Journey with Confidence RV GPS App RV Trip Planner RV LIFE Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Take a Speed Test Free 7 Day Trial ×
 
 


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 11-25-2023, 10:31 PM   #1
New Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: California
Posts: 8
Default Storing your RV

Been doing my research and close to pulling the trigger on purchasing a new
Class B. A total newbie here, but thanks to this and another Class B forum, I am slowly working towards a B.S. in Responsibilities of Van Ownership.

One issue I have not seen addressed is storing your Van. I live in Bay Area, and
my house does not have a garage suitable for an RV, be it 20' or 22'. The temperature rarely goes below freezing even in the winter, but leaving the vehicle out in the elements year round has to create issues. I have plenty of driveway space and could buy a a simple canvas cover or some sort of slip cover for the van, but, just like our housing prices, renting interior RV storage space is a significant expense.

Does it make sense to purchase one of these great toys, only to leave it exposed year round?

Any info or suggestions would be welcomed

Thanks
Estoniankid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2023, 02:17 AM   #2
Platinum Member
 
@Michael's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: MN
Posts: 494
Default

I leave mine out year around in Minnesota weather. Class B's are like trucks, they're made to be left outside.

I suspect though, that the plastic vents up on the roof and perhaps the tires might degrade faster than if stored indoors or under cover.
__________________
2019 Coachmen Crossfit
My Campervan Modifications and Travel Blog
@Michael is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2023, 12:15 PM   #3
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Calif
Posts: 506
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Estoniankid View Post
Been doing my research and close to pulling the trigger on purchasing a new
Class B. A total newbie here, but thanks to this and another Class B forum, I am slowly working towards a B.S. in Responsibilities of Van Ownership.

One issue I have not seen addressed is storing your Van. I live in Bay Area, and
my house does not have a garage suitable for an RV, be it 20' or 22'. The temperature rarely goes below freezing even in the winter, but leaving the vehicle out in the elements year round has to create issues. I have plenty of driveway space and could buy a a simple canvas cover or some sort of slip cover for the van, but, just like our housing prices, renting interior RV storage space is a significant expense.

Does it make sense to purchase one of these great toys, only to leave it exposed year round?

Any info or suggestions would be welcomed

Thanks
I live in Southern California. Have had my PW van for 6 years. Always stored outside without a cover. Yes, the tires deteriorate quicker but I usually change tires by date rather than mileage. I would not recommend covering the vehicle. These vehicles are like cars so proper washing/waxing really is all that is required.
__________________
2016 PW Lexor TS
Rlum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2023, 03:56 PM   #4
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 11,873
Default

I also live in Minnesota and have had several vehicles that were "special purpose" as in only used in the non snow months. Hotrods, the Roadtrek, etc. Of course we also have had daily drivers but they are not what Bs are for most folks.


We have looked at a lot of vans in our travels, and plenty when we were looking for a B in 2006 timeframe, almost all in Minnesota but also in Florida while there on vacation.


In my opinion the vehicles that are stored inside shore much less wear and tear over time. While the paints have gotten better over time, they still oxidize, craze, and sometimes peel topcoat from lots of sun everyday. The plastic part fare even worse with color shifting and getting brittle. If the windows aren't covered the interior will fade and dashes crack also from the sun. Tires as was already mentioned are a known issue.



But the main concern to me, rust, is different depending on where you live. If you live in the desert you probably will never rust outside unless the paint gets too bad from the sun and exposes bare metal. If you live near the ocean the air is salty a considerable distance inland and builds up on the vehicles. Add a bit of rain or condensation and salt water is getting into bad places. They basically rust from the top down more than from the bottom up like northern cars do. Southern cars from humid areas get a lot of condensation so get wet nearly every night, often on the body and underbody and it will also cause rust but again slower than the northern cars and oceanside ones.


