When the seasons change and winter knocks on the door, it’s time to plan for off-season RV storage. As RV enthusiasts, we understand the importance of taking proper care of your recreational vehicle during periods of non-use.
By following our tips and techniques, you can rest assured that your RV remains in top condition, ready for your next road trip when the off-season ends.
RV Storage Facilities or Home Sweet Home?
Your driveway might seem like a convenient spot to park your rig or trailer during the off-season. There are several reasons it may not be the best option for RV storage.
Local regulations and HOA restrictions may prevent you from parking your rig in your driveway. Violating the rules could result in fines or other penalties.
Leaving your RV out in the open exposes it to the elements, which can lead to damage. Prolonged exposure to sunlight, rain, and snow could cause fading, rust, and damage to the exterior and interior of your RV. Extreme temperatures can even impact the performance of the battery and tires.
The biggest issue with storing an RV in the driveway (or street) is tension with neighbors. Not everyone loves seeing an RV parked on the block. Even if you build a separate pad for your RV, it can block views and irritate your neighbors.
So, how do you pick the right storage location?
Prioritize security features such as surveillance cameras, access control, and on-site personnel. Consider the facility’s accessibility. You want easy access to your RV in case you want to pull it out and take a quick winter road trip.
Do A Pre-Storage Deep Clean
Before tucking your RV away for the off-season, give it a thorough cleaning—inside and out. Remove any dirt, debris, and grime. Take this opportunity to inspect your RV for any damages or issues that require attention. Fixing them now will save you from unpleasant surprises later.
Interior TLC Checklist
- Wipe down all surfaces
- Vacuum floors
- Use moisture absorbers
- Set traps for mice
Pro tip: Leave some baking soda containers in different areas of the RV. It can help absorb musty odors.
- Wash and wax
- Inspect seals and caulking
- Clean awning
- Secure all vents and openings
- Lock doors and storage compartments
- Inflate tires to the recommended pressure
If you’re not using covered storage, consider buying a high-quality, breathable RV cover and a set of tire covers. Covers are like sunscreen for your RV.
Pro tip: Remember to remove perishables. There once was a woman who left a lobster tail in the RV freezer for the entire off-season. You can imagine how the story ends.
Off-Season Maintenance Made Easy
Before putting your RV away, give your engine and other components some love. That little bit of time you spend on maintenance just might get you back on the road faster when you’re ready to take the RV out of storage.
Engine Check-Up: The Heart of Your RV
Start by giving the engine a thorough check-up. Change the oil and replace the oil filter to keep the engine lubricated and free from contaminants. Check the coolant levels to prevent freezing during the colder months. Consider adding a fuel stabilizer to prevent fuel deterioration and ensure a smooth start-up when it’s time to hit the road again.
Battery TLC: Keep the Power Flowing
Your RV’s battery needs some care during its downtime. Disconnect the battery to prevent draining and consider using a battery tender or maintainer to keep it fully charged. This simple step will extend the battery’s lifespan and ensure it’s ready to power up your adventures come spring.
Plumbing and Water System: Avoid Freezing Woes
Prevent plumbing mishaps by properly winterizing your RV’s water system. Drain all the water from the pipes and tanks, and use antifreeze to protect against freezing temperatures. Don’t forget to empty the water heater and ensure all water lines are clear of any remaining liquid.
More Long-Term Storage Tips
Even during the off-season, your RV needs attention. Make it a habit to check on it periodically, ensuring everything looks good and that no critters have made it their home.
Setting mouse traps and using pest repellants is one defense against rodents, but you’ll also want to seal gaps around doors and windows. RV covers don’t only protect your coach, they help keep pests out.
Run essential systems and components, such as the engine, generator, and air conditioner, (if the outside temperature is warm enough) to keep them lubricated and in good working order.
Taking the time to get your RV ready for storage means less time getting it road-ready when you want to travel.
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