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Storing Gear In The Cold Garage

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#1 Dave Chameides

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Posted 02 November 2010 - 08:21 PM

So as some of you may know, I moved East to Ct from Cali after a 20 year foray there. I wasn't an operator back here ever so learning as I go (so to speak). As is apparent tonight, it seems to get cold here. Perhaps i should have thought about this a bit more before jumping. Anyhoo, a question about gear storage. We move into our new place on monday and my thought was to build a secure raised enclosed area in the garage to store the gear. It'll be dry, but should I be worried about moisture out there? I'll probably store my batts in the house, but would rather not lug all my cases in from the garage as it's detached and a hike to the house. Any thoughts from those of you warming your tootsies by the fire this fine eve? And will it get colder than tonight or is this pretty much it?
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#2 Brant S. Fagan SOC

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Posted 03 November 2010 - 09:03 AM

Dave-- Batteries are like wives! They like their creature comforts year-round. Drag them in no matter what the weather and they will truly last longer than if you left them out like dogs. Moisture is certainly an issue for the arm and gimbal, less is the new more. For my vest, I prefer to at least bring that in if the temps drop significantly below freezing only to make that first saddle-up in the morning slightly less dramatic for my circulatory system. As you know, LCD monitors prefer to be above freezing but will certainly run in the cold. I start mine and never shut it off while shooting in the cold, in or out.

Just for yucks, it was 21*F at my place this morning! Bring the snow!!!!
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#3 Janice Arthur

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Posted 03 November 2010 - 10:07 AM

Hi Dave;

Congrats on the move. Didn't know you had.

Everything that Brant said but I'd add the following.

1) Winters are always dryer in terms of humidity than summer so I don't think you'll get much rust on the arm in a cold, dry garage.

2) The plastic of vests will become more brittle in the cold so it should be handled carefully until it warms up. Putting both the arm and vest in a rubbermaid containter for the time its in the garage will take care of both issues. Make sure to leave the top off for a day or so until it drys out from sweat if you need to.

3) CRT monitors do well in cold but I wouldn't slam the case into anything when its really cold out, just common sense stuff there.

4) Batteries, like Brant said.

5) Security. Who wants to come home to an accidentally left open garage door.
It happens a few times a year. I'd run a chain through the handles of the obvious cases and lock them together, just an idea.

6) We've all left gear in unheated camera trucks so I don't think you have an issue.

7) Yourself, if you really are just remembering winters, get a pair of Fleece- lined jeans. (Eddie Bauer, etc.) Best investment you can make and they are just great for everyday wear in the winter and its like sweat pants under jeans and wonderful. You quickly realize how cold feeling regular jeans are in even 30 weathter. They take you to 0 F, then you put long underwear on below that.

8) Talk to Brant about what snow blower to buy.

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#4 Jeff Muhlstock SOC

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Posted 05 November 2010 - 09:25 AM

Welcome East Dave! I use an inexpensive electric heater in my garage, the enclosed type so there is no hot coils exposed. When the temp outside starts to drop well below freezing, I simply keep it set for 45-50 degrees so nothing gets to extreme (my garage is well insulated). Everything is in cases and batteries on chargers conduct enough heat on their own. Iv'e been doing this for 20 years and never had a problem. Im surprised my vest has not walked away on its own... it certainly could use some fresh air once in awhile.

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#5 Jerry Holway

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Posted 05 November 2010 - 11:27 AM


I just looked up the specs for the PowerCubes (which I think are similar for all Li-Ions). They have a storage temperature range of -4ºF - 140ºF (-20ºC - 60ºC).

Normally I don't worry much about storage temps. Like Jeff, my garage is also well insulated, and I sometimes use the same sort of heater. If I'm going out on a job, (and it's cold outside), then the batteries come inside, and maybe the vest.

I also bring the LCD monitor in when things get cold. While it can be stored down to -40º (F or C, it's the same!), it should be operated above 0ºC (32ºF)..

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#6 Tony Reyes

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 01:42 PM

Just read through this post. It answered all of my questions perfectly. I needed that piece of mind before spending $80 bucks on shelving! : )
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#7 MarkKaravite


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Posted 12 December 2012 - 11:55 PM

We built our house in Michigan from the ground up, so it was easy for me to design a secure, heated storage room in the garage. I still load my truck in the garage the day before a day playing gig, so my gear does sit in garage certain nights.

A couple ideas to avoid the frigid garage syndrome:

1. Well insulated, including an insulated garage door with a good weather seal.
2. Can you run natural gas to your garage? You could do a small wall heater, or a radiant heater.
3. Is there room to enclose a shelved closet to store your gear? Better for security and easier to heat.
4. Check with your insurance company that the method of storing your gear meets their security requirements. Mine requires it's under lock & key, and a break in occurred. My gear is under alarm, but not required by my insurance.

Besides keeping your gear warm, there's nothing like getting into a warm car when it's freezing outside. My garage never gets below 50 degrees. The dual furnaces are in my equipment storage room, and I pump the warm air (via a cooling thermostat & fan) into the insulated garage, while it regulates the temp in my storage room. If I didn't have that setup, I'd definiley
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#8 MarkKaravite


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Posted 12 December 2012 - 11:56 PM

go with a radiant heater in the garage. If it's not feasible to run natural gas, then a propane tank could provide heating fuel.

Good luck & stay warm,
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#9 David M. Aronson

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 07:53 AM

I have my gear orginized into "cold safe" and "inside" cases. Anyhting that doesn't care about the cold or heat lives in my garage to save space. Stuff like my sled, arm, and vest. "Inside" cases live inside where it's heated or cooled year round. All my batteries, my monitor, and camera are "inside" cases. It's what made sense to me. If you have some space next to your washing machine, why not stick a pelican there and save your gear!
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