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If you’re categorizing an RV like any other typical vehicle, you’re mistaken. An RV isn’t just a car; it’s an entire experience. A perfect amalgamation of an automobile and a house, an RV gives you the perfect opportunity to go anywhere where the road follows.
While many RV enthusiasts would simply love to be on the road as long as they can, sometimes life catches up to you, and you have other commitments to cater to. In these cases, an RV just sits still. During this time, it’s crucial to store and prep your RV properly to ensure it doesn’t create any issues if you want to get going again. Treating your RV properly during this downtime will ensure it returns the favor when you’re ready to hit the road again.
This article is a guest post from Linda Verde. Linda is a content specialist and editor at AvocadoPesto, where she specializes in healthy living and health cooking. She is also a world traveler and has visited over 60 countries.
Protect your RV
To maximize your RV’s protection, you should keep it under a cover to protect it from sun damage, moisture infiltration, rust, weakening of seals, damage from snow accumulation, caulking, and theft.
For this, you can opt for a fabric cover or tarp. While tarp does provide protection to an extent, it does leave exposure. It doesn’t help with protecting your RV from weather and other elements. You can also store your RV in an enclosed steel-frame at your own property.
Furthermore, you can also opt for offsite storage for additional security and protection. Storage facilities are a secure option for you to consider when you simply don’t want to worry about how your RV’s doing. You can always go to the storage facility each time you want to check on your RV. If you move between the USA and Canada, for instance, then a RV storage Maine-based is an excellent option for you to consider.
Clean it properly
When your RV’s getting ready for the off-season, you need to clean the interior and exterior. You should wipe off all surfaces and vacuum the former’s floor to ensure no dirt is left. This is especially vital since you don’t want anything left that’s going to attract insects. If there’s been a lot of walking inside, then getting the carpet cleaned is a good idea.
For the exterior, ensure you’re cleaning everything, including the roof, which can accumulate a lot of dirt and grime. Once your RV is all clean and dry, you should consider waxing it, which will keep it more spotless for longer and protect it from UV damage.
Pay attention to the inside
If your RV’s going to be out of action for a while, you’ll need to be really careful about prepping it to prevent mildew, molds, critters, and smells. Putting in effort and time during this stage will save you a lot of headaches in the future.
Even after you’ve stored it for some time, you may need to check again for critters. If you see evidence of animals that don’t belong, consider hiring an exterminator.
Take care of the fridge and cabinets
You need to ensure you’re clearing out all contents of your fridge, freezer, and any drawers and cabinets. This is especially important for anything perishable since those might attract critters and rodents. In fact, rodents may even get attracted to things like toothpaste, paper, and soap so you really need to be careful about those items too.
You should also defrost the freezer, clean it thoroughly, and leave its doors open to prevent mold formation. To take the cleaning up a notch, use baking soda, which helps absorb and prevent odors.
Close any openings
You should inspect the RV and look for any openings that could help critters come inside. If there’s any place where light is seeping in, then it needs to be closed. You can use expanding foam to fill these openings and add dryer sheets, which offer the added benefit of smelling nice.
Turn off electricity
To prevent the possibility of a short circuit and, worse, a fire, you should turn off the main circuit breaker, unplug all electrical appliances, and turn off the main LP supply valve. You should also remove the batteries from any gadgets inside the RV, such as clocks, flashlights, etc.
Be sure to check out more RV safety tips here.
Take care of the engine
The engine serves as the heart of your RV, and it deserves a lot of attention. By implementing a few care tips, you can extend your engine’s life and make it last longer. Firstly, you need to take out all of the batteries and ensure they’re charged.
After that, you should clean the posts and terminals and store the batteries in a cool, dry place. Apart from this, you should fill your RV’s fuel tank before storing it and also add a fuel stabilizer to it. After this, run the generator and engine long enough to ensure the stabilizer kicks in.
Where the oil is concerned, you need to change it as well as the oil filter in your generator and engine. Not doing so can create build up in used oil over a period, which can further corrode engine bearings.
Lastly, you should take a look at your fluids, including power steering, radiator, brakes, and transmission, and refill them. Additionally, suppose you’re storing your RV outside, you should either add fluid with antifreeze or drain the windshield water reservoir to ensure there’s no damage from sub-freezing temperatures.
Where your RV’s maintenance is concerned, investing even the minimal amount can result in substantial cost savings in the future. With planning effectively during the offseason and following the tips above, you can ensure your RV’s ready for when you want to take it out next.
Have you ever used an RV? How do you clean and maintain it during the offseason? Let us know in the comments below!