13 Essential Tips for RV Storage

 13 Essential Tips for RV Storage

This article gives you 13 essential tips for finding and using the best RV storage, as well as what kind of RV storage you need to protect your RV.  

As the temperatures drop and Summer turns to Fall, some RVers are already migrating South for the Winter.  Others are starting to consider storing their RV for the off-season.  As RV sales surge, many are making the storage decision for the first time.  Many are asking, “What's the best option for RV storage near me?”

We have compiled a list of options and included some tips that are helpful for all RVers. 

Why RV Storage?

You may be wondering why you should store your RV at a facility instead of on your own property.  There are a few reasons why a storage facility may better fit your needs. 

One of the top reasons to consider storing your RV at a professional storage facility over your own property is security.  Unfortunately, RVs stored on private land or in neighborhoods have become targets for theft and vandalism.  A professional storage facility should provide electronic gate access as well as video surveillance. 

Many new RV owners are finding that storing their RV on their property may be against neighborhood covenants.  Or your neighborhood may charge an extra fee to store your RV on your own property—sometimes higher costs than a storage facility.

You may also find that storing your RV in your driveway takes up precious space and becomes inconvenient.  It may be more convenient to store your RV near an interstate that you often use or near a site where you frequently visit, such as a seasonal site.

Here's an Infographic we made on RV Storage that may be helpful:

The Cost of RV Storage

The cost of storing an RV varies greatly.  The price depends on 4 main factors, and we will look at all of the below factors:

  • Location: The cost varies depending on your location, including rural vs. urban.
  • Size of Space: How big is your RV?  You will pay more to store a 40FT Class A or 5th Wheel than a small travel trailer. 
  • Type of Storage: Indoor, Covered, or Outdoor
  • Services Provided: Does the facility offer any additional services?

Types of RV Storage

There are lots of options in finding RV storage near me. This is from a UHaul location

Outdoor RV Storage

Outdoor is the most common and also most affordable with a price range of $30-$100/month. This can range from an open field to a gravel surface, to a parking lot. Always it ill be fenced. The better ones will have a webcam. Usually, your RV will be with other RVs of every different size and type, as well as boats, boat trailers, and other items too big for their owners to store in a driveway at home. There is little or no protection from the elements. Typical pricing is from $50-$125/month, depending on location.

Covered RV Storage

Covered storage provides protection from sun, hail, rain, or snow.  Again, your rig is outside, under some sort of covering. Prices can range from a low of range of $75-$200/month, again depending on location.

Indoor RV Storage

Indoor storage provides the best protection for your RV is extreme weather regions. Some are in huge, cavernous buildings that resemble airplane hangars. Others are like oversized garages. The best ones are heated. The really great ones have heat, electricity, and maybe even a webcam. The average cost ranges from $300 to $500/month.

How to find RV Storage Near Me

To review the storage options near you, we have provided four links to helpful websites. Two will find commercial storage facilities.

The fourth is a new option that builds on the peer-to-peer service pioneered by Airbnb.

Making a decision to store your RV is about more than the cost.  

UHaul – Don't forget trying UHaul. Many locations around the country offer RV Storage space. 

SpareFoot.com – Enter your city or ZIP code into the search bar and you'll be presented with the nearest storage facilities to you. To better filter the results, look to the left-hand menu and choose the size of your motorhome. Then you'll be able to book RV storage with SpareFoot.

Extra Space Storage – This site works pretty much the same way, returning the nearest self-storage facilities near your town or ZIP code. You may end u with a note that says  “call for details” but the site points you in the right direction. The bigger your area, the more RV Storage near you will be difficult to find as winter approaches and in my check, most of the spots near me were booked solid when I did my search in mid-September.

Neighor.com/rv-storage – This is the peer-to-peer site I told you about. I had the founder of this service on my RV Podcast not long ago and is goal is to help individual people who have some extra space rent it out to those needing storage space. I searched my area and found lots of possibilities, back yards, barns, farmer's fields, businesses with some spare parking spots.

 

neighbor rv storage photo
Photo of the RV Storage near me results when I did a search on my area

Questions to ask when choosing RV Storage

As you compare storage options in your region, be sure to ask a few questions. 

  • What security measures are included in the price?  For example, does the facility offer electronic gate access, video surveillance, and an on-site manager? 
  • What are the access hours?  Compare facilities that have 24X7 access vs. those that only offer daylight hours.  Does the facility offer any RV concierge services or even utilities?
  • Does the facility offer 30/50AMP electric or WiFi/webcam coverage, even for an extra cost?  Electric could be part of your “Battery Plan” during storage while a webcam/WiFi system provides an additional security layer that would let you log in remotely to check up on your RV. 

