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Old 11-29-2019, 08:35 AM   #1
MacinAfgn
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Long term storage

Okay Keystone Team... active service member here with likely assignment to Europe on the way. I love my Cougar 28rbh... would it be okay to store indoors or out for 24-36 months? Selling may not be an option as Iím likely a little under water on it. However, itís just been my passion to keep it brand new since 2013 when I bought it. I hate to lose her! Ideas or anyone else with long term storage experience?
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Old 11-29-2019, 08:52 AM   #2
foldbak
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First off thanks for your service. As far as storing the trailer for 2 or 3 years depends on what climate you're in. If it were me I'd be storing it indoors but that could cost a couple hundred a month. At bare minimum covered storage but also costly.



What state are you in?
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Old 11-29-2019, 03:37 PM   #3
sourdough
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I assume you have the trailer near Killeen. If so, it's a pretty temperate climate as opposed to many other locations. It does however have the TX sun and heat. I live in W TX where we have plenty of both and I keep my trailer in an enclosed, insulated storage unit. If you leave your trailer outdoors for 2-3 years in this environment without regular maintenance I wouldn't be surprised if the finish/gelcoat/decals weren't irreparably damaged along with who knows what else. The sun is your enemy.

When placing it indoors you still need to 1)winterize the trailer and 2) take steps to keep rodents out of it. I use Fresh Cab (from Tractor Supply) in applications like that and have had good success. Make sure you have some sort of security. Even when stored I keep coupler/hitch locks on mine just "because". For a 3 year stint I would just inflate the tires and let the trailer sit on them then replace them when you return; they will have probably aged out by then. Disconnect and pull the batteries. You might try using a battery tender but without being able to keep an eye on the batteries....? Either method will probably result in the need for new batteries in 3 years.

Just a few things off the top of my head. Fire away with questions if we can help. The indoor storage could be a little costly but it will save you so much that IMO it would definitely be worth it.
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Old 11-29-2019, 04:15 PM   #4
MacinAfgn
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I’m in Indiana... recently Ft Hood though. I’m thinking of indoor storage and winterizing.
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Old 11-29-2019, 04:18 PM   #5
MacinAfgn
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Sourdough, thanks. Those are the types of items I’m looking to think about. We recently left Killeen and are in Indy area. My thoughts are indoor storage out of the weather with the exception of the cold. The local place has heated and unheated but if I winterized the trailer I wouldn’t be too worried about the cold. However, rodents are a worry as you say.
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Old 11-29-2019, 04:19 PM   #6
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Ditto on what Danny said. IMO indoor storage would be the best. I would probably elevate the tires or remove them in addition to that I would also crack the roof vents to circulate air if it is inside I put a bucket of Damp Rid in mine and leave bed/ bath doors open during winter storage.
There is also the possibilty of shrink wraping not sure if they have people that do that in your area It is quite common up here especially on boats.
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Old 11-29-2019, 05:45 PM   #7
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Shrink wrapping a boat makes sense because the bottom is "leakproof"... Shrink wrapping an RV is "impossible" because the bottom can't be sealed and sealing the top and sides still leaves all the holes in the bottom for "highway access" to any rodent, insect, snake, or other small critter... If RV bottoms were like boats, then shrink wrapping would be effective... but, it ain't.....

As for buckets of dessicant (damp-rid). In 3 years time, those will have filled with water, turned to mold and grown "who knows what"...

Leaving any RV outside is an invitation to a wreck in 3 years. With nobody checking the roof, resealing it, cleaning it, moving cushions around inside, and all the other "what happens when we use an RV".... it's going to be a mess. Even storing it inside, you run the risk of seals drying out, water pump diaphragm becoming brittle, wiring, propane hoses, brakes, magnets, bearings, air conditioner Freon charge, propane regulator, cushion foam, cloth/fabric curtains, blinds, mattress, toilet seals, slide seals, awning fabric all drying out and becoming brittle, ammonia charge in the refrigerator leaking, even the bearings and contacts in the slide motors, awning motor, landing gear/tongue jack motor, all corroding and failing soon after you start using it again.

It's much like "closing up a house for 3 years"... things will hardly be the same when you return 3 years from now....

Even though you're "upside down" it may be better to not have the burden of 3 years of monthly payments on a trailer that's depreciating, deteriorating and not being used.

You'll likely be much better off selling it now, saving the monthly payments, insurance payments, storage payments and replacing it when you get back in 36 "short months of overseas service".... BTDT and so damned glad I didn't have a "dried up, unserviceable RV to try to get working again while trying to get to my next duty station with only 30 days of leave and 6 days travel time, two families to visit on the way and shipments in storage as well as hold baggage that's being delivered to a new duty station while I'm trying to rent an apartment until we can get on the waiting list for on-base housing".....

