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Old 03-21-2009, 12:56 PM   #1
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Storing a Class A Motorhome

I'm putting my RV in storage for 5 to 6 months while I travel east with a friend for the summer. I know nothing about storing it that long . . . for instance, do I leave water in the fresh water tank? Won't that spoil? Or is it best to drain it dry? Do I leave the black tank full of water so no residue dries out? How much gas do I leave in it? Any additives to put in? How about the oil? I'm assuming that I should put the stabilizers down to relieve the pressure on the tires . . . . is there something I should put down underneath my tires as well? It's going to be in a 3-sided storage facility in southern Colorado, 60 feet deep (and it's a 33' rig) with the tow vehicle parked behind it, so the temps won't be outrageous, but they'll have some 100+ days I'm sure. Should I cover it as well? Do you leave it plugged in to keep the batteries charged? Run the AC? There's no need for high humidity concerns, obviously, but how about it having NO humidity? Should I crack the windows or leave them closed? Leave the windows closed but open both vents? I'm assuming it could get as hot as 80 degrees at times inside - so I'm removing all photos, candles, anything that could be damaged by heat and dry air. I'm a nervous wreck about doing this, but I have to do it . . . at least it's not going to be sitting outside in the sun for that long!! I don't know how people store their rigs outside in the sun for months on end without experiencing damage!! Any advice would be very much appreciated!
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Old 03-21-2009, 02:38 PM   #2
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I have stored my for 4 months at a time. I would empty all tanks fresh water included. Put some antifreeze in the toilet bowl. (not because of freezing, but for evaporation). Make sure all food stuff is out of the MH. I would leave the roof vent open a little, if it has a cover. Inflate tires, and if stored on a well drained area, I do not think you need to put anything under them. I would add stabilizer to the fuel, and make sure you run it through your system. If the electricity is handy and you can have some one check the batteries on a regular basis you could leave in plugged in. If not I would disconnect all the batteries completely, after being fully charged.
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Old 03-21-2009, 05:29 PM   #3
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Hi GraciesMom,
Except for the tires and roof vent, I agree with Ottawa. Consider covering the tires and putting something between them and the ground. The plastic food preparation cutting boards at WalMart are an inexpensive choice. I'd not leave the roof vent open. Critters is the reason. Close up the coach. Cover the windows the best you can.

When you empty the holding tanks, put about 2 gallons of water back into each holding tank. This will keep the valve seals under water so they will not dry out.
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Old 03-21-2009, 09:53 PM   #4
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I'd put some clean water in the two holding tanks, as GaryKD suggests. Since it is going to be covered by a roof, I would not cover the tires.

Mildew won't be a problem, but it is going to get awful hot inside (100+) and that can deteriorate fabrics and plastics. Venting won't help much in that climate.

Your batteries would be best off if removed and stored somewhere and kept on a very light charge. If you need to leave them in the RV, I think I would use a battery maintainer device rather than the onboard charging system, since that can sometimes boil away the electrolyte (unless somebody can check it for you once in awhile and add water). The BatteryTender and BatterMinder products work well
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Old 03-22-2009, 04:09 AM   #5
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graciesmom:
in addition to what others have said, i add 1 campa clean packet to the black tank. i add i capful of liquid calgon water softener (from wally world) in gray and black tanks with a couple of gallons of water. i leave the toilet bowl 3/4 full of water. you should chlorinate the fresh water tank when you return, so it does not matter if you leave water in it for storage. you should replace the drinking water filter when you return also.
if it may be below 32 deg, i leave a 100 watt light in a metal "drop cord maintenance light" in my water pump compartment, main water tank compartment, and in the aft water service compartment. i run the cords though the door seals at the bottom center where the seals split.
i leave the moho with the jacks all the way down, with the wheels off the ground.
i close all basement doors tightly, including water service and electric panel to keep mice out. put mice bait in moho cabinets too, particularly in the kitchen. mice can get in through the refrigerator vents and other small entry points. i had to seal my electric cord compartment with foam insulation. i leave my 50 amp power cord hooked up.
if the fridge is mt, turn it off and open the doors slightly. leave a box of baking soda in the fridge and freezer as well as crumpled up newspaper.
when i am leaving my 2 cats in the moho, i set the ac to 78 deg and turn off the #2 compressor. i leave a 1500 watt box heater set on 750 w, with the thermostat set to about 68 degrees in the kitchen. if the cats are in the moho, i leave the slides out. otherwise, i retract both slides.
change the engine oil and filter before storage. fill the gas tank with regular gas, not 10% ethanol if you can find it. i use sea foam fuel stabilizer. amsoil has good fuel stabilizer products also.
i turn off both water heaters, the water pump, inverter, antenna amp, and all electronics.
i use a black&decker battery maintainer on the engine battery (and toad) and a schumacher charger/maintainer on the house batteries, with the battery switch off. the "house" runs off of the converter when in storage mode.
cover the tires, especially if the sun will shine on them.
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Old 03-22-2009, 03:40 PM   #6
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Good info from a lot of people. To say again (ie some have already said b4), I drain the water from the fresh water tank and the water heater. Put about 2 gallons of water in the black tank with Calgon and 2 gallons in the grey water tank. Fill the toilet bowl about 2/3rds full with antifreeze -- to keep the seal moist and it does not evap as quick as water. I do blow out the water lines with air to keep them dry. The suggestion on the frig is good -- my doors can be locked in an open position with the type of door handles on them -- leaves about a 1/4 to 1/3 inch opening -- I do put in baking soda in the freezer and the refrig part to prevent odors. Air the tires to proper pressure and I would put something under the wheels to break the contact with the ground (I usually go by Home Depot or Lowes and look in their scrap piles for half sheets of plywood that I can cut and use -- is cheaper than buying full sheets). I also level the unit with the hydraulic jacks which takes some of the pressure off of the tires. In my case, I have 30 amp electric available and I keep the MH plugged in all the time to keep the batteries up and charged. I set my air conditioner at about 85 degrees to keep the major heat down in the MH if it get hot and I do have an electric heater plugged in should it get cold (the suggestion about the drop cords and lights in the water compartment is a good one -- I also have a light in the refrig compartment where the outside vent is located.d I make sure that all of the day/night shades are in the night position. I have the large sun shades for the front windows that go in place and I use clothes pins to move the winshield wipers off of the windows up front. Make sure that all of your external openings (power cord compartment, water waste compartment, etc) are sealed off -- I stuff rags in the areas where something could enter -- to keep out the critters. Since you have the gas engine, make sure that you fill the tank with gas and put in a stabilizer and run it through your engine to make sure that it gets fuel with the stabilizer in the carb -- also make sure to run your generator (I presume that it is gas also) to get the stabilized fuel in that also. I also liked the suggestion about changing the oil and filters now -- will be ready to go when you get back.

