There are many benefits that every recreational vehicle owner gets to enjoy. Talk of road trips, camping, among other fun activities. You can get up and go anywhere you want in your private RV and have some incredible time. However, with all the laxity and mobility that an RV offers, owning it comes with many challenges. Such challenges range from maintenance to choosing the right storage space when you’re not using it.
Finding a suitable storage spot can be daunting if you can’t store an RV in your own garage space or driveway. Even if you can store it at home, you still have to consider other storage needs and preparation. You have to consider the type of RV when storing as well as the suitable type of storage. You also have to consider preparation needs such as cleaning and covering your vehicle.
The following guide will help you with everything you need to know about RV storage, including where to store it and tips for prepping it.
Choosing the Right Storage Unit Size
When looking for RV storage options, it’s important to know their size. This is because not all RV sizes can be accommodated in any storage facility. The size information will help you get an accurate price quote for your RV storage. The facility will provide you with the length of their spots. It’s also important to know the height and width of your RV to ensure that it fits your storage facility.
With that said, RVs fall into three classes as outlined below:
Class A is the largest RVs available. They measure up to 40’long and are built on heavy-duty frames similar to commercial buses and 18-wheel trucks. Class A is also the tallest RV type, thanks to its 22.5-inch wheels. Although they look very luxurious and can enable four people to sleep in comfortably, their storage unit isn’t widely available. Therefore, you’ll have to identify a special RV storage facility for this class.
Slightly different from class A in terms of measurement, they’re also good camping vans. They measure between 17 and 19 feet and accommodate a kitchen, a small bathroom with a toilet and shower, and living space. They’re less expensive RV options available with the added convenience of being easy to park. They don’t take up more space compared to a standard van.
Class C Motorhome
Other RVs fall in class C. Class C RVs are built at least 30 feet long and come on a cabin chassis. With their enough sleeping space, they can accommodate quite a number of people. You, however, need to consider their height when looking for a place to store them.
Common Types of RV Storage
There are three different types of storage for your motorhome. But the one you choose will depend on several factors such as budget and the size of your van. Also, consider security, additional amenities, and protection from elements.
While it’s always tempting to settle for a less expensive option, don’t go for an option that will save you money while decreasing your RV’s life.
Here are the different types of RV storage that you should know.
Outdoor Motorhome Storage
This type of RV storage can be a large parking lot and an open lot that isn’t paved. They’re very affordable and readily available. However, they don’t protect your RV. But you have the option of protecting your RV by fencing and considering other security measures.
The Indoor RV Storage
Although this type of RV storage may not be a good option given the space that your RV requires, it can provide your RV with the greatest protection and security. It also comes with additional amenities suitable for RV storage.
Covered RV Storage
Covered RV storage protects your motorhome from rain, snow, and hail. Some covered storage facilities also come in open-air and covered spaces with walls protecting your RV from the wind. Covered RV storage costs more than outdoor. It offers more protection to your RV exterior than outdoor storage.
Determine the Cost of an RV Storage
When it comes to RV storage price, it’s important to take into account all necessary factors. Although a parking lot that is unpaved may save you money, choosing such a storage option might expose you to additional maintenance and repair costs. Anytime you leave your RV on fenced-in gravel, be ready to pay for high maintenance and repair costs when taking your motorhome back to the road.
Remember that the more you pay for protection and services, the less you’ll encounter surprising costs. The pricing of outdoor storage depends on the geographic location and the availability of the RV storage facility in the area. The size of your RV will also determine the storage price.
If you go for covered storage, get ready to pay the high storage price. Indoor storage will also go up and also vary depending on the amenities offered. Note that the largest RV spaces attract high storage costs. Other facilities will consider features such as sewage dumping and battery when determining storage price.
Consider RV Storage Insurance
Of course, you’re not going to hit the road with your RV all the time. You’ll have to store it at some point, whether to rest a bit or store it during the winter period. If you have RV insurance, you have to make adjustments to your insurance policy.
