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Storing Recreational Vehicles

We all love getting around in our caravans, motorhomes and 5th wheelers but for many, there’s a time when we have to store them for an extended period. It’s not a difficult process but there are a few things that need to be done to keep your pride and joy in good condition while tucked away.

Storing undercover is a good start. The Australian sun is very harsh and will cause accelerated deterioration of any number of materials, particularly plastics and rubber like tyres which should be covered if left in direct sunlight. It is not always possible but if undercover storage, like a garage, is available then it is the best option. Failing that, then there are a number of companies who manufacture custom covers and various common sizes.

Prior to storage, tyres should be checked for the correct pressure. If storing your RV for multiple months, keep the pressures topped-up and never let the RV sit with a flat tyre for any length of time, it could damage the tyre.

Insects may take an interest in a stored RV. Particularly in areas where wasps are around, it’s a good idea to block all external outlets to prevent any nasty surprises. A simple method is PVC tape, easily found at a hardware store. However, for something like a grey water tank where ventilation is required, a scrap of insect screen will still allow the tank to breathe while stored.

Although it will probably have to be done when removing an RV from storage, it’s not a bad idea to make sure it is cleaned beforehand. Particular attention should be paid to awnings and the tops of slide-outs to make sure that no leafy (ie staining) material is present and that any canvas is dry to prevent possible mould formation.

Everything electrical should be switched off. For battery maintenance, if you have a good power management system and it is possible to leave your RV plugged into mains or remote solar power do so. If you have an older RV with a basic power management system, removing your batteries and leaving them on a trickle charger is advised.

Inside the RV, all cupboards should be emptied of any foodstuffs that might attract attention from insects and small animals. Along those same lines, the fridge should be emptied and given a good clean before it is switched off. On the subject of emptying, water tanks should be drained, particularly a grey tank if fitted. Even better would be to give it a good flush and clean.

Motorhomes typically have diesel fuel tanks. To prevent any water condensation problems, the fuel tank should be topped up before storage and if planning on leaving it for long periods (six months or more), consider a diesel fuel additive to help prevent any diesel bug formation.

MEET THE AUTHORTim Van Duyl

Tim van Duyl

Coming from marine publishing Tim now oversees Caravan World and Trade-a-Boat for the Adventures Group as their Senior Editor. With experience garnered from travelling the breadth and width of his home country New Zealand in all manner of ways, his mission is to see all Australia has to offer. Having already sampled Cape York, Murray-Sunset National Park, Wilsons Promontory and the bulk of Victoria’s West, he has plans to add to the small parts of WA and NT already seen. When not on the road you can find Tim passing time at lakes around Australia or in the high country camping with his close friends and family with the Murrindindi a popular spot.

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