RV Storage: Covered vs. Uncovered

So you just bought an RV and you’re wondering whether it’s worth renting a covered space for the ultimate protection, or if uncovered will suffice so you can save some extra travel money. Well, you’ve come to the right place, my friend.  

Here are some items to consider before reserving that spot.

Covered

At Ameripark Covered Storage, we recommend renting covered spaces in most cases – not just because it’s in our name, but because it’ll reduce deterioration caused by the elements, which would guarantee faster and more frequent breakdowns. First, take into account the state in which you’re storing your vehicle. For instance, there are about 300 days of sunshine in the state of Arizona, and it’s not uncommon to surpass 110 degrees in the summer! 

You know direct UV rays are harmful to any vehicle, but it’s even more serious when it comes to motorhomes that range from $70,000-$250,000, which are expensive to repair. A few of the most common issues we see the sun cause are window, door, and roof seal damage causing water leaks. Some other harmful effects would be water damage, cracked tires, faded captain’s chairs and upholstery, brittle plastic components, and a reduced battery life that can leave you stranded – or worse – delay the weekend departure! Beyond the sun damage, an added layer of protection from water damage due to a routine leak while your RV is unattended for a couple weeks is highly worthwhile.  

Also, if it’s both covered and plugged in, it will be less likely to have mechanical issues when you take a trip. Electricity keeps batteries healthy; an unhealthy battery left sitting in high heat may start once or twice, but then die without warning when you’re on the road.

Covered storage also offers better protection in the form of security for your trailer. A facility with only uncovered parking spots is very likely to not even have security cameras installed. With covered spaces, cameras can be positioned on their roofs to monitor the vehicles in the vicinity. 

If properly taken care of, RVs will last about 10-20 years or up to about 200,000 miles on average.     

Uncovered 

Although we mainly recommend covered spaces to protect your investment, we understand the need to balance budget with protection. Also, it is important to differentiate between a class A motorcoach and a more cost-effective camper when it comes to weighing these pros and cons.

An instance where uncovered may be OK is if you’re an avid adventurer, and your item is always out in the sun anyway during your travels. Similarly, if it is a work vehicle for daily use, such as a landscaping trailer, it would be exposed to the sunlight all day regardless.    

With this said, remember this option is less “set it and forget it,” meaning you’ll want to regularly wax your rig at least twice a year, as the long sun exposure strips the shine from your RV’s finish. Also, you will want to take other material-saving measures such as using windshield and seat covers (when parked) and an RV cover (when stored) to repel UV rays. However, be sure to follow the directions and get proper install training as these can be difficult to install and damage your rig if done incorrectly. Note: The RV cover approach works best only if you use one that fits your vehicle, not a generic poly tarp. 

To further protect against the sun and delamination, ensure all windows are sealed and a proper sealant is used for the roof. Otherwise, if left in direct sunlight, you would likely need to replace the roof vents and covers in just five years! We do not recommend uncovered in any circumstance for leaving a vehicle regularly unattended for more than a month or so. Even a routine leak on an unattended RV can cause major water damage, and getting a musty smell out of an RV can be nearly impossible sometimes.  

Finally, if resale value is a concern of yours, keep in mind that the gel coat will become faded and decals will be peeling so you will want to get it restriped and polished beforehand. 

At Our Facility

At Ameripark Covered Storage, to determine which solution works best for each customer, we take a very strategic approach that outlines the Description, Meaning, Relevance, Value and Purpose. Here is an example:

Description: Metal roof (12x40X15) on steel columns with low voltage electricity hook up

Meaning: Protects from hail, blowing debris, and UV rays that dry rubber seals, causing leaks and degrading components

Relevance: This product costs between $165-$200 and is usually available and affordable in most markets

Value: Lost time using your item or diminished usefulness due to damage or lengthy repair time  

Purpose: Have more days per year enjoying a more reliable vehicle, and maintain a higher resale value by keeping your items protected

We hope these points have helped you to decide whether to spring for the covered space or what protection measures you will need to take if left uncovered for long periods of time. Keep in mind, the repairs due to UV damage should also be accounted for in your budget. A fair compromise may just be taking the outdoor but covered route over the expensive indoor option. 

Have any other questions about what size space you will need? Call us at (520) 833-8016 or click to reserve your spot now! 


 This article is intended for informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for recommendations or services provided by a licensed professional. 

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