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Old 05-27-2016, 08:15 PM   #1
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Storage for motorhome, buying land, building my own

I seem to have exhausted resources (after looking diligently for a full year) to find decent covered storage for my motorhome in the Richmond, VA area. We moved there last year. I even met with a friend who was willing to rent me some space on his 5 acre property and I would put up a RV port. However, after looking at the cost of a decent RV port big enough for my rig, the cost of adding electrical service, and grading and site prep the cost was too high for something I would not own.

So I am considering buying land in one of the rural areas within 15 - 20 minutes of my home with the idea of erecting a steel building to store the coach and have a workshop, man escape. Our coach is now stored 160 miles away at a lake home we own but will likely want to sell in the not to distant future. Frankly, I miss having the coach nearby. It is not only a wonderful way to travel but a hobby...I love to tinker and that is hard to do now.

So, I am considering the obvious pros and cons of my idea. Looking at the cons like real estate taxes, insurance, liability of having the coach stored nearby but far enough from my house that I cannot ensure its security other than a good door lock, night lights, etc., what am I missing?

I do think about how hard it may be to sell something like this when the time may come to do that. I realize it would be something that could sit for sale for a long time waiting for the right buyer who would have similar needs.

I would love to hear from folks who have done something like this to see how it has worked for them.
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Old 05-27-2016, 08:27 PM   #2
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I would do exactly what you are talking about but land is just too expensive here to do it close to home. I am able to keep our MH at our house but it is not covered, so I am continually cleaning and waxing it. I can't build a cover tall enough for it.

If you do it and the land is affordable, I would buy a big enough parcel that someone could build a house on it in addition to the RV garage. I think that it would sell easy as I think everyone could find a use for an RV garage even if they don't have one. You could always turn it into a workroom or park cars ect.
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Old 05-28-2016, 10:08 AM   #3
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First you need to check with zoning to confirm the requirements in zoning code that would allow you to build what you need.

Many places require living space be built.

There are buildings like what we built for a shop that could work well as it is a barn style and full second floor.

You could build one like it with taller lower walls.

We were limited so bottom floor only has 9 ft clearance but easy to make walls taller to allow 14 foot drive through on bottom and full living area upstairs.

Photo of shop...
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Old 05-28-2016, 10:10 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike and Cha View Post
I would do exactly what you are talking about but land is just too expensive here to do it close to home. I am able to keep our MH at our house but it is not covered, so I am continually cleaning and waxing it. I can't build a cover tall enough for it.

If you do it and the land is affordable, I would buy a big enough parcel that someone could build a house on it in addition to the RV garage. I think that it would sell easy as I think everyone could find a use for an RV garage even if they don't have one. You could always turn it into a workroom or park cars ect.
Land in two of the more rural counties around Richmond is not too expensive if you are willing to get out in the periphery so to speak. I agree with your suggestion but the catch is if you go too far out to get a good deal on the land, you have to find a buyer who wants to live in the boonies.
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Old 05-28-2016, 10:14 AM   #5
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A couple photos of construction.

Can be ordered to any size X y or z at 6 inch interval and wall height custom as needed.

Many build shop downstairs and living upstairs so all in one building.
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Old 05-28-2016, 10:27 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TQ60 View Post
A couple photos of construction.

Can be ordered to any size X y or z at 6 inch interval and wall height custom as needed.

Many build shop downstairs and living upstairs so all in one building.

I like the look of your building. Is that from a large building vendor or a local contractor? Do they have a website?
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Old 05-28-2016, 10:31 AM   #7
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We were fortunate enough to have enough property to build the garage near the house. Having said that a couple things to consider...
1.) Make the inside ceiling as tall as you reasonably can. Ours is 14 feet and it's a bit of a pain to duck on the rafters when working on the roof of the Coach.
2.) Make the door BIG! Do not limit the door size to your current coach. I did and had to replace it when we bought the Newmar Essex. The existing door was too low...



3.) Consider location for phone line or cellular service for the alarm system.
4.) Build the building as large as you can in square feet... you WILL use the space!
5.) Sky lights versus windows for less "penetration points"!
6.) LOTS of lighting!
7.) LOTS of outlets.

