How To Disassemble, Move Or Store Your Trampoline From Scratch [The Bottom Line]

Just the thought of disassembling your trampoline can be enough for people to put it off. A stubborn and heavy frame, seemingly hundreds of springs to detach and a pile of netting: no thank you, right?

The truth is, disassembling your trampoline takes even less energy than installing it. And when you consider the fact that packing up your trampoline for winter can literally double its lifespan, that doesn’t sound like such a bad deal. If it breaks down, you’d just have to go out and buy a new one, anyway–which will cost you money and the same amount of time in set-up and installation.

Convinced yet?

The Bottom Line

Fortunately, taking apart your trampoline really isn’t such a task. With the right tools and by following a few simple steps, you can save yourself a lot of time and hassle. For almost any trampoline job, the only essentials are:

  1. A phillips head screwdriver; and
  2. A 10mm spanner

You may also benefit from a spring tool or some pliers, but I’ll also explain an easy way that you can get by without them.

Why and When Should You Disassemble Your Trampoline

If you live in a mild climate year-round, then you may not need to disassemble your trampoline for years on end. Just some basic cleaning and maintenance will be enough to keep it looking and working like new.

However, for harsher conditions like heavy snow or relentless summer heat, it may be worthwhile to store your trampoline away with the seasons.

Inclement weather (and exceeding the trampoline weight capacity) is the fastest way to wear through your trampoline mat, frame and springs. Cold and damp weather encourages rust in the frame and springs, which can, in turn, make the trampoline a hazard to bounce on and an eyesore for your yard.

On the other hand, serious summers can take their toll on the trampoline mat–breaking down the fibres and making your trampoline more likely to rip or tear with use.

Beyond saving your trampoline lifespan, you may simply be moving–or maybe you’ve been inspired to remodel your yard and the trampoline needs to be relocated. For such cases, I will also describe how to move a trampoline without taking it apart.

Let’s get it into it.

How to disassemble a trampoline

I’m going to break it down by components, so if you don’t have any of the equipment mentioned in each stage, feel free to skip over. Don’t worry–I won’t include any exclusive tips for people with safety nets or padding!

Getting started: Tools and preparation

Depending on your trampoline model, you’re going to need a few things before your can get started. Firstly, you’ll need a Phillips head screwdriver and 10mm spanner.

Alongside that, you may benefit from a spring tool or a spring puller. This is a specific tool used for releasing your trampoline springs. If you bought your trampoline brand new, you should have received a spring tool in the assembly kit, along with a screwdriver and rubber mallet. If you bought it second hand or loaned it from a friend or family member, don’t stress: I’ll teach you how to to get by without a spring puller.

It looks like this:

Unfortunately, there is no getting around without a screwdriver or 10mm spanner, unless you happen to have a natural vice-like grip for removing bolts and screws!

You’ll also want to take a moment to prepare where you will store the trampoline parts. During the disassembly process, it’s a good idea to have a predetermined box out and ready–so that you can put all of the smaller bits and pieces together. It’ll also help the process to be more organized, which will help you on the other end when you eventually decide to re-assemble.

How to take apart a trampoline safety net

This will generally be much quicker than when you first install your safety net. The precise steps will depend on the design of your safety net, but I’ll cover the most common types.

If your poles are designed to fit directly into the trampoline frame, you should be able to just pop them out without any difficulty. Work your way around the trampoline, lying the poles down away from you, toward the centre of the trampoline. This way you’ll finish up with all of the net and poles in one piece in the middle of your trampoline and you won’t get all tangled up.

Some nets are attached at the bottom of the trampoline for added security, so next you’ll want to remove these. Then, either slide the net off of the enclosure poles, or you may need to remove the safety pins at the top of each pole first. If this is the case, be sure to screw these pins back into each pole after removing the net–that way you’ll know exactly where they are and they won’t go missing.

It’s a good idea to keep your poles and larger components bundled together for storage. You can do this by wrapping some tape around the poles, or placing them all in the same bag.

For your net, I would suggest keeping it in a cover or at least placing a blanket over it during storage in the winter months. You don’t want it to become a hotspot for insect infestation, either, so my last point would be to give each part of your safety net a good wipe down before placing it away in storage.

Removing the safety padding

You can do this either before or after removing your safety net (if you have one). Many trampoline pads come in a single, thin donut shape. This is fine, but it can make the removal process a little more clumsy. I personally don’t mind cutting a line through one-piece mats, then taping each edge separately and tying it down in place. This way, the disassembly process is simpler and you don’t lose anything out of your padding from it.

Remove each of the ties which attach your padding to the trampoline. I would suggest untying all of these first before trying to move the padding. It’s also easier to do this from beneath the trampoline–simply start in one place and work your way around. When you come across a broken strap, it’s a good idea to either hold onto it or fix it immediately (just tape or tie it back on however you can).

For particularly stubborn knots or ties, use a key or something sharp to loosen it. Don’t worry if you need to snap a couple of ties in the process: they should be long enough to re-tie and keep your padding in place next season.

Then, simply follow your padding around the trampoline, folding it up as you go. Again, it’s a good idea to keep this padding covered, clean and away from dampness during storage.

How to take springs off trampolines

This is the part that most people dread about trampoline disassembly, but it’s nothing to worry about. If you have your spring tool, it’s a breeze. And as I’ll show you, even without this tool it shouldn’t take more than a few minutes.

