An RV is a big investment, and that means you’ll want to protect it when you’re not using it. An RV carport is a great way to keep your RV safe during the off season or when it is parked at your home. That said, many people have questions and concerns about ordering a carport to protect their vehicle. Find answers to many common questions here - or contact us today to ask us more!

Why Should I get an RV Carport?

RVs and trailers are great at getting you, your loved ones and your belongings from place to place in comfort. But even though some of them are veritable houses on wheels, they aren’t nearly as durable as dedicated outdoor structures. RVs are vulnerable to leaks and damage over time, and the best way to protect them is to put them under a shelter.

RV carports are designed to protect large recreational vehicles as effectively as possible. They keep precipitation like rain, snow and sleet from settling on the roof or getting into seals and vents. They keep debris like leaves and branches off as well, and protect the vehicle’s paint and bodywork from sun exposure.

Plus, an RV carport can also be a good way to provide additional shelter for anyone using your RV. They can easily be built large enough to accommodate pop-outs and can be wired for electrical hookups. This can effectively make your RV into a guest home for visitors.

How Tall and Wide Does an RV Shelter Need to Be?

One of the most common questions we’re asked about our RV shelters is what dimensions are necessary to ensure your vehicle fits comfortably inside. Obviously this question depends on the size of your RV or trailer, but there are some general rules to follow.

In general, most RVs in the United States are 13.5 feet tall (the maximum allowed height for a private vehicle) and are 8.5 feet wide (the maximum allowed width). Thus, a shelter that is at least 14 feet tall in the center and at least 9 feet wide will fit your vehicle inside.

However, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, the quoted heights for shelters are the heights of the legs on each side, not the clear center span. If you order a shelter with an arched opening - i.e. without a gabled end - the leg height can be 12 feet rather than 14.

Second, extra width allows you to move around underneath the shelter comfortably and makes parking easier as well. For an RV that is 8.5 feet wide, we recommend a shelter at least 12 feet wide so you have room to open doors and luggage compartments while parked under the shelter. Of course wider structures can also allow you to operate pop-outs or to park multiple RVs under the same shelter.

What Kind of Foundation Should I Build On?

RV shelters are versatile structures and can be built on almost any level surface, including dirt, asphalt, concrete, gravel and grass. We also use appropriate anchors for each surface so you can be sure your carport will stand strong for many years.

That said, some surfaces do have advantages over others when it comes to keeping your RV in good condition. If you park your RV on dirt, grass or gravel for long periods, your RV will be more susceptible to moisture and tire rot. These surfaces also erode over time which can lead to difficulty parking your RV down the line. If you do choose to install your RV shelter over dirt or gravel rather than a hard surface, ensure the ground is well-drained and firm enough to support the weight of your vehicle for long periods.

It’s also important to note that, regardless of what kind of surface your carport is on, it does need to be level. The structural stability of an RV shelter depends on level ground. If your building site has a slope of more than 4” in any direction, you’ll need to take additional time to level it before your shelter can be installed. Any greater slope could cause major structural problems with your RV shelter or even make it impossible to install.

Can I Put Sides and Doors On My RV Carport?

For the highest level of protection, nothing can beat a fully enclosed steel shelter with sides and garage doors. If you truly want to keep your RV safe for long periods, you can design your custom shelter with side panels and enclosed ends, as well as a door big enough to fit your vehicle inside with ease.

Can RV Shelters be Certified?

Unlike most RV shelter manufacturers, we offer certified models of all our standard RV carport sizes for both 12 foot and 14 foot sides. That means you have the flexibility to build the shelter you need for your RV with the added peace of mind and durability that engineer certification brings.

If you have any other questions about getting an RV shelter for your vehicle or trailer, contact us today at Bargain Barns USA. We provide carports and shelters of all sizes in 25 states, and we would be happy to talk with you about your needs. Call us today at 405-872-0338, or write to us on Facebook anytime!