If you are purchasing a large RV, have you determined where and how you will store it when it's not being used during cold, wintry months? Snow accumulating on an RV can do some serious damage, especially if the snow becomes heavy enough to cause the roof to fail or collapse. Here's what you need to know.
Snow can damage the lightweight construction of an RV roof
Placing a tarp on top of the roof can reduce the risks of water and melted snow from getting into seams and expanding when temperatures drop below freezing, but there's still the weight of the snow to contend with. Due to the rising costs of fuel, many RV manufacturers are building RVs to be lightweight to improve the mile-per-gallon performance of the RVs. One way they've made it possible to improve the fuel usage is with lightweight roofing. Many RV roofs are too thin to be walked on, so you can imagine the weight of several inches of slushy snow can be concerning.
Other cold weather elements can also damage your RV
Sunlight can dry out the tires and damage them. The ultraviolet rays can weaken points in the tire. To compound the situation, flat spots on the tires can occur from the weight of the unmoved RV. Together, these issues could easily cause the tires to weaken and rupture. Sunlight can also cause the paint to fade and the interior upholstery to fade as well.
Freezing temperatures can wreak havoc on the plumbing, appliances, and electronics inside the RV. And humidity levels during winter months can cause excessive moisture inside your RV, which can frost over and ruin those components and the interior surfaces. And of course, whenever there's excessive moisture, there's a risk of mold growth when the temperatures begin to rise after a long, cold winter.
Protection from elements of weather in an RV garage
There are several ways you can protect the investment in your RV. The RV can be parked underneath an RV port, which is similar to a car port. While this may seem like a good idea economically, your RV can still be susceptible to other weather elements. The ideal way to store an RV for the winter is in a building that is, preferably, climate-controlled, such as a large RV garage made out of steel or pre-engineered metal buildings.
Steel buildings are ideal for RVs because they can easily withstand the elements of weather and require very little maintenance to perform well. They also can be built in a shorter amount of time than other types of garage construction methods, such as concrete block garages. Incorporating a climate-control system in the building to keep the temperatures above freezing and the humidity levels optimal can help to the risks of damage to your RV.
An RV garage will allow you to have extra space
One great benefit of parking and storing your RV in a steel building for the off-season is you, your family, and your friends will be able to use the RV as extra living space and still be comfortable due to the climate-control of the garage itself. The RV can become a man-cave or a place for your teenagers to hang out in with their friends. It can also give you a get-away when you need to escape from a loud house to concentrate.
You could also build the RV garage to be larger than is necessary to store the RV, which can also give you more space for storing other things, such as riding lawnmowers and lawn equipment. Alternatively, a hobby shop can be incorporated into the design of the steel building, such as for woodworking or do-it-yourself vehicle maintenance.