You know the wonders of owning an RV, but you also know the considerations you have to make, like where to store it in the winter. Before you do anything else, check out this article to read everything you need ot know about getting your RV winter ready.
It is an amazing thing to own a Recreational Vehicle (RV). You are able to go out on the road whenever you want and go wherever you want. The amount of freedom is amazing. There are some unique concerns that come along with owning an RV. One of the biggest ones is where do you store your RV when you are not using it. This is a large vehicle that requires special attention when it comes to storage. Keep reading to get some information about your RV storage options: covered driveway paid and more
Table of Contents
- Why Do I Need to Store My RV?
- What Are the Costs Associated with Storing My RV?
What To Consider When Storing an RV
- Outdoor Storage
- Indoor RV Storage
- Covered RV Storage
- What to Consider When Winterizing Your RV
Why Do I Need to Store My RV?
When winter rolls around, it is time to think about your storage plan. There are many options from which you can choose to store your RV. It is important to consider the security, convenience, and cost of your storage options. One of them may make an option less palatable than other options.
What Are the Costs Associated with Storing My RV?
The costs associated with storing your RV will depend on which option you choose for storing your RV. Once you choose the option that works best for you, there are some other factors in which you must consider. The fees you will pay to store your RV will run you anywhere between $50 to $450 per month. It may even cost more than $450 per month, depending on your choice. The number that you have for storage costs should be added to the cost of your RV payment if you have one. You also need to consider the cost of maintenance and repair on your RV.
What To Consider When Storing an RV
When you are considering where to store your RV, you must think about the ground, especially if you want to consider storing your RV in your driveway or garage. If either of them is sloped, which is quite common, you may have other concerns with which you need to be concerned. You also have to determine if your RV will fit through your garage door.
You want to make sure that the weight is distributed properly when your RV is in storage. If your RV is stored at an angle, the weight can shift and redistribute to only one or two of the corners of your RV. This means there may be damage to the axles or other components on the interior and exterior of the RV.
For example, the refrigerator in your RV may obtain damage. It is important that your refrigerator stay even and stable. If it does not, ammonia sediment can develop. This happens when the cooling unit and other components have ammonia that is liquified in places where it should not be.
If your refrigerator is resting at an angle, this ammonia sediment can occur. If there is too much sediment, it can prevent the refrigerator from running properly. This means your food will not be kept cold and will spoil.
You may need to consider wheel blocks on your RV to prevent it from rolling if you have a sloped driveway. It can be completely annoying, and it is best to avoid any type of slope or incline if you can. When you park your RV, you must be mindful of your roofline because you do not want to hit or damage the roofline.
Trees may also be annoying and frustrating. The branches of trees may be in the way of a clear path up to your driveway. It may be difficult for your RV to push through them.
Storage your RV outside is the most popular and likely option. This is the most affordable option, too. It does require you to be aware of your surroundings. You will have to take extra precautions to make sure that your RV is protected from the outdoor elements.
If you are parking your RV outside, you must winterize it. You cannot leave it out in the cold all winter without taking some precautions. You should consider a cover for your RV to protect it from damaging sun rays, water, and hail.
RV Storage Lot
There are storage lots specifically to store your RV. This is basically a large parking RV lot that allows you to keep your RV in one place. Of all the options that allow you to pay to store your RV, this is one of the most affordable options. If you cannot store your RV at your own house, this may be the next best option.
An RV park provides you a large amount of parking space to store your RV without worrying about getting into someone else’s way. Some storage lots have an awning or a roof that will give your RV some protection while it is being stored.
Negatives to Storing in a Storage Lot
Even though this is an affordable option, you still have to pay to store your RV in one of these lots. If the outdoor RV storage lot you are considering does not have protection or security patrols, your RV is still subject to being broken into by a vandal or thief. You may have a false sense of security by storing your RV on a lot. Even though you will have your own vehicle storage spaces, you must still winterize your RV if you choose this option. It will still be outside in the elements.
RV Storage at Your House
You may decide to store your RV at your own house or on your land. If you do not have a budget for storing your RV, this is a great option. It is cost-effective and one of the most affordable options. It is convenient because it keeps your RV close to you. If you need to get something out of it, it is right on your property. You will be able to see your RV at all times and will not have to worry about what is happening to it. You should consider extra security if you plan to store your RV at home.
