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How to Protect Your RV From Environmental Damage

RVs are meant for adventure, but prolonged exposure to the elements can cause damage overtime. Luckily, there are steps you can take to protect your RV and preserve its resale value. Don’t let Mother Nature destroy your investment! Learn how to protect your RV from environmental damage and keep your rig operating properly and looking the same as it did the day you pulled it off the lot!

Threats Abound

If you don’t properly protect your RV, there are plenty of natural threats prepared to wreak havoc. Sun exposure is probably one of the most prominent causes of damage to RVs. The UV rays wash out colors, fade surfaces, and dry out and crack rubber, fabric, and leather. Rainwater can cause unsightly streaking along your exterior. Tree sap, ice, road salt, and ozone in the air all present a hazard to your RV.


If your RV has slide outs, purchasing a slide topper can be an effective way to protect them against the elements. With slide toppers, debris like acorns, catkins, and twigs are repelled so they cannot jam up the internal components and compromise the functionality of the retracting mechanism. To promote proper rainwater runoff, look into getting gutters, drip rails, or drip spouts for your RV. Installing these will help to prevent black streaks from forming and tainting the look of your sleek exterior. For a more stylish option, rain chains can be used too. If any streaks do form, wipe them off as soon as they appear.


You’ll want to wash and wax your RV periodically to protect against environmental damage. Remember, the longer you neglect your RV’s exterior, the harder the damage will be to reverse. Find a product that is designed to be compatible with the surface of your RV, and avoid harsh cleaning chemicals which can do further damage. It is recommended that you give your RV a good cleaning at least twice a year. The repelling properties of waxes help to protect against the damage caused by splattered bugs and dust buildup, making casual, in-between cleans much easier.


Maintenance and upkeep are also a component of protecting against environmental damage. If any of your seals or seams are compromised due to cracking or deterioration, water can permeate in and result in costly damage. Routinely inspect your RV to make sure it is watertight, paying extra special attention to seals, seams, and moldings, which can become damaged by UV rays overtime. Use a tube of caulk or sealant to repair any areas of concern.


Believe it or not, your RV may be most susceptible to environmental damage when it is dormant in the off-season. So, just because your RV isn’t being used, doesn’t mean you don’t need to protect it. Ideally, you should store your RV in a cool, dry, covered storage area. As this is not always a viable option, an oversized metal carport can be an effective alternative. If you have to park your RV outside when it’s in storage, avoid parking it under trees (to prevent sap and bird droppings from accumulating) and make sure you have it covered. Don’t forget your tires either! If possible, put your rig up on blocks and make sure they are larger than the footprint of your tires. Being mindful of how you store your RV will make it much easier once you’re ready to get it out again and start another fun season of RVing!

Taking the time to protect your RV from environmental damage can save you a lot of money in the long run. Take the necessary precautions and keep up on maintenance so that you can keep your rig’s resale value steady! Is there anything we missed? Let us know in the comments!

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