Which Type of RV Storage Do You Need?
There are two types of RV storage offered at self-storage facilities: Indoor RV Storage and Outdoor RV Storage, which includes covered storage and parking spaces. Each type of RV storage offers different perks and comes at different price points. Which type of RV storage is right for you depends on price, availability, the size of your motorhome, and other various factors.
Indoor RV Storage
An indoor RV storage unit is essentially an oversized garage for your vehicle. These units are accessible through a large roll-up door, but size is an important consideration with enclosed RV storage units since spaces are strictly defined.
Indoor RV storage is the most expensive option but offers near-total protection from the elements, potentially saving you money on repairs and cleaning in the long run. This is why an indoor unit is the best solution for long-term RV storage.
Outdoor RV Storage
There are two types of outdoor RV storage: covered storage and parking spaces.
- Covered RV storage is similar to a carport that offers some protection from the elements. There are two primary types of covered RV storage: regular, stand-alone canopies, and three-sided, walled canopies. The first is simply a roof structure supported by columns, while the second has walls on three sides. Covered storage is a good alternative to indoor RV storage if you’re planning to use your RV frequently or simply looking for short-term storage.
- Parking spaces are a common type of RV storage that you’ll find at most self-storage facilities but offer little protection from weather. You’re essentially renting a paved parking space in the facility’s lot, which can expose your vehicle to unpredictable weather and excessive wear and tear. The width and height of your RV is less of an important consideration with outdoor parking spaces. This is a cheaper option recommended for short-term storage only.
RV Storage Size Guide
RVs, campers and travel trailers come in a wide variety of sizes which is why RV storage offers different solutions to fit your needs. For example, a Class A motorhome will require different storage needs than a class B or a pop-up camper.
Most facilities will list their RV storage spaces based on length, as this is the greatest difference between RV sizes. Below, you’ll find a basic guide detailing the different lengths of RV storage spaces and the RV, camper, and travel trailer types they’re suitable for.
10' x 25' Long
25 foot RV storage spaces will work for smaller models of Class B campers, Class C campers, travel trailers, toy trailers and pop-ups. Some of these might even fit inside traditional 10' x 25' self-storage units, but make sure the height and width of the unit is sufficient for storing your RV before attempting to move in.
10’ x 30' Long
This next category will handle smaller-to-medium sized Class B campers and travel trailers, large pop-ups, and smaller Class C campers and fifth-wheel trailers. Standard self-storage units go up to 10' x 30', but lack the necessary height to handle many of these vehicles (self-storage units typically only reach 8'-10' in height).
10’ x 35' Long
35' RV storage spaces can typically contain large Class B and Class C campers, mid-to-large sized travel trailers, small-to-mid sized fifth-wheel campers, large toy trailers, and small Class A campers.
10’ x 40' Long
All but the largest of RVs will fit into a 40' storage space. This includes most Class A campers, large travel trailers and fifth-wheel trailers. Remember that with the added length often comes additional width and height, meaning that many of these extra-large vehicles will require ceilings with a minimum height of 15 feet.
10’ x 50' Long
50' RV storage space will handle the largest of RVs. Class A campers, travel trailers and destination trailers will all fit within this space.
How to Store Your RV or camper
In this video, we'll show you everything you need to know about storing your RV or camper during the off season. More specifically, you’ll learn why you should consider keeping your camper at a storage facility.
Why Should You Store Your RV at a Storage Facility?
Most people choose to store their RV, camper, travel trailer, or motorhome at a storage facility because they’re unable or unwilling to keep it at home. With options ranging from outdoor RV storage to a fully enclosed 50-foot long unit, there’s a solution to fit almost every vehicle size. Top benefits of using RV storage:
Safer Storage Option
It’s more secure than your driveway or backyard. Most storage facilities have fenced-in, well-lit parking areas that are monitored with onsite video cameras for 24/7 surveillance.
Protects Against Weather
Parking an RV in your driveway or on the curb offers little to no protection against weather elements. Storage facilities offer fully enclosed or covered RV storage to protect and prolong the life of your vehicles and save money on future repairs.
It gives you the flexibility to access your RV anytime. With 24-hour access storage, you can come and go with your RV on your own terms. Some facilities even include wash stations to rinse off your RV before or after a road trip, and dump stations for dumping and rinsing your holding tank.
