Driving in the Summer Rainstorms

Some people love driving during rainfall while others hate it. Whatever the case, you should be aware that driving in a downpour should be taken seriously even if you’re a seasoned driver. Rainy driving isn’t just annoying, it’s also potentially dangerous.

According to the US Department of Transportation, about 22% of all road accidents – almost 1,259,000 – are caused by the weather. You may take a wild guess and think: “Well, the majority of crashes have got to be during winter because of snowy and icy pavement.” Guess again. In fact, the majority of weather-related crashes happen during rainfall. To put things into perspective, 73% of crashes happen on wet pavement and 46% happen during rainfall, while only 17% occur in winter time.

The stats don’t lie, so next time you won’t think of rain so lightly — even if it’s just a drizzle.

In this article we’ve prepared for you 4 practical and potentially life-saving tips that every driver should know about:


#1 Make sure your car is in good shape

The condition of your car is crucial. Whatever’s wrong with your vehicle may be even more prominent during rain. First you need to check your tires. Are you tires already at 2/32? Tires that are worn out should be replaced even before they get worn out. In case you forgot, old tires are even more dangerous in rainy conditions.

Secondly, check your tire pressure at least once a month using a tire gauge, especially before driving in wet conditions.

Thirdly, don’t forget about your windshield wipers — they are your eyes during the rain. If they’re not functioning well you won’t be able to see anything ahead and that can be a major problem. Needless to say, make sure your brakes are operating well, as well as headlights, taillights and all other signals that ensure your visibility.


#2 Even if you’re in a hurry — slow down

This one sounds like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised just how many people start speeding through the rain as if they’re in a hurry (even when they’re not) or like they’re trying to run away from the rain itself. You never know what’s out there, no matter how much you (think you) know the road. Even if you could drive blindfolded through that road, you can’t predict the circumstances, especially during a downpour. There could be a car stopped in front you, or a pedestrian wandering, or the water may be so deep that you can’t actually drive through it. So for your sake and for other people’s sake, remember that you need to slow down during rain.



#3 Stop tailgating and make space

Tailgating isn’t just annoying, it’s dangerous as well — especially during rainy weather. When the pavement is wet, your brakes don’t function as they normally do when the road is dry. If you’re driving too close to the cars in front of you, you may not be able to stop yourself soon enough when you hit the brake. Wet road is slippery, and before you know it you will be hydroplaning your way to another car. Hydroplaning is a technical term for sliding uncontrollably — and it’s usually what makes people crash into each other in the rain.


#4 Keep your headlights on but use high beam headlights only when necessary

How many times have you been dazzled by high beam headlights that literally hurt your eyes and made you glitch? That’s not something you need when driving. You should, however, have your low beam headlights on all the time — there’s no question about that, even during broad daylight. Rain makes everything less visible, and turning on your headlights can make a difference between life and death literally. Other drivers need to be able to see you at all times.

The problem arises, however, if your high beam headlights blind other drivers. The situation is even worse during rainy weather when the road is slippery and people don’t see clearly. That being said, make sure you’re using high beams only when necessary.

Thanks for reading!


RV Tires – Do You Know How to Check the “Expiration” Date?

RV Tires don’t expire like the carton of milk in your fridge, but knowing where to look on the tires for critical information is a helpful part of your regular safety or maintenance routine.

The tire manufacture date is visible on the outer wall of each tire. The other numbers on the tire’s sidewall contain a wealth of information such as the tire’s recommended use, the size, load capacity and durability in terms of speed and temperature. The manufacture date is good to keep in mind when purchasing new tires as well. If the tire is on a deep discount, make sure it’s not aged.

Old tires can succumb to internal tire rot if they are older than 5 years even if they are rarely used. Unlike obvious external tire degradation, internal tire rot can easily go unnoticed and can result in major failure, like a blow-out. If you are new to RV or vehicle maintenance, placing a calendar reminder in your phone to alert you a few months before your tires are going to “expire” may be helpful to prevent an accident.

