When it comes to storing your RV, you’re not just storing an extra vehicle; you’re storing your home. After all, it’s the place where you sleep, eat, and make memories. It’s more than just a vacation on wheels; it’s where you live your life. If the thought of putting it into storage terrifies you, we totally understand.
You already know that you should do your research when choosing the best RV storage facility (that’s why StorageFront’s listings include honest reviews from real customers), but in addition to following the advice of your vehicle's manufacturer, your travel-savvy friends and your favorite RV blog, you should also take a moment to make sure you haven’t overlooked these six things:
Simply put, a storage facility should offer you a safe place to keep your RV when it’s not in use. That being said, the storage industry is growing and evolving every day to meet the needs of RV owners. While it’s certainly true that RV storage is still harder to find than any other kind of storage—especially if you live in an urban area—you can rest assured that the industry is working hard to do a better job of catering to RV owners like you. While storage in the form of an open or partially covered lot is still the economical choice, the discerning RV owner should be on the lookout for extra space that comes with a little extra something. Modern amenities include wash and dump stations, electric hookups, drive through spaces, vehicle maintenance service, RV accessory sales and even shuttle service.
Taking Your Own Security Steps
There’s a lot to be said for choosing a storage facility that takes security seriously, but you shouldn’t stop there. Take your own steps so that even if the facility is overtaken by actual ninjas, they won’t be able to break into our steal your RV. If you have a fifth wheel, get a lock for it to prevent someone from towing it away. You can also park it in a way that prevents a thief from doing this. Instead of backing in, use a jockey wheel to position the trailer hitch against a wall, fence or some other obstacle. If someone sees that they have to physically turn your RV around in order to steal it, they probably won’t bother trying. No matter what type of RV you have, remove valuables along with batteries as these are often stolen and sold to recycling centers.
The Size of Your RV
The average Class A RV is 25-40 feet long while a Class B RV is 17-19, a Class C is 20-30, a fifth wheel is 32-45 and a travel trailer is 10-36. Why are we spouting out these numbers? Because they matter when navigating your storage facility. This is why it’s important that you tour the facility before signing a lease. Storing your RV is pointless—and dangerous—if you do it at a facility that you don’t feel comfortable driving around. Make sure that drive aisles are at least 35 feet wide and be aware of tight corners and other hazards.
Yes, it’s gross, but another thing to look for when touring a storage facility is mouse poop. If you see rodent droppings, a lot of bugs or anything else creepy-crawly, it’s time to ask the storage facility what they’re doing to prevent pests on the property. Even if they’re totally on top of it, you should still take the time to make your RV an unwelcoming place for pests by taking a few steps of your own. Leave out rodent poison and bowls of mothballs. If you hate the Grandma’s attic smell of mothballs, opt for dryer sheets instead. They smell nice to people, but pests hate them. Think like the enemy and look for gaps in windows, doors or other vulnerable areas where insects or rodents might enter. Fill these with caulk. If you can, turn on the RV occasionally to discourage mice from building nests inside the engine compartment. Also be sure to clean out refrigerators, cabinets and anywhere else that might be harboring some forgotten vacation snack, as it turns out rats love Pop-Tarts just as much as you do.
If it’s winter, prep your RV accordingly. Drain all water by blowing out the lines and fill with antifreeze. If you have an ice-maker, empty that too. Remove other items, like hand soap, that might freeze. Remove the battery as the cold can cause it to lose charge. Seal any interior or exterior gaps and clean and seal tires to prevent dry rot. If you’re storing in the summer, consider an RV cover to prevent sun damage, but even if you don’t opt for this, close curtains and cover the windshield to keep it cool. If you’re in a hot, humid climate as opposed to a hot, desert climate (think Florida rather than California), purchase DampRid to absorb excess moisture. You can also stop the damp air from doing damage by removing cushions, clothing and anything else soft. Oh, and skip putting cardboard down to protect the floor from sun damage. Cardboard wicks moisture and if you have decent curtains these should do the job just fine.
Your Relationship with the Staff
This is especially important if you’re a full time RVer who travels by some other means when your RV is in storage. When you fill out that lease, be sure to provide the facility with accurate contact information. Talk to them about how you’ll be using storage. Will you be paying for the space year-round but traveling for most of the summer? Let them know. This will help if you accidentally miss rent one month or if there’s some weird bank hiccup with an online payment. If you tend to travel to a lot of national parks and other destinations where cell service and internet aren’t always available, take the time to check voicemails and emails periodically. Your family and friends appreciate you communicating when you travel and so does your storage facility.