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What Tenants Consider When Choosing an RV Storage Site

By Emmalee Rice

For many RV owners,  their rec vehicle is worth as much if not more than their brick-and-mortar home, either financially or sentimentally. As such, it is important to answer several questions surrounding the unique needs that must be met when they seek a storage solution. There are many options not only among types of storage but also of which provider or brand to purchase from. 

In the case of offsite self-storage companies, the amenities they offer must be especially considered. Do they offer outdoor or indoor storage? What kind of security do they provide? How easy will it be for the owner to access the RV? These are just some of the many questions that should be asked before committing to storing an RV with a storage facility.

The choice of outdoor or indoor storage facilities is among the first questions that must be answered. There are benefits to both, so an RV owner must look at what they need for their individual RV. Outdoor storage facilities are often cheaper while providing many of the same amenities. Outdoor storage will likely also be easier to find near the RV owner’s home. However, they do not provide much, if any, protection from the elements. They also do not have as much security. Indoor storage facilities, on the other hand, are more expensive, but they have full protection from outside elements and better protection against anyone accessing the RV maliciously.

The choice of outdoor or indoor storage facilities can also be affected by the amenities that are offered. Amenities that should be looked for include surveillance and other security measures, minor maintenance, and ease of access for the RV owner.

Better Safe Than Sorry

Surveillance and security of the storage facility is something that can be universal between outdoor and indoor storage facilities. Surveillance that can be offered by an RV storage facility includes cameras, onsite management and guard services. Onsite cameras can record the nearby area as well as monitor the entirety of the property. While staff and manager walk-arounds may not provide the utmost security, it can deter attempts from others to access the RV. The best surveillance would be a combination of all the above along with hired guard services. Other security measures include quality and quantity of doors and locks, especially during times when there may be fewer staff on site, as well as the gates and fences that protect the exterior of the property. An added level of security that many RV owners look for is limited access to the property. Many facilities only allow full access to RV owners who actively store with them.

Indoor vs Outdoor 

Those who live in areas with extreme weather patterns may find that when their RV is not in use it needs to be heavily maintained to keep it in good condition for the next time they use it. While many outdoor storage facilities will not be able to do much more than if the RV was parked at home, it can free up time if the facility offers to perform basic maintenance. Indoor storage facilities also offer climate control, which can serve to prevent much of the damage that RV owners in extreme environments may expect. While the owner will remain responsible for major maintenance aspects, some storage facilities will take care of small things, such as ensuring the RV stays clean and safe from natural damage.

Ease of Access

An consideration that is often overlooked is the ease of access the owner will have to their RV. For some, this may mean the ability to come check on their RV regularly, maybe take something out or replace an item. For others it means how quickly they can maneuver through the facility with the RV as they bring it in or out. For those who only want a way to easily check on their RV this can be simpler, as they only require minimal space. For those who come and go with their RV regularly, this can mean more. 

For outdoor storage, the number of units and structure may change how accessible RVs are able to be maneuvered. For indoor storage, the clearance of any beams needs to be considered as well as the size of the bay (length, height, width, etc.) that houses the RV. The width of drive lanes within the facility and locations of individual RVs within the facility should all be considered.

Conclusion

There are many more aspects of RV storage that must be considered, though many of these things vary on a case-by-case basis. Each RV and RV owner will have different needs and expectations of what off-season storage will look like. And though every situation is different, the type of storage (outdoor or indoor), security measures, maintenance and ease of access must be considered for RV owners to feel comfortable storing their vehicles at a specific facility. It is up to each RV owner to make the decision. For RV storage operators, the key to filling up a site is knowing what tenants are needing.

Emmalee Rice is a university student with a passion for doing research that can help others.

Sources

Choosing the right self storage facility for your RV. Universal Storage Group. (n.d.). https://www.universalstoragegroup.com/articles/choosing-the-right-self-storage-facility-for-your-rv

Green flags to look for in RV Storage Facilities. Cruise America. (n.d.). https://www.cruiseamerica.com/trip-inspiration/rv-storage-facilities

Hoth, T. (2021, March 31). 7 tips on choosing storage units for new RV owners –. Ideal Storage Kingston,WA – Indoor & Outdoor Storage Facility. https://kingstonidealstorage.com/7-tips-on-choosing-storage-units-for-new-rv-owners/

Team, T. T. (2023, September 15). 5 things to consider when choosing an RV storage facility. www.transwest.com. https://www.transwest.com/rv/blog/5-things-to-consider-when-choosing-an-rv-storage-facility/

The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Right Storage Unit for Your RV. Hawkeye Storage Self Boat & RV Storage. (n.d.). https://www.hawkeyestorageunits.com/weblog/the-ultimate-guide-to-choosing-the-right-rv-storage-unit

What to consider when storing your RV: West Coast Self. Storage. (2022, March 10). https://www.westcoastselfstorage.com/what-to-consider-when-storing-your-rv/

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