Summer is a great time to travel and get the most out of your RV. All around the Southwest, it’s reasonable to take your RV out on the road most of the year but there are times you’ll need to park it for an extended period of time.
While you’re enjoying what the great outdoors offer, it’s never too early to think about your checklist of all the things you’ll need to do when you’re ready to hang up your keys for a while.
Here are 11 things you want to tackle to prepare your RV for long-term storage:
Give your RV a thorough wash and wax to remove caked up dirt and debris that accumulated during your road trips. It’s a great feeling to come back to a clean and shiny RV when you’re ready to use it again. A proper cleaning prevents rusting, mold and mildew from destroying the exterior. A good wax will protect the integrity of the surface and prevent decay from harmful UV rays which is vital when you live in a fiery place like Arizona.
Don’t forget to wash your tires and dress them up with a proper sealant. You also want to inflate the tires to your RV manufacturer’s recommended pressure and check the tread in case it’s time to switch them out for new wheels. The heat can cause the tires to swell and expand. The last thing you want is to pop a tire when you’re ready to use your camper again.
When cleaning the exterior, look for any holes or cracks where there are openings on the roof, window and doors seals. The dry and piercing Arizona heat will cause your seals to dry out and crack overtime so use a silicone or foam sealant to keep them healthy and intact. This will also help keep critters out than slither through and make your RV their home.
Start from the top and thoroughly clean the ceiling, walls, upholstery, surface areas, down to the floor. It’s important to run your vacuum through the RV to suck up all the food crumbs as rodents always seem to sense them from a mile away.
The sun can bleach the fabric on your upholstery so pull the blinds or shades down but don’t close them all the way. We recommend using translucent shades to allow some light into the RV so mold and mildew doesn’t form. Moisture can build up in your RV through water that can leak through the cracks so fully inspect the structure for any signs of water damage to make any necessary repairs.
Deep clean all of your appliances, and empty the fridge and freezer. Leave your fridge and freezer doors open and place a box of baking soda inside for a fresh smell. Clean and remove food from the cabinets. You don’t want to leave any food or traces of crumbs for hungry rodents looking for a snack. Wrap the stove burners in plastic to keep bugs out. Close off any appliance opening that would allow bugs to come inside like propane lines and the furnace exhaust.
The temperature can rise to the triple digits inside your RV. Open the exterior air vents so air flows into the RV, which prevents dampness and mold from developing. But be careful to use vent covers to keep out any rain or moisture, otherwise you might deal with mold issues anyway.
Empty the RV’s waste tanks at a dump station.
The black water holding tank contains toilet waste that can dry out and solidify, making it hard to remove, so flush and empty the tank before storing.
The grey tank holds waste water from the other lines in your RV, specifically the kitchen and bathroom sinks. It will build up anything from food deposits, toothpaste, and so on.
Empty and flush out your freshwater tank as well. Leaving some water in the tank is OK for the short-term storage but not for long-term storage as the high temps can cause bacteria to grow in warm water. Remember to fill the freshwater tank with water ahead of when you’re ready to go on your first trip after storage.
Remove and charge your RV’s batteries so they don’t die while sitting in storage. Place the batteries on a charger in a temperate controlled environment, whether in your garage or somewhere in your home. Check the batteries monthly to ensure they’re charged and ready to go when you’re ready to take the RV out again.
Keep your slide outs closed. This will balance your RV and prevent strain on the slide’s joints. This will also prevent a buildup of any rainwater, dust and debris that can settle on the top of the slides, contributing to the excess weight. As mentioned above, check the seals around the slide outs as this can cause water and moisture to enter your RV. Keeping the slides pulled in also prohibits critters from getting inside through the seals and joints.
Whether you park in an open or closed space, a good RV cover will protect your recreational vehicle long term and should fit snug around the exterior. We recommend using a breathable cover so air can circulate and prevent mold and mildew from growing.
Not everyone has a driveway or a nearby street with ample room to park a sizable RV. You also want to be mindful of violating HOA rules depending on where you live.
Find a good storage facility that gives you the peace of mind that your RV is secure and looked after.
For Phoenix RV owners, I-10 RV Storage is the most convenient storage facility in the metro area to park your RV. We have plenty of covered storage spaces for all sizes of RVs that are kept in a secure, 24-hour monitored facility.
We have everything you need to keep your prized camper in the best shape. From wash bays, dump stations, air, water and helpful amenities, we make it easy for you to store your RV long term. Contact us to learn more about our facility and reserve your spot today!