In the blink of an eye, summer ends. Then just as quickly autumn disappears. What will you do with your RV at that point? Will you be storing your RV for the winter? A lucky few live in climates that permit them to drive their RVs year-round. As for everyone else, we don’t have that luxury. Having a plan for where you’re going to store your RV until spring returns is crucial. Many RV owners elect to store theirs on a campground or storage facility. You might be interested in storing your RV at home over the winter.
Falling leaves and temperatures mean it’s time to pack your RV away for the off-season—unless you’re a four-season camper. While it’s never fun parking your rig for winter hibernation these RV storage tips will ensure that your rig is ready to go when spring returns once again.
When should you start lining up your RV storage options?
Arrange your RV storage options as early as possible. If you need offsite storage options may be limited or full by late summer. The recent surge in RV sales means there’s more competition for existing facilities.
What should I consider when storing my RV?
Consider these six elements when selecting a storage spot:
Security: If storing away from home does the facility provide a gated entrance, guards or attendants, and security cameras?
Protection from the elements: Will your rig be indoors or outdoors? If outdoors, will it have a covered roof? If indoors, are the temperature and humidity controlled?
Location: How far is the location from your house? Is it easy to access if you need to check your RV? If you store it at home, do you have a large, protected space?
Access: If you wish to take your rig out for a winter trip are you able to remove your RV from the facility? Note that some locations park rigs for months at a time without the ability to remove them.
Amenities: Some storage facilities offer onsite electric and water hookups and sewer dumps which may be useful as you prepare for and return from trips.
Budget: How much can you spend on monthly storage fees?
What’s the best way to store an RV?
There’s no single best way to store an RV. Instead, you need to consider the pros and cons of each option and decide which choice works best for your situation and budget.
Storing your RV at home
- You’ll have easy access and can keep an eye on your rig. Plus, it’s free.
- You’ll need to find a good location to park your RV. It may be in your way through the winter.
Storing your RV at an indoor self-storage facility
- Parking your RV indoors is the best protection from winter temperatures and precipitation. Indoor self-storage also offers good security.
- This is the priciest option. Also, you may have limited locations near you and it may not be convenient to check on your rig.
Storing your RV at an outdoor storage facility
- You may find extra layers of security. Also, some outdoor facilities have covered parking which keeps snow and ice from accumulating on your roof.
- Outdoor storage offers little to no protection from the elements.
Additional storage options
If none of the options above work for you, don’t despair. You may have friends or family with farmland, a convenient parking spot, or a lot in town. These options may not offer security or protection from the weather but they can be less pricey—possibly free. Finally, research other nearby options like fairgrounds, campgrounds, or marinas which may offer storage in their offseason.
Long-term versus short-term storage
Short-term options provide parking for 3 to 6 months spanning the winter season. Long-term storage may cost slightly less per month than short-term storage but you’re paying for more months out of the year.
Cost of RV storage
The cost of storing an RV varies greatly. The price depends on these factors:
- Location: The cost varies depending on your location including rural vs. urban.
- Size of space: How big is your RV? You will pay more to store a 40-foot Class A motorhome than a small travel trailer.
How do you store an RV outside?
If you’re storing your RV outside, decide if you want to use a cover. Covers can cost a considerable amount and take time to properly apply. However, they help protect your RV from the elements.
If you decide to purchase a cover, buy the proper size for your rig and follow the directions for securely fastening it. Tarps are not recommended since they don’t allow for proper air flow and can trap in moisture.
Tips for storing your RV for the winter
Before locking up your rig for the off-season, follow these tips:
- Winterize your water lines and tanks.
- Thoroughly clean out anything that could attract bugs and rodents as well as anything that could be damaged by freezing temperatures.
- Be sure to check the fridge and freezer to ensure no food is left stored inside. Prop doors open to prevent mold.
- Check your roof and window seals to prevent leaks and ensure all windows and vents are closed.
- Remove the batteries from your RV and store them in a temperature-controlled area through the winter but be sure not to store them on a concrete floor. It’s also recommended that you use a battery charger so they’re ready to go when you are.
- Cover the tires to reduce exposure to direct sunlight.
Whether you’re parking your rig at home or offsite utilize multiple layers of security including wheel locks and/or hitch locks to prevent theft.
With your RV securely tucked away for winter, spend the winter months making plans for next spring and summer. Just remember to check in on your rig every few weeks.
Other articles you may want to read:
- The Ultimate Guide to Winterizing Your RV
- Winter is Here: What to Do with Your RV?
- The Ultimate Guide to Keeping Mice Out of an RV
- The Ultimate Guide for Winter Camping
- Yes, You Can De-winterize your RV: Here is How
My parents live in the part of the United States that is Canada. It is so far north that Minnesota lies in the same direction as Miami. They have four distinct seasons: Winter, More Winter, Still More Winter, and That One Day of Summer.
—W. Bruce Cameron