The burden of a RV in storage, the money to pay for it while gone and the burden of trying to get it "running again"... well, for most, it's a losing proposition to try to store it for 3 years.....
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Old 11-29-2019, 07:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRTJH View Post
Shrink wrapping a boat makes sense because the bottom is "leakproof"... Shrink wrapping an RV is "impossible" because the bottom can't be sealed and sealing the top and sides still leaves all the holes in the bottom for "highway access" to any rodent, insect, snake, or other small critter... If RV bottoms were like boats, then shrink wrapping would be effective... but, it ain't.....

As for buckets of dessicant (damp-rid). In 3 years time, those will have filled with water, turned to mold and grown "who knows what"...

Leaving any RV outside is an invitation to a wreck in 3 years. With nobody checking the roof, resealing it, cleaning it, moving cushions around inside, and all the other "what happens when we use an RV".... it's going to be a mess. Even storing it inside, you run the risk of seals drying out, water pump diaphragm becoming brittle, wiring, propane hoses, brakes, magnets, bearings, air conditioner Freon charge, propane regulator, cushion foam, cloth/fabric curtains, blinds, mattress, toilet seals, slide seals, awning fabric all drying out and becoming brittle, ammonia charge in the refrigerator leaking, even the bearings and contacts in the slide motors, awning motor, landing gear/tongue jack motor, all corroding and failing soon after you start using it again.

It's much like "closing up a house for 3 years"... things will hardly be the same when you return 3 years from now....

Even though you're "upside down" it may be better to not have the burden of 3 years of monthly payments on a trailer that's depreciating, deteriorating and not being used.

You'll likely be much better off selling it now, saving the monthly payments, insurance payments, storage payments and replacing it when you get back in 36 "short months of overseas service".... BTDT and so damned glad I didn't have a "dried up, unserviceable RV to try to get working again while trying to get to my next duty station with only 30 days of leave and 6 days travel time, two families to visit on the way and shipments in storage as well as hold baggage that's being delivered to a new duty station while I'm trying to rent an apartment until we can get on the waiting list for on-base housing".....

The burden of a RV in storage, the money to pay for it while gone and the burden of trying to get it "running again"... well, for most, it's a losing proposition to try to store it for 3 years.....
Have to totally agree with John's suggestions!
Unless someone is checking on it somewhat regularly it's likely to become a critter condo for the next 3 years & not worth the match to burn it down when you return whether stored indoors or out.
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Old 11-30-2019, 02:51 AM   #9
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Mac, I can't help you with the everyday checking that John mentioned, you'll have to work through that aspect. But I can tell you that there are underground storage facilities not too far from you in Pennsylvania that will store it for you on a yearly basis for about $1000. Just Google 'underground storage Pennsylvania' and the facilities will pop right up.
All in all, I'd sell it and take the loss. And thanks for your service!
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Old 11-30-2019, 02:55 AM   #10
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I was thinking about your trailer last night...go figure, I was drinking.


Anyway, if you will be gone for 2-3 years I'd try to see the trailer. You may lose some money if front but storing it insurance and worrying about it, and the general lose in value will be worse...in my opinion.
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Old 11-30-2019, 07:02 AM   #11
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Let's "run some hypothetical numbers" to see what you'd likely face:

Current value of a 2018 Cougar 34' trailer: 26800
Current value of a 2015 Cougar 34' trailer: 19400

Loss in value (3 years of depreciation): 7400

Monthly payments of $300 per month for 36 months: 10800
Insurance at $40 per month for 36 months: 1440
Storage at $100 per month for 36 months: 3600

Cost of ownership (in storage) for 36 months: 10800+1440+3600= 15840
Depreciation for 36 months: 7400

Total cost for 36 months while in storage: 15840+7400= 23240

Even if you lose $10,000 by selling the trailer, you'd still come out $13,200 ahead by selling it, not having the worry or depreciation while you're gone and you'd have a substantial down payment to buy a new or newer model when you return to the US.
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Old 11-30-2019, 07:50 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRTJH View Post
Let's "run some hypothetical numbers" to see what you'd likely face:

Current value of a 2018 Cougar 34' trailer: 26800
Current value of a 2015 Cougar 34' trailer: 19400

Loss in value (3 years of depreciation): 7400

Monthly payments of $300 per month for 36 months: 10800
Insurance at $40 per month for 36 months: 1440
Storage at $100 per month for 36 months: 3600

Cost of ownership (in storage) for 36 months: 10800+1440+3600= 15840
Depreciation for 36 months: 7400

Total cost for 36 months while in storage: 15840+7400= 23240

Even if you lose $10,000 by selling the trailer, you'd still come out $13,200 ahead by selling it, not having the worry or depreciation while you're gone and you'd have a substantial down payment to buy a new or newer model when you return to the US.

Mac,

In my initial post I put out some thoughts about things you needed to consider for long term storage since you mentioned you didn't want to sell. John makes an excellent point of why keeping it might be the wrong strategy. They will of course have something comparable to buy when you return.

