic winter) and flight stresses shattered it.

Maybe I should apply for that. I live most of the year at 69.5 N lattitude and although I don't anymore I flew an Ace 4-120 / Q42 up here for a number of years. You haven't lived until you drag an 85" plane on an ATV over a gravel road, get clearance from the airport tower and fly from a gravel airstrip.

Yes Bill that was your "new" Quadra.
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Old 03-01-2006, 02:29 PM   #10
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I've been storing my completed and unfinished models, ARF and built-up, in my double attached unheated garage (and uninsulated attic) for many years with absolutely no problem. Temperature varies from a high of +45 degrees to a low -35 and normal ambient humidity. I've never had electronic or engine problems, warped wings or fuselages and not even sagging covering. I believe that the temperature and humidity change is too gradual to worry about those types of problems.

Peter Merkel
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