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5 Easy Strategies for Finding the Best Boat and RV Storage in Your Area

When it’s time to put away your boat or RV, what do you do? Perhaps it’s winter and the camping season is over. Or perhaps you won’t hit the lake again for several weeks. If you can’t find storage for your boat or RV at your house, what are your options?

We have three RVs, two boats, and no house, so storage has been critical for us for years. We have experienced the good, bad, and ugly of RV storage and know that its sometimes hard to find. Today, we’ll help you find boat and RV storage near you. There are crucial considerations before choosing a facility and the pros and cons of different options. Let’s dive in!

rv cover storage spot
We have stored our RV and boats in dozens of different locations over the years.

Do I Have to Store My Boat Or RV?

You don’t have to store your boat or RV if you live somewhere that allows RV parking. However, there are many locations, like HOAs, that won’t allow you to store a boat or RV on your property. Therefore, in between trips or during the winter season, you’ll need to find boat and RV storage solutions.

Other outdoor enthusiasts want to get their boat or RV out of their yard or driveway. They also like the extra security at storage facilities, like additional lighting, fencing, and cameras. If you don’t have covered storage like an outdoor shed, you may prefer to store your boat or RV in a place that will protect it from the elements, especially if you live up north where it’s very cold in the winter or in southern regions where it’s very hot in the summer.

Indoor Vs. Covered Vs. Outdoor RV and Boat Storage

The best storage solution for your boat or RV is in an indoor, climate-controlled facility. It can completely protect your RV from the weather, like humidity, heat, and snow, which can wreak havoc on a boat or RV. However, these locations are very expensive and exceed the budget of most of us. Our big toys take up a lot of space, which is expensive to build, so the cost really makes sense.

Covered storage is an ideal middle ground between indoor and outdoor storage options. Although a shed won’t shield your boat or RV from the elements fully, it will provide increased protection that you won’t get at all if it’s l sitting outside. The sun won’t get to your roof, tires, or interior fabrics to prematurely degrade them, and rain and snow won’t weather the exterior.

At the very least, we recommend you cover your boat or RV with a tarp or special cover when it’s in storage (***with one exception). Even though these materials won’t provide the full protection of a covered shed or indoor storage unit, they’re better than nothing. Be prepared to buy new ones frequently. The overall cost of a better storage location may be worth it. Also remember to cover your tires!

*** The exception to covering your RV or boat is dry areas that experience high winds. Before putting a cover or tarp on consider that blowing dust could cause the flapping material to damage your exterior. We have seen some terrible rub marks from tarps in high winds.

Pro Tip: You may want to consider storing your RV underground. Find out why!

RV under tarp
Keep in mind that tarps and covers can be a huge help in protecting your investment, but can also cause damage if they flap and rub.

5 Easy Strategies for Finding the Best RV and Boat Storage Near Me

When deciding which storage facility to use, there are five crucial things to consider. Always read the fine print and know exactly what you’re paying for and getting in return. Let’s look closer at these strategies for finding boat and RV storage!

1. Consider the Location For Access and Weather

You’ll want to choose a storage location that’s near you so you can access your boat or RV easily. If it is three hours away, you probably won’t go check on it after a winter weather storm. However, if it’s only 30 minutes down the road, you can keep a better eye on it while it’s in storage. This might give you peace of mind, too.

This may narrow your choices, however. If you stick to a 30-mile radius, you may only have one storage option. You’ll likely have to drive farther to access an indoor storage facility since those are less common. So you’ll have to weigh the ease of access with the advantages of storing your boat or RV indoors.

2. Security Features Provided

One of the most essential considerations when choosing the best storage solution for your boat or RV is security. Does the facility have lights, gated access, fencing, or someone on-site 24/7? Consider how visible your boat or RV is from the road. What thieves can see will more likely be stolen than vehicles they can’t see. Sometimes it’s worth it to pay more for peace of mind and a strong security system when you’re trying to protect an expensive investment like a boat or RV.

Boat and RV garage
Give yourself peace of mind by ensuring your storage space has extra security.

3. Is It Powered? Is Power Needed?

Another amenity that will increase the price but could be worth it is electricity. It’s not necessary, but it would be nice to go by the facility and turn on the air conditioner and refrigerator a day or two before leaving for a weekend trip. If you can plug the RV in, you also don’t have to worry about dead batteries. However, you’ll want to ensure your electrical system is in good condition to leave it unsupervised for long periods.

4. Terms of Storage Contract and Insurance

Even though it’s time-consuming, read the fine print of your contract. Go over every page. Take note of the termination agreement or late payment protocol. Do you have to pay for unused months? Do they seize your property in the event of nonpayment? You’ll want a clear understanding of the length of the contract and the payment plan.

