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Old 05-05-2014, 07:41 AM   #1
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Trailer Storage off Site

Hi everyone,

My wife and I are thinking of moving up to a hybrid travel trailer in the near future. We currently have a popup. One of the reasons we bought the popup is because we could keep it in our garage. Unfortunately we are unable to store an RV outside at our house and moving to a house that is trailer friendly is simply not an option. We love camping but the popup is getting pretty cramped with two little kids and it is a lot more work to pack and set up then we want. Camping is supposed to be relaxing!

So I was wondering what kind of challenges I would be facing if I stored a future camper in a storage lot away from my house. The first one I thought of was that I can't cool the fridge down before going on a trip. I also am concerned with security and know there will be an extra expense. What else is there? I would like to hear the thoughts from some others in the same situation before we make a decision.

Thanks for your help!

Scott, DW, and Twin DS (5)

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Old 05-05-2014, 07:48 AM   #2
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Do you have a friend or family member who could store the trailer at their place? This is what we are doing at the moment as we also don't have room to park it outside our current home. At least this way it can be plugged in to cool the fridge and keep batteries charged. We are currently loading it up with all the "permanent" stuff and our plan is to simply take out clothes and any fridge items the night before we leave.

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Old 05-05-2014, 08:02 AM   #3
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I can't store my TT at my condo, so I keep mine at a public storage facility that has adequate security......, but still not like keeping it at home. I do however remove my batteries when in storage and keep them on a battery minder at home.

As far as pre-cooling the frig you don't need shore power to do this, just use the LP system if you plan to pre-cool at the storage facility. I bring my TT home the night before my departure for loading, and will also run an extension cord to my TT for per-cooling the frig overnight.


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Old 05-05-2014, 08:13 AM   #4
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Hi Scott,

I was in the same predicament as you. Last year, we went from a pop-up to a hybrid, and living in a small subdivision with nowhere to store the hybrid camper, we opted to rent storage at a local RV storage. We currently store it at a RV storage lot that's about a mile from our house, $65/month for a 30' space. Smaller spaces come cheaper, but we wanted the extra room in case I want to leave the bunkends open after the rain. This lot has a secure access gate that we can get in/out 24/7, and all units are diagonal-parked for convenience. There were cheaper options, but they were either 1) a few miles farther, or 2) not secure.

In winter, we store it indoors at the Winnebago County fairgrounds. It's about an hour drive, but $10 per linear foot total cost for November through April was a pretty good deal.

We disconnect the battery in storage and never worry about the fridge. We keep our food in a cooler with ice (or buy perishables when we get close to our destination) and plug in the fridge when we get there. It's worked for us for the past 10 years--never got food poisoning.
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Old 05-05-2014, 08:18 AM   #5
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We had been storing our TT at a lot we found on Craig's List the past year. It was conveniently located about 5 miles from our house but the investment company that we rented from recently sold the lot. We were moved to a smaller lot a mile away that I cannot navigate very well with the length of the TT and trailer and we were offered space at another lot they owned but 20 miles from our house. I guess my advice would be to inspect the lot before making a decision to store there and look for established storage facilities.

As for the fridge, I have the same issue. I don’t like leaving my battery and propane on the TT while in storage so we start the fridge when we pick up the TT from storage and pack the food in a cooler until we get to the CG.
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Old 05-05-2014, 08:27 AM   #6
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We're in the same boat with Rustic and Iraq. There was an issue last year where some (25) batteries went "missing". Mine wasn't one of them fortunately but I started removing it between trips. The storage lot is less than 5 mi away and faces a wide street so it's an easy job getting out and in. We try to get the 5th in front of the house in the morning the day before our departure so we'll have about 24 hrs to chill the fridge down.

