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Old 07-11-2021, 08:26 PM   #1
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How much does leaving RV in sun damage it?

I have a storage lot within my community, which I can use to store a RV free of charge. However, it is uncovered and exposed to the hot southern sun. It is also a short walk from my house. The other option is to pay for covered storage several miles away.

How bad would the sun deteriorate an RV if stored in it uncovered over the course of three to five years (I would probably sell it after then).
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Old 07-11-2021, 08:35 PM   #2
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Good question.

I think, as evidenced by 80%-90% of all RV older than 10yrs old, that need a roof cap and roof radius paint job, one would then conclude "clear coat" on it's own does not get the job done.

That said, how long do you plan to own your RV?

The more important questions is this: How do you plan to keep your batteries maintained in storage?

If you have a solar panel of 100W+ on your roof you will be okay. The next best thing to do is disconnect your batteries positive terminal. And the next, next best thing to do is take your batteries home if you store your RV in freezing climates.

Personally, I sort of like FREE, and I like it even more when my RV is in-between other RV in storage. However, the sun and even more importantly, the wind can destroy your decals... and to a lesser extent your full body paint.

Maybe if you apply a coat of Zep floor wax before you store your RV that may help, but I have never done this. I just mention it to cover all bases. And maybe someone else can tell you what they did to "winterize" their paint when they know the sun and weather is a factor.

In my case, I drive 2,000 miles to sore my RV in a Texas pole barn, because I don't want to pay $300/month for inside storage in SLC or Montana, but you have to do what makes sense for your budget.

I live in Hawaii and can fly into any airport, and I store my RV for 7-8 months at a time. I picked Texas because it only freezes there for a few weeks, and then I drive to Montana after I travel to Rocky Point, MX which is my new go-to destination.

I think if you use a UV wax/protectant then you will be just fine.

So, again, I go back to the bigger concern, which how you plan to maintain your batteries when you put your RV in storage? ...Because for a few years there I was replacing $600 house batteries every 2 years and you will get tired of doing that, because I did not maintain them properly. I.e., a 2 week freeze is enough to destroy the life of your house batteries.
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Old 07-11-2021, 08:38 PM   #3
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I have wrestled with this question alot, when we were in Reno our storage space was outside and now in Oklahoma it is even worse heat. I plan to invest in a quality cover at some point when I put it away, but so far we have plans through December.
I think I read at somewhere to wax it at least once a year and twice if you can. I need to put a good wash and wax on ours when my travel schedule and weather will cooperate together.
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Old 07-12-2021, 03:53 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qwerty11 View Post
I have a storage lot within my community, which I can use to store a RV free of charge. However, it is uncovered and exposed to the hot southern sun. It is also a short walk from my house. The other option is to pay for covered storage several miles away.

How bad would the sun deteriorate an RV if stored in it uncovered over the course of three to five years (I would probably sell it after then).
It would help to know where you plan to store? How long do you plan to NOT use it when it is stored? Even with above answers it would then need to be qualified as to how well you can / will maintain it?

But let me answer your question if it was me in Dallas Texas area
.

* I would store Free of Charge; a short walk from my home.
* Sun would NOT deteriorate my RV short the normal aging of items on roof i.e. AC units, ceiling fans etc.


I keep my unit outside, and it is also under a tree I have a 2019.

I use RV Wash & Wax with a foamer from my pressure washer after every trip (at least once a month) if for no other reason to clean bugs off the front and any road dirt and light soot from generator off the back.

I wax the entire RV body by hand & with buffer using Mequire's Pure Wax #56 twice a year (MANDATORY). (Spring & Fall) I also wax the Fiberglass roof once a year with same Mequire's Pure Wax #56. During the fall, I spray with regular water hose to blow leaves and twigs off the roof from tree. I also use RV Wash & Wax with the foamer from my pressure washer at least twice a year on the roof.

Note: I never use my pressure washer to spray water on body or roof of my RV. I always use the jet nozzle setting off my regular water hose. The pressure washer is only used for the foamer.

I put 303 Protectant on all decals about 4 times per year. Note: Where possible; I try to avoid putting wax on the decals.

Except for tires; I do not use a cover and will never buy one. I use to think I wanted a RV cover, but quickly learned for me that they are not necessary. IMO a cover effort / money spent in the wrong place.