Northern cars, if not driven in the salty months, still rust faster than indoor stored ones, from all I have seen. Snow sitting on them and melting over time leaves water in any area it can settle in and be there a long time. Windshield and rear window frames are a common point for this kind of problem. The underbodies don't usually get wet from snow but they still rust from condensation do to where they are. The steel bodies and frames stay cold for a long time after a colder night and the sun will heat the areas around the vehicles and evaporate snow which raises the humidity. That moist air blows underneath and condenses on the cold parts that haven' warmed up yet. I have seen cars that actually had a thick layer of frost on parts of the underbody. For some reason brake rotors tend to rust very quickly and sometimes a lot over a winter of stored outside and will always grind a bunch in spring for a while. This can require sanding the rotors and pads and rebedding the brakes like you would new parts. Inside stored vehicles, unless they see a lot of humid air and temps swings will come out of storage and have clean rotors, or just a haze of rust that isn't usually and issue. Many people with hotrods will put a sheet of plastic under the vehicle to keep moisture from coming up form the ground or garage floor and condensing on the vehicle indoors.



Covers are not a perfect solution, IMO, as they can flap and wear on the paint and plastic and they can also be a trap for moisture and make it hard difficult to have that condensation dry out. They work well to keep rain, snow, sap, etc, off, though, and also prevent sun and acid rain damage.


Indoors is best, but often not easy to do or cheap if you can manage to find storage. Carports can be a decent compromise solution, though, in many parts of the country.
booster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2023, 04:29 PM   #5
Platinum Member
 
mloganusda's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Smyrna, TN
Posts: 566
Default

Will the city let you have a free-standing carport in your driveway?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_20230210_074427_tmp.jpg (377.6 KB, 5 views)
mloganusda is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2023, 07:55 PM   #6
New Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: California
Posts: 8
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mloganusda View Post
Will the city let you have a free-standing carport in your driveway?
I would love to do just what you showed what you are doing for storage, but alas, banned by the evil City.
Estoniankid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2023, 11:41 PM   #7
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: Washington
Posts: 242
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Estoniankid View Post
Does it make sense to purchase one of these great toys, only to leave it exposed year round?
If I knew I had to leave it outside year round, I wouldn't buy a new one. The new ones are insanely expensive, and it seems they ought to be stored indoors, at least until they get dinged up a little! Besides, many of the older vans are better built than the new ones, have better interior layouts, and of course cost much less.
N147JK is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2023, 12:08 AM   #8
Site Team
 
avanti's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 5,312
Default

Chalk me up to the "outside is fine" column. I have owned three vans over 18 years, and they have all spent their entire lives stored outdoors. My rustprone 2004-T1N-based Airstream Interstate may have had its typical rust accelerated a bit, but our last rig never showed any sign whatsoever of exterior damage. And, I don't believe in wax, either. Modern metallurgy and paints are miraculous. Wisdom inherited from pervious decades just doesn't always apply any more.

There WAS a bit of sun damage to the upholstery, so I have become a convert of always keeping the windows blocked. And, there is no doubt that sun exposure can shorten tire lifetime of your tires, so if that is an issue for you, you might consider tire covers. But I agree with others that a whole-van cover is a bad idea.
__________________
Now: 2022 Fully-custom buildout (Ford Transit EcoBoost AWD)
Formerly: 2005 Airstream Interstate (Sprinter 2500 T1N)
2014 Great West Vans Legend SE (Sprinter 3500 NCV3 I4)
avanti is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2023, 12:18 AM   #9
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 11,873
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by avanti View Post
Chalk me up to the "outside is fine" column. I have owned three vans over 18 years, and they have all spent their entire lives stored outdoors. My rustprone 2004-T1N-based Airstream Interstate may have had its typical rust accelerated a bit, but our last rig never showed any sign whatsoever of exterior damage. And, I don't believe in wax, either. Modern metallurgy and paints are miraculous. Wisdom inherited from pervious decades just doesn't always apply any more.

There WAS a bit of sun damage to the upholstery, so I have become a convert of always keeping the windows blocked. And, there is no doubt that sun exposure can shorten tire lifetime of your tires, so if that is an issue for you, you might consider tire covers. But I agree with others that a whole-van cover is a bad idea.

