By Molly Hammond,

Vehicles are expensive, and the decision to place them in self storage isn’t always a simple one. Often, cars, boats, and motorcycles are with us for so long that they almost become part of the family! Between the monetary and emotional value, it’s doubly important to make sure that vehicles get the best care where self storage is concerned.

There are different options for storing vehicles, ranging from simply paying for a parking space in a storage facility’s gated lot to to paying for an individual storage unit that’s dedicated to your wheels. For the most comprehensive protection from the elements, you not only want an indoor storage unit for your vehicle, but a climate-controlled one.

How Climate Control Prevents Damage to Your Vehicle

Any indoor storage unit will keep your vehicle out of harm’s way as far as rain, snow, or hail are concerned, but units that don’t regulate temperature leave your vehicle susceptible to drastic shifts in temperature and humidity. The biggest problem that this poses for vehicles (and the metals they’re made of) is rust.

A unit that’s not regulated by climate control can quickly become humid, which means rust for both the outside of the vehicle and its systems inside. If your car is exposed to salt (either from living near the ocean or driving through snow-salted streets), it takes just a small amount of humidity for parts to begin rusting.

The same moisture that can rust a vehicle’s metals can spell disaster for a vehicle’s interior. Humidity in fabrics encourages mold and mildew growth, which can take residence in a car’s carpets or seats. Especially if the vehicle is being stored for a long period of time, the smell and stains from this growth won’t be easy to remove.

Climate control also keeps delicate mechanisms from freezing or overheating. In the case of batteries, extreme heat or cold can render a battery unusable, so climate-controlled units provide an extra defense for batteries.

Whether you’re storing your car or motorcycle until you can get it sold, or you’re simply storing it because you don’t have a garage, a climate-controlled storage unit ensures that your vehicle won’t get damaged.

Why Boats May Need Climate Control

While boats are exposed to the elements constantly, they can still reap their share of benefits from climate-controlled storage. For boats that see a lot of recreational use rather than solitary deep-sea fishing expeditions, it’s important that the appearance and quality of the boat is maintained, especially if you intend to keep resale value up.

Storing a boat in an outdoor unit with a cover is an option for self storage, but it leaves the boat vulnerable to high temperatures and humidity, which can wear on the upholstery and fade carpets and fiberglass top coats. Not to mention, boats can also have issues with mold and mildew growth when stored for long periods of time in areas with too much moisture.

Obviously, it’s up to you whether your boat needs climate control or not. Just know that climate-controlled storage for boats allows you to keep your boat as seaworthy as the day of your first sail.

When Climate Control Isn’t a Necessity

For vehicles that are made to weather the elements better than cars or motorcycles, like ATVs or RVs, climate control is an unnecessary expense. Rusting is generally less of a concern with vehicles like these, so the protection climate control offers may not be as important for self storage.

The batteries in these vehicles still need attention, though, but you can easily remove an ATV or RV’s battery and store it at home instead of paying extra from climate-controlled storage.

If you live in an area that experiences extreme temperatures and high humidity, climate control is an important amenity to consider when you’re looking to store a vehicle. If you’re not sure what your specific vehicle storage needs are, a local storage operator will be happy to help.