Your Vehicle and Virginia Deer Season

White Tailed Deer begin breeding in October and continue through early December in Virginia. When searching for mates, deer tend to be more active and may be increasing in presence on the roadways. Vehicle and deer collisions can be serious accidents. Virginia has the 13th highest rate in the entire country for deer-vehicle crashes.

Deer are especially active in the morning and in the evening at dusk. Unfortunately, these times are often during Virginia commute times or travel to and from school or after school activities.

Driving with Deer

The Fairfax County Wildlife Management Specialist and Fairfax County Police have posted the following safety advice to keep you, your family and your car safe this season:
•Always wear your seat belt when in a vehicle.
•When driving, particularly at dusk and dawn, slow down and be attentive.
•Watch for eye shine along roadsides. Deer travel in herds. If you see one, others may be near.
•Use high beams when traffic permits to spot deer at a greater distance.
•Be aware of posted “Deer Crossing” signs. Signs are placed in areas known for high deer traffic and/or deer-vehicle collisions.
•If a deer is stopped in the roadway, reduce speed and flash your headlights. Deer can become mesmerized or blinded by bright steady lights.
•If a deer jumps in your vehicle’s path, continue to reduce speed and grasp steering wheel firmly with both hands.
•Never swerve to avoid deer on the road. Swerving can cause loss of control of your vehicle and greatly increase the chance of more serious damage or injury.
•Take foot off brake at time of impact. This action reduces the likelihood of deer crashing through a windshield or windows upon impact.
•Never depend on hood whistles, car horns, or other devices to scare deer out of your path. Several studies have shown that these methods do not always work.

Who to Call if you Hit a A Deer

Report collisions with deer to the Fairfax County Police Department (non-emergency) at 703-691-2131.

Deer Crossing at Night

Deer Crossing at Night

Restoring a Classic Car?

If you’re considering buying a project vehicle for the autumn weather, read on. Vintage or classic cars are on demand now more than ever, and that means they can be quite pricey. For an average collector, the prices are far out of reach, and you can only dream of owning a 1971 Plymouth Superbird 440 or Dodge Charger R/T 440. That being said, many classic car collectors nowadays turn to restoring their own classic cars or the ones they find.

Restoring a classic car can be a challenge. It’s no walk in the park, no doubt about that. But it can also be extremely exciting and rewarding. We have the storage and parking space for your project vehicle until you’re ready to get started. With the right tips and tricks up your sleeve, you can choose the right car and restore it to its former glory. But there’s plenty of work before you get there.

Let’s get started:

Choose the car carefully

Before you even embark on this journey, you need to make sure that you’ve made the right choice. Not every old car is worth restoring. You need to choose the type that is desirable, and that will remain so for at least some time. Most of the old cars aren’t worth much and won’t do you any good to restore them because their value on the market is low.

Don’t buy on impulse the first old car you set your eyes on just because you think it looks good. Make an informed decision by doing some research beforehand. Doing some research on the web about the make and model of the car will give you valuable insights whether or not the car is worth restoring in the first place.

Make sure that the necessary replacement parts are available for purchase

Some makes and models are so rare that you won’t be able to find the replacement parts that you need. This can put your restoration on hold, even end it. Rare replacement parts can be so hard to get by that you will give it all up in the end. Apart from being rare, they are also expensive, precisely because they’re so rare. To make sure you stay on budget and within your schedule, do your homework before you actually make the purchase.

Think twice before buying a vehicle that won’t start or doesn’t come with keys

Project Vehicle

Project Vehicle

If you’re on a tight budget, buying a car that won’t run is going to be quite expensive. Even if you have enough money, a car that won’t start isn’t a smart investment. It is definitely a gamble. Sometimes all you’d need is a new battery, but most often than not you’d need an entire new engine which can be quite costly.

Talk to the pros

Unless you’re the expert yourself, you should always consult with someone who’s done restorations before or who knows the ins and outs of classic car restorations. Sometimes people think they know everything it takes, but they end up buying a car that is eaten away by rust. An expert will tell if the car is too rusty to restore, or perhaps too rare or damaged. Either way, two pair of eyes are better than one. After all, better safe than sorry.



