How Much Does RV And Boat Storage Cost?
If you’re currently in the planning stages to purchase an RV or boat and you can’t park your boat or RV on your property, then factoring the cost of off-site storage into your budget will be just as important as calculating the cost of the vehicle, insurance, maintenance, licensing fees, and taxes. Storage will just be part of your overall ownership cost.
Things to consider
Like every other price consideration, the cost for RV and boat storage depends on a multitude of variables.
The variables that affect the price of storage include the location of the storage facility (meaning the state and proximity of the storage facility to an urban area), and the type of storage needed (meaning outdoor uncovered, outdoor covered, indoor public, or indoor private storage). Finally, the obvious variable that will impact the storage rate is the size of the space needed for your particular RV or boat.
RV storage is different than boat storage in that every indoor or covered space needs to have higher clearances and be at least 10 feet wide. It goes without being said, that big rigs are going to require larger storage spaces and consequently will cost more than the storage fees for smaller RVs.
In addition to the basic cost for storage, many facilities offer a wide array of additional services. Some boat storage facilities will prepare your boat for storage including shrink wrapping it in a protective plastic film while RV storage facilities will do everything from dump and wash your holding tanks, to washing and drying the RV, detailing the interior and exterior, shampoo the carpets, fix a damaged tire, turn on the refrigerator 24 hours in advance of your departure, and much more.
Some RV and boat storage facilities include these pre- and post-departure services in the rental price, while other facilities offer a wide range of added services on an a la carte basis. The price at one of these upscale service-oriented facilities ranges from $140 to $400 per month for spaces 15’ to 45’ of indoor storage.
Boats present a unique storage challenge because some of the larger boats do not come on a trailer. The storage facility for these boats may be located near an ocean harbor, lake, or river, and boats are extracted directly from (and returned directly into) the water using large slings. The boat is then transferred to the storage facility and placed on blocks within its designated space.
Most smaller boats that are on trailers only need a storage facility that is 8’ to 10’ high, but these larger vessels may need much higher clearance due to the multiple levels of the hull, the flying bridge, and overhead electronics. Storing a large boat could cost well over a thousand dollars a month while storing a small boat on a trailer in an uncovered outdoor lot might only cost $45 – $90 monthly.
Is RV and boat storage secure?
Secure RV parking is more than how much space you need, or storage options at the facility. Pay special attention to what security features are provided for your RV or boat. Site security is a variable you cannot afford to ignore. Paying more for a secure facility vs paying less for a facility with poor or no security, might end up costing you more. Your RV or boat can get vandalized, damaged, or parts and accessories stolen.
Even facilities with good security procedures, like requiring the use of private entry codes to access the locked storage lot, are still accessible to many renters 24/7. This means dozens of people possess the codes to enter the property. Most facilities keep a record of the codes used to access their secure spaces. Then if misconduct occurs, they can provide information to investigators. Unfortunately that might not be enough.
A lifetime ago, I was a police officer. I handled a few thefts at RV storage lots. Typically, RV owners would go to the lot to pick up their rig. That’s when they discovered that their house batteries or tires had been stripped from their rig. These were not infrequent events. The lots where we had the most thefts, did not have cameras or anyone onsite. Thieves could pilferage other people’s RVs virtually undetected.
Now, high-resolution cameras are inside and out. There’s more lighting, better entry code records, and onsite personnel too. The security offered at storage facilities is vastly improved. But it’s still not perfect.Some RVs and boats may be stored for months without the owner returning to the vehicles. If something is missing or damaged, going back through all the entry code data for several months might not be feasible. And security tapes may not be available for extended periods of time.
Vehicle owners have some responsibilities to augment facility security.
- RV and boat owners should remove valuables from their vehicle.
- Lock all basements, battery compartments and doors.
- Make regular trips to the facility to check on your vehicles once or twice a month.
Some facilities that offer a la carte services will require you to leave your keys. They may need to access your vehicle for pre-departure readiness. But, they should keep a record of every time they move or enter your vehicle. You want to know when and who accessed your property.
Average price to store RVs and boats
It’s hard to make an apples to apples comparison. Some prices are for a contractual time period of 3 or 6 months. Other prices are based on a monthly calculation. The sizes of spaces are different, too. And some of the prices are for heated indoor storage. Other prices are for outdoor storage spaces.
However, you will see that prices are vastly different. Some are as low as $45 per month. Others as high as $250 per month. The prices in Hawaii, Utah, and Colorado stood out as high-priced options. Louisiana, Idaho, Kansas, and New Jersey stood out for their low-priced storage fees.
The average storage fee calculated by Sparefoot.com across all sizes and types is $130.80 for monthly storage. But if you calculate the average price for only the largest spaces (15’ x 50’) that monthly average climbs up to $244.44.
For example, check out this list of storage spaces and prices from Indoor RV Storage in California:
Where your storage facility is located will make a huge difference in the cost. How close and convenient the facility is to your home may also impact the cost. The type of storage you want for your vehicle or vessel will also play a part. Security and extra services determines how much your storage preferences cost.
Now you have enough information to ask the right questions. But you will still need to do your own research. Know how all these variables affect your own personal recreation budget. I have included some resource links below to help you with your research.
One of the best parts about RVing is engaging with the community of traveling enthusiasts. iRV2 forums allow folks to chat with other RVers online, and get other perspectives on everything RVing, including products, destinations, RV mods, and much more.
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Peggy Dent is an author, writer, and full-time RVer, traveling around the US and Canada. She’s traveled more than 130,000 miles in a motorhome, over the past 20 years, and is currently writing for the RV industry. You can contact her through her website at www.APenInYourHand.com