25 Essential Tips for Storing an RV in Hot Weather

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In a perfect world, you will be out camping and enjoying your RV over the summer months. But, if your RV, camper, or travel trailer will be stored in hot weather during the summer months, you will need to take a few precautionary measures to ensure that it does not experience UV and or heat damage. The combination of ultraviolet radiation from the sun along with the intense heat that can develop inside an RV can cause a lot of damage, which is likely to cost a lot of money to repair.

These steps we have laid out below in this article will help to ensure that you store the RV properly so you can avoid the wasted time and expense that come with the problems of improper storage.

Sun Protection

RV Parked in the Sun or shade on 100° day

Exterior Protection

Your RV’s exterior is at risk from continual exposure to sunlight. Fading paint, drying rubber, and cracked vinyl decals all result from the sun causing UV damage which is one of the biggest reasons an RV loses value. Over time the exterior paint becomes compromised causing the plastic and metal beneath to then become exposed to the sun and deteriorate. To protect your RV, you need to protect it from the sun. Below are some great tips to prevent sun damage to your RV.

Clean and Wax the Exterior

Before storing your RV, you should thoroughly wash and wax the exterior of the RV. Cleaning the RV will prevent abrasive dirt or sand from eroding the surface, and waxing will seal the surface.

Plastic parts on your RV’s exterior are equally vulnerable when it comes to sunlight. Parts like bumpers, fenders, mirror covers, roof ladders, and roof racks are often overlooked when it comes to protecting an RV, but will also fade over time.

We have an entire article devoted to properly cleaning the exterior of your RV so you will know which products work best on all the different parts of your RV. 

Use an RV Cover

One of the best ways to protect against sun damage is to cover the RV with a waterproof, breathable anti-UV cover while it is stored. Just as clothing ensures you don’t get sunburned, a cover will keep UV rays away from your RV. And because sun damage can occur at any time, you may want to consider an RV roof cover, which will protect the motorhome or trailer while you’re parked on site.

Park Under a Roof

In addition to covering your RV, it is highly recommended that you store the RV under a roof if possible to keep the RV in the shade and out of direct sunlight. If you store your RV outside but under a roof, it is still a good idea to buy an RV cover to avoid harmful indirect sunlight.

Use a Storage Facility

The very best, and most expensive option, for protection against the elements is to store the RV in an indoor storage facility. Not only will your RV be protected from sunlight but it will also be protected from the negative effects of heat buildup.

Driveway Storage

Some folks are lucky enough to be able to store their RV right in their driveway. But there are many questions that need to be addressed before you decide to store there.

RELATED READING: Check out our article called Can I Park an RV in My Driveway for much more info on the subject.

Interior Protection

In addition to the sun causing damage to the exterior of the RV, it can be very damaging to the interior of the RV, as well. Although you may not get direct sunlight inside the RV, it will be exposed to extreme temperatures. So take the following precautions.

Cover All Windows

Your RV’s dashboard is exposed to considerable heat and sunlight that is intensified by the windshield. The dash can become faded and/or crack under continuous exposure to heat and sun. It is best to use a windshield cover in addition to covering the entire RV.

Close all of the blinds and curtains in your RV to prevent any sunlight from entering the RV, which will help to keep the temperature inside the RV down. Covering all of the windows with room darkening shades or curtains will prevent any wood or plastic finishes from fading and cracking. It will also reduce fading of the upholstery, couches, beds, carpet, and flooring materials.

Clean and Condition

In addition to covering all of the windows, you should clean and condition all of the materials that are susceptible to drying, fading and cracking. This includes the dashboard, leather seats, upholstery, flooring, and wood or plastics. Conditioning all of these items will prevent them from sun and heat damage.

Moisture Protection

Moisture can work for you or against you when storing your RV. For example, if you store your RV in a humid environment, like Florida, you will need to decrease the humidity inside the RV as much as possible. This will help to prevent mold and mildew from growing inside your RV. However, if you store your RV in a dry heat environment like Arizona you may need to increase the humidity inside the RV to keep wood and other finishes from drying out and cracking.







