Drive-Up or Indoor Storage?

Jon Fesmire | June 18, 2019 @ 7:27 AM

You’ve heard of drive-up storage and indoor storage, but do you know what makes them different? If not, you may end up choosing a unit that doesn’t quite match your needs.

Think of a drive-up unit like an extra garage, and an indoor unit like an extra closet. That should give you a general sense of what to expect. Now, let’s go over the advantages and disadvantages of each to help you decide which will work best for you.

Drive-Up Storage - Advantages

Let’s start with the reasons you may want to rent a drive-up unit.

  1. Lower cost. Per square foot, drive-up units typically rent for less than indoor units.

  2. Quick and easy loading. Since you can drive your car or truck right up to your unit, you’ll never have to move your belongings very far at the storage facility.

  3. It’s ideal for tools and more. If you plan to store various outdoor items and things that don’t degrade regardless of the weather, then a drive-up unit is a great option. Things you may want to store in a drive-up unit include dirt bikes, jet skis, and other outdoor recreational equipment, gardening supplies, snow equipment like plows and snow shovels, plastic or metal furniture, and seasonal decorations.

Drive-Up Storage - Disadvantages

Since drove-up units are on the outside of buildings, they have some disadvantages and may not work for you, depending on what you want to store. Let’s cover those.

  1. Subject to weather changes. Let’s start with the fact that drive-up units don’t have climate control. It would be pointless. The metal door conducts heat and cold into the unit, and this would defeat the purpose. They’re also even more prone to changes in humidity and temperature than indoor units without climate control, so any items sensitive to such changes can take serious damage inside a drive-up unit.

  2. Dirt and dust. We’re not even quite sure how this happens when the roll-up door is down, but dust and dirt do make it into drive-up units all the time, much more so than into indoor units. There’s a simple solution to this, however. Buy tarps or moving blankets and cover everything in your unit.

  3. Less secure. Simply put, it’s easier for a thief to pull a truck up to a drive-up unit, break in, steal things, and get out, than it is for them to break into an indoor unit.

Indoor Storage - Advantages

After reading about drive-up storage, you may be able to guess some of the advantages of indoor storage. Let’s cover them.

  1. Climate-control is an option. A unit with climate control keeps the temperature and humidity in a safe range for your belongings. This helps to prevent mold and mildew, keeps your wooden items from warping, and much more.

  2. Better security. As mentioned, drive-up units are more likely to be targeted by thieves, so just having your down a hallway at the storage facility means your things are safer.

  3. Away from the elements. You can expect less dirt and dust to accumulate in your unit. Also, it means that if it’s hot outside, or cold, or rainy, or snowing, you can get a break from the weather while you pack or visit your unit.

  4. Great for all sorts of items. Thanks to the protection from the elements, you can pack just about anything in an indoor unit. Got fine art, books, musical instruments, and clothes to store? What about items you sell on Ebay or Etsy? Then you’ll want an indoor unit.

Indoor Storage - Disadvantages

  1. The distance. Yes, when using an indoor unit, you’ll need to carry or cart your things farther. This can be time-consuming and tiring. The good news is, facilities make available hand trucks, floor dollies, and other equipment to help you move your things.

  2. May be on a higher level. Some facilities are multiple stories high, so they have indoor units on a variety of levels. This will mean using a large elevator inside to get to your unit. The disadvantage here is that this takes more time.

  3. The cost. Indoor units do rent for a bit more than drive-up units.

Now, you should have no problem deciding what sort of unit will work best for you. Before you rent, though, we also recommend you learn about the different unit sizes and brush up on what not to store. Then, you’ll be all set!

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