If You Have the Room, Add Boat and RV Storage

If You Have the Room, Add Boat and RV Storage

It is a tribute to self storage that it has come such a long way in a relatively short period of time. Original self storage facilities in the 1970s were in warehouses on the edge of town. Now they are everywhere, modern and appealing. But if you are a self storage owner/operator or manager, you should seriously consider adding another form of storage that is growing rapidly every year, and that is boat and RV storage.

The key, of course, is having enough space to add boat and RV storage and making sure your ingress and egress will allow those customers towing boats and driving RVs plenty of room to maneuver. But once you have it in place, boat and RV storage will bring in an appreciable amount of extra money. A look at various self storage businesses offering boat and RV storage indicates that the average rental rate can run between $100 and $150 a month, depending on the size and quality of the storage space, and as high as $200 to $300 for upper-end offerings.

And there’s the rub. If all you want to do is have an outdoor space in which people can park their RVs and boats with no covering of any sort and no bells and whistles, it is easy enough to set in motion, but your rental rate likely will have to be well under $100 a month. If you decide to provide a three-sided garage that customers can back their boats and RVs into, the price normally goes up to the $100 to $125 range. And to have a totally enclosed garage puts you in the $125 to $150 area (or higher).

All these prices depend on the size of the space you are offering, with smaller spaces obviously costing less. But, from a marketing standpoint, the benefits of offering covered and/or enclosed boat and RV storage are numerous. Covered parking storage helps block UV rays to keep a vehicle’s body from fading and cracking. The covering reflects infrared rays to keep temperatures in RVs lower, reducing the premature cracking of tires, especially in the sidewall. Also, the covering protects vehicles’ paint jobs and exteriors.

You can also charge more to provide electrical outlets for RVs, normally around $20 per month.

What is involved in building boat and RV storage? The simplest of the covered offerings is a canopy style with roof only. The manger style has a roof, is enclosed on three sides, and can include individual partitions. The third is a completely enclosed individual unit. All three styles require deeper footings and additional structural strength to accommodate greater heights and widths and to provide wind resistance.

As one might expect, boat and RV storage units vary quite a bit in height, width and depth. In the case of having such storage on your property, the options also will vary according to the amount of land space you have available. Besides the space for the boat or RV itself, you will need to accommodate add-on fixtures such as ski racks, jet skis, motorcycle racks, trailers and air conditioning units, among other items. It is not unusual for boat and RV owners to rent separate units for these kind of items, but many may want everything in their one boat or RV space.1.

So what sizes should you consider for each kind of boat and RV space? The smallest space you will likely need to consider will be one that is 12 feet in width with a maximum depth of 45-50 feet. That said, the most common unit size is 14 feet wide with mixed depths up to 40 feet and an eave height of about 16 feet.2.

How do you determine what is the best size for your boat and RV spaces? Consider the cost to build versus potential income on a per-square-foot basis. For example, a 14-by-40 unit takes up 560 square feet of land. How does this measure up to having established indoor self storage units and the payback per square foot that you get on those versus what you will get for boat or RV spaces? If you feel there is enough need in your community to have boat and RV storage, then the payback per square foot is likely worth the effort. But having empty boat and RV storage space versus filled indoor units may be enough to make you want to stay away.

Many communities have restrictions in place for parking RVs and boats on the road or in driveways, so offering boat and RV storage is a good alternative and can prove to be a solid money-maker. So size up your available space, see if your community has a need for boat and RV storage and swing into action!


1. Inside Self Storage website (www.insideselfstorage.com/articles/2013/09/considerations-and-costs-for-adding-boat-rv-storage-to-a-selfstorage-property.aspx)

2. Inside Self Storage website (www.insideselfstorage.com/articles/2013/09/considerations-and-costs-for-adding-boat-rv-storage-to-a-selfstorage-property.aspx)