A Hamilton County facility that once produced electric buses soon will serve as a warehouse to park RVs.
“We’re catering to people who don’t want to do maintenance on their RV,” said Steve Belk, sales manager of RV Park Palace. “The indoor storage is important, but the key is service.”
RV Park Palace is at 7811 Lee Highway, a site that formerly held electric bus makers Advanced Vehicle Systems and Ebus Inc., as well as Choo Choo Customs Group Inc. The owner is a group of investors named The RV Storage Fund.
Customers will be people who don’t want to handle RV maintenance, Mr. Belk said, as well as those who live in subdivisions that prohibit RV storage.
RV Park Palace will open Nov. 1, said operations manager Jason Fry.
A concierge service includes washing, resetting water tanks, and maintenance including oil and tire pressure checks, Mr. Fry said.
Customers will be able to drop off or pick up their RVs 24 hours a day, Mr. Belk said, as well as use the company’s concierge service, which is included in the storage fee. The facility also will store antique cars and boats. By calling ahead, the customer can pick up the vehicle ready to go, he said.
Engines will be cranked and batteries will be charged every two weeks. That makes the RV ready to drive away on vacation, saving the owner that hassle, Mr. Belk said. Repair services also can be done, he said. Propane is available on site.
“We can monitor repair needs and arrange service,” Mr. Belk said.
Inside RV storage is an unserved market in Chattanooga, Mr. Belk said, because most people store their RVs in the backyard, exposed to the weather, or outside at self-storage warehouses, which don’t provide service.
People continue to take their RVs on trips despite high gas prices, he said, though they may take shorter vacations. Using an RV at a campsite is more affordable than hotels in some vacation markets, he said.
The storage fee is charged monthly and depends on the vehicle’s size: $100 for 20 feet or less, to $295 for 31 feet or more, with several prices in between based on size. RV Park Palace can store about 120 vehicles now, Mr. Belk said, and eventually will expand to store 200 vehicles.
Their customers will be drawn from a 45-minute radius and from markets like Florida, Mr. Belk said.
Some Floridians are electing to store their RVs near areas they frequent on vacations, such as the mountains, he said. The tourist flies to the area where the RV is stored and drives away on vacation. Mr. Belk and Mr. Fry said they have CDL driver’s licenses and can drive a client’s RV anywhere that’s required.