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(Photo courtesy of Sun City RV Storage Compound)
(Photo courtesy of Sun City RV Storage Compound)

Mark My Words: What’s the best way to store an RV?

This question and answer is provided by Escapees Club.

Q. We bought a seven-year-old, 38-foot fifth wheel that will remain on our lot in Nevada. Our RV will be stored from June through September. The summer sun is punishing hot. Two years ago, the temperature was in the three digits for more than eight weeks.

Last year, the wind was over 80 miles an hour on one occasion. What steps can we take to preserve our fifth wheel’s interior and exterior? Can you recommend a wax to keep the outside paint and decals in the best of condition? Is it best to roll in the three slide-outs, or does it make any difference?

A. In some ways, the desert environment is beneficial when storing an RV because there is little humidity. This pretty much eliminates any problems with mold or mildew! However, the sun is intense and can damage not only exterior items like decals and rubber seals, but also interior items like drapes and well coverings if the sun shines in repeatedly on an area.

You need to allow for some ventilation by leaving a couple of windows and a roof vent open an inch or so. You will have sand/dust inside, but you have to let the air circulate. You should close all blinds or even consider taping aluminum foil on all windows inside to cut down on the heat/light entering the rig. Alternately, you can buy an RV cover, but in dusty and windy areas, the covers can flap around and damage exterior paint.

Definitely avoid those cheap blue tarps! They will do more harm than good.

Remove all food items, toiletries and anything else that can be damaged by the heat. Put the slides in as they seal much better when retracted. Cover the tires to reduce sun damage. It wouldn’t hurt to apply a good coat of automotive wax to the exterior to help preserve decals and graphics.

Unplug the rig from shore power and disconnect the house batteries. If there is someone who can put an automotive battery charger on them once a month overnight, it will help a lot.

About Mark Nemeth

In 1997, Mark quit his aerospace engineering job and became a full-time RVer. For almost five years he traveled the country while maintaining his website, Mark’s Fulltime RV Adventure (www.marxrv.com) posting monthly travel logs. Mark now travels part-time and works as the RV Safety Education Director for Escapees RV Club providing technical training at Escapees Boot Camp seminars, as well as assisting in many other areas of the club. He is also technical advisor for Escapees magazine. Learn more about Escapees RV Club at www.escapees.com.

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