Boating Safety – 6 End of Summer Tips

ropeWhat better to way to spend the last days of summer than boating on the Potomac River? Boating, kayaking and canoeing are popular Virginia activities, but like any activity on the water, it can also be potentially dangerous and even life-threatening.

It can be tempting to just jump aboard and set off right away, but there are some things you need to take care of first. No matter how experienced you are, it’s always necessary to follow boating safety tips for a safe and enjoyable boating.

Here are 6 boating safety tips to keep you out of danger:

1.      Always check the weather forecast before you go

Always check local weather before you jump aboard. Be wary of storms, strong winds or sudden drops in temperatures. This all can signal that the weather is about to get worse, and that it’s time to postpone the boating activity.

2.      Never leave without a properly fitting life-jacket and children’s outfit with lifejackets

Having a properly fitting life-jacket for both you and the children can be potentially life-saving. Don’t buy life-jacket that are too small or too big. Some people think that just because they’re good swimmers this doesn’t apply to them, but this can be a huge mistake. A large majority of drowning victims weren’t wearing a life-jacket, so make sure that you don’t make the same mistake.

3.     Keep a safe distance from the swimmers

Whatever type of craft you’re using, it’s important to keep an eye out for swimmers. Don’t come anywhere near the swimmers while you’re operating on the water.

4.      No alcohol

Although alcohol and summer go hand in hand, drinking on the boat can be a bad idea. Sun and wind make the influence of alcohol even stronger, so you should definitely save that beer for later. You need to be alert at all times while operating your craft, and you won’t be able to do that under the influence of alcohol. Plus, boating accidents are twice as common among people who drink on the boat.

5.        Make sure you have someone to help you out if necessary

There should always be at least two persons who know all about the boat safety, and how to operate the craft. You should have somebody by your side who knows how to keep everyone safe in case of an emergency. If an accident happens, and the main navigator is hurt and unable to drive, somebody will have to take charge of the boat and get everyone to the shore safely.

6.         Make sure that the radio services are working and always have a plan

Before departure, always make sure that the radio services are functioning properly. Also, it’s a good idea to develop a boating plan and let other people know about where you’re going and how long you’re intending to stay. This can be useful in case something happens to you, so people will know where to look.

Vehicle Bargains – How to Buy at Auction


Buying a vehicle at an auction can be a big savings, but it can also be a huge loss. Both public and dealer auctions hold great potential, but only if you know how to make the best out of it.
Purchasing a vehicle at an auction used to mean a great bargain, but now it’s not so straightforward any more. It is very easy to get burned if you’re not careful enough. This of course, doesn’t mean it’s difficult to find a decent vehicle at auctions, it just means you need to be smart about it.

Given that just about every metro area has a weekly or monthly auctions, it’s fairly easy to find one. But before you hit the road to purchase a vehicle at auction, here’s what you should bear in mind:

Always come prepared

The golden rule of any auction is to come prepared and do your homework. Never go to an auction if you don’t know the true value of the items being sold. That being said, you need to have at least some idea of what used cars/vehicles are worth. Otherwise, you may end up being duped into buying a car or a vehicle that is overpriced. That’s why doing a little research beforehand is absolutely necessary. A good place to start is to conduct a research on vehicle prices on Kelly Blue Book or Craigslist as well as in classified listings. This will give you a fairly good glimpse into the used vehicle price ranges.

Don’t bid at your first auction

If you’ve never been to an auction before, it’s perhaps best you don’t bid at the first auction. Instead, observe other bidders and learn from them. If you observe closely you’ll notice that some bidders are actively bidding on every lot. They are just pumping up the prices. Learn how to assess the situation by looking at other players before you actually make the move yourself. Bidding is a skill, and as with every skill it is only refined with experience.

Don’t get too carried awaygavel

It’s easy to get caught up in the bidding, especially among more experienced players. The rule of thumb is — don’t put all your eggs in one basket or you may end up paying more than you actually should. Inexperienced bidders tend to get too carried away because they feel like it’s now or never. Don’t cling to one car only. Even if you want it really bad, remember that you need to be level-headed if you want to get a good bargain on a vehicle.

