Camping World’s Guide to RV Storage


Lindsay McKenzie

Favorite Trip

Our favorite trip was when we first hit the road full-time and drove all the way up the coast of California and into Oregon. Our first 3 months as full-time RVers we drove the entire Pacific Coast Highway and camped at different beautiful beaches along the way. We then drove through the towering redwoods in Redwood National Forest and continued on through Oregon and Idaho on our way to Glacier National Park in Montana. There was so much stunning scenery and adventure around every corner that entire trip.

Home Base

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Favorite RV

We loved our Winnebago Navion 24D. It was nimble so we could park it pretty much anywhere but it still gave us a comfortable living space with the Murphy bed. We drove it all over the country!

About Contributor

Lindsay McKenzie travels full-time in her Winnebago Navion with her husband Dan and their 2 dogs. Originally from Colorado, they have been seeking adventure together for 10 years now and have done a lot of international traveling, including living in Costa Rica. They took the leap into full time RVing after experiencing life-altering news. They viewed the news as a life “detour” and started a travel and inspirational blog called Follow Your Detour. Lindsay has grown more passionate about pursuing her dreams and a leading a fulfilling life, while inspiring others to do the same. She loves that RVing allows her to be in nature and do more of what she loves. You can usually find her on the river fly fishing, hiking to sunset spots, or at a local brewery. (All photos by Lindsay McKenzie, except where noted.)

For many of us in four-season geographies, the end of summer and fall marks the end of RV season, too. And if you’re not a full-time or snowbird RVer, you’ll need to make arrangements for storing your RV. Even during the warmer parts of the year, finding proper RV storage is one of the most effective preventative steps you can take to maintain your RV and its value.

As a seasoned RVer who has done everything from full-timing to occasional weekend camping trips during the summer, I’ve had a variety of RV storage experiences. In this post, I cover common questions about RV storage, along with a few tips I’ve learned along the way.

What Are My Options for RV Storage Facilities?

Gravel Drive RV Storage
Image: Lindsay McKenzie

When it comes to where you can store your RV, you really have two main options: store the RV on your own property or pay to store it on someone else’s property.

To determine whether or not you can store your RV on your own property, you’ll need to first check with your homeowner’s association or determine if there are any neighborhood covenants that restrict residents from parking RVs on their property. Conducting a search for ‘what zoning is needed for RV storage’ in your region can also help you determine if you can store your RV at home, or if it’s possible to construct your own RV storage facility on your property.

If you don’t have any restrictions, you’ll then want to determine if you have a space on your property that is both large enough and secure and safe enough for your RV. Theft, access, damage, and weather are all concerns.

If storing your RV on your own property isn’t an option, you’ll need to look elsewhere. The simplest solution might be to see if a friend or a family member has the space and would allow you to park your RV on their property. For those with moderate-to-large RVs, this isn’t necessarily an easy favor to ask family and friends — your RV may take up considerable driveway space — so consider proposing a monthly payment for the use of their space for those who seem reluctant. This may still prove to be far cheaper than paying for commercial RV storage. If not, commercial storage it is.

Do a quick internet search for RV storage facilities in your area to get started. With RV sales on the rise in recent years, more storage facilities are popping up across the country. If there aren’t any close enough to you, or you want to compare options, you may also find that standard non-RV storage facilities sometimes allow RVs to be stored on their property. (Some even have storage units large enough to park an entire motorhome inside!)

Check with your local RV parks, too, as some offer storage. You’ll need to weigh out your options and determine which one fits your needs and budget.

How Much Is RV Storage?

RV Storage Open Park
Image: Lindsay McKenzie

How much does it cost to store an RV? The different storage options listed above will vary greatly in cost and amenities. Obviously, storing your RV on your own property or a friend or family member’s property is the least expensive option. But will you have coverage? Is the area gated and safe? Will you retain 24/7 access to your RV if you want to check on it, or even dewinterize it for a trip to a warmer climate?

Even when it comes to storing your RV at a storage facility or RV park, where these issues are more deliberately addressed, there are still a variety of factors that influence the cost. 

First, the prices of RV storage will fluctuate depending on your location and the availability of storage in your area. The amenities a facility offers also influence the cost. Some facilities have covered spots where the RVs are parked underneath roofing, while others offer full coverage where the RVs are parked inside of an enclosed unit similar to a garage.

Then, of course, others only have an open field or parking lot that may or may not be paved, where RVs are simply parked side by side in the elements. Security, 24/7 access, and on-site dumps and freshwater filling stations will also affect a storage facility’s pricing. Short-term versus long-term RV storage is also a consideration. You may find storage facilities will charge more for a shorter length of time. Some may even require you to store your RV with them for an extended amount of time versus allowing you to pay month to month.

Each facility will have its own policies, contracts, and payment terms. Consider all the pros and cons of each facility in addition to the cost. 

