Storing car in shipping container

Discussion in 'Shop, Garage and Tools' started by cpearce, Mar 13, 2018.

  1. cpearce

    cpearce Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    445
    Likes Received:
    128
    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2010
    Location:
    Edson
    Local Time:
    11:50 PM
    Can anyone shed some light on the pros-cons of storing a car in a shipping container. I'm running out of space and might need to put my Dart into a container next winter. I live in Alberta Canada where we get tough winters. How does one properly ventilate a container to prevent condensation?
     
  2. Jim Lusk

    Jim Lusk Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,781
    Likes Received:
    270
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2006
    Location:
    Fresno, CA
    View My Photos
    Local Time:
    9:50 PM
    I don't know how best to ventilate, but I have heard horror stories if you don't. Things will get moldy...
     
  3. Buford19

    Buford19 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    141
    Likes Received:
    41
    Joined:
    May 22, 2014
    Location:
    Kitimat b.c.
    Local Time:
    9:50 PM
    Insulate if you can, I use one for storing my car parts, and also live in canada. Was thinking of installing a moisture censor bathroom fan. This way it will only run when needed.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • rustycowll69

      rustycowll69 Well-Known Member

      Messages:
      1,372
      Likes Received:
      453
      Joined:
      Feb 19, 2016
      Location:
      Pacific northwest
      Local Time:
      9:50 PM
      if you can run power to it, and a drain, I'd get a dehumidifier and run it 24/7.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
      • deviledchin

        deviledchin FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

        Messages:
        227
        Likes Received:
        37
        Joined:
        Mar 15, 2012
        Location:
        Sellersville,Pa
        Local Time:
        12:50 AM
        They are brutal and do hold moisture. I've been there and won't do it again.

        If that is your last resort I would look into desiccant bags to keep it dry. I do know that they sell large ones that hang on the walls and work quite well. I think grainger sells them.
         
      • rustycowll69

        rustycowll69 Well-Known Member

        Messages:
        1,372
        Likes Received:
        453
        Joined:
        Feb 19, 2016
        Location:
        Pacific northwest
        Local Time:
        9:50 PM
        I've been running a dehumidifier for about 4 or 5 yrs, 24/7. I bought it from Costco online. it cost less than a couple hundred dollars. You can hand drain the water it collects, but I opted to go for the automatic drain. It has a convolute plastic hose, that I just draped into the sink in my garage. You can select the humidity percentage you want to maintain, and it keeps it there by itself. I never noticed any increase in my electric bill, but it has to use some electricity, just not a huge amount.
         
      • RedFish

        RedFish Well-Known Member

        Messages:
        22,133
        Likes Received:
        1316
        Joined:
        Sep 5, 2007
        Local Time:
        11:50 PM
        Dehumidifiers don't operate at ambient temps below 40F. I've had a harrier running in my basement for several years. To paint the top of the container black will help ( the sun will heat it up ). To get it up off the ground so air circulates underneath would help too.
         
      • YY1

        YY1 Well-Known Member

        Messages:
        4,918
        Likes Received:
        739
        Joined:
        Oct 11, 2011
        Location:
        FL
        Local Time:
        12:50 AM
        "Damp Rid" brand?
         
      • mopar56

        mopar56 Well-Known Member

        Messages:
        617
        Likes Received:
        70
        Joined:
        Jun 19, 2014
        Location:
        British Columbia
        View My Photos
        Local Time:
        9:50 PM
        Well as a fellow Canuck out here on the wet west coast we also have a lot of humidity, in my business we have two 40 foot sea cans, one is a regular one, one is a ex-reefer, the reefer is insulated, not blown in but factory plastic panels, there is no condensation what so ever in it while the regular one sweats all the time, so my advise is if you haven't already bought one, look for a reefer they are out there used and worth the little extra money, some times there even cheaper because the fan unit takes up extra space but it can be removed, and no, we don't have it hooked up, BTW, where we are it rains from October to May, lots! lastly as we also store boats we sell moisture absorbent bags, they sell for about 10 bucks, ( anywhere ) and have a coat hanger on them, you just hang them in your car, boat, whatever and the crystals drop from one compartment in the bag to another, when its full toss it out no fuss, one year my sons Duster sat out side all winter and went through 3 bags, no moisture in the car! so put a couple of those in the car to.
         
