Looking for a place to store your RV? Good luck!

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By Nanci Dixon
As RV sales have exploded this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I can’t help but wonder: What is happening to all those RVs? Where are they now that extended vacation is over, working from the road has lost its allure, kids are back in school and 9-to-5 jobs are slowly opening back up?

I had predicted back in August of 2020 that there would be a glut of RVs on the market soon. (Perhaps not yet though, as Camping World is still advertising RV shortages. They even quoted an RVtravel.com article, “RV dealers running out of RVs. Service Centers are jammed” in a recent ad.)

So where are the RVs? Looking at a rather small open-air storage facility near us, I noticed that the RVs are piling up. Usually, there are only four or five this time of year. Ah, so that’s where they’re ending up…

Many municipalities don’t allow long-term RV parking on the street or in driveways, and a lot of homeowner associations don’t allow an RV to do more than load and unload in the neighborhood. So, all these new RV owners need to find storage for their new toys. But where?

I began doing some research across the country and found that the vast majority of RV storage places were full, and most had a waiting list. One facility in the Southwest said that they have about 20 calls a day looking for an RV storage space. She mentioned that people were saying that they had just bought the RV and now needed somewhere to put it. She could only offer them a place on a waiting list.

One business in the North that manages a number of storage facilities was surprised when they started looking across their inventory from facility to facility and saw that there were no openings for RVs. They were full.

At one East Coast facility, they only had room to store RVs up to 16 feet in length. My guess is that most of the RVs that folks just bought are over 16 feet.

I was aghast when I looked up storage costs! In the Phoenix area, they ranged from $90 a month for uncovered outdoor parking on asphalt or gravel, $170 for outdoor parking under a covered roof with electric hookup up to $849 a month for an individual, indoor enclosed 14×45 ft storage space. I thought that was for six months, but nope, just one month! Checking out prices in other areas and the range is similar. Uncovered parking on asphalt on the East Coast was up to $450 a month, but, of course, no openings anyway. In the past, outdoor storage has usually ranged from $30–$100 a month, and indoor storage usually falls between $50–$125/month (though the price goes up if you want heated storage).

Because of supply and demand, storage prices are going up and up… and up. New RVers will find that in addition to their loan payment, they are now paying a hefty monthly storage fee. Perhaps there will be a glut of RVs on the market after all.

##RVT974b

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Ted Deits
7 days ago

I am the developer of RV Garage Condos in Southern California. I have never seen as much anxiety over the storage of RV’s as I have in the last six months. I am getting calls hourly from people searching for RV storage. In short I tell them there simply isn’t any.

We have three locations. One in Beaumont is full. https://www.rvstorage.biz Another in Palm Springs, phase one is sold out, with phase two (not even built yet) only has three garages left, as 29 garages have been sold before we even broke ground. https://www.monstoregarages.com

Coachella is still under construction with 70% of the garages already sold, and our Prescott location is about 80% sold out, after opening three months ago. https://www.luxtorvip.com

Many people are buying up RV’s, never really considering where they are going to put them. In some parts of the country, it is not a problem, but in California, it is. RV storage was already in short supply. Now it is critical

Admin
RV Staff (@rvstaff)
7 days ago
Reply to  Ted Deits

Hey, Ted. Good to hear from you! Thanks for the update on the RV storage situation. Yep, I remembered we posted an article about you and Monstore Garages a couple of years ago. It was in May 2018, actually. Here’s a link: https://www.rvtravel.com/shell-out-monstrous-moola-to-store-your-motorhome/ (And I remembered your colorful graphics! 😆 ) Sounds like things are going well for Monstore Garages. Glad to hear it! Take care, stay healthy, and Happy Thanksgiving! 🙂 —Diane at RVtravel.com

Sal
7 days ago

After 7 years of planning, researching, multiple parcel offers and now construction, we are within 2 months of opening our RV storage facility in Fort Myers FL See https://www.rvboatstorageworks.com

Paul
8 days ago

Living in Florida has its own problems with RV storage. SnowBirds leave us in the summer as well as there RVs. Causing a short fall of storage areas. With the hot Florida sun, you have to look for enclosed or covered parking, causing an upbeat of prices over $350-800 per month. Of course that includes parking on a blacktop surface, low amperage power and a secured area. Thanks to all, for the increase in ownership of RVs. Storage as well as campsites are now in short supply.

