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As spring and summer start to approach, many people start to think about camping. The truth is that RV camping is much different than tent camping. This means even if you are a seasoned hiker or tent camper, there are a few RV camping tips you should know!

With that being said, your RV camping trip can be ruined just as easily if you’re not well prepared. Whether you are going on vacation or a short weekend trip, or if you’re going to start RVing full-time, being prepared is critical.

It can save you time, money, and just make your trip around much better and stress-free. With that being said, let’s get started and talk about the best 10 RV camping tips for beginners!

1. Learn About RV Types

One of the most important things you can do as an RV beginner is learn about the different types of RVs. There are so many different types, brands, and models that it can be overwhelming. Once you know which type of RV you will be using, it will be much easier to book campsites, plan your trip, and drive your rig safely.

There are 4 main types of motorized RVs:

  • Class A Motorhomes: These are shaped like a bus and about 30-45 feet long
  • Class B & B+ Motorhomes: Campers with good amenities and around 18-28 long long
  • Class C Motorhomes: These are larger than campers and range from 25-35 feet long
  • Converted Camper Vans: These are like Class B but often have fewer amenities and can range from 10-30 feet long

On top of the motorized RVs, there are also towable options:

  • 5th wheel campers
  • Travel trailers
  • Truck campers
  • Pop up campers
  • Toy haulers (for hauling your toys, such as ATVs, four-wheelers, etc.)

If you haven’t already bought your RV, it’s important to research each one of these to find out which one will best suit your needs. Each of them has its advantages and disadvantages. So you’ll need to weigh those depending on how you want to go RV camping.

Once you choose one or if you already own it, you should spend some time learning the ins and outs of it. Practice driving it in a big parking lot until you’re comfortable with it. Doing this will ensure that you don’t have any hiccups when trying to park and set up your RV once you get to your destination.

2. Perform a Walk Around

Regardless of what type of RV you are using, you should always perform a walk around before driving it. This tip is especially important if you own your RV because this will spot any issues that might break down or cause problems down the road.

As soon as you turn on your RV’s engine, start doing a walk around outside. Make sure everything is where it should be (such as axle caps and fenders). Then look for small issues like cracks in the walls, corrosion on metal surfaces, smoke coming from the tailpipe, etc.

Finally, check all of your tires to make sure they have enough air pressure and no slits or cracks along their sides. Simple RV maintenance and small tasks like this can save you from some major headaches and costly repairs. Think about doing a before and after checklist. 

3. Confirm Your Towing Capabilities

Depending on the type of RV you have, your towing capabilities might vary. That means it’s important to know how much you’re allowed to tow. In some cases, a certain vehicle can’t even tow an RV at all.

If you don’t know where to find this information, then check your owner’s manual or look online under its specifications page. A quick Google search will bring up some information related to your RV and your vehicle’s towing capabilities.

Make sure that the vehicle in question is capable of pulling the weight you need it to pull. If not, get rid of your current rig and upgrade or trade it in for something better. You want to make sure everything will be safe while driving and especially while parked.

This is not something to take lightly. It can not only become a costly accident but also is very dangerous, as well as against the law.

4. Make a Checklist

As a new RV camper, it’s important to make a checklist of the essentials you’ll need for your trip. This way, you won’t forget anything and you can be better prepared.

Start by making a packing list of all the items you’ll need while on the road. This should include everything from clothes to food to camping gear. It’s also helpful to have a specific first-aid kit for any unexpected emergencies. You’ll also want to make a separate list for the RV needs!

Next, make a pre-trip checklist of all the things you need to do before hitting the road. This includes packing, checking fluid levels, topping off batteries, etc. All in all, you should have three prepared lists:

  • Packing list
  • RV List
  • Things to Do

The last list will ensure that you don’t forget to turn off lights or water at your apartment or home. Something like that can cause higher bills or damage. With a simple list, you won’t miss anything and won’t have to stress about it while camping.

5. Research Your RV Parks

The next tip is to research your RV parks. This will ensure that you know the rules, amenities, and anything else essential for a pleasant stay.

Picking an RV park could be difficult when you don’t know what each one offers. But if you spend some time reading reviews, checking prices, and seeing if it’s a full hookup or basic site, then it’ll help a lot!

Once you pick a place to camp, be sure to double-check it has everything you want as well as its availability.

Whether you are looking for RV sites in Washington or anywhere else in the U.S., here are a few resources to take advantage of:

Google Maps:

In Google maps, you can use the satellite view and street view. This will allow you to what it looks like from a bird’s view or street view. This can save you from going places that your RV wouldn’t fit or be capable of driving to.

Reviews Checker:

For more information on the park’s amenities, safety and security, see for reviews from previous campers. You’ll get the lowdown on the park and its surroundings as well as the management and condition of the facilities. Google and Allstays can provide good reviews as well.

Research Parking and Surrounding Areas

Another thing to research is the surrounding areas. This includes what type of shopping is available, both near and far from the RV park.

You’ll also want to know if there are any spots near the park where you can safely and easily park your RV. More often than not, RV parks have designated spots for their guests, but the rest of town may not.

Finding parking can be one of the most difficult and stressful things when traveling in your RV. As always, it’s best to do your due diligence and research ahead of time so you’re not left stranded or frustrated while on vacation.

6. Go for a Practice Trip

Another RV camping tip is to go on a practice trip first. This will give you the freedom to test out all of your systems and check for any problems before you decide to camp with it.

We would suggest going somewhere where you can park overnight for free or cheap. Something like a Walmart parking lot is perfect because there are usually no issues staying overnight outside of their parking lots. If your new RV has everything you need, then this should be really close to how it’ll feel when camping in full swing!

Make sure to use your checklist on this too, as this can help you iron out anything you may not need or forget about.

7. Less Is More

This is an important tip when it comes to camping. The less you bring, the better. You’ll be amazed at how much space and weight you can save while packing your RV with things for your trip.

As mentioned before, make a list of what you need for your first trip and pack only the essentials. Then if you find out you need something else on the road, then that’s okay too; it’s easy to pick up little items here or there.

You won’t be tent camping out in the middle of nowhere, so a quick trip into town is fine for something small. RVs don’t have a ton of room, so you don’t want to bring everything from the house with you. 

Less clutter means less stress!

8. Setting Up Your RV Spot

Our next tip is about setting up your RV spot. To do this, you’ll need a level surface and enough distance from your neighbors for some breathing space, as well as a few other things.

Most campgrounds will have a map of their website which will show the specific dimensions of each site. This should include where utility hookups are located if there’s a paved pad or gravel area, and any trees or other obstacles that may affect your set-up.

This can help you decide how to get into and out of the campsite as well as where to put certain things. Here are a few things to keep in mind for beginners and veterans:

  • Always make sure to arrive with at least 2 hours of daylight left. That way, you’re not setting up in the dark. This tip goes for breaking down the campsite as well.
  • When you get there, make sure to disconnect your two vehicles, unless you’re staying for one night and won’t need it.
  • Check for obstructions before backing in. It helps to have someone get out and watch for you if you have a partner camper.
  • Think about any slideouts that your RV has for your outdoor seating. Make sure to leave enough room for these when parking.
  • Use your blocks to level out your RV when you get there.
  • If the weather is bad or going to be bad when you go to sleep, make sure to break down your outside stuff or strap it down.

Some of these may seem like simple RV camping tips for beginners, but even a seasoned camper can forget. Always keep these in mind!

9. Take Your Time

This can be hard for some, but you’ll enjoy the experience more if you slow down and take everything in! Whether you are going RV beach camping or just up the road to an RV park, take your time. RVing is not a race.

Take your time driving, especially in hilly or curvy areas. You should also keep your speed around 10 MPH slower than normal to make sure that your tires (and other drivers) are safe.

Your vehicle is much heavier and takes longer to stop, and you have a lot more belonging inside. You don’t want to take those curves or slopes fast.

Because of these, you should also try to stay in the far right lane. Only get over to make your turns or pass another vehicle on the road.

Make sure to stop at different places along the way, don’t drive straight through if you’re not in a rush. As mentioned before, aim to arrive at least two hours before sun-down so that you can get yourself set up and moved into your site without having to do it all in the dark.

Part of RV camping tips for beginners is knowing when to go, and when not to go. If the weather is bad, stay home rather than going out there and having a terrible time. You’ll always feel better about yourself if you make it another time as opposed to putting yourself or others in danger.

10. Make Reservations in Advance

We mentioned before to do your research on the RV parks as well as the availability, but you also need to ensure you book well in advance. People travel in the spring and summer the most. There are, of course, other popular times depending on locations, so if you see a place you want to stay at, don’t wait too long to go ahead and book it.

If it’s at a state park or national forest, call early in the morning when they open or reserve online well in advance. Many of your major state and national parks can be booked out over a year in advance. So the sooner you look, the better.

If you see one that only has a few left, make sure you book right then.

If there is no availability for your ideal time, don’t fret. With many parks having an overflow section as well as numerous choices for rentals, there is always something that will work for everyone.

Alternative Parking for RV

If you can’t find an RV park that suits your needs in a certain area, or if there just is no availability, don’t stress. You do have a couple more options.

There are several different apps and websites that can help you out and get you parked. Anywhere from a day to a few months, these resources can help you out:

Boondocker’s Welcome

Boondocker’s Welcome is a platform that provides its members with opportunities to stay for free at a variety of locations. These spots are often provided by the members themselves and are typically located on their private property. There are also designated areas for Boondocker’s Welcome that offer hookups for water and electricity.

The membership fee is $50 per year and provides access to a map of all the participating locations as well as the ability to join in on social media groups with other members. If you are ever in need of help while traveling, you can also reach out to other members for assistance.

Harvest Hosts

Harvest Hosts is a membership program that is similar to Boondockers Welcome. It connects you to a network of wineries, farms, breweries, museums, and other interesting sites that encourage self-contained RVers to stop by and stay the night.

You can join the Harvest Hosts program for relatively cheap. The membership is right around $90 per year and members have access to a map of all participating locations.

Members can also join in on social media groups with other members for support while traveling.

If you are self-contained (don’t need hookups), then Harvest Hosts is a great way to find alternative parking for your RV.

Bonus Tip: What to Do When Your Not Camping

We’ve got a bonus tip for you since you may not always be camping in your RV. So, what do you do with it after your trip?

When you’re not using your RV, it’s important to properly store everything. This will help keep your RV in good condition and prevent any unnecessary damage.

Here are a few tips on how to properly store your RV:

1. Clean It Out

The first step is to clean out your RV. This includes sweeping, wiping down surfaces, and emptying all of the cabinets and drawers. This will help get rid of any pests or rodents that may be living inside.

2. Cover the Roof

If you live in a hot climate, then you’ll want to cover the roof of your RV. This will help prevent any sun damage or heat buildup in your RV. You can either purchase a special tarp made for roofs or use a large sheet.

3. Store Valuable Items

If you have any items that are highly valuable, then you’ll want to store them safely away when your RV is not in use. You can keep these items in storage containers or wrapped up securely somewhere else.

5. Turn Off All Appliances & Electronics

Make sure all appliances and electronics are turned off before storing them away. If they are on (because you’re using solar), they could cause power problems when being stored, which may result in damage.

6. Keep It Clean and Wash it Down

When you’re done camping, it’s important to wash the outside of your RV. This will help get rid of any grime build-up and prevent any damage.

You can use a hose and some soap to do this. Be sure to rinse off all the soap afterward.

