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Old 03-06-2004, 12:18 AM   #1
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Inside Storage

Having been around Airstreams since a 3-month summer caravan in 1958 when I was 8 years old, I was always aware of how much pride my dad took in keeping the Bambi clean and spotless. The Bambi and it's four successors always lived in our yard next to the garage.

I've grown up some since 1958 and now own a mobile home park with a self storage facility adjacent on the same property. There is outside parking available, but only 3 of the big rigs have chosen to store there. However, I continue to receive a surprising number of calls from people asking for secure, inside parking for trailers and motor homes.

The current buildings don't accomodate the necessary 12' to 14' doors. In looking at this summer's construction plans and bank proposals, it seems that inside RV storage could genuinely be a viable project to build.

What I don't have a feel for is what people would be willing to pay and how spartan or deluxe a facility people would like to have. Current construction cost estimates indicate that I'd need to charge $175/month for a basic, private, one-door room. Charges could easily go to $350/month for a drive-thru room with a bathroom and all the service ammenities I can think of.

Any input you'd like to share regarding inside storage for large RV's would be appreciated. Thanks, Marilyn

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Old 03-06-2004, 05:57 AM   #2
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Marilyn -

I'm not an expert on this subject by any means, but since I'm in the market of trying to find good inside storage for my own unit, I've followed posts on this topic here in the past couple months (did you try doing a search of this topic?) plus spent a considerable amount of time scouting our area for storage recently.

One thing I've observed is that storage places and charges range all over the place, and the rates vary geographically, but it seems universal that almost everybody would like to get the best storage place at the most economical price -- me included!!

IMO, I don't think there are many people that pay $175 per month to store a travel trailer, although I'm sure there are people that pay this price and more for their big$$$ motor homes.

I recently contacted a self storage facility in my area that had a few 40'x 20', 14' door, concrete floor units that rented at $200 per month with a waiting list for them. I'm paying $30 per month right now for storage in a dirt floor 3-sided 40'x100' steel building (open on one end) that is not the most secure place, and the roof leaks somewhat, so I'm trying to find a better place. My son offered me a nice secure, lighted 16'x32'garage with a 14' electronic overhead door for $100 per month, and I turned him down initially, but now I'm having second thoughts on it, but he's using it now for himself and not willing to give it up for the moment!

Speaking for myself only, here's what I'd like to have - something clean, dry and secure and 24-7 access. I wouldn't mind if the place only had crushed stone on the ground as long as I didn't have to drive through mud to get in and out. Also, I wouldn't mind if the place just had a roof overhead -- something to just keep most of the rain and snow, or blistering overhead sun off. I wouldn't mind having my unit stored in such a place if it was in a fenced in area. All of that for under $100 per month would be my preference!


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Old 03-06-2004, 07:23 AM   #3
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My experience in hangaring airplanes, vs letting them sit outside, is that indoor storage has great value. The airplane, or Airstream, will last nearly forever indoors. But most people use these toys rarely, and when they divide expenses by number of uses they realize that the airlines, or Hilton hotels, are a bargain! So there is an upper limit on what someone who "works for a living" will be willing to spend on storage.

I store my Airstream in a newer metal pole barn, out in farm country, about 25 miles from my suburban home. The cost is $500/year, equivalent to $60/month. The building has a concrete floor and is locked. I have clear access for getting the trailer in & out. I might be willing to pay a small premium if it were within 5 miles from my house. However, indoor storage near where I live must cost ~$150-$200/month, which is more than it's worth to me.

I have thought about building a storage facility too. But, I can't get the math to work out because around here you compete against thousands of farmers that have tons of extra space in their outbuildings. Close-in storage has value... but not enough extra value, in my opinion, to cover the high land value and taxes in the burbs.

Check out the "competition", and good luck with your venture!
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Old 03-06-2004, 07:47 AM   #4
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Originally posted by dmac
I have thought about building a storage facility too. But, I can't get the math to work out because around here you compete against thousands of farmers that have tons of extra space in their outbuildings. Close-in storage has value... but not enough extra value, in my opinion, to cover the high land value and taxes in the burbs.
I'm sure Dan is right about getting the math to work out. Here is an idea that's been tried right in the heart of farm country. I don't know if they are successful or not.
Pricing is around $45/sf and $250/6 months.
Own-yr-own storage condo
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Old 03-06-2004, 09:24 AM   #5
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Dan is right on with it. Also I used to store a boat indoors. It was nothing more than a pole barn. To keep costs down and have a broader pool of folks using it, maybe a simple structure is what you need, nothing fancy....
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Old 03-06-2004, 09:35 AM   #6
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Inside storage

DMAC, thanks for mentioning the airplane hangar. We've got our 1947 Stinson stored in an undivided hangar shared with 9 other planes. Although we've only experienced hangar rash once in 22 years, there's a continual concern about how accessible and vulnerable all of the planes are by being in one open group like that. There's always stories of people spending the entire evening undetected as they help themselves to the avionics and do unlimited damage.

Because of our hangar experiences, we've felt that owners of large trailers and motor homes would have the same concerns; thus, wouldn't want a shared, open facility where you can easily access the adjacent rigs. However, my web research indicates that alot of folks seem to be using the big box cram-em-together locations.

Is the general feeling that using the big box storage is okay as long as the rig is protected from the sun?
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Old 03-06-2004, 02:36 PM   #7
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I pay $90 a month for covered storage in a Lock-Tite yard. 12' x 40' space, roof only, with concrete below. Fenced, security cameras, and a code gate. No access from midnight to 6am.

There are a number of BIG motorhomes that pay for two spaces end to end. I had one BIG motorhome owner behind me call me and offer to pay to pull his unit 3' past the line into my space so he would be all under roof. I told him to go ahead so long as he didn't come in any further than that. Turned out that I moved to a better space the next week anyway so the question was moot.

First space I was in had the cross bracing overhead for wind loads on the building. Even with artificial owls here and there, I was constantly washing bird dirt off my A/S. I'm now in a slot without overhead bracing and I'm next to a real short motorhome and that makes it a lot easier to back in. There is another building just close enough that it makes backing in an exercise.

The two ladies that own the little motorhome were nice enough to agree to let me crowd the line between us. That way, I can simply pull out and go and not have to back down the row of buildings to get out.

The place I keep the trailer is in a hail corridor and the $90 a month is little enough not to have to worry.

John W. Irwin
2005 Classic 28 "Sabre-Dog III"
2013 Silverado 2500HD Duramax/Allison LTZ
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