By Jim Twamley
I know my neighbors weren’t happy when I stored my RV next to my stick house. I tried to keep my RV looking good so it wouldn’t stand out in the neighborhood. The unfortunate reality is that stick-house neighborhoods and RVs just don’t mix — the houses really make the RVs look bad! For this reason, many RVers prefer to store their rigs at commercial storage facilities.
Vandalism and pilfering are common problems when you leave your RV on the street unattended. Unfortunately, it can also occur in commercial storage facilities. Anyone with a code can get into the place and that leaves your RV vulnerable.
To help you select the safest storage unit I have a six-point list:
1. The facility should be manned daily by bonded employees and have a security patrol that checks on the facility after hours.
2. The facility should have regular hours when you can enter and exit and is security-armed with motion sensors or trained guard dogs after-hours.
3. It must have surveillance cameras that cover all the storage spaces and the video footage recorded 24 hours a day.
4. The gate code only works during regular hours and is changed on a regular basis.
5. They must have satisfactory fencing and gates (will they keep out your typical vandals?).
6. They must have a good track record with no reported break-ins or vandalism. On point six you can check with the Better Business Bureau or ask for the contact information of two clients that have stored their RVs there for at least one year.
The best possible storage is a completely enclosed unit that is lockable from the outside. Unfortunately, this type of unit is very expensive compared to open storage. Many RV storage facilities have covered storage which keeps weather and ultraviolet rays from damaging your rig. Good RV storage facilities will also have a dump station and a wash rack.
Whether you elect to store your RV in open storage or covered storage, make sure you have a good dead-bolt lock in addition to your regular locks on your entrance doors. Be sure all your windows are locked and in the case of a 5th wheel or travel trailer, your kingpin or tongue lever should have a high-quality lock, as well.
Finally, make unexpected visits to your storage facility during the day and drive around the outside at night just to see how things look.