Boat & RV Facilities

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  • 1.  General Questions and Greeting

    Posted 12-28-2021 07:57 AM
    Greetings, Colleagues--

    My wife and I just started a small RV/Boat/Trailer Storage facility.  I'm contemplating several issues and approaches and would really appreciate your experienced guidance.  I look forward to communicating with you:

    1) Would 10 ft  wide spaces be sufficient, or is 12 ft recommended
    2) How do you vary your length options for customers?  We will have essentially, 100 spaces that we can vary at 20, 35, or 40 (or any other variation).  Thoughts?
    3) I am trying to decide what security camera system makes the most sense economically and commercially.  We will not have an office or server onsite.  I am planning for a keypad (unique code) entry and exit.  But the keypads won't record who came in, only cameras. (unless there's a platform you'd recommend).
    4) I'm looking at a camera record system and a monthly subscription system.  The former records and you follow up as needed.  The latter has real time detection, makes sound and issues warnings.  Thoughts?
    5) I purchased a general liability policy (not property).  Is that what you'd recommend?

    Thanks so much for the guidance!

    Aaron

    ------------------------------
    Lori Tyler
    The Welcome Mat Storage
    San Antonio TX
    (254) 640-1722
    ------------------------------


  • 2.  RE: General Questions and Greeting

    Posted 12-28-2021 11:36 AM

    Lori, greetings and welcome to the boat RV (BRV) storage universe!

     

    I have two dedicated BRV facilities – one with about 180 and the other 340 open and covered spaces and enclosed units located near Fort Worth and Austin. See my suggestions related to your questions below

     

    1) Would 10 ft  wide spaces be sufficient, or is 12 ft recommended

    ALWAYS AT LEAST 12 FEET, 13 IS BETTER.


    2) How do you vary your length options for customers?  We will have essentially, 100 spaces that we can vary at 20, 35, or 40 (or any other variation).  Thoughts?

    WE FIND MOST PROSPECTS SEEK 25, 30, 36, 42 AND 50' BACK IN SPACES. IF YOU HAVE AN ABUNDANCE OF SPACE PULL THRU SPACES ARE ALSO POPULAR FOR 36' AND LONGER.


    3) I am trying to decide what security camera system makes the most sense economically and commercially.  WE USE TEAM WIRED, BART LAMBERT, EXCELLENT WORK AND SERVICE, (713) 856-7017. We will not have an office or server onsite. WE DON'T EITHER THOUGH WE DO HAVE A COMBINANTION OF MAINTENANCE AND CUSTOMER SERVICE PERSON AT THE PROPERTIES WHO WORK PART TIME.  I am planning for a keypad (unique code) entry and exit. ABSOLUTELY REQUIRED. But the keypads won't record who came in, only cameras. (unless there's a platform you'd recommend). TEAM WIRED SETS UP SPECIAL CAMERAS TO OVERSEE THE ENTRY AND EXIT AREAS AT THE GATES. THAT HAS BEEN THE MOST USEFUL SETUP. TENANTS LIKE TO SEE CAMERAS NEAR THEIR SPACES BUT FOR THEFT THE GATE CAMERAS HAVE BEEN MOST SUCCESSFUL.


    4) I'm looking at a camera record system and a monthly subscription system.  The former records and you follow up as needed.  The latter has real time detection, makes sound and issues warnings.  Thoughts?  INTERESTING, I AM NOT FAMILIAR WITH IT. WILL YOU PLEASE SEND A LINK TO IT TO ME PLEASE?


    5) I purchased a general liability policy (not property).  Is that what you'd recommend? THE TYPE OF SPACES YOU HAVE I ASSUME WOULD GUIDE THAT DECISION.

     

    George McCanse

    george@mccanse.com

     

     

     

    Sent from Mail for Windows

     






  • 3.  RE: General Questions and Greeting

    Posted 12-29-2021 06:22 AM
    Many thanks for the welcome and quick response, George!  Your input was really helpful!  The space we have is two acres, so space is limited.  The space ranges you listed make good sense.

    The security company I had been researching was Pro-Vigil (https://pro-vigil.com/).  They have a monthly subscription.  They own and maintain all equipment, and they have "quick alarm/notification" and then can call local dispatch if the first notification doesn't work.  Of course, this makes sense only when the place is "closed."  We were thinking about a 12 to 5 am gate lock, except for emergencies.  I'm certainly looking into Team Wired this week, thanks for the recommendation.

    May I ask a few more questions? 
    1.) How do you typically set up and handle for "after hour phone calls"?  What are those usually about?
    2) Do you see a return on investment for offering some slots with a 110 box (or even 30 amp)?  I was not planning on doing so, but if the monthly return makes sense, now's the time for me to install.
    3) Do you see any return on a septic onsite for a "dump fee." Again, not planned, but trying to determine what might be worth the return.
    4) Do you use the TSSA Boat/Trailer agreement or a modification of it?  I looked it over.  It has a number of well drafted clauses, but some of it seems superfluous, and I'd like to have more timely language on a) payment/consequence; customer liability; and do's and dont's onsite.