RV storage insurance will protect you against theft and damage due to extreme weather. Your RV insurance policy can also help you offset the storage cost. You should consider this, especially during the off-season when you’re not on the road, because you don’t have to worry about collision and liability coverage.
Tips for Preparing an RV for Storage
When you decided to buy a motorhome, you understood that owning it requires a lot of work. But you also have to know that RV’s work doesn’t stop when you decide to store it. Even storing it indoors requires certain steps to protect its interior, exterior, and chassis. The following are the prepping tips for RV storage.
Choose the Best Storage Location
The first thing you need to do is to choose a suitable location for your RV storage. Look for a good temporary home for your RV when you’re on the road. With the plenty of storage options available, it’s important to look for a much more reliable option.
If you decide to go for outdoor RV storage, do not park under trees, grass, and weed areas. If you can get covered storage, then you’ll be at a better place to protect your RV against outside elements such as rain, snow, and hail. You can also opt for RV self-storage by purchasing RV storage sheds and keeping your motorhome nearby.
If a storage facility isn’t your option, you can ask your family, friends, and neighbors for extra space in their homes where you can park your motorhome. You can also reward their hospitality by offering them a monthly payment.
Deep Clean and Close Up Your RV
Cleaning is one of the best RV storage tips that you should do before storing it. By cleaning your motorhome, you’re protecting it from any external damage and ensuring it’s in good condition. So give your storage facility a deep wash with soap and water to remove all the dirt and grime. Also, remember to clean the tires. Get rid of grease and oils, then follow with waxing to prevent further moisture build-up while in storage.
After ensuring the exterior of your RV is looking good, take care of any cracks and peels by sealing. Take a duster and vacuum the interior of your motorhome. Make sure you wipe down all interior spaces ranging from countertops, furniture, and surfaces.
When storing your RV for the winter, it’s very common that mice and squirrels will make their winter home inside your RV. These rodents are capable of chewing your vehicle wiring, plastic, and rubber components, damaging your RV extensively. However, turning your engine on will keep off any chewing squirrels out of your engine.
It’s important to try and prevent these pests from accessing your RV. The task might look difficult because these rodents can enter your RV through very small openings. So the best thing to do is inspect if there are any holes in your motorhome. Then use silicone and expanding foam to fill any noticeable gaps.
Just ensure that there are no gaps and holes to allow critters into your RV. You can also place mothballs in bowls around the interior of your motorhome to deter these stubborn insects.
Additionally, remove any food material from your RV before storing it. Then follow with a thorough clean to eliminate any food remains that might attract rodents and insects. Ensure there’s no food in your cabinets, freezer, and fridge. This will not only wade off critters, but you’ll no longer have to deal with leftover food spoiling and unpleasant smell.
Once you’ve removed food from your fridge and freezer, turn off those appliances and prop open the doors. This will help prevent the growth of mold and mildew in your storage. You can also use aftermarket products such as Sniff n Stop. If you’re storing your RV nearby, consider using conventional mouse traps and keep checking the trap every week.
Clean Your RV Exterior
When you’re going to store your RV outside for a longer period, it will begin to wear due to constant exposure to outside elements. Elements such as Ozone in the air and Ultraviolet rays will start trolling your RV. These elements can fade and deteriorate some of your motorhome products, such as vinyl and rubber.
These elements can fasten your RV to the aging process. So it’s important to wash the exterior of your RV before storage. Whenever you start cleaning your motorhome, start cleaning from the top as you work your way down. Ensure you understand your RV roof well before applying any cleaner.
After that, wax the RV exterior with quality wax that is the same type as your RV roof. Such wax will protect the finish of your RV as it does with the automobile. Before you apply sealant in any cracks, ensure you consult your RV dealer if the sealants are compatible with the materials. Remember to clean any awning fabrics and allow them to dry completely before storing.
Alternatively, you should store your motorhome under a covered area and on a solid surface like concrete to avoid incurring unnecessary expenses due to damages. You can also invest in cover to protect your investment if you’re storing it in uncovered areas. Go for a breathable material if you decide to use a cover.