Use an RV Storage Unit

If you’re not able to park your RV at your home, then you’ll need to use a storage unit. This is the best way to protect your RV from the weather and any other elements that may damage it.

Many RV storage facilities will offer both covered and uncovered spots. So if you’re not worried about sun damage and want to save, they’ll have an option for you.

When looking for a storage unit, be sure to find one that has good reviews!

RV Camping Tips For Beginners

RV camping can be a lot of fun, but it’s important to know what you’re doing before hitting the open road. In this article, we’ve provided some of the most important RV camping tips for beginners that will help make your trip flawless.

By implementing all of these tips, you’ll be sure to have an epic adventure! We hope you find these tips helpful and enjoy your next RV camping trip. If you need help finding storage for your RV or want to speak with one of our helpful staff, contact us today.

There are 300,000 items in the average American home. That’s a lot of stuff! How does your home compare? 

If you’re anywhere even close to that number, it’s likely that you don’t exactly have the space for all of your things. They may be taking up valuable space in your garage, attic, basement, and closets and making everything look cluttered. 

There’s a better solution. You don’t have to get rid of everything to declutter your home. Instead, try secure self-storage.

We’re here to talk all about secure self-storage so you can make an informed choice. Read on to learn more. 

1. Self-Storage is Convenient

One of the best things about secure self-storage is its convenience and flexibility. 

When you rent a secure space in a self-storage facility, you can use it whenever you need it (generally speaking). If you need to store or retrieve something late at night or early in the morning, you won’t have a problem doing so. This is great for people who are in school or who work odd hours. 

Self-storage is also convenient for a wide variety of storage needs.

If you’re storing normal household items, small self-storage units are perfect for you. You can get self-storage units as small as 10×10.

If you’re storing large items or even an entire apartment’s worth of items, larger units are also available. You can get self-storage units that are as large as 10×40. 

You get to decide how much space you need, and you can choose the self-storage unit that’s right for you. If you realize you need more space down the line, it’s easy to move your belongings into another larger unit at the secured self-storage facility. 

2. You’ll Save Space at Home

Is your home feeling a bit cramped? 

Perhaps you’ve moved from a large home into a small apartment (or a smaller home). Maybe you’ve recently made some major purchases, but you haven’t had time to get rid of your old belongings yet. 

Regardless of why you need to clear out some space, a secure self-storage facility is a perfect way to do that. It’s time to get all of those things out of your attic or garage and into a safe and secure self-storage unit. 

It’s also great for freeing up space that’s been taken up by seasonal items.

Do you love decorating for the holidays? Well, for eleven months out of the year, those holiday decorations are just taking up space in your home. Who has room for Christmas trees, inflatable decor items, and countless lights?

With a secure self-storage unit, you can tuck all of those things away until they’re seasonally appropriate again. Wouldn’t it be nice to have space in your home for other things? 

This also helps you keep those items organized. When they’re not all stuffed into any spare corner in your home, you can make sure they’re all in order. Nothing will be crushed up above a garage door or in the dark corner of an unused closet!

3. Your Belongings Will Be Safe

Some people worry about storing their belongings outside of their homes because they can’t keep an eye on them. Don’t worry. There’s security in self-storage facilities, and your items will be protected. 

Self-storage facilities are locked up tight, so the only person who’s able to access your belongings is you. The facility has a top-notch security system in place, so you don’t have to worry. No one who doesn’t have items in the storage facility can enter unless they’re with a tenant.

Dangerous items, like hazardous waste, chemicals, and heavily flammable items, aren’t permitted in the storage facility, so you also don’t have to worry about other tenants causing serious damage. 

4. You May Save Money 

Storage units are fairly inexpensive, so depending on your situation, you may find yourself saving money by putting your belongings in one.

If you’re moving into a new space, you may not have enough money for a home that fits all of your belongings. You don’t have to get rid of all of your things, however. You can rent a storage unit for a much lower cost than renting a larger living space. 

5. It’s Great for Temporary Storage Needs 

When you rent a storage unit, it’s generally on a month-to-month basis. Many people love this flexibility. While some people need storage units long-term, self-storage is actually perfect for short-term use.

Let’s say you need to move to a new city for work. In the city, the housing market is incredibly tight, and you’re not super familiar with the area. Because of that, you’re going to be renting a short-term rental or staying in hotels until you’re able to find your own long-term home.  

What will you do with your belongings? Moving them from one short-term spot to the next is a pain (not to mention expensive), but you don’t want to get rid of them. 

A storage unit is a perfect solution. You can put all of your belongings in the storage unit either in your current city or your destination city and get them when you have a permanent home. 

Do You Need a Secure Self-Storage Unit? 

There are so many benefits to renting a secure self-storage unit. They’re cost-effective, they’re great for short-term storage needs, you’ll know that your belongings are safe and sound, and you’ll save space at home. What’s not to love?

If you have excess things around the house, move them into a self-storage facility like Ideal Storage!

Learn more about your various storage options, or visit us today to get your own storage unit. 

There’s nothing like cruising down the highway in your RV knowing that you’ll soon arrive at an idyllic vacation spot. Planning an RV road trip is a way to get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life for a while and enjoy the great outdoors. If this has got you daydreaming about your own RV road trip ideas, we get it. To help you pick the perfect getaway, check out these ten amazing RV vacation destinations.

1. South Padre Island

South Padre Island is a barrier island situated off Texas’ southern coast. The island has miles of beautiful beaches and family campgrounds where you can roll up and park your RV for a while!

Where to Stay

The best campground for RVers is Isla Blanca Park. This RV park gives you access to both green spaces and to the beach, meaning you get the best of both worlds!

Things to Do

There are tons of things to do in South Padre Island, which is why it’s such a popular vacation spot. For one, there are tons of fishing opportunities. You can either set up your reel on the seashore or can book a deep-sea fishing trip.

If you’d rather get out on the water for the day, take a dolphin-watching tour. These cheerful animals love to splash in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, making it a great place for you to see these creatures.

You can also try some thrilling activities such as parasailing, visiting one of the many local waterparks, or trying your hand at riding a jetski! No matter what activity you choose, you’ll love everything the area has to offer.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit this RV destination is between September and February. In March, Spring Breakers take over the island, making it a rowdy party town rather than an idyllic getaway. Plus, during the winter months, the temperatures sit at a comfortable 70ºF.

2. Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park is a travel destination that should be on everyone’s bucket list. This incredible natural wonder is a place where you can watch Geysers shoot boiling hot water out of the earth.

This national park is located in Wyoming and spans hundreds of miles. It’s the perfect place to visit if you love hiking and checking out what our beautiful planet has to offer.

Where to Stay

Yellowstone National Park has on-site RV pull-ups. There are pull-ups with electric and sewer plugins, making it easier than ever for you to have a comfortable getaway.

Things to Do

During your visit to Yellowstone, there are a few must-see and do activities to check out. For one, swing by Old Faithful, the oldest geyser in the park.

You’ll also want to take the time to head over to the Grand Prismatic Hot Spring. This huge, colorful pool takes up about as much space as a football field!

If you don’t want to spend all your time at the Geysers, you can go hiking and rafting nearby. Near the entrance to the park, you’ll find white water rafting excursions which are a great add-on to your vacation!

Finally, don’t forget to go to a rodeo. This park is located in cowboy country, and you can head into the nearby towns to watch rodeos take place.

Best Time to Visit

October, September, and April are ideal months for visiting Yellowstone. These months are considered part of the off-season, which means you can steer clear of the huge flocks of tourists that this park attracts.

3. Vicksburg

People who love history and Southern hospitality will find Vicksburg a great place to visit. This historic town is home to old battlegrounds and war memorials where you can learn about the history of our nation.

Vicksburg is located in Mississippi. It’s close enough to town for you to enjoy spending a day at the local casinos or nightlife while far enough out for you to feel like you’re in the wilderness.

Where to Stay

There are tons of RV parks in Vicksburg, but the Ameristar RV Park is a great place to stay. There are limited sites, however, so make sure to arrive early to secure a parking spot.

Things to Do

You’ve got to head to the Vicksburg National Military Park while staying in the area. This park gives you the chance to wander through a historic Civil War site and learn about the history of this gruesome battle.

There’s also a national cemetery in this park. It’s a great place to wander around and check out so that you can learn about the many people that gave their lives to defend our nation.

Another great site to see in the area is the USS Cairo Museum. This museum lets you observe and board an old warship. There are tons of artifacts and weapons that experts rescued from this boat, making it a fun place for history buffs to hang out.

There’s even more history in the town surrounding this area, too. Take a tour of the many historic homes in the area or head to the historic Coca-Cola museum to learn how America’s favorite beverage was manufactured back in the day.

Best Time to Visit

Spring is the ideal time to make your way to Vicksburg since the temperatures sit in the 70s and 80s. Mississippi gets pretty warm during the summer months, which makes July and August especially months you’ll want to avoid.

4. Grand Canyon National Park

You’ll find Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona and is a huge natural wonder. This canyon is said to be the creation of a meteor that fell from the sky thousands of years ago. Today, it’s a beautiful outdoor recreational area to check out.

Where to Stay

If you want a true wilderness experience, park your RV in the middle of Grand Canyon National Park! It’s the easiest way to get 24-hour access to all the beauty and wonder of this incredible spot.

Things to Do

The Grand Canyon is a hiker’s paradise. The area has hundreds of trails winding down into the canyon, along the rim of the crater, and even in the valley of this beautiful gorge.

If hiking isn’t your thing, go for a mule ride down into the canyon. It’s a great way to see the natural wonder of this area without getting burned out!

An old village nearby the canyon is another fun experience. This village, called Tusayan Pueblo, is what’s left of an old Native American town. You’ll be able to learn about the history of the area and imagine what life was like years ago.

You can also enjoy rafting on the Colorado River that runs through the heart of the Canyon. This experience is like no other, giving you the chance to drift down the idyllic river with the walls of the canyon rising around you.

Finally, you can take a train ride on the Grand Canyon Railway. This train takes you on a scenic 60-mile train ride, offering a unique way to take in the area.

Best Time to Visit

If you’re going to visit Grand Canyon National Park, try planning your vacation between March and May or between September and November. The area gets very hot and crowded during the summer, making it best to avoid the area at that time.

5. Fort Wilderness

If you want to visit Disney but don’t want to stay in one of the flashy resorts, Fort Wilderness is a great place to go! This RV spot is located near Disney’s Magic Kingdom. It’s the ideal parking spot for RV owners who want to take an extended vacation.

Where to Stay

Fort Wilderness is a campground run by Disney, meaning you’ll get tons of unique amenities that you wouldn’t at any other spot! We recommend staying in this RV park rather than in one of the nearby RV campgrounds.

Things to Do

The main attraction at Fort Wilderness is, of course, the Disney parks. Disney’s Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom are all located right near this park, making it a unique way to visit these famous theme parks.

Apart from your time in the theme parks, you can simply hang out at the campground. Go horseback riding or take a scenic carriage ride around the beautiful campground.

You can also get out on the water by renting kayaks or canoes. There are even motorized water activities for you to participate in while staying here!

At the end of the day, relax and unwind at the bonfire in the center of the campground. You’ll get to roast marshmallows and sing classic Disney songs while meeting fellow campers.

Best Time to Visit

You can pretty much guarantee that there will always be a crowd at Fort Wilderness, which means that any season you visit it will be fairly busy. However, if you set up your RV here during the week, you’ll be able to avoid long lines and big crowds.