      • Dicer

        Dicer Well-Known Member

        Messages:
        220
        Likes Received:
        179
        Joined:
        Jan 12, 2016
        Location:
        Land of Lincoln
        Local Time:
        11:50 PM
        You should not have any condensation if the temps are freezing and below. So nothing is required if you just want a temporary winter storage for your car. But when the sun beats down on the storage container and temps are raising, you will need to remove the car or use the measures others described to you.

        I have seen many Car-Bags types on the market, some have a ventilation fan(s) that runs continuously to circulate air. No matter the weather, your car will stay healthy the day you stored it.

        CarJacket – CarBag
         
      • mopar head

        mopar head Well-Known Member

        Messages:
        2,524
        Likes Received:
        251
        Joined:
        Oct 21, 2008
        Location:
        Cooneysville
        View My Photos
        Local Time:
        11:50 PM
        Ever seen 180 turn duct work on commercial rooftops?
        Or a series of shielded sidewall vents on each side.
        All with screens of course.
         
      • Chained_360

        Chained_360 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

        Messages:
        363
        Likes Received:
        87
        Joined:
        Nov 11, 2015
        Location:
        Anchorage, Alaska
        Local Time:
        8:50 PM
        Why not just get a cheap-o $200 car tent? I would imagine that would be easier and probably cheaper than a conex.
         
      • barbee6043

        barbee6043 barbee 6043

        Messages:
        8,898
        Likes Received:
        1883
        Joined:
        Jul 20, 2008
        Location:
        Shepherd, Texas ( SE Tx)
        Local Time:
        11:50 PM
        I don't know the answer, but they sell the c*** out of those containers around here, hot and HUMID!!!! Very little cld.. SE Texas
         
      • Mrpatel

        Mrpatel 511Dart

        Messages:
        393
        Likes Received:
        41
        Joined:
        Nov 8, 2007
        Location:
        Niagara, Ontario
        Local Time:
        11:50 PM
        I use an incandescent light in my trailer used for storing parts.
         
      • rustycowll69

        rustycowll69 Well-Known Member

        Messages:
        1,372
        Likes Received:
        453
        Joined:
        Feb 19, 2016
        Location:
        Pacific northwest
        Local Time:
        9:50 PM
        that's kinda what I did, too. I bought an inexpensive exterior light fixture with a glass lens, then I mounted it to a scrap piece of sheet metal, then fashioned some "legs" to hold it up off the floor, painted it all flat black and just set it inside my car and ran the cord thru a slit body plug. I threw a car cover over it for a couple of years. It worked, and it gets pretty "damp" here in Seattle.
         
      • dukeboy_318

        dukeboy_318 Our Lives, Our Fortunes and Our Sacred Honor. FABO Gold Member

        Messages:
        26,841
        Likes Received:
        7949
        Joined:
        Jan 19, 2007
        Location:
        la la la la
        Local Time:
        12:50 AM
        I've been in the Army now for 14 years, the military LIVES out connexes aka shipping containers. Never seen one that had any condensation issues. Usually is leaks from damage or rust. Look for one that has good seals, no rust damage, look for solid metal floors if you find one with them, the wood ones let alot of moisture in. One thing though, you know that musty, army gear smell you smell if you ever buy used army gear or go to a surplus store? thats partially where that smell comes from.
         
      • ir3333

        ir3333 Well-Known Member

        Messages:
        4,096
        Likes Received:
        567
        Joined:
        Jun 1, 2008
        Location:
        ontario,canada
        Local Time:
        11:50 PM
        i know guys that winter store 2 or 3 cars in tractor trailer trailers.I think they make sure the air can whistle right though small vents and the trailers are up on blocks.
        I don't think they do anything else but i'm not sure?
         
      • cpearce

        cpearce Well-Known Member

        Messages:
        445
        Likes Received:
        128
        Joined:
        Sep 1, 2010
        Location:
        Edson
        Local Time:
        11:50 PM
        Thanks for respnses so far everyone. It could end up being long term winter storage for years to come.
         
