If you’re an RV owner, chances are you’re already well-aware of the harmful effects of the natural elements on your vehicle during each season. While many plan trips in Arizona for its ideal climate conditions in what would otherwise be “off-season” in other states, you should still keep in mind that it receives an average of 3,500 hours of sunshine per year. Good for tanning, not so good for your RV.
But contrary to what some may believe, Arizona is not only arid desert land year-round. Its topography is quite diverse, with high plateaus, mesas, canyons and valleys, forests, and even snow-capped peaks. Throughout the state, the average annual precipitation ranges from three inches in the southwest point to over 60 inches in northern Arizona.
So how do you protect your RV against the elements during the coldest and hottest times of year? Here are some items to consider in order to take extra precaution during the summer and winter months.
Any Arizona resident will scoff at the phrase “it’s a dry heat,” because it’s essentially the understatement of the year. Summers here are no joke, with temperatures ranging from 90-120 degrees and the southernmost desert even surpassing 125 at times. So storing your RV in the “Grand Canyon State” as opposed to somewhere like Florida, for example, is quite different in terms of humidity levels.
With that said, however, a simple RV cover is no match for Arizona monsoons. Don’t underestimate the dust storms, which can best be described as sand-filled tidal waves. Utilizing an RV cover during these times can basically produce a sandpaper-like covering for your RV. Needless to say, the season’s effects will have created more damage. If you have a covered spot and wish to use one, ensure you are using a properly fitted RV cover that is breathable.
Even if you use a covered storage solution, it is highly recommended to spring for windshield, windows, and seat covers, as well as tire protectors. If not protected properly, this high heat can of course destroy tires, any other exposed rubber pieces, slide-out seals, and other parts left in direct sunlight.
Before storing for the summer, you should also pour antifreeze down your pipes to demineralize and protect against the effects of evaporation. Then, use a protectant product such as Armor All on the external rubber and plastic surfaces to prevent cracking and drying out. As dry as it is in Arizona, don’t be tempted to leave any water near your rig because animals will flock to it like it’s a mirage. Finally, remember not to keep anything flammable that could explode in this caliber of heat for weeks.
You may be wondering if you really even need to winterize your RV in Arizona. The answer is yes, if you want to maximize the longevity of your vehicle as much as possible. Non-Arizonans may not realize that day-to-night variations can have over a 50-degree difference! Keep in mind January is the coldest month. However, it shouldn’t be nearly as much of a process as it would in a colder climate.
Winter nights can occasionally drop below freezing, even if the average highs of the day hit 70 degrees. The state has an average elevation of 4,100 feet above sea level, with the lowest elevation being the Colorado River on the Sonoran border and the highest point being Humphreys Peak at 12,635 feet.
So when it comes to “hibernation” time for your RV, you’ll just want to be prepared for the places that will have nights falling below 32 degrees in December and January. This is when the threat of pipes freezing is high and the hot water tank, sink water sprayer, and plastic shower valves can crack. During those months, it’s always a best practice measure to drain your water lines before storing for the winter. Another step you can take is to pour antifreeze down the sink, toilet, and shower drain to prevent your pipes from freezing. An inexpensive but highly useful gadget to add to your RV would be a thermometer if you don’t already have one.
Whether the weather is arid or frigid, we recommend visiting your RV about once a month if possible for the best defense against issues down the road. That way you can check on your RV, start the engine, and let it run for several minutes. For important storage tips for any time of year in Arizona, be sure to check out this blog post.
Call us at (520) 833-8016, or click here to reserve your spot for storage now!
This article is intended for informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for recommendations or services provided by a licensed professional.