The Essential Dos and Don’ts for Storing Your Summer Toys

Posted on Oct 2 2015 - 6:45am by David Decker

Summer

Your big summer toys—like boats and RVs—can’t stay out all year (even if we wish they could). Boats and RVs are huge items, and it’s more than likely that you don’t have enough space at your home to store them year-round. So instead of parking them in the street or your driveway all season, you should consider renting outdoor storage. Here are some reasons why:

  • Affordable rates
  • Protection from the elements with a metal roof
  • RV hookups
  • Minimized of vandalism and burglary

So now that summer is over, do you know how to properly winterize and prepare your toys for storage? Here’s a helpful guide for everything you need to get done before storing them for the winter.

Tips for Properly Storing Your Boat:

    1. Clean the Hull and Deck 

You’ll be leaving the boat for almost a whole year. You wouldn’t be happy to open it up to find it dirty or full of trash from last summer, would you?

    2. Add a Fuel Stabilizer 

Some experts suggest that you should fill the tank and add a stabilizer to keep from extra condensation forming inside the engine.

    3. Change the Oil 

You’ll want to change the engine oil, and the antifreeze.

Oil

(Photo via www.outboardmotoroilblog.com)

    4. Remove Electronics Including the Battery 

You shouldn’t leave any electronics inside the boat over the winter. If you live somewhere very cold, you may also want to consider removing the battery to keep warm and safe.

    5. Make Repairs

If your boat took on any damage this summer, now is the best time to make repairs. Take the time to fix up any cracks or dings in the hull. This way, it won’t cut into your boating time next year.

    6. Double Check Your Boat Cover 

Your boat cover is the last line of protection from the winter elements. If there are holes or damaged areas, the cover won’t be able to protect your boat.

    7. Do Engine Maintenance 

If there are engine problems, you should think about fixing them sooner rather than later. If you’re hiring someone, this could be their off-season, so you might save money.

    8. Check Tire Pressure on Your boat Trailer 

Your trailer will be holding your boat for the entire season, probably without being moved. Will the tires hold up? They need to.

Boat

(Photo via www.boatgrotto.com)

    9. Find Out When Your Registration Expires 

There would be nothing more disappointing than getting ready to get in the water next year and realizing that your registration expired over the winter.

    10. Rent Outdoor Storage 

You can’t leave your boat in the driveway all year! Outdoor storage is a safe and affordable alternative.

 

Tips for Properly Storing your RV:

  1. Drain All the Tanks

This includes the fresh water holding tank, as well as the black and grey holding tanks.

    2. Drain the Water Heater

Caution: Do not drain when water is hot! Remove the drain plug and open the pressure relief valve.

    3. Remove Food and Supplies

Like the boat, you’ll be leaving this vehicle unmanned for almost a year. Any food left in the RV will become inedible and moldy, and could attract bugs.

Fridge

(Photo via www.americanrvcompany.com)

    4. Shut Down the Refrigerator and Leave the Door Open

Just like when you move homes, you should leave the refrigerator door open to prevent stale air and condensation.

    5. Consider RV-Approvedon-Toxic Anti-Freeze

You don’t want to use toxic anti-freeze because it could poison your water lines. Look into RV-approved brands to keep your pipes safe.

    6. Pressurize the System

Start with the faucet closest to the water pump, and slowly open the hot and then cold valves until the anti-freeze appears.

    7. Cover All External Vents to Prevent Pests

Pests will be looking for a warm home during the winter—don’t let that home be your RV.

    8. Check Roof Condition to Prevent Leaks

Take this time to repair any holes or damages to the roof. You don’t want to come back to find a leaky roof!

RV

(Photo via www.rvupgradestore.com)

    9. Consider a Coat of Wax 

If your RV needs a wax anyway, why not do it now? It will keep the exterior looking brighter by the time next season rolls around. The wax also adds another layer of protection from the weather.

    10. Rent Outdoor Storage

With all of the great things that come along with outdoor storage, why wouldn’t you sign up?

 

For more info on how to prepare your RV for storage, watch our video here:

2 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Brooke McAvoy July 13, 2016 at 2:16 pm -

    My husband and I kept our RV in the garage all through the year last year, and it was pretty much always in the way. I appreciate your tips on why outdoor storage is even better for this type of vehicle than keeping it ourselves, this helps us a lot in making our decision. We will keep your helpful tips in mind and make sure that everything is up to date before taking it out again, and I think we will definitely look into a place to store the RV. Thank you!

  2. James Bergman July 19, 2016 at 3:47 pm -

    I definitely think that it is a good idea to rent outdoor storage for your RV so that it doesn’t take up street or driveway space. However, I would get a cover for the RV if possible. Why waste your nice wax job for the winter? Wax and cover your RV and then it will still look great come spring.