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Why are Shipping Containers Useful for Car Storage?

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Without car storage, you have to keep your vehicle outside, leaving it exposed to environmental damage. Dust and dirt can build up over time, as I’m sure you know from looking at cars that have been left on the side of the road for several months. This can cause the paint’s protective topcoat to wear and break down, exposing lower layers of paint to further wear. Over time, this can cause your automobile to depreciate more rapidly.

Storing cars in a shipping container can be a great way to ensure they’re protected from the elements and well-preserved for when you need them again. Whether you’re simply a car owner, make it your hobby, or run a business using cars, shipping containers might be the car storage solution you’ve been searching for.

In this blog, we’ll discuss how shipping containers can be used for car storage, helping maintain the appearance and performance of a variety of cars while costing less than a traditional garage.

How Secure are Shipping Containers Used for Car Storage?

Shipping containers are incredibly secure. They’re trusted by industry professionals all over the world, from construction contractors to retail business owners and international shippers. Containers are made of 14-gauge steel and are weather-resistant.

In addition to being secure against unauthorized access, containers are also resistant to intrusions by insects, rodents and other pests. Container vents have mesh coverings that prevent insects from getting inside your container. Additionally, they have strong gaskets that provide a barrier against other vermin that might nestle inside your car’s exhaust pipe.

An aerial shot of car storage in a parking lot.
Cars can depreciate by as much as 20%, just in the first year of ownership! That’s not even taking into consideration the wear and tear effects of leaving a car exposed outside.

What Container Sizes Work Best for Car Storage?

Depending on how many cars you intend to store inside a shipping container, different container sizes may work better for your circumstances.

While a 20ft container is roughly the size of a carport, a carport is typically wider. A single carport is usually 12ft wide by 20ft long, a 20ft-long container is only 8ft wide. This allows most cars to snugly fit inside a container. However, the car must be pushed inside and not driven. This is because the driver will not have enough space to exit the car once it’s inside.

Because of this, if you plan to frequently move cars in and out of the container, you may want to consider modifying an extra-wide container or adding doors to the side of the container to make accessing the vehicle easier.

Another thing to think about is whether you’ll need extra height inside the container. One solution to this is using high cube containers. Some car enthusiasts have modified these tall containers to be similar to car carrier trailers.

Ultimately, the size of your car storage container will depend on the size of the cars stored inside and may differ depending on how often you intend on using the container. Generally, containers under 20ft in length aren’t large enough to store and secure most cars.

Generally, containers under 20ft in length aren’t large enough to store and secure most cars.

Car Racking Modifications

Car racking modifications are a game-changer when it comes to maximizing storage space and efficiency within car storage containers. These innovative solutions allow enthusiasts and collectors to safely stow their prized vehicles while optimizing every square inch of available space.

Customized car racking systems typically feature sturdy metal frames inside the container that hold vehicles in place, preventing movement during transport or storage. These systems often incorporate adjustable shelving, hoists and more to accommodate various vehicle sizes and shapes. This ensures flexibility for both short and long-term storage needs.

If you want to invest in the pinnacle of secure outdoor car storage, a modified container is going to be more expensive than a standard one. However, it’s going to be significantly cheaper than constructing a permanent garage. Whether you’re safeguarding classic cars or creating a temporary workshop, these modifications make storing cars inside shipping containers a practical and versatile solution for automotive enthusiasts.

A graphic showing how shipping containers can serve as effective car storage, with two cars stored in a mechanism.
Need to securely store multiple cars inside of a container? Using a car racking modification like the one depicted here might be the best option. After the cars are positioned correctly, you can secure them as needed. Make sure to double check that everything is secured before attempting to move the container.

Consider Adding Humidification Packets to Better Protect Stored Cars

While this step might not be necessary, considering the inside climate conditions of your container can help you identify moisture risks like container rain before they occur.

Container rain is essentially condensation. It happens when you load the container in a humid environment, and then it heats up. The moisture in the air expands and rises to the sides and roof of the container. This visible moisture is known as container sweat. When it drips down onto your contents, it’s known as container rain.

If you live in a hot environment, desiccant packages will keep the humidity levels down, reducing the likelihood of container rain. These packets are affordable and can be purchased in bulk from online sellers. They’re used in a wide variety of industries to keep environments free from excessive humidity.

General Tips for Shipping Container Car Storage

  • While your hand brake might work well if you’re parked on an incline, it can cause damage to your car’s components if activated for extended periods, rusting the parking brake. If you’re transporting a car inside a container, or are worried about the car shifting in storage, adding wheel blocks behind the wheels can provide similar protection.
  • Battery damage can occur if you leave a car stored long-term. If the car isn’t being regularly operated, the car battery can lose power and even die. You can remedy this situation by disconnecting the car’s negative battery cable. Keep in mind that doing this will reset some settings inside the car. This means you may have to reset your radio and Bluetooth configuration when the car is ready to be used again.
  • When storing your car in cold temperatures, those temperatures can cause your tires to lose air pressure and become flat. Adding container insulation may help in temperature regulation. Ask your sales representative for details on adding insulation to your storage container.
  • We recommend that you change the car’s oil shortly before storing the car long-term. Additionally, you may want to consider replacing the oil filter with a new one. This can reduce the chance that moisture accumulates inside the oil tank and damages internal components.

How to Buy a Car Storage Container

If you’re interested in acquiring a storage container for car storage, there are several steps you should take:

  1. Consult with a Storage Expert: To start, it’s vital to engage with a specialist in storage containers who can walk you through the process and offer a quote. They can recommend the appropriate container size and type for your specific needs.
  2. Prepare the Container Site: Once you’ve made your container selection, prepare the location where the container will rest. This may entail clearing the designated area and ensuring the container will rest on a level surface.
  3. Acquire Your Storage Container: Lastly, after completing all necessary preparations, you can anticipate the delivery of your container and begin enjoying the convenience and peace of mind that comes with hassle-free storage. We will try to work with your schedule and give you advanced notice of our arrival.

Summary

Shipping containers can be a game-changer in the realm of car storage, offering cost-effectiveness, unbeatable durability, and security. Their adaptability and versatility make them a top choice for car enthusiasts, homeowners and auto businesses alike.

Additionally, you can add modifications that make the inside of the container more useful for car storage, like roll up doors and insulation.

By using shipping containers, you can ensure that your valuable vehicles are not only protected but also conveniently accessible whenever you need them.

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