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Old 09-04-2019, 10:48 AM   #1
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Interstate Motorhome Storage

I'm looking to purchase a 4-5 year old pre-owned Airstream Interstate Motorhome and am concerned about whether or not the unit has been stored indoors. When my wife and I find the right unit (for us) we plan to store it indoors. Actually, the roof height is one of the considerations that has driven us to a Class B (rather than C), as we can store a unit up to about 10 feet in external height.


I'm wondering if we should consider a unit that has been stored outside a deal-breaker, or is outside storage not that much of a factor? I'm the type of person that stores our vehicles, motorcycles, airplane, etc. indoors and would not consider purchasing something of this nature without having indoor storage facilities available for them afterwards.

Any meaningful guidance concerning outside vs. indoor storage that could be provided from those of you who have been A/S owners for several years would be gratefully appreciated.
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Old 09-04-2019, 11:23 AM   #2
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Hi OHBobH,
I purchased a 2013 interstate in 16 from Florida. I live in our beautiful state and store mine outside in my driveway year round plugged in to shore power. While I am sure I could pay for indoor storage we drive our rig all the time, in the winter as well. I am sure harsh winters and poss salt can take its toll, but we bought it to use it. I don't think 10 feet is going to be enough room. I think you will need closer to 11 feet. I'm sure others will chime in.
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Old 09-04-2019, 12:30 PM   #3
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If it looks good, then the outside storage hasn't taken any significant toll on the coach. I have an '04 that has never seen the inside of a garage, and it's doing fine. The roof sealants should be redone every 6-8 years anyway, and pretty much everything else should stand up to outside storage for twenty years easy.
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Old 09-05-2019, 07:12 AM   #4
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The Interstate is slightly less than 10 feet tall, so should be no problem for height clearance.

We bought ours used over two years ago and it is outside now all the time. I recommend a thorough exterior paint conditioning to remove oxidation and get the best wax you can find. If you use a professional, get references. There are way too many pros that use/misuse buffing wheels.

If you plan to do this yourself and want tips on which products to use, someone should start a new thread because those opinions are like, uh, armpits. Everybody has them and everyone else thinks the other persons' stinks.

Good for you keeping it inside since your new wax job will last a lot longer that way.
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Old 09-05-2019, 08:04 AM   #5
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Welcome to the forum Ohio Bob!

The Interstates are full automotive paint and no decals so should last very well (covered or not) just as most cars of today. And, how would you know if it had really been covered all it's life.? Sounds good for a seller to say so, but probably not all who mention this have actually done so.

If you can't tell it hasn't always been covered, it probably won't matter. Excellent idea to cover once you get it, however. I'm jealous because I don't have such a storage option.
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Old 09-05-2019, 09:12 AM   #6
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VERY few people personally have indoor or covered RV storage on their property or pay for any type of covered or complete indoor RV storage for mid price to lower price used motorhome coaches. When you git into Prevost buses that changes significantly as they got the money for storage. Some RV owners will purchase a removable RV cover for their coach which can prevent some environmental issues from occurring yet still cause other issues to arise. It's a crap shoot!

I suggest your new second job is looking at lot's of coaches to learn what really is the good, the bad and ugly of a motorhome. Remember you can have 2 huge problems with a motorhome. Those 2 huge problems are the House that is mounted on the truck chassis and the marriage of these 2 problems that can result.

It's still all about the PRICE matching the CONDITION when shopping for a motorhome therefore the more knowledgeable you are to determine the condition of a used motorhome the better motorhome you buyer you will be and ultimately purchase. IF you are unwilling to put in the time to acquire the knowledge to be a great motorhome buyer I suggest you hire a Professional Inspector to review any motorhome you are considering for purchase. That $200-$500 you spend on an professional RV inspection just might save you THOUSANDS of Dollars and more importantly untold heartache.

So to answer your original question:

NO!

Where a used motorhome was stored although a consideration would not be high on my list at all when making a decision to purchase a specific motorhome.
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Old 09-05-2019, 09:31 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Docevil87 View Post
I don't think 10 feet is going to be enough room. I think you will need closer to 11 feet. I'm sure others will chime in.
DOCEVIL87 - It very much depends on a few things mounted on the roof and options of AI based on MY.

While my 2018 has a published 9'8" height, mine is at 9'9" minimum just at the cusp of scraping either antenna or A/C shroud (Penguin II). Can't remember which is absolute high point, ant. or A/C. This is with VB Air rear suspension sitting at normal ride height and tires at 69 psi. My garage clearance is 9'10" which is too close for comfort. So I slam the rear end during ingress/egress to give me 4" more clearance. A 4x4 option will add at least 3" and an old-style dome satellite dish will definitely push the height above 10'.
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Old 09-05-2019, 07:06 PM   #8
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Thanks all for your valuable inputs. I fully plan on contracting for a professional pre-buy inspection when I find the right unit, and feel much less apprehensive about the possibility of buying a unit that has not had indoor storage. Again, thanks for all the help in this major purchase decision.
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Old 09-05-2019, 10:23 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by OHBobH View Post
I fully plan on contracting for a professional pre-buy inspection when I find the right unit,
OHBOBH - That's a good move when buying used. IMHO - Money well spent. Best of luck in the search.
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Old 09-12-2019, 04:36 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by vintageracer View Post
VERY few people personally have indoor or covered RV storage on their property or pay for any type of covered or complete indoor RV storage for mid price to lower price used motorhome coaches. ....
Some of us do. The cost-benefit analysis depends on:

(1) The investment in the rig (customization as well as sticker price)
(2) Age of the rig (older to start with = more vulnerable)
(3) How long one intends to keep one's rig (in our case, we decided 10 years)
(4) Local market conditions (how expensive the options are)
(5) The local climate (some accelerate aging more than others)

I pay $150/month for an off-site storage garage (when I started renting 5 years ago, it was $135). The deal includes in-unit electrical power, digital access, security (full fencing, cameras, etc.), dump station, and water.

