When the time comes to put your RV in short or long-term storage, there are several things that you need to take care of to ensure all goes well while the RV is not in use.
You will face a lot of questions, to cover or not? Indoor or outdoor? What to do about pest control? Do I need to air it out like my winter clothes?
Well, we have all the information you might need to store your travel trailer outside properly. Dig in!
Pick Out a Nice Storage Space
Finding the right storage space is a more complex task than you can imagine. If you have good space in your backyard, that is amazing, but this is not the case for most people. Generally, there are two kinds of storage spaces available for rent.
Indoors and outdoors both come with different price tags and advantages. Although most owners go for indoor storage spaces, there is a chance for your vehicle to get moldy, but then it does stay safe from other harsh outdoor elements.
Of course, you need to make sure the ground is leveled, and the space is clean and pest-free. It also needs to have good security, and you would not want your precious home on wheels in the hands of vandals and thieves.
Keep Those Pests and Rodents in Control
There is no surprise that an RV just stored away is an ideal place for those pesky pests and rodents to party and make a home. Rodent and pest control is a common problem. You need to inspect the underside of the RV thoroughly; look for anywhere mice or pests can get inside.
See also: How to Keep Mice Out of Camper
A tiny dime-sized hole is enough to welcome all these unwanted critters into your RV. Inspect the exterior and interior closely. Make sure you seal any openings using silicone or a spray foam product from a home improvement store.
There are lots of aftermarket products for controlling rodents like sniff and stop or mothballs. But, if you live close to the RV and can check it frequently, mouse traps are effective. Remove all consumables and perishable items that will attract pests into your RV.
Clean and empty the fridge and freezer properly, dry it pop the doors open, and leave some baking soda inside the compartments to absorb odors. These precautions will hopefully keep your RV pest and rodent-free.
Cover Those Roof Vents
Installing roof vent covers such as the max air vent covers over the existing roof vents on the RV. These vent covers allow you to open the roof vents for ventilation while the RV is in storage without worrying about rain and animals getting inside the RV.
Installing two vent covers on the RV’s opposite beds will help promote cross-ventilation throughout the RV while it’s in storage. In addition, keeping the RV ventilated will help prevent mold from growing in those walls.
Use an RV Cover
No matter where you store your RV, outside or inside, you need a trusty RV cover. If your RV is outside, try to avoid parking it under the trees or in areas where grass and weeds grow.
The sun and other elements can damage your RV. The best investment you can make while storing away your RV is a good quality RV cover. The cover should be breathable material to help promote air circulation and prevent mold and mildew. You can purchase a cover for the size and type of RV you own.
Now, What about that RV Battery?
Another essential tool for RV owners is a digital multi-meter. Like your RV tires, a battery in storage can lose up to 10% of its charge every month. When a battery is in a low state of charge, small crystals start forming on the plates.
This is the sulfation. If it remains in this condition for a longer period without recharging, the battery is ruined.
Sulphation starts when a battery’s state of charge drops below 80% or 12.4 volts for a 12-volt battery. To prevent this from happening, you can measure the voltage using this digital voltmeter every month.
Measuring the voltage gives you a quick picture of the battery’s depth of discharge, so you know when you should recharge the battery. All you got to do is set the voltmeter on DC voltage and place the red lead on a positive terminal and the black lead on the negative terminal to read battery voltage.
A fully charged 12-volt battery will read 12.7 volts. Therefore, any battery at or below 12.5 should recharge immediately.
That’s not it, and batteries are essential to have and even more important to maintain. New RVs usually come with a three-stage battery charger. So, the built-in charge would charge the battery without damaging it.
Suppose your RV does not have a three-stage battery charger or doesn’t want to worry about the battery when it is in storage constantly. In that case, you can purchase some battery storage charger maintainer and conditioner.
Battery minder products are good, but there are other products like the battery tender. You connect the battery minder to the RV battery and let it do its job. It will charge, maintain and condition the battery preventing sulphation, but it will never overcharge.
Take Good Care of those Tires
Tires are what help you stay on the road smoothly. Therefore, you need to make sure they are well kept while storing your RV. So first off, think of those precious tires. A good quality tire pressure gauge is an essential tool for RV owners.
When it’s time to store the RV, inflate the tires to the maximum cold pressure. Tires in storage can lose 2- 3 PSI/ month, so it is of supreme importance that you check and adjust the tire inflation pressure when you take the RV out of storage.
Next, think about tire blocking. While we are on the topic of tires, remember that if your RV is on the ground or the pavement put the tires on some blocking. The blocking needs to be wider than the footprint of the tire to protect the tires from damage.
Another essential product you need to invest in is a tire cover. If the RV is outside, exposed to all kinds of temperatures and weather conditions. Tire covers will protect the tires from the sun and the harmful UV rays.
Can I store a trailer in my backyard?
Storing your RV in your backyard sounds like an ideal solution. But this comes with a host of disadvantages, and it is ideal to get an indoor space on rent for your RV storage.
Can someone live in a camper on your property?
They most definitely can; homeless people are desperate and need shelter. To avoid this from happening, make sure your storage space has good security, and you visit it often for periodic check-ups.
Should I leave the vent open when storing the RV?
Yes, leaving the vent open with a vent cover on is recommended to keep your RV ventilated.
Do camper cover cause mold?
Camper covers can cause mold if the material is not breathable or a leak in your RV while it is stored.
It is very important to make sure that you store your RV away properly. Bad techniques or even a little misinformation can lead to disastrous effects, which may be costly to repair.
So, keep in mind all the advice, and most importantly, do those periodical checkups religiously if you want a healthy RV.
I`m a current Law Enforcement Officer working within the Counterterrorism Bureau in New York State. I have been Camping for over 20 years. My styles of camping include tent, car, truck, van, and RV travel trailer. I have a YouTube channel where I teach all types of camping with an entertaining method: https://youtube.com/@TheSmallsRVAdventures