Outdoor storage can be rough on your RV, especially in the desert. You may not think of Albuquerque as a desert, but the city is located in an area known as a high desert. A biome is just a desert that is high in elevation, typically between 2,000-4,000 feet above sea level. So we at Albuquerque Self Storage wanted to give you a complete guide on RV storage in such conditions.
Protect Your RV From The Sun
The sun can damage your RV’s exterior and interior, so it’s important to protect it from the harsh UV rays. You don’t need to coat your RV with sunscreen every few hours, but you will need to add a long-lasting film of protection to it.
For the exterior, fading paint, drying rubber, and cracked vinyl are all risks associated with prolonged sun exposure. Plastic can also fade overtime, so do not overlook your bumpers, fenders, mirror covers, roof racks, or ladders. To keep it looking like new, start with cleaning and waxing the exterior to remove any dirt and seal the surface.
You can also invest in an RV cover. Look into options that are breathable and anti-UV rays.
If the option is available, park it under a roof.
Interior protection is equally as important. If exposed to the sun, upholstery, fabric and the dashboard can fade. In extreme temperatures, things can even melt!
The first thing you should do to protect the interior of your RV is cover all of the windows and windshield in addition to covering the whole RV. Close all blinds and curtains to prevent and wood or plastic from cracking.
When it does rain in the desert, it pours. With rain, comes humidity, which (too much and too little) can be damaging for your RV. Humidity comes and goes in Albuquerque, so depending on the season you’re storing your RV, you may need to deal with high or low humidity.
Low humidity can cause wood to dry out and crack. To prevent this, try a dehumidifier and keep your RV vented. Never keep standing water in your RV, as it can attract unwanted pests.
Too much humidity can cause mold and mildew to form. If you’re concerned about this, try using DampRid, charcoal, or silica gel packets to help dry out the air.
Drain all holding tanks before storing your RV to remove excess liquid. A dry tank disallows the growth of mold, algae and mildew.
Finally, make sure you keep your RV ventilated by opening air vents slightly. Do not open them all the way; a cracked air vent will allow air flow while disallowing rain from entering your RV.
Pests are pesky, but you can take steps to keep them out of your RV. The easiest thing is to remove all food and food particles from your RV, including drinks. A thorough cleaning will remove any enticing smells or meals for the potential mice, rats or bugs.
Standing water is a breeding ground for insects, so try to keep all standing water out of your RV. Also, plug all of the drains, including the shower drain.
If you can, fit and place screens over all of exterior-leading vents to keep insects out.
Cover your refrigerator, furnace and water heater vents after they’ve been turned off. The smell of propane or LP gas attracts wasps and mud daubers, so keep those areas sealed so nothing seeps out.
Exterior and Mechanical Maintenance
How much work you need to do on the exterior and mechanical parts of your RV depends on how long you’re looking to store it for. For short seasons, you should only need to take the tires and battery into consideration. Longer storage sessions mean more preparing.
In general, the longer a tire sits on the pavement, the more likely it is to develop a flat spot. The best solution is to drive your RV from time to time, so it is not resting on the same contact points for the entire season.
In the desert, consider using tire covers to prevent dry rot from forming. You can also use bungee cord and tarp.
Batteries should be turned off or disconnected to prevent them from draining. If you have the capability, charge your RV battery a few times a month by running your RV for a few minutes, or hook it up to a battery tender.
Jack levels should be down. If you’re storing your RV on a dirt or grass surface, put pads under the jacks to prevent them from sinking into the ground.
Fuel stabilizer should be added if you’re planning on storing your RV for over a month and have no plans to run it.
Turn off your propane system! Seriously, we can’t stress this enough. For safety reasons, shut off your propane tank before leaving your RV in storage.
Getting Your RV Road Ready Again
This part of the process is much easier. Just check the tires, brakes, battery, and turn everything back on again. Assuming everything is in good condition, you’re ready to hit the road!
And that’s it! Your RV should be ready for short term and long term storage in the desert. If you’re worried about security, choose a lightened, fenced and secure facility, such as us at Albuquerque Self Storage. Contact us today to see how we can help store your RV.
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