How to Prepare Your Boat or RV for Summer

A blue boat on the lake.

Now that the air is finally warming up, you might be anxious to head over to your storage unit and get your boat or RV de-winterized and ready for some summer fun! But there are a few steps you should take before hitting the high seas or the open roads. The last thing you want is to be all ready for a fun day, only to be disappointed when an engine fails or something else thwarts your plan.

De-Winterize Your Boat or RV

Of course, you should always consult your owner’s manual if you aren’t sure where to begin, but in general, here are just a few tips for taking your boat or RV out of storage to get them ready for the summer:

Boat Storage Removal

The first step in removing your boat from storage is to take the cover off and give it a visual inspection. Check for things like dents, scratches, cracks in the hull or loose rivets, and make a note of any repair work that will be needed. Also check the screws, bolts and fittings to make sure they are properly tightened and secure.

After giving it a good once-over, it’s time for a thorough cleaning. You can use a scrub brush with a long handle to wash the entire boat completely, then dry it with absorbent towels. After the exterior is clean, apply a fresh layer of wax to protect the surface from UV damage. You’ll also want to wipe down the interior, cleaning the upholstery, vinyl, windows and chrome.

Once it’s clean, some other general maintenance to remember to perform includes checking the oil, power steering, the distributor, any belts, and the electronics to make sure everything is in proper working order. Don’t forget to inspect the safety equipment, too, like the signaling devices, first aid supplies, life preservers and fire extinguishers.

RV Storage Removal

Just like a boat, your RV should’ve been protected with a cover as it sat on the self storage facility lot over the winter months. You may have also covered the wheels and vents with special covers. Now is the time to remove all those covers and get your RV out of hibernation.

After the covers have been removed, check your house or engine starting batteries and give them a good charge. While batteries are charging up, check the inflation of the tires and open up the hood so you can inspect all the fluid levels. Give the entire exterior a thorough cleaning.

Then, head inside, opening up windows to let in some fresh air. Wipe down all the surfaces and check all the storage compartments and look for any signs of leaks in the roof. Fire up the engine and test the headlights, brake lights and turn signals.

After you’ve followed the instructions in your manual and all systems are a go- you have water, propane and electricity up and running- test your appliances to make sure those are in proper working order, too. Light the water heater, turn on the air conditioner or furnace, and test out the electronics like your TV or radio.

Now you’re ready to put those summer toys to use for the next several months! Don’t forget, many of our National Storage locations offer convenient boat storage and RV storage all year long for peace of mind that your belongings will stay safe and secure whenever they aren’t being used.

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