Fun in the Sun? But Not for Storing Your RV!

The sun. A wonderful source of…well, fun. And destruction. The sun is a mixed blessing for RVers. For the RV, it’s mostly a negative. Parked in the sun on a 100-degree (F) day for one hour results in a dashboard temperature of 157 degrees. The upholstery is a bit luckier. It only reaches 123 degrees. The steering wheel: 127 and the cabin living quarters, 116. Ah, but what about parking it in the shade? For one hour on a 100-degree day in the shade, the dashboard only reaches 118 degrees and the upholstery 105 degrees. The steering wheel is a cool 107 and the living quarters, 100. Now think about what happens when you store your RV for any period of time in the summer. Significant RV depreciation, here we come. What do you need to know about storing an RV in extreme heat?

Of course, the area’s climate is an important storage factor. A dry climate requires different adjustments from a humid one. Both types of climate intensify the sun, though again, in different ways.

We’ve seen the hottest temps on record this summer, and not everyone can run…er, drive…, to the mountains. For whatever reason, you may choose to wait for cooler days to explore. Even if you only plan to sit at home for three or four weeks, you can’t—or shouldn’t—just park and leave it. The RV needs to be prepared for its nap.

Here are the main steps to take when storing your RV for even a short time in the summer.

1. Choose your storage type. The best option is four walls, a roof, and door. Some storage areas may have only a roof, and the cheapest, none of the above. Either way, an RV cover is essential. Decals, plastic, rubber, paint, and then the surfaces exposed when these degrade, are quickly damaged by the sun. Thoroughly clean and wax the exterior before covering to prevent the abrasive damage of dirt and sand. Ideally, the storage space should be clean and free of insects and rodents as well.

2. Remove all food and aerosol containers. Canned food containers will burst in high temperatures. In the desert Southwest, interior temps can get to 125 without air conditioning. Aerosol containers will explode and damage anything around them. They have been known to break windows when left in hot cars. Boxed food can be eaten into by insects. Defrost and dry the refrigerator Elastic in curtains or clothes will deteriorate in high heat. Clean the air conditioner filter (then cover the unit), turn off electricity at the breaker, and remove batteries from devices. Leave cabinets and cupboards open. Consider placing insect repellent at strategic places.

3. Clean and condition the interior. To prevent fading and cracking, cover the windows and close all curtains and blinds against the sun. Upholstery, wood and plastic surfaces, flooring, and leather can age and dull from the UV light, reducing the RV’s value unless cared for. For the dry states, such as Nevada and Arizona, increasing interior humidity is as simple as leaving a 5-gallon bucket of water in the RV’s center.

4. Cover furnace, water heater, and refrigerator vents. Cover sink and shower drains and close the toilet lid. Drain holding tanks and leave them dry. Turn off the propane. The tires should be on slightly wider plywood boards and covered securely. Leveling jacks should be deployed. Inspect seals, door and window frames, and the structure under the RV. Some RVers who live year-round in hot, dry climates put windshield fluid or vegetable oil in kitchen and bathroom drains and use plastic film over the toilet bowl.

To truly protect your RV while stored, the best option with the least amount of preparation is to use a climate-controlled LuxeLocker storage unit. Depending on how long you want to store the RV (maybe until winter!), taking some of steps 1—4 above may be appropriate, but in this environment, windows and vents are better left cracked open for air circulation.

For rent or purchase, LuxeLocker units provide absolute protection, ease of access, and a variety of amenities in prime recreation locations. Simplify while amplifying the convenience of drive-in units with proven security and the ultimate in RV protection.