Attached is recent picture of roof & RV body to give you perspective. This is after two years, so next year; this coach would satisfy what your 3 year requirement would look like if it is maintained as I do

If you are unable to do the Washing or Waxing, just pay someone to do everything using about $1,200/year of money saved from not paying for covered storage. Note: It still will need to be Wash & Waxed in Storage but not as much maybe $800.
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Old 07-12-2021, 06:52 AM   #5
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No good answers for everybody but I find sun here in Central Texas is a killer for tires, decals, wipers, plastic lens and all rubber type items like seals around windows. Look at cars from Texas for what it does to the headlights after a few years? We are finding decals which are no longer in stock to cost more than a hundred each and we need several on a 2015.
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Old 07-13-2021, 01:58 PM   #6
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What are damaged are window seals for the most part. Roof caps with Dicor or other sealant and need to have the sealant replaced if it cracks but this is not a big deal. Where there is roof to side wall caulking or sealant then this too will deteriorate in the sun. There are covers for the outside of the cab that can protect it from UV damage as one would do with a car or truck.

There are products that are designed to protect window and other seals and worth the cost and effort to apply on doors, windows, etc. if they are rubber composition.
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Old 07-14-2021, 08:12 PM   #7
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What are damaged are window seals for the most part. Roof caps with Dicor or other sealant and need to have the sealant replaced if it cracks but this is not a big deal. Where there is roof to side wall caulking or sealant then this too will deteriorate in the sun. There are covers for the outside of the cab that can protect it from UV damage as one would do with a car or truck.

There are products that are designed to protect window and other seals and worth the cost and effort to apply on doors, windows, etc. if they are rubber composition.
Do certain campers have different types of rubber or other type of seals that weather sun better than others?
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Old 07-16-2021, 03:21 PM   #8
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I live in the desert, and IMHO, the direct Sun/ UV and heat destroys vehicles from the inside out. Anything plastic, rubber, vinyl, woods, paint, and cloth becomes stiff, brittle, cracked and ultimately disintegrates in enough time. Inside my garage it regularly hits 150F for 12 hours a day.

Much of the UV damage is to all the rubber seals---costly and time consuming to replace.

Of course, cost of storage is always an issue and inside costs more. RVing is always more expensive than like to imagine! It's almost as bad as boating!😎
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Old 07-18-2021, 04:48 PM   #9
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Mine was stored outdoors in Phoenix before I bought it at 9 years old. The seller had much of the lower paintwork re-done and a poor job of buffing waxing along with replacement of a couple of graphics. The roof clear coated edge paint was peeled badly which I an re-doing as we speak. The dash was pretty bad and I removed it and completely re-finished it, looks like new now. The interior plastics near the ceiling were badly yellowed, the satellite and TV antenna controls and especially the shower, it looked horrible. I used a process called Retr0bright (yes that's a zero in the middle) which involved hydrogen peroxide cream and UV light and got all that stuff looking like new again. I have also re-buffed and waxed the exterior which now looks great but I still need to polish the plastic windows. Headlights were awful but I was able to restore them as well. I will be storing it indoors (big garage) so shouldn't really see much deterioration now. As far as a cover, a cover did come with it but was like new. It was so hard to put on they never used it.
Maybe consider covered storage for the long term and bring it to your free lot for trip preparation etc. 3-5 years you won't have the damage I did but will have some. Mine wasn't in Phoenix the entire 9 years, the original owners lived in Oregon and spent winters in Sedona, but not sure how long they owned it.
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Old 07-19-2021, 03:43 PM   #10
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There is a product popular in our resort in Palm Springs called "Summer Wax", but I don't know the brand, or where they get it.

The workmen lather it on, but don't buff it off until the following winter season, after the summer is over. It forms a hazy finish. It seems to really protect everything, and comes off easily after even after six months.
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Old 07-28-2021, 06:19 AM   #11
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Nothing lasts forever, especially in extreme sun/heat. Damage can only be minimized. Like a sticks and brick home/automobile, regular maintenance will only help delay the inevitable. The boat analogy by another poster is a perfect example.

There's no magic involved as maintaining early and often is the key. Some folks, understandably, don't have the time and patience so they'll either give up the lifestyle or get a new rig. dkoldman spends time and $$$ and it shows

It may only last a few years, but IMO, a cover WILL help. Not only does it keep UV paint and decal damage minimized, it'll also protect against seal deterioration and dirt finding it's way into every potential entry.