Expecting the unexpected

Bidding is not for the faint of heart. However well you think you’ve done, don’t get too surprised if you find out later on that you’ve bought a clunker. The condition of the vehicle is ‘as is’, and that literally means you never really know what you’re bidding for. The vehicle may look great on the outside, but may end up being a complete failure on the inside. If you’re not willing to take that risk, it’s perhaps best you don’t bid in the first place.

When you’ve completed the purchase 

Once you’ve found your bargain or project car, give us a call for storage options. We can also recommend a local tow service. We have outdoor and enclosed vehicle storage to suit your needs. Gateway Storage is also the perfect place to sell your vehicle if you’re ready for your next one. with unlimited, anytime access, you can meet prospective buyers at the facility rather than your home. Good luck at the auction!

Containers – 5 Uses other than Storage!

5 Surprising Uses for Shipping Containers Other than Storage.

At Gateway Storage, we use steel shipping containers for on-site storage of business, commercial, household and personal goods. The containers afford much more space for less money than traditional building self storage. Other businesses have found surprising uses for containers to serve a variety of different purposes: houses, schools, hotels and more.

photo credit

photo credit

  1. Eco-Friendly Camping Hut: This use of shipping containers, perfect for camping enthusiasts, provides a perfect landing pad while camping. Such camping huts are eco-friendly, as they are made out of recycled and reusable materials of the shipping container.
  2. Portable Home: Prices of real-estate are really shooting up, which makes shipping containers’ use as a house a premier opportunity to stay away from mortgage and other related expenses. Plus, if you deploy tires below your house, it will automatically become your portable home which you can relocate anywhere, whenever you want.
  3. Convertible Pop up Shop: Convertible pop up shops are another remarkable use of retired shipping containers. It makes the business look unique and attracts customers too. Lowering the sides of the containers add additional space and improves customer experience by not making the space crowded. This use of shipping containers provides the feasibility to set up, open and close the pop up shops and makes handling business easier than ever.
  4. Cool Beach Retreat: A great escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life and mundane routine are beach retreats. Luckily, retired and reusable shipping containers provide a remarkable opportunity to create your own beach retreat. Also, they are a great place of storage for your surfing and beach equipment.
  5. Swimming Pool: Shipping containers can be used to design and create swimming pools of different shapes and sizes to serve your needs. They are easy to deploy in your backyard and can be customized easily to fulfill your requirements. The lengths can range from 10 feet to 53 feet to hold as much water as you want.

Steel shipping containers are durable, weather resistant, spacious means for storage or many other uses. Our containers are all in “like-new” condition. Contact us today to learn more about storage in container units!

Vehicle Maintenance: 7 Tips for Summer

Summer Vehicle Maintenance: 7 Essential Tips

Since summer is the best season for any kind of camping, boating, Summer Road Trip or other outdoor activities, it makes sense that your vehicles will be getting the most use during this season. Therefore, it is important to make sure that they are maintained properly, both for the users’ safety and so that they continue to function properly. These seven tips will help you to keep your vehicles in the best possible shape so that you can continue to enjoy your summer and activities.

  • Frequent Service Checks : Though this seems like an obvious tip, taking your vehicle into the shop is something that many people tend to forget. However, it is important to make sure to take your vehicle to the shop a few times a year to check on the quality of the parts, and ensure that they are still in good condition.
  • Check the Tires: Again, this seems obvious, but it can still slip your mind as you are focused on other problems. Checking the air in your tires frequently can help you avoid expenses later. To help you with this, you can install a tire pressure monitoring or inflation system. Just make sure to check that these are installed correctly and continue to work properly.
  • Choose the Correct Grease: To maintain the wheel bearings on your trailer, make sure to choose the correct grease to ensure the best quality performance of your vehicle. Take the thickening system, grade, and performance rating into consideration when choosing a grease.
  • Drive Frequently: This is something that needs to be taken into consideration year-round, not just over the summer. It’s important for any vehicle to be driven frequently, and the same goes for trailers, RVs, and other summer vehicles. This will keep your vehicle running smoothly year round.
  • Cleaning: It is important to keep your vehicle clean on the inside and outside. Keeping your vehicle clean will make it easier to maintain parts of your vehicle. Make sure to pay attention to the bottom of the vehicle as well, since exposure to certain chemicals found on the road can cause metal to break down.
  • Security: Make sure to check the straps and chains on all hardware and tie-down straps. Watch out for tears or holes in these straps, since these can cause serious damage to your trailer or the vehicles around you.
  • Basic Checks: In addition to taking your vehicle into the shop, you should also check your vehicles on a regular basis. Check all lights, tires, and pressure for each part of your trailer. Pay attention to signals and warning lights on your dashboard, and make sure that you are aware of any oil or fluid changes that are necessary.