I don't consider it to be an unreasonable price. My area (greater Houston TX) enjoys a relatively low cost of living. In most areas of the country, our mortgage would be well in excess of an additional $150/month for the same house. In some metros, our mortgage would be double what it is here. So mortgage + garage rental = not a concern to me.

The subtropics are desperately hard on vehicles. It might not be very visible for the first number of years, but they degrade horribly. My husband's daily driver is 1 year older than our Interstate, and it's a mess. Trim falling off the inside of the doors, and the dash split and oozing plastic break-down products, because it has never been garaged. I'll post a pic of it when the sun comes up.

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Old 09-12-2019, 07:39 AM   #11
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InterBlog, that is a great price for all that it includes... here, before I friend told me to move ours to their back yard, I was paying 100.00/month just for a parking spot out in the sun...

I wish there was something similar here for that price...
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Old 09-14-2019, 06:31 AM   #12
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Fair warning -

Henceforth, every time someone pipes up and says, "Oh, just store your vehicle outside... it was designed to be stored outside and doesn't need a garage!" then I'm going to rebut that opinion with this photo below.

I will my best try to be diplomatic as I'm trying to do now, but the claim is so (ahem) ILL-INFORMED that my instinct is to bludgeon in response, to stamp it out as quickly and efficiently as possible.

This is the dash of my husband's current daily driver - it's an Infiniti G-series, not the cheapest car on the market (e.g., Carmax lists 6- to 8-year-old G series for $14k - $22k).

This car is one model year older than our Interstate. Our Interstate dash has NOT begun to look similar to this, however, because WE STORE IT IN A RENTED GARAGE. The Infiniti has never been garaged (it's not a priority for LB_3), and THIS is the inevitable result of chronic UV exposure in our area.

It's horrible. It doesn't just LOOK bad - it smells foul. It's oozing noxious polymer break-down products. The dash cannot be cleaned up, because it's sticky and that stuff does not come off. Every time I drive it, I feel like I need to take a shower afterwards.

UV automotive degradation is A Thing. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

EDIT: Oh, and BTW, his windshield has always been tinted. There was an original tint when he bought the car, and he recently upgraded to a better one. Tints will not prevent this.

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Old 09-14-2019, 06:56 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InterBlog View Post
This car is one model year older than our Interstate. Our Interstate dash has NOT begun to look similar to this, however, because WE STORE IT IN A RENTED GARAGE. The Infiniti has never been garaged (it's not a priority for LB_3), and THIS is the inevitable result of chronic UV exposure in our area.
I think that we each tend to reply according to the norms in our own area and our own experience. Wow, IB... that's awful! And I will confess that MY earlier reply didn't take into account my experiences living on Guam, nor in the deserts of southern California where the sun does indeed extract that kind of toll on plastics and sealants.

Here in the Midwest, my cars are garaged except when they're actually on the road. My Super-C lives in weather-proof storage for the winter after being winterized. Dry, but not climate-controlled storage for the Super-C is $150 for October-April. My vans, however, must suffer the fates dealt them by the weather, year-round. The ONE thing I do for them, however, is to purchase a custom-fit Heatshield brand, insulated winshield reflector, and I do put reflectors up in the side door windows as well to protect the interior from the UV degredation. Although, MY van spent years in Georgia likely without any accomodation at all and the interior hasn't suffered from the UV. The roof sealants were another story entirely... and their degredation and lack of attention caused some water damage and mold issues that it's taken months to remediate. Having the roof re-caulked about every eight years (give or take,) or more frequently if necessary is mandatory on all RVs.

That storage you have for your AI is an amazing buy at $150/mo with access to the utilities! I think we all wish we could find something like that!
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Old 09-14-2019, 08:02 AM   #14
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To expound, this issue is not entirely geographic.

The issue is partially that, if you are on Air Forums to start with, then you are post-secondarily-educated and/or highly trade-skilled, and you have money to show for that.

Which means that you probably don't keep your daily driver long enough to see these inevitable results because you can easily afford to upgrade to a newer one.

In other words, this is partially a matter of an earlier more primal form of awareness being lost. We all USED to know that UV damage was a car-destroyer, but these days, most people pass that problem off to subsequent less-well-heeled used car buyers.

My husband is one of the VERY few highly-skilled, reasonably-paid, state-licensed mechanical engineers who drives a daily that looks like that particular hot mess shown above.

We could afford to upgrade if we made it a priority. But our money first goes to things like our Interstate and to certain public service initiatives (nonprofit and charitable pursuits) in which we are heavily invested by this time. So we just don't pay for stuff like younger cars. My own daily is now 8 years old.

For those same reasons, and for reasons of personal investment, we decided to keep our Interstate for at least 10 years after date of purchase, so we are in it for at least another 5 years, and I suspect it will be more.

That being the case, I need to remain aware that, if it's kept in the sun, there'll be nothing left of it in 5 to 10 more years.
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