RVing is a hugely popular leisure activity in the United States, with an estimated 11% of the nation owning their own recreational vehicle.
Providing you and your family with the means to travel the open road, go on multiple vacations a year without having to break the bank, and the opportunity to spend quality time together away from the pressures of modern-day life, it’s hardly surprising that sales of RVs have soared in recent years.
That being said, with the price of an RV ranging from $10,000 up to $300,000, when your recreational vehicle is not in use, you are going to want to make sure that it is stored somewhere safely.
Whether you have just bought your first RV or think your current storage choice is not up to scratch, keep reading to find out how you can store your RV safely and enjoy peace of mind that your pride and joy is protected at all times when not in use.
Give your RV a spring clean
Before you store your RV away, it can first be a good idea to give it a thorough clean, as being on the open road can result in a lot of dirt and grime accumulating both in the interior and exterior of your vehicle.
Start by giving your vehicle a good wash and wax, as this will help protect the outside of your RV from sun damage and make the process of cleaning your vehicle once it comes out of storage a lot easier.
Check all seals
Once clean, it is now the ideal time to check all the silicon seams, caulking, and rubber seals. If you find that any have become cracked or worn down, you should have these repaired before placing your vehicle in storage.
Failure to repair these seals can result in water damage, which can be very costly to mend.
Ensure your RV is ventilated
Unless you want to pick up your RV from storage and be met with a musty, moldy smelling vehicle, you need to make sure that it is adequately ventilated. The easiest way to do this is by leaving the rooftop vents open so that fresh air can circulate and the risk of moisture developing is reduced.
You can also find vent covers online that will prevent rain from getting into your RV while at the same time allowing for proper airflow.
Allow sunlight in
If you are thinking about closing the curtains before you place your RV in storage, then you may want to think again, as this is another sure-fire way to experience mold growth. Instead, opt for translucent daytime shades that actively allow sunlight to penetrate through them.
Protect from pests
Depending on where you are in the United States, you will experience varying levels of pest problems. In terms of RV storage, unless you want your vehicle full of dead bugs when you return, you need to make sure that all external openings are either blocked off or screened.
Although pests will try and get in anywhere they can, some of the most popular routes they are likely to explore include the rooftop plumbing vents, inside the exterior fridge panel and vent, and in the air intake pipe.
Fortunately, you can buy flying insect screen protectors online or at your local RV outlet, which will fit these specific openings.
Other common pests are mice and rats, which are both predominantly attracted by food, so make sure that you clear out all food and drink (every scrap) before putting your RV into storage.
Turn off all power
This may seem obvious, but before storing your RV, you need to make sure that you turn off all the electrics so that you are not met with a dead battery bank upon your return. You can do this by using a battery disconnect switch.
It is also a good idea to make sure your batteries are fully charged, especially if you are storing your RV over the winter months, as this can prevent freezing. If you have a solar-powered RV, then leave it hooked up to keep your battery charged while in storage.
Take care of plumbing
Again this will be dependent on what time of year you are planning to store your RV and how long you are planning to store it for. If you are only placing your vehicle in storage for a small amount of time, all you need to do is flush out your waste tanks and add a little water to stop the tank from drying out.
However, if you are storing your RV for a longer period of time and there is a chance of below-freezing temperatures, then you should remove all water from the system, including any water in the heater tank. It is also a good idea to add antifreeze into the piping and into the waste tank.
Protect your tires
Storing your RV incorrectly can lead to weakened tires and, in the worst case scenario, blow-outs. Fortunately, there are several tried and tested storage techniques that can ensure your tires are as protected as possible. These include:
- Keep your vehicle out of direct sunlight.
- Unload your vehicle to reduce weight.
- Inflate your tires 25% more than recommended operation pressure (however, do not go over the manufacturer’s inflation capacity).
- Clean your tires to remove any traces of oil.
- Try to move your vehicle once every three months but not during extreme weather conditions.
- Place your vehicle on blocks if possible.
Choose a trusted RV storage provider
Even with all the preparation in the world, if you then pick a substandard RV storage facility, your vehicle is not going to be cared for in the way that it should.
There are several different types of RV storage solutions, including RV parking spaces, RV land lots, and covered RV storage. The one you pick will be dependent on your storage requirements and your budget.
You can even find RV storage facilities that provide 24-hour security to ensure your vehicle is protected at all times.
Not sure where to start when it comes to choosing an RV storage facility? Compare RV storage options near you with StorageArea.com, the largest database of storage facilities in the United States.