6. Redwood National Park

There’s nothing quite like the towering trees in Redwood National Park. Redwoods are some of the tallest trees on earth and only grow in very specific areas. At Redwoods National Park, you’ll get to walk among these majestic trees and take in the incredible hiking trails in the area.

Where to Stay

Since Redwood National Park is a park itself, you’re able to park your RV here. There are a few size restrictions, however, so make sure to double-check before planning to pull up here.

Things to Do

Redwoods National Park is a huge park, with tons of unique nooks and crannies for you to check out. As you hike around this beautiful area, make sure to swing by a few key spots.

One spot is the Fern Grove. This grove features a creek running through the middle of it and is jam-packed with beautiful ferns. As you explore the creek you’ll appreciate the cooling canopy of redwoods overhead.

Outside the park is Gold Bluffs Beach. This beautiful beach lets you admire the ocean from the sand dunes. It’s the perfect place to end the day and watch the sunset.

If you love animals, you can also head out to Elk Meadow. Elk frequent this spot, making it a fantastic place to do some wildlife spotting.

Finally, make sure to take a drive down the Avenue of the Giants. This road runs right through the Redwoods and is a beautiful way to observe the majesty of this national park.

Best Time to Visit

The Fall months such as October and November are the best time to visit Redwood National Park. You’ll not only get to see the towering trees, but you’ll also have the opportunity to check out gorgeous fall colors!

7. Crater Lake National Park

You’ll find Crater Lake National Park in the Cascade Mountains in Oregon. This beautiful destination is a lake formed by a volcano that exploded hundreds of years ago. Today this lake’s beautiful blue waters attract visitors from all over the country.

Where to Stay

You can actually stay in the national park when visiting Crater Lake. That makes it even more convenient to check out what the park has to offer!

Things to Do

The main thing to do at Crater Lake National Park is to take a drive down Rim Drive. This road circles the lake, offering beautiful views of the pristine water from all angles. If you drive it at night, you’ll be able to see the stars reflected off the water.

If you want to actually get on the lake, you can take a boat out to Wizard Island. Wizard Island is located in the middle of the lake and is actually the tip of another volcano! It’s a unique place to explore and one of the only places in the world where you’ll find a volcano within a volcano.

There are great hiking opportunities around the lake, too. You can hike up to the top of Garfield Peak and take in beautiful views of the blue waters of the lake.

Finally, you won’t want to miss a chance to check out some of the beautiful waterfalls in the area. Pinnacle Falls is a waterfall located at the end of an easy hiking trail just off Rim Drive.

Best Time to Visit

Because Crater Lake is located in the mountains, it can get pretty chilly if you plan to visit during the winter. Instead, aim to camp out here between July and September. These months offer warm temperatures and clear skies ideal for hanging out at the park.

8. Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg is a vacation spot unlike any other. This historical reenactment village brings the 18th century to life. You’ll be able to stroll among recreated buildings and learn about the early days of the United States while feeling as if you were really there!

Where to Stay

The Williamsburg/Busch Gardens Area KOA is the perfect place for RVers to stay when visiting this spot. The campground is located just a few minutes from all the historic and theme parks, making it a super convenient place to post up.

Things to Do

Colonial Williamsburg is the perfect place to simply wander the streets of a historic village and feel as if you’ve stepped back in time. Check out buildings such as the Governor’s Palace, the pharmacy, and tasty taverns where you can grab a bite to eat.

Nearby Williamsburg are Jamestowne and Yorktown. Jamestowne is a place where you can learn about the first settlers in the area while Yorktown takes you onto the battlefield of the Revolutionary War.

Aside from hanging out at the historic parks, you can visit nearby Busch Gardens. This is an amusement park that has tons of amazing rides, including a roller coaster with a drop at a 90º angle!

Williamsburg is also close to several breweries and wineries. If you love tasting new beverages you can head to one of these spots and experience the flavors of the countryside.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Colonial Williamsburg is during either the spring or the autumn. During these months the area is filled with color, as the spring means flowers are in full bloom and autumn gives you a chance to check out gorgeous fall leaves.

9. Mount Rushmore National Memorial

Another great place to go if you’re wanting to hit the road and check out the US via RV is Mount Rushmore National Memorial. Located in South Dakota’s Black Hills, this monument is a beautiful ode to four of America’s great presidents.

Where to Stay

There are plenty of campgrounds near the Mount Rushmore National Memorial. However, we recommend staying at Horsethief Lake Campground. This RV camp is located in the shadow of the mountains, giving you great views of the monument from your campsite.

Things to Do

Aside from checking out the impressive stone carvings, there is tons to do at Mount Rushmore. Whether you want adrenaline-filled activities or to learn about history, there’s something for everyone at this vacation spot.

Make sure you hike the Presidential Trail. This trail gives you the chance to get up close and personal with the founding fathers, as it winds in front of the beautiful carvings. Just be prepared for a steep climb to get up there!

For those who want to embrace their sense of adventure, there’s the Rushmore Tramway Adventure. This unique activity gives you the chance to ride a mini-tram down fast tracks. You’ll feel as though you’re on a roller coaster as you zip down the mountainside!

Another unique spot to check out is the Crazy Horse Memorial. This privately owned statue is said to be one of the largest in the world, and is a great add-on to those who loved the presidential carvings!

Best Time to Visit

Mount Rushmore National Park is a popular destination year-round, which makes it hard to avoid large crowds. However, the season starts to wind down around September, making October and September a good time to visit.

You can also head to the park during April or May. However, the area gets a lot of rain during these months, which can throw a wrench in your plans.

10. Arches National Park

Arches National Park is in Utah and is a park made up of beautiful rock formations. At this park, you’ll have the chance to check out more than 2000 natural stone arches in a beautiful desert setting. It’s an ideal place for feeling as though you’re truly in the wilderness.

Where to Stay

Portal RV Resort and Campground is a great choice for those heading to Arches National Park in their RV. The campground is about nine miles away from the park and is pet-friendly, meaning you can bring your furbabies here!

Things to Do

Aside from walking through the natural stone arches, there are tons of things that you can do at Arches National Park. First, make sure to take a drive through the park. This gives you a beautiful overview of all the stunning rock formations in the area!

Once you’ve seen your fill of the beautiful rock formations, head down to Wolfe Ranch. Wolfe Ranch is home to historic buildings and gives you the chance to learn about what early life was like in the area.

If you love biking, we recommend renting a couple of bikes and heading down to the Slickrock Trail. This popular biking spot gives you the chance to get out on the desert rocks in a unique way!

Nearby Arches National Park is Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. This is a great place to enjoy some water activities, including launching yourself into the water on a rope swing!

Best Time to Visit

There are two main seasons when you can visit Arches National Park. From April to May and from September to October you’ll be able to enjoy cooler temperatures and avoid the scorching summer sun. Avoid major holidays such as Memorial Day and Labor Day, however, as these days draw huge crowds.

Hit the Road and Visit These RV Vacation Destinations

These RV vacation destinations are amazing places for outdoor enthusiasts to visit. They’re a great way to explore more of the US and to enjoy some time away from the daily grind.

When you’re not on vacation, you’ll need to find a place to store your RV. Contact Kingston Ideal Storage for the best RV storage facilities!

There is one very important question that every potential and current boat owner should ask themselves, “Where am I going to store my boat?” Whether you own a large, 40-foot fishing boat or just a small vessel, having someplace to park it while you’re not using it is essential in preserving your boat’s longevity. 

If you are one of those people out there who’s thinking ahead about where to store your boat, you’ve come to the right place. This article will tell you everything you need to know about preserving your boat. Read on to discover the most crucial information regarding covered boat storage. 

Why Should I Store My Boat Indoors? 

Many people underestimate the overall cost of purchasing a boat. Most people will not take into account storage costs, because they assume that they can leave their boat on a trailer next to the side of the house. However, this is not ideal. 

Before you purchase a boat, you want to add up all of the costs—these include indoor storage. Of course, whether or not you choose to store your boat indoors or outdoors is up to you. Keep in mind, however, that storing your boat indoors is significantly more beneficial to the lifespan of your boat rather than leaving it outside. 

You may be thinking, “Indoor storage costs way more money.” In some respects, you are correct. In others, this is wrong thinking. 

Suppose you purchase an expensive boat that happens to be the boat of your dreams. You may believe that keeping your boat outside will cost less money. In the long run, however, you will end up actually paying much more. 

This is because—whether you like it or not—your boat will not last as long outside in the harsh environment. Thus, you will be forced to purchase a new boat when you could have had the same boat for another 10 years. 

Does outside storage still sound cheaper? 

In essence, storing your boat indoors will allow you to preserve its longevity. This in turn will allow you to save boatloads of money (see what I did there?). 

With all this in mind, we also need to examine the different types of indoor storage options for boats. 

What Are Some Different Types of Covered Boat Storage?

When the boating season is over and it’s time to say “goodbye” to your boat for now as you decide to store your boat away, you have to choose one of the endless indoor boat storage facilities options out there. This can easily become one of the hardest decisions to make concerning your beloved watercraft. 

Because of this, there are two main types of indoor boat storage that we will discuss:

1. Storage unit

This is one of the more common options—partially because they offer both indoor and outdoor boat storage. Remember, however, that we are looking specifically at indoor boat storage options, so we’ll rule out their outdoor option. 

A commercial storage unit is great for those who live in apartments and who do not have easy access to their boats. When you rent a storage unit for your boat, you can choose the option to have a yearly lease. This is very beneficial because it will provide you with a place to store your boat both on- and off-season. 

Additionally, you can check on your boat and see how it’s doing whenever you want. This means that if you need to repair your boat, you do not have to wait until boating season starts to begin repairing it. You can visit your beloved boat whenever you please. 

2. Dry-stack storage

Imagine a bookshelf for boats—that’s basically what dry-stack storage units are. They raise your boat using a forklift and set it along with other boats in a giant facility. There are both pros and cons to this type of indoor boat storage. 

Fortunately, your boat is kept tucked away from harsh weather conditions and can sit undisturbed until you need it. Often, you can retrieve your boat within an hour of calling the facility. This type of storage is great for those who generally don’t want to maintain their boats themselves, they only want to either drive or fish in it when the season permits them to. 

However, one of the downsides to this type of storage is that you don’t necessarily have quick-and-easy access to your boats like you would with a storage unit. With this type of storage, you would need to plan ahead when you want to use (or fix) your boat. Nevertheless, it’s still a great storage option. 

Now that we have discussed two types of indoor boat storage units, there are seven benefits to indoor boat storage in general that need to be recognized and discussed. 

1. You Can Be Sure That Nobody Will Steal Your Boat

When you leave your boat outside, there is a high risk of someone potentially stealing your boat—which would be expensive to replace. However, when your boat is kept in some kind of RV and boat storage facility, you can rest assured that your boat is secure and no one will steal it. In this way, you can let your beloved watercraft sit in peace until the next time you bring it out for a spin or fishing trip. 

Most indoor storage facilities are secure. With this in mind, however, there have been multiple instances where boats were stolen even while being stored indoors. 

Though this is an unfortunate reality, the number of boats stolen while being kept in indoor storage facilities is nowhere near the number of boats stolen that are simply kept outside. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), 4,240 boats were stolen in 2019—and the majority were most likely stored outside. To make matters worse, only about 41% of the boats were recovered. 

Worried about somebody stealing your precious, new boat? This is just one of the seven reasons discussed in this article why you should not leave your boat outside while not using it. The most logical and wise decision would be to keep your boat in one of the most secure boat storage facilities out there. 

