You have therefore found the motorhome of your dreams after many months, even years, of research, purchases and visits to trade fairs and dealers. Congratulations! It is such a feeling of elation when you have chosen “the good”.
Now it’s a question of storing your recreational vehicle and purchasing the accessories necessary for its proper functioning. There are many ways to save money when it comes to storing your RV. Financially savvy recreational vehicle operators know that money spent wisely on recreational vehicle maintenance means that the additional savings can be spent on exploring the road.
Possible locations for the storage of a recreational vehicle
At home: Logically, the best alternative is to be able to park your recreational vehicle at home. We see many motorhomes nearby and comfortably installed in someone’s home and we think “ah, if only I could do that”. If you have this device, you’re in luck! Many camper owners even choose to set up a carport or awning to cover their baby.
In many neighborhoods where there is an HOA, this option is immediately refused. I understand it because, well, it’s an HOA, and their job is to keep the neighborhood intact and make it look spotless. Certain districts, whether individual houses or prefabricated houses for people over 55 years of age, have separate parking spaces to accommodate the leisure vehicles or boats of these residents.
If you do not have a parking lot, you will need to check with your local municipality that the codes allow parking for a recreational vehicle. In general, if you can park your vehicle in your yard and you have a 6-foot fence, many municipalities allow this type of storage because it is not visible from the street.
Parking in your driveway or side yard may require a permit or authorization from your county or city authorities. Sometimes the laws of the municipality are not applied until a neighbor has complained. There is sometimes a length restriction to leave a vehicle in your side yard or driveway. To be sure, check if your county or city codes have vehicle restrictions.
Outdoor warehouses: I think that a large majority of owners of recreational vehicles should turn to an outdoor warehouse to store their house on wheels. My husband and I were fortunate enough to put our little trailer in our driveway, but we had to turn to an outside warehouse when we switched to a fifth wheel.
We did our homework and started calling any outside warehouse within 25 miles of our house that had the capacity to store caravans. Keep a list of the facility’s names, addresses, telephone numbers, websites and rates for the storage location you will need. Considering that you are going to be traveling with your recreational vehicle, a facility located near a major highway may prove to be a perfectly viable decision that allows you to leave town and get on the road faster.
The search for a facility located in a rural area and far from the city can also offer a better price. This is what we found during our research and we chose a facility located 20 miles from our home. The establishment is equipped with a video surveillance camera, is fenced and has a security gate activated by a code. In our case, we pay $ 2.50 / foot (times the length of our recreational vehicle) for uncovered parking. The motorhome is at our disposal 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and often the owner of the establishment is on site.
Another idea to save money is to ask if you can get a discounted rate if you sign up for an automatic payment by bank or credit card.
Some outdoor storage facilities offer covered or uncovered parking. Covered parking will of course have a price, but depending on the type of recreational vehicle you store, you may decide that it is preferable.
Security is one of the things that will most likely concern you. We all want to keep our RVs where we left them and without damage. Security can take the form of video surveillance cameras, fence type, security gates, motion lights or an on-site manager. Remember to ask these questions when checking prices and write down the relevant information on your checklist.
Snowbird storage: Living in Florida, we know snowbirds who love our winter climate. The option of storing your RV in a temperate climate may seem attractive. Many Northerners choose to stay at home during the warmer months, do other activities and travel south for the winter. It may make sense to leave your trailer in a safe and secure location rather than spending time and fuel towing it each year and wintering it in the north. Most storage facilities do not require a contract, which allows you to change locations when you are ready to go home or return to your old location if there is space available.
There are many parks that rent space for the long term if you choose to stay in one place and explore from there. Many snowbirds love this solution and look forward to their annual trip to Florida.
Friends: We all know friends who live on one acre or more. Depending on the quality of these friends, you may have the benefit of asking to store your RV on their property. You could even give them a little moolah each month for the luxury of storing your RV in a home where you will feel comfortable and maintained.
Other ideas to save money when storing a recreational vehicle
Monthly RV check-up: When possible, when you are not using your vehicle, check your RV every month. You must ensure that everything is in good condition, that the rodents have not corroded the wiring or the underside of the vehicle and that no water has seeped into your vehicle through small cracks or crevices.
Make sure front doors, roof vents, and all windows are closed and fully locked. Make sure the exterior storage doors are closed and locked. Lower the interior blinds as this will prevent not only others from looking inside, but also sun damage to your furniture and belongings.
Exterior ventilation covers: Purchase recreational vehicle approved exterior ventilation covers for your hot water, oven and refrigerator vents. This helps prevent insects, such as spiders, from building nests in these areas, which can damage wiring, plumbing, or other items. Remember that the vent covers must maintain ventilation capacity, so do not cover them with material such as thin wire mesh or heavy material.
You can however place a removable adhesive tape on these exhausts when the motorhome is not in use. As a reminder, place a note inside your camping vehicle in order to remove the adhesive tape before connecting to your camping site. Caution: Do not use aerosols, such as anti-wasp sprays, in air vents, as they can be flammable when propane is used.
Several ideas are circulating on the internet regarding electronic devices to keep rodents away, the use of flea collars or other natural products to deter pests. Ant traps can also be placed inside the RV as a precaution. But whatever you choose, the bottom line is to keep insects and rodents from damaging your RV.