    Sorry for the laundry list.  Any insights you have are highly valued.

    thanks,

    Aaron 


    ------------------------------
    Lori Tyler
    The Welcome Mat Storage
    San Antonio TX
    (254) 640-1722
    ------------------------------



  • 4.  RE: General Questions and Greeting

    Posted 12-30-2021 02:04 PM

     

    Arlo wireless cameras are another surveillance option worth considering.

     

    If you offer 110 outlets, make sure the tenants know it is only for trickle charging. Monitor usage periodically for compliance. There are a variety of measuring devices available. We had a couple tenants trying to power the RV and were regularly blowing the circuit breaker.  If you are allowing them to power the RV to keep a refrigerator or Heat/AC, make sure you are charging them appropriately.

     

    We built Alamo Storage  with potable water and a dump station. The property already had sewer and water, so we didn't have much added expense. If you have to bring in water and sewer or build a septic system the cost will be much higher. We have several customers who regularly use the water and dump station. Depending on the market they may be amenities that support higher rent or provide a competitive advantage.

     

    We use the TSSA Vehicle storage agreement. Another option is use of the regular lease with the addendum. Either if fine.

     

    After hours calls can be done with a call center or also with a separate phone number like google voice that is forwarded to your cell phone. DO NOT use your personal cell phone number for after hours calls. You want a number you can control the routing in the future if your plans change. Most after hours calls are tenants who are locked out due to late rent. Occasionally there are calls related to a gate, mis-used parking spot or some other property anomaly.

     

     

     






  • 5.  RE: General Questions and Greeting

    Posted 01-11-2022 08:13 AM
    Michael,

    Many thanks for the helpful advice.  I'll check into the Arlo wireless cameras.  We just set up Google Voice for the very reasons you suggest.   I hope I can follow up with questions as we get going.  It's a small place we're building, but we think it will be a meaningful venture.

    best,
    Aaron

    ------------------------------
    Lori Tyler
    The Welcome Mat Storage
    San Antonio TX
    (254) 640-1722
    ------------------------------



  • 6.  RE: General Questions and Greeting

    Posted 01-11-2022 09:39 AM

    Great info everyone.

     

    Regarding 110 outlets and trickle chargers. We have 110 at all projects for covered and enclosed spaces. But, watch out for fire risk. We had a building burn down and initially the 14 insurance adjustors (for all of the vehicles destroyed as well as our building with covered and enclosed units) who descended upon the project wanted to blame us for having outlets. Fortunately they determined that it was a refrigerator that was left on in an RV that caused the fire. Though we were insured it was a year before our building was rebuilt and we were in business again. Good insurance including a specialized storage agent who really fought for us and carrying insurance designed for storage owners including rent loss coverage really paid off.

     

    George

     

    Sent from Mail for Windows

     






  • 7.  RE: General Questions and Greeting

    Posted 12-29-2021 09:00 AM
    Aaron,

      We started our RV and Boat storage in Jan of this year. George was very helpful in guiding us along as we tried to answer all of the questions we had. We have a 3.5 acre site located directly behind our home. We obviously live on site and have an office here along with another business so our situation is a little different.

    We have a total of 160 spots available. 108 of them are back in and the rest are pull through. We did 12 foot wide spots at a 45 degree angle. We have 30 and 45 foot long spots only. Setting them at a 45 degree angle allows for wider roads  and the spots actually are a little longer than advertised. Being at an angle they also take up less room from our boundry fences.  We charge the same for either spot and that may change at a later date. The pull through spots are extremely popular as many struggle to back a trailer and often will require some assistance. 

    We use a DOORKING 1838-081 gate controller. It is hardwired to the keypads and gate operator. It allows us to enter and remove codes from our computer. You could do it remotely if it was hooked to the internet. It very similar to what apartment complexes use. Directory codes are assigned to the customer based on the spot they are stored in. It allows us to download transactions anytime and look at a log of who came and went. We have 2 keypads and customers have their code to get in as well as leave. Once you get schooled up on it its very simple to use. 

    We use a camera system I got off Amazon. We have multiple cameras on site most importantly I mounted cameras directly on top of the key pads. I capture video of who is actually entering the code. 

    We had the same thoughts on a septic dump site. We have been operating for almost a year now and have had 1 customer ask about a dump station. 

    We will hopefully start building covers on some of of our spots midway through next year. At that time will look into expanding the electrical to put power at those spots. Not sure to what level that power will be just yet. Most likely a 15 amp plug to allow customers to keep their batteries charged up. 

    We use the TSSA lease agreement. It seems to to cover all the basis. We are working on our own specific additions that we will have customers sign. 

