There are many reasons you might look into covered RV storage. It could be getting colder, and you need to winterize and put up your RV for the season. Or you might need to store your RV for a few months so you can travel to another country. Or maybe you simply want to take a break from RV life. What will you do with your RV?
The best solution is covered RV storage, which is the best way to protect your rig from the weather, sun, and extreme temperatures. Let’s look at a few options.
What Are the Different Types of Covered RV Storage?
If you use covered storage, you have a few options. Your budget and location will probably dictate what you do. Although there are three good options, there may only be one option depending on where you live. Read on to see what we mean.
→ New to RV storage overall? Start here: How To Store Your RV
Shelter on Property
Consider building or buying a shelter for your RV to put on your property. It can be expensive, but when compared to the cost of monthly storage, you might save money.
An aluminum shelter with just the top roof will cost around $5,000-$6,000 to cover a Class A motorhome. A three-sided unit will be even more expensive but adds protection. Of course, if you have a smaller travel trailer, the cost will be less.
Just make sure you know your HOA regulations. If you live in a neighborhood where outside structures aren’t permitted, or you aren’t allowed to store an RV, you’ll need a different option.
If you don’t have the space at your residence or your HOA prohibits it, other on-property options exist. For instance, you could have a family member or friend store your RV on their property for a few months. Be courteous and offer to pay rent for the inconvenience.
Some neighborhoods not only allow RVs on property, but design their homes around them. These RV port homes are very convenient for the avid traveler. You barely have to step out of you RV to be home sweet home.
Covered Outdoor Unit
If a shelter on your property (or someone else’s) isn’t an option, look for a covered outdoor unit. Storage unit locations often permit RVs if the units are large enough. There are even covered storage facilities specifically for RV parking.
The pricing will vary based on your location, but you’ll usually pay a monthly rate. And, if you’re only storing your rig for a few months, you might find a short-term deal the storage facility is running, such as “Get your first 3 months for $10!” (Note that sometimes these deals come with annual contracts. Read the fine print before signing.)
Covered Indoor Unit
Finally, here’s a third option for covered RV storage. A covered indoor unit will be more expensive than an outdoor one, but it offers superior protection. You’ll get a climate-controlled unit and store your RV out of sight. Because it’s one of the best options, finding available indoor storage at a good price can be more difficult.
Indoor storage is particularly challenging to find if you have a big rig. There may be smaller spaces more easily available for an Airstream or Minnie Winnie, but fewer indoor units can accommodate a 40-ft Montana High Country fifth wheel. But keep looking if you want the best protection for your stored RV.
Why You Should Cover Your RV When Not in Use
Weather damage is a primary reason for covered RV storage. Especially in the winter, harsh conditions can damage your rig. Extreme temperatures can cause plumbing problems and create condensation when stored in the open. You don’t want snow piling up on the roof of your RV, either. That weight could create serious issues.
If you won’t be storing your RV in colder climates, use covered RV storage. Sun exposure can shorten your tire life and damage and crack your RV roof. The sun also heats the inside of your RV, which might not matter if no one is inside but could still fade colors if your RV isn’t adequately protected.
The Benefits of Using Covered RV Storage
Since it’s best to use covered RV storage, let’s look at three specific reasons for it.
First, it offers peace of mind. You’ve paid a lot of money for that vehicle. You want to protect it and avoid the surprise of a repair the first day you take it out. By using covered RV storage, you can rest easy knowing it’s out of the weather.
Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of using covered storage.
Superior Weather Protection
You want to limit sun exposure as much as possible when storing your RV. The sun can fade graphics, paint, and decals on the surface. If you paid for a superior full-body paint job across your motorhome, make sure it looks just as beautiful years down the road. The case is similar for interior fabrics. With more sun exposure, they’ll fade and wear out quickly.
Damage to your tires and roof can be costly. The sun’s heat and UV rays can degrade your RV’s tire and roof quality. These rays can break down the compounds that make your tires safe. They can also break down the protective barrier on your roof.
But sun exposure isn’t the only danger. Other weather conditions like snow, hail, ice, and even strong thunderstorms can damage your RV. You’re protecting your investment from these potential weather conditions with covered RV storage.
Pro Tip: If you want to keep your RV safe from sun and snow, find out Does Your RV Really Need Tire Covers?
Can Pay for Climate Controlled Unit
Consider upgrading to a climate-controlled unit if you can find it. Not only will it protect your rig from the sun and other weather conditions, but also extreme temperatures. An outdoor shelter is undoubtedly better than nothing, but it won’t prevent your seals from cracking under intense heat.
During extreme temperatures, your RV seals are susceptible to contraction and expansion. If stored under an open-air outdoor shelter, you might have to repair these issues before using it again. This extra money per month is worth it to maintain the integrity of your RV and its systems.
Easy to Use
Covered RV storage is convenient and easy. If you don’t have a storage facility near you, buying a covered shelter for your property is the best solution. And it’s easy to keep an eye on your RV!
If it gets freezing one night, you can quickly check for any damage on your rig. If you know a snowstorm is coming through in a few days, you can adequately prepare. Some storage facilities even have live video feeds of your unit and the premises, so you can check on your RV wherever you are.
What Are the Downsides to Using Covered RV Storage?
The two biggest downsides to using covered RV storage are the cost and potential inconvenience. Depending on whether or not you get a climate-controlled unit and the pricing at individual storage facilities, paying for covered RV storage can be pricey. If you’re purchasing a shelter for your property, that’ll be even more expensive.
Also, there may not be a storage facility near you, which means, you’ll have to drive farther to store your RV. This inconvenience probably means you can’t check on it often. And if you don’t have a place for it on your property or your HOA won’t let you have a shelter, a storage facility is all you have left.
Is Using Covered Storage Lots Better Than Using an RV Cover?
RV covers are made of protective weather-proof materials that come in various shapes and sizes. They’re much cheaper–$200 compared to $2,000–so it’s an appealing option for RVers on a tight budget. They’re also easy to put away once the camping season begins.
However, an RV cover can be difficult to use, especially if you’re trying to drape it over your rig by yourself. Water can also get underneath the cover, which then creates mold. This is a common problem RVers have to deal with after pulling their RV from storage.
A cover also won’t protect against everything. It’s certainly better than nothing, but covered RV storage like a shelter or a climate-controlled indoor unit is much more effective at protecting against snow piling up on the roof or hail damage.
Pro Tip: Don’t have access to covered storage? Consider an RV cover by discovering Should You Cover Your RV in Winter?
Is Covered RV Storage Worth It?
If you have space on your property and the funds to purchase a shelter, it’s worth it to protect your investment. If you don’t have the space (or the permission) and would rather store your RV in a secure location like a storage facility, that’s another great option. Paying for storage during the winter won’t break the bank, and if you can afford (and find) an indoor climate-controlled unit, that’s even better.
You’ve paid a lot for your RV. Even if it’s a tiny travel trailer, it’s worth protecting it so that you don’t have to deal with repairs. That takes time and money. You also want to prolong the life of your RV so you have many seasons of camping adventures with your family.
So it’s absolutely worth it to use covered RV storage.
If you know you’ll be putting away your RV for any length of time, do your homework. Can you set up a shelter on your property? If so, check out your options. If you can’t, start researching places around town that store RVs and compare prices.
What will be the best solution for your situation? Don’t wait until the last minute. Start looking months before you know you’ll be putting away your RV. Procrastination may end up meaning your investment won’t be properly protected.
So where will you store your RV the next time it’s not in use? Drop a comment below!
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