It’s that time of the year again. The cold weather is beginning to roll, which means it’s time to pack away all the summer fun. A part of that packing includes storing your RV for the season. Proper RV storage is essential for the safekeeping of the vehicle. Without it, your RV won’t last nearly as long as it should. To help make the storage preparation a little easier, we’ve compiled a list full of handy tactics to ensure proper RV storage.

Winter Storage checklist

  1. Create a checklist: for both preparing for AND removing your RV or trailer from storage, to ensure all steps are followed both in and out
  2. Wash, inspect, wax and lubricate: look for any damage such as cracks or holes, which should be professionally repaired before storage, and lubricate moving parts such as awnings and slides
  3. Remove: any valuables, as well as food (including canned goods), drinks, toiletries and garbage, and clean associated areas
  4. Shut off: valves for propane and/or natural gas, remove tanks where applicable and cover openings with screw caps, and fill permanent tanks
  5. Drain: all water systems, including lines and tanks for both fresh water and waste water, and then apply non-toxic RV antifreeze where appropriate (check manual for specific pumps, lines and water traps), ideally before temperatures reach freezing, definitely by the time they stay at or below freezing for 24 hours or longer (even if you’re storing indoors, you should follow this step in case of extended power outage)
  6. Tires: pump them up, and if you’re storing outdoors, park on wood or concrete pads
  7. Gas: fill up the tank including fuel stabilizer to avoid unwanted deposits
  8. Battery: disconnect and remove, store in a dry place, check the charge intermittently, ensuring it’s fully charged before you reinstall
  9. Pest control: place devices for insects and rodents in appropriate locations, both internal and external
  10. Cover up: cover openings wherever possible such as exhaust pipes, apply your RV cover, ensuring it is snug, with all straps in place and cinched tight. Check on the unit intermittently to ensure the cover is in place and intact, and consider moving it occasionally to avoid flat spots on your tires

Where to Store an RV

There are a few different possibilities to consider when storing your RV. Indoor RV storage is always an option if you have space or choose to rent out a garage. The most common storage solution for an RV is outdoor storage, either on a lot or at your home. Outdoor RV storage isn’t as simple as leaving the vehicle outdoors. There are many steps involved to ensure proper storage. Don’t worry; we’ll cover all the essentials throughout this article.

Start with a Full Cleaning

Not only is it great to start the season with a squeaky clean RV, but thoroughly cleaning your RV also protects it during extreme temperatures. Prolonged exposure to sunlight can fade your vehicle’s paint job, and excess mildew can also cause breakage. To avoid this, give your RV a thorough wash and a good wax coat. Always ensure the vehicle is completely dry before storing it!

Protect the Tires

Tires are crucial to protect during the winter season. To secure this, either use wooden planks, wheel blocks, or jacks to block the tires and help keep flat spots from forming. You should store your RV with the jacks down if your jacks are in excellent, sturdy condition. It’s always helpful to have extended support. For outdoor storage, also consider tire covers to help preserve tires even longer. Fully inflating your tires is also an excellent tip for prolonged protection.

Cover Your RV

One of the more critical steps involves suitably covering your RV. Make sure the cover is composed of breathable material, which will allow your vehicle to breath and prevent mildew from forming.

Organize the Interior

It is crucial to organize your RV before storage. The interior could contain traces of food that could attract unwanted pests, damaging valuable items and RV parts. It’s best to clear everything to avoid any undesired issues.

Storing the RV Battery

Correctly storing an RV battery over winter is perhaps one of the most crucial steps. You do not want your battery to freeze! To avoid this, disconnect the battery and store it in a safe place that is dry and contains a heat source. By using this storage method, it helps to avoid battery corrosion.

Storing the RV Sewer Hose

Storing your RV sewer hose isn’t as tricky as you may think. Yes, it is massive and requires a lot of space, but there are simple solutions. If you’re storing your RV on a lot, they will likely provide you with a solution. For those with home storage, there are a few possibilities. Purchase a sewer hose storage kits or make one yourself. Both solutions work great for prolonged storage.

RV Slides In or Out?

Another key step to consider for RV winter storage is whether to store your RV with slides in or out. The most suitable choice is to leave the slides in. Leaving them open could cause excess snow buildup to damage the slide-outs, harm to the weather seals, and could allow excess moisture to enter the vehicle.

By following these simple RV storage tips, your motorhome should be in tip-top shape after a long, cold winter!