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5 Different Types of RV Storage

A line of RVs on road near mountain.

Whether you’ve recently started using an RV for adventure or have been exploring the world in your RV for years, storing it can sometimes prove quite challenging, unfortunately.

However, when you know about them, there are actually quite a few types of RV storage you can make use of while out and about with your beloved vehicle.

No, you don’t have to store your RV in your driveway or somewhere in the back of your yard! The main factors that will influence what storage option you use will depend on the weather in your area, security concerns, and your budget.

1. Home RV Storage

An RV on home storage.

The most basic and obvious type of RV storage is the one you’ll use for the first few days at the very least. It’s common for RV owners to keep their vehicles right at home with them where they can be easily accessed and it’s easier to keep an eye on them.

However, if you wish to keep your RV with you at home, you will need a relatively large driveway that can accommodate the vehicle as well as any other vehicles you have. Your guests should have a place to park as well, without being forced to use the street.

The problem with keeping your RV in your driveway or in your backyard is that it will be exposed to the elements with little to no protection. It’s much more likely for your RV to be damaged, vandalized, or even stolen when it’s stored this way.

The cost of home RV storage is very low, if anything. There might be some costs involved if you buy a cover of some kind to protect the vehicle.

2. Enclosed RV Storage

Enclosed RV storage.

This type of storage is much better at keeping your RV protected against nature’s elements and people with vindictive tendencies. This kind of storage is basically like a private garage for your RV and sometimes you’ll get a spot in a large self-storage unit.

With this type of storage, your RV will be securely stored behind lock and key and only you will have access to it. You just have to make sure that you rent a unit that is big enough to accommodate your RV and have some space left over so you can move around freely without bumping into anything or accidentally scratching your RV’s exterior.

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The cost of this type of storage depends on where you store it and can be anything from $10 per foot to up to $30 per foot. This can be the most secure way to store your vehicle, but can also be the most expensive option.

3. Indoor RV Storage

An RV parked near a house.

Although an enclosed storage option may seem perfect, there is actually a more affordable option available. Indoor RV storage might not be as private or secure as enclosed storage, but it’s still a safe way to store your RV.

This kind of storage is more like a big parking garage where you can store your RV along with other vehicles. When you use this storage method, your RV is protected against the elements and will be secure behind a locked door. 

However, you will be sharing the space with other RV owners. If that’s not a problem for you, then this might be the ideal way of storing your RV safely without spending a lot of money. Most indoor RV storage spaces will have high ceilings and massive doors, as well as a lot of parking space.

You may have to plan ahead as many of these spaces work on an availability and demand basis, so there might not be enough space for your RV.

4. Outdoor RV Parking Space

Different types of RVs parked in an outdoor parking area.

If you’re on a tight budget, you might want to look at some off-site, outdoor RV storage options. A simple RV parking space could be just what you need. With this storage method, your RV will be stored behind a fence and gate with other vehicles.

You should have an RV cover because there typically isn’t any cover or other form of protection for vehicles stored this way.

5. Campsite Storage

RVs parked at the campsite area.

There are many campgrounds that allow RV owners to store their vehicles there, especially if they camp there seasonally. This is a very affordable way of storing your RV if you don’t want to spend a lot of money. However, you should have a cover for your vehicle since it won’t be protected against the elements.

Tips for Storing Your RV

No matter where you store your RV, it’s important that you do some preparation to ensure your vehicle will be well-stored. When you follow these tips, you’ll have peace of mind about storing your RV and it will be in good shape when you go to retrieve it for your next adventures.

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Battery Care

Although it may seem like a good idea to remove your RV’s battery and keep it with you at home, it will actually be better to leave it where it is. For your battery to stay in good condition, you can trickle charge it. You’ll have to start the engine every two weeks and just let it run for three minutes. That way, the oil can circulate through your engine too.

Also, you should disconnect all the AC connections to limit what the RV uses the battery’s power for. Drain your electric water pump, drain all its water and empty the holding tanks as well.

If you’re going to leave your RV in a place where you won’t be able to reach it often, you should remove it to prevent problems. Store the battery in an area with mild temperatures and keep it out of the sunlight. 

Place it on a suitable surface like plywood; don’t store the battery directly on the floor. When the battery reaches 80% capacity, charge it; every two weeks should be okay for a healthy battery.

Exterior Care

Different types of RVs parked at the parking area.

Before you store your RV, make sure you give it a good wash and wax it properly. Wax will help to protect your vehicle against the sun and prevent the buildup of dirt. This is especially important if you’re storing your RV outside. 

Giving your RV a good layer of wax also ensures that cleanup after a long period of storage will be easier.

Seal Care

After you’ve cleaned your RV properly, you have to look closely at all the silicon seams and rubber seals. Look out for any that may be cracked or worn and make sure that you repair them. It’s always better to prevent problems with seals than react to them — cracked seals can lead to serious water damage.

Plumbing Care

Take care to inspect all your air conditioner plumbing vents to make sure there are no signs of disrepair or leaks. Inspect all your plumbing and be sure that there are no cracks or any damage that could cause problems later on.

Interior Care

RV parked at the mountain area.

Clear out all your RV’s cupboards, drawers, cabinets, and shelves, and make sure you don’t leave behind any food. Even small crumbs can attract critters that could ruin the interior of your vehicle.

Don’t leave behind canned food or packaging; clean your RV thoroughly! Make sure there are no wrappers left either. Also, wipe down your stovetop, cabinets, refrigerator, microwave, and all other surfaces.

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Strip all your beds of linen, and remove all blankets, garments, and clothes as well. Don’t even leave behind your hats or scarves.

Electricity Considerations

Be sure to unplug your freezer and refrigerator and allow them to dry out properly. They should both reach room temperature — this should only take about a few hours. To avoid any odors, put some baking soda in the fridge.

If there are any propane tanks, take them with you and store them in your garage or another storage place. It’s not at all recommended that you leave the tanks in your RV.

Switch off your RV’s circuit breaker. Remove batteries from all of the external electric devices like carbon monoxide and smoke detectors, alarm clocks, and radios.

If you have any expensive electronics like TVs and gaming systems in your RV, take them home with you as well.

Engine Care

Small RV parked closed to a house.

You should also take good care of your engine before storing your RV. Use a good fuel stabilizer on the engine to help lower the risk of extreme condensation. Remember that your engine is on and idling when you do this. Also, add some antifreeze to your windshield washer solution.

Tire Care

You should use leveling jacks to boost your tires so they won’t get flat spots and ruin your day when you retrieve your RV. Make sure that the vehicle is slightly off the ground and that it is well secured.

Additional Considerations

There are a few more things to keep in mind before you store your RV and let it rest before your next adventure.

Bugs and Animals

Unfortunately, no place is safe from insects, bugs, and critters and RVs stored outside are even more exposed. These animals and bugs seem to be able to squeeze through even the tiniest gap or hole and cause chaos in your RV. Rats and mice can also choose your RV as a place of refuge in the winter.

That is why it’s important that you seal everything off, as was mentioned in the seal care tip, and clean out all food and packaging.

Security 

If you’re keeping your RV in your driveway, it’s a good idea to install security in and around it. Although this can be a bit expensive, you can avoid a lot of damage that could be very costly. A reliable alarm is the least you should do.