For more valuable tips on tires and RV’s check out RVillage’s blog post on tire maintenance and tire minders. There is even a video on how to handle a blow out of your RV tire.

Happy RV’ing!

-Gateway Storage



Cargo Trailer Decisions – Selecting Your Next Trailer

When selecting your new cargo trailer, you need to make up your mind on what it is that you need it for. For example, some people need a cargo trailer for transporting animals and livestock (in which case you’d need a stock or a horse trailer), while others simply need it to move goods or furniture.

Depending on your needs, there are numerous cargo trailers out there that will serve your purpose. That being said, you can choose between a utility trailer, cargo trailer, horse trailer, ATV trailer, stock trailer, or car hauler. So before you actually buy one, think everything through so that you make the right choice.


Aim for the quality

When talking about the quality, we primarily mean materials being used. Today, aluminum is considered a much better alternative to steel for a number of reasons. Firstly, aluminum cargos are more durable and can withstand corrosion much better than the steel ones. Secondly, they are lighter and therefore are easier to transport goods. In addition to that, aluminum ones are resistant to the usual wear and tear. That being said, aluminum cargo trailers hold more value and can also save you on fuel because they are lighter.

All in all, aluminum trailers are easier to take care of and apparently more valuable in case you’re planning on reselling them some day.


Pay attention to the trade-in value and the warranty

As a soon-to-be trailer owner, you want your trailer to be covered by a warranty, as well as to hold certain trade-in value in case you decide to upgrade some day. As far as the warranty is concerned, you should aim for an 8-year warranty. In terms of its value, you should check the potential trade-in value of the cargo trailer you’ve set your eyes on before you make a purchase.


Open or closed cargo?

Depending on what you’re going to transport, you’ll need to choose between a closed and an open cargo trailer. If your cargo is sensitive and needs to be protected from harsh weather conditions, then you’ll probably want to choose the closed one. If you’ll be pulling a lot of weight than open cargo is probably a better choice. Open cargo trailers are lighter and therefore easier to pull. Of course, the prices may vary depending on the type of trailer. With that in mind, if your cargo isn’t sensitive to weather then you’ll save a lot by buying an open cargo trailer.


Do your homework

At the end of the day, it’s all about the research. When shopping for a cargo trailer, don’t limit yourself to the first lot that you see. If you don’t see what you’re looking for right away, make sure you look elsewhere. Many manufacturers are willing to go the extra mile in order to get you what you need. Find the manufacturer that will personalize your cargo trailer for you if necessary. You’d be surprised what you can find when you’re persistent.

Storage Container Organization – 5 Handy Tips

Container Unit

We have compiled some planning and organizing tips to help you make the most of your container storage

Once you get everything in place you will be surprised just how much space you’ve actually got.

In this article we’ve prepared for you 5 simple yet effective tips on how to organize your storage space so that you can always find what you’re looking for.

#1 Use shelves and clear boxes  

It may be wise to invest in sturdy free standing shelves that go all the way up to the ceiling. Shelves are a great way to organize your things because they provide an easy access to things without having to dig and create unnecessary mess. Clear plastic storage boxes allow you to get an idea of what is inside without taking it down from a high shelf. In addition to that, if you have objects like rakes, shovels or spades, you’re really going to benefit from installing hooks on walls. They will help your keep things neat and within hand’s reach. Before permanently altering any storage or container unit, make sure to check with the facility manager.

#2 Write content lists on the boxes

There’s no point in having your things organized in boxes if you don’t know what’s inside of each box. That being said, every time you put something inside a box make sure you write down which room it’s from, as well as the contents of it. This will make things so much easier for you and your family when you’re looking for a specific item.

#3 Create a map of all the things inside the container unit

Depending on how often you access the unit, you will want to create a map of your belongings inside the unit. Especially if you’re planning on using the unit for a longer period of time. Our memory fades, and after a while you’ll simply forget where you put what. Even though you labeled the boxes, you’ll save yourself even more time if you simply make a map of all the things inside the unit. This map should be put somewhere prominent, preferably right at the entrance so that you can take a look at it every time you enter the unit.

