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Old 11-15-2015, 05:07 AM   #1
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Objective Comparison: Covered Storage vs. Uncovered Storage

I'm relatively new to the RV world. I plan to purchase a 30' travel trailer in the $25-30K range and I'm in the process of deciding between covered storage and uncovered storage. I've seen a lot of discussions on this forum and other online forums concerning pros and cons of each. I've seen a lot of posts recommending covered storage for its protective benefits, but I'm interested in quantifying the pros and cons of each from an objective standpoint. For example, uncovered storage may save $1,000 per year, but is there a trade-off in increased maintenance concerning the roof and other components, equaling or exceeding the $1,000 per year savings of uncovered storage? I'd like to guide the discussion by establishing the parameters below:

Uncovered Storage Option
- Trailer uncovered, but has full shade for about 1/2 of the day
- On average, exposed to direct sun about 1/3 to 1/2 of the day
- Some trees nearby resulting in potential for sap, leaves, debris, etc.
- No additional RV cover present
- Tires covered with protective cover
- $50/mo ($600/yr)

Covered Storage Option
- Trailer parked under metal roof with overhang
- Trailer surrounded by other trailers on sides and back, so only minimal exposure to sun and elements on front nose/tongue part of day
- Tires covered with protective cover
- $150/mo (1,800/yr)

In both options let's establish the climate as southeastern USA, hot summers with a lot of sun and mild to moderate winters with a few days of transient snow. Now that the options are established, I'd like to get feedback on the differences of annual maintenance costs and 7-10 year resale value anticipated based on the two options described above.

So, experienced RV'rs, what major differences in maintenance costs should I expect to keep the RV in very good condition (not necessarily mint condition, just very good condition). And, what about the impact on resale value in 7-10 years? I'd like to quantify the differences to determine if the increased cost of covered storage is quantitatively more effective over a 7-10 year period compared to the apparent cost savings of uncovered storage.

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Old 11-15-2015, 06:15 AM   #2
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Wow! I can't give you all of the data you're asking for. I just know that living in NE Fla., & having had 3 RV'2 that were kept under the shade of oak trees, there is a great amount of damage still done by the sun & by the leaves & limbs of the trees, not to mention the need to continually clean the camper. Now have my 4th TT & had a shelter erected to park it under. Protection from the elements is the life of your camper & given the cost of the units these days, I would never park one out from under a shelter. JMO

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Old 11-15-2015, 06:25 AM   #3
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I would store it outside and take my first year savings of $1,200.00 and put it towards a high-quality custom cover. For the sake of resale, keeping it under a custom cover will get you the same price as keeping it under a building.

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Old 11-15-2015, 07:30 AM   #4
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The resale on a $25k trailer after a year will be worth $15 -18k. Is it worth the investment for a cover even? The storage lot I am at in Canada only 1 unit out 75 has a cover, We let the snow blow over an rain come down.
After 10 years you will never recoup the storage costs on sale value. The cost of the trailer dictates what you get in the end. If this was a new Riverdale that costs $130 k it would be worth covered storage.
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Old 11-15-2015, 07:44 AM   #5
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Trailers are made to be outside. That being said I would store mine inside if money was no object.

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Old 11-15-2015, 07:59 AM   #6
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I would take into account that a covered RV won't need half the cleaning/waxing as one that isn't covered.
Solar panels on roof of RV won't work under the cover to maintain the batteries. Mount a panel on covered roof.
If the covered RV isn't completely covered on nose, sides, and back I'd say wasted money unless you just want the roof protected.
If you have a place for one on your land it's a lot cheaper to build your own on your land than paying for rental storage.
If you park it under trees then be prepared for roof leaks from falling limbs and very high maintenance/cleaning time from tree debris and sap and bird poo.
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Old 11-15-2015, 08:37 AM   #7
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Maybe I'm not understanding the OP's question.

If you CAN park your rv under any roof structure is of benefit. I have my TT in an enclosed building when not using. We can only use the TT about 4 times a year(3-1 week trips and a long weekend). So most of the time it is in "storage". It is going on 6 years old and I have never had to redo the caulk on the roof. (Knock on wood) never had a roof leak. I don't have to winterize, and only wax the exterior every other year(mainly to make it shine). Yeah, I spent more for the building than I did for the TT but it will be here years and years longer than me and should be a bonus when trying to sell my home in the future.

In my opinion, if you have the assets to have a building, roof or some kind of structure over and around your rv, it is a no brainer. Buying an rv is an investment, protect it.
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Old 11-15-2015, 09:05 AM   #8
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Op- i would stay with the outside storage for the $1200 a year in savings. Even if you have a roof over it, it will still get dust and dirty.....sometimes more than without a roof since the rain wont wash it off. Yes a roof may help with tree sap or branches, but look at how close the trees are and what kind to see how big of a problem that really is going to be. Of course a completely enclosed shop will be best.

Now the bad part.....Rvs are terrible investments at the consumer level, with a terrible ROI. The best thing to do is limit your $ loss. On a $25-30k rv (msrp im assuming) where one can actually buy it for about $20k, after about 7-10 years coverd or not, you will do good to get $8-10k out of it, trade will be less. You might have a $1-2k difference in value if there is a very noticeable difference of how "new" it looks compared to others. But obviously not enough to justify the extra $8400-$12,000 more that covered storage will cost in your case. This will limit your $ loss more than anything else.
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Old 11-15-2015, 09:13 AM   #9
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I wish I could find covered storage in my area. Local ordinances prevent me from building anything tall enough for my unit. The only saving grace is the fiberglass roof helps keeping it a little cleaner.
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Old 11-15-2015, 09:52 AM   #10
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Here's my two cents...

You'll never save enough in maintenance costs to justify the extra $1200/yr for rental covered storage. The roof is the most likely part to be subject to any damage and most people are capable of inspecting and working on the roof themselves so the cost of good, regular roof maintenance is not significant. If you can build a shelter on your property it still wouldn't be a financial advantage but would be some piece of mind. Having the outdoor shelter on your property is only valuable to a buyer that needs it so it's not a guarantee of increased equity.

I'd suggest you go for the outdoor storage option and if there is potential for trees to drop anything on your unit you could consider a good quality RV cover.

I personally store mine outside with no cover in an area no where near any trees. I just cover the tires and the AC on the roof.

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