RV and Boat Storage Tips
Besides our homes and cars, our RVs and boats typically represent our largest investments, so it’s important to protect and store them correctly. The most important choice is where to store them. Many of us don’t have room at home, so be sure to choose a location that is safe and secure, preferably indoors or under a canopy, but you can also use a dedicated, good quality, breathable cover if storing outdoors.
Storing a boat is very similar to an RV, so for convenience’s sake, we’re going to refer to RVs, but know that pretty much all of these tips apply to boats as well.
Cleanliness is Next to Godliness
It’s important that you clean your RV thoroughly. First the exterior - don’t let road grime, mud, bugs, or whatever else has gotten all over your RV sit for long periods. The paint or gel coats can be damaged, or even worse, you can promote the development of rust. Consider a coat of wax to help prevent the buildup of dirt or grime, especially if you're storing outdoors.
Be sure you also thoroughly clean the interior. Wipe everything down and make sure you don’t have any mold or mildew growth. Consider using a mild vinegar solution for this. Don’t leave any food, and make sure you empty the fridge and leave the door open. Any food left on board will attract rodents and insects. In that vein, leave some insect traps/baits out just in case. If you’re going to be regularly checking in on your RV, which we strongly recommend, you may also want to consider rodent traps if you’re storing in an area where rodents are a problem.
Moisture is the Enemy
Moisture can be a major problem. Remove bedding, towels, clothing, and any other textiles you can. If you’re storing outdoors in a damp location, you may wish to go as far as removing fabric cushions and storing them in a climate-controlled area. Leave all your cabinets and drawers open to promote good airflow. Consider investing in a dehumidifier if you’ll be checking in regularly, but if not, get some DampRid or desiccants to help remove excess moisture from the air.
It is hard to over emphasize the importance of taking every step you can to control moisture. The last thing you want is to open the door to find mold and mildew everywhere.
Winterize or Lay-up Your Systems
Most areas experience freezing temps over the winter, so it’s important to address any systems with water: drinking water, wastewater, and engine-coolant among them. Be sure your water systems are drained, and that includes removing any in-line water filters. If they can’t be completely emptied, be sure to winterize them with drinking-water-safe anti-freeze. Don’t leave anything in your waste tank - that’s just nasty and invites a very unpleasant funk.
Disconnect your propane tanks, and even better, remove the tanks altogether. Remove the batteries, or at the very least, disconnect the negative cable. Turn off all of your electrical breakers, so you don’t get a surge when reconnecting later.
A little time and effort will ensure that when you’re ready for a new season of RVing or boating, that you’re that much closer to being ready to get out and go.
If you’re in Texas or Colorado, explore RV and Boat storage options at Lockaway Storage.