#4 Consider moving to a larger unit

If things do get a little messy, then you should consider moving to a larger unit. Stuff accumulates over time, and if you lack space it’s impossible to keep everything orderly and organized. When you pack everything too tightly, retrieving something gets really difficult. Sometimes the only solution is to simply get a bigger storage unit rather than cramming everything into the small one.

#5 Consider a double ended unit

At Gateway Storage, we have some container units that offer access from both ends. You can plan to store less needed items in the center of the container and more frequently needed items on either end. You can also open both doors for a cross breeze from time to time. Some airflow is nice to have when working on organizing your storage container.

Must Have Travel Trailer Accessories for 2017

If you’re planning to hit the road with your travel trailer, it’s time to accessorize. For a completely smooth, hassle-free journey, you need to make sure that you have all the right travel trailer accessories. With the technology advancing every year, we’ve gathered the 5 must have trailer accessories for 2017:

#1 Luminaid Paklite 12

When you’re travelling and /or camping, one of the items that is often difficult to get by once you’re already on the road is a good lantern. A durable lantern with a long battery life should definitely be on your must-have list, and Luminaid Paklite 12 is our recommendation. It is a relatively big, inflatable lantern that is solar powered so you don’t have to worry about running out of batteries ever again. It takes 7 hours to fully charge, and it is water-resistant, so it will be able to charge even when it’s raining.

#2 Tire Minder

When you’re traveling with a vehicle as big as a travel trailer, safety comes first. In order to make sure that your tire pressure is optimal, you’ll need a tool called TireMinder. This handy gadget is a pressure monitoring system. It displays PSI and temperature for each tire, and the transmitter batteries are replaceable.
The newer model is basically a handheld device the size of an iPhone 6. It will certainly give you a much needed peace of mind while traveling.

#3 Multi-Functional Pressure Cooker

Let’s face it – cooking while travelling isn’t always an easy task. Nobody likes to do the dishes while on the road or spend hours preparing the meal. That’s why you need something practical, fast and rather small. Bulky dishes and pots aren’t really space-saving and therefore impractical. That’s where a smart pressure cooker comes in. Instant Pot or Multi-Functional Pressure Cooker has 7 functions, all in one. It has 14 processing programs including soup, stew, meat, poultry, porridge, keep-warm and more.  This cutting edge kitchen gadget will turn you into an instant chef even while traveling.

#4 Sawyer Water Filter

Clean drinking water should be on your priority list while travelling. Sawyer water filters are among the most popular ones in the world, and the best thing is they aren’t expensive. This filter kills 99,99% of bacteria that can make you sick, which is why it should definitely be on your must have list if you’re travelling in your trailer and camping somewhere.


#5 NOAA Weather Radio

When you’re on the road, internet and telephone signals aren’t always reliable. In order to be regularly updated with the latest weather conditions, the fifth must-have trailer accessory for 2017 should be a radio. Let’s take  Midland WR120 NOAA Radio. This radio has 7 NOAA channels and will inform you on floods, thunderstorm, tornados, as well as other important warnings. It features a trilingual display and an alarm clock, and it doesn’t take up a lot of space.

Storage for Special Items: Artwork and Antiques

The stress of moving affects not only you but your possessions as well. Moving your things to storage can be harder than anticipated, especially if we’re talking about high-quality items like artwork and antiques. Because these items are so fragile, expensive and/or old, they require special care during packing and transport.

Needless to say, it’s not enough to just pack these items like you would pack your clothes. Check out our tips on how to safely move and store specialty items like artwork and antiques:

Tips for Moving Artwork

Moving artwork can be tricky, especially with bulky, old and sensitive paintings and/or sculptures. Artwork pieces are usually sensitive to pressure, and even the slightest bump in the road can make a dent or a crack that is beyond repair. But with the right tools and tricks up your sleeve, your artwork will arrive safely to its destination.

