Storing your motor home during the off-season
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How to prepare your vehicle for storage
The fact is, storing your motor home without proper protection from the elements can cause permanent structural damage and shorten the life of your vehicle. What’s more, costs for repairs can be exorbitant. That’s why it’s important to take the necessary steps to prepare your vehicle properly for storage and find the right shelter for the winter months.
Some essentials before you store your vehicle
- Find the right storage solution based on your budget, municipal laws and climate.
- Park your motor home on a level surface such as a cement pad; this ensures stability.
- Top off the fuel tank to avoid condensation in the tank.
- Secure caps to prevent water and dirt from penetrating the engine.
- If you’re parking your motor home outside, be sure that it’s a safe distance from trees to prevent possible damage during storms.
- To keep rodents out, seal openings under and around your motor home with an aerosol can of expanding foam, available in hardware stores.
- Make a list of winterizing tasks and keep it for future reference.
- Inside your motor home, use cotton balls soaked in peppermint oil to deter rodents.
- Disconnect and store your batteries in a cool place during the off-season. An uncharged battery will freeze in cold winter temperatures.
- Drain and clean all water lines and water tank systems to prevent damage. Once your plumbing system has been drained, add some antifreeze.
- Remove all food from your refrigerator and leave the door open.
- Ensure that all appliances are properly shut off.
- If your vehicle is outside or not already covered, block windows with cardboard in order to protect the interior from sun damage.
- Install an alarm system to help prevent theft.
Your shelter options
Depending on your budget, on municipal laws, and the climate where you live, there are a few shelter options open to you. There are also varying opinions on whether or not motor homes should be covered when outside, since there is a chance of mildew forming.
If your home has a large garage or a carport with a high roof, you’ve already found the ideal solution.
If you’re looking at keeping storage costs low, use a basic plastic tarp to cover your motor home in your driveway. Keep in mind, however, that the wind may cause the tarp to rub paint off or damage your vehicle. This also leaves you more vulnerable to theft and crime. As well, your community may not permit you to use plastic tarps; you should check with your municipality first.
Buy fabric covers for smaller motor homes, which are made from weather-resistant and water-repellant fabrics. These may reduce mold and mildew. If the fabric is UV-resistant, that gives your vehicle extra protection in the sun. Once again, be sure that your local community allows you to park motor homes in your driveway.
Steel or solid canopies
Some companies sell structurally solid canopies which have open sides but provide a basic roof for your motor home. This will cost you more than a fabric cover but may provide extra protection from the elements.
Commercial storage facility
Some professional companies offer commercial motor home storage which gives you the convenience of easier access, combined with state-of-the-art security. This is particularly important to protect a valuable asset such as a motor home. However, it may be a costly solution.