A Complete Guide to RV Garages & Car Port Canopies

Contributor

Tucker Ballister

Favorite Trip

5 Months Solo on the Road

Home Base

Hendersonville, NC

Favorite RV

2008 Fleetwood Bounder

About Contributor

Tucker Ballister is our Content Strategist. He’s a lover of the open road and the proud owner of a 2021 Sunlite Classic travel trailer (his 3rd RV to date). Check out more of his RV adventures, gear reviews, and outdoor advice at thebackpackguide.com.

Parking your RV at home is one of many methods for storing your RV, but it comes with a host of overlooked benefits. It allows you to keep a closer eye on your camper during the offseason and makes it easy to winterize or dewinterize throughout the colder months if you want to travel south. And that’s just the start. 

While we’ve covered the importance of using an RV cover, RV garages and carport canopies take things a step further for home storage. You’ll have a covered storage area for your RV to reduce the impacts of rain, snow, and falling debris during windstorms, among other potential environmental factors.

Those who want to create a covered storage area for their RV have two main options: building a permanent structure or using a DIY kit to build a portable RV shelter.

RV Garages and Carport Canopies from Camping World

Before you take the route of building a customized RV garage, consider these alternatives that can easily be built right out of the box.  

ShelterLogic Arrow Carport 20’

shelterlogic-carport-20-rv-garages-and-car-port-canopies
Photo by Camping World
  • Dimensions: 12’ W x 20’ L x 9’ H 
  • Roof Material: 29-gauge painted galvanized stainless steel
  • Overhang: 12” at the gables

Designed for small campers or short class B motorhomes, this 20-foot RV garage is rated to withstand up to 100 mph winds. It’s also rated for snow loads up to 35 pounds per square foot (PSF). The carport’s 2” x 3” rectangular-tube framing is powder-coated for corrosion resistance. 

This carport canopy comes with slip-fit connections as well as pilot holes and self-tapping screws for easier installation. The added protection of rounded roof eaves helps protect against some sideways rain and falling debris, but the open sides retain easy access to your RV’s storage. 


ShelterLogic Arrow Carport 38’

shelterlogic-carport-38-rv-garages-and-car-port-canopies
Photo by Camping World
  • Dimensions: 14’ W x 38’ L x 14’ H 
  • Roof Material: 29-gauge painted galvanized stainless steel
  • Overhang: 12” at the gables

Boasting the same construction as the smaller version above, the size of the 38’ Arrow Carport better suits larger travel trailers, fifth wheels, and Class A or Class C motorhomes. The peak height measures 16’, but the height up to the center crossbar measures 14’7”. 

The galvanized steel roof canopy provides UV protection and a barrier against falling debris in high winds. Plus, it boasts the same wind and snow load ratings and easy installation as the smaller version. 


ShelterLogic ShelterTube RV Garage 40’

sheltertube-rv-garages-and-car-port-canopies-01-2024
Photo by Camping World
  • Dimensions: 14’ W x 40’ L x 16’ H 
  • Roof Material: 15-gauge industrial-grade, rectangular-tube steel
  • Cover: 100% waterproof, UV-treated, 9-ounce triple-layer fabric

For those looking for a DIY RV garage with sides for more complete weather protection, this ShelterTube can fit RVs up to roughly 38’ if you want to allow extra space for the zippered closures on either end. Those closures have a tall enough opening height to allow you to drive in without removing them. 

The powder-coated frame is corrosion-resistant, and ShelterLogic treats the carport canopy with fade blockers, anti-aging, and anti-fungal agents. With slip-fit connections, pilot holes, and self-tapping screws, setting this RV garage up is an easy task for most handy DIYers.


How Tall Are RV Garage Doors?

Keystone Cougar Sport pulling out of rv garage
Photo by Camping World

Most owners who want to store their RV inside will customize their garage to fit the dimensions of their recreational vehicle.

The standard residential garage door is seven feet tall. There are only a few RVs – like the Coleman Rubicon 1200RK and 1400BH – that can fit through a standard residential garage door opening to be stored out of the elements.

However, most RV garage doors will be anywhere from nine to 12 feet tall, or sometimes higher. 

What Size Garage Do I Need for An RV?

Class A Motorhome in RV Garage
Photo by Camping World

The required dimensions of your RV garage are larger than your RV, factoring in length, width, and height. Most RVs fit inside a garage with 12-foot ceilings, but you should choose based on the overall height of your unit, including any roof-mounted A/C units. 

Here’s a list of average RV heights by type. Remember to check your owner’s manual or contact your RV’s manufacturer to know the precise height of your unit (which you should know to avoid roads with height restrictions anyway!). 

RV TypeAverage Height
Travel Trailer10-12’
Fifth Wheel11-13’
Class A 12-14’
Class B7-10’
Class C10-12’

When deciding the ideal height for your RV garage or car port canopy, allow plenty of clearance between the top of your RV and the underside of the garage’s roof. A clearance of 1-2 feet should be enough. 

Additionally, consider whether you’ll need access to any exterior storage compartments while your RV is in the garage. If you build an RV garage with sides, but it’s too narrow, you won’t have storage access once you park inside. Most RVs are 7-8.5 feet wide, but the extra clearance you’ll need will depend on the size and style of your storage compartment doors.

What Is the Ceiling Height of An RV Garage?

Example of RV garage height measurements
Photo by Camping World

When discussing the ceiling height of an RV garage, we need to differentiate between peak height, eave height, and the height of any crossbars or joists used for structural support.

Peak height is the measurement from the ground to the tallest peak in the garage – usually at the center in A-frame designs like we’ve highlighted above.

Eave height is the measurement from the ground to where the roof framing meets the garage’s vertical supports.

Crossbar/Joist height is the measurement from the ground to the lowest part of any crossbars or joists used for the roof’s structural support.

So what’s the most important height to keep in mind? The easy answer is the lowest height, but it’s smart to take measurements of your RV before choosing a DIY garage or carport canopy. 

For example, your RV’s height with the A/C unit may be 13’6”, but the height from the ground to the top of the roof at its edges will likely be 8-12 inches shorter, depending on the size of your A/C unit. 

The height with the A/C unit must be less than the peak height, and the height at the roof edges must be less than the eave height – and both must be less than the height of any structural crossbars or joists. 

Can You Live In a Camper In a Garage?

can you live in rv garages with a thor chateau motorhome
Photo by Camping World

You can live in a camper in a garage, provided appliances like your furnace, water heater, cooktop, air conditioner, and generator have proper ventilation. With the two car canopies above that have open sides, ventilation for these appliances shouldn’t be an issue. 

However, with a fully enclosed RV garage, the dangers of using the aforementioned appliances without proper ventilation should dissuade you from living in a camper, even in a short-term situation. 

Designing an RV Garage with Living Quarters?

If you want to build your own RV garage, it can be helpful to look at what others have done for inspiration. So we’ve collected these inspirational photos and floorplan designs to help guide your dream RV garage design: 


RV garages and car port canopies are the best way to provide added protection from the elements. Your RV cover is your first step, but a more permanent covered storage area will keep your RV’s exterior in the best shape possible for years to come.

Do you need an RV garage or carport canopy for covered RV storage? Let us know what you’re looking for so we can point you in the right direction. 

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