If you are unpacking the RV from vacation and storing your RV between trips, you must cover your bases before closing and locking the camper door. Just like with a house or a car, regular maintenance is key to keeping an RV in tip-top condition.
Typical RV wear and tear issues include RV delamination, pest problems, mold, and water or electric damage. The following travel trailer storage checklist can help protect your RV and keep it in good condition.
RV storage tips
Remove all food and debris
It can be tempting to leave pantry items in the camper, especially if the cans are not open or you use airtight containers. However, we have found that the best way to avoid rodent or insect invasions is to never leave any food in the RV.
You will also want to thoroughly check the hidden areas under the couch, dinette, and mattresses. Undetected cereal spills from your toddler can attract destructive pests into the camper.
Prevent pest damage
Depending on where you live, there are additional ways to prevent pest damage to your RV:
- Sprinkle Borax around the perimeter of the RV for insect prevention
- Coat electric and plumbing lines with dish detergent to keep away squirrels
- Leave cotton balls soaked with essential oils to deter mice
If you live near nesting wasps, close your access doors and vents completely. In this case, a penny of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Learn more about keeping mice out of your RV.
Clean the interior and exterior of your RV
As part of storing an RV between trips, we thoroughly clean the interior and exterior of our RV if we will not be using it for a few weeks or more. A thorough cleaning includes spraying a diluted bleach solution in the refrigerator and freezer and propping open both doors.
Washing and waxing the outside of the RV will keep it looking great for years, but more importantly, it will help protect the exterior from elements of nature. We also extend the awning and ensure it is clean and dry before rolling it back up.
Avoid moisture build up
Moisture is the biggest enemy of an RV, so keeping it from building up during storage is important.
If storing an RV in heat, humidity, or varying temperatures, consider installing roof vents that allow you to keep them permanently open while also protecting the RV from precipitation.
Many first-time RV owners also hang gel packs that pull the moisture out of the air or occasionally run a dehumidifier. Of course, also make sure there is no standing water on any surface of your RV at any time. Learn more about how to manage humidity in your RV.
Disconnect your RV battery
Many passive draws on your RV battery will pull charge even when you think you have shut everything off. Stereos and microwave clocks are just a couple of common culprits. Manually disconnecting the battery, or installing a battery disconnect switch, will save you from being without power when you hitch up the RV for your next trip.
Cover your tires
Investing in good tire covers for your RV will save you money down the road. The fact is that most RV tires are more damaged by UV exposure than by actual wear and tear on the roads. Travelers suffer from tire blowouts, even though they haven’t technically put that many driving miles on the RV, because sun exposure has damaged the tire wall. Tire covers are a simple and affordable preventative measure.
Other considerations for storing your RV
When preparing your RV for a little driveway downtime or winterizing your RV, it’s important to think about it like a house on wheels. Applying preventative cleaning and maintenance to your RV will ensure that it’s in top-notch condition the next time your family is ready to hit the road. And just like a home, you’ll want to protect it while you are storing it from storm damage, theft, and vandalism with RV insurance. Learn more about what RV insurance covers and how RV insurance works.