Interior: Keep the inside of your RV in excellent shape and prevent the stale odors that typically accompany extended storage with these essential steps:
Make sure all the appliances are disconnected, and that your fridge and freezer are fully defrosted. Propping the fridge and freezer doors open will prevent stale odors from forming.
Since winter storage is several months long, it’s important that your RV isn’t connected to any electrical sources. Stem the flow of power by flipping off the main breaker on the distribution panel. It’s also advised to turn off the LP-gas supply valve, which is located on the LP tank. Give your cabin and upholstery a thorough cleaning to avoid any microbial buildups.
If you have vent covers that will prevent water from getting inside, open your vents to allow free circulation, so you’re not greeted with a blast of stale air when you open your RV in spring. Also, adding Fresh Cab or dryer sheets prevents the musty smell from forming, while helping repel any mice or other small rodents.
Winterize your plumbing and tanks by flushing them thoroughly with antifreeze.
Exterior: Properly protecting the exterior of your RV during storage will extend the lifespan of your RV. Whether your RV will be stored in a garage or covered and tied down in your driveway, take the time to protect the exterior:
Get a full wash and wax before it goes into hibernation for the winter. A thorough wash and wax will remove any buildup that may damage the clear coat and paint if left unchecked over the winter months. If your RV has an awning, be sure to clean it thoroughly as well to prevent staining. Check all of your seals and caulking to make sure your RV is airtight. If you notice damage to a seal, have it repaired – leaving it unattended allows moisture and bacteria in during the winter months, leading to any number of costly damages.
Investing in an RV cover is an easy, effective way to protect it during storage. RV covers keep rodents and pests out of your cabin, prevent moisture from entering through your vents, and protects the paint and upholstery from UV fading. A good cover will bear the brunt of the elements so your RV doesn’t have to.
Safe Parking: Choosing where and how to park your RV is also important to your tires. Follow these essential steps to avoid any long-term issues when parking your motorhome for months at a time: Make sure your parking spot is on flat, level cement. Parking on a surface that shifts with changing temperatures – like dirt or asphalt – will subject your RV tires improper weight distribution which puts excess strain on your tires and chassis.
Place wood underneath the tires to prevent damage to them from the frozen ground. The wood must be large enough that the tires do not hang over the sides.
Invest in a set of wheel chocks to keep your RV securely in place, preventing accidental movement and costly damages. In addition, make sure the parking brake is off before sealing up your cabin.
Keep the RV tires covered or at least out of direct sunlight. Constant exposure to UV rays degrades the rubber, and you will have to replace your tires sooner.
Cooler temperatures will cause the air in your tires to contract, so it’s recommended to inflate your tires to the recommended PSI, without exceeding the manufacturer’s inflation capacity.
Engine: Engine repairs are costly, and can easily derail your vacation. These tips will help keep your motorhome’s engine in prime condition:
Store your RV with a full tank of gas, and add a bottle of fuel stabilizer.
Change the engine oil before prepping it for storage. Check and fill the rest of the fluids if needed. Prevent your windshield washer fluid reservoir from cracking by adding winter blend washer fluid.
Remove the batteries before storage and give them a good cleaning with a 50/50 mixture of baking soda and water. Be sure to store your batteries in a cool, dry place where they’re not going to freeze or be subjected to the elements. Storing your battery on wood is recommended because a cold garage floor will drain the charge faster.