With these tips, you will be able to enjoy your summer and activities without worry. You can enjoy your summer activities knowing that your vehicle is safe and functional, and performing at its best. When your RV is in storage at Gateway, we routinely check the storage areas to ensure your property is safe and secure, including the condition of any covers, open windows or flat tires. Before storms we perform safety and drainage checks. Storing your property at Gateway, you have an extra measure of confidence that someone is looking out for your vehicle before your summer trip.

RV Destinations in Virginia – A Guide

RV Destinations: The Best of Virginia

RV trips are tons of fun, whether you are traveling with your family, friends, or by yourself. Out of all the factors to consider when planning an RV trip, the location is one of the most important. This guide to the best RV destinations in Virginia will help you pick the destination for your next trip. Virginia Welcomes You!

Lake Ridge RV Resort

This area displays some of Virginia’s most beautiful natural features and contains all of the items you will need for a comfortable stay. Its facilities include a camp store, laundry facilities, great quality bathhouses, and even a propane filling station. This site also has a ton of fun activities: visitors have access to a craft center, two pools, and two water slides. This destination is a great place to travel with a family. It has a variety of activities and convenient amenities that provide all the entertainment and comfort you could need.

Cherrystone Family Camping Resort

This camping resort is an exciting and fun place to visit for any RV trip. It contains over 300 acres of natural waterfront that provides a beautiful view and allows visitors to appreciate Virginia’s natural landscape. There are all kinds of themed events and waterfront activities for visitors to participate in as well. There are five swimming pools, and the option to rent boats and golf carts, and there are even fishing piers and cruises. Due to all of these activities and opportunities, this destination is perfect for family RV trips.

James River State Park

This destination contains beautiful natural surroundings and multiple park trails. There are picnic shelters, swimming pools, and opportunities for fishing and boating. This site is the perfect place to visit if you are hoping for an RV trip centered around nature and outdoor activities. With some of the best camping sites in the state, you will be sure to have an amazing time at this destination.

Holiday Lake State Park

This lakefront camping site offers visitors a unique and exciting RV experience. Its incredible views and waterfront activities will allow visitors to appreciate the natural beauty of this park while having a great time with family or friends. Visitors can also use the park’s hiking trails and swim along the beachfront. Like the other state parks, this is the perfect location for anyone who wants to experience nature and have fun with outdoor activities.

Any one of these destinations can help you create a fun and unforgettable RV trip. These locations provide visitors with one-of-a-kind amenities and activities that are fun for the whole family. With these destinations in mind, you can begin planning your next trip to these beautiful areas in Virginia. With 24/7 Access and a guaranteed assigned parking space, keeping your RV at Gateway Storage in between trips makes your vacations easy come and easy go. We hope you have a safe and enjoyable summer with your RV!

Boat Trailers: How to Back Up Like a Pro

As much fun as it is to take the boat out, there are some logistical complications that should be considered. Namely, backing up. Boat trailers can be pretty bulky and hard to maneuver, so it’s important to make sure that you back up safely. However, you can be sure that you’ll be able to back up like a pro using these tips.

Boat Storage - Electric Available!

Boat Trailer

Get a Lookout

One of the best ways to make sure you don’t hit anything when pulling out of the driveway is to get a lookout. Have someone stand off to the side of the vehicle and trailer, and direct you out of the driveway using left and right hand signals where you can see. If you have a longer driveway or spot to back into, get a couple of people to help out with this. Just make sure that you know where everyone is and can see them clearly to avoid any accidents.