The first and the most important thing you should do is pack your fine art well so that it doesn’t get damaged during transport. What you’ll need is a glossy and smooth paper wrap that is water and grease resistant. Glassine will do the trick. Now, for the second layer, you’ll need good old bubble wrap to prevent any indentations or scratches.

Next, what you’ll need is some kind of a box. Ideally, you should use the box that came with the artwork itself. But chances are that box is long gone or damaged, so instead of that you should either find the flat screen TV boxes (if you have a large piece of art), or another one which fits the dimensions. If the box is weak or broken, make sure to reinforce it with duct tape.

Bulkier or more sensitive pieces of art, however, will most likely require a special box of a suitable size, shape as well as material. A moving specialist will provide you with wooden or cardboard crates for valuable items like fine art or you may be able to find them sold online.

Tips for Moving Antiques  

With antiques, much like with fine art, extra care is well worth the effort, because if it gets damaged it significantly loses in value. Make sure you wrap your antiques in bubble wrap to prevent dings and scratches while moving. In addition, you can buy or rent furniture pads and moving blankets that will protect your antiques even further. Should you decide to hire a moving company, they will provide you with those and wrap them for you, but you will need your own materials for moving an item into storage.

For expensive pieces of furniture you should also consider using wooden crates. Reputable moving companies will provide you with custom made crates for high-end pieces to make sure that your antiques all arrive in one piece to its destination. Custom crating is usually done by professional movers and you should let them know in advance the item is going into storage, not into a home. Although it seems like an easy task, creating the perfect custom box for antique pieces of furniture and putting them in there and then loading everything into the vehicle is easier said than done.

Whatever method you opt for, make sure you take all the necessary steps to ensure that your valuable possessions are properly packed before moving. Better safe than sorry!

Storage for the Holidays & the New Year

It’s that time of year again. Stuff is piling up and chances are you are having guests at your house for the holidays. While Christmas is the best time of year for family reunions, sometimes the lack of space can make even the closest of guest feel a bit unwelcome.

It’s time to spend some quality time with the people you care about without having to worry about the lack of space.

In order to make sure that your guests feel comfortable and relaxed in your home, check out these tried-and true tips on how to prepare your home for holiday guests.

Start with the entryway

The entryway is the first impression, so make sure it counts. Decluttering your entryway is a must if you’re having guests over, especially during winter when heavy coats and boots take up much of the space. Remove the coats and jackets you’re not wearing and install a few additional pegs for the guest coats.

If you want to keep the entryway (and the rest of the house) relatively clean, use bristled mats. In addition to that, prepare slippers and kindly ask your guests to take off the shoes before entering the living room.

Extra shelves for a functional guest room

Throughout the year, the guest room is probably used as the storage room for boxes with old toys and clothes you no longer wear. But now the time has come to actually make the room functional again. However tiny your guest room is, there are certains spots which you can still use for storage if you don’t know where else to move your stuff. For example, under the bed, and a spare bedside table can also do the trick. If you’re up for some remodelling, the best thing for a guest room is to install underbed drawers and shelves that go all the way up to the ceiling. That way nothing looks cramped and yet you have a ton of storage.

Declutter the kitchen

During the holidays, kitchen is usually the focal point of the house. Good food is one of the first things that come to mind when people think of holidays. Plus, every guest is probably going to bring some of their own food, and before you know it your kitchen counters and your fridge are all cramped.

There are two or three ways you can deal with extra food. First, if you live in an area with cold winters you can simply put some of the food (that should otherwise go into the fridge) outside.

Secondly, use the spare fridge from your basement. Thirdly, you can make your own temporary fridge by filling it with loads of ice.

As for the counters, move the things you don’t necessarily need (like plants and decorative ceramics) somewhere else and keep kitchen counters clear.

