Organizing and Preparing your RV for Storage
If you don’t live or travel full-time in your RV, there may come a time when you need to store your vehicle. To ensure your motorhome, trailer, or camper remains in good condition during its dormant period, you'll need to take steps to clean, or protect it for short or long-term RV storage and find the perfect storage location that fits your needs. This will allow you to quickly hit the road and get back to enjoying your beloved vehicle once the time comes. Experts suggest following some useful RV organization ideas and preparation tips, which you can read about below.
Get a Storage Space
If you haven't secured a storage location for your RV yet, you'll need to find one. Storing your RV on your own property is often illegal or prohibited by homeowners' associations, so you'll likely need to find commercial storage. Which is where Lockaway Storage comes in handy with secure and convenient storage options.
Simply searching for "RV storage near me" isn't enough to find the right storage for your needs. You'll need to consider whether you require an indoor or outdoor facility based on the size of your RV. Larger vehicles like Class A motorhomes and fifth-wheel campers typically require outdoor storage, which can range from covered carports to uncovered parking spaces. Indoor storage provides better protection from the elements and weather events. Keep in mind that the type of storage you choose will impact the steps you need to take to prepare your RV before leaving it there.
Get Your Vehicle Organized
Similar to preparing your home before leaving for vacation, it's important to get your things in order before storing your RV.
Clean It Out
After addressing any pest issues, it's time to clear out your RV space. Remove all food and defrost your refrigerator/freezer, then wipe it clean and leave an open box of baking soda inside to prevent odors from lingering. Transfer any valuables to a safe location. Clean the living space by vacuuming the floors and wiping down all surfaces.
Begin by inspecting your RV inside and out for any existing damage. The primary concern is evidence of mice and other critters that may have made their way into your vehicle. Yes, you read that correctly - critters!
If you discover any pest issues, it's essential to address them promptly. Fill any gaps or openings you find on the underside of the vehicle, in crevices, or corners with expanding foam. Seal away potential entry points for further invasion by caulking any cracks in the roof, walls, or other areas.
Get the Right Supplies
Before proceeding to the next steps, it's important to get any necessary RV organization accessories, such as an RV cover, cleaning products, wood for the wheels, spray lubricant, RV antifreeze, fuel stabilizer, and tire covers. Once you have everything you need, drive to your storage or parking place and park your RV.
To prepare your systems, start by disabling any inline water filters to prevent damage from winterizing chemicals. After that, empty your black and gray tanks, dispose of all wastewaters, and sanitize the black tank.
When it comes to winterizing an RV, just like a home, the priority is to safeguard pipes and fixtures from freezing. To accomplish this, completely drain your plumbing lines, including the water heater. Bypass the water heater and add an RV antifreeze agent to the system, ensuring that it runs through the entire system. It's crucial to use an RV-specific antifreeze because an RV's plumbing system carries drinking water. (When you're ready to hit the road again, make sure to flush the system with cold water before resuming normal operations.)
Another essential step is to secure your fuel system by adding a fuel stabilizer to prevent corrosion and buildup. This will also keep any remaining fuel fresh throughout the storage period. As for the RV engine battery, it will naturally drain over time, so it's important to extend its lifespan by disconnecting and removing it. Store it in a secure location along with any other RV-related batteries.
The majority of RV owners who choose outdoor storage, and even many who opt for indoor storage, use RV covers. These covers serve to shield the vehicle from harsh environmental conditions and to keep it safe from pests.
Covering your tires with tire covers is also a good idea to protect them from weather-related wear and tear. To prevent flat spots on the tires and reduce pressure on the wheels during extended periods of inactivity, some RV owners use trailer legs, wooden blocks, or jack stands.
If you plan to store your RV in a humid climate, consider placing a product such as DampRid inside to protect it from moisture. However, if your storage location is in a dry climate, leave a bucket of water inside the RV on the floor to prevent any interior wood from cracking or drying out.
After completing these steps, your RV is now safely prepared for storage until your next adventure beckons. Make sure to call or visit Lockaway Storage when you’re ready to store your RV!