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.
Arrange your RV storage options as soon as possible. If you need offsite storage, options may be limited or completely 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 storing it at home, do you have a large enough and 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?
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
When researching storage options, decide if you’ll use the location year round. 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.
Prices for RV storage vary across facilities, locations, and regions. In general, expect to pay around $50 to $100 per month for outdoor storage and $100 to $200 per month for indoor storage.
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.
Download the Togo RV winter storage checklist for gear recommendations and questions to ask when considering storage facilities.
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.
- Take the battery out, disconnect it, or use a battery charger to keep it from running down over the winter.
- 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.