Decluttering the bathroom

Last but not the least — you should consider decluttering your bathroom space as well. The first rule of thumb is: if you don’t use it — lose it. There are so many things you don’t even know you have until you start sorting it out. Once you’re done with that, put the smaller items you don’t use everyday in plastic containers or bags and store them somewhere out of sight. Use shallow baskets and cosmetic organizer trays to maximize the storage space. Make smart use of under-the-sink drawers and cabinets so that the surface around the sink and open shelves are clear for guests.

Container Unit

Self Storage Container Unit

Considering a whole house clean up? We have storage container units for rent starting at $220/month for a huge 8′ x 8′ x 20′ Container. Make space for holiday guests, entertaining and for the New Year!

Car Buying Tips – Does the Time of Year Matter?

Buying a car isn’t something you should do on an impulse. Just like any other major purchase that you spend a substantial amount of money on, it needs to be well thought through. In addition to that, you need to plan way ahead if you want to get the most out of it.

Naturally, you want to get a good deal rather than overpaying the vehicle. Whether you get a good deal or not depends on several factors, and perhaps the most influential one is the timing.

According to car-buying experts, if you wait just a few months to make a purchase you can literally save a thousands of dollars. As with pretty much anything, the timing is crucial as prices may fluctuate significantly throughout the year.

End-of-Year Sales

Car dealerships tend to lower the prices when they want to get rid of the old models, and around holidays to motivate buyers to act.

That leads us to the conclusion that the best time of year to buy a car is at the year’s end. At this time, the prices start to drop and dealerships offer discounts. While no one can guarantee you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for, the last couple of months are usually the prime time for drivers to find the best bargain.

At the end of the calendar many dealers need to reach a certain annual quota and that means they need to sell. Drivers looking for a good price should take advantage of this opportunity and save some money along the way.

Leftover Models

If you’re on the hunt for a good price on a last-year’s model, then end-of-year sales are definitely for you. For those of you looking to purchase the most current model, this is also a great opportunity as long as the model is out.  

By the time the new models arrive, the dealers need to get rid of the current models, and that’s where you step in and seize the day.

These vehicles are still brand new and unused, just that the even newer ones are arriving to the lot, so the ‘old’ ones need to go to make room for the new collection. This is a great chance both for you as a buyer and for the sellers to fulfil their annual quota.

Contact Your Dealer

New models come to the scene already around August or September, or sometimes even later — depending on the dealership. If you’re not sure, you can check this out by contacting the dealer and asking them about the specific models you’re interested in. Make sure to let them know that you’re ready to purchase the vehicle if the price is right, of course. Car dealers usually offer great customer cash rebates for the leftover models. What’s also important to bear in mind is that you shouldn’t wait too long either. When the older models are up for grabs, time is of the essence. If the price is right, don’t wait up too long to make up your mind or someone else might get to it before you.

Trailer Hitches – A Primer

Trailer Towing Basics

Trailer Hitch

Trailer Hitch

It seems like an easy job, just hitch up and hit the road, right? Not exactly. Trailer towing may be more difficult than you previously thought. It’s important that you know the trailer towing basics otherwise you may end up causing a road accident and hurt both yourself and other drivers.

When towing a trailer your vehicle becomes heavier and it’s not so easy to stop when you want to. Other drivers may not be as friendly and some may not let you change the line. This all seems like a stressful experience, but with the right tips and tricks up your sleeve towing a trailer can be as smooth as a regular drive.

Here’s what you need to know:

Shopping for the right hitch

Shopping for the right hitch type can be frustrating and confusing because there are so many different types to choose from. But hitches are generally divided into 4 classes which differ by a maximum GTW (Gross Trailer Weight) limit and a maximum TW (Tongue Weight) limit.

Depending on your vehicle type and on your trailer, you can shop for a Class 1 hitch which is intended for 100 lbs TW and 1,000 lbs GTW if your vehicle is smaller and lighter. If you’re not sure which one you need or you’ve never done it before, make sure to consult your vehicle owner’s manual for information on towing a trailer as well as your vehicle’s weight capacity limits. If you can’t find that information on your own, find an expert to do that for you.

