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Leaving gear (drums, sub, amps..) in the van this winter

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by deathbyjune, Sep 9, 2008.


  1. deathbyjune

    deathbyjune

    May 19, 2008
    New Jersey
    Hey guys, my drummer and I play out at least once a week, sometimes twice.

    We have a van that holds all of his drums/cymbals/hardware, an 18" subwoofer, my bass combo amp, a poweramp in a rack, and some other stuff.

    The van has made our preparation and setup for our weekly gigs SO convenient. The gear stays in there all week, gets unloaded when we play, and loaded back in at the end of the night.

    I'm not sure what we should do this winter when the temp drops to 30 degrees or lower.

    Anybody else in (or has been in) the same boat?
     
  2. biohazed

    biohazed

    Aug 31, 2008
    Philadelphia, PA
    don't know if its a good idea you start getting alot of humidity on vehicles plus the cold may cause some damage
     
  3. 3rdBass

    3rdBass Funk in A Supporting Member

    Low humidity + freezing temps can really damage your gear unless you park the vehicle in a warmer garage. You wouldn't want to leave your bass outside, would you ? Think about your paper & rubber speakers and your drummer's wooden shells & heads. Rubber coated cables, internal components of electronics and other pieces or gear don't like the cold, if left outside you may want to let it warm up for a while before using it. Obviously, it doesn't matter to pure hardware. I'm in northeast PA and have left my small combo and single cab in the car overnight when I was just too lazy to unload it. I wouldn't receommend it on a regular basis though. Not to mention the risk factor of having it all ripped off.
     
  4. deathbyjune

    deathbyjune

    May 19, 2008
    New Jersey
    Very true, honest advice 3rdBass. Thanks.

    Maybe I'm trying to avoid the inevitable. Damn.
     
  5. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    For most of my 30+ years gigging (in Central Illinois where we see sub-zero pretty frequently in January), I have left my cabinets and my amp (and PA gear) in the van. It's not a problem unless you don't give it a chance to warm up and acclimate before you turn it on. Of course bigger chunks of iron will take longer- so tube amps need to spend a good bit of time coming to room temperature before you hit them with the juice- those big transormers take a while to warm up.

    And I disagree with the above comment that things don't like the cold. It's heat that wrecks most electronic gear. And the real problem of cold is NOT the cold, but rather a sudden change of temperature, and the condesation as the cold metal moves into a warm and humid room.

    jte
     
  6. Blueszilla

    Blueszilla Bassist ordinaire

    Apr 2, 2003
    The Duke City
    Our band does this regularly, but the van gets parked in a locked garage, so no worries about security.

    I'd worry more about the heat, but the extremes are a bit less than if the van was outside.

    I'll agree that cold is ok for electronic components, and also agree that it's the rapid rise (or drop, for that matter) in temperature that is potentially the biggest problem. I never leave my guitars in the van, as the temperature and humidity has a more pronounced affect on them. Not sure about the drums, but I would think their tuning would be affected by temperature extremes, but not really sure, maybe they are more robust that I think. I think your electronics are probabally ok though. It would have to get really extreme for it to be an issue.

    It does, however, make load in/out much easier, especially since the van belongs to the GP. :D
     
  7. I'd worry more about getting your gear ripped off than the cold. Bad idea on both counts.
     
  8. deathbyjune

    deathbyjune

    May 19, 2008
    New Jersey
    Hey thanks for the continued responses guys!

    I think we will end up leaving the 18" subwoofer, hardware, and other electronics (my combo amp, poweramp) in the van. The drums are probably the only cause for concern. We will probably bite the bullet and take those inside at the end of the night.

    Security is definitely a concern, but we are pretty good about keeping the van locked up. Plus, all of my expensive gear (bass, mixer, pedals, mics, etc) stay with me at all times.
     
  9. Please send me your address.:ninja:
     
  10. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    the Cali Intergalctic Mind Space
    Song Surgeon slow downer software- full 4 hour demo
    If you remove the drums from the van, someone's going to notice the rest of the equipment left in the van. I suggest a paging alarm system with a fuel cutoff switch.
     
  11. deathbyjune

    deathbyjune

    May 19, 2008
    New Jersey

    Interesting recommendation. Are you suggesting that someone might break into the van, hot wire it, and steal the van (grand theft auto) all to acquire a cheap subwoofer and a poweramp?

    I appreciate the responses, but this thread was meant to address the weather conditions. We live in a nice area in the suburbs. As long as we keep the van locked up, I'm not too worried about getting ripped.
     

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