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Where do you store your RV or camper during the off-season? Do you keep it in your yard, or do you rent from an RV storage facility in your hometown? Everyday I pass several RV storage facilities and most of them are overflowing with run-down, decrepit, rotten RVs. Sometimes it seems that these RV storage facilities are where good RVs go to die. It’s heartbreaking to say the least. I often imagine what it was like when these rigs were new, and the memories they have locked away inside them. Don’t let this happen to you. I am going to cover some of the most common RV storage mistakes and how you can avoid sending your investment to an early grave.
When you bought your RV you had dreams of hitting the road, camping every weekend, and spending good quality time with your loved ones. You made sacrifices to be able to afford such a huge investment, and it was money well spent. During the camping off-season, we all tend to neglect our RVs just a little. We often get that frame of mind, “Out of sight, out of mind.” If you put your RV in storage, are you making sure it will still be in top shape when next camping season comes around?
Covered Or Uncovered RV Storage
The first thing we need to take a look at is covered vs. uncovered RV storage units. A covered storage unit will cost more upfront, but the benefits far outweigh the consequences of uncovered storage units. For one, covered storage units protect your investment from the harshest of elements. UV rays can be one of the most damaging elements to your RV. Not only will they cause fading, they will also cause your graphics and decals to peel. Kellie and I had first-hand experience with this when we had our Hi-Lo. After a couple of years of keeping it in the yard, uncovered, the decals were destroyed.
Leaving your RV uncovered can also lead to premature wear of your roof and window seals. If you aren’t checking the condition of your rig periodically, you may find yourself with a hefty repair bill when you do check it.
If you can’t swing the cost of a covered RV storage unit, consider getting an RV cover. This is a small price to pay to protect your investment.
Protect Your Tires
Covering your tires while your RV is in storage will help extend the life of the tires. The sun’s damaging UV rays can, and will, cause the compounds in your tires to break down. This results in cracking of the side walls as well as dry rot. Another great tip for RV storage is to park your RV on small pieces of wood or plastic to keep your tires from having direct contact with the ground.
Bring Your Slides In
Another common mistake of RV storage is leaving the slides out. I see this all the time. Again, you are exposing seals and caulking to the harshest elements of Mother Nature. Bringing the slides in before long-term storage will extend the life of your seals and mechanical parts, thus reducing the chances of leaks. Before putting your rig in storage, it’s not a bad idea to clean and condition the rubber seals on your slides to keep them from sticking the next time you use them.
Disconnect The Battery
Be sure to disconnect the battery before storing your rig. You can either use a battery disconnect switch, or completely remove the battery and store it in a dry, cool place. Nobody wants to have to deal with battery issues on their first trip of the season. There are certain things inside your camper that will drain the battery even if everything is off.
Although the RV storage facility may be gated, there is no guarantee of security. Motorhomes are harder to steal, but travel trailers and campers are a crooks dream. I see posts all the time of people getting their campers stolen. Most of the time the tow vehicle breaks down and while they are gone for help, they come back to where the camper used to sit. Make sure you have a high quality hitch lock or some other form of security for your camper. Changing out the locks is a great way to keep would be crooks at bay too.
Conclusion On Common RV Storage Mistakes
Let’s face it, no matter what type of RV you have, you may have to put it into storage at some point. As RV owners, we should be doing our best to keep it maintained. Don’t forget about it and just leave it there to be destroyed. You paid a lot of money for it and you will want to keep making those precious memories with your family and friends. I often refer to RV storage facilities an an RV graveyard, because that’s what they remind me of. Kellie and I are fortunate enough to have enough yard space to keep our camper parked at home. This way, I see everyday and I can take care of any issues as they arise.
To help cut costs of RV storage, you might also consider renting your RV out through a peer-to-peer rental agency like RV Share. If this is an option for you, I wrote a post all about How Much Money You Can Make Renting Out Your RV.
Do you have any RV storage tips? Let us know in the comments below.
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