What is the Average Cost of RV Storage?

The average cost of RV storage ranges from around $50 a month to hundreds of dollars a month. However, your monthly price will vary based on many factors, such as your location, the duration of storage, your RV’s size, covered versus uncovered storage, indoor versus outdoor storage, urban versus rural locations, and the amenities/services provided by the storage facility.

While shopping for the best rates, make sure you get what you pay for. If a facility is charging a high monthly rate, you should expect security, protection from the elements, or even indoor accommodations.

How To Prepare an RV For Storage

If you don’t store your RV in an enclosed storage facility, you’ll certainly want to determine what elements you’ll need to protect against (including hailstorms). Here are a few tips for storing your RV outdoors during extreme weather conditions:

How To Protect Your RV from Sun Damage in Storage

Regardless of whether you’re storing your RV outdoors during the heat of summer or in the freezing temperatures of winter, one of the biggest concerns is protecting the exterior of your RV. Getting an RV cover will protect it against sun damage, as the sun can fade the paint or decals on your RV. 

If you don’t have an RV cover, you’ll want to make sure you wash the exterior of your RV to keep any dirt from eroding the surface, as well as wax your RV to help seal and protect it. The sun can also crack, harden, and damage the rubber on your tires, so if you choose not to cover your RV, you should at least consider getting tire covers.

Here are a few more important resources that will help you learn everything you need to know about protecting your RV’s exterior from the elements:

How To Keep Your RV Battery Charged in Storage

Photo by Camping World

Your RV’s coach battery is another component that needs to be protected in extreme temperatures. Anytime your RV will be sitting for a long period of time, it’s good to disconnect your battery to avoid draining it. You’ll also want to store your battery inside your home or a climate-controlled garage to avoid exposure to excessive heat or cold. This also includes any batteries you may have in other parts of your RV, such as clocks, flashlights, alarms, etc. 

If your RV will be stored for more than 30 days, you’ll need to periodically charge your battery to keep it from draining. If you don’t remove your RV battery, which we do recommend, you’ll at least need to ensure that your Battery Disconnect Switch is changed to the Off position to prevent parasitic draws.

Learn more about RV batteries and proper battery maintenance in this guide.

How To Protect Your RV in Freezing Temperatures in Storage

The most important thing is that you properly winterize your RV before temperatures consistently dip below freezing. Your unit’s manual will provide some instructions for winterizing your specific model, but it’s always smart to research or ask a service technician for tips and guidance, as each RV is different when it comes to winterizing. 

The important thing is that you ensure there is no water in any of the pipes or holding tanks to prevent freezing and cracking. If you choose to winterize with RV-safe antifreeze, be sure to bypass your water heater to avoid damage. Learn everything you need to know about RV antifreeze to ensure you safely and adequately prepare your RV for freezing temperatures in storage.

How To Keep Moisture Out of Your RV in Storage

Image: Paul Maguire via Shutterstock

Depending on where you plan to store your RV, you’ll need to pay attention to whether you’ll need to increase or decrease the humidity inside your RV. Humidity and moisture can wreak havoc on an RV. Alternately, especially dry climates can cause components to crack.

If your RV will be stored in a dry climate, increase just enough moisture to keep any wood from drying and cracking. One common practice is to place a large bucket of water in the center of the RV, to add some moisture to the air through natural osmosis.  

On the flip side, you may need to absorb excess moisture from the air if your RV is stored in a moist and warm climate. Using a dehumidifier will help prevent mold and mildew growth inside the RV. Be sure to open all cabinet and closet doors when trying to balance the humidity or dryness in your RV to keep the air consistent throughout the unit.

Learn more in our complete tutorial on keeping moisture and condensation out of your RV.

How To Keep Mice Out of Your RV During Winter Storage

Photo by Camping World

Pests and rodents can be one of the biggest concerns when it comes to damage to your RV while storing it. They seek warm shelter during the colder months, and an RV sitting idle on the side of your home in a storage facility is especially attractive. While an enclosed RV storage facility reduces the risk of pest and rodent damage, it can’t eliminate it entirely. So here are a few more steps you can take:

  • Ensure that your RV is clean and that no food, or even small particles, are left behind.
  • Thoroughly wipe surfaces and vacuum all carpeted areas.
  • Inspect every area of your RV for possible entryways and try to seal them where you can.

There are many home remedies to deter rodents from entering your RV, including mothballs, dryer sheets, and even Irish Spring bar soap. However, sometimes the old-fashioned mouse traps are the way to go. To keep insects away, a good (and natural) home remedy is to soak cotton balls with lavender oil, cedar oil, tea tree oil, and/or peppermint oil and place them all around the inside of the RV. For ants, baits and powders tend to do the trick. 

Explore our collection of repellants and pest control products for your RV.