RV Storage Unit Prices
RV storage rates are typically charged on a monthly basis, and the price of storage will depend on a number of factors, including the unit size and the location of the facility. RV storage tends to cost more in big cities and less in rural areas. Prices will also depend on whether or not the facility is located near the city center or on the edge of town.
With RV storage, the type of amenities you choose (and the level of protection you desire) also affects the price. For example, a fully enclosed indoor RV storage unit costs more than an outdoor open lot. Below you’ll find average monthly prices for standard storage unit sizes.
|Storage Unit Size
|Average Monthly Price
|10' x 15'
|10' x 20'
|10' x 30'
|Parking Unit Size
|Average Monthly Price
How to Prepare Your RV for Storage
If it will be months before you move your RV out of storage, make sure to winterize it for the best possible performance once you’re ready to take it out again. Whether you plan to utilize indoor or outdoor RV storage, following these steps to store it properly will help keep it in top condition.
Disconnect electrical devices and the battery
Inspect all devices that could drain the battery if you forget to turn them off, including alarms, shut-off valves, TV antenna boosters, and any other plug-in electrical elements. To be extra safe, disconnect the negative cable on your battery. If you're storing your RV during the winter and your area experiences freezing temperatures, it's best to remove your battery entirely and store it in a room-temperature location.
Clean out your water tanks
Empty the wastewater and freshwater tanks as well as the toilets and water heater at a dump station before storing the RV. One recommended way to clean your tanks is to fill them with a mixture of water and baking soda or bleach, then drive your RV around so that the liquid sloshes around, naturally cleaning out the tanks. Empty the tanks immediately afterward.
Dry out your pipes
This is particularly important if you're storing your RV during the winter, when water can freeze and expand, bursting the pipes. One way of expelling as much moisture as possible is to send compressed air through the system. Consult your owner's manual or an RV mechanic before doing so, as compressed air can damage some plumbing systems. Otherwise, your safest bet is to add antifreeze to the system to ensure that all pipes have been treated. Pour a little antifreeze down every drain and toilet as well.
Close off the gas tank
Propane tanks should be topped off and gas supplies shut off. Remove propane tanks if possible and store them somewhere cool and dry, like a basement. And turn off any appliances that use gas (stoves, ovens, furnaces, water heaters).
Take care of the engine
Change or top off your oil, radiator, windshield wiper fluid and brake fluid. Add antifreeze to the radiator. Fill up your gas tank, adding the appropriate amount of fuel stabilizer along the way. Filling your tank will prevent moisture from building up in your tank and corroding the material, while the stabilizer will make sure the fuel doesn't break down. Run the engine for a few minutes so that the stabilizer can spread.
Take off the tires
When your RV rests on the same spot on its tires for a long period of time, its tires can develop flat spots that will ruin them. Cold temperatures can exacerbate this issue. This isn't much of a problem if you're able to take your RV out and drive every few weeks, but if you aren't, removing your tires and setting the RV up on jacks or blocks will extend the life of your tires. If you decide not to remove your tires, make sure to put chocks around the wheels. Don't engage the emergency brake, as it can fuse with the rotors over time.
Take care of the roof
If you're storing the RV in an uncovered space, a leaky roof could damage the interior and prevent you from getting back on the road when the time comes. Ensure that you've closed and sealed the roof vents, and make sure you don't need roof-sealing maintenance. Using mesh screens on the inside of vents and covering them up with cardboard can prevent squirrels, birds and bugs from entering. It's best to have your roof inspected once per year to keep it in good shape, so get into the routine of doing this before you store for the winter. Minor cracks and exposed seams can be covered with a good outdoor sealer.
Clean it out
Empty and unplug your refrigerator, then leave the door open with a bucket underneath so that the ice in your freezer thaws. Thoroughly clean the RV of any food or crumbs and take any perishables out of your vehicle. You may also want to spray ant killer or leave traps inside the RV. Lubricate the hinges on all doors.
Cover it up
Get an RV cover to protect your vehicle from dust, sun damage, hail, birds and other animals. Don't just rely on a cover to protect it from water damage if the roof needs repair. Reseal the roof or find a covered storage space to prevent serious damage.
RV Storage FAQs
Still have questions about RV storage? Here are some of the most common questions we get asked.