FAQ 06: Should You Give Up Everything or Get a Storage Unit?
I only travel with my in-season items.
Traveling full-time requires a minimalist mindset. Even the largest fifth-wheel is far smaller than the houses its owners often forego to travel full-time. Consequently, downsizing is essential.
When it comes to getting rid of stuff, some people believe it’s best to get rid of everything. Throw away anything that can’t fit in the van or RV. Leave nothing in storage, or you’ll waste time paying for it.
I disagree with this mindset.
I had a chat with a new full-timer in New Mexico.
While at a campground last week, I asked a neighbor about his converted utility trailer. I commended him on undertaking the project and told him I had thought of doing the same, but I didn’t have the skills to do a good job at it.
He told me I had chosen an excellent trailer for an incredible truck, and my setup was perfect as-is. I thanked him but explained that I would love to find a semi-permanent home for my RV and get an even smaller trailer.
“Smaller?” he said in shock. “I don’t recommend that. Where would you put all your stuff?! My utility trailer is ram-packed with stuff.”
I asked him, “Why not get a storage unit?”
Reducing the clutter gives you options.
A few months into RVing, I chose to buy storage. Everything fit beautifully in my RV. I had no clutter. But, I realized the RV could be emptier and lighter if I only kept my in-season items.
I tow with a V6, so I am extremely weight conscious. I have quite literally removed cabinetry doors and decorative carpentry from the RV because I felt it was wasted weight. So, paying for storage to keep my RV light and clutter-free is worth the money.
I get those dollars back in a higher MPG and a longer lifespan for my truck. I also have to sift through far fewer things in the RV to get to what I need, and there’s no beating convenience.
Remember, you can always move your unit!
The last time I suggested getting a storage unit to a new nomad, he asked me how on Earth I had picked a place to keep mine. This is a good question. If you’re constantly moving, how do you choose a central location?
I reminded him that units are movable. I originally had my storage unit in Vegas, and I bought the unit while RVing in California. After a year, I moved my things to Silver City, NM.
If you are a paid subscriber, next week, I’ll share more details on the following:
How to choose the right central location
How to pick a suitable size storage unit
How much I pay and what I think is reasonable
How to find insurance for your storage unit
How to prepare to move to a new storage unit
How to ensure you make the best of your unit
How to get free or cheap storage
Alexis Chateau | Free Ramen is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
Want me to cover specific topics? Respond to the email or leave a comment below, and I’ll add it to my list. Happy travels!