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Subject:  Re: Self Storage as an Investment Date:  5/18/2003  9:09 AM
Author:  Goofyhoofy Number:  107659 of 888208

What is the benefit of climate controlled?

A buddy of mine got married, put his furniture in storage when he moved into "her" house. The furniture is fine leather; he was worried about the effects of 100 degree days in summer and freezing nights in winter on the leather. (It gets even hotter than the outside ambient temperature inside a storage shed, particularly one made of metal.)

Where we park our RV, many of the sheds are rented by "one-truck johnny" landscapers, who store chemicals which might be susceptible to heat; ditto for house painters and others. It's their "place of business" for tools and materials - a heck of a lot cheaper than an actual storefront. The only other things they need are a cell phone and a truck.

One of the sheds just around the corner from our RV is rented by a woman who is forever moving foodstuffs in and out; I think she has a catering business in her house or something, so "climate controlled" might be important for her, as well.

Finally, I know a couple of people who rent "climate controlled" for their RV's; in that way they don't have to "winterize" and put the RV in deep storage for the winter, blow all water out of all the pipes, antifreeze the pipes and drains, etc, and the rig is ready to run at a moment's notice. We don't bother, mostly because we pay $40 a month and those guys pay over $200 for the CC privilege. (There's also a sense of greater security, since ours sits outdoors and theirs is inside. We had a roof leak over the winter, which would not have been such an issue if we were indoors, as if there's a leak when you're in the rig you catch it before a lot of damage is done; I go once a month in winter to run the engine, roll the tires and charge the batteries, so a fair amount of damage could have happened.)

All of that said, I'd guess that "climate controlled" is a very specialized market, and you'd have to decide whether it's worth the increased capital investment and increased ongoing expenses to make it worthwhile if you wanted to play in the "storage" game.

FWIW: The aisleways between buildings are fairly wide at mine (A Public Storage company), but I can still just barely get my rig (36' plus a 4 foot motorcycle carrier on the front) around the corners and into position. (And I pull a car behind, even around those corners!) They have another half dozen RV's, a guy who rents a "crane-truck" by the hour, a couple of boats, and a few broken down cars in the exterior spaces.

Security was a paramount concern to me, and I kept the rig in our driveway for a year until a space opened at this lot. (I investigated 6 or 7, but was not happy with the fencing, access, or other provisions. I suspect I would not have rented from GWM, as RV's are an attractive target; most have VCR's, TVs, microwaves, and other snatchables inside, and the bad guys know it. My lot has a high wall, chain link fence with an angled barbed wire topper, automatic gate with individualized PIN, and is well lit. The rig is also not visible from any street; in fact you can't tell it's there until you're inside the perimeter. [GWM's interesting point about "inside jobs" noted.])
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