For many, camping is a warm weather hobby. When the temperatures drop and rain turns to snow, you might call it quits until spring. You have a few options for storing your RV during the winter – which works best for you? Learn the pros and cons of the most common ways to store your RV, along with tips to protect your RV through the harsh winter weather.
Best Options for Storing Your RV
When winter is on its way, you must make the decision whether to store your RV inside or outside. Consider your options carefully before making the decision because it could affect the longevity of your RV! If you’re a new RV owner, you may need to do a little research to learn what types of storage facilities exist near you.
There are a few different types of indoor RV storage, ranging from heated garages to basic interior storage. When you store your RV inside, you’re protecting it from most, if not all, of the common weather-related damage it might suffer.
Indoor storage in well-maintained settings also helps reduce standing water or moisture problems. Rust can be incredibly destructive to your RV, especially if stored for long periods of time.
The best option for interior storage is a heated garage. Storing your RV indoors will always protect it against rain, hail and snow, but typical garages tend to get cold. Low temperatures can wreak havoc on parts of your RV, like plastic components
Indoor storage does have one big downside: cost. While it varies from business to business, RV storage facilities can be an expensive monthly cost. If that has you considering other options, remember the potential long-term savings. Cheaper solutions may introduce more rust or weather damage to your RV, offsetting your “savings” by quite a bit!
Many storage facilities offer a cheaper option using their unpaved lots for your RV. Typically, your RV won’t be protected from the elements. In some cases, the outdoor storage is covered, which can at least prevent snow from piling on your RV’s roof.
The biggest advantage to these outdoor storage lots is the additional security for your RV. These lots are fenced and well-lit. Many also have monitored security systems.
Outdoor facilities are cheaper than interior ones, but they still have a cost. If you want to avoid any monthly fees, you can consider storing your RV at home. On one hand, you’ll sacrifice any protection that a facility might offer from the weather or otherwise. However, you’ll also have easier access to your RV for maintenance until camping season.
RV Storage Tips
#1. Remove Everything & Clean It
When you store your RV for the winter, make sure to take everything out that’s not part of the RV. Food, clothes, and everything else should be cleaned out. First, this helps prevent critters from squatting in your RV during the colder season. Secondly, it discourages theft. Even if you’re storing your RV at a secure facility, it’s better to be safe than sorry. While you might not miss some extra food, you’ll miss your collection of DVDs or other expensive travel tech.
With the entire RV empty, it’s a great time to clean it too. Your future self will thank you after the winter when you can hit the road immediately without having to clean up. Unfortunately, if you travel with pets, it may not take long before it needs another thorough cleaning!
#2. Clean Out Your Fridge & Leave It Open
Remove the food from your fridge and clean it thoroughly. The last thing you want is to come back on for your first big trip in the spring to an odor that stops you in your tracks. Keep the door open with bungee cords or ties to let it air out and help prevent mildew.
Some RV owners like to leave baking soda or an open can of coffee in their fridge too. This helps guarantee a fresh smell when they de-winterize their RV in the spring.
#3. Never Leave Your Propane Tank in the RV
For safety, you should turn off and remove your propane tank before you store your RV. Many hardware stores sell caps for your propane lines to keep them clean and insect-free until next season. Keep your propane tank somewhere that provides adequate ventilation and protects it from rust.
#4. Turn Off the Main Breaker & Remove Your Batteries
Since you’ll be storing your RV for a few months, turn off the main electrical breaker. This will protect your 120V electrical system. Unplug your appliances, too. When you switch the breaker back on after winter, you won’t have to worry about frying your electronics due to a potential surge.
You should also remove the main 12V battery from your RV. Store it in a safe place that will be protected from the cold weather. Additionally, this helps prevent corrosion during the long storage!
#5. Drain Your Plumbing Lines
Even if you plan to store your vehicle in a heated facility, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Empty your water lines and tanks and fill them with antifreeze. If you’re not familiar with the proper way to do this, ask your local dealer. Frozen pipes in your RV can be a nightmare.
#6. Cover Your Tires
If you store your RV outside, make sure to cover the tires. Despite being hard to see, UV damage from the sun can degrade the rubber and cause weather cracking. Inexpensive tire covers are all it takes to add years to the lifespan of your tires.
#7. Cover Your RV’s Access Points, Too
While your RV may be cold during the winter, it’s still warmer and safer for animals than being outside. Every critter in the area knows it, too. If there are any openings, such as access holes from the water lines, temporarily seal them.
For any damage or small holes, spray foam is inexpensive and works wonders. If you don’t take steps to repair your RV’s breaches, you may come back in the spring to an RV with more to clean than you expected.
Don’t Forget to Fully Winterize Your RV
For those living in chilly climates, it’s important to completely winterize your RV. While it takes a bit of time to do it properly, it can save you headaches and repair bills down the road. No matter where you store your vehicle, some of these steps are necessary. They don’t only protect against the cold – they also protect against damage or corrosion from a few months of inactivity.
Do You Have RV Questions? Contact RV Wholesale Superstore!
The professionals at RV Wholesale Superstore are ready to help you find your first RV and answer any questions you may have about taking care of one. Visit us in-person at 5080 W. Alexis Road, in Sylvania, OH or call us at (855) 629 3326.
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