That is all that I can think of -- hope you have a good trip back East and your MH will be waiting for ya when you get back.
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Old 03-22-2009, 06:31 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David K View Post
Good info from a lot of people. To say again (ie some have already said b4), Since you have the gas engine, make sure that you fill the tank with gas and put in a stabilizer and run it through your engine to make sure that it gets fuel with the stabilizer in the carb -- also make sure to run your generator (I presume that it is gas also) to get the stabilized fuel in that also. I also liked the suggestion about changing the oil and filters now -- will be ready to go when you get back.

That is all that I can think of -- hope you have a good trip back East and your MH will be waiting for ya when you get back.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DAN L View Post
graciesmom:
in addition to what others have said, i add 1 campa clean packet to the black tank. i add i capful of liquid calgon water softener (from wally world) in gray and black tanks with a couple of gallons of water. i leave the toilet bowl 3/4 full of water. you should chlorinate the fresh water tank when you return, so it does not matter if you leave water in it for storage. you should replace the drinking water filter when you return also.
if it may be below 32 deg, i leave a 100 watt light in a metal "drop cord maintenance light" in my water pump compartment, main water tank compartment, and in the aft water service compartment. i run the cords though the door seals at the bottom center where the seals split.
i leave the moho with the jacks all the way down, with the wheels off the ground.
i close all basement doors tightly, including water service and electric panel to keep mice out. put mice bait in moho cabinets too, particularly in the kitchen. mice can get in through the refrigerator vents and other small entry points. i had to seal my electric cord compartment with foam insulation. i leave my 50 amp power cord hooked up.
if the fridge is mt, turn it off and open the doors slightly. leave a box of baking soda in the fridge and freezer as well as crumpled up newspaper.
when i am leaving my 2 cats in the moho, i set the ac to 78 deg and turn off the #2 compressor. i leave a 1500 watt box heater set on 750 w, with the thermostat set to about 68 degrees in the kitchen. if the cats are in the moho, i leave the slides out. otherwise, i retract both slides.
change the engine oil and filter before storage. fill the gas tank with regular gas, not 10% ethanol if you can find it. i use sea foam fuel stabilizer. amsoil has good fuel stabilizer products also.
i turn off both water heaters, the water pump, inverter, antenna amp, and all electronics.
i use a black&decker battery maintainer on the engine battery (and toad) and a schumacher charger/maintainer on the house batteries, with the battery switch off. the "house" runs off of the converter when in storage mode.
cover the tires, especially if the sun will shine on them.
graciesmom:
I forgot about the genny in my post last nite. it was late.
my onan has a carb drain. it is a screw on the very bottom of the float bowl. i drain the carb. if yours has this, drain the carb. otherwise, run the genny about 1hr under load to get the stabilizer in the genny's carb.
don't forget to change the genny's oil and filter.
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Old 03-26-2009, 03:07 PM   #8
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Providing Humidity . . .

THANK YOU FOR ALL THE ADVICE!!! I've been a little worried about how dry the weather is where I'm going to be storing the rig. I'm collecting plastic coffee containers - the really big ones - and I'm going to poke holes in the tops . . . in graduated numbers . . . . 2, 4, 6, 8, etc., in order to let the water evaporate. I'm thinking of putting as many as 20 in the rig . . . do you think that will help with the low humidity? I'm not going to leave it plugged up so I can't put a humidifier in it - and that would dry up in no time anyway. I'm just concerned about the cabinetry cracking . . .
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Old 03-26-2009, 03:35 PM   #9
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You are far far better off with lower humidity than higher... Mildew.... Be thankful for low when you stow...

You'll get lots of blowing grit in CO, a cover might not be a bad idea even though you are in a 3-side stall.
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Old 03-27-2009, 12:47 PM   #10
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Humidity

I've noticed that the humidity is lower in the winter than the summer. We only run the humidifiers in the house during the winter so your summer trip should not be an issue.
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