Then one night, as you’re sitting around the fire after the kids are tucked in their bunks in your new family camper. It begins to dawn on you. This summer trip is better than ever, now that you’ve moved up from a tent to a camper. But now that you have it, where are you going to store it this winter?
You’ve sunk a lot of money into your new “home away from home”. You don’t want to leave your camper sitting out in the elements, its value dropping like a rock.
So you start to explore your options. But how do you know what is the best way to store your new travel home so that you and your family can experience many years of enjoyment from using it?
Indoor vs Outdoor
One of the first things that might come to mind when you’re thinking about a place to keep your camper is whether it should be stored inside or outside.
To help you decide which option is best for you, consider the following.
Your camper can be vandalized more easily if it is stored outside – even in an RV storage facility. If you decide, however, that outdoor storage fits your needs, make sure the facility you use has good security. Maybe even an “on site” guard to reduce the risks of something happening to your camper.
Look for barbed wire or high fence around the lot where the camper will be stored and keyless entry.
If you do opt for this type of storage you can still use an RV cover to protect your RV from the elements. And remember to regularly check on your camper’s condition to make sure that nothing has been damaged.
Although indoor storage is typically about twice that of outdoor storage, it is a preferred type of storage for many owners.
It reduces the need for you to routinely check up on it. Your camper will be protected from wind, snow and sun damage because it’s under cover and in a temperature controlled environment.
This is an important consideration because the exterior plastics on campers can easily crack, break and fade from exposure to the sun and extreme temperatures over a period of time.
However, if you opt for indoor storage, be prepared to wait to retrieve your camper until the release date. Indoor storage facilities try to pack as many RVs into the space as possible, so it would be difficult if not impossible to retrieve your camper before then.
Home vs Offsite Storage
Storing your camper at home
Many people simply store their camper at home, in their driveway. While this is the most logical place because it won’t cost you anything and you can use the RV at any time, there are some disadvantages to consider.
- ⬥HOA Restrictions
If you live in a neighborhood with a homeowners’ association it might be against the neighborhood covenants to store a large vehicles in your driveway. This could lead to fines, and/or getting your new home towed.
- While you could put a cover on your RV – and you probably should – it’s still going to be exposed to extreme temperatures, which could lead to premature cracking of plastic components.
- If space in your driveway is already at a premium, storing your camper in your driveway will take up precious real estate that you could otherwise use.
- Left out in the open your new home away from home is exposed to being stolen or vandalized.
While storing a camper in your backyard will free up your driveway, it will reduce the space you have available in your backyard. And still not addressing the issue of weather impacts to your camper or the vulnerability to acts of vandalism. And then of course, if you have an HOA, they could have restrictions on what you have in your backyard as well.
Storing an RV at a Self Storage Facility
If you’d rather not store your camper at home, for whatever reason and decide to store it offsite, keep the following in mind when choosing a facility. Outdoor camper storage will work for a lot of different sized vehicles; from Class A to small pop-up campers. It won’t be difficult to find someplace outdoors to store it.
- ⬥It’s less expensive than indoor storage.
- ⬥Should include some kind of security.
- ⬥Easy access to your camper so you can pull it out whenever you want.
- ⬥No different than parking in your driveway at home as far as exposure to the elements.
Covered RV storage provides cover from elements.
- ⬥Facilities can fit many different sizes of trailers, campers and RVs.
- ⬥Can be less expensive than if you were to rent an indoor vehicle storage unit (although more costly than outdoor storage).
- ⬥The facility should be secured with high fencing and keypad entry gates.
As you can see there are a lot of variables to consider when choosing the type of storage options for your camper.
Bottom line, cost, convenience, security and protection all should play a role in helping you decide the options that are best for you and your family.