Comparing Storage Types

Comparing outdoor, indoor, and drive-up storage 

Although each storage facility differs in its offerings, many facilities have three basic kinds of storage units from which to choose: outdoor, drive-up and indoor. Here we compare them, as well as frequently-available upgrades.

Outdoor Storage Units

These least expensive units can be the size of a four-wheel-drive vehicle or a

40-foot RV. Typically paved or gravel-filled. Outdoor storage units are basically parking spaces. They may come with a metal roof, cinder block walls, and hookups for recreational vehicles. They are popular with:

  • Landscaping businesses that haul equipment with trailers.
  • Short haul trucking companies.
  • Individuals and business owners in metropolitan areas where convenient parking is at a premium.

Drive-Up Storage Units

These ground-floor units are usually the size of a one-car garage, although several sizes can be available in the same facility. Most have 9-10 ft. ceilings, although some can be as high as 12 or 20 ft. They feature roll-up doors, making for easy loading and unloading. In some instances, they can be climate controlled with central air cooling and heat to maintain an internal temperature between 50 and 80 degrees year round.

Drive-up units are popular among:

  • Businesses as a way of expanding their square footage for storage of files, equipment, etc.
  • Retail stores for storage of seasonal…signage.
  • Storage of cars, small-engine vehicles, tools, furniture, appliances and anything else that might be stored in a garage

Because these units are on the ground floor and easily accessible, they are often preferred by customers. 

Indoor Storage Units

These units are part of a building, and are accessible by entering through doors and using elevators between floors. Some units within the building might be climate-controlled, while others are just slightly more sheltered from the elements than drive-up units.

First-floor units in these buildings are highly desirable, as they are the most easily accessible. They are typically smaller, and may have roll-up doors or common swing doors. They offer some additional security, as they are usually well-lit.

Indoor storage units are popular among:

  • Customers who prefer to store their belongings in a house-like setting rather than a garage
  • Pharmaceutical representatives, antiques dealers, and those with electronics, artwork or other valuable items who require a climate-controlled environment


Features of storage units that often come with additional cost include:

  • Availability to drive up
  • Ground floor units.
  • Close proximity to elevator access.
  • Climate control
  • Heat or air conditioning only (rather than climate control)
  • Dehumidifiers
  • Availability of insurance to cover items in storage

Combining these features can increase cost as well. For example, a first-floor indoor unit close to an elevator will typically be more expensive than one on the second floor, and if it has climate-control there will be additional cost too.

Facilities often offer free enhancements such as carpeted units, wooden or plastic pallets to place on the unit’s floor, dollies to transport items to and from the unit, etc.

If you would like additional assistance in finding the right storage space for you, contact Trident Self-Storage today ! !