Preparing for RV Storage

No matter where or how you store your RV, following a checklist is essential to help prevent any surprises upon your return to your RV.  Some of the items may even extend the life of your RV.  Here is a list of tasks to complete before storing your RV:

  1. Additional Security: Consider adding extra security to your RV.  For a travel trailer, this will include a hitch lock.  For a drivable RV, consider changing the entry locks.  Even while parked in a storage facility with their own security protocols, an added security layer may be advisable.
  2. Remove Perishables & Clean the Fridge/Freezer: You will want to remove all food products from your RV.  This includes dry goods such as pasta, sugar, four, etc.  Also, thoroughly clean both your fridge and your freezer and leave both doors ajar for air circulation.
  3. Remove Valuables: Remove anything of value, including personal papers.
  4. Disconnect propane
  5. Create a Battery Plan: If your RV is a drive-able, you will need a plan to care for your chassis battery and your house batteries.  Towable RV owners need a house battery plan.  Will you disconnect, trickle charge, or does the storage facility provide 30/50 amp? 
  6. Wash your RV and Prep: Wash your RV to remove any harmful road grime, lubricate any moving parts and slide seals, and cover your tires. 
  7. Pest Proof Your RV:  Pests such as rodents can cause costly problems throughout your RV.  It is essential to not only remove perishable food but all items that rodents love.  These include non-perishable food, papers, and even some textiles used for nesting.  Also, have rodent prevention techniques.  Remember, it is best to deter them vs. their death inside your RV.
  8. Have adequate fuel for generator: If you have a generator, ensure enough gas or propane to periodically start the generator. The oil has recently been changed.
  9. Slides in: Store your RV with any slides in
  10. Visit your RV – If possible, plan to visit your stored RV every month.  If you can not personally visit your RV, ask the storage facility if they offer any RV concierge services.
  11. Exercise the generator monthly: If you have an on-board generator, start the generator and let it run for 15 minutes
  12. Check the chassis batteries: For a drive-able RV, start your RV and check the chassis battery.
  13. Look for evidence of pests: Perform a rodent-check and re-fill any deterrent supplies.

Protect Your Investment while your RV is in Storage

Your RV is an investment, and storing your RV is part of protecting that investment.  Picking the right storage solution for your region and needs is just the first step.  

Curious about the gear, gadgets, accessories, and RV products Mike & Jennifer use and recommend?

On this RV Lifestyle Travel blog, our RV Podcast, and our RV Lifestyle YouTube Channel, we mention all sorts of RV-related products and gear that we use, So we created a special page links to them. We update this all the time.  CLICK HERE to go to it directly. 

 

13 Essential Tips for RV Storage

Mike Wendland

Mike Wendland is a veteran journalist who, with his wife, Jennifer, travels North America in a small motorhome, blogging about the people, places, joys and adventure of RV life on the road at RVLifestyle.com. He and Jennifer also host the weekly RV Podcast and do twice-weekly videos on the YouTube RV Lifestyle Channel. They have written 10 books on RV travel.

4 Comments

  • Mike, thank you for that pointer to “Neighbor”! Had no idea it existed.

  • Most of our friends have large lots or acreage where they keep their RV’s. When we started out we had a pop up and kept it at home, bottom of the hill driveway. We then changed to a 35 ft Travel Trailer and rented a spot at a commercial storage facility. ( this was the worst ever. ) The Commercial storage facility had the locked storage units, two covered parking shelters for RVs and Boats, and then multi rows to park your RV, dump truck, etc. Those were not well marked. The worker lived in an adjoining apartment near the entrance. Rounds were made usually with a golf cart. We would come back from a trip finding the manager had put someone in our site. (we thought you were gone) We paid automatically so they were getting money from two. Two new dump trucks were parked in our spot the last time. So we were directed to a different location. I had questions about the usual user of that site. Anyway we get a phone call that our TT had been broken into. Nothing was stolen, but both exterior doors were busted/ twisted not able to lock. And guess what? The company that now owned the facility had removed the cameras and recording devices. Gate entry was not changed. I can understand the rage the guy had when he saw our rig in his spot. This took two months to get new doors made. Prior approval was not done by the major RV seller/repairer even though it was on our contract. We had to pay that full amount out of our pocket. We moved our rig to another location that was fenced, gated, and cameras. The cover over our propane tanks was stolen though locked and chained. By this time we had finally built a level area for our RV. . The storage company charged $100 plus for basically no protection for our 35 ft TT. We now keep it at our house. There are two other homes that have their TT in their side yards in our neighborhood. Homes built in 1950 no HOA , just city codes. No one has had theirs broke into. Some utility trailers have been stolen from churches, and businesses. Seasonal campers have found their TT stolen from private campgrounds. Do insure! Put axle and wheel locks on it. Make it difficult to tow away. Sort of like the “boot” that the city or college would put on your car. If you have a MH, change out the lock keys to the basement storage.

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  • It’s interesting that indoor RV storage can be heated and have security. I’m wanting to find a storage place for my RV since it’s getting cold now. I’ll have to find a place that won’t exceed $500 a month for my RV.

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