How Do You Prepare Your RV for Storage in Hot Climate?

Ideally, you’d be enjoying the outdoors in your RV in warm weather.

But, if you must store your RV between trips in the heat, there are some important steps you need to take.

So, how do you prepare your RV for storage in a hot climate?

Let’s look at 8 essential tips for storing your RV when it’s hot outside and ensure it’s ready to go next time you hit the road.

How to Prepare Your RV for Storage in a Hot Climate

Similar to storing your RV in cold or freezing temperatures, you need to prepare for humidity control, pest prevention, and more.

But, when storing in a hot climate (for example, Arizona or Florida in summer), you need to account for a few extra considerations like UV exposure, etc.

Let’s jump right in.

Clean the RV

The first thing we need to do to properly store an RV or 5th wheel is clean it inside and out.

Washing and waxing the exterior of your RV will effectively remove any paint damaging salt or dirt that may have built up on your vehicle. Waxing will help protect it from the elements – rain, UV exposure, etc. – that it may encounter while in storage.

Cleaning the interior will help ensure you don’t attract any rodents, insects, or other wildlife. Even the smallest amount of food left behind can attract these unwanted guests, so be sure to remove all food and thoroughly clean the vehicle.

Drain the Holding Tanks

Any water or moisture left in the storage tanks may become stagnant, allowing mildew, mold, and algae to grow.

All holding tanks (grey, black, freshwater, and water heater) should be drained and dried before storing the RV.

Helpful Resources

UV Protection

While UV protection is important anytime you store your RV, whether in cold weather or hot, it becomes even more important in hot climates as the UV rays are stronger in the spring and summer months.

The sun is one of the most common causes of RV deterioration, causing UV damage and leading to fading paint, drying out of rubber seals, cracked decals, warping plastic, etc.

It can also affect the interior of the motorhome, fading, warping, and cracking the interior upholstery.

We can combat sun damage with a few tips:

  • Wash and wax the RV: As mentioned above, before storing your recreational vehicle, you’ll want to thoroughly wash and wax the exterior to help protect it (don’t forget the roof).
  • Use indoor or covered storage: Finding the right RV storage solution is vital to protecting your vehicle. If possible, opt for either covered or, better yet, indoor self-storage to keep your RV out of direct sunlight.
  • Use an RV cover: If indoor or covered RV storage isn’t an option, an RV cover will offer the best protection against UV rays. Plus, it’ll help protect your rig from strong winds, rain, hail, etc. Also, make sure your tires are covered (if your RV cover doesn’t cover them already).
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  • Cover windows: UV rays aren’t just damaging to your RV’s exterior, but they can also wreak havoc on the interior, as well. If indoor storage isn’t an option, you can prevent the sun from damaging your upholstery by covering the windows, especially the windshield.
  • Condition upholstery: You can also clean and condition the dashboard, leather seats, and other upholstery prone to fading or cracking due to sun exposure.

Pest Prevention

It’s critical to keep insects and rodents out of your RV while it’s stored to prevent damage and a potential infestation (which both can be an expensive fix).

Related: How to Keep Mice Out of a Camper

As mentioned above, the most important step is to thoroughly clean the RV (especially the fridge, cupboards, and food storage compartments), and remove any traces of food and water.

Apart from that, you can also:

  • Plug all sinks and drains and lower the toilet seats.
  • Make sure all windows are shut, and slides are in.
  • Inspect the underneath of your RV or travel trailer for any entry points for insects or rodents. Properly seal any openings you find.
  • Sprinkle insect repellent powder around the perimeter of your RV.
  • If you leave any vents open, be sure they are covered with a screen.

Humidity Control

Moisture can wreak havoc in your RV, fueling harmful mold and mildew growth that can be expensive to fix. Luckily, keeping moisture out of your camper in storage is fairly simple.

Storing your RV in a climate-controlled storage facility will help control and prevent excess moisture build-up and keep the RV cool in extreme heat.

Of course, that’s not always an option. So, storing your RV with the vents open, not closed, and covering it with a breathable RV cover will allow moisture to escape while keeping the interior protected.

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You can also place moisture absorbers like Damprid throughout the camper to absorb excess moisture and keep the inside dry.

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Fuel Stabilizer

Storing an RV or motorhome for more than a month can lead to the fuel deteriorating and causing fuel pump or engine issues.

You can help prevent this with a gas stabilizer like Sta-Bil Fuel Stabilizer. This product is designed to keep your vehicle’s fuel fresh for up to 2 years!

Tip: Use a fuel stabilizer in your gas-powered generator, as well, before storing.

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Turn Off the Propane

For safety reasons, don’t forget to shut off the propane system.

With that said, shutting off the propane system can also have the added benefit of keeping bugs and insects that are attracted to the propane gas smell away from your camper.

Storing RV Batteries

To keep the batteries from completely draining when storing your RV long-term, make sure to turn off or unplug every electrical device in the RV.

And since your RV batteries slowly lose their charge over time, we have two options to keep them topped off, depending on the availability of electricity:

  • If you have power during storage, you may use a battery charger or tender to keep the batteries topped up.
  • If you don’t have access to electrical power, you should remove your battery and store it in a warm and dry place. You’ll still want a battery tender on the battery to keep it charged.

Check out our guide on how to store an RV battery for winter for more important tips. While its focus is on winter battery storage, the same steps apply for storing your RV in hot weather for an extended period.

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