What to Look for in an Indoor Storage Facility
However, not all indoor storage facilities are created equal. Here are some things to consider and investigate before signing a lease with an indoor storage facility.
Many of the buildings claiming to be indoor storage facilities are just temporary, the owners gaining some quick cash while they find a long-term tenant at full rent. Your boat or RV might be nicely stored one day, and a week or two later, you get notification to come get it. The owners have found a tenant. So, check how long the indoor storage facility has been in business and inquire about the owner and his or her future plans.
Many of these buildings also face a tough time getting a fire department permit for an indoor storage operation because of all the tanks of propane, gas and diesel stored inside. Check to see if the indoor storage facility you're planning to use has a permit--and look at it and the effective dates.
Many of these indoor storage facilities stack the RVs and boats in rows. This means that your RV or boat could be moved continually as owners of other vehicles come to get their boats or RVs back. This puts your investment at risk of damage. California law requires indoor storage facilities to assume all liability by obtaining a garagekeepers insurance policy. Many facilities don't bother with this, so check on the facility's insurance. You might even want to look over the policy or call the insurance company for verification.
Even if the facility does scratch or damage your RV or boat, how are you going to prove it? You may want to take dated photographs of all surface areas of your vehicle prior to putting in away in an indoor storage location.
You also should check that the indoor storage facility will routinely do the following:
1) Provide a free wash before and after every pick-up.
2) Check batteries and charge them as necessary.
3) Check and fill the fresh water tank (unless you want to keep it empty).
4) Check tire pressure.
5) Check the refrigerator and turn on or off according to your instructions.
6) Dump holding tanks on return.
Though indoor storage obviously offers the most protection for your buck, be sure to check on the integrity of the facility and its operators. Don't get caught in a fly-by-night trap.