How to Prepare an RV for Self Storage
The fall season often marks the end of outdoor camping activities across North America. Cooler temperatures at night are enough for people to pack it in and prepare for a few cozy months indoors or enjoying other favorite activities.
We know you’d RV, boat, or canoe all year long if you could, but unfortunately certain climates don’t make this the best option, especially for an RV.
Is it time to prepare your RV so you’re not greeted by any nasty surprises come springtime?
Follow along to learn how to prepare an RV for self storage during off-season.
How to Prepare Your Recreational Vehicle in 4 Steps
Step 1: Unload Your RV for Storage
An entire season of cruising around the country means that you were slowly adding more and more items to your camper throughout the summer—now it’s time to unpack them. Ask yourself these questions:
What Will Spoil or Cause Harm in My RV?
You may think this just applies to food and drinks, but there are a lot of other liquids in your RV to consider.
Start with the kitchen cabinets and remove any pop, beer, sauces, and liquids. Remember to check packaging for expiration dates so you can eat food before it goes bad.
Next, move to your bathroom and gather your toiletries, soaps, shampoos, and conditioners.
Finally, go through your cleaning supplies and remove anything hazardous if left unattended. Put everything you won’t use at home in a large, labeled tub so it’s easy to spot next spring.
What Will Attract Pests to My RV While in Storage?
Those furry little critters sure are determined, so it’s best to make your RV less enticing for them to enter.
The obvious tips are to remove any food or products with a scent that may attract them in the first place. However, you should also consider removing anything that would make good nest material.
Things like newspaper, toilet paper, and soft fabrics like rags, towels, or clothes, are easy for mice to move and rip up, so we recommend removing these items completely or making them inaccessible (but remember, mice can chew through just about anything!).
It also doesn’t hurt to have a few mouse traps set up around your RV, so you’ll know how well your precautions are working.
What Should I Take Out of My RV While Parked in Self Storage?
Go through what’s left in your RV and think about what you’ll want to use before next spring. You don’t want to come back searching for items like board games, kitchen tools, and warm clothing during the December holidays.
So, do a thorough search before you lock the door for good.
Step 2: Prepare Your RV Interior for Next Year
Give the Inside a Good Scrub
After just one weekend spent camping, let alone a whole season, your RV is generally pretty dirty. That’s why it’s important to wipe down absolutely everything at the end of the season so that it’s in tip-top shape for spring.
It’s best to follow a routine after each trip to maintain your RV so it’s in great condition for years to come. But just before the off season, and storing for several months, follow this list of must-clean items.
Once you feel like you’ve completed a thorough interior cleaning, leave your cupboards, drawers, and fridge open to avoid musty smells.
Step 3: Prepare Your RV Exterior for Self Storage
Now that you’ve emptied the inside and cleaned well, it’s time to prep the outside of your RV for the months to come. This step will prevent pests from entering, materials from cracking, and liquids from leaking.
Cover All Openings to Keep Out Moisture and Bugs
Fix cracks or tears, screen or cover vents, and seal openings in preparation for storing your RV, camper, or trailer. This prevents moisture from soaking in, mildew from building up, and the fluctuating temperatures from worsening the damage.
This is also another barrier to keep those pesky little critters out of your RV, whether that be mice, spiders, or bugs.
Use a Cover When Storing Your Camper
Whether your RV is protected by an overhang or out in the open air, it’s a good idea to use a cover. This provides an extra layer of protection from the elements and keeps it clean.
Save Vehicle Electronics with a Few Steps Before Storing
Remove the battery to protect it from the temperature change. This needs to be stored somewhere safe, dry and at room temperature. Next, turn off your appliances and shut off your gas valve. Fuses are often the main reason for battery drain, so by turning everything off and removing your fuses, you can save yourself a headache in the spring.
When Storing an RV in Cold Temperatures, Add Antifreeze
If your RV will be stored without heat this winter, drain the water, and run antifreeze through your pipes. This helps ensure that when temperatures dip below zero your pipes don’t freeze and burst, leaving you with a hefty repair bill.
Step 4: Choose a Safe Location to Store Your RV
Your RV is prepped for self storage and you’re ready to tuck it away for the season. Choosing where to store it is a big decision, as you want it to be safe and protected from the elements.
You’ll want to check on your RV to ensure all your precautions are protecting it for next season, so having it nearby is a definite bonus.
When you’re missing the space in your driveway or the homeowners association doesn’t allow the storage of recreational vehicles, look for self-storage and RV parking options nearby.
How to Pick a Trusted Self Storage Facility for Your RV
When selecting the ideal self storage facility for your RV, it’s crucial to consider a variety of factors, like security, flexible contracts and ease of access. While the old adage “location, location, location” holds some truth, it’s not the sole criteria for recreational vehicle storage.
Ensuring the safety and security of your valuable RV is crucial, so look for facilities with features like secure, gated access, lighting throughout the facility and advanced security cameras. At Mini Mall Storage, we offer the highest standard for security, plus flexible rental terms and covered parking spots, so you can store your RV with confidence.
New to self storage? Learn how self storage units work from planning to key benefits self storage can offer you.
Explore Mini Mall Storage locations all across North America, complete with unique passcode gate systems and security cameras throughout the complex for peace-of-mind when storing your RV.
Looking to store other seasonal items like canoes, rafts, or campers? We offer a variety of enclosed storage units to match your needs while offering unshakeable security. Click here to learn more about what we call Toy Storage.
Whether you’re looking to store your RV for a couple months or all year, Mini Mall is your local expert and here to help! Reserve a unit in a few taps on your device to visit us in-person for a quick and smooth storage experience. Storage, no sweat.