How to Prevent Mold and Mildew in Your RV During Storage

Storing an RV for the off-season is a common practice among recreational vehicle enthusiasts, but it can come with some frustrating consequences if not done properly. Mold and mildew are the nemeses of many RV owners, lurking in the corners and taking over in damp, dark spaces. Not only are they unsightly, but they can also cause health problems and a musty smell that is difficult to eliminate. Here’s how to prevent mold and mildew while your RV is in storage:

1. Thoroughly Clean Your RV Before Storage

Begin your mold prevention strategy with a clean slate. Vacuum all carpets, upholstery, and mattresses, and wipe down all surfaces with an anti-bacterial cleaner. Make sure to clean in hidden areas and under furniture.

2. Ensure Your RV Is Dry

Don’t put your recreational vehicle into storage if it’s wet. Check for any leaks, and repair them before you store your RV. After cleaning, allow the interior to dry completely before locking everything up.

3. Use Moisture Absorbers

Place moisture absorbers or desiccants, such as silica gel packs or commercially available moisture-trapping products, throughout your RV. They’ll help to keep the air dry and are especially useful in spaces prone to dampness, like cabinets and closets.

4. Maintain Air Circulation

Where possible, leave doors, drawers, and cabinets open to allow air to circulate. If your storage facility allows it, slightly opening a roof vent can also promote air movement and reduce condensation.

5. Use a Dehumidifier

If your RV will be stored in an area where electricity is available, use a dehumidifier to keep humidity levels down. Remember to check the water collection reservoir periodically or set up a continuous drainage system if possible.

6. Install Vent Covers

Vent covers can be installed on the outside of the RV, allowing top vents to remain open without the risk of rainwater entering. This is a great way to encourage air flow without worrying about water damage.

7. Apply Mildew-Resistant Coatings

Use mildew-resistant sprays on curtains, fabric, and other susceptible materials in your RV. These products can create a protective barrier against mold and mildew growth.

8. Consider an RV Cover

Use a breathable RV cover to protect against water, dirt, and debris. However, be certain the cover is breathable to prevent trapped moisture — the perfect breeding ground for mold.

9. Control Indoor Temperature

If you can control the temperature within your RV while it’s stored, keep it at a level where humidity is minimal. This usually means keeping the interior cool.

10. Regularly Inspect Your RV

Don’t just lock your RV and forget about it until next season. Periodically check on your RV to catch any signs of mold or mildew early, and to ensure all preventative measures are still in place.

Taking these steps can go a long way to ensure that when you’re ready to hit the road again, you’ll be greeted by a fresh and clean RV, not a moldy mess. Don’t skimp on proper storage preparation — your future self will thank you for the extra effort!