With your boat stored inside, you can rest assured every night that your boat—something that you most likely paid a significant amount of money for—will not get stolen. 

2. Your Boat Is Protected From the Elements

In addition to being protected from potential thieves, your boat will also be protected from harsh weather conditions and the elements of the outdoors should you choose to store it indoors. For example, if you decided to “go with the flow” and keep your boat outside next to your house because you think you’d be saving money, a tropical storm may come and severely damage your watercraft. 

However, had that boat been in some kind of indoor storage facility, the chances of your boat suffering damages related to the environment are significantly reduced. Furthermore, before signing the agreement with the storage facility, you could possibly make sure that a clause is included in the agreement that puts the responsibility of damage to your boat on them. 

Why would you choose not to store your boat in a storage facility in light of this? 

In fact, we actually do not need to discuss a hypothetical situation like a tropical storm. Something as seemingly harmless as rain can do severe damage to your boat

You might think that the rain, sleet, and snow only affect the exterior of the vessel—which is an easy fix for most people. However, these environmental conditions actually affect the interior of the boat more so than the exterior. 

During days with heavy rain, your boat can act as a giant bowl—collecting large amounts of water that may destroy the engine (not to mention rot the hull as well). 

Most people think that they can easily get around this issue by simply putting a large tarp over their vessel during the winter. This reasoning is both illogical and does not take into account the fact that cold weather alone can affect the longevity of your boat. It would be hard to think of an event more depressing than waking up one beautiful spring morning only to realize that you have to cancel your fishing trip because your engine’s shot. 

Store your boat indoors so that you can prevent the environment from severely harming your boat. 

3. You Will Keep Your Property Looking Neat and Tidy

I have personally seen one too many homes that would be otherwise beautiful had the owners’ large, oversized, dirty-looking boat been stored somewhere other than the front yard. Of course, simply cleaning your boat will alleviate this problem slightly, but it does not change the fact that your home would look significantly better if you decide to store your precious boat elsewhere. 

According to The Hull Truth, most neighbors don’t enjoy it when someone decides to keep their boat at home and in their front yard. Though the boat will be on your property and you have every legal right (depends on the state in which you live) to keep your boat on your property at your house, you probably would not make your neighbors too happy.  

You might feel the urge to keep your boat at home as a way to show off your beautiful vessel. While this is no moral crime in most people’s opinions, it may only serve in upsetting the residents around you who are trying their best to make the street and neighborhood as beautiful as possible. 

As one individual said on The Hull Truth, “…(it) depends on the neighborhood…….where I live it would be very inconsiderate, not illegal, to stick a boat in my driveway…” This is generally the sentiment of most people. Unless they too are boat owners, fishermen, or people who love the outdoors, most neighbors will probably see it as inconsiderate unless you give them a “heads up” beforehand. 

Essentially, if you put your boat in storage, you will not only protect it from thieves and the environment, but you will also aid in helping both your yard, property, street, and neighborhood look beautiful and less crowded. 

4. Your Boat Will Be Kept Safe From Pests

As you can see, most of the benefits of indoor boat storage build off of one central idea: security for your watercraft. So far, we have discussed security in the sense that your boat will not be stolen by a thief, your boat will be secure from environmental conditions such as heavy rains, and, now, your boat will be secure from pests. 

Insects have an annoying habit of infesting many spaces where humans like to go. This undoubtedly includes boats. The last thing you want to happen before you go on your planned fishing trip is you getting stung by multiple wasps at the same time upon your entrance of the boat. 

Storing your boat in an indoor storage facility will eliminate any possible insect infestation of your boat. You can ride the waves in a free state of mind knowing that you won’t get bitten by any bugs or insects that stowed away on your vessel. 

Insect infestation might sound like a trivial worry when you consider other, larger problems of obtaining indoor boat storage such as the costs of paying for an indoor boat storage facility. However, you’ll think twice about this when an unexpected attacker bites you when you least expect it. 

When you store your boat in a secure facility, you will not have to worry about unwanted pests making their home in your pleasure vehicle. For example, there is very little chance that a swarm of wasps will camp out in your watercraft while it’s being stored in a storage unit. 

As you can see, there are many reasons related to security why you should store your boat in an indoor facility. These mentioned are not the only ones. We will examine more of them later in this article. 

5. You Have Easy Access to Repair Your Boat

Imagine this scenario. 

On what you say is the last boating trip of the year before the cold season starts, your engine breaks down. Luckily, you got all the time you wanted to go boating and fishing that season before the engine broke down. However, now you have to wait with the boat sitting out in the cold for spring—when you are going to have to contend with that problem and fix your engine before you’re able to enjoy the spring season. 

However, had you put your boat storage covers winter on your boat and it’s kept inside an indoor storage facility, you could have all winter to comfortably visit your precious boat and conduct the necessary repairs. This is another benefit of indoor storage. While you’re waiting for the winter season to pass, you can repair your boat, maintain it, and make sure it’s ready to go when spring arrives. 

There may be a problem if you choose to dry-stack your boat while you’re waiting for winter to pass though. Even though your boat would still be in a safe, secure indoor storage facility, you won’t have easy access to your boat because it will essentially be kept on a shelf with many other boats. You would either have to call an employee of the facility and ask if they are willing to help you retrieve your boat, or you’ll have to wait for spring to arrive. 

If you need to conduct repairs to your boat during the cold season, the best option would be to rent an individual boat storage unit. 

6. You Have More Space in Your Yard

This ties in with benefit three in this article. Besides upsetting your neighbors and making your yard look trashy, letting your boat sit outside unused during the winter will also take up a significant amount of room that you could have used to either park your car (assuming the boat is on the driveway), set up a picnic table outside, or do something else to improve your yard. 

Storage units for boats are great if you’re the type of person who likes to have more space on your property. 

If you indeed do decide to park your boat in your driveway, you’ll have to contend with—most likely every morning—trying to maneuver around the boat to get your car out to drive to work. Do those sound like an ideal winter season? Instead, you could pay to have your boat stored in a secure indoor facility and not have to worry about you not having limited space on your property to do the things that you want to do. 

This can also be a psychological thing to make you feel like you have a bigger property. With more and more people moving into cities, neighborhoods are feeling congested. This adds to the want that many people have for more property and personal space—putting your boat in storage will do just that. 

7. It Will Make You Excited for the Spring

The final benefit of indoor boat storage on this list is that storing your boat in an indoor storage facility will keep you excited for spring to arrive. You might ask, “How does this work?” Let me explain. 

When you keep your boat outside and next to your house, it will obviously be subject to much wear and tear that will make your boat dirty and, quite frankly, somewhat ugly. As we have explained earlier, there might be water in the boat, there might be pests who have made their home in the cabin, and the engine might have numerous problems. 

These issues will all combine to actually make you dread the spring because you know that you will have to fix all of these issues before you can enjoy your boat out on the water. However, had you paid the extra cash to keep your boat in an indoor storage unit, you can rest knowing that your boat is ready to go as soon as the weather warms up—this is what I mean by “excited.” 

By putting your boat in an indoor storage unit, you will not have to worry about serious maintenance when spring arrives. 

How Do I Decide Where to Store My Boat Indoors? 

Now, hopefully, you have decided to go with the indoor storage option for your boat. After all, as we have discussed, there are so many benefits to this decision. The last question remains, “Where is the best place to store my boat during the winter?”

We can tell you, with absolute certainty, that Kingston Ideal Storage is the best place to store your boat. Their services range from boat storage to RV storage—just to name a couple. Their prices are reasonable and their services are unrivaled.

Whether you have just a boat that needs to be stored or multiple vehicles that you need to store somewhere, Kinston Ideal Storage has got you covered. 

Check Out Kingston Ideal Storage Today 

Well, what are you waiting for? Now that you have heard all the benefits of indoor boat storage as well as where the best place to store your boat is, head on over to Kingston Ideal Storage today and get ready to experience the best-covered boat storage out there. You won’t be disappointed!

For more helpful information, check out their blog as well where you can learn more about boat, car, and RV storage as well as helpful maintenance tips.  

Did you know there are more than 23 million individual self-storage units in the U.S.? There is about one self-storage unit for every 14 people.

This should make it simple for you to find a storage company that can provide you with a self-storage unit when you’re in need of one in the Kingston, WA area. But you shouldn’t simply Google “self-storage facility near me” and choose the first storage company that appears on your screen.

Instead, you should search for a storage company that can provide the best self-storage security solutions. You’ll feel better about sticking your things into a self-storage unit when you see that a company can set you up with the right storage facility security.

So, what are some of the things you should look for in a secure storage facility? Learn about them below so that you’re able to get access to the self-storage security solutions you need.

Secure Fencing Around the Perimeter

Before you even pull into a self-storage facility and take a tour of it for the first time, you should get the sense that it’s secure from the outside looking in. There should be fencing to provide the entire property with storage unit perimeter security.

The most secure self-storage facilities will have chain-link fences surrounding them. These fences will also have barbed wire running across the top. It’ll make it very difficult for anyone to get anywhere close to the self-storage units in these facilities.

You will want to do more than just check to see that there is fencing around a self-storage facility, too. You should drive or walk around the perimeter of a facility and see to it that all its fencing is intact.

If there is even just a small hole in the fencing, it could compromise self-storage facility security and make all the other self-storage security solutions it has put in place virtually worthless.

Locked Entrance and Exit Gates

The majority of a self-storage facility will need to be surrounded by secure fencing. But there will obviously need to be at least one or two gates that you’ll be able to use for entering and exiting a facility.

Ideally, these gates should be locked at all times so that people aren’t able to enter and exit a self-storage facility whenever they want. The only time they should be opened and closed is when those who have self-storage units within a facility have to access them.

In some cases, these gates will be manned by security guards who will be in charge of opening and closing them for those with self-storage units. In others, these gates won’t be manned by security guards, but they’ll only be able to be opened and closed by those with keys or electronic codes.

Either way, it’s imperative that any entrance and exit gates within a self-storage facility stay closed all the time. If you notice that a facility isn’t on lockdown 24/7, that might be reason enough to look for self-storage units elsewhere.

Heavy-Duty Self-Storage Unit Doors

As long as a self-storage facility has the right fencing and gates surrounding it, there should be next to no chance of anyone who isn’t supposed to be in a facility getting in. But in the event that someone is able to gain access to a facility, they shouldn’t be able to get into self-storage units no matter how hard they might try.

Every single self-storage unit within a facility should have a heavy-duty door on it that will be impossible to break through. Would-be burglars also shouldn’t be able to cut through these doors or find other ways to damage them and get into individual units.

The good news is that almost all self-storage facilities go out of their way to install the most heavy-duty doors possible on their units these days. But some facilities that are on the older side might have doors on their self-storage units that are beginning to weaken. They might not put up much of a fight if someone ever tries to break into them.

Sturdy Self-Storage Unit Door Locks

It doesn’t matter how strong and durable the doors on the self-storage units in a storage facility are. If these doors don’t also have sturdy locks on them, that could compromise storage facility security by allowing outsiders to access units.

Many of the locks that are put onto self-storage unit doors nowadays are built right into the doors themselves. It makes it very difficult for them to be broken.

In a perfect world, you should receive a lock for a self-storage unit from the storage company that you rent it from as opposed to having to purchase it yourself. This company should go above and beyond to secure the best possible locks for their self-storage unit doors so that you can rest assured knowing your unit is safe and sound.

All you’ll have to do is be sure you lock your unit up tight every time you leave it.

