Before placing the rig in storage give it a good wash and wax. The wax will help protect the RV from sun damage and keep dirt build up down. A good coat of wax also makes cleanup after storage much easier. When washing pay special attention to the roof. Most of those evil black streaks come from dirt and road grime on the roof, so the cleaner the better for the whole rig.
While stored in the facility, your slide outs will obviously be retracted. Before placing the RV in storage, it’s a good idea to clean the rubber seals, roof and mechanical parts underneath the slide outs. Applying some rubber seal conditioner and slide rail corrosion protector on these areas. Additionally, rubbing some baby powder to keep them from sticking when you to open the slide again in the future can be helpful.
Different parts of the country will have different problems with pests, and most of them can cause some sort of grief when storing the rig. First thing to do is make sure all external openings are blocked off or screened. Popular spots for bugs to set up shop are rooftop plumbing vents, inside the exterior fridge panel and vent, the furnace exhaust and air intake piping. Most RV parts outlets sell made to fit screening for these openings.
Rodents are probably the worst pests as they like to chew electrical wiring. The best way to limit them picking your RV as a happy home is to make sure to remove all possible food sources and nesting materials. Even things you wouldn’t think of like soap, toothpaste and paper towels. They won’t hang around and nest if there isn’t a good supply of food.
The temperature plays the biggest role in how to prep the RV for storage when it comes to plumbing. If there is no chance of freezing and you are only storing for a few weeks, very little needs to be done. Flush out the waste tanks and then add back a ¼ tank of water to keep them from drying out inside. For the fresh water, fill it and add a ½ cup of bleach and then run it into all the pipes. That way you will disinfect the water supply plumbing as it sits and nothing can grow in it.
If there is any chance of below freezing weather, remove all water from the plumbing system including the water heater tank. Then add antifreeze into the piping, valves, drain “P” traps and a little bit into each waste tank. Also remember to remove any other liquids that may freeze and crack their containers to avoid unanticipated messes in the RV. An example would be dish washing soap.
Improper storage of tires causes a great many of those blow outs you hear RVers talking about. Leaving the motorhome or trailer parked in the same spot on the tires for extended periods weakens the tire and may lead to sudden catastrophic failure. Storing your vehicle properly helps protect your tires. Keep your vehicle in a cool, dry storage area out of direct sunlight and UV rays. Unload your vehicle so that minimum weight is on the tires. Inflate your tires to recommended operation pressure plus 25%, but don’t exceed the rim manufacturer’s inflation capacity. Thoroughly clean your tires with soap and water before storing them to remove any oils that may have accumulated from the road. Move your vehicle at least every three months to help prevent cracking and flat-spotting, but avoid moving it during extremely cold weather. Place your vehicle on blocks to remove the weight from the tires. If the vehicle can’t be put on blocks, make sure the storage surface is firm, clean, well-drained and reasonably level.
Motorhomes are a little harder to break into and steal but fifth wheels and other trailers can be an easy target. At Carefree Covered RV Storage we provide all our customers with ball hitch locks to secure them from theft. We actually require them for your protection. Choosing a place like ours that has extensive state of the art high definition security cameras is also a plus. An onsite manager who lives on the premises is another great deterrent for trouble when storing your RV at a facility and why we have that too! Making your RV a difficult target is the best defense. Thieves are generally lazy and will move on looking for an easier score. For example, changing out the storage bay locks can make things more difficult. Many folks don't realize that a majority of RVs use the same key but criminals sure do!