So, you got an RV, and aren’t sure what to do with it when you aren’t doing stuff with it? Worry not, because you are in a boat with a lot of other people. Before you go and park your unused RV in the side lot next to your house and just leave it there, there are a few things you should do just to be sure that it stays in good working condition for your next cross-country trip.
- Cover the RV
In the best possible world, you would leave your RV – when out of use – at a covered storage facility, but sometimes life gets in the way or there isn’t one near enough to you. The real key here is to make sure that you keep the elements off the RV as much as possible. The goal here is to prevent mold and mildew from growing, so make sure that you can protect your RV as much as possible from water and light as possible.
- Check Tires/Fluid Levels
There is nothing as bad as getting the whole family ready in the RV, you’re excited to be on the road. You pull out onto the street and your tires pop. To make sure that this doesn’t happen to you, check your RV’s tire pressure before and about once or a month or so while it is in storage. You don’t want to leave this sort of maintenance to the day you start the trip – flat tires can lead to bent axles, especially on larger vehicles. While you’re checking tires, it makes sense to check oil and fluid levels, anything that you would check on your car throughout the storage period should be handled before you leave it in storage – or otherwise scheduled for during the storage period.
- Pull Your Blinds
I know that I already said cover your RV, but everything that you can do to protect your RV’s interior should be done. This works as an additional layer to keep the sun out – protecting your furnishings from sun damage – and works as a good reason to check for cracks or tears and repair them before storage. You don’t want bugs or rodents to exploit any weakness in your home, so don’t leave those sorts of holes in your RV. A quick once over before it goes into storage will go a long way.
- Close All Vents
An open vent in storage is an open call for pests of all kinds to set up shop in your RV. You don’t want that, I don’t want that. Make sure roof vents and windows alike are as closed as they can possibly be.
- Leave Any Perishables
This should be obvious, but I often forget obvious things. That fruit that you have out on the table? It will go bad between now and the time you take it out of storage. Toss it now. Make sure there is nothing in your RV that could potentially spoil or make a stink that you don’t want to be on the road with. I would also suggest defrosting the refrigerator. You’re already cleaning it out, so might as well.
- Leave Your Battery in the Engine Block
It will slowly drain over time, and by the time you get back it may have died. Car batteries that are attached need to be used and recharged every so often. Be sure to detach your battery from your RV and store it safely. You should probably check on its charge every month or so to make sure it is as closed to full as possible.
- Just Leave Fuel in the Tank
There should be some fuel in the RV while it’s in storage – with stabilizer so it doesn’t all evaporate. It is critical that every two months or so you turn-over the engine so the fuel can circulate and let it run idle for at least two-hours. This will keep your RV in good working condition. If you have an independent generator, you should do the same thing for it as well. You want to be sure that everything that you use in your RV will work when you need it to.
Owning an RV is a little bit of work, be sure to take the time to do all the proper maintenance to keep it in working order – especially when it is out of use. It will bring a lot of peace of mind, and it’ll make your next trip go that much more smoothly.
If you aren’t sure where a good place to store your RV is, check out some self-storage facilities near you (https://www.storage-solutions.org/storage). Many have RV and camper storage available that will most certainly work to keep your RV covered when it is not in use. Be sure to check them out!