Fully Functioning Self-Storage Security Cameras

People can usually lock up almost anything they want in self-storage facilities. From personal possessions like clothing and furniture to vehicles like RVs and boats, there will inevitably be a lot of pricy items stored in these facilities.

For this reason, the best storage companies won’t rely on just fences, gates, and doors to stop people from trying to break into their self-storage units. They’ll also set up an entire system of storage unit cameras to keep a close eye on what’s happening.

When you’re looking around a self-storage facility for the first time, you should look up and see how many cameras you can spot. There will be a camera hiding around almost every corner. It’ll guarantee that no one will be able to break into a storage facility without being detected.

You should also make sure you ask about the cameras and see to it that they’re fully functional. The last thing you want to do is assume that these cameras are working only to later discover that they don’t work at all.

More Than Enough Bright Lighting

When you’re visiting a storage facility and considering using it, you’ll typically check it out during the day. But you shouldn’t be shy about going to sneak a peek at it at night, too.

Why? Well, you want to be sure there is bright lighting all throughout a storage facility. If a facility gets very dark at night, it might prevent you from wanting to go to it to grab something from your self-storage unit.

At the same time, a very dark facility without much lighting is also going to turn into a breeding ground for bad behavior before long. People might be able to break into this facility without anyone noticing and either steal things from units or do damage to the facility itself.

You’ll want to see to it that a storage facility has its fair share of lighting. If you decide to move your things into this facility, you’ll also want to let management know if you ever see that any lights have gone out. Lighting is one of the simplest yet most effective self-storage security solutions.

Attentive Security Guards

If a self-storage facility doesn’t employ security guards, it might not be a dealbreaker for you. Not all facilities have security guards in place because of all the other self-storage security solutions they use.

But there are more than 1 million security guards working throughout the U.S. today. This includes those who spend at least some time patrolling self-storage facilities. If you’re lucky enough to land on one of these facilities, you should think about taking full advantage of the fact that they have security guards patrolling the premises.

At the very least, it would be nice to see that a storage company brings in either armed or unarmed security guards at night to watch over their property. It’ll put your mind at ease if you choose to store your things at this storage facility.

Concerned Staff

Whether a self-storage facility has security guards on its payroll or not, the rest of its staff should keep storage facility security at the forefront of their minds. They should always be monitoring their facility and keeping tabs on who comes in and out of it throughout the course of a day.

They should also reach out to those with self-storage units if there are ever any security-related concerns. They should do this not to scare people who have these units but to put them on high alert and have them looking over their shoulders for the time being.

Additionally, the staff at a self-storage facility that takes security seriously should always welcome any questions, comments, complaints, etc. from those with self-storage units. They should look for ways to beef up storage facility security even more than they already have based on the feedback they get from others.

Easy-to-Use Intercom System

In this day and age, about 95% of Americans own cell phones. This has helped make things like intercom systems obsolete in many cases.

But there are still some self-storage facilities that have intercom systems set up in them, and for good reason! Not everyone who is walking around in a storage facility will have their cell phone on them if a security issue comes up. They also might not know how to contact the front desk at a storage facility on the fly with just their cell phone.

It’s why you shouldn’t hesitate to find out if a storage facility has an intercom system before renting one of its self-storage units. There might come a time when you’ll wish your facility had an intercom system if you ever face a security threat.

An intercom system will enable you to contact the front desk at a storage facility at the drop of a hat. It’ll make you feel more secure when you’re wandering around inside a storage facility.

Working Fire Alarms and Smoke Detectors

According to the National Fire Protection Association, almost 1,500 fires take place at warehouses in the U.S. every year. At least some of these fires occur inside commercial properties that are used as self-storage facilities.

If a fire were to start in a storage facility that you’re thinking about using, what exactly would happen next? Would a series of fire alarms and smoke detectors go off to let people know they need to leave immediately? Would the local fire department also be contacted right away about what’s going on?

A facility can put all the proper self-storage security solutions into place. But if they don’t have something as simple as working fire alarms and smoke detectors, a fire could wreak havoc on a facility. It could possibly destroy everything you have stored in it.

With this in mind, you should keep your eyes peeled for fire alarms and smoke detectors in a storage facility. You should also ask about how these things work so that you get a better idea of how much they’re automated.

You might also want to inquire about whether or not a storage facility has any kind of fire suppression system set up. A system like this could help put out a fire before the local fire department even shows up. Or at the very least, it might be able to knock down a fire temporarily and stop it from spreading as fast as it would otherwise.

We Can Provide You With All the Necessary Self-Storage Security Solutions

When people store items in self-storage units, they want to know they’ll be safe. At Ideal Storage, we’re committed to providing our customers with the best self-storage security solutions in Kitsap County, WA.

We also offer insurance on every single self-storage unit that we have on our property. You’ll sleep so much better at night knowing that all your things are safe and secure when they’re locked up in one of our units.

Would you like to discover more about our storage company? Go take a tour of our facility and contact us with any questions you may have.

The average boat lasts between 10 and 25 years, depending on how well you care for it. Therefore, it’s essential to create a quality boat maintenance checklist.

Many boat owners don’t realize that good boat care and maintenance also means taking care of the boat while it’s in storage. Neglecting boat and boat trailer maintenance while your boat is in storage can leave you with costly problems by the time you retrieve it in spring.

Avoid these expensive repairs by investing in the right kind of boat storage and creating a good boat maintenance checklist. Use the list we’ve put together below to get started!

End-of-Season Outing

When you’re preparing for boat storage, we recommend taking it out for one last end-of-season ride, especially if you haven’t for a while. This is a great way to get one last bit of enjoyment from it before the year ends, but that’s not all.

Taking your boat out before storage is vital for one last routine boat inspection and ensuring everything is operating as expected. You don’t want to miss taking care of any problems that may worsen as it sits in storage.

Signs of Damage

Start your end-of-season boat ride as usual—with a pre-departure check. Make sure there are no signs of damage to the interior or exterior parts of the boat. 

Take a quick look around the engine and internal components, including the bilge, the battery, and the gas tank. Overlooking these areas can leave you stranded during your outing, so make sure you look before every ride. 

Safety Equipment

The last ride of the season is the perfect time to ensure your safety equipment is in good shape. Ensure your life jackets and floatation devices aren’t damaged and that your fire extinguishers haven’t expired.

If you don’t use your emergency signaling devices regularly, such as your horn or navigation lights, then this is an excellent time to test them as well. If anything isn’t working, be sure to replace them before the next boating season. 

Signs of Operational Problems

When out for your last ride of the season, test your boat thoroughly. Make sure it starts, runs, and shuts off as you expect it to. If you don’t test your boat well, you could miss signs of serious problems.

For this reason, it’s not enough to just turn your engine on and test it in a large bucket of water. You might not realize that your boat has trouble running for more extended periods. So, do your due diligence to avoid problems later on.

What Is Boat Winterization?

Boat winterization is the process of preparing your boat for winter. When boats sit unused for long periods in cold temperatures, they can develop problems. Some problems can ruin parts of your boat, resulting in expensive repairs. 

Do I Need Boat Winterization?

If you live in an area that hits temperatures below freezing, boat winterization is essential. However, even if you live in mild climates, we still recommend winterization.

Even periodic freezes can wreak havoc on your boat’s internal components. If you don’t want to face expensive repairs in the spring, we recommend ensuring your boat is always winter-ready when it comes time for boat storage. 

Pre-Storage Checklist: Winterization

Investing in winterization is the best boat maintenance cost to prevent costly repairs. It’s also easy if you have a thorough boat maintenance checklist. You can winterize your boat yourself, or you can take it to a trusted boat mechanic.

Flush Water

The first step on our boat engine maintenance checklist is to flush your engine and coolant systems with freshwater. Flushing these systems helps remove salt and dirt, which can cause problems during boat storage.

It can also help fight against corrosion which can break down different mechanisms in your engine. After flushing, be sure to put antifreeze back into your coolant system. 

Replace Engine Oil

Winterization is also the ideal time to deal with your engine oil. In general, you should replace your boat’s engine oil at least once per season but may need to do so more frequently if you use the craft often. Don’t forget to change any oil filters, either.

Check Fuel

One of the most critical boat maintenance costs to consider is the cost of maintaining your fuel. At the end of the season, you should either drain the boat of any fuel or add a fuel stabilizer. Allowing fuel to set causes it to rot and eat away internal components.

Grease Moving Parts

Lubrication helps prevent rust from exposure to the elements. Ensure to thoroughly lubricate parts such as latches, hinges, and components such as the propeller. This sometimes involves removing the part (if possible), lubricating, and then reassembling.

Remove Personal Items

Once you’ve worked through your boat engine maintenance checklist, it’s time to move on to the boat itself. Be sure to remove any personal items before boat storage, such as electronics, life jackets, and other equipment.

This helps deter potential theft while your boat is in storage. It also helps keep your belongings from getting damaged if exposed to certain conditions. 

Get Your Boat Clean

An essential part of boat care and maintenance is keeping your boat in good condition by cleaning it after every outing. This is especially important if you use your boat in saltwater or travel between different bodies of water.

Before boat storage, you should use soap and fresh water to clean the hull. Make sure you remove any barnacles or debris. Finish up by cleaning the interior, ensuring it’s wiped down and dry. 

Don’t Skip Waxing

Another essential boat maintenance cost is waxing. Applying a marine wax to the hull helps protect it from rust and other damage. Don’t skip this step. 

Choose a Boat Cover

Regardless of the type of boat storage you choose, you should invest in a quality boat cover. Custom-fit boat covers or boat shrink wrapping are the most secure options, especially if you’re choosing uncovered boat storage (which we’ll discuss shortly).

Using makeshift boat covers such as tarps is not as secure and is unlikely to fully protect your boat from things like water damage or frost.

While proper boat covers are a high boat maintenance cost, they can save you money in the long term. Replacing water-damaged interior elements such as seating is a costly investment. It’s cheaper to prevent damage than it is to fix it. 

Types of Boat Storage

The type of boat storage you choose affects your boat maintenance checklist. The different storage options offer different levels of protection, ease of access, size, and cost.

The two main types of boat storage are covered and uncovered. Deciding between the two depends on the boat you have and how you want to take care of it. 

Uncovered Boat Storage

Uncovered boat storage gives you access to an open parking area. As the name suggests, the storage area is exposed to the elements, and your boat will be parked next to other vessels. If you haven’t seen uncovered boat storage, think of it as you would a large but secure parking area.

Pros of Uncovered Boat Storage

One of the top benefits of uncovered boat storage is the cost. It’s about half as much to invest in an uncovered boat storage area than a covered storage area. 

Your boat is stored in a fully fenced facility accessible via a keypad. It’s also under video surveillance. However, you don’t lose access to your boat since all lots are available seven days a week.  

Uncovered storage is the best option for those with huge boats. Covered storage has height and depth limitations, which you don’t have to worry about with uncovered storage.

Cons of Uncovered Boat Storage

Since this type of boat storage is open, your boat is exposed to the elements. This shouldn’t be a problem if you have a quality boat cover—except for severe weather. Without proper protection, your boat could face severe weather-related damage.

This is also not ideal if you plan on keeping your boat stored for the long term, especially if you can’t check on it regularly. 

Covered Boat Storage

Covered boat storage is similar to what a carport is. While not fully enclosed, covered boat storage offers a roof over the parking spot. While it may not seem like this makes a significant difference, you may notice a difference when you retrieve your boat in the Spring.