Increase The Humidity

If you store the RV in a very dry climate, place a 5-gallon bucket of water in the center of the RV. This will put enough moisture in the air to prevent the wood from drying and cracking. Be sure to open all cabinet and closet doors so the humidity is even throughout the entire RV.

Decrease The Humidity

If you live in a moist, warm climate, use DampRid or place a bucket or two of charcoal or silica gel packets throughout the RV to absorb the moisture from the air. This will help to prevent mold and mildew growth inside the RV. Be sure to open all cabinet and closet doors to prevent humidity from being trapped in those areas.


It is important to allow for adequate airflow throughout the RV. This is accomplished by opening the air vents slightly. You want them to be open enough for air to circulate through, but not so much that rain will leak into the RV.

Drain All of the Holding Tanks

Standing water in any of the holding tanks can allow mold, mildew, and algae to grow. Drain all of the holding tanks, including the freshwater tank, and ensure they are completely empty and dry prior to storing the RV.

PRO TIP: Be sure to properly flush your black and grey tanks prior to storage to avoid a build up of sludge. You can check out our article called RV Black Water Tank and Sensor Cleaning Tips and also watch our video below to learn the perfect method to clean your black and gray water tanks and their sensors.

Insect and Rodent Prevention

It is important to prevent insects and rodents from entering the RV while it is stored. Once a few are inside, they breed rapidly, and you could come back to an infestation the following season. Infestations typically require a pest control professional’s help and that can be expensive. A few simple steps prior to storage can prevent this costly problem.

Clean The RV

Thoroughly clean the RV and remove all food and water sources prior to storage. Even the smallest crumbs can attract insects and rodents like mice. Take the time to clean everything so you don’t attract any unwanted guests.

Eliminate Standing Water

Completely defrost your fridge and empty your ice maker and any water in the refrigerator. Check for any other areas where water has collected. Insects need water to survive so be sure to eliminate any water inside the RV.

Plug Sink Drains and Cover Shower Drains

Plumbing is a source of standing water in an RV because there is water in the sink and shower traps. Place plugs in the sinks and covers over all shower drains and close the toilet seats.

Place Screens on Exterior Vents

RV roof and exterior vents are typically covered with screens. But the screens used in these vents will not keep out smaller varieties of insects. Charcoal Fiberglass Small Insect Screen is a finer mesh that protects against no-see-ums, gnats, sand flies and other tiny insects common in low, marshy and coastal areas. Installing this type of screen will prevent insects of all types and sizes from entering your RV.

Inspect Underneath the RV

Inspect the underside of the RV and look for any areas that could allow insects to enter. Seal any cracks or open areas with foam sealant. Also, inspect door frames, window frames, and slide seals, and replace any that are deteriorating. Also, try to avoid parking your RV over an area that will hold water.

Cover Fridge, Furnace and Water Heater Vents

Insects are attracted to the odorant that is added to propane or LP gas. To prevent mud daubers and wasps from building nests in and around your gas appliances, first, turn off the propane and then cover the refrigerator vent, the furnace vent, and the water heater vent.

Use Insect and Rodent Prevention Methods

The best option to kill any insects that do enter your RV is to spread Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth inside the RV in areas where insects congregate such as entry doors, under cabinets and inside any crevices. Food Grade DE kills insects at their source and is non-toxic to humans which is why I recommend it over Borax powder, which is toxic to humans.

RELATED READING: Check out our article called  7 Incredibly Effective Home Remedies Ridding Your RV of Ants for more info.

Other preventative measures to keep insects and rodents out are to spread mothballs, pieces of Irish Spring Soap, dryer sheets, or cotton balls with Lavender, or Tea Tree Oil around the RV. I also recommend placing some mothballs under the hood in the engine compartment to keep rodents from nesting there. If you have electricity in the RV while it is being stored you can install ultrasonic devices that ward off insects and rodents. I have personally used all of these methods with success.

