It’s already May, which means many people have summer on the brain. If you’re one of them, then you know you have a unique challenge as an RV owner: storing an RV in hot weather.
You can’t be on road trips all summer, as much as you wish you could be. Still, it’s not like most RVs tuck nicely in a garage.
Where do you leave them when you’re at home and the office?
How do you prevent your engine from overheating and avoid other damage from humidity?
We’re going to answer these questions and more in this article, so read on!
Tips for Storing an RV in Hot Weather
If you do need to leave your RV for a few days or weeks in high temperatures and humidity, be sure to take these precautions:
- To keep insects away, there are plenty of home remedies. These include everything from fox or coyote urine-soaked rags, oil-soaked cotton balls (lavender oil, cedar oil, tea tree oil, and peppermint oil all work), and placing mothballs around your vehicle.
- Specifically, for ants and roaches, it’s recommended you use Mule Team Borax, which is available on Amazon.
- Clean all surfaces of your RV thoroughly, including both interior and exterior surfaces. It’s especially crucial to ensure there’s no food particles left over. Even the smallest ones will feed insects!
- Secure all slide-outs, doors, and windows, locking these if possible.
- Many insects adore propane odors, so make sure your propane tank is off.
- Plug up the shower/tub and sink drains.
- Make sure you take anything edible with you, even if it’s sealed. This is just to be on the safe side and prevent an infestation of insects and critters.
- If you have mildew and mold, use this spray from Mold Armor. It has a four-and-a-half star rating on Amazon and costs less than $10 for a 32-ounce can. You can use the spray on sinks, counters, vinyl curtains, shower doors, fiberglass, toilets, tubs and showers, grout, and tile, so it’s very versatile.
- If you can, secure your vehicle in a shady place. The less direct sun exposure your vehicle gets, the better. Not only will this control humidity more than if you left your RV out in direct sunlight, but it will save your upholstery as well. Couches, beds, pillows, carpeting, and more can all fade from consistent sun exposure.
- If you have the room in your garage, you can also park your RV there. Of course, a standard RV is quite a hulking vehicle, so most home garages might not be able to fit one.
- If you don’t have access to a shaded area, then invest in an RV cover. You might be able to get one through your RV manufacturer. There are a variety of covers on Amazon, but you will have to search for your specific RV make and model to ensure the cover will fit.
- If you’re not driving your RV for a while, be sure you check on it at least weekly. You’re looking for signs of insect or pest infestations (holes, droppings, nests) as well as mildew and mold growth.
What Can Humidity Do to an RV?
Before we get into how humidity can affect your RV, let’s define humidity. Temperature and humidity are two different things. The temperature is how much heat or coldness is in the air at any given point. We as people have internal body temperatures, and of course there’s the temperature of the weather outside.
Humidity, on the other hand, is the amount of moisture or water vapor the air contains. It can be a mild spring day that’s 66 degrees Fahrenheit, but if there’s high humidity, then it’s going to feel more like 75 degrees Fahrenheit. In places like Florida and Arizona, temperatures are high. While Florida is known for its high humidity as well, in Arizona, it’s less an of an issue. In the summer in other parts of the country, you have both high temperatures and high humidity, which can wreak havoc on an RV.
Now that you understand more about both temperature and humidity, let’s discuss how it can affect your RV. First, it’s important to know that there’s more than outdoor humidity to worry about. Indeed, you and your passengers make humidity when taking a shower, cooking, or doing anything else that uses hot water or air for a prolonged time. That means even in springtime weather, you should be weary of how much humidity you’re generating.
That’s because the warm environment that is a humid RV is perfect for mildew and mold to grow. Humidity can get just about anywhere in your vehicle, even places where you easily can’t, such as the joints of the RV, the walls, and the windows. It’s dangerous to breathe in mildew and mold, and it can exacerbate previous conditions like asthma or allergies. Prolonged exposure can even sometimes lead to the development of a mold allergy.
Not only that, but mold destroys your upholstery. Too much humidity can also lead to the gradual corrosion of metal surfaces, so your RV is going to look terrible. Oh, and if you don’t get rid of mold relatively soon after spotting it, termites may make your RV their new home as they’re attracted to the bacteria.
High temperatures and humidity can really put a hurtin’ on your RV if you’re not careful. Not only does the metal structure of your vehicle become compromised as it begins to corrode, but your upholstery can get wrecked from sun damage and critter infestations. Then there’s the mildew and mold, which is not healthy to breathe in.
If you can avoid leaving your RV out in the sun when not in use, this is best. Otherwise, you’ll have to be diligent to make sure it’s clean and free of food. Invest in a mold spray just in case you see any sprouting up. The sooner you can nip that problem in the bud, the better it is for the health of your passengers. Happy travels!