SDW
13 days ago

we’ve been storing our RV for 12 years and never seen those $30 to $100 a month deals. We pay $79 a month and were in the cheapest place in 50 miles of us.

Nick
12 days ago
Reply to  SDW

I don’t understand your review. You’ve never seen those deals, but yet that is what you’re paying.

MikeJ
13 days ago

I’m one of the lucky ones I guess, as I have my Class A parked at a relatives at no cost (wife’s brother) in Washington State. We will be bringing it home to Alaska this next year regardless of circumstances. We own 5 acres with no restrictions and 50 amp service. Also, looking around at storage places there seems to be lots of room.

Cheryl Bacon
13 days ago

You should live by us, there is a storage place on every corner, sometimes several right next to each other. They are never all full, but we have watched a class A rot away over the 14 years it has not moved. I have no idea what the rates are since there is a mix of outdoor and enclosed. Even so, if land was not so expensive in our county I would open a couple more.

Kenneth Serr
14 days ago

I found a farmer that had a space for my 5th wheel. Price was right. $100.00 for the winter. I know i am lucky but just ask and you might find a spot much like I did. Good Luck.
Ken.

Nikki Harnish
14 days ago

We signed up with Airport Parking in Albuquerque. $70 a month covered, 24/7 security. 6 month come & go contract.

Ray Zimmermann
14 days ago

Knowing that I would be moving to the St. Louis area last spring, I started looking for an RV storage site last summer. There was no place in the area with an available space – and this was well before the big jump in RV sales. I put my name on a waiting list and finally got a space about eight months later.

DENNIS SNOW
14 days ago

I don’t own an RV but last year I bought a run down piece of property with a set of storage buildings on it. The remainder of the lot was about 3/4 of an ac. I wondered what I could use it for? Well the folks in our town needed a place to park their RV’s. So at 20.00/ month i provide a fenced gravel lot with 20 X 50 spaces. In less than a year it is almost full. Kind of a surprise to me. Eastern Montana

Andy Stewart
14 days ago

I live in the Phoenix metro area and wish I could find that $90 space. $150 is more like it. Dirt lot with a regular fence around it no security cameras or alarms in the RV storage area only the storage closets / spaces with the locking rollup doors

Jim Stein
14 days ago

After getting kicked out of the KOA storage lot (so they could add “Kamping Kabins”), I found a nearby dealer offering storage. It’s open air, asphalt, fenced, with 24 hour (live) security. They have a sort of concierge service for trailers and fifth wheels. Call and let them know you’re coming, and when you arrive your trailer has been pulled out ready to hook and go. On return, you drop your trailer in the service lane. They take pictures, log it in and put it away. All this for $58 a month.

Sue
14 days ago

We are partners with 6 others and purchased a parcel of property in 1995 ….after EXHAUSTIVE permitting (and you DO have to pretty much everywhere) we opened an RV parking & storage area on 7 acres….it has a gate code and totally fenced….we have the cheapest rates in town…all we ask is you take a space and don’t junk it up….you do sign a lease to hold harmlesss the property owner (yep, if it gets trashed or broken into we are not responsible) and we are turning away people daily. The answer? I don’t know but what I DO know is we’re having a rate increase soon….

