How to Store an RV: Winter Storage Tips

RV Storage Tips: How to Prepare an RV for Winter

An RV provides your family with fun and adventure, but is a costly investment. Keep your RV protected and extend its life by storing it properly. We explain how to do it.

RVs are a great way to have fun and travel, but most families don’t use their RV in the winter and need a place to store it.  On top of your regular maintenance, there are certain things you should do to prepare your RV for winter storage. Ensure you’re able to take off on your next trip seamlessly by following these storage tips and finding out what storage options are available.

Where Do I Store My RV?

At Home

Renting to store your RV can become a costly monthly expense. Storing your RV at home can be a great way to cut this cost if done correctly.

Can I store my RV at home? This depends on how large your vehicle is. If your RV is a Class B or C, this is usually okay. If your vehicle is 40 feet or longer, then this likely isn’t feasible unless you live somewhere remote with the space to accommodate. If you belong to a homeowner’s association, they may not allow RVs to be parked outside, so it’s a good idea to give them a call to double-check. 

Some smaller RVs may be able to fit in the garage which is a great option to ensure your RV stays out of the elements, and that it’s locked up safely. If you plan on storing your RV outside in the winter, you may want to consider purchasing a cover. Although they can be tricky to put on, it could save you money from unexpected weather that could damage your vehicle and delays some of the natural wear that occurs from sitting out in the sun each day.

Storage Lot

Renting to store your RV may be the best decision if you don’t have the space to store at home and want the peace of mind to know it’s stored in a safe, secure place. There are a few different options to choose from, and each will affect how much it costs to store your camper. Some RV trailer storage facilities offer outdoor, indoor non-heated and indoor heated options. Each option has its perks, outdoor is cheaper, while storing your RV in a climate-controlled storage space usually means you don’t have to fully winterize it. It all depends on what your budget is and what you’re wanting.

Regardless of how you store your RV in the winter, it’s important to do the proper pre-storage cleaning and winterizing to make sure you don’t run into any unexpected issues when taking it out for the first time in the spring. Follow along for some of our top pre-storage tips.

Cleaning

Exterior

Clean the exterior of your RV by thoroughly washing and waxing it. Waxing your vehicle protects it from further sun damage and any dirt and grime that collected over its use, especially on the roof.

Interior

Remove any items you have stored in your vehicle that you may need before your next outing. It’s also a good idea to bring in any linens and blankets for a good wash. To prevent bugs and rodents, give the rig a good wipe down with cleaning supplies on all counters, inside cabinets and appliances. Don’t forget to sweep and vacuum the floor!

Maintenance

Winterize

Prevent unexpected repair bills by sealing off all kitchen and bathroom faucets, and any others there might be. Next, add antifreeze to all drainpipes, valves, and even a bit in your toilet water tank if your vehicle is going to be stored in a cold environment. Adding antifreeze protects your unit’s pipes from freezing during winter.

Keep your rooftop vents open to avoid moisture from collecting on the inside of your vehicle. Moisture could lead to musty smells and mold.

Slide Outs

You should store your RV with the slides retracted to prevent potential leaks. When it comes to winter RV storage, pulling in the slide-outs will prevent snowfall from weighing down and damaging the roof. Fully retract your slides to ensure all seals, toppers and mechanical parts aren’t exposed.

Electrical

The best way to make sure you start your vacation without a hitch is to turn off the circuit breaker and remove all batteries from any devices, and alarms (smoke detector, carbon monoxide). This way you can quickly pop them in and have peace of mind knowing they are all fully charged when heading back out on the road.  

Remove your RV battery before putting the vehicle in storage as it’s likely the battery will freeze if left in. When removing the battery, it’s important to remember the purpose is to move it somewhere it won’t freeze, so moving it somewhere like a garage isn’t a good idea. Store your battery in a mild temperature space or room and periodically charge it so it’s ready to go for your next trip.

Tires

If your plan is to store your RV on grass, you may want to reconsider. Storing your rig on the grass will do more than just damage the yard, the extra moisture could damage your tires and invites pests into your freshly cleaned RV. An easy alternative is parking your tires on gravel or concrete pavers.

Reminder

Make a list of the maintenance items you perform prior to storage, so that you can be sure that you properly address everything in the spring, when taking your RV out for the first time.

Insurance

It’s always a big question, how much is insurance? Insuring your RV  is similar to insuring your everyday car. It depends on the class, year, make, model and condition of your vehicle. Meet with your Farm Bureau agent today and bring along these things to get your quote today and hop back on the road with peace of mind knowing you’re covered.

  • Year
  • Make
  • Model
  • Length
  • Current market value
  • Approximate number of days you’ll use your RV each year
  • Motor Type
  • Storage location

Your RV is your home away from home so make sure you store it away this winter properly. Start planning your road trip for next year knowing you’ll be ready to go and you’re RV is properly insured.