    Any questions feel free to call
    Gene
    956-533-1205

    ------------------------------
    Carl Schach
    Owner/Operator
    North Edinburg RV and Boat Storage LLC
    Edinburg TX
    (956) 533-1205
    ------------------------------



  • 8.  RE: General Questions and Greeting

    Posted 01-04-2022 02:25 PM
    Edited by Michelle Klingemann 01-04-2022 02:37 PM

    Congratulations on your new facility!! 
    TSSA was so helpful when I opened my first facility, so I want to return the good mojo and provide an additional perspective to your questions. I own two facilities, both are vehicles only (boat & rv). 

    1) Would 10 ft  wide spaces be sufficient, or is 12 ft recommended
    Guessing you are uncovered because you are not limited by buildings or canopies. At least 12' is recommended, I did 13' for my uncovered units.

    2) How do you vary your length options for customers?  We will have essentially, 100 spaces that we can vary at 20, 35, or 40 (or any other variation).  Thoughts?
    My experience is to limit it to round numbers; 20/30/40. You will get calls from customers that "only need 32 feet" but it turns out that only the boat is 32', and when they add the hitch, motor, etc, it is actually 37 feet!  So, in that case, they should rent a 40' spot either way. You do not want to spend your time arguing between 35' or 40' with that customer.  They only need 21'? Great! They will fit in a 30' with plenty of room. :)
    Also, my experience is higher dollar per square foot for the smaller spaces, but I also tend to have higher turnover in 20' spaces. The highest demand for uncovered units in in my area is 30'.

    3) I am trying to decide what security camera system makes the most sense economically and commercially.  We will not have an office or server onsite.  I am planning for a keypad (unique code) entry and exit.  But the keypads won't record who came in, only cameras. (unless there's a platform you'd recommend).
    Keypad - yes, goo call on the unique codes.
    I have invested in expensive keypads in the past there were not worth it. My experience is that theft is usually the result of a baddie following someone in, not a current customer that has a key code. If it was a customer I needed to track down, it was usually because of damage to the facility, or unexpected debris, which I used the cameras to identify.
    I do not have an office onsite either, but I do have a space where my NVRs are located. I use both onsite NVRs and web only cloud cameras. I pay a little more because I buy all my hardware locally so I have a place to go quickly for replacements if cameras stop working.

    4) I'm looking at a camera record system and a monthly subscription system.  The former records and you follow up as needed.  The latter has real time detection, makes sound and issues warnings.  Thoughts?
    I am not a fan of subscriptions and do not understand the value for a subscription camera system. You can get a really high quality NVR system for ~$1500 that will allow you to view the live and recordings remotely from your phone or laptop. Why would you need sound or warnings? How would it know a customer vs a baddie?

    5) I purchased a general liability policy (not property).  Is that what you'd recommend?
    I totally defer to your agent on this one. :)

    6.) How do you typically set up and handle for "after hour phone calls"?  What are those usually about?
    I use Phone.com, so I can adjust all the times, recordings, etc. 95% of my after hours calls are people freaking out because they got a letter from the HOA they have to move the boat/rv/trailer by the morning or else get a big fine. Rarely I get emergencies, and if I do, the authorities know to call me personally. I do NOT publish my personal number, I use a business number

    7) Do you see a return on investment for offering some slots with a 110 box (or even 30 amp)?  I was not planning on doing so, but if the monthly return makes sense, now's the time for me to install.
    Yes, but I include it in the price because my customers have complained about metering at other facilities.

    8) Do you see any return on a septic onsite for a "dump fee." Again, not planned, but trying to determine what might be worth the return.
    One of my facilities has a dump station. Many people ask about it, not many people use it. They just wanted to know it was a feature available. Really do your research on this one for the local regulations and requirements. Many septic systems are not ok with "blue water". If you do it incorrectly the local fines can be tough.

    9) Do you use the TSSA Boat/Trailer agreement or a modification of it?  I looked it over.  It has a number of well drafted clauses, but some of it seems superfluous, and I'd like to have more timely language on a) payment/consequence; customer liability; and do's and dont's onsite.
    I use the TSSA Boat/Trailer agreement, it has worked great. If you want to edit the language, talk with TSSA about how you can add it. For example, I have a breaker reset fee that is unique to my contract. 

    One more add - I saw in an earlier post that your plan to "close" from 12-5am? I hope you just mean you are not going to answer the phone then, please do not lock the gate down during those times. I have small business owners, fishermen, late returning RV travelers that would all be super frustrated if I locked the gate. A reasonable customer does not expect you to answer the phone outside of regular business hours. :)

    Wishing you the very best of luck with your new facility!!
    Michelle



    ------------------------------
    Michelle Klingemann
    Interval Space Company
    Round Rock TX
    (512) 669-0907
    ------------------------------



  • 9.  RE: General Questions and Greeting

    Posted 01-11-2022 08:19 AM
    Michelle,

    Thanks so much for the good Mojo!  Great advice all around.  I'm also leaning toward the 20/30/40, considering the limits and size of the lot.  Phone.com is another great suggestion I'll research this week.  Thanks again and happy new year!

    Aaron

    ------------------------------
    Lori Tyler
    The Welcome Mat Storage
    San Antonio TX
    (254) 640-1722
    ------------------------------