Whether you storing your RV for the winter or in between road trips, here are helpful tips for properly storing a camper or RV…
It's that time of year again – the leaves are changing, the weather is cooling down, and it's time to put your camper or RV in storage.
If you're not sure how to properly store your camper or RV, don't worry. We have put together a list of tips that will help keep your vehicle in good condition all winter long.
You're going to have plenty to do, so let's jump right in!
Storing a Camper or RV? (15 Tips for RV Owners)
The following are 15 excellent tips for storing your RV. Let this be a checklist for you to prevent any unwanted surprises when you return to your RV.
1. Check Your Owner's Manual
Jennifer and I always say this: your owner's manual is your best friend!
Check your owner’s manual for specific storing instructions from the manufacturer. Some RVs require special preparation before being put into storage.
2. Check Your RV Insurance Policy
Some RV insurance companies only cover your RV in storage if it's stored in certain types of storage facilities. Some may require an indoor storage space, while others will cover outdoor storage.
Also, double-check to see that your insurance covers personal belongings inside. Not all do, and break-ins are more likely with stored RVs.
Keep in mind that a self-storage facility usually does not cover break-ins. (Yes, even if they are secured).
Lastly, check to see if your insurance has an option of storage-only insurance in the off-season. This can save you money while still covering you for things like theft, vandalism, falling objects, and damage caused by weather or animals.
3. Make Your RV Extra Secure
It's smart to put extra security measures in place when you're storing a camper or RV. If you own a travel trailer, add a hitch lock. That will prevent anyone from hitching up to their vehicle and driving away.
For a drivable RV, think about changing all entry locks. That way, you can prevent individuals from accessing the interior of your RV and driving away with it or stealing your personal belongings.
Many RV storage facilities have security protocols in place. In truth, they fail often. So, adding an extra layer can make it that much more secure.
I recommend reading about these added security measures:
- Prevent Catalytic Converter Theft: 3 Ways to Protect Your RV
- RV Pro Tip: Use Apple AirTag to Track Stolen RV & Much More
4. Remove Valuable Items
Another great tip is to make sure that you remove valuables from your RV before you take it to storage. Remove all portable electronics. Be sure also to remove personal paperwork that might contain identifying information.
5. Clean Out the Fridge, Freezer & Pantry
You will thank me for this one! There is nothing worse than the foul odor of old food.
Be sure to remove all food products from your RV.
You definitely don't want old food spoiling in your closed-up RV. Not only will it smell terrible. It can also attract hungry critters.
You should even remove items like pasta, sugar, and other dry goods from your cabinets. Otherwise, you run the risk of attracting pests.
Once you remove food items, defrost the freezer completely, and clean the fridge with a solution of baking soda and water.
It's also a good idea to leave the fridge and freezer doors slightly ajar to air out.
6. Create a Battery Plan
If you have a driveable RV, you need a battery plan for both your chassis battery and house batteries.
If you have an RV you tow, you need a plan for your house batteries.
You'll want to do one of the following:
- Disconnect the battery/batteries
- Trickle charge the battery/batteries
- Use the 30/50 amp charge at your storage facility, if they offer one
7. Disconnect Your Propane
This one probably does not need much explanation. Propane is flammable and can be dangerous. When storing a camper or RV, be sure to disconnect the line to protect your RV and other people.
U-Haul suggests in their RV Propane Safety & Storage Tips that you remove all portable propane cylinders and store them in an area that is well ventilated in an upright, secure position.
8. Pest Proof the RV
A good rule of thumb when it comes to pests and your RV is to prevent them from entering your RV at all. Seal up small holes and other entryways so they cannot enter your rig.
I recommend checking out our Bug Round-Up: Best Articles on Battling Bugs While RVing.
Pests can cause many costly issues in your RV, chewing through wires or other valuables. Or you may end up with an infestation!
When rodents die inside your rig, they also cause an awful smell for you to discover when you return.
9. Wash and Prep Your RV
You can also take that time to ensure that all moving parts are well lubricated, which preserves the life of those parts.
In addition, be sure to cover your RV tires to prolong their life.
10. Make Sure the Slides are In
When storing a camper or RV, make sure that your slides are entirely in and secure. If you leave them open (even a little) you welcome damage, wear and tear, and exposure to elements and pests.
Once they're closed, it's a good idea to check the seals. Look for any gaps that may allow insects and critters to get inside. If you find any, fix the seals!
11. Get Adequate Fuel for the Generator
This tip is a precursor for the next couple tips. If you have a generator, store it with adequate fuel. That way, you can periodically start it while the rig is stored.
In addition, make sure that the oil has been recently changed.
12. Visit Your RV
Visiting your RV is essential while you are away. If you store it at a facility with a concierge, they may check it for you upon request.
If possible, visit your RV once a month while it is stored. You can check for pests, run the generator and start the battery.
13. Exercise the Generator Monthly
You may have seen this tip coming! If you have an onboard generator, you should start it up once in a while. Ideally, every month.
When you visit your RV, start the generator, and let it run for 15 minutes.
14. Check the Chassis Batteries
When you come to check on your RV, it's a good idea to start her up! Make sure that the chassis battery is still charged and functioning properly.
15. Check for Evidence of Pests
Whenever you visit your RV, do a routine check for rodent activity. Look for fecal matter, nests, and use your nose to sniff out dead rodents.
Check cool dark areas for insects, like under sinks and in kitchen cabinets. If necessary, consult these articles:
Refill any pest deterrent supplies or fills holes that you had not noticed previously.
Types of RV Storage Facilities & How to Find the Best Storage Facility
Now that you know some great tips on storing a camper correctly, do you want to know more about RV storage facilities?
Check out our article outlining the main types of RV storage and how to find the best one in your desired area.
Planning to head south instead of storing a camper for the winter?…
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