Understanding Storage Restrictions

Putting Your RV Into Storage For A Year Or More? Follow These Preparation Steps

Many people put their RV into storage for a few months in the winter. While preparation is required, you can get away without doing too much prep since you're pulling the RV out of storage in just a few short months. But when you're planning to store your RV longer-term -- for a year or more -- you need to be especially vigilant in your preparatory efforts. Here are some tasks you won't want to skip.

Fill gaps in the underside.

Mice and rats are notorious for making nests inside RVs. Once inside, they'll chew your plastic and rubber components. Usually, these rodents enter through small holes in the undercarriage of an RV.

Get under your RV and look for any small gaps or holes. Use spray foam insulation (the kind that comes in a can at the local hardware store) to seal the gaps. Remember -- mice can squeeze through a hole the size of a nickel, so don't skip the little crevices.

Clean the air conditioner.

Any dust and debris on the air conditioner will be even harder to remove once the unit sits. Plus, it may contribute to corrosion if it absorbs moisture and holds that moisture against the unit. Use the wand attachment to your vacuum, and suck any dust off the surface of the AC unit. Also, change the AC filter so the new one's ready when you pull your RV out of storage.

Remove batteries from appliances and devices.

If you leave the batteries in place, they may leak potassium hydroxide, which is irritating to the skin and eyes. The leaking may also ruin your devices. So take a minute to remove the batteries from your smoke detectors, remote controls, and other devices. Don't store unused batteries in the RV, either. The fluctuations in temperature and humidity may ruin them.

Remove the fabric awning.

Fabric awnings, when they're rolled up and left on the outside of your RV, are a great place for mice, insects, and other pests to take up residence. So disconnect your awning from the RV, and store it inside the RV instead. Make sure you thoroughly clean and dry the awning first so it does not develop mold or stains.

Bleach the refrigerator and other appliances.

Like any refrigerator, the one in your RV has the tendency to build up stinky odors while in storage. You can prevent this problem by wiping it out with a weak bleach/water solution. (A tablespoon of bleach in a gallon of water is sufficient.) The bleach will kill smelly bacteria and mold. Let the fridge dry completely, and then prop the door open slightly when you put the RV in storage. Treat your other food-prep appliances, like the microwave and toaster oven, the same way.

Lubricate the locks and hinges.

When they are not being used often, locks and hinges have a tendency to seize up. To prevent this, apply a good coat of WD40 or a similar lubricant to the hinges on your main door and any other doors. Also spray a special lock lubricant into each of your locks.

Add fuel stabilizer.

Any fuel left in your RV has the tendency to become "gummy" while in storage. You don't want to start the RV with spoiled fuel, as this may ruin the engine. To ensure the proper ration of fuel to stabilizer, fill the tank with fuel and then add a bottle of stabilizer solution. If your winters drop below freezing, make sure you select a stabilizer intended for cold weather.

When putting an RV into storage, the goal is for it to emerge in as good of condition as when you left it. With the tips above, you'll be off to a good start in that regard. For more information, contact an RV storage company like United Moving and Storage.