Mechanical Considerations


Any time an RV sits idle, the tires can develop flat spots. The longer it sits, the worse they get. The vast majority of tires on RVs are steel-belted radials and although the steel belts offer a high degree of strength, they do cause the tire to flatten out over time. The best solution for this is to have someone move your RV from time to time. Otherwise, place pieces of plywood under the tires. Make sure the wood is wider than the tire and that no part of the tire hangs over the edge of the plywood.

Use tire covers to prevent the tires from becoming dry-rotted from sun exposure. If you don’t have tire covers for your RV, you can wrap a tarp around the tires and use a bungee cord to hold the tarps in place, but tire covers are the best bet.


In order to keep the batteries from completely draining be sure to turn off or disconnect every electrical element in the RV. If you have electricity available during storage you could use a battery tender to keep the batteries charged. If you have someone close by who can keep an eye on your RV have them start your RV up a few times each month and allow it to run for several minutes to recharge the batteries.

Ensure Leveling Jacks Are Down

If your RV has leveling jacks, be sure to put them down. If you’re storing your motorhome or trailer on grass or a dirt surface, you’ll also want to use pads under the jacks to prevent them from sinking into the ground.

Fill the Fuel Tank and Add Stabilizer

If you’re storing your RV for more than a month, you’ll need to fill the fuel tank and add a fuel stabilizer. The fuel stabilizer will prevent the fuel from deteriorating and causing problems for your engine. After adding the stabilizer, run both the engine and the generator to make sure the stabilizer spreads through the entire fuel system.

Turn Off the Propane System

To prevent insects as we discussed above, and for safety reasons, you will need to shut off your propane tank.

Anti-Theft Protection

Install good locks to prevent theft. Everyone knows that the storage compartment key for any RV will unlock storage compartment in every other RV. So, my storage compartment key can most likely open your storage compartment. Replace the storage compartment locks or remove all of your valuable items from the storage compartments prior to storing the RV. You may want to consider chaining the wheels as well if you are storing a travel trailer.


Clean the air conditioner filters, and cover the air conditioner.
Turn off the main breaker and unplug all appliances.
Remove the batteries in clocks, flashlights, and other items so they don’t corrode.

What To Do When You Get Ready To Get Back On The Road

As a general rule, check three things; the battery, anything that is rubber (serpentine belt, tires) and the fluids (oils, coolant). Various belts and wires can get corroded if not used over a long period. Bring jumper cables and a couple of quarts of motor oil in case the battery has died or you had an oil leak. Test the brakes before you get going as they can lock up over time.

RELATED READING: It’s also imperative that you sanitize your freshwater tank after storing your RV. To learn if sanitizing your fresh water tank with Vinegar really works check out our article Is It Safe To Sanitize Your RV Water Tank With Vinegar? I guarantee you will learn something new.


I hope you found this article helpful to protect your RV while storing it in a very hot climate. Hopefully, you won’t need to spend much time preparing it for summer storage but if you do you will be as prepared as possible.

Thanks for reading this article! Do you have any advice about storing an RV in hot weather you would like to share? Please share your comments below!

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33 thoughts on “25 Essential Tips for Storing an RV in Hot Weather”

  1. Did not see anywhere in the article if having A/C off while being stored outside in hot dry climate (ie. AZ), would be harmful interior…?

  2. Live in Mississippi and we Have a cover on rv but temp gets high like 105 inside rv. I know a cover is suppose to help but it concerns me cause I can’t turn on AC. Is this damaging interior?

  3. I appreciate the article. We’re dragging our 5th wheel to the Mississippi Gulf Coast and plan to leave it rather than pulling it back north again as we have in the past. We’ve got a cover that’ll go on and empty tanks, covered tires, and slightly open vents are all part of the plan. We are concerned about the humidity and thought about DampRid but they need to have water drained or be replaced. When you talk about charcoal do you mean plain old backyard briquettes or is there a different product that would be more appropriate?

  4. Going to be storing our rv in Florida this summer. Is it ok to a/c on high to help with the humidity?

    • AC on will definitely lower the humidity inside your RV but it may be expensive to run the AC in a camper all summer…
      Thanks for reading the article!