Perhaps the facility offers discounts for long-term storage. You might consider this if it saves you money overall. You might also get a discount for automatic payments. Finally, consider insurance coverage. If something happens to your boat or RV, does the facility have insurance? Or will your insurance cover the damage?

5. Evaluate Cost for Service

Although many decisions come down to budget, it’s critical to consider the pros and cons of signing the line at the cheapest place. This can leave your RV vulnerable to weather conditions and theft. It could also leave you with a huge bill if the facility is uninsured. You want your boat or RV to be secure, so look for deals at locations that give you peace of mind.

Pro Tip: This Surprising Connection Between RVs and Pontoon Boat Brands may shock you!

Covered RV storage
A quick Google search can help you find boat and RV storage close to you.

Finding Boat and RV Storage Near Me

As the popularity of RVing and boating rises, storage facilities are getting full. However this popularity means that more people are starting to build or offer storage. Many storage unit businesses offer boat and RV storage. You’ll also find options at marinas and campgrounds. Here are a few tips to find boat and RV storage near you. 

1. Online Search For Boat and RV Storage Facilities

One of the easiest ways to find boat and RV storage facilities is to do a Google search. You can limit your radius to find locations nearest you. Don’t forget to use social media to help find locations. Search Facebook for business pages and ask online groups where they store their boats and RVs. Also, check Facebook marketplace, as sometimes local people offer storage on their private property.

2. Call Local Campgrounds and Marinas About Storage Options

If you’re not having any luck searching for “boat and RV storage near me,” try calling local campgrounds and marinas and ask if they offer storage. However, please remember the considerations we mentioned before. If your RV is going to sit in an open field with no gate or cameras, you may not want to store it at your local campground.

3. Ask Other Boaters and RVers for Recommendations

We’ve stored our boats and RVs in a building that used to be a horse arena out in the country. It was no frills but very safe since the owner lives onsite. It was also reasonably priced. However, he doesn’t advertise anywhere; it’s all word of mouth. So ask around for personal recommendations. You might find a hidden gem!

4. Build Your Own Storage Spot

If you have the space on your property, you might consider building a barn, shed, temporary garage, or carport. It will be expensive upfront but may pay off if you intend to keep your boat or RV. We’ve done this in the past, too. We expanded a barn for boat and trailer storage and are now building a carport for our RVs. Having your boat or RV on your property means you can keep an eye on it at all times.

RV and golfcart in covered storage
Covered storage is ideal for protecting your boat and RV in the off season.

What Should I Do to Prepare My Boat for Storage?

You may need to fog your boat engine for long-term storage. You can do this yourself or take it to a small motor mechanic. You’ll also want to charge and disconnect your battery, drain the gas from the carburetor, and fill the oil reserves. Preparing your boat correctly is as crucial as finding a safe and secure storage location.

What Should I Do to Prepare My RV for Storage?

There are a few things you’ll need to do to prepare your RV for long-term storage. Always remove all food and scented products to keep the critters away. Clean out the refrigerator and leave it slightly open to prevent mold. Empty and clean the holding tanks so no water or waste is sitting in them for months.

This is a convenient time to thoroughly check all your RV’s components and systems. Make sure everything works before you put it away for the season. If you’re in an area where temperatures frequently dip below freezing, you’ll also want to winterize your rig.

Turn off all appliances, disconnect the battery, and remove it from the RV. Cover the tires to protect them from the sun’s rays unless you’re storing your rig indoors. Also, put on a cover to protect it from weather, sun damage, and theft if it makes sense for your location.

Pro Tip: Avoid needing extra storage space with these 7 Best Inflatable Boats for Easy Storage and Transport.

The Best RV Winter Setup: How to RV in Winter and the Gear That Will Keep You Cozy Warm!

Find a Safe and Convenient Location for Boat Or RV Storage

Sometimes a search for “boat and RV storage near me” won’t provide the answers you need. By making some phone calls and getting personal recommendations, you might have better luck. Regardless of how you find a location, ensure it’s a safe place. You want to be confident that your RV will be ready the next time you want a weekend adventure.

What do you do with your boat or RV when it’s not in use? Tell us in the comments!

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About Tom and Caitlin Morton

Tom & Caitlin Morton of Mortons on the Move gave up the stationary life for one where they are constantly on the move. They are full-time travelers, television hosts, and digital media producers.
They left their jobs, sold their house and possessions, and hit the road in September 2015 in their full-time “home on wheels”. Since then they have traveled the US, Canada, and even internationally by RV.
Now, they are Discovery Channel & PBS TV Co-stars of “Go North” on Amazon Prime Video, co-founders and instructors of RV Masterclass, and contributing authors for Hwy.co and an Arizona travel guide.

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