I've had my rig less than a year and have already spent a great deal of time trying to keep it looking/operating as good as possible, however I do realize it's a losing battle. For example, I spent 3 hours yesterday re-taping the top and bottom portions of the slideout with eternabond, along with reconditioning the perimeter seals with 303. If I had a slide topper (which I eventually plan to purchase), this damage would certainly have been lessened

Keep it clean and covered in between trips, use quality UV protectants and diligent on rubber seal maintenance.
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Old 08-06-2021, 10:47 PM   #12
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We park ours outside, alongside our house here in Tucson. We get our share of sunshine.

She had the oft mentioned deteriorated roof edge clearcoat and faded decals when when bought her in 2012. SWMBO and I stripped the decals and front cap 3M film. We had a guy paint in the old decals with original colors. I then sprayed clearcoat.

In spite of her outside storage, she still looks new. We are careful to keep her up.

Some say the roof is fiberglas so needs no care. I strongly disagree. We bought into the ZEP hype and coated the roof. Was great for about two years, then peeled off. Your brand of wax works well up there for about a year. We rolled out Dicor Fiberglas coating in December. Waiting to see if IT lives up to its hype. All of those minimize side streaking.

You could say she is constantly being waxed. I've divided her into six areas -- front cap, rear cap and half of each side. Weather, location and inclination permitting, I wax an area. So entire coach perhaps 2X year?

In other posts, I've written whole treatises' on tires, but basically we dress them with 303 every month or so. We sewed up wheel skirts instead of those frustrating wheel covers. Installed them with turn buttons. we only use them for stays of a week or more.

Monthly 303 on all window moldings and interior vinyl, dash and leather capt's chairs.

We have exterior sunshades on windshield and driver/passenger side front windows. Use as needed if traveling. The rest are dark tinted.

When she sits idle, the toilet is kept full of water. A bucket full of water in the shower. A tub of water in the kitchen sink. All to raise humidity so cabinetry does not dry out.

If it's broke, fix it.

And that's all there is to keeping her up, outside, at home.

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Old 08-07-2021, 09:07 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Oldchinahand View Post
We park ours outside, alongside our house here in Tucson. We get our share of sunshine.

She had the oft mentioned deteriorated roof edge clearcoat and faded decals when when bought her in 2012. SWMBO and I stripped the decals and front cap 3M film. We had a guy paint in the old decals with original colors. I then sprayed clearcoat.

In spite of her outside storage, she still looks new. We are careful to keep her up.

Some say the roof is fiberglas so needs no care. I strongly disagree. We bought into the ZEP hype and coated the roof. Was great for about two years, then peeled off. Your brand of wax works well up there for about a year. We rolled out Dicor Fiberglas coating in December. Waiting to see if IT lives up to its hype. All of those minimize side streaking.

You could say she is constantly being waxed. I've divided her into six areas -- front cap, rear cap and half of each side. Weather, location and inclination permitting, I wax an area. So entire coach perhaps 2X year?

In other posts, I've written whole treatises' on tires, but basically we dress them with 303 every month or so. We sewed up wheel skirts instead of those frustrating wheel covers. Installed them with turn buttons. we only use them for stays of a week or more.

Monthly 303 on all window moldings and interior vinyl, dash and leather capt's chairs.

We have exterior sunshades on windshield and driver/passenger side front windows. Use as needed if traveling. The rest are dark tinted.

When she sits idle, the toilet is kept full of water. A bucket full of water in the shower. A tub of water in the kitchen sink. All to raise humidity so cabinetry does not dry out.

If it's broke, fix it.

And that's all there is to keeping her up, outside, at home.

Fair Winds and Following Seas
So what you really saying is that you got her in Ship Shape

Your comment "Monthly 303 on all window moldings" stood out to me. I use 303 as well but only on decals and every other month. I will look into applying 303 or my existing 3 n 1 Ceramic Detailing solution I use on the glass to apply on the window molding.


