How to Store an RV for Winter

RVing is a true American pastime and over 11% of households in the US own a recreational vehicle. With 423 national parks and thousands of miles of natural beauty, there’s so much to see from the open road.

Though if you’re hunkering down in states like Minnesota or Illinois for the winter, then you’ll need some good RV storage ideas.

Store your RV the wrong way and you will return to a mildewed, pest-infested motorhome in spring. But if you store it right, you’ll be able to hit the highway again within the hour.

Not sure if you’ve thought of everything you need for proper RV storage? This detailed guide on exactly how to store an RV for winter has you covered.

Wash, Clean, and Tidy Up Your RV

Figuring out how to store an RV for the winter isn’t only about finding a place to put it. You need to prepare your RV so that when you drive it away in spring it is ready to go.

Start this process by tidying and cleaning your RV from top to bottom. Wash the interior and exterior until it sparkles. Remove every single household item that is not fixed to the RV so that carjackers and the weather can’t take or destroy anything.

Your future self in spring will thank you because it means they don’t have to do any cleaning!

Protect Your RV From Mildew, UV Rays, and Pests

But there are worse things than a little dirt and bad odors in your RV. Mildew and pests are a big problem for stationary RVs over winter. And if you are storing your RV outside, then sun exposure could also damage your RV.

Shut your RV’s windows and close all curtains and blinds. Draining your water tanks and pipes will help stop mildew from setting in.

Remove all food from your kitchen cupboards and refrigerator so there is nothing for pests to feast on. You might also want to put seals around your doors and any other small cracks.

Invest in a Winter Recreational Vehicle Cover

If you want 100% peace of mind that your RV won’t become a shelter for mold and mice over the winter, buy an RV cover. 

Sure, you could get a cheap tarp. But if you choose a cover that isn’t a perfect fit then moisture could seep in underneath. Instead, invest in the winter cover designed for your exact recreational vehicle model.

Find a Safe and Secure Place to Store Your RV

You can clean and prepare your RV all you can, but if you don’t have a secure place to store it then you needn’t have bothered.

Here are some RV storage ideas and potential places you could store your RV over winter:

  • Your driveway
  • Your garage
  • Your backyard
  • RV garage
  • Storage units

In an ideal world, you will be able to find (and afford) a local indoor RV storage unit or at least a covered RV storage unit. Not only to protect your RV from the weather but to protect it from thieves and vandals, too.

Check and double-check the size of storage units beforehand so you know your RV will fit before you sign on the dotted line. And this sounds obvious, but make sure you book a storage unit you can drive your RV into.

Regular storage units won’t work!

Jack Up Your RV and Save the Tires

Once your RV is in storage, you can perform a few finishing touches to save yourself a lot of headaches later.

By allowing your camper to sit in one spot for months on end, you risk developing bald spots on your tires. These will need replacing in spring. 

Instead, take off your tires and jack up your RV. It might sound like a hassle, but those tires don’t come cheap.

Take Out Your RV’s Battery and Fill Up the Tank

Another downside to keeping a vehicle off the road for so long is running the battery flat. Take out your car’s battery and recharge it now and again so it doesn’t go flat.

Batteries tend to not like the cold either, so this is the best solution during those winter months.

Fill up your gas tank over the winter months to lessen the damaging effects of condensation. Add a fuel stabilizer and run it for a few minutes to make sure it gets through your RV’s engine.

Returning to your camper in spring with a full tank ready to go will also feel like a blessing.

Run Antifreeze Through Your Water System

Depending on where you live, you may not need to use antifreeze before storing your RV for the winter. But if you live anywhere that experiences temperatures below freezing? Using antifreeze will prevent damage to your RV’s water system.

Block off your water heater, drain your pipes and tanks, and run the RV antifreeze through. Make sure to drain the antifreeze and fill up your tanks with water when you return in spring.

Check on Your Recreational Vehicle Every Month

Even if you take every precaution to keep your RV safe and secure over winter, acts of God happen all the time. Check on your camper every month to ensure it is exactly as you left it.

It’s better to discover a small problem in December than to have a big problem waiting for you in April.

RV Storage Ideas to Keep Your Vehicle Snug Over Winter

Recreational vehicles cost thousands to buy, thousands to deck out, and thousands more to maintain. They are an investment in your enjoyment. You don’t want to lose all your hard work because you left your windows open for four months.

But as long as you use these RV storage ideas and follow these tips, your RV will be exactly as you left it when spring arrives.

Are you living your RV dreams but need to know more about auto insurance, mechanics, and car maintenance? Our website has tons of articles that will cover all your auto queries!

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