  5. Your list of tips are so very helpful. Thank you for taking the time to prepare and sharing it. Much appreciated!

  6. I heard that a way to keep the gaskets in the toilets, etc was to run some RV antifreeze through the system even though we’re storing in the heat and humidity of summertime Florida this year. Is that a good method?

  7. Keeping our fith wheel in Florida this year from may to Oct. Do we leave water in the black and grey tanks or leave them empty

  8. Thanks for the information,but what kind of cover should you use to cover a 36ft fifth wheel the best you can buy or a cheap one.

    • Hi Michael,
      I like the Tyvek covers because they breathe and they are a proven product used in new home construction across the country.

  9. What about canned goods & aerosols stored in RV in high heat.

  10. Have you heard of anyone installing a small solar fan in the vent to dray heat out of the RV?

    • Hi Scott,
      I haven’t heard of installing a solar-powered fan to vent out an RV in high heat but it sounds like a great idea!

  11. We are on our 3rd RV. We have been all over the USA in it since 2012. While we love RV’g…it is a LOT of work. Loading, unloading. Parking and maneuvering stress. Storage. Cleaning. Fixing (always fixing!), upgrades, hookup, set up, tear down, maintenance…on and on and on.
    And then, there’s the cost: purchase, taxes, depreciation, insurance, fuel, license.
    The RV parks are getting more expensive and crowded every year. Before these RVs, we owned many boats including large diesel cruisers and trawler yachts…..those need all of the above -only in far larger doses!
    Honestly….sometimes I think a nice comfy car and hotels (or rentals) are in our future! And hopefully- cruising on ships! I don’t think these alternatives actually cost any more- maybe cheaper!

  12. Hey Mike,
    Thanks for taking the time to put together all these useful tips. One question: if I live in the Phoenix area, should I put the bucket of water in my travel trailer while storing it to help with the dry air? The reason I’m asking, is because The section about bugs and critters said to make sure there is no standing water inside.

  13. Thanks for pointing out that it’s smart to park your RV under a roof when storing it to help reduce the amount of direct sunlight on it. My dad has been thinking about storing his RV this season because he doesn’t plan on going camping anytime soon. I think it would be smart for him to find a place that can store RV so that he can know it will be parked under a roof and in a place that it can be safe.

  14. It’s good to know that you should leave the air vents slightly open so that your RV doesn’t get too humid. My husband and I just got back from a cross-country trip, and we want to put our RV in storage until next time. I will keep in mind to leave it well-ventilated so that there isn’t any moisture-related damage.

  15. It’s interesting that a storage facility will protect the RV from negative heat buildup. My parents are looking for a storage facility where they can store their RV before taking it across the country later this summer. I’ll have to share this with them as they search for a storage facility that houses RVs.

    • Hi Taylor,
      The indoor storage facilities are air conditioned so there is no heat build up. But they aren’t cheap.
      Let me know how your parents make out.

  16. My parents have been considering getting an RV this upcoming spring. Thanks for pointing out that they might want to check that the showers and sinks are working well in the RV. Also, they might want to look if it has a good sunshade since they live in a really sunny area.

    • Hi Ivy,

      I’m glad you found the article to be helpful!



      • Hi Mike, we have a 32 ft. 5th wheel. I’ve been towing to Mission, TX each winter from MI.. At 80 getting tired of the haul. Thinking of leaving it on site ,unoccupied for April through October. Read your article. Do you think open vents, cracked windows a bit and , 5 Pails of the Damprid from Wal Mart would handle the humidity problem ??

        • Hi Ken,
          If you are in a moist, warm climate, you can use the big buckets of DampRid or place several buckets of charcoal or silica gel packets throughout the RV to absorb the moisture from the air. This will help to prevent mold and mildew growth inside the RV. Be sure to open all cabinet and closet doors to prevent humidity from being trapped in those areas. I don’t recommend cracking the windows but you can leave the vents open a little bit.
          That should do the trick!
          Thanks and best of luck!


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