For kicks just to see what it does I applied Turtle Wax Hybrid Solutions Ceramic Spray on roof this morning. I wax roof just once a year, but this ceramic application is going to be a good test to see how the Ceramic Spray can handle decaying leaves this Fall. It only took 30 minutes to apply once the roof was cleaned. I will apply a 2nd coating later this evening when sun goes down because it did not take much out of my 16 oz bottle.
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Old 08-07-2021, 09:21 AM   #14
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Having just re-painted my roof radius edges I am looking for a solution for the roof as well. My first thought is to buff off the dull/chalky residue (from the white gelcoat part of the roof) first then wax. I am going to try the ceramic product on my whole rig, been using Meguiar's Ultimate wax. I have a bottle of their Hybrid Ceramic wax that you apply after the rinse, first time they recommend you apply the ceramic while surface is wet then dry it with a towel. Subsequent applications they say just rinse, spray it on, rinse again and you're done. Sounds too easy but going to try it.
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Old 08-07-2021, 10:00 AM   #15
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Having just re-painted my roof radius edges I am looking for a solution for the roof as well. My first thought is to buff off the dull/chalky residue (from the white gelcoat part of the roof) first then wax. I am going to try the ceramic product on my whole rig, been using Meguiar's Ultimate wax. I have a bottle of their Hybrid Ceramic wax that you apply after the rinse, first time they recommend you apply the ceramic while surface is wet then dry it with a towel. Subsequent applications they say just rinse, spray it on, rinse again and you're done. Sounds too easy but going to try it.
It may be too late for you, but watch this video. You will see why I chose the Turtle Wax Hybrid Solutions Ceramic Spray to try out.



You are bolder than me to try the Ceramic on the entire coach I have been washing and waxing for years; so I never have finish problems, my biggest fear is that some new product that is being marketed; might be worse than what I have been doing

At the end of the day, I want the easiest thing to apply that can keep decaying leaves or bird poop from etching into the Roof's fiberglass. I don't have that concern for the side, front or rear of the RV; so the Meguiars #56 Pure RV / Marine wax is perfect; it gives a deep shine. The Ultimate may be better but I have never tried. Meguiars #56 Pure RV / Marine wax is recommended by Winnebago and is listed by the Fiber glass Mfg as to what to use. I have been putting on roof as well.

Note: I do use the Spray Wax Cleaner to treat occasional spots and the Meguiars #83 to do deep cleaning and polishing.
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Old 08-07-2021, 10:54 AM   #16
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The reason I thought I'd go with the Meguiar's is the fact that I can spray it on the sides while wet which will hopefully solve my fight with water spotting.

I guess I could use the Turtle Wax on the roof only though,
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Old 08-07-2021, 11:16 AM   #17
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The reason I thought I'd go with the Meguiar's is the fact that I can spray it on the sides while wet which will hopefully solve my fight with water spotting.

I guess I could use the Turtle Wax on the roof only though,
Normally I always go with Meguiars over any other normal options, but given I know ZERO about ceramic sprays, and having watched that video of the all main Ceramic Sprays; the Turtle Wax Hybrid Solution Ceramic Spray was clearly superior longevity wise over the Meguiars Ceramic Spray. Having said that, I am NOT convinced yet that Turtle Wax Hybrid Solution Ceramic Spray has any benefit over my existing Meguiars #56 Pure RV/Marine Wax I sure today. See picture in post #4. I hope the Ceramic Spray will last longer and repel stronger? It certainly is a lot easier to apply and the Meguiars Ceramic Spray is even easier. The fact that it is smooth to glide on surface by itself is not a benefit to me.

I use the RV Wash & Wax concentrate for every basic wash and that helps with the water spotting you refer to. It is no brainer for me as you have to wash anyway.
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Old 08-09-2021, 10:57 AM   #18
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Well it was overcast today so great day for washing. I used the Meguiar's ceramic and as I hoped, it was easy and came out nice. The roof I only washed and will have to buff and wax over the next few weeks since it is chalky. My goal is to have the roof look like dkoldman's! Note in the pics my newly painted radius edges and new Geocel application.
I am hoping with the Meguiar's that in future washes I can just rinse and not have to worry about drying so carefully and still not have water spotting. Today I dried without rinsing per the instructions for your initial application, for future applications the rinse water is supposed to distribute the ceramic. We shall see..
I should note that I have 2 layers of paste wax on there from a few months back and now stored indoors.
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Old 08-09-2021, 11:03 AM   #19
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Just to keep on the subject of sun damage here's what the roof radius's looked like when I bought the rig which had been stored in the sun. I sanded them down and applied a base coat clear coat automotive paint.
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