How to Put Your RV in Short-Term Storage/Reunited with Aunt Glady

So, you are a fulltime RVer, but you are planning to visit some friends or stay with family for a short period of time.  But, what do you do with the RV?  Don’t worry, my friend, you are about to learn about some options.rv-short-term-storage-checklist

In our travels during our first year and a half as fulltime RVers, we have had three different storage scenarios:

  1. The first was when we went back to visit family for three weeks during our first Fall on the road.  For that trip, we ended up parking our fifthwheel at my parents, where she had a macadam pad and an electric hookup to help her enjoy the crisp fall weather and changing leaves.  During that time, Aunt Glady kept her own company and also invited a squirrel to join her.  When we went to pull out on our last day, we found a stash of nuts piled on top of the propane tank, perfectly saved to see the squirrel’s stomach through the long Pennsylvania winter ahead.  Otherwise, Aunt Glady had remained in perfect condition and the storage experience went just fine and was free.
  2. The second experience we had was in our 13th month as fulltime RVers. We were in Port Angeles, WA and wanted to take the ferry to Victoria and stay overnight.  In this instance, we used dry storage (no hookups) at a campground for our night away.  We chose the Port Angeles KOA, and we paid $17.50 for the one night.  That was pretty high, but it gave us the flexibility we needed to keep the logistics simple.  Since it was only one night, we did not follow the checklist.  We packed her up just like a normal moving day and just parked her to await our return.  All went perfect, and we found her the same way we left her.
  3. The third experience we had was when we rented a home with my family in Florida for a vacation. It was in our 15th month of RVing, and we rented the house for 2 weeks.  We found a campground that offered dry storage for $50.00/month that was on our route to the rental, but about 3 hours North, so that we didn’t have to tow the whole way down.  In this scenario, we decided to do the full shutdown of Aunt Glady, and we hoped for the best in the face of Floridian storms, heat, humidity and pests.  (Continue reading to the bottom to see how we fared.)

NOW FOR THE QUICK & DIRTY…

All RVs and circumstances are different.  So, you will need your own plan, but we think you can glean some things from our plan with our 2006 fifthwheel that may be helpful.  All storage situations have risks, but you are an RVer – you are already a risktaker!

SELECT YOUR STORAGE

  • Try the people you know for a free spot, but otherwise, your best option is probably a campground with dry storage.  With an actual campground, you can stay there the night prior to and the night after your storage experience to make things run smoothly.
  • Consider your site.  Is it a concrete/asphalt pad, grass, stone?  Will there be trees for shade, etc.?
  • You will know the general weather for the area and time of year, but as the date gets closer, take a look at the forecast.
  • Consider the potential bugs/pests for the area.  You will want to avoid smells that will draw them in, so a good cleaning will be helpful.

PRE-STORAGE

  • Refrigerator – If you will be shutting down your fridge, then you will want to plan your meals in advance to empty your fridge and avoid wasting food at the last minute.  If you have any ice buildup, this is a good time to defrost the fridge.  Be sure to do it a day early, so that you can deal with all the melting water before you leave.
  • Freezer – Same deal.  Eat what is there and defrost early if necessary.
  • Laundry – Keep up on your laundry.  You don’t want anything damp or smelly lying around while you are gone to attract pests or encourage mold.
  • Clean – Think of any areas that might attract pests, and be sure to clean them well.  A little work in advance will make storage day a lot easier.

DAY OF STORAGE

  • Fridge & Freezer (already emptied & defrosted):
    • Clean Well
    • Turn off
    • Leave Doors Ajar
  • Battery
    • Disconnect Main (or whatever your RV uses) (This is the “Quick” Part!)
  • Generator
    • Depending on your RV, decide how you want to handle this
  • Windows/Vents
    • Consider Opening Vents if Weather Warrants
    • Close & Secure All Windows
    • Close Blinds/Cover Windows
  • Tires
    • If you have them, use Tire Covers
  • Water/Sewer
  • Propane
    • Shut Off Tanks
  • Hot Water Heater
    • Shut Off
    • Drain Completely (don’t risk ruining your hot water tank) Even just one week of stagnant water in your hot water tank can create a smell that is very tough to get rid of.
  • Bugs/Pests
    • Think Your Situation through and Do What is Best
    • Clean Well to Avoid Tempting Pests

How did it go with our Florida dry storage experience?  Well, come along, and we will show you…

4 comments on “How to Put Your RV in Short-Term Storage/Reunited with Aunt Glady

  1. Hi started watching your videos very entertaining! retired october of 2015 about to leave on my first excursion for a trip to Florida Texas Tennessee I ordered your calendar. I don’t know if you will get this but pay pal for some reason probably me I’m not to computer literate I tried to to have it sent to my brothers In Florida. Maybe when you get the order you could send it there if possible? The address is( 668 Lake asbury Dr., Green Cove Florida 32043) If not I’ll get it somehow from home. Oh by the way my name is Mike lol The order is under my first name James thanks. I’ll keep watching!

  2. My wife and I read a lot she more than I. Our Library has been promoting auto books which I have been invoying. Bill O’Reilly has several books “Killing of Kennedy ” which I did not think I would enjoy due to I had lived thru that era. I was in college. But I was wrong the auto read by O’Reilly was great. I just started other one of his autos “Killing of Jesus” which I had avoided but I have went thru chapter 8 and it is great. The history value is excellent. So far I recommend it. I liked these books because I can listen during a long drive. I only listen with a head set while wife is driving.
    Have you all looked into joining Escapees? Most members are full timmers. Also, pass port America? We like pass port due to most camp grounds honor this club for at least 2 days to a week for half price. Plus they will send a book or a cd disk of the camp grands that accept their card. Like you all we are good Sam members. We are parked at home for the winter (storage) our subdivision will not let us park at our house. Where are you all now?

    • This winter, we are spending time with our families in Pennsylvania. We are staying at my sisters for a little while, and we winterized our RV. We hated to do it, but we needed to be back in the area for multiple reasons, including building Chris’ business, so that we can continue RVing. When we first set out, we were hoping to make it 3 months – that quickly turned in to a year and a half on the road. So, we are now trying to build the business more, so we can keep going. So far, he has gotten a few more clients, so things are going well. Thank you for the tip on the books – those do sound interesting, and I love history. I really enjoy audio books too – I like to use them when I am cleaning or cooking – it makes it so much more enjoyable. Also, thanks for sharing about Escapees and Passport America – we have thought about them, but just haven’t committed to either one yet, maybe soon. No need to apologize about the misspellings – I know what you mean about the auto correct spell check, so frustrating. Thanks again for sharing! -Jen

  3. Sorry about the miss spells in previous. For some reason my spell check will change some words to what ever it want to so I guess I am going to check after the spell check. That’s what I get by not rereading my post . Any way I was talking about. Video books
    Plus this is the 1st time that I did a post. Fun fun

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