The summer season is almost over, and it’s time to start thinking about where you’ll park your vacation on wheels for the off-season. Part of keeping your RV safe when you’re not using it is knowing where to store it, and knowing why you’re storing it.
Whether you’re a new RV owner or a seasoned veteran looking for a change, it’s important to be prepared with exactly what you need to know before signing an RV storage service agreement. We’ve prepared ten important questions to ask before you choose an RV storage service in Kitsap County, WA, and across the United States.
1. Is RV Storage Service What I Need?
Let’s face it; we don’t all have the luxury of a few-acre property where you could just park and RV for free for the off-season. Street parking is a no-go as most cities discourage long-term parking by issuing tickets and, in some cases, bans. Parking it in your driveway, although free, takes up one or two parking spots and is a complete eyesore for you (and your neighbors!)
There are plenty of articles out there speaking to the benefits of storing your RV, so do your research! The most practiced hassle-free option to look at is parking your vacation home on wheels at a safe and secure storage facility. You will want to take a look at the storage facility’s about us page for a list of services to determine whether they offer RV storage.
2. Is My RV Prepared for Storage?
Before even beginning your location search, it’s best to first ensure that you have gone through all necessary steps to prepare RVs for storage. Winterization is important for longevity and keeping your vacation on wheels in top shape. KOA offers a great comprehensive step-by-step list for winterizing your RV that will help you get started.
Take the time to review the owners manual and check out some online RV forums for tips and suggestions to get you on the right track. You can also get in touch with the place you bought your RV for their recommendations for winterization.
You will want to make sure you have a comprehensive checklist of winterization steps to avoid any devastating damage to your RV while stored. Give it the TLC it needs to save you a headache in the long run!
3. Covered vs. Uncovered: What’s the Difference?
Protection from the elements is key in ensuring the longest life for your RV. With this in mind, you will need to decide between two types of storage services: covered or uncovered.
Covered storage provides you the added peace of mind of not having the worry about your RV being exposed to winter weather along with the freeze-thaw cycle once spring rolls around. Your RV would be typically protected with a solid roof and, in some cases, coverage on three sides.
With uncovered storage, it is up to you to shoulder the risk of damage. RVs would be stored in a parking spot without anything on top to protect them from snowfall or freezing rain.
In the event you choose uncovered options, you will want to ensure that the storage facility allows individuals to erect coverings for the RVs since it’s not recommended to leave RVs out in the open as a safety precaution. Should you choose this route, it’s best to look into an awning option to cover the top of your RV.
Different storage facilities will typically provide you with listed prices of the options available, along with sizes. Determining which option you would like for your RV will help in your search for the perfect storage spot.
4. What Is My RV Storage Budget?
Depending on the location, size, and type of storage facility, you will come across a range of prices. It’s important to factor in these calculations into your budget so that there are no surprises on your end, as well as choosing an option that is economically feasible for you.
You will want to be aware of whether the RV storage service fee will be a monthly or annual payment and if the fee is inclusive or exclusive of additional fees for security, administrative, and any other fees or charges. This will help keep the surprise of additional charges on your bill to a minimum.
Once you’re determined your budget, you can start your hunt for the perfect spot!
5. Is Location Important to Me?
You will need to determine whether the location is of importance to you. Knowing this will help narrow down your storage service search for a place closer or a bit further from you while researching different storage facilities.
For some individuals, they would rather drive further if there is a better facility for them, and some individuals like to stick closer to home. There is no right or wrong choice here but a matter of preference.
6. How Safe Is My RV?
So you’ve narrowed down your options, and the next question to ask is about the safety features available at the storage service. Ideally, the service you choose should have a code-accessed gate, tall fencing, and some form of monitored security. Do your research on what to look out for and even for tips to keep your RV safe as well while it is parked there.
Most modern facilities will offer video surveillance of their storage property. The difference between them is those that have the surveillance monitored 24/7, and/or have an individual present on the property to monitor.
RVs are considered luxury items that will attract burglars and thieves. You will want to choose a service whose priority is keeping RVs safe.
7. How Is the Accessibility?
A surprising point that’s often overlooked in RV storage services is accessibility. You will want to ask the storage facility what their policy is for accessing your RV during its storage time. There are a few reasons why this is important.
The RV will need to be checked on and have some adjustments made during the season. Things like flat spots on tires, checking for leaks/damage, and just general check-ins are a great preventative and maintenance measure you need to take as an RV owner. Knowing what the storage service rules are for accessing your RV is important.
Inquire as to their access hours, if you are able to go to your RV and work on it/provide maintenance, as well as check-in on it from time to time.
8. How Reliable Is This Storage Service?
It’s incredibly important to do your research when it comes to storage services. Anyone can put up an advertisement claiming they are the best and most secure, but the customer reviews will paint you the correct picture. Search for the company online, look at customer reviews, and what people have to say about these places.
Another great option is getting recommendations via word of mouth. Ask other RV owners where they store their vehicle, do they like it, and what their experience has been so far. What people have to say will go further than only what the company tells you.
9. Do I Need Storage Insurance?
Each storage service will have their own requirements on whether or not storage renters will need to hold insurance. It’s best to ask this question prior to signing any agreements, so you are fully aware of all the expenses and requirements that are needed to park your RV.
Insurance offers you the peace of mind to cover you in the event of thefts, break-ins, and some weather damage that may occur to your RV during its time in storage. Though it is recommended, in some cases, storage facilities will let you go without. Make sure to check out the storage facilities’ policy listed online to see if this is a requirement.
10. Are There Any Discounts or Incentives?
If you don’t ask, the answer will always be no! Chances are that the storage facilities you are looking at will be more than inclined to barter on the price if asked. That’ll be an added benefit to keep your RV storage budget in check and could be the decision-maker for which service you choose.
Finding the Right Storage Service for Your RV
There you have it—you’re now better equipped to make your RV storage service decision. If you have any other tips and tricks for RV storage, don’t forget to leave a reply, and of course, share with your RV friends and family!
Contact us to help you get on the right track to a safe off-season RV experience this year.