The leaves are falling off the trees, the weather is starting to cool down and the official travel season is over for the eastern part of the country. It is now the time to make preparations to store your camper or RV. We had shared tips on how to prepare your boat for the off-season in an earlier blog post. There are also certain steps that need to be followed to make your RV and trailer ready for storage. Similar to boat storage, some people opt to store their trailers, campers or RVs in their driveways. If there is not enough room to do that, consider parking your RV at a self storage facility. ezStorage has 9 facilities in Maryland that offer RV parking spaces: Arbutus/Maiden Choice, Bel Air, Columbia/Jessup/North Laurel, Highlandtown/Canton, Owings Mills/Reistertown, Pasadena/Glen Burnie, Randallstown, Rosedale/White Marsh/Essex, and South Bowie/Upper Marlboro. The most important thing to do when putting your vehicle into storage is to make sure that your registration, insurance and license plates are current and renewed. Some storage facilities will require proof of insurance when you are storing a RV. When you are putting your RV into storage for the winter, there are certain preparations that need to be made to keep the vehicle in good working order and ready for the next travel season.
1. Take the RV out for one last drive to listen for any engine problems, knocks or pings. Walk around the vehicle as well as climb on the roof to inspect all parts for broken antennae, awnings, seals, etc.
2. Thoroughly clean the RV inside and out. If you have the time, wax the vehicle starting from the top down. Remove all food from the vehicle. Vacuum the interior, wipe down counters and cabinets.
3. Remove the battery from the vehicle if you are storing for an extended period of time (more than a few months). Keep the battery on a maintenance charger and store in a dry, cool and ventilated space such as your garage. Also, check and fill the water level in the battery.
4. Disconnect all air conditioning connects and clean out the air filters.
5. Defrost and clean out the refrigerator. Add baking soda to absorb any odors. Leave the refrigerator door open during storage to allow for air circulation.
6. Prior to storage, change the oil and oil filter prior to storage. Fill the fuel tank and add a fuel stabilizer, based on the manufacturer’s recommendation. If you battery is staying in the vehicle in storage, start the engine every couple of months to help prevent moisture build-up.
7. Close the windows and blinds in the vehicle to prevent intense sun exposure that can damage the fabrics and fade the carpet.
8. Remove dry cell batteries from flashlights, clocks and other devices and replace them when you are ready to travel again.
9. If possible, cover the tires with protective tarps and if possible, cover the entire RV 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.