RV Storage Tips and Guide

Any RV owner knows that having a mobile home base for traveling around the country (heck, even around the world) is incredibly convenient. Ever since the interstate highway system was created and offered convenient travel to any corner of the country, RV owners have followed their tracks, moving for weeks and months at a time with friends and family. The entire RV concept was built on convenience - and for the most part, an RV offers that and more.

 

However, sometimes life forces you to settle down and put away the road maps (or Google Maps) for awhile. This forces every owner to confront that dreaded question - how do you store an RV, affordably and easily? While your location, the duration of your storage needs, and your personal budget all play a role in answering this question, there are some specific reasons why RV storage options often come up for any RV owner:

Why Store An RV?

  • Personal business or health issues force you to stay off the road for awhile

  • If you work seasonally, you may need to keep your RV safe for a few months or a year

  • Deployment or long-term travel which doesn’t allow you to bring or use your RV

  • Moving across the country with all of your belongings

  • Seasonal weather issues or concerns that make travel in an RV in certain areas more unsafe or inconvenient than usual

If you are faced with any of these circumstances, than browsing RV storage solutions is your best bet. But what are the right RV storage options for you?

Indoor RV Storage vs Outdoor RV Storage (Covered or Uncovered)

 

Once you have decided that you will need RV storage for any duration, the biggest consideration is whether to choose indoor camper storage or outdoor camper storage. While there are some obvious benefits and drawbacks to either option, here are some of the biggest positives and negatives when deciding which option is right for you.

Indoor RV Storage

PROS

  • Complete protection from inclement weather, sunlight, wind, and moisture

  • Many indoor camper storage facilities offer climate controlled units to regulate temperature and humidity

  • Staffed facilities can offer convenient appointments for pickup or drop off

  • Long term savings from avoiding repairs or maintenance costs down the road

 

CONS

  • Costs associated with indoor facilities often lead to markedly higher rates for storage

  • Drop off and pick up may be restricted to staffed facility hours, offering more limited options which may conflict with your schedule

  • Indoor facilities may only have certain RV storage unit sizes available depending on demand, which might be inconvenient if you have a larger RV

Outdoor RV Storage

PROS

  • Some outdoor facilities are either entirely or partially covered, offering many of the same protections from weather that indoor facilities offer

  • Outdoor facilities are often more plentiful, making for greater convenience and also generally lower rental rates

  • Easier pick up and drop off options without having to navigate an indoor facility

  • If weather is not an option, outdoor storage offers the same protection for your vehicle without concerns of wear and tear

  • Outdoor facilities often offer a greater ability to store RVs of all sizes, especially if you are trying to store a larger vehicle

 

CONS

  • If there are no covered options available, your vehicle may be exposed to the elements which may make long-term storage risky for your vehicle’s exterior and engine

  • Greater exposure to moisture and humidity, which may cause rusting or molding if your vehicle isn’t picked up quickly

 

As mentioned earlier, while each option offers upsides and downsides, the main determining factors should be:

 
  • How long you need to store your vehicle - for long-term storage, an indoor facility offers greater protection from the elements

  • How much you can afford to pay for rental fees and, in some cases, insurance

  • When you will need to pick up and drop off your vehicle - while both indoor and outdoor facilities pride themselves on convenience for users, outdoor facilities often require less preparation or time spent at the facility for pick up or drop off

  • The facility’s location. Picking a convenient location is always of the utmost importance

 

Preparing Your RV for Long Term Storage

Once you have chosen your preferred camper storage option, the next big step before dropping off your vehicle is to take the necessary preparations to ensure the long-term health of the RV. While every facility has specific requirements and suggestions for preparing your vehicle, there are some general guidelines that every RV owner can follow to make sure the camper is in the same shape on pick up as it is when you drop it off:

 
  • Inflate and cover your tires to protect them - this will help minimize flat spots upon retrieval

  • Fill the gas tank and change the oil before drop off - this minimizes the odds of condensation or other corrosive materials damaging the engine during storage

  • Turn the main LPG supply valve off. Cover any vents that may attract or allow insects to crawl into your vehicle.

  • Purchase and use covers for your tires or for the vehicle as a whole - even at an indoor facility, this adds an extra layer of protection to prevent dust or mold-causing materials from accumulating

  • Make sure all perishable and disposable items have been removed from the interior to prevent rot or mold. After you have defrosted your refrigerator and cleaned it, put some baking soda in it then leave the door open. This will prevent it from developing any odor.

  • Take out the battery and store it properly also - this prevents any long term draining or wear on the battery itself

  • Give both the exterior and interior a thorough washing, to further remove any dirt or grime that can fester over long periods

 

Aside from taking these steps, be sure to contact your RV storage facility to see if they have any specific tips or requests in addition to these practical measures. Often, facilities will have best practices that can further ensure the long-term health of your vehicle.