Summer is prime time for family camping, whether that’s within a tent or in an RV. However, once the air begins to turn chilly, it’s time to store away that summer camping equipment until spring. Let’s take a look at some of the things you’ll need to do to safely store your camping stuff over the winter.
Keep It Dry
Moisture is just what mold and mildew needs to grow. Before you store away your tent, awnings, or camp chairs, make sure they are completely clean and dry. Also, be sure to store your tent in a plastic bin to keep it dry and safe from rodents. In fact, storing your unused camping equipment in stackable, plastic bins not only keeps it all clean and dry, but also optimizes your storage space.
If you camp with a motorhome or trailer, you’ll need to winterize it before putting it into RV storage. For the most part, winterizing an RV entails completely draining the tanks and water lines, and injecting a non-toxic antifreeze into the lines. Be sure to only use an antifreeze specifically made for winterizing an RV; car antifreeze is highly toxic.
You’ll also need to disconnect the house batteries while in storage, this will prevent your batteries from completely draining from small things like the propane detector. Disconnecting a motorhome’s engine battery can also help deter theft. Also, plug any openings to the outside, such as where the electrical cord comes in, with steel wool, to keep out any rodents.
Finally, if you can’t store your RV at home, you’ll need to find a secure RV storage facility. Look for one with 24-hour surveillance. If you are storing a travel trailer, be sure to put a hitch lock on it to help prevent theft.
Hang Sleeping Bags and Backpacks
Rather than stuffing your sleeping bag and backpack into a plastic bin, consider hanging them up in a closet. You can even hang them from the rafters of your garage or attic. Hanging them up will help keep them dry and smelling fresh.
Drain the Fuel From Your Camp Stove
If your camp stove uses white gas or some other liquid fuel, be sure to drain it out or use it up before storing it. Also, carefully store any unused canisters of liquid fuel safely. Be sure the lid is screwed on tightly, and put it away in a cool, quiet place.
Like camping gear, your storage solutions are unique to you. You know what works best for you, but keeping things clean, dry, and pest-free is the main goal over the winter.