Weight restrictions depending on the hitch class are the following:

Hitch classes:

Class 1

MAX TW: 200 lbs, MAX GTW: 2,000 lbs

Class 2
MAX TW: 300 lbs, MAX GTW: 3,500 lbs.

Class 3

MAX TW: 500 lbs, MAX GTW: 5,000 lbs.

Class 4

MAX TW: 1,000 lbs, MAX GTW: 10,000 lbs.

Hitch Types

There are different trailer hitch systems depending on what you need done. The type you need to choose is determined by your vehicle make and model. In the trailer towing, there are basically three types of hitches you can choose from:

Weight-carrying hitches, also called fixed-tongue hitches which are designed to carry all the trailer’s tongue weight, as the name itself indicates. Remember: these are designed to carry lighter loads.

Then you have receiver hitches, also known as load-equalizer hitches. These hitches are meant for bigger loads and they distribute the tongue weight evenly in order to maintain the balance. These hitches are usually used on larger vehicles like SUVs and can be used for two to even four-horse trailers.

Last but not the least, 5th wheel hitches are used for heavy-duty towing.

In order to tow safely and legally, you may need different equipment depending on your vehicle type and capabilities. It all depends whether your vehicle is a heavy-duty pickup or an SUV or simply a passenger car. Each vehicle is unique and you may need to install a number of upgrades before you can tow safely.


RV Destinations for VA and Maryland Fall Foliage

RV Destinations for Fall Foliage in Maryland and Virginia:

Fall RV Destinations

Fall Colors

Crispy weather and shorter days mark the end of the summer season. But this is not necessarily a bad thing.

Nature in fall takes on some of the most beautiful colors and shapes. Dazzling nature changes are beautiful in this time of year, especially throughout Virginia and Maryland. Foliage season definitely has its charms.  The best way to explore nature in this time of year is by going on fall foliage road trips and enjoying the beautiful scenery. Here are some magnificent leaf-peeping locations you can scout for in your RV this fall throughout Maryland and Virginia (plus some fall foliage reports):


Deep Creek Lake State Park

Deep Creek Lake State Park is Maryland’s largest artificial lake, and it looks magnificent in the fall foliage season. Here you can do many outdoor activities like fishing, camping, swimming and even enjoying water activities like boating in Garrett County.

New Germany State Park

Visitors often refer to this park as Maryland’s “best kept secret.” New Germany State Park features about 10 cabins intended for overnight visits. It also has a beautiful 13-acre lake.

Herrington Manor State Park

Herrington Manor State Park is located within Garrett State Forest in Garrett County.  According to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and Maryland Office of Tourism in the southwest near Oakland, a major portion of the foliage has already started to change, mainly sugar, red maples and hickories. High temperatures for the following weekend are perfect for anyone looking to explore this magnificent wilderness.



Mount Rogers National Recreation Area

This is one of the best recreational areas in the US located in southwestern Virginia near the border with Tennessee. At this time of year the foliage has already started to change creating one of the most beautiful natural sceneries in the world, especially if you decide to hike all the way to the top of Mount Rogers.

Natural Tunnel Park

Natural Tunnel Park, sometimes referred to as the Eighth Wonder of the World is another amazing fall foliage destination you shouldn’t miss out if you’re nearby. Visit the highs and lows of Virginia’s famous Natural Tunnel Park, the neighbouring woods along Stock Creek, as well as breath-taking sceneries from Lovers Leap.

The Priest Wilderness

The Priest Wilderness offers astonishing panoramic view of mountains in the fall untouched by human hand. The beautiful scenery encompasses the highest parts of the Priest Mountain, as well as some of the most beautiful natural water springs and streams.

Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park

According to a recent fall color report on September 30th the leaves in Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park are only beginning to change. If you want to watch the leaves turn you can drive along Skyline Drive. If you’re a fan of hiking, hike a Shenandoah National Park trail.