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.
In our travels during our first year and a half as fulltime RVers, we have had three different storage scenarios:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- Disconnect Main (or whatever your RV uses) (This is the “Quick” Part!)
- Depending on your RV, decide how you want to handle this
- Consider Opening Vents if Weather Warrants
- Close & Secure All Windows
- Close Blinds/Cover Windows
- If you have them, use Tire Covers
- Fresh Water Tank – Empty & Disinfect on Return
- Black & Grey Tanks – Empty & Flush Well
- We use this baby to Power Wash the Inside of the Black Tank (This is the “Dirty” Part!)
- 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.
- 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…