Fall signals the end of the official travel season for the eastern part of the country, which is the perfect time to start making preparations to store your camper, trailer or recreational vehicle (RV) for winter storage. Some people might opt to store these vehicles in their driveway or large garages. However, if there is not enough room to store at home, then parking the RV, trailer or camper at a self storage facility is a perfect RV storage solution.
Winterizing RV Tips
The most important thing to do when you’re getting your RV ready for winter storage is to make sure that your registration, insurance and license plates are current and renewed. Take the vehicle out for one last drive before you park the RV at a self storage facility. Listen for any engine problems, knocks, pings or other unusual or unfamiliar noises. After the drive, walk around the vehicle, check underneath and look at the roof to inspect for broken antennae, awnings, seals, windows, etc. The issues that you find should be repaired before you place in storage.
How to Winterize an RV
As part of your winterizing routine, be sure to thoroughly clean the RV inside and out. If you have time, wax the vehicle starting from the top and working down. Remove all food from the vehicle. Vacuum the interior of the RV, wipe down counters and inside the cabinets. Defrost and clean out the refrigerator. Add baking soda to absorb any odors. During storage, leave the refrigerator door open to allow for air circulation. Close the windows and blinds in the vehicle to prevent sun exposure that can damage the fabrics and fade the carpets.
After you have cleaned the vehicle, then disconnect all air conditioning connections and clean out the air filters. If you are storing for an extended period of time, remove the battery from the vehicle and put on a maintenance charger in a dry, cool, and ventilated place. Just before you store the vehicle, change the oil and oil filter. Next, fill the fuel tank and add a fuel stabilizer recommended by the vehicle’s manufacturer. If you are keeping the battery inside the vehicle, then it is a good idea to start the engine every couple of months to prevent moisture build-up. When you are finished with all of the previous steps to winterizing the RV for storage, then cover the tires with protective tarps and cover the entire vehicle with a breathable tarp that is specially made for the vehicle. The coverings will help protect the RV from the elements during the winter months.
RV Storage Tips
When you place your RV at a self storage facility, there are a few things that should be done before signing the rental agreement. It is recommended that the customer brings the vehicle to the storage location prior to completing the rental agreement to ensure that the vehicle will actually fit in the spot. You will need to provide proof of registration and insurance at the self storage facility for their files. Once these are completed, it is time to take all the necessary steps (listed above) to properly place your RV in winter storage for the off months. Then, it will be time to count down the days until you can take the RV back out on the road!