When you do not live in your RV all the time, you run into different challenges than those that do. One of those challenges is storing the RV or trailer for the winter. There is a healthy debate over which is better, storing plugged in or not plugged in
The positive aspect of storing with your RV, etc., plugged in is that you can maintain your batteries and keep them healthy. The positive aspect of storing your RV without electrical power is that you save money. This can be a hard decision to make.
To learn more about this discussion and which is the best way to go, just continue to read our article. It will give you the information you need, as well as the pros and cons so you can make the best decision for your RV storage issue.
- easier to maintain your batteries
- allows for maintenance to be done through the winter months (starting the engine, AC, furnace, etc., because the battery is charged and ready to go
- your RV or trailer is ready to go if you want to use it during one of those storage months
- you can overcharge your battery
- you can undercharge your battery
- parasitic loads can drain your battery of power and ruin it
- temperature changes can affect your battery
- can be very costly
2. Non-electric storage
- you save money on monthly electrical costs
- monthly storage fees may be cheaper
- you can protect your battery better
- parasitic loads won’t be operating while in storage
- while cheaper you have other battery maintenance duties to perform that take time to do
- your RV will not be ready when you decide to use it
- takes time to get the RV ready to go
The advantages of storing your RV plugged in all winter are not as great as one would think. The biggest advantage would be that your electrical systems will be in top shape and ready to go when you are ready to use the RV again.
Another advantage would be convenience. Everything is ready to go and you can plug your power tools into your coach when you want to work on your RV. The majority of concern surrounding this debate is the storage of the batteries.
If you leave your RV plugged in all winter yet have no cover or an insulated building to protect your RV’s electrical system, then you run the risk of damaging the batteries.
When they go dead, you would have to buy more batteries and that can get expensive. The convenience of running your fridge all winter does not outweigh the problems that come with the storage time.
Short-term is okay but long term you really have to weigh the pros and cons beyond how much you will spend or save.
This is a good question and there are many owners who would not store their RVs or trailers without leaving the unit plugged in. One reason they do this is that they want to avoid any damage that can happen when the season turns cold.
It does help you protect your pipes and keep them from freezing as you are able to turn the heat on and leave it on when plugged in. For warmer climates, you can leave the AC unit on to make sure everything stays nice and cool inside and does not suffer from heat damage.
While you can keep your fridge running, the only reason to do that is to relieve you of the duty of moving any left over food to your home. It is not a great reason to plug your RV in all winter but it is a practical one.
Other reasons to plug your RV in would be to have the batteries topped off and be ready when you want to travel, or avoid entering a freezing RV when you want to do some work on it.
The best reason would be if you were going to use your RV as a guest house when relatives arrive for a visit. It does give you some beds and facility options. One might conclude that these are not compelling reasons to pay the extra money.
That is the first reason why many people do not leave their RVs plugged in all winter. The cost can get high as the parasitic loads can cost a lot over time even though they may be small little lights.
Plus, the fridge can run your bill up some as would running the AC or furnace for several months. Next will be the wear and tear on all the features and devices you leave running for several months on end.
Replacing those can be costly as well since it is a needless repair that could have been avoided. Then unplugging your RV means you can disconnect your batteries and move them to a cool but warmer spot where the cold air does not damage them.
Replacing batteries can be costly. If you leave the batteries plugged in and inside your RV you run the risk of damaging them as well. To be fair there are people on both sides of this discussion that have no problems using their preferences.
If you are willing to pay the extra money, then leaving them plugged in is okay. If you do not mind doing the extra maintenance work, then leaving the RV unplugged is okay as well.
There really is no right or wrong answer here. It will depend on what your preference is and if you are willing to pay the costs that come with both options.
One of the challenges in answering this question is knowing where to look. We will get some of the more common search areas out of the way first. Those would be the classified ads.
Local storage facilities will be looking for local owners to use their facilities. The best way to find those owners is to advertise locally in the newspapers, phone books, or classified ad newspapers.
Or you may find them by driving around the city and looking for their business signs. It is a little costly but you get to know where they are at and can see the facilities first hand. With that information, you can decide if you want to use those businesses.
The best way to search for an RV storage facility near you would be to do an internet search. A local search will turn up the best results that are near you. We did a national search and came up with this storage facility database that lists the RV storage businesses in over 4,000 locations.
It covers all 50 states including Hawaii. Also, you can check with U-Haul. They have advertised that they have extra space you can use so talking to them may be a great way to get the right storage facilities in your area.
Their storage buildings can accommodate RVs up to 45 feet long and around 14 feet high. You can look them over at this link. An internet search will be the best way to find a storage facility near you. Then you can contact those businesses to get all the details.
There are a lot of good reasons why you would want to keep your RV at or near your home. But these options may not be the best idea due to neighbors, Housing Associations, and city laws.
Here are some reasons why you should store your RV at an RV storage facility:
1. Avoid legal issues- this includes paying big fines from different authorities that govern your neighborhood or city.
2. Avoid vandalism or theft- you get better security at an RV storage facility, in most cases, thus your RV or trailer will be safe while you are occupied with your normal daily living.
3. Helps maintain RV lifespan- this would depend on what type of storage facility you rent. This won’t happen in an outdoor facility but covered or indoors would protect your RV from UV rays, and other elements that take their toll on these big vehicles or trailers.
4. Extra features- this may include RV wash facilities, 24-hour access, and so on.
5. You save space at your home.
It is a toss-up between storing your RV plugged into electricity or leaving it unplugged. Both have advantages as well as disadvantages and you would have to choose which one out weighs the other.
It is totally up to you which option you take. You have to weigh all sides of the issue and see which one works the best for your RV situation.