Santana
14 days ago

In January of this year when I decided to make the leap and buy a Class C, my first RV, I knew storage would be an issue. I live right in the heart of a large city (Chicago) where RVs of any stripe are not allowed to park on the street, and virtually no homes have driveways; just garages off an alley. I was thinking, “what if I find a deal next week, where will I put it?” So I started looking for storage spaces immediately, without owning an RV yet, and just kept calling around. There were none that offered indoor storage within a 3-hr drive. But I found a couple of outdoor storage lots in nearby suburbs. Finally, luckily I found a Public Storage franchise with a couple 10 x 30 outdoor spaces available just a couple miles from my house! The rate was $110/month, and I drove over immediately to sign up. I paid for that space for a few months until I found my RV and brought her home in July. Still consider myself lucky. They raised it to $130/month in Sept. but that’s still okay with me.

Robert McBride
14 days ago

This was something I didn’t think of when I bought my 30 foot Travel Trailer. I parked it in the yard of my son’s home but 3 weeks later he gets a notice of violation on his door. The town said it was to close to the street & there was no fencing obscuring it & also must be registered in his name. I found an RV storage facility 40 miles away for what than was $64/month which was raised to $75/month last year, Outdoor uncovered gravel lot. With the onset of this pandemic I am looking at a full year of continuous storage come December ( $900/yr.)

Diane Mc
14 days ago

Unintended consequences. We are so very fortunate to be able to store our 40 ft motorhome on our property. Especially as we live in the heart of Silicon Valley. Husband bought our home, on 1 acre, 45 years ago (house is 120 yr old Victorian. Owned by a family who had orchards that covered a huge area. Husband bought it from original owner’s grandson.). He needed land to have a shop to work on his vintage race cars. Motorhome parked on asphalt driveway. It will be interesting in the spring/summer to see if all of this continues. Suspecting it will as I sense more lockdowns coming in winter. Starting to happen here in California.

Michael
14 days ago

To all in the audience:
What do you think of leasing a large (OK, very large) building, adding very large roll-up doors (if not already present), and using it to store RV’s as a side business?
Power and a security camera for each coach can be added.
Even if the lease is $2000/month, that cost could be covered with 5 or 6 coaches!

Franklin Forrey
14 days ago
Reply to  Michael

I’ve considered the same. There is a need.

TomS
13 days ago
Reply to  Michael

Look at all the empty big box stores that are empty in good locations. Don’t forget utilities, security, insurance etc.

Michael
8 days ago
Reply to  TomS

I looked at an empty Sears building (80,000 sq ft) but the very first thing I realized is the ceiling is too low. It is not as simple as “just remove the ceiling tiles.” No, al the lights will have to be moved up, the HVAC will have to be moved up and all the fire sprinklers will have to be moved up.
To me, the building I am looking at is much simpler— all I need to do is add a 15 x 12 foot overhead door and I am ready to open for business. Which brings up three questions for the audience:

1- How much room must you have to pull out (and back in) a 43 – 45 foot coach?
2- How much room would you like to have between coaches?
3- How much would you pay for totally enclosed storage with 24-hour security?

Cindy Walker
14 days ago

When we first moved to our new house in SC just south of Charlotte NC the storage space for our 5th wheel was $70. Seven years later we just got a letter saying as of 12/1 it was going to be raised to $127. That’s a month for a space in a dirt and gravel uncovered lot. In this lot we’ve had a break in, someone damaged the front cap, and the 5th wheel was in the shop being repaired for several months in total. Did we not have to pay during that time? Hah! Totally ridiculous!

Steve
14 days ago

There appears to be a lot of storage West of Baltimore in the Mount Airy, MD area, along Route 70. Storage was just one of the many things people didn’t consider before they hit the road on the “grand adventure”. Look before you leap folks.

Thomas D
14 days ago

Just yesterday i was saying to my wife, ” we should buy a couple acres and store rv’s and boats. Across the street from our doctors office is a fenced in storage area with over 150 units with a little room for more. $60 or more each . That place should make money after the 4th month. I think the shine is off the new rv’s and am seeing a lot of mostly trailers for sale already. No time to use them and reservations REQUIRED. Gone are the days we’d just go somewhere and camp. Not even midweek now.k