Avoiding the high cost of a cheap price
Today, all you have to do is look on Craigslist or any other free marketing website to find all kinds of ads for “Super Cheap RV Storage”. Most of these super cheap storage operators are illegal businesses. They dishonestly mislead customers into believing that there is no risk involved when using their services. Unfortunately, most people do not realize their cheap price comes at a very high cost to do business with these illegal operators.
The illegal RV storage operations have given the industry a black eye. They make outrageous false claims that your RV is perfectly safe while you leave it with them. Illegal operators are not equipped to deal with crime that low budget operations attract, including offenses that come from the Operators themselves. This affects the legitimate RV storage operators who set up business the right way, legally. To stop these illegal operators, several cities have already been pro-active in closing them down. Read on to see how this affects you, the storage user.
How to Identify an Illegal RV Storage Operator
Like most illegal businesses, illegal operators try to hide themselves from the city officials, government agencies and the IRS. They will not advertise using their address or show pictures that would reveal their exact location. It’s only after you have called and they become comfortable that you become a targeted customer. Only then, are they willing to disclose to you their exact location. They will encourage you to pay cash and pay in advance. They avoid credit cards if possible. Business operations are shrouded in secrecy and they come across as they are doing you a huge favor. They are not. It’s a scam! Here are some easy ways to detect an illegal operator.
The location is hidden from public view and is operated in secrecy to avoid detection from the City, County or other Governmental Agencies. All cities do require RV storage facilities to make minimum improvements to the property for a Conditional Use Permit (CPU). This permit legitimizes the business, making the business legal and enabling them to acquire a city Business License and able to purchase insurance. Most minimum improvements will include a security perimeter wall, office building, parking lot, pavement and an onsite water retention system. In addition, they will require proper lighting through out the facility and landscaping along any public streets. If you do not see these types of improvements, it’s a red flag indicating a possible illegal RV storage operation. If the storage is located in a residential back yard, this is a good indicator that it is an illegal operation. If managers can not and will not provide a copy of the insurance policy, it is because illegal facilities cannot purchase insurance.
How to avoid a disaster. The Dangers of choosing to use an illegal RV storage
Not one of these illegal operators will ever tell you about the dangers involved, should they be caught by the City, County, IRS or any other government agency. All it takes is one complaint from a neighbor, previous customer or any other individual who comes forward, to set in motion a complete breakdown in operations. In most cases, when the operation is discovered, the operation is immediately shut down. In some cases the process is done like a “drug bust” and people are arrested. The vehicles in storage are towed away to an impound yard just like you would be towed away for illegally parking in a No Parking Zone. These RV storage customers, (without any knowledge) are charged a huge tow bill. In addition they are charged a $75.00 to $150.00 per day impound charge that accumulates without you even knowing. By the time the RV customers are notified by the State of California, a total of 30 to 60 days could have passed. You could have accumulated a bill totaling between $5,000-$10,000 dollars for the towing and impound charges. To have your vehicle released back into your custody, you are required to pay the entire bill. If you are unable to pay the bill, your vehicle is lien sold at auction to recover the towing and impound charges. Impound yards show no mercy and do not negotiate releases. Imagine making payments on a vehicle that you don’t even own anymore! You can try to recover your damages from the illegal operator by a lawsuit. That usually fails because they have no money and no insurance because they were illegal. At best you may get an apology from them, if they haven’t disappeared already. In most of these situations, the illegal operator files for a personal bankruptcy and the RV storage customers are left in the cold, mad and without an RV.
Take preventative steps to avoid illegal RV Storage operations at all costs. If you are currently storing with one, get out before it’s too late! Since the recession, authorities have just begun to crack down on these illegal operations. Do not fool yourself into thinking that it has never been a problem before, so why worry about it now. There are many operating illegally that will soon be visited by the authorities. The responsibility is on you, the storage user, to protect yourself from these disastrous situations. This website, RVstorageInfo.com, provides links to legal RV storage facilities within California that can be recommended because they comply with the law and can provide copies of their business license and permits.
Please share with others about what you have learned from this website. Let us protect ourselves, our friends and others from these illegal RV storage operations.