Negatives to Storing at Home
Storing your RV in your own home may be a problem because some neighborhoods have deed restrictions or other rules preventing you from storing an RV at your house. You may create what your neighbors consider an eyesore. Your RV may be in the way of your view or your neighbor’s view. It may be in the way when your neighbor is trying to pull out of their driveway. Storing your RV at your home may encourage theft of your RV in your own driveway.
When you store your RV in your driveway, you may be taking up space that you could use for something else, perhaps your own car. Your car is still subject to wear and tear even when it is sitting. If it is not covered, the elements may cause damage to your RV.
Indoor RV Storage
Some people want more secure options for storing their RV, and thus they consider storing it inside. This option has many benefits over being stored outside. If stored in a climate-controlled facility, your RV does not require winterization. They will be safe from theft, vandalism, and water damage. Your RV may also be protected from a pest intrusion.
Indoor Storage at Your House
If you are able to store your RV in your own home but inside your home, that could be the best option. If your RV is small enough to fit right inside your garage, this option could be cost-effective and perfect.
Negatives to Indoor Storage at Your House
Storing your RV inside at your own home may be an expensive option depending on the size of your home, indoor vehicle storage space, and RV. If you do not already have a space that is big enough to store your RV, you may have to build a space. If you have to build the enclosed storage RV space, it could you thousands of dollars.
Heated Garage Storage
If you happen to have a heated garage and your RV is small enough to fit in it, that could be an ideal option. A heated garage can protect your RV from the elements such as rain and moisture that often come with winter. Storing your RV in your heated garage will keep your RV safe from theft.
Negatives to Heated Garage Storage
Your RV might be way too big to keep in your heated garage. Most likely, if you do not have a heated garage that is large enough, you are not going to build one. You will have to look for different options.
Indoor Climate Controlled Storage Facility
If you choose to store your RV in a climate-controlled storage building facility, you are picking the most secure option. You will have a space dedicated specifically to your RV. You will be able to put your own lock in place. This is like a self-storage facility for your motorhome. This is in addition to whatever the security options that the facility provides.
If the facility is climate controlled, it can limit the amount of wear and tear your RV sustains while in storage. It protects it completely from the elements and any other pests that might interfere with your RV while it is in a storage unit. You will not have to winterize your RV if you store it in a climate-controlled facility. While you are paying more money to store your RV, you will not have to pay money to maintain or repair it from the damage it sustains while in storage.
Negatives to an Indoor Climate Controlled Storage Facility
If you choose to store your RV in climate-controlled indoor RV storage units, it will most likely be one of the most expensive options you can choose.
Covered RV Storage
When you want to store your RV, choosing to store it in a place that provides coverage is a moderate option. It is better than no coverage at all, but not nearly as good as a completely enclosed facility. You may be able to bypass getting a cover for your RV if you decide to store it in a covered area.
Covered RV Storage On Your Own Property
If you already have a covered space on your property in which your RV will fit, this is a cost-effective option for the storage of your RV. If you do not have a covered area, but you have space to build some type of structure, you may want to consider that option. It does not have to be a major structure. It can be a carport that is just large enough to provide coverage for your RV. This allows you to keep your RV close to you where you can keep an eye on it.
Negatives to Covered Storage On Your Own Property
This does not completely protect your RV, and you will still need to winterize your rig. There may be rules in your neighborhood that prevent you from parking your RV on your own property, even if it is your property. There may be rules about exactly where you can park it on your property. It may not be allowed to be parked by a sidewalk.
If you have to build a carport or other portable building, it will cost you some money upfront. It may take quite a while for you to get back the money you spend on building the carport. You could potentially open up your home to theft by having your RV parked out front.
Covered Storage at a Storage Facility
If you are not able to store your RV in your own home, a storage facility that provides a covered RV storage space may be a great option. This facility can provide you additional protection from water damage. They may also be able to provide extra security to protect your camper from theft and vandalism.
Negatives to Covered Storage at a Storage Facility
It is difficult to find a covered storage facility where you can store your RV. When you do find one, you will also find that they tend to be expensive. This does not completely protect your RV, and you will still need to winterize your rig.
What to Consider When Winterizing Your RV
When preparing your RV for a long winter, there are some tips to consider. These tips may not cover all RVs, but they should cover most of them.
Pumps, Drains, and Faucets
- Make sure your water pump is pressurized. You want to be sure that you have antifreeze in your faucets.
