All of us have memorable items in our lives which we hope to keep for all eternity if possible for some reason or another. Everywhere we researched about storage solutions advised against it and suggested to completely downsize except for what you are taking on the road. For us going to a Class B there is not a whole lot going into our van! We wanted to know why and did some more digging into why it’s such a bad idea, so we are here to tell you as well explain our solution.
The reason not to store things isn’t because it’s a bad idea to keep things you cherish or plan for a life after being on the road etc. Self-storage is an incredible business model for all of the business owners who are in this industry and not for the customer. It truly is designed for short term storage of your belongings and not a long term solution. This is why it’s bad for full timers. No matter which self-storage company we talked to in several states, none of them do long term contracts. It’s a month to month lease of a space for you and this benefits only the business not you.
We had some very helpful people when we were researching this and talking to self-storage businesses. The month to month model allows the business to increase the rate they charge you when ever they like. A couple we talked to guaranteed every 6 – 9 months we would see an increase even if it was just a few dollars. The company does not have access to the space you are renting for the time period you have it rented. They are unable to check the space for maintenance (water leaks, rodents, etc) while your items are in there. This means they have to increase the rate in order to a.) make you want to move out or b.) make the space monetarily worth not being able to do the maintenance.
Obviously with us downsizing our lives and making such a big change we aren’t hoping to go full time for a short period. Our desire is get some great years and miles under our belt while exploring our great Nation. This being said an ever increasing budget item lingering over our heads and wallet would not be ideal. We just like everyone else have those memories we just can’t let go of so what do we do?
Our circumstance worked out because we have a great family excited to see us do this journey and willing to help make it happen. We decided our best solution was to purchase an enclosed trailer to store our memories in and our family is willing to store the trailer on their property. We still had to do some downsizing and purging of things because we didn’t want a 7’x20’trailer! We decided a 6’x12’ trailer was going to be a perfect size and made making decisions on what was able to be stored or not easier. Also having our items already in a trailer would be make it simpler to relocate once we decided to settle down and come off the road. An added bonus on top of all of this is we can sell the trailer as well in the end.
Now our next hurdle was to figure out packing up and protecting all our memories and must haves. Being our trailer was going to be stored in a southeastern state humidity and moisture are issues we will face so protecting everything is a concern. We are fortunate to have several pelican and storm cases which are rugged and waterproof. Anything which didn’t require waterproofing was placing into normal Rubbermaid bins.
Next we wanted to find a way to maintain air flow as well as exhaust some the heat out the trailer. We researched (as you can tell we like to do this) and priced out several different options for what we thought would work. First, an RV A/C unit on top of the trailer would work wonders to manage the temperature, but would require it to be positioned in a manner to be plugged in and cost our family money. Second, we considered a solar system with the A/C unit, but quickly realized this was going to get costly and a little more than we wanted. Finally, we found a solution which is a cover for the existing roof vent with solar fans built into it which will exhaust the air from the trailer. This isn’t going to create a climate controlled space, but it will the circulate air and achieve our desired effect and most importantly was within budget.
- Everyone has memories/items which they wish to keep forever.
- Self-storage is not a long term solution (1 year plus) and will likely increase in price over time.
- Don’t be afraid to be creative in your solution (storage unit, shed, friend’s closets, enclosed trailer, etc.)
- Friends and Family are truly amazing and helpful and we could not have this grand adventure without them.