I understand your experience and I would probably be closer to agreeing if the vans many are talking about were only 11 and 8 years old like yours were. Ours is currently 15 and we are keeping in much longer if we are able. When you start looking at older vans, say over 10 years old, depending on the van manufacturer and builder, and location probably, outside vs inside gets pretty evident IMO. Lots of people are coming on the forums and asking about 20 year old vans regularly that they may buy.
booster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2023, 12:40 AM   #10
Site Team
 
avanti's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 5,312
Default

Fair enough.

I suppose the "cutoff date" varies by marque and by upfitter. I will say that no vehicle I have owned that was built in the 21st Century has had a rust or paint issue (and I live in a very rust-prone area); the exception being the T1N Sprinter which rusted everywhere that Airstream drilled a hole.

It is probably true that vans have tended to trail passenger cars in this regard. Plus, many upfitters do an awful job at rust prevention. Wouldn't it be great to have a database of real-life experience with vans of various ages and pedigrees?
__________________
Now: 2022 Fully-custom buildout (Ford Transit EcoBoost AWD)
Formerly: 2005 Airstream Interstate (Sprinter 2500 T1N)
2014 Great West Vans Legend SE (Sprinter 3500 NCV3 I4)
avanti is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2023, 12:44 AM   #11
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 11,873
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by avanti View Post
Fair enough.

I suppose the "cutoff date" varies by marque and by upfitter. I will say that no vehicle I have owned that was built in the 21st Century has had a rust or paint issue (and I live in a very rust-prone area); the exception being the T1N Sprinter which rusted everywhere that Airstream drilled a hole.

It is probably true that vans have tended to trail passenger cars in this regard. Plus, many upfitters do an awful job at rust prevention. Wouldn't it be great to have a database of real-life experience with vans of various ages and pedigrees?

That would be a very useful database to have for a lot of people. Now all we can do is live on personal experience and what we read on the forums so very limited information.


My personal observation has been that by about 15-20 years ago the rust issues had been beaten back by a whole lot by almost all the manufacturers, but lately in has come back badly, primarily on frame and suspension parts. My guess is that the use of more high strength steels for the stressed parts so they can be made lighter and thinner is causing a lot of the issue. High strength steels tend to rust easier and faster from what I have read and thinner is gone faster. I see way more cars up here in Minnesota that are rusty now compared to 15 years ago. Craigslist is full of them with rust and bad frames or rear suspension and engine cradle/crossmembers in the front.
booster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2023, 01:47 AM   #12
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 921
Default

My PM has spent more than ten years outside in every condition from hot desert to cold and rainy. Not a speck of rust. When I wash it, the paint could pass for new except for the parking lot dings. Plastic is showing some age, but still looks OK. Tires get worn out every couple years. Interior is like new.
__________________
2014 Promaster 136" Self-Build

Build Site: msnomersvan.wordpress.com
Travel Site: woodworkingtraveler.wordpress.com
MsNomer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2023, 05:03 AM   #13
New Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: California
Posts: 8
Default

I have read anecdotal accounts of rodent intrusion while stored.

Anyone engage in any practices to prevent that from occurring, or
is that a result of a lightly used vehicle?
Estoniankid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2023, 02:02 PM   #14
Platinum Member
 
Davydd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 5,958
Default

I have stored outside 11 years in one of the harshest climates and inside in a heated space for the past 6 years. I can tell you without a doubt inside is better. Outside was in snow and cold over -20 degrees and I had lithium batteries for four of those years. I don't need to winterize and I can work on my van at any time inside. That is the benefit.
__________________
Davydd
2021 Advanced RV 144 custom Sprinter
2015 Advanced RV Extended body Sprinter
2011 Great West Van Legend Sprinter
2005 Pleasure-way Plateau TS Sprinter
Davydd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2023, 06:14 PM   #15
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 921
Default

