How To Save Money By Using Outdoor RV Storage

JC | October 16, 2023 @ 12:00 AM

Does It Make Sense to Use Outdoor RV Storage?

In today’s economy, RV owners would be wise to consider the pros and cons of outdoor RV Storage. Owning an RV can be a lot of fun, but it can also be expensive. One expense that can’t be ignored is the cost of storage. 

Many cities, counties and developments have laws and covenants making it difficult for owners to park their RVs at home. Thus, many RV owners have no choice but to store their RV at permitted facilities.

In some areas of the country enclosed and covered RV storage has become prohibitively expensive. This is in large part due to increased storage demand. Over the last few years, more and more Americans became RV owners, especially during the COVID pandemic.

Outdoor RV storage prices have also gone up. However, the cost of outdoor RV storage is often about half the price of covered RV storage. Prices vary significantly across the country, but the fact is that outdoor RV storage can be a great option for the budget minded RV owner. 

Below we explore how RVers can save money by using outdoor RV storage.

RV Owner Demographics

Before going too far it is important to consider who the typical RV owner is. According to the RV Industry Association, the typical RV owner is 48 years old, has an annual household income of $62,000 and uses their RV an average of 3-4 weeks annually. The RV owner spectrum can be very wide as RV prices can vary greatly, with some higher end RVs costing well over $100,000. It is not surprising that a large number of RV owners utilize some form of financing when purchasing their RV.

How Much Does It Cost to Own an RV?

The average monthly payment for an RV is between $225 and $650 monthly, according to MotorBiscuit. Now add some $250 per month for covered storage and another $50 per month for insurance. That adds to somewhere between $6,300 and $11,400 per year! That’s a hefty payment for a family making $62,000 a year. 

The good news is that RVers pay a lot less when vacationing than non-RVers. In fact, studies have shown that a family of four can save 27-62% on vacation costs by traveling in an RV.  

But do the costs associated with RVing offset these vacation savings? Let’s assume the average cost of a vacation is $5,000. This means RVers can save somewhere between $5,400 and $12,400 per year, assuming 4 vacations per year. 

There are too many variables at play here to reach a general conclusion, but it is easy to see that RV owners can easily spend more in RV ownership that they can save by traveling in an RV. 

Cost of Outdoor Storage

How much can I save with outdoor RV storage?

In general, outdoor RV storage can save you about $100 per month, maybe even more, depending on RV size and various other factors. Below are some common rates for the Vancouver, WA area in 2022.

Outdoor RV Storage Costs Vs Covered RV Storage Costs in Vancouver, WA

12 x 20, Outdoor Space Monthly Rate: $ 111, Covered Space Monthly Rate: $ 187, Savings: $ 76

12 x 25, Outdoor Space Monthly Rate: $ 125, Covered Space Monthly Rate: $ 211, Savings: $ 86

12 x 30, Outdoor Space Monthly Rate: $ 152, Covered Space Monthly Rate: $ 263, Savings: $ 111

12 x 35, Outdoor Space Monthly Rate: $ 173, Covered Space Monthly Rate: $ 292, Savings: $ 119

Our rates are some of the most competitive in the area.

Location, in terms of proximity, can also be a big factor. An RV storage facility located close to you and with easy freeway access can be very convenient, but it could also be more expensive than a more remote location.   

Storage Facility Type

Another factor affecting price is the type of facility. Some outdoor RV storage facilities can be fully paved, fenced, and provide designated parking spaces. Other facilities could resemble gravel parking lots, without dedicated spaces and with little or no fencing or other form of security. 

The latter types of facilities can be found for about 80% of the cost of the former ones. But, again, many other factors (i.e. location) can greatly affect pricing.

RV Storage Security

When it comes to RV storage, security is of utmost importance. However, there are many facilities with little, in terms of security. I’ve seen RV parking areas without fencing and without security cameras. These are lower end facilities with significantly lower monthly rates.

In terms of security, most RV owners want a fenced facility with security cameras and restricted access. These are all things that can be found on nicer outdoor storage facilities.


With today’s technology, many RV storage facilities are fully automated. Users can pick a space online, sign a lease online, and enter the facility through automated gates, without even having to get out of their vehicles. 

Other facilities still require signing paper leases, making payments in person, etc. These less convenient facilities may have lower rental rates, despite their higher operating costs.


Perhaps one of the biggest reasons why many RV owners choose open or outdoor RV storage is because covered RV storage may not be available. 

That certainly is the case in the Vancouver area. Enclosed RV storage facilities in this part of the country have long waiting lists. Most covered RV storage facilities (not necessarily enclosed) also have waiting lists, though not as long. 

Outdoor RV storage in this area is still difficult to find, but it is not as difficult to find as covered or enclosed RV storage. 

Finding the Ideal Outdoor RV Storage Facility

The ideal outdoor RV storage facility is one that can save you some money, yet provide the level of security you demand and it is conveniently located. If you are looking for RV Storage in the Portland / Vancouver area, then RV Storage Vancouver may be the solution for you.

The Cons of Outdoor RV Storage

The disadvantages of outdoor RV storage are easy to understand. RVs are expensive vehicles that can be affected by sunlight, rain, and snow. An RV left in the open, without any form of protection can have a lower resale value than one that has been properly protected from the weather. However, weather exposure can be easily eliminated with the use of an inexpensive RV cover.

How To Save Money By Using Outdoor RV Storage Conclusion

In short, RVers can save a significant amount of money by using outdoor storage and can still protect their RVs by using an inexpensive cover.

Cheers and happy RVing!