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Boat/RV storage facility feasibility

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  • #31
    Clarkstoragellc I would also really appreciate it if you could send me your spreadsheet. I’m really interested in getting smarter about what’s realistic with RV/Boat storage here in Oregon. I think it would help me a lot. Thank you! [email protected]


    • #32
      Having worked a property that added on RV storage, myself and husband were able to express specific needs by the customers so the owner knew what to build. He thought just have 40' spaces would be enough for RV's. I suggested he look around at RV's that are driving the roads. How many have an additional trailer, vehicle, or boat being pulled. He made the spaces a 40 with a 30 attached and sold them out as soon as they became available. For two reasons. The customers were willing to pay for the space behind/in front of them to avoid someone else parking near them OR they had a trailer that they also had to store and were able to leave it attached to the 40' RV. Ez Pz.

      Campers (5th wheel) are also a product to consider along with business vehicles. Amazon Prime a while back was looking for 40 parking spaces in the same parking lot for their vehicles. Their drivers would come in, move out the work vehicle, put their personal vehicle into the space and switch out at the end of the day. These were the van's - approx. 32' long.

      RV's Covered WITH electricity brings a premium in Florida as the sun beats up the roofs of the RV. A great property for example is Barracuda in Ocala. Look at the website. I don't know if they offer electricity for their RV tenants - but this would be a great addition to keep the trickle charger going and not high cost to do so.....
      Throw kindness around like Confetti - But don't get glitter in your eyes!


      • #33
        Bknier12; jkhall

        Zoning first, then price, then surface and access points. Get an RV 30 and 40 foot or Extended cab picup 8 foot bed and a cow trailer and drive around you lot. Set out parking spots and back into them. Lay out stakes, strings and cones. The shape of your property, setbacks and entrances will determine usefulness. Sent info.


        • #34

          Has anybody here that posted they wanted to do a Boat and/or RV storage actually moved forward yet? I am also in Florida. I know the pain of finding boat storage. We are the posterchild for HOA's in the USA. name a place without them and in a few years, you will see 5 new ones. the population growth in Florida is crazy, we are now the 3rd most populist state in the nation.

          I have my eyes on a 5.5-acre parcel already. $200k is zoned ag/commercial. I am investigating the hoops I will have to jump through to get approved for outside storage. I have also found an 8.5acre property that is zone commercial for $350k. its a little further away but in a great spot. Not appleaning enough to take on alone.

          Being an owner of a 26ft center console boat and in the circles of many boat owners, I can say what we all want and complain about.

          1. towing a boat through town with all the snowbirds here that drive like they are still in NYC.
          2. Towning a boat even with my Ram 3500 diesel I get 8 MPG and it's a 60-mile drive to the boat ramp.
          3. HIgh and dry storage is $13-20 ft per month. it's always $400+ and a 6-12 month waitlist to put a boat in a high and drive and even then, we have to find storage for our trailers.
          4. Boat storage on trailers is usually inconvenient locations or has congested roads making it a pain in the ass to get in and out. And, they are full most of the time. Our boating season is a minimum of 9 months and some years I boat year around here.

          1. I look for a location either close to the water, or outside of time near the highway entrance/exit. those are impossible to find in my area of Florida.
          2. I want boat storage that offers a washdown area. rinsing the salt water is very important and if you are at a boat ramp they have often backed up 3-4 boats waiting and each person taking 20-30 minutes to wash the boat off.
          3. I would want ICE available to purchase where I pick up my boat. it's an extra step getting 8-12 bags of ice before I get to the boat.. then transferring it into the boat. WHy cant I just get ice at the Boat Storage facility. ( I have looked up the Ice maker that bag's as well franchise and its interesting)

          I am confident there are more complaints, and I can't think of my other wants in a storage facility.

          This is what got my wheels turning on starting my own. I currently have a small FFL (Federal firearms license business) and I work in a leadership role for a fortune 500 IT company leading a Technical Marketing Engineer team. I have a small amount of capital with excellent credit. I have access to a Skid Steer, Tractor w/bucket and shredder, and excavator and am skilled in using them ( grew up on a farm in Kansas).

          I believe nothing is easy, while some people say "its just storage" I know business is difficult no matter what the product is.

          So, if the majority of people that posted on here are curious about RV/Boat storage, did you do it? or not? if NOT, can you say what happened, lost interest, didn't find the right property, no capital, other? If you DID start it, please provide feedback on your experience. Would you do it again, what would you do diffrent? looking for a partner?