Pros of Covered Boat Storage

Investing in covered boat storage is best for practicing good boat care and maintenance. With this type of storage, there’s a much lower risk of your boat taking on weather-related damage from rain, snow, or ice. 

This is especially beneficial if you don’t have a custom-fit boat cover or shrink wrapping. However, covered storage can also help extend the life of your boat cover since it will also receive protection.

Uncovered boat storage can make it harder to work on your boat in peace. With covered boat storage, fewer boats or stored RVs will be in your immediate area. This can give you more privacy to focus on your boat maintenance checklist. 

Cons of Covered Boat Storage

One of the significant downsides of covered boat storage is that it’s not meant for large boats. Covered boat storage has a maximum clearance of 13.5 feet and cannot accommodate all boats.

Another downside of covered boat storage is the cost. It is almost twice the cost to park a boat in these storage spaces. However, you have to decide if the price is worth your boat’s added safety and longevity. 

In-Storage Boat Checks

Boat care and maintenance don’t stop just because your boat is in storage. If you want to keep boat maintenance costs low, we recommend making a schedule to look over your boat in the off-season.

Consider looking over your boat at least every few weeks, especially if you’re keeping it in uncovered boat storage. This helps you stay on top of any damage or signs of wear that could lead to costly repairs if not treated quickly.

Plus, this is the perfect opportunity to make repairs or perform routine boat maintenance. Some repairs and maintenance are difficult to do while your boat’s in the water. With your boat on a trailer, some areas are more easily accessible.

Exterior Boat Maintenance Checklist

We recommend starting with our exterior boat maintenance checklist while your boat is in storage. Start by entirely removing your boat cover to give you the best view. You might be tempted to just do a quick pass around the boat while it’s covered, but you might miss something hidden underneath.

If you’ve opted for boat shrink-wrapping instead of a custom-fit boat cover, your boat inspection will be much more difficult. Once you remove your shrink-wrapping, you have to have the process completed all over again.

For this reason, we recommend a reusable boat cover over shrink wrapping. However, if you opt for shrink-wrapping, make sure you’re twice as thorough during the winterization process or prepare to have the shrink-wrapping redone.

Signs of Hull Damage

First, check for signs of hull damage. This can be as obvious as large scrapes or as subtle as minor wrinkles. Blistering, peeling, or cracking can either be signs of issues with your boat’s structural integrity or a problem with the paint.

Propeller Maintenance

Next on your boat maintenance checklist should be your propeller. This should be detached, inspected, and greased for winterization. However, it’s a good idea to make sure it’s still in good condition periodically.

Exhaust Ports

If your boat has exhaust ports, don’t forget to ensure these were sealed during winterization and remain sealed during boat storage. This helps keep pests such as mice from making nests or causing damage inside your boat. 

Interior Boat Maintenance Checklist

The next part of your boat maintenance checklist is checking the boat’s interior. While some boat owners may be tempted to just peek under the boat cover for this part, we recommend fully uncovering the boat. 

As with the exterior, the boat cover can hide signs of damage. For a clear view, roll back the cover completely while you check the interior.

Drain As Needed

Once you’ve uncovered your boat, we recommend checking for signs of water damage and standing water. This recommendation is primarily for boaters using uncovered boat storage or less-than-perfect-fit boat covers.

However, this is a good idea even for covered boat storage. Extreme wind conditions can blow snow and rain underneath the covered storage area, so removing any standing water before it causes damage is essential. 

Interior Wear

Whether you’ve had your boat in storage for a few weeks, a few months, or a few years, mold and mildew can proliferate and wreak havoc. That’s why we recommend thoroughly checking your interior for signs of damage and wear.

Materials such as canvas and leather are the most sensitive to moisture and the quickest to grow mold. If possible, you should remove any canvas or leather features in your boat before storage. If it’s not possible, be sure to check them periodically. 

Boat Engine Maintenance Checklist

After you’ve checked the exterior and the interior, it’s time to move on to the boat engine maintenance checklist. This can be the most labor-intensive part of your in-storage boat check, but it’s also one of the most important. 

For this part, consider having a professional boat mechanic check over your boat at the beginning and end of boat storage. They can help ensure it remains in good shape and alert you to any necessary repairs before they become expensive problems. 

Battery Charge

It’s much easier to prevent battery problems than replacing them once they’re ruined. That’s why we suggest disconnecting your battery from time to time and checking its charge.

Even better, we recommend disconnecting it entirely while in storage. This is the perfect time to clean and grease the battery terminal and cable ends. 

You should also make sure to check the battery’s charge periodically. If the battery’s dead, charge it before putting it back in the boat for storage.

Gas Tank

This is less of a concern if you’ve emptied your gas tank. However, if you choose to add a fuel stabilizer instead, you’ll have to consider your gas tank during your boat check. 

Water can build up in gas over time, especially if your boat’s exposed to heavy moisture. Consider adding a fuel stabilizer every once in a while and ensuring the tank is topped off, so there’s no room for water to seep in. 

Signs of Leaks

Checking for signs of leaks as part of your boat maintenance checklist can help alert you to severe problems while your boat’s in storage. This includes leaks from your fuel lines, fuel tank, oil system, and coolant system. 

Check around your boat’s engine and electrical components for pools of liquid. You can also check your bilge for signs of contamination. If you notice signs of leaks but can’t pinpoint the location, consider taking your boat to a boat mechanic for repair. 

Boat Trailer Maintenance

When it comes to boat storage, many people neglect boat trailer maintenance. It’s easy to forget about the trailer because they’re so focused on the boat or don’t think it’s essential.

However, checking your boat trailer is just as important as checking your boat. Overlooking problems can result in damage to your trailer, your boat, or your vehicle. It can also cause injury to you or others if things go wrong while you’re driving.

Tire Check

The first part of boat trailer maintenance is to check your tires. Ensure they maintain the recommended pressure and have an appropriate level of tread for all types of road conditions. This includes checking (and having) the spare tire.

You can also check your wheel bearing protectors at this time. If you don’t have wheel-bearing protectors, we recommend investing in a set to keep any contaminants out. These also help your bearings remain greased after being in the water. 

Brake Check

If you have a larger boat, your trailer likely has its own set of brakes. It’s vital to ensure these are in good working condition to avoid any problems with launching or retrieving your boat during the boating season.

Start by checking for any signs of corrosion. This is a risk for boats used in salt water, especially if you don’t make it a habit to rinse them off with fresh water after each use. You also want to make sure the brake pads or shoes aren’t due for service. 

Signs of Rust

When your trailer starts to rust, you could start experiencing problems with its function. Check the trailer coupler and the surge brake actuator. Make sure it’s adequately lubricated so that it’s easy to use. 

Make sure all mechanisms are functioning correctly and easy to move. If functional parts are allowed to rust, you may experience sudden malfunctions while in use.  

Light Check

Another common problem experienced by boat owners has to do with their trailer’s brake lights. Ideally, the brake lights are checked every time the trailer is hooked up, but it’s good to review it periodically as well.

Check the metal pins for signs of corrosion and apply special grease for these kinds of components. You should also make sure the trailer is properly grounded. Otherwise, you may have trouble with the operation. 

If the lights aren’t working correctly, start by replacing individual bulbs before looking at the wiring. If you aren’t experienced with electrical wiring, we recommend hiring a professional to avoid making problems worse. 

Get Started on Your Boat Maintenance Checklist

Use the above boat maintenance checklist to ensure your boat stays in good working order before and during boat storage. Practicing good boat care and maintenance is easier and more affordable than making costly repairs.

If you’re ready to find a suitable boat storage space, review your options and get renting today!

Did you know that almost 40% of Americans rent self storage units? That’s a lot of stuff!

If you’re looking for secure, long-term storage, it’s important to invest in a secure lock for the door. You wouldn’t want anyone else snooping through your belongings while you’re away.

Locking a storage unit door is a crucial step to ensure the security of personal belongings. That’s why we’ve compiled top tips to help keep intruders out of your items. 

Our comprehensive guide ensures that everything inside the unit is safe and sound until you return. Here are some tips for how to lock your storage unit door like a pro: 

Inspect the Storage Unit Door Regularly

Inspecting a storage unit door is vital to help ensure the safety and security of the items stored within. If you want to check whether a storage unit door is secure, there are several steps you should take: 

Check the Built-In Lock

Check the latch or lock on your storage unit door; make sure it’s in good working order and that any pins or screws that hold it in place are tight. Also, if you install an extra deadbolt lock, test it to ensure it locks with each use. 

Mind the Gaps

Look for gaps between the storage unit door frame and walls around it; these should be sealed off with appropriate weather-stripping material to prevent anyone from fitting through them (or accessing valuable stored goods). 

Check the Hinges

Thieves often use hinges to break into storage units. If a door swings outward, all they have to do is remove the pin or screws that hold the hinges in place. To prevent this, make sure all your storage unit door hinges are well-secured with long screws and heavy bolts.

If necessary, replace them with stronger options such as stainless steel ones. Those will give greater durability against force attempts made by burglars or unwanted visitors who might try to enter your space. 

Inspect All Entry Ways

Inspect all areas of your warehouse where someone could enter. Look for sites where an intruder can enter without breaking open a locked storage unit. Consider exposed windows and vents/ducts in roof spaces. 

Check Emergency Exits

Make sure you’re familiar with the facility and its emergency exits. Many units come equipped with emergency exits designed for quick evacuation during emergencies. Check these too! 

Could someone use an emergency exit as an unauthorized entrance point? Locking all exits (including the storage unit door) will help prevent unwanted intruders.

Secure Double Door Units

If you have chosen a double-door unit, use two locks so both doors so thieves can’t open them both at once. This is especially important if you’re storing a large item like a boat, RV, or vehicle.

The best way to secure double-door units is to use a high-security storage unit lock. These are usually heavy-duty steel and come with an extra locking bar to prevent intruders from unlocking them both at the same time.

Consider using two different types of locks on each side. Choose a disc lock for one side and a cylinder-style lock for the other side, if possible. 

Use Multiple Locking Points

Use multiple locks for storage units to secure the door. Having two or more storage unit locks makes it much more difficult for someone to break into your storage unit.

Using several locks also ensures greater protection if you accidentally leave one unlocked. Someone would still need to break through another lock before opening the door.

This setup makes it more difficult for criminals as they will struggle to identify which lock needs breaking to gain entry. 

Choose the Right Locks

Select a high-quality lock that won’t rust and will be difficult for burglars to pick or break. Disc locks work best with reinforced shackle durability and weather resistance. For added security, consider investing in a cylinder-style padlock with robust steel bodies and anti-drill plates.  

Deadbolt Locks

The first option is a deadbolt lock. A deadbolt lock is a locking mechanism in which a bolt slides into the door’s frame and stays secured until it’s unlocked with a key or code.

Deadbolt locks are made from hardened steel, making them secure and difficult to pick or break into. They also come in various sizes, allowing you to choose one that best suits your particular door unit. 

Make sure you install the deadbolt the right way. The bolt should extend at least one inch into the strike plate.

Disc Locks

Disc locks are one of the most secure choices. These are also made from hardened steel and include a disc-shaped lock mechanism and an anti-pick or bump key device.

Disc locks provide great protection against theft and need special tools to open them. They can be used alongside other self storage locks for added security. 

The disc shape makes it difficult for thieves to get leverage when attempting to break open the lock with tools, adding an extra layer of security to your storage unit door.

Combination or Key Padlocks

Padlocks are portable locks that provide an easy way to secure two doors together with the same key or combination.

