RV & Boat Storage Tips
The following steps can be taken to protect your RV or boat while in storage. Additionally, specific procedures recommended by the RV or boat manufacturer, chassis manufacturer and appliance producers should be closely considered.
For the best long term care, store your vehicle in an area protected from the sun’s harmful rays. A storage unit with a roof is recommended.
- Review owner’s manual for engine, LP gas, generator, water heater and sanitation system storage tips.
- Remove all perishable food from cabinets.
- Turn off refrigerator, verify all power sources are off by checking 12 volt, 110 volt and LP gas.
- Remove all food from the refrigerator, clean the inside and leave the door open to ventilate.
- Clean rooftop air conditioner filters and cover the outside unit.
- Clean the interior of the RV, pull shades and close blinds.
- Turn off the propane cylinders and cover the regulator.
- Cover or tape vents to the furnace and range hood for long-term storage.
- Ensure all roof vents and windows are closed. Prevent condensation if necessary by using chemical-type dehumidifiers.
- Check tire pressure and cover the tires if they will be exposed to the sun.
- Inspect roof, body, interior, soft molding and caulking.
- Service locks with spray lubricant to prevent rust and freezing.
- Remove batteries, store in an area not subject to freezing and test periodically; charge if necessary.
- In motorhomes, check all operating fluid levels under the hood and top off the gasoline tank. Add a fuel stabilizer.
- Empty and thoroughly rinse all holding tanks. In winter, all water tanks, lines and pumps should be drained and filled with non-toxic RV antifreeze to keep any remaining water from freezing the system. (Never use automobile antifreeze of any kind in your water system!)
- Prepare your engine in accordance with the owner’s manual. In winter, this will normally include draining and flushing the cooling system; draining and refilling the crankcase; applying oil to inside of each cylinder through the spark plug holes; and other preservative actions.
- Thoroughly clean the hull, decks, cockpit, bilge, all compartments, lockers and the exterior of engine and coat with an appropriate wax or preservative.
- Drain fuel lines, pumps, carburetor and tanks or fill completely and add fuel stabilizer.
- Leave all floorboards up, doors ajar, ports and skylights open, hatches partly open, drawers and lockers open.
- Carefully fit a well-made cover, provided with ventilation ports. If boat is to be stored outdoors, make sure there are no low spots in the cover that will hold rainwater.
- Place a cover over engine. Do not leave the engine exposed to the sun or rain.
- Don’t forget the trailer; check tire pressure and cover tires if they will be exposed to the sun, check and pack wheel hubs if necessary and lubricate jack.
- And finally, note dates of registration, tags, certificates and insurance, etc. and plan for renewal if they expire during your storage term.