More a matter of opportunity. Our van rarely sits for more than a week anywhere. We have had 6 mouse incidents, one marmot who actually went for a short ride under the hood, and the cutest pica building a firewall insulation nest on the engine in full daylight while we were nearby. Fortunately, no wire damage yet.
__________________
2014 Promaster 136" Self-Build

Build Site: msnomersvan.wordpress.com
Travel Site: woodworkingtraveler.wordpress.com
MsNomer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-28-2023, 03:29 PM   #16
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2022
Location: Florida
Posts: 174
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by MsNomer View Post
My PM has spent more than ten years outside in every condition from hot desert to cold and rainy. Not a speck of rust. When I wash it, the paint could pass for new except for the parking lot dings. Plastic is showing some age, but still looks OK. Tires get worn out every couple years. Interior is like new.
How does the undercarriage look?
__________________
2002 Chevy Roadtrek 190V
https://www.roadtrek190.com
KurtFranz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-28-2023, 04:18 PM   #17
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 477
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Davydd View Post
Outside was in snow and cold over -20 degrees and I had lithium batteries for four of those years.
Lithium batteries is the other issue. I have an indoor but unheated storage space in a cold climate (Wisconsin). I am reluctant to spend the money on lithium batteries with frequent temperature well below freezing and well below zero. I don't want to have to pull my batteries out every winter.
jrobe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-28-2023, 04:34 PM   #18
Site Team
 
avanti's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 5,312
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jrobe View Post
Lithium batteries is the other issue. I have an indoor but unheated storage space in a cold climate (Wisconsin). I am reluctant to spend the money on lithium batteries with frequent temperature well below freezing and well below zero. I don't want to have to pull my batteries out every winter.
Yep. Sub-zero temperatures are the achilles heel of lithium. Below freezing is just an inconvenience; below zero is potentially fatal. If you are going with lithium, you have four options:
1) Heated storage for the vehicle.
2) Taking the batteries inside every winter.
3) Reliable shore power plus battery heaters.
4) A van control system adequate for dealing with sub-zero events -- likely including remote start.

I am counting on a combination of #3 and #4.
__________________
Now: 2022 Fully-custom buildout (Ford Transit EcoBoost AWD)
Formerly: 2005 Airstream Interstate (Sprinter 2500 T1N)
2014 Great West Vans Legend SE (Sprinter 3500 NCV3 I4)
avanti is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-28-2023, 04:38 PM   #19
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 11,873
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by avanti View Post
Yep. Sub-zero temperatures are the achilles heel of lithium. Below freezing is just an inconvenience; below zero is potentially fatal. If you are going with lithium, you have four options:
1) Heated storage for the vehicle.
2) Taking the batteries inside every winter.
3) Reliable shore power plus battery heaters.
4) A van control system adequate for dealing with sub-zero events -- likely including remote start.

I am counting on a combination of #3 and #4.

Agree, and we are counting on #1.
booster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-28-2023, 05:57 PM   #20
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 11,873
Default

This type of discussion always brings up a question to that generates from (too) many years of dealing with manufacturing processes at work.


Seldom, if ever, have I seen a temp rating for products and/or processes that is at sharp cutoffs when you look at the raw testing data which you can sometimes get from the manufacturers. It is almost always a curve of most any shape you can think of. This is especially true if the temp limit points just happen to hit easy to remember temps like boiling, freezing, simple numbers.


In the case of where lithium issues happen those points are coincidentally(?) 0C and -20C which fits the profile.


I would bet quite heavily that if someone actually published a damage done/life vs temperature graph we would see a curve, not a cutoff. There would be two different graphs, one for charging and one for storage.


I think we would see the start points for damage starting quite a bit higher than 0 and -20 and probably get steeper as they go lower.



Picking the right point for the spec is likely a best guess of life vs use and also sales potential.


I hope nobody figures they are safe at -19C and +1C as those temps are within a tiny amount of the spec ones, and most likely so is the damage.


Of course, there is also the possibility that the specs have a safety cushion on them like some products like most bearings do for temp, but I doubt that applies to the very competitive battery market much except for dangerous failures.
booster is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT. The time now is 09:43 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2024, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.