You attach one side of the lock around each handle on the door and fasten it shut before leaving. No keys or codes are necessary! This makes them ideal for quick access while providing adequate security. 

Padlocks are less reliable than other locks. They should be one of your lowest defense sources. But they can provide an extra layer of security when used alongside other locks.

But you can choose higher-quality padlocks that are more difficult to pick or break. Be sure to select a padlock with a reinforced shackle and weather resistance to ensure it will stand up against corrosion and last you a long time. Consider purchasing a cylinder-style padlock with robust steel bodies and anti-drill plates for added protection. 

Make sure the padlock is secured. The shackle should be completely inserted into the hasp and locked in place.

Electronic Locks

Electronic locks have become popular over recent years due to the convenience and added protection they offer compared to other types of locks mentioned above.

They need knowledge (a unique code) and physical access (a card key). These electronic locks can be programmed so that only those who know the right combination can enter through either door, ensuring extra safety and prevention against burglary altogether.  

Smart Locks

Smart locks are gaining popularity as they offer a high level of convenience and control over your storage unit door. They are connected to a smartphone app that allows you to monitor who enters and exits the facility and opens or closes it remotely.

Smart locks use Bluetooth technology for added security; some come with sensors that alert you if someone tries to force the door open.

Boron Carbide Locks

Boron carbide locks are the toughest, most durable lock option when securing storage unit doors. Boron carbide is a ceramic material that is resistant to wear and tear. 

You can be sure your door will stay secure regardless of weather conditions or attempts at forced entry.

The boron carbide lock is embedded into the door, making it virtually impossible to open without a key or combination. 

Test Your Lock

It is important to ensure your lock work before leaving the property.

Consider the tools thieves might use to force entry and ensure your lock is up to the task.

Can your locks withstand a crowbar?

What about bolt cutters?

By taking the proper steps and investing in secure locks, you can ensure that it will be difficult for someone to break into your storage unit. Your valuables will be safe and sound until you’re ready to take them out again.  

Make a habit of checking the integrity of your door and locks each time you leave your storage unit. Lock and unlock the door several times to ensure it closes behind you. Check for any signs of wear or damage, and make sure it’s well secured before leaving.

If you experience any issues, contact the property manager or a locksmith immediately to get the issue resolved before heading home.

Keep Your Locks Updated

It’s essential to keep your locks and keys up-to-date. An old lock is an easy target for thieves, and you don’t want to make it any easier for them.

The older the lock is, the less secure it will be against potential theft. Every now and then, replace your storage unit door locks with high-quality ones made of hardened steel to last longer and provide more security.

The same goes for keys: if you’ve had the same key set for a long time, it’s time to get new ones.

Updated locks and keys will give you peace of mind knowing your storage unit is secure against theft.

Change Your Combination or PIN Number 

If you have an electronic lock, regularly changing your code or PIN can help protect against theft. Setting a different combination every month or two will make it much harder for thieves to guess your entry code.

Take the extra step and combine letters, numbers, and symbols to create more difficult-to-guess passwords. Don’t use birthdays or the names of family members to create your code because they are easy to guess. And no, don’t use your pet’s name, either.

A random mix of letters and numbers will help make it more difficult for someone to guess your code.

Don’t Be Cheap

Invest in the good stuff because when it comes to locks. Because you get what you pay for. High-quality locks made of hardened steel or other hard materials are the way to go. 

A good rule of thumb is to go with the heavier lock. The heavier it is, the more secure it will be against theft and forced entry.

Good locks cost you a bit more money. Shop online instead of at your local hardware store. These locks will be more durable and provide better security than cheaper models.

It’s worth it in the long run for peace of mind knowing that your storage unit is safe and secure. If you’re storing a vehicle or other large investment, you’ll need the best locks you can find!

Keep Your Storage Unit Clean and Orderly

A clean, organized storage unit is a deterrent for theft. How?

Thieves like to target units full of clutter because it makes it easier to hide their activities. And the disorganization will make it harder for you to identify any items that may take. It’s easier to steal from someone who won’t realize what’s missing right away.

So take the time to clean and organize your storage unit, and keep it that way between visits.

Install a Security System

Install a security system inside or outside your storage unit. A security system will deter thieves and alert you if someone does try to break in. Thieves will think twice before breaking in if they know you’ve installed a security system.

Choose one that also includes motion sensors, cameras, and/or alarms to provide an extra layer of protection. This can help you identify any suspicious activity and alert the authorities if necessary. 

And if the facility has any surveillance system, ensure it is working right and you have access to the footage.

Find Storage Units in Kingston, WA

No matter which type of lock you choose for your storage unit, ensure you get a mix of good quality locks and install them right. This will provide extra protection and peace of mind when leaving your storage unit unattended.

With proper preparation, you can rest assured that your possessions are well-protected! 

Remember that when it comes to keeping valuables safe, prevention is always better than cure. Take the necessary steps to ensure your storage unit door is secure and that you have the right security measures. Your belongings will be much safer for them!

At Ideal Storage, you can find the best secure storage unit in Kingston, WA, to keep your belongings safe and secure. Visit us today or call 360-900-9762 to learn more about our storage units and locking options! 

Recreational vehicle (RV) sales skyrocketed during COVID, and have stayed relatively constant in the last few years. People value the freedom an RV affords, as well as the opportunity to see areas of the country they might not otherwise explore.

Unless you are living in your RV, you most likely are not using it every day. That means you have to store it, and that means it is at risk of developing mold growth over time. The good news is that there are several proven methods for keeping mold growth at bay.

This article explores how to prevent mold in an RV during storage. It lays out some easy methods for keeping your RV clean, dry, and mold-free, so that it is ready to go when you next need it. Keep reading to find out how.

What Is Mold?

Mold is a type of fungi. There are thousands of species that produce different shapes, textures, and colors. They are larger than yeasts but not as big as other types of fungi, like mushrooms.

Note that, while the terms are often used interchangeably, mildew is distinct from mold. Mildew is a specific type of mold, but some molds are not mildew.

Different kinds of mold can live in a range of conditions. These include cooler and warmer temperatures, as well as on land and in aquatic environments.

Mold reproduces by spreading thousands of spores into the air. In most molds, these are microscopic, so they are undetectable to the human eye. They are everywhere, which is why they can even make their way into foods inside canisters in your refrigerator.

While only a few types of mold are harmful to humans, many are quite helpful. In fact, the drug penicillin comes from a specific type of mold.

What Causes Mold Growth?

Before getting into tactics for preventing mold, it may be helpful to understand what it needs to thrive and spread. Without certain elements, mold cannot survive.

Like almost every other living thing, mold cannot live without air, water, and food. It gets most of its water from the air, but it can use surface water to grow as well.

Molds feed on different things, including (like many other fungi) the decaying remains of animals and plants. This can include food products, as well as leaves, paper, wood, and fabrics.

In short, fungus growth occurs when these three elements are plentiful. While you may not be able to eliminate them all, reducing their presence in any given environment will make it hard for mold to grow.

Also, there are a few things that can kill mold. One is direct sunlight. While this may not be helpful to the inside of your RV, it is a natural remedy to keep in mind.

There also are protective sprays you can use. Many bathroom cleaners already contain chemicals that help prevent mold growth.

Why It Is Important to Keep Mold Out of Your RV?

As mentioned, most molds are not life-threatening. So, why do you need to be so concerned about keeping it out of your RV?

First, while mold may not kill you, it can cause health problems. Sports can trigger or exacerbate existing respiratory conditions. They can be a particular threat to immunocompromised people or those suffering from chronic lung diseases.

Certain types can also cause wheezing, stuffy nose, and irritate your eyes and skin in almost anyone. They also can create strong, unpleasant odors.

(If you are unsure if you currently have dangerous mold in your RV, there are ways to test for that. You can purchase toxic mold kits that will determine if there is a threat. These are inexpensive and fairly accurate.)

Beyond affecting humans, left unchecked, mold can do serious damage to the interior of your RV. It can cause stains, discoloration, and other cosmetic damage to walls and surfaces. It can damage drapes, curtains, awnings, and other fabrics in your camper.

Mold can rot wood and cause structural damage. All this can make your RV less pleasant or even dangerous to operate or stay in. It can also greatly diminish the resale value of your camper.

How to Prevent Mold in an RV During Storage

If you want to know how to prevent mold in your RV during storage, you can employ a few basic tactics. Here are the most effective ones to consider.

Inspect Your RV

One of the easiest things you can do to keep mold out of your RV while in storage is to inspect it. The main thing you want to search for is sources of moisture. These include leaks in pipes or around water fixtures in the RV.

Also check for cracks in the ceiling, walls, and around the door. Especially if you are going to be storing your camper outdoors, you need to seal any crevices where moisture could seep in.

Wipe Down Surfaces

Another simple thing to do is wipe down the walls and other surfaces inside your RV. Thoroughly clean your RV before storing it and as much as possible while it is in storage (if you have easy regular access to it). This eliminates condensation or other types of moisture, as well as the beginnings of any mold colonies.

For added mold and mildew protection, consider wiping down problematic areas with an anit-mold formula. This will ensure that the fungi are dead and keep them from coming back.

Remove Fabrics

We have focused a lot on removing water sources for mold, but eliminating prospective food sources inside your RV can be effective as well. For starters, take out all fabrics. This includes curtains, clothes, towels, washcloths, and bedding.

If it is not too much of a hassle, you might consider removing couch cushions or bed mattresses as well, as mold can grow in these as well. This will make the environment much less attractive to mold spores looking for a place to make home.

Flush Out Water Lines

If you are planning to store your RV for an extended period, you will want to remove all water from the tank and lines. Some RVs come with winterizing features, but you can also drain water from the sink faucet. You can force any remaining water out by running the pump (be sure not to leave the pump running after the water has completely drained).

Run a Heater

If you are concerned about any remnants of moisture, you can run a heater inside your RV before sending it to storage. This will evaporate any remaining condensation that you may have missed or was inaccessible to you. Of course, this is not something you would want to do for longer than a few hours or while in a confined storage space, since there is a danger of igniting a fire.

Address Recuring Mold Problems

If you experience mold that keeps coming back, you could have mold growths hidden in your RV. Common culprits include leaks in ceilings and floors. Do a thorough job of checking kitchen and bathroom sinks to ensure there are no leaks.

While these eradication methods can be a headache and may require some disassembly, it is worth it. Making sure you are getting rid of any potential water sources for mold can go a long way toward staving it off.

Opt for Covered Storage

If you have the option of covered storage for your RV, this will help keep it out of the elements and lessen the risk of water intrusion. It also will help your RV surfaces last longer, which is good for its value and for keeping unwanted moisture out.

Get an RV Cover

Even if you are parking your RV under a carport or other covered area, using an RV-specific rain cover can help keep mold away. This encapsulates your entire RV. They keep moisture out while allowing the inside of your RV to breathe.

RV covers are made from polyester or polypropylene fabric and are very durable. Many come with zippered panels for easy access to your RV (so you do not have to remove the entire cover). You can find them for a few hundred dollars, which makes them an economical option.

Covers alone may not be as effective as other methods on this list. However, combined with other techniques, they can add another lay of protection.

In general, mold cannot grow in temperatures below about 40 degrees F. So, during cooler months, covering your RV may be more than enough to keep mold spores from moving in and growing.

Ventilate Your RV

Especially if you live in a dryer climate, ventilation can be a good way to prevent mold in storage. That is because it keeps humid air from becoming trapped inside the vehicle.

