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Building for the Road Ahead: RV Storage Building Plans

By Hamish Bell

Americans’ love for travel, intensified by the 2020 pandemic, has fueled the RV industry, resulting in an ongoing surge in popularity. Industry reports indicate robust growth in RV ownership and usage, with wholesale shipments projected to reach 350,000 units by 2024. Moreover, the RV industry contributes a staggering $140 billion annually to the US economy(1).

The RV industry alone has seen consistent growth every year since 2009, and with the popularity of RV life, there continues to be a spike in Gen-Z and millennial RV owners (39%) who want a place to stay and explore the outdoors while still having access to their work.

The soaring number of RVs has created a pressing need for storage space. Many RV owners face constraints in storing their vehicles at home due to space limitations or municipal regulations. As a result, there is a burgeoning demand for self-storage facilities offering RV storage solutions, prompting owners and investors to consider expanding or building new facilities.

RV Storage

RV storage generally falls into three categories:

  • Uncovered –Gravel or paved sites.
  • Covered –Structures with open-air or carport-style parking.
  • Enclosed parking –Garage-type parking

RV storage is a self storage unit specifically designed to house your RV. Think of it like a garage or parking space that you rent or purchase (in the case of storage condos) within a self storage facility, with similar benefits depending on the storage company and unit that you choose, such as on-site security, gated access, and climate control.

RV storage facilities offer secure parking spaces tailored to accommodate RVs and boats. RV storage building plans can provide various amenities, that consist of everything from gated access and security cameras to water/air stations, dump stations, cleaning services, app site access, on-site management, and more. Potential investors are realizing that as the quality of RVs continues to increase, the demand for higher amenities is also increasing and customers are willing to pay for additional services.

Benefits of Building RV Storage

There are many benefits to adding RV storage to your facility(2). These include:

  • Low risk of oversaturation: Current demand for RVs mitigates the risk of market saturation.
  • High-income customer base: RV owners often have more disposable incomes, enabling them to pay for premium amenities and services.
  • Low overhead and turnover: RV facilities boast low overheads and low turnover rates, resulting in high profitability and manageable management burdens.

However, identifying suitable sites for RV storage facilities can pose challenges due to local planning regulations.

Considerations for Constructing RV Storage

With the growth of the RV industry, many investors may be wondering whether to build an RV storage facility and how to build one. Unlike traditional self storage facilities, RV storage building plans might be constrained by the cost of land, the amount of acreage needed to house vehicles, and the fact that the facilities are geared toward specific objects as opposed to general usage. Drive aisles will need to be larger, and the costs and timelines may differ.

The upside is that RV storage facilities may also prove to be more lucrative than traditional self-storage facilities. In 2023, the cost to store an RV was between $119.88 and $169.35, according to SpareFoot data(3).

What should you keep in mind if you’re considering the construction of an RV storage facility?

Land Acquisition and Drive Aisles

A parcel of seven to 10 acres is typically required for profitability, with breakeven expected within 14-16 months. Drive aisles must be wider to accommodate RV maneuvering(4).

Location Analysis

Proximity to campgrounds, lakes and rivers is ideal, but demographic analysis of the surrounding area is crucial.

Zoning Regulations

Consider the zoning regulations before selecting a site. Failure to comply may result in costly and time-consuming hurdles when you try to rezone the property.

Final Thoughts

Despite economic fluctuations, the RV industry’s growth suggests sustained demand for RV storage facilities. High occupancy rates and rental yields make RV storage an attractive investment opportunity.

References

  1. RV Industry Association. (2023). Retrieved from rvia.org: https://www.rvia.org/rv-roadsigns-quarterly-forecast
  2. Gorman, P. (2024, February 8). Toy Storage Nation. Retrieved from toystoragenation.com:https://toystoragenation.com/2024/02/08/rv-storage-a-longtime-niche-emerging-as-an-asset-class/
  3. SpareFoot Blog. (2023, July 12). Retrieved from sparefoot.com: https://www.sparefoot.com/self-storage/blog/25811-how-much-does-rv-camper-storage-cost/
  4. Swingler, S. (2020, May 9). Inside Self Storage. Retrieved from InsideSelfStorage.com:https://www.insideselfstorage.com/vehicle-storage/decision-develop-boatrv-storage-differences-traditional-self-storage

Hamish Bell, President of Forge, is a key figure in the development of steel and self-storage projects across the nation. Hailing from New Zealand, Hamish ventured to the United States following the completion of his education. He began his career working alongside industry-renowned figures, Hayden Farrell and Glen Farrell, gaining valuable experience in the installation sector. In 2007, Hamish and Hayden founded Forge Building Company, leveraging their expertise in the installation of self-storage steel structures.Over the course of 17 years, Forge Building Company has established itself as an industry leader and expert in steel building, design and erection. With a strong presence throughout the United States, the company has earned a reputation for excellence and expertise in its field.

 

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