Inspect the underside: Inspect the underside of your RV for openings or voids. When it is dark, open the cupboards and cupboards, turn on all the interior lights and check the underside of the vehicle to see if there are places where light can pass. You can then seal everything with silicone or steel wool, making sure to secure the steel wool with adhesive tape. This prevents mice, squirrels or other rodents from entering your RV to warm up or build their nest.
Another option for filling gaps is waterproof spray foam, but keep in mind that it expands. Do not spray too much, otherwise you risk cutting the foam, once dry, to reduce it to its size.
Tire safety: Make sure your tires are properly inflated and buy good quality hubcaps. The hub caps protect your tires from deterioration caused by the sun’s UV rays. It’s a quick and easy way to extend the life of your tires.
Locking your RV: Buy a pivot or cable lock for your fifth wheel. A travel trailer will need a trailer hitch lock. This type of lock attaches to the hitch and prevents the hitch from passing over a ball, regardless of its size. There are a variety of each type on the market. Whether or not your storage facility is secure, it is an additional layer of protection and peace of mind to ensure that your caravan is as safe as possible.
I have even read that people use these locks on a campsite to reassure themselves when they go exploring for the day. Thieves are notorious for driving through campsites – they throw a few stumbling blocks at them and keep them from approaching your property.
Many manufacturers of recreational vehicles use the same type of key for all exterior storage compartments. Take a look at your key. Is the key marked CH751? Using a standard key to open exterior storage doors saves the vendor a lot of money and time for the RV manufacturer.
If you are concerned because your expensive grill or camping chairs may disappear, you can change the locks yourself (search Industrial Lock and Hardware online). You can also remove each lock, bring it to a local locksmith, and have it reclassified with a new unique key.
Again, peace of mind often comes at a price and can save you money and save you worry in the long run.
Battery and LPG supply: One of the steps to take after returning from your camping trip to store your recreational vehicle is to add the “killing” of the battery and LPG supply to your list. To save the life of your battery, many motorhomes are equipped with a battery switch that completely cuts the battery, preventing it from being discharged continuously.
If yours does not have a switch, you can remove the fuse from the battery and keep it in a convenient and safe place (perhaps inside the RV or tow vehicle) for your next trip . Make sure that the LPG supply valve is in the OFF position.
RV covers, tarpaulins and humidity: If you have chosen to cover your RV with a tarp or custom cover, make sure the tarp is breathable. Humidity can allow the proliferation of molds which can literally invade the exterior, the awning, the spaces under the belly or the interior of your vehicle. Placing one or two containers of Damp Rid or equivalent inside your RV can help remove moisture buildup.
Save on perishable foodstuffs: If your recreational vehicle is stored in hot weather or for more than a month, it is advisable to remove all food from your kitchen cupboards. Spices and cooking oils or sprays can be damaged by excessive heat. Canned food can retain moisture from heat and moisture in an unused recreational vehicle. Even toothpaste, deodorant, shampoos, sunscreen and the like can be damaged by excessive heat.
In cooler weather, leaving food indoors for a while can encourage ants or rodents. By keeping your motorhome clean from the inside to the outside, you will prevent these pests from looking for a place to get inside.
Washing and polishing your recreational vehicle: It is important to clean your recreational vehicle to get rid of dirt accumulated during your travels. If the vehicle is left to sit, accumulated dirt and residue can damage the paint and design and stains or discoloration may become established. Start with the roof and make a special effort to remove as much dirt as possible from the roof so that it does not run down the sides of your caravan during storage.
Waxing from the outside will help protect your paintwork from harmful UV rays and minimize the accumulation of dirt. Washing the underside of the vehicle removes chemicals, oils and mineral deposits that can cause corrosion.
There are many products such as cleaners, brushes, rubber sealants, protective agents and waxes. Do a quick Google search and find out which ones you want to use for your motorhome. Cleaning and protecting your vehicle, especially if it is in full-time traffic or stored outside, will save you money on the paint and overall appearance of your vehicle.
Insurance: It is completely understandable to take out an insurance policy, your vehicles and your caravan are all covered by the same policy. Who does not wish to benefit from the multi-vehicle discount? However, it may be a good idea to make sure your insurance company has the exact coverage you need for a recreational vehicle. Many insurers specialize in covering recreational vehicles if you find it necessary.
When storing a recreational vehicle, you can benefit from a reduction if you discuss the type of security provided in the warehouse, whether your vehicle is covered or not, or based on any personal security that you have added to the vehicle, for example, locks, camera, motion lights, etc.
Another option – Rent your leisure vehicle
One way to get the most out of your RV is to not store it at all. Praise him. I know it sounds daunting, but Outdoorsy makes the process very easy and will display your RV or RV rental in your area so that others can find it easily. It’s a bit like Airbnb but for motorhomes and caravans.
Storage of a motorhome is not always the most economical solution that we would like to adopt, but it is also a necessity for many motorhomes who want their dream of life on the road to come true. As one of our friends said, “It’s not every penny you spend on a motorhome, it’s the lifestyle that counts.”
Thinking logically when it comes to storing a recreational vehicle, or owning one for that matter, will lead you to specific ways to save for your lifestyle. Remember to exercise due diligence regarding storage locations and keep in mind the other key elements necessary for the effective maintenance of an RV while it is being stored. A penny saved is a penny earned, as the saying goes, invented by Benjamin Franklin.
The way you store your vehicle and what you can do along the way to make your motorhome lifestyle the dream you’ve always had will make it all worth it. On the way !