Last Updated on August 2, 2023 by John Robinson
You’ve spent years saving up for your dream RV and now that you’ve got it, you want to make sure it’s ready to hit the road at a moment’s notice. But what if you need to store your rig for weeks or even months? It’s not always easy to find a place that can accommodate your vehicle – long term parking in Chicago is pretty hard to come by – and it can be even harder to know how long it’ll be safe when you do.
To help out, we’ve created this handy guide of tips and tricks for safely storing your RV (or motorhome) long term:
Where’s best to store a motorhome?
If you’re planning to store your motorhome for several months, it’s best to keep it in a covered garage or shed. If that’s not possible, try to park the motorhome on a level surface and in a dry location. The engine should be stored off the ground if possible and covered by a tarp or other waterproof material.
Make sure to keep the motorhome clean and dry during this time period. Don’t leave it outdoors in direct sunlight, as that will cause the paintwork and interior fabrics to fade over time. Also try to avoid storing your RV in humid environments like basements or garages with no ventilation—this can cause mold damage that could cost thousands of dollars or more to repair later on down the road.
If you’re going to be parking your motorhome outdoors during its long-term stay, it’s important that you cover it up well enough so that no rain or snow can get inside. This will help prevent damage from rusting and corrosion while ensuring that everything stays nice and clean until you need it again!
We can’t stress this enough: make sure that you store your vehicle in a dry area where there won’t be any moisture buildup on its surfaces or undercarriage because this can lead to rusting over time which isn’t ideal when trying to not only maintain but increase its value.
Check the batteries, tires, and fluids
You’ll need to make sure that the battery is charged, the tires are inflated, and all fluid levels are topped up before storing your RV:
- Check the battery: Make sure that the battery is fully charged before storing your camper. It will lose some juice over the storage period, but there’s nothing worse than jumping in and getting ready to drive away when winter is over, only to find a jump-start is needed because the battery has run flat!
- Check tires: Your tires should be kept at the proper pressure – they will delate a little when stored but you don’t want to return to find them completely flat.
- Check fluid levels: All the fluids in the motorhome should be checked regularly. Propane tanks should also be kept full during storage.
Fit anti-theft devices
If you’re going to be storing your motorhome for a long time, it’s important to make sure that it’s safe.
The first step is to fit anti-theft devices. This means installing a steering wheel lock and a door bar (or two) on all the doors.
Make sure that the steering wheel lock is secure and cannot be removed without tools. The door bars should also be fitted securely so that they cannot be removed without tools, but they should not prevent access to any of the doors in an emergency.
Empty out your RV
If you’re planning to store your motorhome for a long time, it’s important to completely empty it out. This will help prevent mold, mildew, and other issues that can occur when there is moisture in the air.
Take everything out of the cupboards, including linens and spare bedding – and also take the bedding off the beds. Remove all food from the refrigerator and freezer. You might be fine to leave some canned goods, but anything perishable is best removed and eaten if you’re going to be storing the vehicle for a while. Remove any personal items that are not being stored with the motorhome (such as clothing or toiletries).
Don’t forget to check all the cupboards and drawers!
Cleaning your motorhome for storage
Once you’ve removed everything from your motorhome, it’s time to make sure it’s clean. If there’s a bathroom, make sure it’s completely clean to prevent mold or bad odors, and make sure you wash all the pots and pans before storing them too!
Cover every surface with newspaper or plastic sheeting so no dust or dirt can get in during storage. Then put the covers back on any furniture that has them (like chairs or tables), lock up your motorhome, and bring it to your storage facility!
You may also want to clean your RV on an annual basis as part of routine maintenance before storing it away for an extended period of time. You’ll love the first road trip of the year in a shiny, clean RV!
A well-stored RV is key to keeping your investment in good shape
To ensure your RV holds its value, you need to look after it. Here’s a quick summary of some of our best tips for storing your vehicle for an extended period:
- Charge the battery before storing it for the season, and use a trickle charger afterward. A fully charged battery will help keep it from getting damaged during long periods of storage.
- Keep tires inflated to the manufacturer’s recommended pressure level so they don’t go flat while stored away from air pressure stations like gas stations or truck stops for months at a time. You’ll need to drive your motorhome out of its storage spot eventually!
- Clean battery terminals and check water levels every 6 months; fill with distilled water as needed during those intervals, too.
We hope this guide has made it clear that long-term motorhome storage is a viable option for RV owners who need to store their vehicles for longer periods of time. By following the steps above, you can rest assured that your vehicle will be safe and sound and ready for an adventure when it comes out of storage.