Choosing the Right Self Storage Facility for Your RV

Even the most avid RVers need to store their vehicle for at least part of the year. Leaving it in your driveway, backyard, or the street in front of your home may not cost anything; but that isn’t always the best option. If you leave the RV in your driveway or yard, it’s not only inconvenient for you but an eyesore for your neighbors and may be against your HOA restrictions. Unless you use the proper covering, environmental damage caused by the sun, rain, and snow is inevitable.

Building a garage that is specifically designed for your RV can be a good choice if you’re constructing a custom home, but it can affect resale value if and when you try to sell your home. Building codes and HOA restrictions could make it impractical or even impossible to add to an existing garage or build a separate RV-sized structure.

If you want to avoid the hassle that comes with storing your RV at home, your best option is to find a self-storage facility. Many storage facilities provide indoor storage and some even boast climate-controlled storage for your home away from home. If you decide that this is the way to go, read below to understand how to find the right facility and prepare your vehicle for storage.

Check the Self-Storage Facility

Be sure to pick a reputable facility for your recreational vehicle. Convenience is important, but security should be your main concern. Check the following guidelines:

  1. Visit several facilities before making a commitment.
  2. Verify the reputation of the facility by checking reviews. Ask about break-ins and vandalism. 
  3. The facility should be clean, well-lit, and well maintained.
  4. Check that there is 24-hour recorded surveillance with motion sensors.
  5. Verify that electronic gates are accessible only by security code.
  6. Look for sturdy perimeter fencing.
  7. The facility should have regular, posted hours during which time you can enter the premises.
  8. There should be an on-site manager, and staff should perform regular walk throughs.
  9. Typically there are three types of RV storage: outdoor, covered, and indoor. Consider your needs and availability before making your final decision.

Outdoor, Uncovered Storage

This is the most affordable option, and it offers the widest range of sizes. Your vehicle will be exposed to the elements; but If weather isn’t a concern and cost is, this could be your best option. These spaces can hold everything from Class A motorhomes to small pop-up campers and tow trailers. If you’re using this type of storage, you should consider a high-quality cover.

Covered Storage

Covered storage offers shade and provides some protection from the elements. This storage is also less expensive than indoor, and close to that of outdoor, uncovered. Almost all RV and trailer sizes can fit in these spaces. A good cover helps to shield your vehicle from the weather. Both uncovered and covered storage are the best options for short-term storage.

Indoor Storage

This is the best solution, especially for long-term storage. Indoor units are more costly, but they provide ultimate protection. Not only will your RV be protected from the weather, but you may find that some facilities offer a climate-controlled option. Security won’t be as much of a concern because along with the conventional storage features available, you’ll have a space with a unit lock.

Prepare Your RV for Storage

  1.  Drain All Tanks – Drain the fresh water holding tanks as well as the black and grey holding tanks.
  2.  Drain the Water Heater – Remove the drain plug and open the pressure relief valve.  Caution:  Do not drain when the water is hot!
  3.  Remove Food and Supplies – This seems obvious, but even that forgotten bag of unopened chips can attract bugs.  In any case, food left for long periods of time will become moldy and/or inedible.
  4.  Disconnect the Refrigerator and Leave the Door Open – Leaving the refrigerator door open prevents stale air and condensation that can ultimately cause mold.
  5.  Use RV-Approved Non-Toxic Antifreeze – To keep your pipes from freezing during frigid weather use RV-approved, non-toxic antifreeze so that you don’t poison your water.
  6. Pressurize Your System – Start with the faucet closest to the water pump and slowly open the hot and then the cold valves until the antifreeze appears.
  7. Cover External Vents to Prevent Pests – Don’t let your RV become a home for pests during an extended storage time.
  8. Check Roof Condition – Repair any holes or damage to your roof.
  9. Coat Your RV With Wax – If you give your RV a coat of wax prior to storage, it will not only look brighter the next time you’re ready to use it, but you’ll give it an added layer of protection from the weather.

At Universal Storage locations, we have state-of-the-art security features so you won’t have to worry needlessly. Here are some additional tips on doing the best job of getting your RV ready for storage. Enjoy your travels!

Your Boat is a Big Investment: Keep it Safe and Protected in Self Storage

Unless you’re the captain of the Flying Dutchman, the legendary ghost ship doomed to forever sail the oceans, it’s that time of year to think about storing your watercraft for the colder months.

It can be very costly to store your boat at the marina for the winter months or when you’re unable to use it for an extended period of time. Trying to store it at home is inconvenient and can be a security risk. It takes up space in your driveway or elsewhere on your property and is exposed to theft and vandalism. A better solution would be to store your boat in a conventional storage unit that has sufficient space for your boat and trailer, or a secure outdoor parking area. Your jet skis, kayaks, and canoes can be stored right along with your boat. Storing with us is far less hassle for you and a safe, secure option for all your watercraft.

Here are some tips to help you get your boat prepared for storage. Some extra work now will have your boat in pristine condition and waiting for you when the warmer weather arrives.

Get Your Boat Ready for Storage

Clean the Hull and Deck

You’ll be storing your boat for an entire season. You want it clean and free of last summer’s trash when you’re ready to put it in the water next summer.

Add a Fuel Stabilizer and Fill the Tank

Condensation can form in an empty gas tank, causing corrosion or worse if the moisture freezes. Fuel stabilizer will prevent this from happening and your fuel will be ready to go when you are.

Change the Oil

Water or acids that have gotten into your oil can corrode the engine. Change the filter and flush it out so that no water remains. Then, add new oil.

Refresh the Coolant System

Drain the current coolant, flush with water, and fill with fresh antifreeze. Make sure you’ve diluted the antifreeze to specification. This will protect your engine from freezing and corrosion.

Disconnect the Battery

Don’t allow your battery to drain over the winter. Disconnect it and top it off with distilled water. Charge it periodically to make sure it’s ready to go when you hook it back up to your boat.

Grease the Steering Mechanism

Grease the steering and control mechanisms so that they will be moving smoothly when it’s time to take the boat out again.

Remove the Drive Belts

Before storing your boat, loosen or remove the drive belts. They may crack under the stress of being kept under tension for long periods of time.

Maintain the Interior of Your Boat

If you have electronics in your boat, they are vulnerable to extreme cold and moisture. Remove them prior to storage. Leather, canvas, and any other organic fabrics should be removed to prevent mold and mildew. Empty the water tanks and run antifreeze through the pipes.

Wash and Wax the Exterior

Cover the body of your boat with wax. This will prevent rust from corroding your boat’s exterior and is particularly important if you are storing your boat outside.

Use A Cover

cover is not merely an accessory, it is a necessity. A cover can be a significant investment, but it will protect your boat from moisture, mold, fading, cracking and animals as well as being a theft deterrent.   

Here at Universal Storage we can offer you a convenient, affordable, and secure facility to not only store, but protect your watercraft. Any one of our friendly, knowledgeable staff will be happy to discuss your boat storage options.