How To Ensure Your RV’s Security in Storage

Photo by Camping World

Of course, critters aren’t the only things wanting to get inside your RV. You’ll need to be prudent about locking the doors, windows, and exterior storage compartments of your RV and taking other security measures to avoid theft or break-ins. Wheel locks and hitch locks prevent your RV from being stolen. But other products like motion-detecting lights and alarm systems and upgrading to higher quality locks may be a good idea for added security.

Learn more in our complete tutorial on improving your RV’s security, both for storage and in camp.

Other RV Storage Hacks

Image: Camping World
  • Make sure everything is turned off in the RV, such as the propane, water pump, and refrigerator (you’ll need to defrost the freezer first by turning it off and laying a towel inside to absorb the water). 
  • You may want to consider combatting odors inside your RV. One way to do this is to allow for adequate airflow through the RV by opening vents just enough to circulate air but not so much that rain or snow can get in. 
  • It’s wise to check in on your RV every so often to make sure the preventative measures you’ve taken are working.
  • Cleaning the air conditioning filters and covering your air conditioner can help protect it from the elements. 
  • If you own a motorhome and it will be in storage for an extended amount of time, you’ll want to start and run the engine about once a month to keep the engine components lubricated and prevent the fuel from deteriorating. Another option: add a fuel stabilizer to your fuel tank, which can also be used in your generators

Taking these steps to ensure your RV is stored safely and properly, and stocking up on must-have products for storing your RV, will surely help protect your home on wheels when you aren’t using it. Then, when the time comes, your RV will be ready for your next adventure! 

If you want to avoid storing your RV, I’d highly recommend renting it out instead by using the Good Sam rental program. You can not only avoid the hassle and costs of storage, but you can make money when you’re not using your RV.

How do you store your RV? Tell us in the comments below!

  • Comment (11)
  • oh Translate says:

    Great post! As an RV enthusiast, it’s comforting to know that there are options for safe and secure storage. I’ll definitely be checking out the facilities at Camping World. Thanks for sharing!

  • Joseph Cirame says:

    We park our rv during the winter months, about 6 months. I have hard wired a battery minder in our motor home to maintain the engine battery. I run the cord thru the firewall and plugged it in, works great. Note: vehicle plugged into shore power thru the winter

  • Mike says:

    Rodent damage isn’t just a concern for the interior of the RV. We were storing our Class C rig on a paved pad in the back yard when rats discovered two great nesting places: one atop the fuel tank in the rear (where they chewed through the wiring for the fuel pump) and one within the twists of the intake manifold for the engine (where they chewed up engine wiring). Over $1000 in damage. Ultimately, we chose to store the rig off-site in a covered, paved, gated commercial facility (at $250 per month!) We also installed a rodent deterrent for nights on the road. It has strobe lights that flash periodically and an ultrasonic tone that is broadcast in both locations in the rig. Don’t know if that actually works, but we haven’t had problems since.

  • Don will says:

    Çan I remove the negative cables from the battery posts to keep the battery properly charged for 9 months

    • Hi Don,

      For long-term storage like that, we typically recommend removing your battery and storing in a cool, dry location like your garage. You will need to place it on a trickle charger or check and charge it on a monthly basis.

      Hope that helps!

  • Arnold says:

    Sure would be great if one could cover the RV w/o having to climb up onto the roof. With my limited balance skill sets that is not appealing.

  • Dave Kendall says:

    For a long time we had our RV stored on an external dirt lot of a RV Storage Facility. This worked fine for years, but for some reason a year ago we had a HORRIBLE rat infestation. Cleaning involved taking absolutely everything out of all the cupboards and closets, bringing it all home and washing and disinfecting everything. Then we got a hospital grade disinfectant and cleaned the RV top to bottom. We also took a lot of time to find out where they were getting in and sealed any holes. After that we decided what we saved parking in the dirt lot wasn’t worth the frustration so we paid more to park in the paved storage lot. We’ve not had any more problems with rodents since then. People should be aware that not only can rodents get up from the ground but, as in our case, we were parked under a tree and rats were getting onto the roof of our RV.

  • AP says:

    Security is one of the most important issues. I use a storage place with code required for entry and exit. Gates are never left open, cameras, and lights too. And people in the office every day.

  • Hi Arnold!

    If you have a helper and two ladders, you can install an RV cover without walking on the roof. In fact, this is the solution for travel trailers that aren’t built with a fully walkable roof. You and your helper will have to carefully work together to work the cover from front to back, moving the ladders as you go. Or you can look into a covered/enclosed RV storage facility that reduces the need for a cover.

    Hopefully this helps!

  • Rodents can be a major pain Dave!

    Sorry to hear about your experience, but glad to know that you seem to have found a solution. For others out there worried about keeping rodents and other pests out of their RV while it’s in storage, here are a few solutions:

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