Pending RV Ban Leaves Owners with No Place to Go

Jay Beeler

An ordinance proposed by the Long Beach City Council that’s pending before the California Coastal Commission would put 2,458 recreational vehicle (RV) owners in a bind according to research commissioned by Don Temple Storage in Long Beach.

Long Beach-based Beeler & Associates conducted a study on behalf of Don Temple Storage and determined there are only 3,220 spots available for the 5,678 RV households in both the 908XX and 907XX ZIP code areas, which contain 12 RV storage facilities available to the public.

That study demonstrated that all 12 facilities are at or near capacity, despite a claim by one council member, who said that the city of Carson “has lots of availability” and encouraged residents to contact her office for a list, which was never produced after multiple requests.

Sumer Temple, owner at Don Temple Storage, said that “While I see the need for a consistent RV street parking ordinance I also have to ask what comes next? We are almost at full capacity citywide on RV and boat spaces. I’m asking the city council to think to the next step after the ordinance is passed, because the lack of spaces available is only going to get worse.”

She noted that high land values make it unfeasible for private investors to build more RV storage facilities and get a return on their investment, adding that the city does own land at Long Beach Airport that could be leased to operators for RV storage purposes, which would help to alleviate the problem.

Vehicles that exceed 85 inches high, 80 inches wide or 22 feet long would be prohibited from residential street parking under the proposed law. Typically those include RVs and boats with trailers.

Nick Walker, a senior vice president with the CBRE self storage advisory group, stated “When a group of residents or a city official is biased against self storage development, it’s usually because they’re uninformed. Some municipalities continue to see self storage circa 1980.” CBRE Group is the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firm.

There is a trend among cities nationwide to prohibit residential street parking of RVs for aesthetic and safety reasons. Another trend is growing ownership of RVs – as much as 8.5 percent of U.S. households – according to the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association in Renton, Virginia.

Don Temple Storage at 3750 E. Spring St. in Long Beach was the first self-storage facility in the Los Angeles basin, founded in July 1968 through the pioneering efforts of Don Temple, who passed away in March 2013. His daughter, Sumer, is the new owner. Next year the company will be observing its 50th anniversary.

Facts on Local RV
Storage Capacity


On June 13, 2017, Long Beach council members passed a motion to amend current municipal code section 10.24.078 to “prohibit parking of oversized and recreational vehicles on city rights-of-way within residential neighborhoods.” The California Coastal Commission must review and certify the ordinance before the city council approves it.

Vehicles that exceed 85 inches high, 80 inches wide, or 22 feet long would be considered oversized under the law, a change from the current 20-foot-long rule. Typical oversized vehicles include RVs, boats and trailers with equipment on or attached to them.

Councilwoman Suzie Price spearheaded the ordinance, stating “We know that there is RV [parking] availability… Carson has lots of availability right now.” Multiple attempts to get a list of such facilities went unanswered.

In August, Don Temple Storage in Long Beach retained the services of Beeler & Associates (B&A), a Long Beach-based marketing communications firm, to examine the availability of RV storage facilities in the greater Long Beach area. Don Temple Storage was the first self storage facility in the Los Angeles basin, founded in July 1968 and will be observing its 50th anniversary in 2018.

Research on Local Storage

Note: Data provided by 2016 US Census Bureau household statistics in comparison with online commercial data sources for RV households.

US Households:        135,697,926
RV Households:        8.989,425
Percentage:            6.6%

Calif. Households:      14,060,525
Calif. RV Households:   286,686
Percentage:            1.9%

LA Co. Households:     3,520,627
LA Co. RV Households: 38,257
Percentage:            1.1%

LB Households:         176,032
LB RV Households:     2,178
Percentage:            1.2%


In the greater Long Beach area, encompassing ZIP Codes 908XX and 907XX, there are a total of 5,678 RV households. 907XX includes the cities of Carson, Lakewood, Bellflower, Cerritos, Cypress and other communities contiguous to Long Beach.

B&A surveyed RV storage facilities within the above geographic boundary and counted 3,578 storage spaces among the 12 such facilities open to the public. Of those spaces, approximately 10 percent were used for boat and/or boat trailers, leaving 3,220 spots open for RV storage purposes.

Key Finding: Subtracting the 3,220 local spots open for RV storage from the 5,678 local RV households, leaves 2,458 RV owners with no other place to park their vehicle except their own driveway.

Most of the RV spots in the study demonstrated that all 12 facilities were operating at or near capacity. They maintain a long waiting list of interested customers, according to phone interviews.

Self storage trade areas are typically a three-mile ring within a minimum population of 50,000, according to a recent CBRE Self Storage Construction Report. CBRE Group is the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firm.

RVIA Research

In 2011 the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) commissioned the University of Michigan to conduct its eighth national survey of RV owners. Their RV Consumer Demographic Profile revealed:

The typical RV owner is 48-years-old

Their median income is $62,000

39 percent of RV owners had children under 18 living at home

RV owners aged 35-54 posted the largest gains in ownership rates, rising to 11.2 percent in 2011 from 9.0 percent in 2005

Ownership also edged higher among those aged 55 or older, rising to 9.3 percent from 8.6 percent in 2005

RVIA, based in Renton, Virginia, is the national association representing nearly 400 manufacturers and component suppliers producing approximately 98 percent of all RVs made in the United States.


Online news sources report that there is a growing trend among U.S. cities to ban RV parking on residential streets for both aesthetic and safety reasons. Concurrently the number of RV owners nationwide has grown to 8.5 percent of U.S. households, up from 8.0 percent in 2005, according to the RVIA.

Local land values make it unfeasible for private investors to develop more RV storage capacity in consideration of the fact that existing facilities are at or near capacity. A similar condition exists for the rental of storage lockers unless they are multi-level; there is growing demand for these facilities by the younger generation as well.

The Long Beach City Council’s ban of recreational vehicles from residential streets is short-sighted in consideration of the fact that 2,458 RV owners have no alternative to parking other than their own driveway. The City of Long Beach does have the ability to lease some of its own land at Long Beach Airport to address the problem being created by its pending RV ban.

Don Temple Storage encourages the city to think beyond passage of the ordinance in that the problem will only get worse as demand for storage spaces increase.


Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.


Copyright 2020 Beeler & Associates.

All rights reserved. Contents may not be reproduced or transmitted – by any means – without publisher's written permission.