Portland, OR RV and Boat Storage

Krista Diamond | March 21, 2016 @ 10:58 PM

With its lush forests, urban rose gardens, award winning craft beer scene and massive farmers’ markets, Portland is the city with something for everybody. It’s hip but still approachable and while you can spend your entire life wandering around downtown’s vintage shops and eclectic food trucks, you can also use Portland as a jumping off point to Pacific coast day trips and Mt. Hood camping adventures. In short, it’s a great place to own an RV or boat. But therein lies the conundrum. It’s not necessarily a great place to park an RV or boat. Instead of getting towed or incurring the wrath of your landlord, why not store that extra vehicle? Let’s talk about how it works.

The Essentials of RV and Boat Storage

Let’s be real. RV and boat storage is scarce in Portland. Sadly, this is the case in a lot of cities. It’s our hope that this specialized type of storage will eventually become more widely available, but for now let’s deal with the situation at hand. RV and boat storage comes in a few different shapes and sizes. There’s the parking lot style of storage, which is basically just extra space on a facility’s property. It’s pretty basic and might not be covered or even have lines defining which spot is yours. As you might imagine, this is the cheapest option. On the other end of the spectrum, there are facilities that will offer you enclosed storage for your RV or boat. This usually includes a personalized alarm system and climate control. In a city like Portland, beggars can’t be choosers. You’re most likely going to end up with an open-air spot. In addition to setting your sights on whatever you can get, you should also call around to facilities outside of Portland. Generally, the further away you get from the center of a city, the more RV and boat storage space is available.

Off Season Storage

First things first: If you’re stowing your RV or boat away for the winter, line your spot up as far in advance as your storage facility will allow you to. Next, prepare your RV or boat so that it won’t suffer any damage from the cooler temperatures and constant drizzle. You won’t need to take quite as dramatic steps as you would if you were living somewhere colder like Colorado, but you should still take precautions so that your RV or boat is ready to go once you are. Make sure you clean it out thoroughly, taking care to check cabinets and other spaces where perishable items are often forgotten. Another thing you’ll want to think about during the off season (and all seasons for that matter) is what kind of security measures your facility is taking to protect your RV or boat. A responsible facility will have a few of these features in their security system: 24 hour cameras, fences, gated access and staff members who walk around the property several times a day. Self storage security should put you at ease so that the only thing you have to worry about is your own insurance policy for your extra vehicle. Speaking of which, before you put your RV or boat into storage, take time to review this and make sure that you’re covered against natural disasters and other mishaps.

Storage for the Outdoorsman in You

If you’re an RV or boat owner, chances are that you’ve got a decent collection of gear for all of those weekend warrior adventures. You might feel tempted to store those extra items (hiking equipment, rafting stuff, climbing rope) inside of your RV while it’s parked in storage. In the short term, it seems like a great fix. You’re a genius, right? You’re using your RV as a storage unit! Sorry to burst your bubble, but unless your RV happens to be magically climate-controlled (or you’re a crazy person who’s running power to it all winter), you’re going to want a separate unit for that stuff. Outdoor gear, especially items like climbing harnesses and rope which are there to keep you safe, should be treated gently when not in use. Fortunately, small, climate-controlled spaces are cheaper than RV and boat storage and they’re a lot easier to find. You can grab an indoor, heated 5x5 unit at West Coast Self Storage for $74 a month. It’s enough space for a backpack, sleeping bag, tent, climbing gear and plenty of other things. There’s probably even enough room for a friend’s stuff, which will cut your rent in half. Just make sure not to store the propane that you use for your backpacking stove or camp stove. Even during Portland’s cooler season, combustible items are a definite no-no.

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