      • Tooljunkie

        Tooljunkie King of cobble/master of the broken bolt FABO Gold Member

        Messages:
        4,818
        Likes Received:
        3399
        Joined:
        Jul 22, 2017
        Location:
        Manitoba
        Local Time:
        11:50 PM
        I know they will accumulate moisture,dehumidifiers work in temps down to 60 degrees f, not the 40 as mentioned above.
        There are units with heaters to prevent icing, but not feasable with an un insulated sea can. The big thing is air flow,none when humidity is high, lots when its low.
        My 40x80 quonset has nil for moisture, one 2x2 vent on either end that are pretty much closed year round. Its on a cement floor too. Have not looked in my small canvas shelter lately, but i bet its damp. Its getting relocated in summer. Preferably onto a wood floor.
         
      • rustycowll69

        rustycowll69 Well-Known Member

        Messages:
        1,372
        Likes Received:
        453
        Joined:
        Feb 19, 2016
        Location:
        Pacific northwest
        Local Time:
        9:50 PM
        not true. my dehumudifier works to at least 45degF. And I believe the fan works no matter what the temp, so you do get air circulation, which is very important. Before it was in my garage, I had it in my boat with just a boat cover and the drain down in the bilge, and out the transom drain plug hole. It ran outside like that for 2-3yrs, and kept the boat dry and warm(er than ambient), because the dehumidifier puts out some heat in operation.
         
      • 67autocross

        67autocross A new iron curtain drawn across the 49th parallel

        Messages:
        858
        Likes Received:
        303
        Joined:
        Jul 23, 2010
        Location:
        Winnipeg
        Local Time:
        11:50 PM
        I have a car in one in Manitoba and don’t have problems... it’s dry summer or winter
         
      • 67Dart273

        67Dart273 Well-Known Member

        Messages:
        37,180
        Likes Received:
        4924
        Joined:
        Oct 14, 2010
        Location:
        Idaho
        View My Photos
        Local Time:
        9:50 PM
        All UNINSULATED containers of any sort (even trucks) WILL condense moisture on the inside due to more cooling on the OUTSIDE. so the mosture condenses OUT OF THE AIR onto the cold trailer / container walls and roof, .........and then rains.

        Ideas..........Yes dehumidifier, which will add SOME HEAT. They will not work below freezing unless it is a design which has means TO DEFROST just like a fridge/ freezer

        HEATERS. One cheap way is to buy large wattage light bulbs and "wire up" series wired sockets, meaning, operate 120V bulbs, in pairs, in series, so each bulb is 1/2 voltage. This makes them VERY reliable and lasts longer. THEY WILL PRODUCE 1/4 the wattage "heat" in this configuration.

        Another way is to do same thing with cheap electric heaters. If you can score a big long 220V baseboard, it will only draw 1/4 the wattage on 110V. Hell you could buy an 8 foot (or two of them) baseboards, and just "throw them under the car." "Let's say" an 8' is 2500W at 240V. One of them operated at 120V is a little over 300W

        Make sure the container is sealed as well as you can. Consider at least some form of insulation, even thin sheet styrofoam

        IF YOU CAN KEEP the interior temperature at least a few degrees warmer than ambient, moisture will not condense. If you can keep it fairly sealed, moisture will not enter as fast. If you can somewhat dehumidify, there will "in the end" be less of it.

        DO NOT EVER use any form of open flame combustion heater such as an LP/ oil torpedo, or a "wick" oil heater. THEY ALL produce moisture, over and above the explosion hazard
         
        Last edited: Mar 17, 2018
        • Thanks! Thanks! x 1
        • CodyS

          CodyS Well-Known Member

          Messages:
          139
          Likes Received:
          43
          Joined:
          Mar 1, 2013
          Location:
          South Dakota
          Local Time:
          11:50 PM
          I have had a shipping container for two winters now. We store house furniture and extra kids clothes and furniture. And I also use it for car interior parts because it is rodent proof. I have not had any condensation issues with it yet. I live in South Dakota and it get very cold in the winter here and very humid in the spring. If you buy one make sure the guarantee it to be leak free and rodent proof.