Protect the Tires
A heavy RV will put much strain on the tires. When you’re going to store your RV for long, ensure you remove some pressure. You can do so by placing your RV on blocks. Use your manufacturer’s recommendation to deflate the tires and use cover to block out sunlight from reaching the tires.
Ensure that any cover you use to block the tires is bigger than the tires’ footprint. This will help you eliminate elements that damage your tires over time, like frozen ground and petroleum-based surfaces. Do not leave any tire hanging over the edge of the tire block, as this will cause internal damage to the tire.
Store Your RV Battery Separately
Start by disconnecting the negative terminal of the battery, then store it separately. Ensure you clean the batteries with a mixture of baking soda and water, then place them in a cool, dry place where they cannot freeze. Storing batteries separately is very important, especially if you’re preparing for winter storage.
Also, keep the coach batteries topped off by plugging them into shore power once a month for eight hours. Ensure you disconnect the battery from switches to prevent any parasitic load from discharging your batteries. Always check and adjust the water levels in all batteries to ensure they’re fully charged.
If removing batteries is difficult, ensure they’re fully charged, disconnect the negative cable. If your converter lacks a three-stage charging system, then don’t leave your unit constantly plugged in. This can overcharge your RV batteries, hence depleting the electrolyte levels.
Take Care of the Engine
Before storing your motorhome, change the oil and oil filter on your RV engine first. Acids accumulate in used oil, which can corrode engine bearings, especially if you’re storing your RV for a long time.
Keep a tag on the engine radiator to allow proper concentration of antifreeze. Remember to consult your RV dealer for the proper engine antifreeze type. Use the recommendations provided by the owner’s manual to drain, flush and refill your system. It’s a good idea to check and adjust all fluid levels in your RVs transmission, windshield washer, brakes, engine oil, and power steering.
Add antifreeze solution to piping, waste tanks, and valves to prevent your RV from freezing. Do not use your knowledge to apply fluid levels and the type of fluids to use. Instead, contact your vehicle owner’s manual to apply appropriately and know the types of fluids to use.
Fill Your Fuel Tank then Add Fuel Stabilizer
Before you consider storing your motorhome, ensure the fuel tank is full, then add a fuel stabilizer. You should follow your manufacturer’s instructions on any tip before storage. Allow the engine and generator to run for longer to enable the stabilizer to run through the fuel system.
If possible, run your engine and generator at least two hours after every two months. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions while doing so. Exercise your generator to heat its windings to eliminate moisture build-up. Remember that moisture build-up can damage your generator, so exercise it monthly. This exercise will also lubricate all engine seals and components, preventing carbon build-up.
RV Storage FAQs
What is the cost of RV storage?
Factors that can influence the cost of your RV storage include location and amenities such as a sewerage system. An RV cost also depends on the local supply and the demand for a storage facility. The size of your RV can also impact the cost of your storage. The larger your motorhome, the more space you’ll need, leading to higher prices.
How do I prepare my motorhome for winter storage?
When it comes to preparing your RV for winter storage, there’re so many things you can do. But it will depend on where you’ll be storing your RV. Are you going to store it indoors or outdoors? You have to be careful when storing outdoors because weather elements can damage your RV.
How can I get motorhome storage near me?
Searching for the best prices of RV storage which used to be stressful, is an issue of the past. Today, you can find RV storage locations and prices by just clicking on the web and type indoor RV storage near me. And the best way to find a place to store your RV is to search on Storage.com. Without thousands of storage units online, you can find the right storage spot at an affordable price.
Now You’re Ready to Store Your RV
While you enjoy the fun of hitting the road in your motorhome, it’s important to take your time to store your RV when you’re not using it properly. This way, your rig will remain in good shape and ready for your travels. Always consult your RV manual dealer whenever you decide to store it. Remember, what matters is that you can still use your vehicle comfortably after long months of storage.