When it’s time to pack away the magic of summer vacations spent enjoying your Recreational Vehicle, it’s also time to think about packing away your RV for storage. It’s just as important to take care of your mobile home as it is your full time one. Once you’ve unloaded and unpacked, here are seven tips to help you stay on the right track in caring for your RV:
One of the most common issues that owners face is control of rodents and bugs. Wasps and hornets love to build near your gas appliances because they love the odorant added to LP gas. To prevent them from making themselves cozy in your home, be sure to cover the vents to your water heater, refrigerator, and furnace. Another favorite entry point for bugs, from ants to spiders, is rooftop vents like plumbing, or behind your refrigerator panel, or your furnace exhaust. Fit screening over these openings wherever possible. Go through the interior thoroughly; opening cabinet doors, and drawers, looking for anywhere you can see daylight. Seal all cracks with expanding foam. Before closing up, some like to use mothballs, or even dryer sheets to discourage bugs and prevent musty smells.
Begin with a good old fashioned, “Spring Cleaning.” Don’t forget your AC filter! Remove batteries from clocks, flashlights and other small appliances to prevent corrosion during the off season. Once all consumables have been removed, clean out the refrigerator and defrost the freezer. Leave both doors open for ventilation and thorough drying. The same baking soda you use in your regular home is a great idea for your traveling one too. Then, unplug all appliances and turn off the main breaker. Turn off your LP gas valve at the tank. Unless your storage area is shaded, close your windows and blinds to help avoid sun damage. Leave interior doors, windows, and cabinets open so that air can circulate freely. Leave all of your vents cracked open for air circulation. Consider vent covers for even better airflow without fear of weather damage.
Just like the interior, the exterior of your RV needs an extra good cleaning and inspection. A complete wash and wax with special attention to seams and seals is in order. Pay special attention to the roof and window joints too. Water damage is one of the most common and expensive repairs. So, extra time taken here can really pay off. Use protectant oil barrier on all rubber seals and repair any that are worn. Clean slides and awnings well, and allow them to completely dry before storing. Don’t forget to oil your locks and hinges too!
Check your tire pressure and inflate to the maximum recommended in your user’s manual. Apply tire protectant, or covers to protect from sun damage. The best blocks are wooden. Be sure no rubber is hanging over the edges though, as that can cause tire damage over the long term.
If possible, start it monthly, hook up shore power and run about ½ load for 8 hours or so. (Consult your owner’s manual for load ratings and recommendations.) This allows you to leave the batteries in it. Otherwise, remove them and store them away from freeze danger. Regardless, be sure to disconnect all switches to prevent loads from discharging your batteries. Make sure they are fully charged at storage time, and that you have checked water levels.
Change oil & filter on both engine and generator to prevent corrosion. Check your radiator and add antifreeze as necessary. Remember to check your owner’s manual and follow the recommended schedule for draining, flushing and refilling it.
Fill the gas tank and add fuel stabilizer according to the directions. Run the engine and generator long enough that the stabilizer has a change to work through the whole system. If possible, run the generator at least 2 hours on ½ rated load.
Good maintenance and storage habits now can make for an easy start to the next season of fun and adventure in your traveling home away from home.
Beltline and Security Stor-Alls are located in Mobile, Alabama for all of your storage needs! Check outBeltline and Security on Facebook, or visit us online at www.StorAlls.com!