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Old 05-05-2014, 08:52 AM   #7
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I fully understand where you are coming from. We bought our hybrid a little over two years ago. We are not in an association or anything. Our city has a 24 hour rule in place on street parking. We live on a large hill, with no driveway, but a garage in the alley. The HTT does not fit nor can we access the side yard to the garage. If you are in association, many of them will let you park it on site for a reasonable amount of time to load it up.

When we bought ours our plans was to rent a storage facility. We looked at a few, and have never rented. We park all summer in front of our house. We do move it about every two weeks. I check the tires for parking enforcement tire caulking every day. So far we have been very good or lucky. We do have a few neighbors who have let me park it in their parking pads, when I have had to leave town on business trips. One has offered to let me park it their all summer, but I do not like the idea that I cannot see it, and there are some shady characters in the rental property behind them.

As for storage, we have a few near us, that I checked out. The prices all seam the same, it looks as if damage could occur as you can come and go as you please, and you park the unit yourself. The deal we bought our unit from is about 15 miles from my place. Their price was about the same as everyone else. If I do go with storage, I will go with them as you drop it off at the gate and they park it, and pull it out. There is 24 hour on-site security. If you call them up and tell them you want it pulled out at a certain time, they will turn on the refrigerator a few days ahead so it can cool. They will check the tire pressures, and if there is a flat tire, they will call you up and tell you and ask if they should fix it.

Look around, ask a lot of questions, when camping ask others what they do. If there is a dealer close by, ask if they know of any good storage facilities.
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Old 05-05-2014, 10:23 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by kvangil View Post
In winter, we store it indoors at the Winnebago County fairgrounds.
kvangil, thanks. That's not too far from here. Do you just contact the fair about storage?

Originally Posted by Rustic Eagle View Post
As far as pre-cooling the frig you don't need shore power to do this, just use the LP system if you plan to pre-cool at the storage facility.
Thanks Bob. Why didn't I think if this? It seems so obvious now.

Originally Posted by Jagiven View Post
We are not in an association or anything.
Thanks Jagiven. We live in a townhome association but fortunately I am the president. (This is the only time I've ever said that!) When we bought the popup I talked to the property manager and her opinion was that we have 24 hours that we can keep the trailer outside while we load it and 24 hours to unload it. I can plug the fridge in at that time and it would be pretty cool. That would also help with drying out the canvas if needed.

Thanks everyone else. I think I'll keep the battery with me if we store it. What about the gas tanks? Anyone have trouble with them walking?
Scott, DW, and Twin DS (5)

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Old 05-05-2014, 11:02 AM   #9
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I've never had the propane tanks walk away, and I've been using offsite storage for 10 years. I think you should be ok as long as it's not in a shady neighborhood.

As for the Winnebago Fairgrounds storage, you simply fill out and fax in their storage form. They have a deadline of mid-October to send in the application. Here's the link to last year's storage info.

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Old 05-05-2014, 11:49 AM   #10
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Our 14 YO Jayco TT has lived in a number of storage facialities, both above and underground (in winter). Although, I can legally park it in front of my house during the summer months, I don't because it gets scowls from the neighbors and receives a variety of inappropriate vocabulary directed to it from the drivers of large vehicles as they attempt to turn around in the cul-de-sac its parked in.

Like the above posters, I usually bring the TT home at least a day before departure to prepare it and get the refrigerator cooled down. However, I have also gone to the storage yard the night before to start the refrigerator and prepare it there, then stock the cooled-down refrigerator the next day and depart from the storage yard.

We always take a cooler with us so if we don't have anything that's frozen, sometimes we put all the perishables in the cooler, start the refrigerator and stock it at our destination after it gets cold.

One thing I learned about our refrigerator (a Norcold N841) is that if the battery wasn't fully charged, sometimes it wouldn't start on propane. The burner would light, but shutdown a few seconds after that. Ensuring the battery is fully charged helps avoid this issue.

When our new home if finished, our 14 YO Jayco will finally be able to "come home" to live with us, eliminating the nuisance (and cost) of having to keep it elsewhere.

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