RV Storage – In vs. Out?
Well, it’s that time of the year again! Time to let our RVs and inner-venturer hibernate for the winter months. After all, we’re going to need our rest for the upcoming ventures of the New Year.
We may know where we’ll be lying our heads to rest this winter, but what about the RV? The biggest question you are going to have to ask yourself when it comes to storing your RV is: in or out?
Having your RV stored at an indoor facility may be the more expensive of your options, but it will provide the best protection. Some indoor facilities are essentially a large parking lot where many different types of vehicles are stored. Upon your arrival, a worker will park your RV alongside the other vehicles. Once your lease is complete, they will bring it back out to you on a specified pickup day.
Another indoor option is renting your own unit. The unit size will depend on the size of your RV and if any additional vehicles/items will be stored with it. Indoor storage keeps your RV safe from sunlight, wind, snow, hail, storms, dust, dirt, rust, and hopefully rodents, just to name a few. Indoor storage units provide you with floors, walls, and a roof, giving you 360° of protection. Many indoor facilities have constant surveillance, keeping your RV safe from theft or any unwanted intruders. There are also climate-controlled garages for that ideal storage condition. This will prevent any over-heating or freezing (depending on where and when you are storing your RV), which could potentially save you money by minimizing the amount of maintenance or costly repairs needed.
If indoor facilities are what you’re looking for, it’s great to find a facility that has units specifically designed for RV storage. That’s what we did years ago and we couldn’t have been happier! If you’re in the Northern Kentucky/Cincinnati area, check out Anchor Storage in Florence, KY. It’s an RV-storage haven just south of Cincinnati, Ohio, that offers private garages and extra-wide driveways. Like their website says, it’s a first class facility. They offer a wash bay, dump station, propane filling station, dumpsters, and more. It is a one-stop facility for all of your storage and travel-preparation needs. Places like this give you peace of mind knowing your RV is safe and sound. We stored our very first RV (a travel trailer) there and then our motorhome until we decided on the full-timer’s lifestyle. Even now, years after going full-time, we maintain one of their largest units (20’ x 50’).
If you don’t want to spend that much for indoor storage, then an outdoor storage facility may be for you and your RV. You have two options for outdoor storage: at home (if you have the room) or a rented space.
Electing to keep your RV at home can be very beneficial to you financially. However, you cannot predict accidents or Mother Nature. The cheapest option with minimal protection is purchasing a RV cover. This will save your RV from rain, snow, dirt, and small hail. If you are looking for better protection than a cover, steel roof covers may be something to consider. Steel roof covers are constructed with a few pillars on either side holding up a sloped roof. It acts as an carport of sorts for you to park your RV under. The slope of the roof will prevent standing water and snow build up. Any fallen objects that land on the roof will slide down and stay clear of your RV. This can save you money on repairs and prevent unwanted dings and dents. Steel roofs can be professionally installed or DIY kits for the handier person can be purchased. This will obviously save you from the installation fee. Having your RV at your home gives you the freedom to do all the maintenance, checking-on, or spontaneous joy rides and trips that your venturing heart desires.
Outdoor storage facilities are large enclosed parking lots where you will see RVs, boats, and trailers in storage. Some facilities have covered parking spaces at a small upcharge. You face the same risks as keeping it parked at home, but the space is saved in your driveway. Just like indoor facilities, outdoor facilities can offer surveillance and proper fencing to keep out any potential intruders. If theft or any type of crime is a concern for you, make sure to check with the facility on what is offered to keep your RV safe.
One piece of information you may want to consider when choosing your storage facility (in or out) is how much access you have to your RV. Some facilities will have a drop-off and pick-up date. Your RV will be off limits for the duration of the lease. On the flip side, other facilities will allow you to come and go as you please, day or night.
Over the years (over 25), we’ve covered the whole gamut of storage facilities from outside to inside. With an outside facility, we found that a hard surface, versus a soft surface like grass, is best. The more soft (dirt, grass, gravel) a surface, the more moisture that’s retained beneath your valuable vehicle. And this moisture just promotes deterioration (rust, corrosion, etc.) of the undercarriage and many of its components.
You need to decide what is best for your RV and your wallet. Do you leave it outside and risk the potential damages of Mother Nature, or do you make yourself flip the bill to have it completely safe and sound inside a unit? There is no wrong answer. As you know, there are plenty of pros (and, of course, cons) to both, which may make your decision that much harder.
Happy hibernating to you and your RV!