The numbers based on 3 years of idle ownership speak for themselves, but, another factor not addressed in those numbers....sitting idle and unmaintained. If no one were to look at it for 2-3 years lots of things could happen that might not only shock you upon return but cost you lots of additional money.

Crunch those numbers to see where you are vs where you hope to be. I'm thinking taking a spit bath now might be much better than being submerged when you return. Good luck with your decision.
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Old 11-30-2019, 08:28 AM   #13
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Another sell it now and be relieved of the worry about it while your gone plus the money spent to hold on to it and the possibility of a mess when you return
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Old 11-30-2019, 08:40 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by MacinAfgn View Post
Okay Keystone Team... active service member here with likely assignment to Europe on the way. I love my Cougar 28rbh... would it be okay to store indoors or out for 24-36 months? Selling may not be an option as Iím likely a little under water on it. However, itís just been my passion to keep it brand new since 2013 when I bought it. I hate to lose her! Ideas or anyone else with long term storage experience?
As others have stated in the long term selling it would be I believe in your best interest. With that said, I understand that being "underwater" you may not have the cash to "make up the difference" between what you can sell it for VS what you owe. None of us know you're exact situation, nor do we need to. I'll render a few suggestions you may or may not have thought about.

I"d suggest first calling the lending institution and getting the "payoff" amount which will be different with each month and payment made. I'd also suggest talking to them, and other financial institutions about your situation and other options. Sometimes you can sell with a "take over payments" sale or possibly securing a "personal" loan (unsecured loans require a higher credit score and have higher interest rates) to "make up the difference .

Before letting it set for 2 to 3 years if selling it isn't an option I would suggest you pursue leasing it out. You never know, someone could be looking for a camper to live in for a time while their job has them in the area or while they build a house. Just something to think about.

Good luck with your decisions and thank you for your service.
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Old 12-05-2019, 09:23 AM   #15
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There is a website “US Military Campgrounds and RV Parks” that has a posting regarding long term storage on base. The posting was over nine years old so base policy regarding RV storage may have changed since then.
Hope this helps.
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Old 12-05-2019, 10:20 AM   #16
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There is a website “US Military Campgrounds and RV Parks” that has a posting regarding long term storage on base. The posting was over nine years old so base policy regarding RV storage may have changed since then.
Hope this helps.
Being a military retiree, I can say "this about that"....

The commander at any specific military installation is going to change on a 24 month basis. What one commander allows can be significantly different from what his predecessor allowed or what his successor will allow. The fact that there is "RV and recreational storage" on an installation doesn't mean the commander will allow use that was allowed by a previous commander. The, consider that as Congress enacts defense budgets, base downsizing, closure, reallocations often mean that "what a commander could afford in the past won't be possible next fiscal year.

It would/could be a "nightmare" to be overseas and be notified by MWR (the organization that runs RV storage) at an installation with a mandate that says, "RV storage is no longer authorized at this installation. You are directed to remove your RV from the installation within 30 days".... Having been in that situation while stationed in Germany with a 20' Jayco stored at Lowry AFB (in Denver), I had to locate an offbase storage site, find someone to move my RV, negotiate a power of attorney to release my "personal property" to the friend that actually towed my Jayco off-base, find someone to "vouch him onto the installation" so he could go to MWR to get the key (must be escorted by a military member and the security police) while in possession of the key to the RV storage facility gate, and then change insurance policies, payment for storage rent, sign contracts via the mail, and hope nothing went wrong....

Trust me when I say that storage on a military installation for 3 years while overseas and not assigned to a unit at the host facility, is not a good idea.
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Old 12-05-2019, 02:57 PM   #17
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Sell it.

When you get back, a 2022 or 2023 is going to look much nicer. At that point, the 9 or 10 year old unit is still not going to be worth what you owe. Sorry.
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Old 12-05-2019, 04:51 PM   #18
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Mac,
Another consideration could be how sure are you that you are going to return to CONUS in 24-36 months. Are you retiring after your next deployment, or could you possibly be stationed in Hawaii, Japan or some other OCONUS location after EU? If youíre not retiring, seems like 24-36 mo storage estimate might be a gamble.
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Old 12-07-2019, 04:39 AM   #19
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Sell it

JRTJH is right. Sell it and cut your losses. I was AD for over 30 years with camping trailers and boats at different times. Got transferred out of CONUS three times and every time when I did the math, it made sense (and money) to sell it, even at a loss, then recover and start over when I returned.
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Old 12-07-2019, 06:48 AM   #20
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Thank you! Thank you!

Team, Iím truly in awe of your replies! I canít thank you enough. There are so many of you that bring up fantastic points. Good news for me... I have been given a reprieve and will not go overseas... at least this coming year. This affords me an opportunity to pay down the trailer below its value in the coming year making my next decision a lot easier. I am also close to military retirement so I may end up being able to store for just 1 year and come home to it ready for some really great trailer time!
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