Without fail, customers are always asking Trouper Arnold to describe what he and his family do at Hilltop Storage Solutions. And inevitably, the longtime Justin native struggles to pick a good place to start.
“It’s tough to put a finger on it,” Arnold said with a laugh. “Everyone knows we do RV storage, but we’re also a family that has been here for a long time, and we’re here to help everyone. If someone were to walk in and say their toilet is clogged, I’m calling a plumber to get them taken care of. That’s the way my mom and dad have always been and taught us.”
He added, “We’re just trying to bring something different to the community that everyone needs.”
Anyone who regularly visits Hilltop Storage Solutions will tell you there’s something magical about this place — and it all starts with the people who own it. The Arnolds have been in Justin since the 1970s and, with their store, have carved out an interesting niche as a full-service, family-owned and operated RV and boat storage destination that also doubles as a retail center, grill shop, U-Haul truck rental facility, and anything-else-you-can-think-of solutions specialist.
Need propane? They’ve got it. Looking for 24-7 secure RV storage with indoor and outdoor options? There’s no need to go elsewhere. How about packing tape, dollies, boxes, grill accessories, spices, and smokers? It’s all at Hilltop.
Need something that’s not on their store shelves? Just ask. Someone can probably get it for you.
“Someone said it the other day, ‘It sounds like you have everything here. What is this magical place?’” Arnold said. “It really is. We have so many stories and connections with customers. We have 30 years of pictures all over the walls — some of famous people we’ve met, others of us as a family traveling together in the RV. I could tell you stories for days, and that’s exciting to us. We want to be that place.”
That’s where the mystique of Hilltop Storage Solutions really earns its wings — with relationships.
Trouper’s dad, Trace Arnold, moved to Justin in 1972. He went to Northwest High School in the 80s and cut his teeth in the customer service industry while working for his grandmother at her 200-acre dude ranch “Texas Lil’s”. The ranch quickly became an all-in country experience with concerts, horseback riding, gun shooting, and more.
Parties could be as small as 500 people to as large as 10,000, and rumor has it that Willie Nelson performed there once.
By the time the dude ranch was at its peak, Trace was its lead salesman. Shortly after 9-11 in 2001, Trace took their 80-foot ultimate smoker and grill — which is still the world’s largest of its kind — and traveled the country with his wife, Robin and his kids while working for well-known companies such as Mrs. Baird’s Oroweat Bread, Wright Brand Bacon, Tyson Chicken, and even the History Channel.
“For five months out of the year, we were traveling and staying in RV parks,” Trouper said of the experience. “It’s just what we did. Over time, dad noticed a market for RVs, and he even created blueprints for an RV storage place and had it all scaled out. But it just wasn’t the right time.”
A few more years passed, and in 2018, the Arnolds — Trace, Robin, Trouper and Tanner — pulled the trigger on what is now known as Hilltop Storage Solutions. They only signed up 60 people over the first 12 months, and then COVID-19 hit. But now they’re averaging 6-7 sign-ups a week, and plans are in the works to expand to 360 total spaces and an ever-growing list of services you simply can’t find in the RV storage world.
“It’s a full-service center here with everything you can think of,” Trouper said.
As for the future, Trace and Robin have left that up to their boys. The happily married couple is gearing up to be RVers full-time, and they’ve already passed the Hilltop Storage Solutions torch over to the boys. They’ve always been community-driven, and they want nothing more than to ensure everyone’s trip goes off without a hitch!
“It’s so much more than storage here, and the relationships we’ve built are special,” Trouper said. “We’re planning a family trip to Breckenridge, and we have customers walking up to us saying that they’d be happy to run the place and make sure everything continues to go smoothly while we’re gone. That’s just the way it is around here. It’s a special place.”
817.412.1391 | HilltopStorageSolutions.com | 8356 Thompson Rd. | Northlake, TX 76247
photography by Miranda Longoria photography