Slow and Steady

No matter how experienced you are with backing up, it is important to take your time and be extremely careful to avoid any accidents. Make sure your foot is hovering over the brake, and that you are aware of your surroundings by accurately adjusting your side mirrors to see around the trailer. Patience is also important; it can take several tries to accurately back your trailer up, regardless of your experience.

Know Your Trailer

Knowing how large your trailer is, how far it swings when you turn, and other important information like this can be essential when backing up. Of course, you will learn this information over time, but it is highly recommended that you take the trailer out for a test drive after you first purchase it. This will help you understand how it feels to drive with the trailer, which is especially important if you are brand-new to driving with trailers. You can also practice pulling into spots before you take the trailer on your trip.

Whether you are experienced with trailer driving or new to it, test drives are essential to help you understand how driving with a trailer feels. Knowing this information will help you back out of your driveway or into your spot in a way that makes sense for your trailer.

Know Your Route

Just as it is important to know your trailer and how it moves, it is also important to know the route you are going to take. Before attempting to back up your boat trailer, scout out the places you want to back into. Make a plan; know exactly how you will need to turn to fit the trailer into the spot perfectly. Having a plan or strategy before you attempt to back in is always a great idea so that you know what to expect when backing up, and you are conscious of the surrounding area.

If possible, try to position yourself so that you are backing up towards the driver’s side of your vehicle. This will put you in a better position since you can see the spot and your trailer more clearly.


Boat trailers are a lot of fun, but it is important to know how to back up safely and effectively before you plan your boating trip. Though trailers can be bulky and difficult to drive with, driving them won’t be a problem once you are accustomed to backing up. Using these tips, you will be backing up like a pro in no time. At Gateway Storage, we have 50′ aisles for many of our storage spaces. Call today to check pricing and availability!

RV or Travel Trailer Ready for Summer Travel?

Springtime and warm weather is finally here! Time to put away all of your heavy jackets, bulky jackets, and snow boots, now it’s time to begin your spring cleaning for your home, getting your garden ready for beautiful blooming flowers and if you have an RV (mobile home, travel trailer, camper, or anything else you call it) it’s time to hit the road to get in touch with mother nature, sightsee and explore. Most of you that do own one are probably de-winterizing now if you haven’t already done so. Cleaning your RV can be a big and tiring project, especially if you’re doing it alone.

Getting your RV Ready for Summer Travel:

One of the first things you may want to begin with is an exterior wash. Depending on the size of your RV you may need a step stool or even a ladder! Begin by washing down your RV with just water before applying the soap, it can get most of the dirt off your RV before the hard work begins. After you’re done with the RV wash, insect and examine your RV. Do a full walk through and look for any cracks, tears or leaks. If you do notice anything other than normal, contact a certified RV technician to take a look at it before you begin to hit the road. Check the RV’s fluid levels and change the oil before you drive it (even if the mileage doesn’t require that you do so, the weather can cause changes in the oil quality). Double check your battery connections and that there are no strange/out of the ordinary sounds coming from your engine. Another important thing to do is check your tires (including your spare), make sure they all have sufficient air and haven’t been damaged from the weather or inactivity. Sometimes the exterior can be the easy part of getting your RV ready for family trips over the warmer weather. Another major thing to check is the fire detector/carbon monoxide inside the RV. Replace batteries or detectors if necessary to ensure that they are working properly. Double check your kitchen appliances, along with sinks, toilets and showers to ensure they are working properly.

If you haven’t created an emergency preparedness kit it should be on your list of things to do. Every emergency preparedness kit won’t be the same. You should adjust yours to what your family will need and benefit from the most: water bottles, matches, rope, flash lights, among other many things. Cleaning the inside of the RV some might think isn’t too necessary, but if you haven’t been in it in months there’s a good chance you might have to do so.