          • #35
            I'm a manager not an owner so my knowledge is more about occupancy and demand. I managed a large facility in Jacksonville, FL and can tell you that Boat/RV storage has a lot bigger need in retirement areas, close to water or where you find many HOAs. The city was saturated with storage UNITS, but not with parking or big stuff storage. The last facility that I was at had parking and huge units big enough to park a tractor (18 wheeler tractor) in. Much of our business was buses, truck companies, RVs and, of course, boats. We also had a 4 story climate building but with all of the competition around us for that business; we were known more for our parking/outside storage. In some cases, charging more for parking than units! I'm now in North Louisiana where there's not much need for boat/rv storage here but a much greater need for good storage options. If the demand is there, people will pay for it. My 2 cents worth is; in the right location, it's definitely worth looking into.


            • #36

              Don't make the process too complicated. You can plan and add on features later.

              Look at the 4th post on this message. Have you done this yet? Need to do that. Remember eat an Elephant one bite at a time. Your next post should be your building/cost analysis and revenue projections. Ask this group to go over it and point out any other considerations. Do not try to be perfect, don't worry about the Da missed it items, keep moving forward. If you don't have a piece of data, leave it blank and put a ??? mark and ask for advice.

              Your key issues are:
              1. Zoning, See my post "Zoning R3, Correct?"
              2. Location, Location. Where Self Storage is normally a 1 to 3 mile radius; parking is a 10 to 30 mile radius. Want either near the rec area, or near/on the way where people live.
              3. Building codes, concrete roads, concrete parking, rock roads, rock parking? Storm ponds? Setbacks? Storm drains or surface run off? Fire hydrants or water needs. You want to know all of the major cost features.
              4. Don't worry about why other people did or didn't do it. There are a million "No's" and a million reasons not to do this. Lay the plan out. Address each one in descending order. For example: You want a fresh water wash down area. This is last on the list. Yes build to it, but it is not a go/no go item. Add it to your plan though.
              5. Financing. If the project will be $1,000,000 do you have $100,000 or collateral at 65% that equals $100,000 for the bank? Check on A. Construction Loan with Interest only during the construction period and the rent up phase till you hit breakeven., B. Tell this local Bank, you want to convert the Construction Loan to an SBA Loan (10% collateral= $100,000) once it is at Break Even status. Read my post "Financing for Beginners".
              6. Your biggest issue will be experience. Why should they trust you. If you have it great. If not your "Plan" has to be airtight and Easy to follow. You noted "Marketing Engineer" above. This will help you with the process, but hurt you getting too detailed. Your first project out, You will Never do it. You will want 90% of the questions and answers, and you won't get them. You have to dissect this project, make sure you hit the big cost and market issues. The fact you miss 100 small considerations, you will do better next time.
              7. Hurricanes- do 6 month contracts and not month to month.


              • #37

                Is there a general rule of competition in surrounding area? Formula of population vs storage units in a certain radius? Currently looking for land and using other tips such as 5 acre min, on freeway, etc. If this has been posted previously I have over looked it by accident.

                Last edited by Double_H_TX; 20 October 2021, 11:36 AM.


                • #38
                  Things to look for.
                  a. 10 to 30 mile radius. Could be 200 miles. Example: Corpus Christi might be 200/etc miles from say San Antonio/Austin/Dallas. But people might like to leave their boat or RV near their Rec area versus home. Need to look at your situations. See where your Rec area is, relative to your market.
                  b. Look at your area and see if most zoning or HOA don't allow Boats/RV's.
                  c. Google Sparefoot. Select the sort just for parking. Look at all sizes 30 foot and up. You might look at doing some 20 foot spaces, but your 30 and up are your target. See where your property or search fits, relative to the competition and versus the customers homes.
                  d. Road view is always helpful but not necessary. Land price, lack of competition, lack of properly zoned land, etc. With Google they will find you.
                  e. Check your building codes on roadways and parking spots. See if they can be rock or have to be hard surfaced. This is the most significant factor.

                  There is always a demand for RV/Boat storage. The reason being, most people run the numbers and decide its not a good financial return.

                  Here it the "Prize". Look for a huge parking lot or concrete space that is "Old". Maybe even an "Old" building on it. These are all bad things for investors because they will have to tear it out and it will cost a lot of money. You love it, because its cheap parking. You can put Cargo containers or erectable storage on it, if zoned correctly. Your boat people will want storage so they don't have to load and unload from their houses, the toys for the Boat.

                  Find your permissible zoning first. And future zoning plans. Then get on Loopnet and look for a nasty property (free parking lot) that has been listed for a while. If the location works, make a super low offer. If they don't take it, go to the next similar property.


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