Now’s the Time to Get Ready for Winter Storage

rv storage winterBut first-year seasonal vehicle owners might not know what to do, especially when a garage has scant interior space. A portable building, or a portable garage, carport, or portable shelter by any other name, offers an economical strategy, but for the experienced and the new, take these tips into account:

For first-time owners:

1. Follow the weather. Is your region rainy, snowy, or dry in winter? This essentially determines the style of building right for your needs. If you expect heavy precipitation, select something with a rounded design. If you’re simply looking for coverage and don’t expect several feet of snow, consider the traditional peaked building.

2. Determine length of usage. Is the shelter something you’ll set up for a few months at a time, or will it turn into a versatile building kept up throughout the year? As a general rule, always opt for a stronger frame for year-long use: That may be a galvanized steel structure, or one with square tubing.

3. How much space? How many vehicles will be kept underneath? Before you browse, calculate the length, width, and height for every vehicle and investment in storage and add a few feet around each side. Once you have this figure, you’re ready to find the right fit.

boat storage winter4. Select a set of anchors. If you haven’t figured it out already, portable garages need to be anchored into the ground to live up to their full potential. Select a set of anchors that will effectively keep the structure in place on the ground below.

For the experienced owner:

1. Enclose it. If your shelter is a valance carport used throughout the year, find sidewalls and panels to give your boat or RV full coverage.

2. Check connections. If any metal parts or connectors are experiencing rust or the powder-coating is chipping off, find a suitable replacement part to repair the shelter.

3. How’s the canopy? The polyethylene cover tends to go sooner than the metal frame, so if spots now appear worn or display holes, order a replacement canopy before the vehicle needs to go in storage.

Storage Sites vs. Storing a Seasonal Vehicle Yourself

After watching this commercial, does anything seem wrong to you? If you didn’t catch it, watch it again a second time and check out where and how the RVs are being stored. Yes – you probably saw it for a few seconds on screen. The RVs are being stored in an open parking lot, which is where they stay during the winter. Although Seaport Storage claims to store boats and RVs, the location of the vehicles is outdoors – left unprotected to the elements. In terms of a long lifespan for your seasonal vehicle, is such a place ideal for keeping it in shape?

As we’ve mentioned before here, seasonal vehicles left outdoors for several months at a time are exposed to the elements. The prolonged exposure causes UV damage to the surface of the vehicle, often in faded paint and cracked parks, and the water damage can lead to mildew and dry rot on the surface. The best solution for keeping one of these vehicles is to put it in storage, either with a portable storage shelter like those at Shelters of America or Portable Garage Depot or, if you own one already, a brick-and-mortar garage. Left outdoors for six months of the year, the vehicle won’t give you as much usage as it could.

This ties into the last post, in which residents of DeWitt, New York, will need to store their seasonal vehicles, and their respective, shelters in the backs of their homes. Keeping a boat or RV in a driveway became illegal as of January 1, 2010, although various neighborhoods around the city without large enough backyards have petitioned the local government. Nevertheless, if you plan to use such a storage facility like Seaport Storage or a similar company, check first to see if they’ll let you use a portable shelter.

Setting up an RV Shelter

If you’re someone who goes camping regularly, you would like your RV or camper to last several years. Owning an RV requires significant maintenance, especially as it is a seasonal vehicle and will be in storage for several months during the year. One way to store an RV is by using a large portable garage, particularly a rounded roof style portable building. This type of portable building is longer than average and is usually designed as being taller and narrower than peaked roof portable garages. For a better idea of how RV storage with a rounded roof portable garage works, watch the Shelters of America video below:

Two options are available for at-home RV storage if you don’t own a brick-and-mortar garage: an RV tarp or a portable garage. While custom fitted RV canopies are available, a portable garage shaped for your RV, much like the rounded roof portable buildings seen in the video above, gives the vehicle more breathing room and, when the RV is in use, the shelter can function as a carport or as additional storage during the summer months.

When picking out one of these shelters for an RV, the one thing to consider is how large the structure should be. First, all of the dimensions of the vehicle should be taken into account, and this includes the height, width, and length of the vehicle. Any appendages to the vehicle, such as roof ventilation should be added to the overall dimensions. As an RV will be in storage for several months, the building should be slightly larger than the vehicle, or large enough that the vehicle and a person can fit inside. Although the building itself is designed to protect the RV from UV and water exposure, the vehicle should still be checked for dry rot, mildew, and if any small animals crawled inside.