After you’re done adventuring in your recreational vehicle (RV), motorhome or camper, you may be wondering “where can I park my RV long term that is safe and secure?” After all, an RV is a significant investment that you should keep safe during the offseason.
Self-storage is an effective solution if you need a safe place to store your RV for the weeks or months it’s not in use. Storage also allows you to free-up space on your property or comply with HOA ordinances that don’t allow RVs to be parked in front of your home.
But how do you store an RV long term? There are things you should do to make sure your RV is protected from weather, pests, and other natural occurrences. Here are some RV, motorhome and camper storage ideas and tips to help you find the right storage option.
RV Storage Tips
Where to Store an RV
The first step in successful RV storage is finding the right location. No matter where you store your RV, you should make sure the location is safe from thieves and anything else that may damage your vehicle. You should also look for storage with convenient access, should you want to pull your RV out for a weekend getaway on short notice.
RV storage facilities provide the best combination of security and convenience so you can rest assured your RV or motorhome will be safe and easy to access while in storage. U-Haul has thousands of self-storage locations across the U.S. and Canada – many locations offer RV, camper and motorhome storage that’s secure, convenient and affordable.
How to Prepare Your RV for Storage
Preparing an RV for storage is a lot like RV winterization; it primarily involves performing basic maintenance tasks and giving your RV a thorough cleaning. Completing these tasks will help ensure your RV remains in good condition – both aesthetically and mechanically – while in storage, whether that’s over a long winter or just a few weeks.
Here is how to prepare your RV for storage:
- Change the engine oil – Water and acids in the oil may cause damage to the engine if it is left in storage for a long period of time. Replace your RV’s engine oil prior to storage to prevent this from happening while your RV is stored.
- Clean your RV inside and out – Empty your refrigerator and leave the door open while the RV is in storage. You may also want to leave cabinet doors open. This will prevent musty odors and mold from developing over time.
- Add gasoline and stabilizer – Topping off your gas tank will prevent condensation in your fuel lines. If you're planning on keeping your RV in storage for a long time, add fuel stabilizer as well to prevent the fuel from breaking down chemically.
- Disconnect the batteries – Batteries can be costly to replace every year. By removing the batteries and charging them periodically, you will prevent them from losing charge and you will not need to buy a replacement as frequently.
- Use chock blocks – Chock blocks are made of rubber, plastic or wood, and are placed behind and around tires to prevent a vehicle from moving while it is parked. Using a parking brake while storing can cause damage to the brake pads over time.
- Plug open holes – Small animals or bugs may take up residence in your RV and create expensive problems for you when you want to take it out for a drive. Covering small holes around the vehicle (i.e., exhaust pipe and vents) is an easy preventative measure.
- Prepare the exterior – Be sure the slides are in and all the blinds and shades are closed. Consider adding a layer of wax to the outside of your RV to help protect against rust and corrosion, especially if you don’t have an RV cover.
RV Storage Options
Many U-Haul RV storage facilities offer covered, uncovered and enclosed parking for your RV. Learn more about each RV storage option to see which is right for you.
- Uncovered RV Storage – An outdoor parking space located outdoors in a secure parking lot at the storage facility. They vary in size to accommodate different RV models and styles.
- Covered RV Storage – An outdoor parking space that is covered to help protect your RV from the sun, rain and other adverse weather conditions.
- Indoor RV Storage – An indoor parking space that provides maximum protection against the elements and criminal activity, and may have climate control depending on the storage facility.
There are many RV styles and brands out there, so be sure to check the manufacturer's manual for your model's specific storage recommendations. If you have questions about pricing, keep in mind that outdoor storage is typically less expensive than indoor or covered, though most RV storage options are considered affordable (and worth it!)
Invest In a Good RV Cover
Many RV owners wonder if it’s OK to store an RV outside for long periods of time. The short answer is yes, outdoor RV storage is a sufficient option, but it’s recommended you invest in a quality RV cover. The best RV covers are breathable, fitted and weather-resistant. Many top-rated RV covers also have security features like locking zippers to deter thieves from tampering with your RV.
Tire covers are another smart RV storage investment, especially if you’re looking into long term storage or outdoor storage. Tire covers help shield tires from overexposure to sunlight, which can eventually cause weather cracking and dry rot. Consider giving your tires some extra protection if you feel it’s necessary in your case.
Is Covered RV Storage Worth It?
Most RV storage experts recommend using covered storage where possible. Even though covered RV storage spaces are exposed to some weather, having that awning over your RV, motorhome or camper will undoubtedly provide it with better protection from inclement weather than an uncovered space. Pairing covered storage with an RV cover is an even better option.
RV Storage Requirements
There are a handful things you need to store your RV, motorhome or camper at a U-Haul storage facility. These include:
- Name of owner
- License plate number
- Photo ID
- Make of vehicle
- Proof of insurance
Finding a storage unit for your RV is easy. Start by deciding what type of space works best for your vehicle, then perform a search and reserve a space. Once you've done that you're ready to prepare your vehicle for storage. Start your RV storage search today.
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