- You should make sure that you change the water inlet screen on the faucets. You want to reduce the pressure for your water pump and faucet.
- You want to make sure that you seal your faucets. Make sure that you do not miss any faucets.
- Add about one cup of antifreeze to the drains. This way, your drain pipes will not freeze, even in the coldest temperatures.
- Add several cups of antifreeze to all the water holding tanks.
- You may want to get a water heater bypass kit. This way, the antifreeze does not flood your water heater.
- Make sure you turn off drain lines after you have flushed all the water.
Seals and Heaters
- You want to turn off any of the heating elements included with your water heater. Make sure they are not in use.
- You should fully empty your water heater. You should let it sit for several hours after you turn it off and before you touch it.
- Check all the seals in and around your RV. Do not forget the ones around the doors and windows. Check for any cracks, holes, or any other sign of damage. You should consider adding more caulk if you spot anything.
- Make sure all of the vents, including the roof vent, are sealed.
Electricity, Plumbing, and Other Interior Items
- You want to inspect all the plumbing vents around the air conditioning. Check for any problems with it.
- Remove the furniture and take all the linens off the bed.
- Empty all the drawers, cabinets, and shelves of all food. No matter what type of food it is, remove it. Empty the laundry room.
- Empty the trashcan.
- Clean off the cabinets and all appliances. You want to ensure there are no crumbs or food lying around.
- Unplug your freezer and refrigerator. Let them dry.
- Take all the propane tanks out of the RV.
- Make sure you turn off the circuit breaker. Take out any batteries. Unplug the battery from the RV and take it with you.
- Remove all electronics, especially if they are expensive.
Tires, Engine, and All Exterior Parts
- Be sure to add antifreeze to the windshield washer solution.
- You may want to get leveling jacks for the tires. This helps to prevent flat spots on your tires. Make sure your RV is secure.
- Make sure you use a fuel stabilizer on your engine to help limit the risk of excessive condensation.
How Do I Know if I Have Enough Room to Store My RV at Home?
That is a great question and one you need to answer. You are really the best person to answer this question. There are some easy guidelines to help you determine if you can store your RV at home. If your RV is a Class A, your RV may not fit in front of your house. If your RV is a Class B or Class C, it may be able to fit. Most Class Cs are from 21 feet to 35 feet long. Class B-sized RV is 16 feet to 22 feet long. Once your RV gets over 40 feet, it is not going to fit. You need to have a real awareness of how much space you have and how much space you are going to need to store your RV.
Is It Illegal to Store My RV at My Own Home?
The short answer is it depends. There is a much longer answer that has to do with where you live and if you live in a deed-restricted community. Depending on where you live, it may not be legal to store your RV in your own home, even though it is your home. You may not be able to keep your RV on your own property. If there is a homeowner’s association where you live, they most likely do not allow you to have an RV on your property.
An RV is usually one of those items that they frown upon. If there is a rare occurrence and your homeowner’s association allows the RV on your property, you should check with your city or county to make sure it is legal there. They may have laws against it. If they do, you could face a ticket and fine. You may even have your RV towed off your property.
How Can I Save Money When I Store My RV?
It is true that storing an RV can get expensive, but it does not have to. Obviously, the first choice is to store your RV on your own property. You may not have the room or may not be legally allowed to do so. If that is the case, you will have to pay to have it stored for you. You can shop around and find the best price for storage facilities.
You may be able to find a storage facility that is not that expensive per month. On the surface, it seems cheaper to store your RV on your own property, but if you have to begin shelling out a lot of money just to keep your RV on your property, it may suddenly become no longer worth it.
If I Store My RV on My Own Property, Where is the Best Place to Store it?
The best place to store your RV is one that is covered and will provide protection to your RV while it is in storage. This could be a car garage or some other type of storage option, as a storage shed. If it is possible to keep your RV in a completely enclosed area, that is best. If that is not an option, keeping it in a place where it is at least covered is the next best option. The least favorable option would be to store it on the street in front of your house.
There is really no protection for your RV while it is parked on the street. It is susceptible to theft, damage, it could be hit, and then regular wear and tear. There is also the possibility that pests could get in it and cause some major damage while you think your RV is secure and safely sitting in front of your house. You could also be calling attention to your house and your RV by parking them somewhere that is not covered.