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Considerations and Costs for Adding Boat RV/Storage to a Self-Storage Property

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More sophisticated security measures can also be used, such as infrared beams with silent or audible security alarms. Table-top motion sensors can be rented for tenants to place in their vehicles.

Finally, good lighting is essential for security and safety. When planning your lighting, consult local codes. Many municipalities are adopting “dark sky” ordinances, which prohibit lights from aiming into the sky. To avoid costly renovations in the future, follow dark-sky standards even if they’re not currently mandatory in your area.

Extra Services

The ancillary products and services you offer in conjunction with RV storage also depend on your customers. People like to stretch their vacation time to the max, so the more convenient it is to store at your facility, the more likely you are to earn and keep tenants. And since boat/RV storage tends to appeal to higher-end clientele, it makes sense to add amenities such as wash bays, propane stations, etc. Some facilities even offer a clubhouse where tenants can mingle.

Garage Storage Plus in Spanaway, Wash., offers a number of amenities to its boat- and RV-storage customers including a clubhouse, Internet and cable hookups, and an air and water station.The most desired services are utilities such as electricity and water. Water is usually offered for free, and electricity can be metered or offered for a flat fee. Other popular add-ons for boat and RV storage include dump, wash and propane stations. Some facilities offer vehicle prep and clean-up services for additional fees. Others also offer the sale of commodities such as ice, coffee, glass wipes, air-fresheners, etc.

Whatever storage type or amenities you offer, the key to success in this business is always supply and demand. The great news is, in most markets, supply hasn’t caught up with the demand. It’s not too late for you to capitalize on this lucrative service. If you have space and want to make the most of it, consider adding boat/RV storage. You’ll find it to be a high-growth, high-margin opportunity.

Caesar Wright is president of Carlsbad, Calif.-based Mako Steel Inc., which designs, supplies and installs steel buildings for the self-storage industry nationwide. For more information, call 800.383.4932l; visit .

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