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Newbie doing RV and storage park

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  • Newbie doing RV and storage park

    Hello folks, Iíve got a little over 6 acres of heavy industrial (M1) property in a large east coast market. Forgive me for not disclosing specifics until I get closer to a grand opening. After Buildout I will get an on-site manager and supervise him/her part time. I intend to have outside storage of 100-150 RVs and boats in addition to inside and outside self storage units.

    I tend to be a DIY type and as an old geezer (60+) I am handy with machines and tools and have been around the block a few times. Iím thinking of making 75% of the units in the sizes of 50-150 square feet and appreciate the ratios that have been shared by others.

    Iíd like to put in RV amenities like washing, LP gas, ice, brown water dump, etc. but am too small to be a full service RV place. Fortunately my parcel is big enough to offer several different products. And the local market is big enough for a fair number of storage units. Absorption rate is a different matter. Iíll have a lot of questions as we go. Thanks in advance to all those who enjoy sharing their knowledge and helping others.

    When you get to my age you feel an obligation to help the next generation along because when we go that will have been our best memory. I also like to be green on environmental issues, which ainít easy to do on an industrial site built for income. But I try nonetheless. I look forward to learning, and thanks to the mods who work to make the site so helpful.

    Now I need to rest my fingers from the long post.

  • #2
    Welcome to the forum. I would also recommend a little store on the premises for all that the RV people stock up on when they travel. I also recommend having P.O. Boxes. I used to work in the RV industry for Monaco and have talked to lots of the RV owners and convenience is at the top of their list. You can sell so many things in a small store and one that I know was popular was the small hibachi grills and charcoal and folding camp chairs and chips and dip and soda and water and beer and.................. along with your list.
    "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"

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    • #3
      Thanks for the good advice. Iíd be happy to have a little onsite store but Iím not sure if 150 RVs is enough of a market. Maybe as I approach full buildout and have several hundred storage units too. I can certainly see some vending machines but need to look into ice machines and such. I know very little about the RV and boat markets and am learning as fast as I can. Dry goods like those you mention should be easy to stock if they have a long shelf life and a resident manager is supervising things.

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      • #4
        Do you mean Post Office Boxes? I guess I could do that so RVers can pick up their mail from a convenient spot. In that same vein, waxing and detailing would pamper clients too in an expensive market like mine. Thanks. Now I can go to bed because Iíve learned a new thing today! Anything else?

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        • #5
          Because I was in the RV industry at one time I always was aware that the RV'ers would use what was basically a "General Mailbox" at either a RV parking campground or UPS or other services. They could drive there and pickup or have their mail forwarded from these places to other facilities where they may travel to. There were mostly full time RV people. I have often thought that a large RV storage facility could do very well storing rv's of any kind and cater to the RV people with all the facilities they need at one stop. We have already listed many of them. You can also have RV service people on call to come to the facility for washing and detailing at a designated spot and even doing simple things like oil changes and mobile tire services. That would only require one or two designated appointment only spots. Very soon the word travels and then RV people would designate your facility as a place to stop on their travels. Even a person to help park and maneuver their rigs on the facility is a big help to the older RV owners or the "challenged" drivers of rv"s that own them. When I worked at Monaco I kept my eyes and ears open and herd all this from all the owners. Those groups of people settle in for the night around a "campfire" so to speak, and they swap stories and recommendations as a daily wind down before bed time.


          I wrote service for Monaco and heard it all. Like I said earlier, convenience is the top priority to them.
          "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"

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          • #6
            Thanks again, pacnwstorage. My guess is that 150 RV's/boats isn't a large enough market to provide consistent sales, but I will defer to those that know the RV community better, like you do. I can certainly see the need for contractors in the neighborhood who will come by on short notice for detailing, oil change, tire pressure, hand wash, etc. I think that is a great idea and the local contractors are no overhead to me. Propane, water dump, ice, washing station are all great ideas to incorporate. Maybe some prepackaged shelving kits for the office users would also fit into that category. Or a higher rate for a unit with permanent shelving. My location would draw a lot of office archiving. Where can I learn more about the demographics of who rents more units, residents or business?

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            • #7
              Sorry, can't help on the demographics about your question. Others here that read this can help with that. If you do use the recommended outside contractors you need to negotiate a "finder's fee" with them to make it worth it to you to have them on the property. Some may even try to poach the customer away from you to a different site for the work. A designated appointment only spot can help with that, especially if it is covered, at least by a car port, and has electric and air if needed, instead of having to use their portable self contained equipment. Their business brochures on display will help them and they need to scratch your back a the same time. It really all depends on how big you want to go and be or just expand after an initial set up. Too bad you are east coast, don't know where on the east coast, because I have always wanted to be involved in an endeavor like this. It is big business in some west coast areas out here.
              "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"

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              • #8
                I'll learn about democraphics soon enough. I'd be happy to tell you about my location but please understand that I want to unveil at just the right time. I studied self storage units in college (back then we called them mini-warehouses), but I've forgotten 98% of what I learned then. Maybe 100%, I can't remember.

                Here's a crazy thought. Has anyone ever ordered a shipping container of steel rollup doors from China to build their facility? Most Chinese factories sell products off the end of their assembly line to anyone they can. They don't put the J*anus or other name brand on the product but it is (usually) the same product anyway. Of course they are also famous for taking shortcuts too when there isn't a company with international clout for quality control. But 26 gauge steel is still 26 gauge steel the last time I checked. And 500 doors at $500 each is 250k, the last I checked.

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                • #9
                  Oops, I meant to write J*nus, not the way it came out. I have nothing but respect for the quality of their products.

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