By Gail Marsh
Editor’s note: This story provides RV owners numerous tips to select the best storage home for their prized possession. As such, the article outlines what RV storage operators should consider offering at their site to meet tenants’ needs. The story offers the author’s personal experience finding the perfect spot for her own RV.
Soon I may need to choose a new place to store our RV. The company that currently provides space for our rig has just announced that it’s raising monthly fees. I suppose it’s because demand is up. Way up! We should have seen this coming. With more and more RVs purchased in recent years, more and more folks need a place to keep their rig when they’re not traveling. It’s the “supply and demand principle” in action. We have one month before our current lease expires. So, we have 30 days to choose an RV storage facility.
Our small subdivision’s HOA does not allow homeowners to store boats, trailers, or RVs on our property. Our lot size wouldn’t accommodate the RV anyway. I wish things were different. I really wish our RV could be parked in our driveway or backyard. It would make things so much easier: packing, unpacking, maintenance chores, you name it. For all of you who are blessed to have your RV parked on your property, I envy you!
RV storage facility considerations
When searching for an RV storage space, there are several important things to consider. Here are the top considerations for us as we search.
Close to home
- If we can’t store the RV on our property, at least we want it to be stored close by. It’s simply more convenient for us in the event we need to access our rig.
- Close to home also means less fuel expense when we need to access our RV. Packing work camping tools, along with clothing, shoes, food, and supplies can mean several trips from home to the RV storage place and back.
- Obviously, you’ll want to avoid RV storage facilities that are located in high-crime areas. If you’re not sure about the area, ask the storage facility, local authorities, or go online to find out about crime or theft frequency.
- At the very least, our preferred storage place would be completely surrounded by secure fencing. Gate access via personal code is also a plus. Our current facility’s gate “code box” records the name of every renter who enters. Even if someone “borrows” a renter’s entry code, the renter’s name is still recorded. That renter will then be contacted in the event of a theft.
- Recording security cameras also add a layer of protection, especially if the company keeps the recordings for a period of time. In order for recording cameras to be useful, the entire storage lot must also be well-lit.
- On-site personnel is a perk, as well. Our current storage business has a person onsite most mornings during the week.
- Another feature we search for when choosing an RV storage place is access. Is the storage business located off a narrow, hilly, and deeply-rutted road? Will we be forced to drive through low-hanging tree branches in order to access the facility? If so, we’ll keep on looking. You might be surprised at some of the places we’ve seen. Getting there and back would require nerves of steel! No thank you.
- Access to the RV storage facility is one thing. Accessing the assigned storage spot can be quite another. Because of the high demand, some RV storage companies offer very narrow sites. If another unit is too close to our own, extending slides (even partially) is not an option. In fact, putting down our solid steps takes up a good amount of space, as well! Finessing our rig into a narrow site is a challenge we’d just as soon avoid.
- Another access consideration is the storage business hours. Some storage places have 24-hour access. We currently have access to our RV between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 p.m., and that works fine for us.
It’s important to us that our storage assigned site is fairly level. We like to keep our jacks positioned as low as possible when the RV is in storage.
- There are many factors that determine what you’ll pay for storing your RV. Location, size of rental site, and type of storage will all impact your costs. Generally, a storage facility located away from the city will be less expensive than one closer.
- The size of your rental space will also factor into what you can expect to pay. Usually, the larger the rig, the more you’ll pay. In our current storage facility, two small truck campers share a space that is the exact size that one big motorhome rents nearby.
- Finally, the type of rental space varies in price. A covered parking site will typically cost more than an uncovered one. Before deciding, check out the site you’re considering at different times of the day. In our current storage facility, the roof protects the rigs stored at the end of each row for only a portion of the day. If money is not an issue, you might consider climate-controlled storage space for your RV. Be aware. This option may be quite costly.
Gail Marsh is an avid RVer and occasional work camper. Retired from 30+ years in the field of education as an author and educator, she now enjoys sharing tips and tricks that make RVing easier and more enjoyable. This article first appeared in RVtravel.