RVwest Insider

How to prepare an RV for storage

by Shurhold Industries
A 5th wheel sitting in the snow.
Is your RV prepared for winter? — Photo courtesy photo.com/Scott Faulknor

Preparing an RV to be stored for a prolonged period of time can be simple, if the proper steps are taken. Shurhold Industries offers the following tips to make sure an RV is in great shape during and after long-term storage.

First, it's important to banish "stink fuel" before closing the RV for winter. This will help keep the RV from smelling foul when it's opened back up. Owners should get rid of all things that mold, mildew and other smelly organisms need to flourish. They can start with the obvious stuff, such as the refrigerator. The fridge should be emptied and cleaned.

Cushions should be removed or propped up to encourage airflow and all storage hatches should be open for air to circulate. Then, owners should clean, vacuum and place dehumidifier bags around the cabin, two to three bags for more than 36 feet.

Clean the drains 

Next, owners should clean the drains and the sump prior to storage. This task is crucial to keep odors and bacteria from becoming a problem. The RV can absorb the odors and mildew that grow in moist, dark environments and they will spread throughout.

Owners can first clean with Shurhold's SMC. It can be sprayed on and wiped away with paper towels or rags. The areas should be rinsed and dried.

Then, owners can use Shurhold's Moldaway to clean the drains in sinks and showers. Users can put a scoop into each drain with a cup of water, let it work for a few minutes, then rinse. Moldaway will clean and deodorize drains without harming the piping. It will also help clean the sump container by oxygenating the sump water, killing mold or mildew spores and other bacteria safely and without bleach. Depending on where an RV is stored, the yard may suggest flushing antifreeze through the system.

Clean the carpets

To prepare soft surfaces like carpets and canvas, these areas should be thoroughly cleaned. First, owners can vacuum and shampoo carpet with SMC, and let it dry before sealing up the RV. This will reduce the likelihood of any bacteria growth. Then, owners should remove cockpit carpet if possible. They can roll it up and store it in the cabin after it's cleaned. It is best to remove canvas and store it in a dry environment.
For the RV's outside, a clean bottom and drive gear are also very important. Owners should make sure they reference their owner's care guide for drive maintenance. The undercarriage should be washed with a pressure washer and/or plain water with a soft-to-medium brush. Soaps and detergents are generally not used. Using wax is a good idea.

These tips take care of only some of the important steps needed for successful long-term storage. The mechanical, electronic and other systems aboard need to be prepared for a long nap, too. Owners must consult their owner's manuals on these crucial tasks because it can affect their warranty.

Shurhold is dedicated to educating owners on RV value preservation. Inventor of the One Handle Does It All system, Shurhold manufactures specialty care items and accessories to clean, polish and detail.

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