How to Properly Store Your RV or Boat for the Winter
When the temperature plummets and water turns to ice, chances are your larger, more situational vehicles won’t see much use for the season. As much as we love our RVs and boats, they aren’t very useful in winter for most people. So what are you supposed to do with them in the meantime?
Well, most people store them. But how you store them is very important. Negligence or incorrect storage practices could reduce the longevity of your vehicle or create lasting damage.
Best to avoid all that. In this article, the storage experts at The Storage Place want to walk you through the step-by-step process that covers everything you should do for responsible RV storage and winter boat storage once the cold months roll through. Then we’ll cap things off by providing an example of what a quality RV and boat storage provider looks like for those who need one.
RV Storage: How Do You Do It?
Before we break down the checklist you’ll want to complete for your RV storage, you should keep in mind that this won’t be a task without expense. Winterizing your RV costs both money and time. The key is to follow these steps so that you lose as little of those things as possible.
Find a Storage Unit
Leaving your RV exposed to the elements for months at a time could cut a lot off your vehicle’s lifespan. Enclosed storage units are the best option.
Wash Your RV
If there’s any lingering dirt, grime, or other uncleanliness when you put your RV in storage, you risk damage to the paint of your vehicle. More than that, when you pull it back out for the spring, you’ll have to clean it up at that time instead, killing your adventurous momentum.
It’s better to take an afternoon and wash off the tires, clear the wheel wells, treat the awnings, and make sure all the seals are in good shape. Dry it off well to avoid any issues with mildew afterward.
This is all true for the inside of the RV, as well.
Drain the Water Heater
Anything that uses electricity in your vehicle, especially your electric heating elements, should be off while in RV storage. This goes double for your water heater’s electric heating elements. Pour antifreeze into your drains once you empty the water heater so you can have peace of mind knowing nothing is going to burst while you’re gone.
While it’s true that winters in Texas are pretty, mild the occasional winter storm can burst your pipes if severe enough, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Remove the Battery and Propane
Any batteries used on your RV should be removed and stored in a cool, dry location. The same goes for your propane tanks, as exposure to freezing temperatures are liable to make the seals crack, creating a safety hazard.
Defrost Your Food Storage and Remove the Food
Any and all food in your vehicle, perishable or otherwise, should be taken with you before placing it into winter RV storage. Unless, of course, you like rats and bugs (something mitigated by a competent storage provider, but it’s better not to tempt fate). While you’re at it, take your toiletries, medicines, and bathroom supplies, too.
Once this is done, defrost your freezer and refrigerator so you know the appliances will be in proper working order for your springtime, cross-country trip.
Fuel Stabilizer is Your Friend
Your engine will thank you for feeding it a good fuel stabilizer before your winter hiatus. This will reduce the risk of overexposure to condensation. Common wisdom dictates that you turn on your engine and have the vehicle idle while you perform this process.
Winter Boat Storage: How Do You Do It?
Many of the principles from our RV storage section apply to winterizing your boat, as well. Though, there are some differences.
Where to Store It
While you can choose to store your boat at a marina or a storage unit, a storage unit is the recommended option since there are indoor storage options for smaller watercraft, which can serve as effective protection from unseasonal Texas weather such as snow, elemental damage and leaks, and more. If your watercraft is too large for an indoor unit, covered and uncovered storage is available, just be sure to also use a boat cover to prevent fading and elemental wear and tear.
Winterize the Engine
Start the winterizing process by filling your tank with gas, to reduce the chance of stray air finding its way into your tank. Air causes condensation, which in turn ruins the engine through prolonged water damage.
Prevent any engine buildups with a fuel stabilizer. As with the RV, run the motor during this process. You will also want to consider adding some antifreeze as well, to negate the potential condensation around the motor from external freezing damage.
Lastly, change the oil, and oil filter if necessary. If the oils and filters are contaminated before going into storage, that gives it several months to wear away at your boat from the inside out.
These same tips can also be applied to an outboard motor.
RV and Boat Storage You Can Trust
You need space, security, and reassurance for the RVs and boats that have provided you with so many of your favorite experiences. The Storage Place understands this, which is why we offer clean, well-lit, and well-maintained storage units that you can access around your schedule. You can even rent an additional unit to store boating or camping equipment during the offseason. This way, your supplies will never be too far away when spring rolls around.
If you need winter RV storage or winter boat storage, we encourage you to find a facility near to you and reserve your unit online today! We take pride in the trust of our customers, and we would be honored to earn your trust through our consistent, quality service, as well.