Steps to store your RV
After a summer of relaxing and vacationing across the country in your RV, it’s time to put it away for the cold winter months. Proper winterizing is important to keep your RV in tiptop shape. Some people think that winterizing only involves the water systems, but there is plenty more involved in a successful winter of safe and effective storage.
First, you’ll need to wash and wax your RV, and don’t forget to clean the often overlooked roof, undercarriage, window seals and wheel wells. Allowing grime to sit in the cracks and crevices will lead to damaging corrosion. Be sure to thoroughly dry the RV once it is clean. A good layer of wax can help to protect from sun damage if you have to store outside, but more on that later. Wax can also help to keep dirt from accumulating on outer surfaces and provides the added benefit of making the RV easier to clean next year when you pull it back out of storage.
Now that the RV is clean, next you should check all of the window and door seams, the caulking and the rubber seals for any cracks or damage accumulated from the wear and tear of a summer of travel. It is important to repair any damage you find now, before it has the chance to get worse and, with that, more expensive to repair as water seeps into the cracks and openings.
Next, you’ll want to open up all of the roof vents and then leave them open. Any moisture left to sit in the ventilation can and will grow smelly, damaging mold and mildew. Keeping the vents open during winter also can help to regulate the internal temperature to further reduce any possible moisture buildup. This same rule applies to any interior cabinets, closets and refrigerators; leave them open! On that note, make sure there’s no food or liquids left in any of these places.
It’s recommended that you store your RV with translucent daytime shades rather than closed curtains. It seems counter to what you may expect, but consider that if any cracks you may miss allow for leakage, a little bit of sunlight exposure can help get rid of it before it accumulates and becomes more of a problem.
Be sure to retract all interior and exterior slides so as to keep mechanical parts and rubber seals involved in their operation from leaking. Also be sure to seal off external openings, because bugs, rodents and birds will happily accept the invitation to take to nesting in any openings and chewing through any nearby insulation and wiring in the process. Screens are the most effective means of keeping them out.
Don’t forget to shut off electrical using the battery disconnect switch. It will keep the battery from draining during the winter. Be sure to fully charge battery before doing this as it reduces the chance of your battery freezing.
Speaking of freezing, we’re onto perhaps the most important step. To prevent freezing, be sure to remove all water from both the plumbing lines and the water heating tank. Putting antifreeze in the pipes and valves and draining the P traps will also prove helpful.
Finally, you’ll want to store you RV in a cool, dry and secure location. Leaving an RV under a tarp in the driveway unnecessarily exposes it to the elements. Sunlight can fade paint and destroy the integrity of tire rubber. Wind, rain and snow can damage the RV exterior and undercarriage. Pests can nest in available openings. To avoid all of this and to provide some necessary security, indoor storage is your best bet, just be sure to remove your propane tanks before storing! The problem is that most folks don’t have a lot of garage space to store an RV, especially a large one, and storage facilities are expensive and inconvenient. For the most cost-effective, efficient solution, you should consider a prefabricated steel building from Lincoln Steel buildings™. We can custom create a building with the size and specifications you need that will protect your RV from the elements and make off season storage an absolute breeze. So call us today and find out what we can do for you.