From the experts: 16 motorhome storage tips
It’s that time of year again, time to consider how and if you’ll use your motorhome as the colder months set in. If the weather is a little too cold or you won’t have the chance to use your coach regularly, storage can be a good option. No matter where you decide to keep your motorhome this offseason, keeping these tips in mind will help keep your coach in good condition and ready to hit the road when you are.
You’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a million times, a cool, dry place is the best storage setting for just about everything. A covered RV is also a much better storage option than an uncovered one. A covered storage unit may cost more, upfront, but the damage sun, wind and precipitation can cause during weeks sitting idle can be even more costly in the long run.
Keep moisture out.
Moisture can lead to mold growth and musty smells. One of the best ways to keep the interior of the RV dry is to leave any rooftop vents open. Special vent covers allow for this while stopping rain from getting inside.
Read the fine print.
Check your RV insurance for any protections or gaps that may be related to when, where and how you store your coach. The same goes for any third-party facility where you may keep your motorhome, understand the facility policy.
Mind your tires.
Rubber is a sensitive material. It reacts to a number of elements, like temperature, weight and oil. You’ll want to pay extra attention to your tires when arranging your storage.
- Unload your vehicle as much as possible so that minimum weight is on the tires.
- Inflate your tires to recommended operation pressure plus 25%, but don’t exceed the rim manufacturer’s inflation capacity.
- Thoroughly clean your tires with soap and water before storing them to remove any oils.
- Move your vehicle every few weeks to help prevent cracking and flattening. Avoid moving the coach during extremely cold weather.
- If possible, place your vehicle on blocks to remove the weight from the tires.
Retract all slideouts.
This protects the mechanics, roof, toppers and seals from the wear and tear of any elements.
Take out your battery and store it too.
Always take off the negative terminal first. Check your battery every month and ensure it stays as close to fully charged as possible to prevent freezing.
Or, use your solar power.
If you have solar power on your coach, leave it hooked up to will maintain the batteries at full charge; it won’t require that much power.
Add fuel stabilizer.
Put fuel in the vehicle and add the stabilizer. The engine should be running and left to idle so that this fuel can circulate in the system. Start your engine every two months and let it run on idle to recirculate the stabilizer. Do the same for your generator.
Change the oil before storing your RV.
Your radiator should also contain the proper amount of anti-freeze. Drain and flush this system then refill it every 2 years. Your owner’s manual should tell you which type of antifreeze is suitable for your specific car.
Close all blinds and window covers.
This will protect your furniture from the sun’s rays. They will also act as a third barrier in case a rodent finds its way past your cover and window.
Clean the storage space.
You never know what kind of dirt, food or critters may be left behind. Make sure storage spaces are free of dirt, dust and crumbs. Also, make sure the storage surface is firm, clean, well-drained and reasonably level.
Empty all cabinets, drawers or anywhere else with food supplies.
Food will, without fail, attract any rodents and insects. Even canned and bottled foods can be breached over the course of a winter. Clean tight corners and get every last crumb out that you can.
Defrost your fridge.
Prevent odors or build up with a thorough defrost, cleaning and a few sprinkles of baking soda.
Unplug all appliances and turn off the circuit breaker.
Needless to say, an electrical issue can lead to some scary surprises next time you check on your motorhome. Lessen the risk by reducing how much electricity is flowing through the coach.
Lubricate locks and hinges.
Protect these key areas from rust and wear with a graphite spray lubricant or WD40. Don’t forget to lubricate the cabinets and drawers too—and leave them open to prevent must.
Clean the air filters.
You never know what may have accumulated in there over the season. Make sure there’s nothing that may attract animals or cause a stench during weeks off the road.
Every RV is a little different. These pointers will certainly help safely and securely store any motorhome, but you’ll want to read through the owner’s manual as well, and follow any additional manufacturer recommendations. You can read more advice on choosing a storage location here, or watch our Entegra Coaching videos on Aqua Hot® and tank maintenance, which also discuss winterizing.