For outdoor storage, Area 53 in Salem, New Hampshire is the best around, says a prejudiced customer.
Making the spring change over is bad enough at home: clothes, food, storm windows to screens, rake the dead leaves off the flower bed, just to name a few joyous jobs. But what if you have to get a boat, motorcycle, or motorhome/camper out of storage and 'summerize' your ski mobile and ice fishing shack? All those things have to be done in a matter of a few weeks.
Searching for the perfect storage place is daunting. There are plenty of them; big, small, inside, outside, climate controlled or not. Are they secure? Can you get easy access? Is someone always on site, or at least available by phone or e-mail?
What you are storing can make a difference too. What's good for the boat may not be good for the family china or a prized book collection that takes humidity control.
Inside or outside? Climate controlled or not? Paved or not? Covered? It all depends on the amount of risk you, the owner wants to take. Almost universally, storage facilities do not carry insurance on the contents of your locker. That is a matter for your homeowner's or renter's insurance.
Places storing boats, RVs and the like not only don't provide coverage, they insist that you have adequate insurance and up-to-date registration and inspection stickers. Think of the liability if your boat, because of faulty wiring or oil-soaked rags catches fire and it spreads to other boats. They don't want to hear that you're thinking 'good riddance'; they want you to pay - (reasonably so).
If you plan on accessing your goods often, it's best to find a place near home. You can find many listed on Google with location, hours, rates, and security information. Take a drive over there, talk to the manager, and look at the locker. It can happen that the manager is very available when you're leasing, but nowhere to be seen when you need to reach him or her. That info can only be obtained by reading references or checking with the local Better Business Bureau.
When you are ready to commit and fill the locker buy yourself a good lock. Some people prefer a combination lock as keys do tend to get lost. Set the combo if you can for your birthday or other such easy-to-remember number.
One outdoor storage place we've had personal, excellent experience with is Area 53, in Salem, NH. It's minutes from I-93 Exit 3, just over the border from MA. It is truly secure. We went recently to pick up our motorhome. The owner met us at the appointed time (9:00 a.m.) We had readied everything the night before, so it was just a matter of Going! But, one of the jacks wouldn't retract! The repair man didn't arrive until 12:30, but the manager waited with us. We told her to go ahead; we'd call when we were ready to leave. No, no - as long as someone was in the lot, she stayed!
We commented on the number of fairly large power boats still in their shrink wrap (30+ footers.) She said they are not going out this summer for two reasons: one, the cost of gas is rising again, and more importantly, New Hampshire put a 9% rooms and meals tax on marina docks and RV campsites last summer. The tax was reversed by the legislature on April 7th, so perhaps the boaters will reconsider.
The Rockingham Mall is off Exit 1 on I-93, as is the Rockingham Park Race Track. Lots of reasons to visit the area! The Race Track will have live simulcasts of The Kentucky Derby! Better get your Mint Julep recipe out. And a favorite place at the mall is The Apple Store!