How to Prevent Mildew in RV Storage

by Robert Raphael
Keep your RV clean and free from mildew.

Keep your RV clean and free from mildew.

Your RV is your second home when you are using it for long trips. Like your home, it should be mildew-free, as mildew has serious health risks. Mildew thrives in damp places with poor ventilation. Regularly clean your RV and avoid damp areas in your vehicle. If you see mildew buildup, clean it up as soon as you discover it. Mildew can spread fast, and it's better to deal with mildew right away than having to clean widespread infestations.

1. Open and check all the places you use as storage space in your RV. Making a list of storage areas will give you an idea of possible places for mildew buildup. Mildew often forms in tight and closed spaces without proper air circulation. The usual storage areas in RVs are closets, cupboards and boxes, as well as under the furniture. Open these storage spaces regularly and let them breathe so air can circulate in these areas.

2. Inspect every storage place in your RV for possible mold or mildew that has already formed. The key to preventing mildew is first to remove existing dampness or mold. Use a clean, dry cloth or towel to remove the mildew or dampness. Use a hair dryer to dry the area completely.

3. Place a small box of ordinary baking soda inside the cupboards, drawer and other storage space. Especially concentrate on places with high humidity or dampness. Mount the box of baking soda so it doesn't move while driving.

4. Line the drawers, cupboards and other similar storage places with old newspaper to keep them dry. Regularly check the newspaper and replace it with new sheets every other week to prevent mold and mildew.

5. Inspect the plumbing valves, pipes and the toilet. Do this once a year as a part of your regular RV maintenance. Properly functioning plumbing is one more step toward a healthy, dry and mildew-free RV interior and storage space.

6. Open your RV windows and doors at least once a day to ensure fresh air circulation and prevent mold and mildew. RVs usually have installed ventilators, but if you feel that is not enough or you live in an especially humid area, add more ventilators or an extra air conditioning system.

7. Inspect your RV for leaks and make sure that it is absolutely watertight. Pay special attention to caulking, seams and moldings. UV rays can damage all those elements. Use a silicone caulk gun to fix damaged caulking and seams.

8. Install an air cleaner or an air purifier inside your RV. Not only that you will prevent mold and mildew, you will also create a healthy environment and prevent respiratory problems.

Items you will need

  • Cloth or towel
  • Hair dryer
  • Baking soda
  • Ventilator
  • Silicone caulk
  • Caulk gun


  • Use climate-controlled storage for your RV. This is a valid option if you live in an RV community that offers this, or you park your RV in an especially humid area, or you simply want a secure and controlled environment for some of your items. Guarded and secure storage is are available in RV communities, and they can vary in price, size and condition.


  • Be careful when storing things around the driver's seat and make sure everything is properly mounted, attached and secure so it doesn't fall off and possibly hurt someone while on the road.
  • Take special care and concern when storing sharp and dangerous object and tools such as kitchen knives and scissors.

About the Author

Based in New Jersey, Robert Raphael has been writing health and technology articles since 1993. His work has appeared in “Natural Living” magazine and “Extreme PC” magazine. Raphael received the Jonathan Melman Literary Award in 1994. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Brandeis University.

Photo Credits

  • Streamlined Motor Homes image by K. Geijer from