Just some things to think about...
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Old 05-28-2016, 10:43 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stealth01 View Post
We were fortunate enough to have enough property to build the garage near the house. Having said that a couple things to consider...
1.) Make the inside ceiling as tall as you reasonably can. Ours is 14 feet and it's a bit of a pain to duck on the rafters when working on the roof of the Coach.
2.) Make the door BIG! Do not limit the door size to your current coach. I did and had to replace it when we bought the Newmar Essex. The existing door was too low...



3.) Consider location for phone line or cellular service for the alarm system.
4.) Build the building as large as you can in square feet... you WILL use the space!
5.) Sky lights versus windows for less "penetration points"!
6.) LOTS of lighting!
7.) LOTS of outlets.

Just some things to think about...

That looks about like what I would want but will depend on cost. I am thinking a 10' x 14' door for the coach, standard garage door for other toys, and a walk in door. My coach is 42-43' so thinking the building needs to be 50'X30'. I see a lot of pole barns around here. Are they less expensive than the fully steel buildings?
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Old 05-28-2016, 11:46 AM   #9
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Old 05-28-2016, 12:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smlranger View Post
I seem to have exhausted resources (after looking diligently for a full year) to find decent covered storage for my motorhome in the Richmond, VA area. We moved there last year. I even met with a friend who was willing to rent me some space on his 5 acre property and I would put up a RV port. However, after looking at the cost of a decent RV port big enough for my rig, the cost of adding electrical service, and grading and site prep the cost was too high for something I would not own.

So I am considering buying land in one of the rural areas within 15 - 20 minutes of my home with the idea of erecting a steel building to store the coach and have a workshop, man escape. Our coach is now stored 160 miles away at a lake home we own but will likely want to sell in the not to distant future. Frankly, I miss having the coach nearby. It is not only a wonderful way to travel but a hobby...I love to tinker and that is hard to do now.

So, I am considering the obvious pros and cons of my idea. Looking at the cons like real estate taxes, insurance, liability of having the coach stored nearby but far enough from my house that I cannot ensure its security other than a good door lock, night lights, etc., what am I missing?

I do think about how hard it may be to sell something like this when the time may come to do that. I realize it would be something that could sit for sale for a long time waiting for the right buyer who would have similar needs.

I would love to hear from folks who have done something like this to see how it has worked for them.
If you are having trouble finding MH/RV storage in your area, there are many others having the same problem. Do like a friend of mine did, buy a properly zoned land area and build purpose built MH storage for rent/lease. He started with outside storage only, then progressed (cash flowed) covered storage and then progressed (again cash flowed) to enclosed storage. He is always 100% occupied and earns a fortune.

BE SURE to use at least 12' wide OHD and at least 14' high. Below is a picture of my red iron metal building and shop that I modifed for my coach.
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Old 05-28-2016, 12:08 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smlranger View Post
That looks about like what I would want but will depend on cost. I am thinking a 10' x 14' door for the coach, standard garage door for other toys, and a walk in door. My coach is 42-43' so thinking the building needs to be 50'X30'. I see a lot of pole barns around here. Are they less expensive than the fully steel buildings?
10' door is too narrow, especially if you have a wide body. Minimum door width IMO is 14' with wider better.
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Old 05-28-2016, 12:14 PM   #12
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I agree on the door. I changed doors on our building went from 10'wide x 12' tall to 14'x14'. Much better and plenty of room. Mirrors can stick outa lot and prevent maneuvering if doors are too narrow.


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Old 05-28-2016, 12:15 PM   #13
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Adding to the wider door comments. We have a 12-13' gateway. If I had a do-over it would be 16'.
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Old 05-28-2016, 01:12 PM   #14
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Thanks for all the helpful suggestions. Yes, a 10' wide door would be tight for my 8' wide coach, plus mirrors. 12' would do and 14' would be even better.

I did ponder the idea of soliciting others who may be looking for covered storage. However, at 66 years of age I am not sure I want to get saddled with the added responsibility and expense of getting into the storage business.
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