Tips for Building An RV Garage
Is your garage running out of space? When you made the decision to get an RV, you may not have thought about where you’d store it when not in use. Instead, your mind was probably focused on all the possibilities, like the luxury of a home-on-wheels wherever you travel. But now you really need some extra space. With an RV garage, that wish can be granted.
What Is an RV Garage?
An RV garage is exactly what it sounds like: a garage, often taller and wider than a regular one, used to store an RV or motorhome. You may not be the type to drive your RV all year long, but parking it on the street is a huge space hog. You’re also probably concerned someone may accidentally hit it.
Why an RV Garage?
As mentioned, you don’t want to park your RV on the street, where it’s at risk of being damaged by other cars. It can also be a target for break-ins since RVs are generally considered luxury vehicles. You want to avoid exposing your vehicle to the elements like rain or snow. After all, you likely invested a good amount of money, so you want the RV to work optimally for years to come. For all these reasons and more, an RV garage is a great idea.
Before you begin looking around online for construction companies that can erect a garage, why not try the DIY route? You may be surprised to discover you can build your own RV garage. If you keep the design simple and functional, you’ll find this project is quite doable. Interested? Here are five tips to get you started. If you are looking for DIY garage floor coating tips, look no further!
1. Begin with a Plan
If you’re having a tough time envisioning what your finished RV garage will look like, don’t stress. The Garage Plan Shop has pages upon pages of plans of all sorts of RV garages for perusal. While these aren’t free to download, the plans are quite detailed, including dimensions, materials needed and more. You can even alter the plan if it’s almost perfect but just needs a few tweaks.
2. RV Garages Come in Many Forms (But Are Typically One Standard Size)
If you search around online for an RV garage, you’ll see all kinds. Detached garages are separate structures that aren’t part of a house. Attached garages, on the other hand, are next to the house or the first garage. Loft garages usually have overhead storage, may look more like a shack than a garage and can be built a considerable distance from the home.
No matter which type of RV garage works best for your home, all have their benefits. However, regardless of design, every garage should generally be about the same size. According to Randy Boerstler at The Fun Times Guide to Homebuilding & Remodeling, “the standard height of an RV garage door is 12 to 15 feet.”
Whirlwind Steel in Houston, Texas confirms those measurements. “Most RVs are 55 feet long and eight feet wide, not including those huge 16-inch mirrors on the sides. The average height of an RV is 10 feet plus the satellite dish, air conditioning units, ladders, and other accoutrements.”
When it comes to planning the garage space, Whirlwind says DIYers should keep in mind the “aisle width and access [of the garage], site slope, shielding and potential for dump stations, wash bays, and electrical outlets. If your site has a slope of more than one percent, it is unlikely you can build a garage-type storage space with a tight fitting door,” they say. Click here to check out amazing garage before and after's for inspiration!
3. Get an Automatic Door
Speaking of doors, just what kind should you choose for your RV garage? Pulling a manual door open and closed to access the garage each time is intensive and clunky, not to mention potentially painful. The blogger at Pleasurable Hobbies suggests an automatic door.
“With this being such a large space, an automatic door…ensures that you have enough room to back in safely, even on a slight incline. Once inside, the roof ventilation doors can be opened.”
4. Don’t Forget Lights
If you plan on using your garage at night or on overcast days, you’ll need some lights in there. The Pleasurable Hobbies blogger recommends investing in LEDs since these are “brighter and last longer. It is a good idea to install this type of lighting in your RV garage so you do not have to climb ladders to change burned out bulbs. Most LED bulbs can last up to 10 years,” she says.
5. Never be Afraid to Call in the Pros
Of course, if you’re feeling overwhelmed with this DIY project, you have other options. You can always pick an RV garage plan and then call a professional construction team to erect the garage for you. You can also purchase pre-built garages online or in a home improvement store. These are designed to be portable and may be made out of steel or metal poles with fabric covering that is often waterproof. These garages must be tied and staked into the ground.
Overall, while building your own RV garage is a huge undertaking, it allows you to choose every facet of the design. Of course, you may also be interested in pre-built models. Whichever you choose, having a garage to store your RV will keep this vehicle road-ready for years to come.