If your RV has a roof vent, opening it is a good way to encourage air circulation. Also, side windows can help promote cross-ventilation. For more thorough air circulation, you can run a box fan to clear out any stale, humid air.

Also, leave cabinet doors open during storage. This will help keep spaces inside your RV well-ventilated too.

Use a Dehumidifier

If you live in a very humid area, you may have explored putting a dehumidifier in your basement, crawl space, or other areas of your home. Keeping humidity levels below 50 percent (closer to 30 percent is ideal) means that there is not enough moisture in the air for mold to survive.

The largest RVs do not have the square footage of a medium-sized basement. Even a small dehumidifier can go a long way toward reducing humidity levels to the point where mold cannot grow.

You can find small, electric ones that are inexpensive and easy to transport and install. Many are programmable, so they can detect the moisture levels and only run when they spike above desirable levels. Also, you can get dehumidifiers with self-contained water tanks that you can empty yourself, so there is no need to attach drainage hoses.

Use Desiccants

Desiccants are another dehumidifying tool. These are materials that naturally absorb moisture from the air. There are different types, but common ones include bentonite clay, silica gel, charcoal sulfate, and molecular sieve.

You can place them throughout your RV, but target areas there are more conducive to mold growth. These include dark, warmer spaces.

Desiccants are an effective and easy way to reduce moisture levels, especially for long-term storage. In fact, while most dehumidifiers use compression, some employ desiccant technology to remove moisture.

Use Professional Storage

One of the easiest and most effective ways to keep mold out of your RV while you are not using it is to go with a professional storage facility. These provide indoor, sealed spaces that help keep mold out. Some even provide temperature and climate control to ensure the environment is less conducive to mold growth.

These have the added benefit of keeping your RV safe and out of the elements while not in use. Most reputable storage companies have flexible hours (if not 24-hour access), which makes accessing your RV easy.

Learn More Mold Prevention Tips

Now that you know how to prevent mold in an RV during storage, you can decide which measures are right for your camper. With a little time and diligence, you can keep your RV mold-free and ready for the open road.

At Ideal Storage, we offer new, state-of-the-art storage facilities. We specialize in customizable personal, boat, and RV storage units to fit every need and budget. Reach out to us today to see what options might work best for keeping your RV safe and clean.

When you’re ready to take your RV out of storage, you’ll need to perform a bit of spring cleaning before getting it out on the road.

Although you’ve put your pride and joy in RV storage during the off-season, it’s still important to give it a once-over in the spring to make sure everything’s in tip-top shape. It’s always better to clean things up and make little repairs prior to leaving for any big road trips. Treat your RV as your home away from home.

In this post, we’re going to give you 6 crucial spring cleaning tips that you can use to get your RV ready every year. There’s no denying that RV maintenance can be daunting, but read on and you’ll have a small, but complete checklist to go through before you’re ready to enjoy your RV all summer long.

1. Get All Your Supplies Together First

The first thing you need to do is get all of your cleaning supplies together. Most RV owners dread spring cleaning because it can be so time-consuming, but when you’re prepared, it can all be over within a few short hours.

Consider what kind of cleaning you’re about to do and make sure you’re equipped with the correct supplies before you head down to the RV storage facility. You’ll need both interior and exterior cleaning supplies, bring along the following items:

  • A handheld vacuum
  • Organic multi-purpose cleaner
  • Several microfiber cloths
  • Sealant
  • WD-40
  • Disposable gloves
  • Garbage bags
  • A Swiffer sweeper
  • An extendable washing brush
  • Wax and wash cleaner
  • Upholstery cleaner
  • Organizational tools, like hooks and storage bins

Bring along any tools that you might have to help you perform important RV maintenance. It’s better to bring extra supplies than to have to head back home or out to the hardware store to pick up what you forgot.

You can also make your own cleaning solutions out of vinegar, baking soda, and water. These are great for cleaning ovens, stovetops, toilets, and hard surfaces.

2. Wipe From the Top Down

With an RV, it’s always best to start your cleaning from the top and work your way down. Begin on the interior by taking your handheld vacuum or Swiffer and catching all of the dust caught in the crevices above you and in the other hard-to-reach areas. Whatever you don’t pick up will get knocked down and you can get it later.

Once you’ve cleared the ceiling of dust, grab one of your microfiber cloths and some all-purpose cleaner and wipe down all of the surfaces above you. Work your way down until you’ve covered everything from the ceiling fans to the driver controls.

After you’ve completed the main wipe down of the interior, fill up a bucket and get ready to do the same on the exterior. If you’ve got a great indoor RV storage facility, then it’s possible to skip the exterior cleaning altogether.

A good wax and wash cleaner will be able to handle most of the exterior. Take your extendable brush and go over the entire thing, inspecting it for damage along the way. Any small cracks or problems with seals will need to be looked at before you start driving the RV.

3. Bring a Vacuum In

Having a good vacuum with a few different implements is an important part of RV spring cleaning. You’ll need smaller implements to get into the smaller nooks and crannies where dirt and debris could be hiding. After you’ve done all of the spots above you, there should be lots to vacuum up on the floor as well.

You can use the vacuum for cleaning out drawers and even your refrigerator. Just make sure everything’s removed first, then pop your vacuum in and watch all of the dust disappear. It’s much more efficient than using wipes, so you’ll save a lot of time using this method.

4. Fridge Cleaning 101

Speaking of the refrigerator, this is often one of the worst parts of doing spring cleaning. Hopefully, you haven’t forgotten any old food in the fridge over the winter. If so, things could get messy and smelly.

Take everything out of the fridge, tossing the expired condiments and old food into the trash. As we said, you can vacuum out all of the loose crumbs. Remove the shelves and crisper buckets to soak in a sink of soapy water.

Once it’s completely empty, get the all-purpose cleaner, a microfiber cloth, and give it a thorough scrub. Make sure to do the freezer and the door seals as well. When you’re done, just put everything back as it was.

5. Clean the Things You Can’t See

It’s easy to forget about that which you cannot immediately see. Your awning and holding tank are two crucial aspects of your RV that you need to inspect before you’re out on a trip.

Your awning should be pretty straightforward. Just pull it out and give it a light wash with some soap, spray it down with a hose, then let it dry before putting it back.

For the tanks, make sure that they’ve all been drained properly and that there isn’t any buildup inside them. For safety, fill the tank up with water until it’s 2/3 full, then drain it once more. You can find more detailed instructions for holding tank cleaning here.

6. Check All Mechanical Aspects

Lastly, inspect all of the mechanical parts of your RV to make sure it’s functioning properly. Turn it on and check the lights, the engine, the oil, the heat, and AC. If it’s been sitting in a boat and RV storage facility like ours, then it should be in the same condition you left it in.

That said, it’s always good to have a mechanic give your RV a once-over to be 100% positive that it’s going to make it through a good road trip.

RV Storage Is Half the Battle

Spring cleaning is an important part of maintaining your RV, but having it stored in an indoor or covered RV storage facility is half the battle. If you’re in the Kingston, WA area and looking for the best RV storage, then type “RV storage near me” into Google and you’ll find Ideal Storage.

We offer indoor and covered RV storage facilities suitable for any type of RV. Visit our site today to learn more about how you can keep your RV safe over winter so you can keep your spring cleaning duties to a minimum.

7 Tips for Getting Your Boat Out of Storage

Did you know that boat sales in the US reached their highest level in more than a decade in 2020? If you’re a boat owner, you’ll enjoy all the benefits that a boat can bring, especially during the summer months. In the winter, however, you may not use your boat at all. If you’re not using your boat for long periods then the best idea is to keep it in boat storage to protect it from the elements.

Once spring comes around you’ll need to get your boat out of storage again. Read on as we take a look at seven useful tips for when it’s time to get your boat out of storage.

1. Reconnect The Battery

When you store your boat, it’s important to disconnect the battery.

If you leave your battery connected over winter, then when it comes time to get your boat back out on the water again, you’re going to find yourself with a dead battery on your hands.

Ideally, you should give your battery one last charge, then remove it and store it in a cool, dry place over winter. You might also consider charging the battery once a month or leaving it on trickle charge.

When it comes time to get your boat out of storage, reconnect the battery again. Check that the terminals are clear of any debris before you reconnect them.

2. Replace The Oil

When your vessel has been sitting in boat storage facilities for a long period of time, the oil is going to separate and thicken, especially in cold weather.

This oil isn’t going to be ideal for keeping your boat engine running smoothly. The best course of action is to start off the season with fresh oil that will keep your engine in peak condition.

It’s also worth changing the oil filters before you get out on the water, too.

3. Look For Any Corrosion

Storing your boat in an indoor boat storage facility is the best way to keep it protected from the elements. Left outside, your boat may be subject to corrosion from cold and wet weather.

Even if your boat has been stored indoors, there may still be some corrosion due to exposure to moisture in the air. Take the opportunity to look for any signs of corrosion, especially around any electrical connections.

Any corrosion can disrupt the flow of electricity and impact the working of your boat’s systems.

4. Clean The Fuel Tank

Another of the most important post-boat storage ideas is to clean out the fuel tank after a period of storage.

Debris and sludge can settle in a fuel tank if it is left unused for a long period. The last thing you want is to have this sludge flowing through your engine; it can lead to poor engine performance or could even cause your engine to cut out completely.

Take the time to completely clean out the fuel tank. This involves flushing out the fuel which will clear out much of the sludge along with it. If you isolate the fuel tank from the engine you can also use a pressure washer to get rid of any hard-to-remove sludge and leave your fuel tank in tip-top condition.

5. Check Safety Gear

It’s not just the boat itself that needs checking over when you bring your boat out of storage.

One of the most important things you should do is check that all of your boat safety gear is in order. The last thing you want is to discover that some of your safety equipment is defective when you need it the most.

Your safety equipment should include:

  • personal flotation devices such as life jackets
  • throwable flotation devices such as lifebuoys
  • fire extinguishers
  • visual signalling devices such as flares
  • audio signalling devices such as horns and whistles
  • bailing devices
  • cell phones and radios to call for help if needed
  • working running lights
  • charts and compasses
  • first aid kits
  • anchors and boarding ladders
  • spare fuel

6. Check The Propulsion

If your boat is powered, then the propulsion system is key; without it, you won’t be able to go anywhere.

Check out the propellers and look for any cracks or other damage. You should also be on the lookout for any dings or defects in the shape of the propellers; if the props are out of shape they won’t be as efficient and you’ll be using more fuel than you should be.

7. Clean Inside and Out

The final thing you should do before you take your boat back out on the water is to give it a thorough clean inside and out.

This is particularly important for the exterior of your boat. Keeping your hull clean helps to protect it from corrosion or other damage. Even if you cleaned the exterior of your boat before you put it in storage, it’s a good idea to give it a thorough clean again.

A power washer is an effective way of removing any debris from the exterior of your boat and ensuring that it’s as clean as possible.

Once you’re done with the exterior, give the interior a thorough clean too. Even if your boat has been stored inside, dust and other debris will build up. You’ll get far more pleasure from your boat if it’s clean inside and out.

Are You Looking for Boat Storage?

If you’re looking for RV and boat storage in Kingston and Kitsap, WA, then we’re here to help.

We offer both open and covered boat storage that protects your watercraft and helps to ensure that your vessel is kept protected from the elements. Our state-of-the-art facility is fully fenced, with keypad access, and under video surveillance. Lots are accessible seven days a week, from 6:00 AM to 10:00 PM.

Check out our site tour to learn more.