First, you want to check that your springs are in good shape. The removal process is for springs that are working as they should be–any broken springs you may need to approach with caution or remove altogether. The same goes for rusty springs, but I’ll talk about that more later.

Taking the spring tool with a firm grip, place it beneath the spring’s hook-end which attaches to the v-ring or d-ring on your trampoline mat. Pull the spring toward the center of the trampoline, so that it extends and loosens from the v or d-ring. You should then be able to slip it off, and remove it from the trampoline frame after that.

To be honest, even though the spring tool is designed for trampoline disassembly, I prefer to do without it. This is great news if you don’t have one to begin with! Since the spring tool requires you to pull the spring toward the trampoline, it can be difficult to get enough leverage. Unless you’re very tall, it’s hard to get the pressure to remove the spring. And when you need to do this fifty times over, it can be quite a hassle.

The easiest way to remove trampoline springs from your trampoline is with an old spring. You can do this by removing the first spring with your spring tool, then taking that spring for the rest of the journey. If you’re having trouble getting the first spring off (and you don’t have an old or broken spring lying around the house) then you can use a pair of pliers to get the ball rolling.

Trampoline springs have two ends: one has an almost completely closed end for hooking around the v or d-rings on the mat, the other has a slightly more open end for clinging to the trampoline frame. You want to use the slightly open end for removing the remaining springs.

Instead of battling toward the center of the trampoline, you’re simply going to slip the open spring end underneath the space where the new trampoline spring attaches to the metal frame. Pull towards your body and the spring should unhook, releasing from the trampoline. It’s a reverse approach to the spring tool method, but I find it much easier (and obviously more practical if you don’t have a spring tool).

Follow around the trampoline with your spring tool and small box to keep all the removed springs together. If you come across a broken or rusted spring, be careful as you remove it and place it to the side after removal. You will need to replace these next bouncing season.

For a great video on this, see here:

Folding your trampoline mat

At the end of the last stage, you’ll have ended up with a box full of springs and a trampoline mat laying in the middle of your trampoline frame. To fold, you’ll want to straighten out the mat on the ground first. Then take the whole mat and fold it in half. After this, take the round end and fold this back into the middle (in half again) and repeat one more time (depending on the size of your trampoline). With this long strip, you’ll then want to fold it longways a couple of times, so that you have a neat stack of trampoline fibres for easy storage.

How to disassemble a trampoline frame

This is actually the bulk of the work, and you may benefit from some power tools. If not, a Phillips head screwdriver is all you really need.

Unscrew all of the screws from the top of the pole, working your way around and keeping the removed screws in a small bag together. Once all the screws are out, pull at the top of the frame while standing on the base of your trampoline legs. Most legs come in a D-frame or something similar, so simply stand in the middle of these legs, putting your bodyweight on the middle of the frame and pulling up to release the trampoline ring from the poles.

Here, it’s probably a good idea to remove every second leg as you go around. This will make it easier to keep the trampoline frame standing as you go, giving you a simpler task of removing the legs. If you come across a particularly stubborn pole, just twist it around a few times in its socket and it should loosen up pretty quickly.

Now that your legs are off, you can pull apart the outer ring. If your trampoline frame is all a similar material, size and color, it’s a good idea to separate your outer ring components from your trampoline leg components. Make a pile at one end while removing and pulling apart the legs, then a separate pile for the trampoline outer ring.

Packing up

Now you should have a few piles which look nothing like a trampoline, taking up a relatively small amount of space. Feel free to sort and store these however you like, just be sure that your safety net, trampoline mat and padding around all covered during the storage season. Ideally, you can do the same for your frame and poles, but it isn’t as necessary since these guys are more conditioned to the elements.

How to move a trampoline without taking it apart

My only warning is that you probably won’t get it very far. If you are moving homes and using a delivery truck, it’s never a good idea to keep your trampoline fully assembled for the journey. While you may be able to fit your trampoline into a moving truck, it’s very easy for the components to be damaged during the travel. It may also be difficult to notice that it has been damaged until you start bouncing on it–needless to say, that could already be too late!

However, if you only plan on moving it across the yard–or maybe across the road to your neighbor’s yard–then it’s certainly possible. You’ll just need a few friends to take the frame and walk it along together.

It will be slow work, but perhaps faster than disassembling and reassembling. You can also do a partial disassembly for some moves. For example, you may keep the springs and mat attached to the outer ring of the frame, but remove the legs from the trampoline for easier carrying.

How to disassemble a rusty trampoline

Taking apart a rusty trampoline will follow the same steps as a brand new trampoline, only with a pair of gloves and some added caution. Rusty trampolines can be a bit unpredictable. There is still a lot of tension pulling the components together, and these might be ready to break during the disassembly process. Wear gloves to protect your hands during each step that involves the frame or springs, and approach any particularly rusty or weak looking spring with care.

If your frame or springs are snapping often or look very close to doing so, you will need to replace these parts next season.

Summing Up

Disassembling your trampoline and storing it away for the winter can save you time and money on repairs and replacements. It may sound like a hassle at first, but the process is actually much smoother and simpler than the first installation. The main points to remember are:

  1. Keep a close eye on your components during the disassembly;
  2. Store them together in easy, separate piles;
  3. You don’t need to waste your time and energy on a spring tool, just use an old spring; and
  4. Keep your fabrics and safety equipment covered during storage so that they don’t become a new home for insects this winter.

With that in mind, you’re ready to go. Grab a friend–maybe some music and drinks–and get to work. Also, if your looking for a new trampoline, check out my buyers guide.

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