What no one tells you about owning an RV is that it’s not all about long drives, starry nights, and beautiful memories. There always comes a time when you’ve got to clean up and put away your precious vehicle, but they don’t show you that part in the movies.
Who can blame them? It’s quite boring. Nevertheless, it’s essential if you want your caravan to stay good-looking and well-functioning. While boring, it’s not at all hard. Here’s all that you have to know about keeping your RV in top shape.
Most people don’t see the point of cleaning an RV right before its downtime, but you’d be surprised at what a good clean and wax can do to protect your beloved vehicle. First off, by cleaning your vehicle, you’d be eliminating any chance for the built-up dirt to further harden and stick to your RV. Second, the coat of wax should protect your paint job against dirt and solar damage. This translates to a much easier and hassle-free cleaning process after the RV is out of its storage unit.
SEAL THE ENTRANCES
While cleaning your RV, you’re more than encouraged to carefully examine it for nooks, cracks, damaged seals, and seams. What you want is to make sure there are no vulnerable areas where bugs can get into the vehicle. Once you’ve located a vulnerable area, you can seal it off using a lap sealant which is available at any camping or hardware store. You’ll also want to close all the RV windows, but keep in mind that opening the roof vents just a crack is quite recommended. It’s good to maintain proper air circulation inside an RV.
Needless to say, a well-stored RV is a healthy RV, but what if you don’t have a garage? You can always look into other storage solutions, but that’s where most people struggle. Some choose to rent a storage space, the expenses of which can pile up. Others buy sheds, but unfortunately, they either end up paying too much for a space much larger than what they wanted or much smaller because of how standard the industry designs are. If your van requires a special shed, you might need to consider custom caravan sheds since the measurements and design can be altered based on your needs, wants, and budget. Your aim when building a shed should be to keep your RV safe against the elements and away from trees, tall weeds, and grass in order to protect it from insects.
LET IT SHINE
Sunlight is quite important when it comes to storing an RV. One of a stored RV’s worst enemies is mold and guess what are the optimum conditions for mold growth? Dark, warm, and humid areas. That’s why it’s never a good idea to draw the night blinds inside your RV or store it under a regular tarp because both can increase the potential for mold growth. Specialized RV tarps, however, can be your best bet, aside from a well-designed, well-lit storage facility and an open-top vent.
PLUMBING & ELECTRICITY
Just like when leaving a summer house or traveling away for a long vacation, it’s important to shut down the electricity and plumbing. Before storing your RV, make sure you fully drain the water pipes to avoid leaks and water freezing in the pipes. You’ll also need to turn off the circuit breaker and unplug your appliances, especially your fridge and freezer, because these will need to dry out first. All in all, you’ll need to strip your RV of anything electric and completely drain your plumbing system.
One of the biggest dangers, aside from mold, is insects, especially the tiny, almost invisible ones. As you get ready to store your RV, make sure you take out all the food, and the trash, so as not to attract any unwanted visitors. You’ll also need to remove all linens, fabrics, covers, towels, and so on. If it’s made of fabric and you can remove it, do so.
A couple of months later, days away from a long-awaited trip, the last thing you’ll need will be a bed bug infestation. After you’ve removed all that you can take with you, leave some mothballs to protect you from the little suckers.
It’s important that you take your time going through these steps. As long as you’re careful and vigilant, there won’t be any need to worry. On the other hand, if you’re still wondering how bad it would be if you didn’t put in the effort to maintain your RV, nothing can convince you otherwise except for the experience itself. Try caring for your RV during one season and letting it be during another and see for yourself. The difference will be apparent from that first cleaning after the offseason.