No matter how much you love RVing, there is a good chance your RV will spend more time packed away in storage than it will on the open road. Even when our rigs aren’t rolling, they can endure damage from multiple angles. These damage prevention tips will keep your RV in buff shape for your future journeys.
While many say that “neither snow nor rain nor heat” will affect your postal delivery, unfortunately, the same is not true for your RV. Snow, rain, and heat can be brutal on your parked rig. If at all possible, consider parking indoors or under a roof. If you can’t do this at your house, you may find covered or indoor storage at a facility. Though this may cost a fee, the fee is worth it if it prevents damage.
If your RV will be exposed to the elements, consider purchasing a high-quality cover. A cover can block damaging UV rays that break down exterior elements, and it can prevent precipitation from seeping into the rig. Tire covers can also be a worthy purchase to protect those ever-important pieces of your RV.
When you leave your RV to sit for a few weeks or months, you may return to find something else making itself at home in your rolling home. Pests like mice, ants, cockroaches, and more can find their way in through miniscule openings. Aside from just being gross, these pests can damage interior materials. The first step in pest control is removing anything that might attract pest (including all foods and any settled crumbs). Next, seal any known entrances. Steel wool pads are a great filler for small holes.
Next, use some pest deterrents to make your RV less appealing. Some RVers swear dryer sheets and slivers of minty soaps keep mice at bay, while others sprinkle cleaning powders around the tires to ward off ants. Unfortunately, once pests have made their way inside, they tend to return. A visit to the pest aisle of your local home improvement store can help you find the pest treatments and deterrents. Since an RV is a tightly enclosed space, be careful to air it out after using chemicals.
Frozen temperatures can lead to major headaches if you have not properly winterized your RV. If water freezes in the lines, you may find multiple cracked pipes in the spring, leading to a flooded mess. Proper winterization is of ultimate importance if you live in a region where lows dip below 32 degrees in the winter. To prevent Jack Frost’s icy lash from destroying your water lines, clear them with air or antifreeze before the cold sets in. Be sure to use special antifreeze that is safe for your potable-water lines.
Take care of the elements
An RV is a complicated rig with multiple appliances and amenities that each must be considered before storage. Remove batteries from fire alarms, if applicable. Turn off the propane and make sure all appliances are fully off. Check the refrigerator to ensure it is completely empty (there’s nothing worse than discovering an unseemly mess of rotten food!), and prop the door open a bit to allow air to circulate.
Safeguard all seals
Before storing your RV, prevent damage from the elements by checking the seals around your windows and doors. Over time, sealants break down, providing ample opportunity for water to begin seeping in. If you notice any chips or cracks, repair the seals with the appropriate materials as soon as possible.
Check in periodically
While your RV is in storage, check in periodically to check for damage. If you catch water, pests, or other types of problems early, it is much easier to repair and to prevent future destruction. Do a visual inspection of the interior ceiling and open all of the cabinet floors. Walk around slowly, checking for soft spots in the floor and looking for any damage to the walls. Similarly, do a visual inspection of the exterior and roof, if possible. Many owners wait until spring to check their rigs, meaning they’ll likely encounter long waits if repairs are needed at a shop. A mid-winter check can help you identify problems, so you’ll be ready to roll when spring arrives.
Putting the rig away for a long winter’s sleep is something most RVers dread. However, discovering damage when spring arrives is even worse. Damage to your RV can force you to alter your inaugural trip of the next camping season, and it can be expensive to repair. Following these tips should keep your rig in tip-top shape through its storage slumbers.