If you store your RV in an open field, there could be a few insects or unwanted pests in the RV. If you store your RV here at Gateway Storage there’s a strong chance you won’t run into that issue. If you had your motorhome stored during the winter, you’ll need to air it out to get any weird smells out of the way. If you have removable cushions or any fabric covers (could be bedsheets, blankets, or covers) you should wash them before you begin to use/sit on them; doing so can avoid any bugs lingering around. If you kept any kitchen materials (such as dishes, pots, pans, or utensils) soak them in hot water then throw them in the dishwasher to get any type of bacteria off before using them. Once you’re done with a good thorough spring cleaning, think of new ways to save space in your RV!

Using a collapsible laundry basket as a trash can will save you a good amount of space and will allow you to possibly place it in a bottom cabinet when it isn’t being used. If you have TV remotes going all over the place when traveling, consider putting Velcro on the back of it and another piece to stick to a cabinet or another option could be putting in a suction cup and placing it on a window. If you’re out during the hot summer months and insects are flying close to your RV consider buying a dog flea collar (or a few), cutting them, and placing them around your RV, the flea collar serves as an excellent repellent. Before you get ready for your trip be sure you have your basic necessities for cooking, cleaning and having a good time. We hope these tips can help you and make it easier for you to get on the road and enjoy your spring and summertime travels.


Vehicle Wash Options in NOVA

We are often asked about options for car washes around the Lorton and Northern Virginia area. For customers interested in long term storage we recommend washing and getting a nice coat of wax on the vehicle before outdoor storage. For customers regularly using their vehicles, regular washing and cleaning can maintain the vehicle’s value. Winter is finally coming to an end and spring is right a right the corner, time to give your vehicle a good old carwash and an interior cleaning!

There are so many carwashes in the area, allowing various options there are drive-thru washes, full service washes, or how about a good old hand wash?! Deciding where to get your car washed can be hard, you want to spend your hard earned dollars on something that’s worth the money and will have your vehicle looking new! Some things that you might keep in mind when looking for a car wash: what types of services do they offer? Do they give discounts/promotions? Are they located close to me? How would their current customers rate their services? Will your money be well spent? Fortunately with some research it’s easy to find which car wash would be best for you.

One of the car washes I’ve researched is Embassy Car Wash with 5 locations throughout the Northern Virginia area. The car wash offers a basic car wash to a platinum car wash (their best wash) for a range of different range of prices to fit your budget. You can also add on extras such as tire shine, Rain-X, or a car scent for an additional cost. Embassy car wash also offers “pre-paid” washes allowing you to pay a certain flat rate for a fixed number of washes. They have coupons you cCarWashan print off their webpage or you can sign up for their monthly deals program where you receive special offers, coupons, and deals directly to your email!

Another major wash in the DMV area is Mr. Wash Car Wash with 4 locations in Virginia and 2 locations in Maryland. This particular car wash offers their basic/regular wash to their “lava wax” car wash ranging from all different prices with certain washes only available at specific locations, which can have its advantages and disadvantages. Mr. Wash also offers a monthly pass program, where you’re billed on the same day every month and you are able to wash your car as many times as you want in that month, you could go once every single day if you truly wanted to. If you choose a regular wash you are able to have add-on’s to your wash for an additional cost (like the car wash previously mentioned).

Champion car wash of Tyson’s Corner / Vienna is hand washing all of their vehicles the old fashioned way. All of their washes consist of an outside hand wash followed by additional service add-on if desired. Although the wash does not offer a monthly pass program it does offer the certain flat rate special for a fixed number of washes. Champion car wash also offers certain promotions on their webpage for their customers to use coupons.

The Lorton Car Wash is right around the corner from our facility, less than one mile from Interstate 95, convenient to Woodbridge, Springfield, Alexandria, Fort Belvoir and more. Lorton Car Wash offers all of the above described amenities including a membership option. Located across from the Shopper’s plaza, it is a 2 minute drive. Customers are welcome to change what they park in the space at our facility, so taking the car in storage out for a wash is as easy as switching the vehicles. They can accommodate many oversized vehicles for a small additional fee. We hope this short overview is helpful to our customer’s looking for a vehicle wash station in the Lorton or Springfield area.