Dear Dr. R.V. Shrink:
My wife and I just bought a brand new fifth wheel. We plan to use it 6 to 8 months of the year, mostly during the winter in a warmer climate than here in Wisconsin. We plan to leave every year just after Christmas. I am trying to convince my wife that we should have a storage building to keep the fifth wheel in while we are not using it. I just hate to see it outside in the elements while it is idle, plus rodents seem to find a way in. She argues that a building will cost more than the fifth wheel and that the RV was built to be an outside vehicle. Am I just being over protective or do a lot of RV owners park their rigs inside, out of the elements and away from the pack rats?
--Green Bay Packer
Dear Pack Rat :
You have many options. One would be leaving it outside and rodent proofing it. You could buy a cover for it or lease some indoor storage space. If you really want a Boy Toy building, there are cheaper options than a pole or block structure. Canvas buildings are a great option. They are comparatively inexpensive, movable, and come in all shapes, colors and sizes. If rodents are a real problem for you, these structures do need some foundation work. Most of them simply sit on the ground, but can be mounted on a short foundation wall that will help eliminate critter access. Depending how fancy you want to get, they can also be insulated, wired for electricity, heated and cooled. The draw back would be replacing the canvas every several years. The plus side of building a permanent structure would be not just the convenience of having a building for RV storage, shop etc., but also some investment value. Although the cost of a large pole building can give you sticker shock, look back a few years and check pricing. These structures will continue to appreciate in value if built with quality materials and maintained properly. I have had a large canvas storage building for 15 years. I have moved it three times and recovered it twice. Although they snug down tight, wind action eventually wears the material. There is no question that any vehicle stored in out of the weather will last longer and look nicer. If you two can't agree on a building I would concentrate on keeping the tires covered and the skin clean and protected with a good coating.
--Keep Smilin', Dr. R.V. Shrink