What to Consider When Storing Your RV
Camping can be great fun. And if you’re like me, the only way to camp is in an RV. You get to step right out into a beautiful, natural setting, with the smell of pine and campfires streaming through your nostrils. There is no setting up of tents, rolling out sleeping bags, or fetching water. You get to sleep in a comfortable, dry bed without bugs or mosquitoes harassing you every minute of the night.
But there are some downsides to camping with an RV. The biggest is storage. Where you keep your RV depends on what your particular needs are.
Let’s talk about each storage option and weigh their pros and cons.
While garage storage is one of the most convenient ways to go, you’ll only be able to accommodate the smallest of RVs, meaning tent trailers, teardrop trailers, or small Class B RVs. But by storing it in your garage you’ll save hundreds if not thousands of dollars per year in storage costs. You’ll also have it right at your fingertips whenever you want to take a quick trip, and it will be protected from the elements and would-be thieves.
An RV in your garage will, unfortunately, take up space you could be using for other items like lawn & garden equipment, bikes, or even a car! Then there’s the issue of getting it in and out of your garage. If your garage is like mine with a very narrow bay width, it can take you several attempts to get your RV or tent trailer back into your garage. I’ve uttered every curse word known to man while attempting to pull off this feat. And yes, the trim has been replaced numerous times.
If you own an RV that won’t fit in the garage, another option is to park it somewhere on your property, whether that is on your driveway or in your yard. You still get the convenience of being able to use it when you’d like. But you’ll be exposing it to rain, snow, sun or even hail, all of which can do damage. Tarping the RV or installing a portable shelter may give you some protection. However, this may put you in violation of your neighborhood’s covenant restrictions. And parking your RV in the driveway makes it a target for being burgled or vandalized.
RV Storage Facility
Storing your RV or trailer in a self-storage facility that caters to RVs is another option. Storage facilities have a number of things going for them.
Your RV is stored in a secure location that is typically monitored 24 hours a day, so you won’t have to worry about someone breaking in. And some RV storage facilities offer additional amenities including water for filling your tanks, wash and vacuum stations, and blackwater dumping.
There are three ways to store your RV at a self-storage facility. Depending on the facility, it may offer uncovered, covered or even enclosed storage.
This is essentially like parking your RV in your driveway, except that you’ll have the added advantage of security. You’ll want to check with the facility you’re interested in to find out what size spaces they offer. Most RV storage places can house RVs up to 35 feet, with some accommodating sizes up to 50 feet. Storing your RV uncovered is going to be the cheapest way to store it at one of these facilities.
Covered RV Storage
Similar to uncovered storage in size, a covered storage space guards against the rain, snow, and sun. While the carport-like structures that cover your RV won’t block out all the weather, it’ll give you adequate protection. A covered RV storage space is going to be slightly more expensive than uncovered, but will be less than enclosed or inside storage.
Prior to renting either a covered or uncovered space, check with the facility to make sure it provides adequate pest control. You’ve paid good money to keep your RV there, so you don’t want rodents making themselves comfortable.
Enclosed RV Storage
Enclosed or inside storage offers the most protection for your RV. While it’s more expensive than the other options, you’ll be comforted in knowing your valuable possession will be dry and secure. Not only that, but some facilities are climate-controlled so the temperature will be kept at a consistent level. This can help extend the longevity of your RV. If you have a pop-up trailer, camper or small RV, an enclosed space may work for you. Larger RVs and fifth-wheels will have to be stored outside.
If you decide to store your RV at a self-storage facility be sure to inquire about their access hours and days. Good facilities will have long hours and will allow access 365 days a year. Also, ask about what additional amenities they offer as well as their insurance options. While storing your RV away from your home isn’t the most convenient, the safety and additional room you save can more than make up the difference.
About the Author: Derek Hines
Digital Marketing Specialist
Derek is originally from the great state of Wisconsin (go Badgers), but is slowly becoming a Pacific Northwesterner. As part of the Digital Marketing team, he writes extensively on storage, moving and life for West Coast Self-Storage, based in Everett, Washington.