RV Carports: Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know and a Few Things You Never Knew to Ask
RVing is a uniquely American past time (although its appeal is spreading across the U.K. and a few European countries). To make it possible, many families invest heavily in either a large motor-home or a travel trailer that’s towed by a truck or SUV. In both cases, their purchases may be as high as many tens of thousands of dollars, or even over one hundred thousand dollars. Logically, then, smart American RVers want to protect those valuable vehicles as best they can. That’s why so many people are now turning to prefabricated RV carports to make this possible.
Because they’re inexpensive, functional buildings that are quick and simple to install and use. If all you need to do is keep your RV dry and snow-free, a prefabricated RV carport is a great choice.
What is an RV carport?
An RV carport is basically a garage without walls: a covered structure used to provide limited protection for large vehicles (or other valuable equipment,) from rain and snow. Unlike a smaller carport, which can either be free standing or attached to a wall, RV carport are always freestanding and permanently anchored to the ground.
Unlike a garage or shed, an RV carport doesn’t have four walls. On some designs, they will have one or two, but others are designed almost like a pole barn with just a roof and supporting stilts or struts. Because of this key design feature, RV carports offer less protection than garages but allow for better ventilation. As a result, a vehicle stored in a carport won’t likely develop frost on the windshield. And, if you need to work on a vehicle using chemicals with potentially dangerous fumes, an RV carport won’t require the same artificial ventilation a garage or barn might.
The history of the RV carport
Unlike many other prefab buildings you may consider, the RV carport is a relatively new invention. The recreational vehicle itself has really only been in existence for the last century or so, and early versions were nowhere near as fancy and expensive as what’s available now. So, if your trailer got some rain or snow on it, it wasn’t really a big deal.
These days, however, considering the high cost of RVs, investing a small sum to protect that expensive piece of equipment only makes sense.
Why do you need an RV carport?
Here’s what an RV carport will do for your RV:
- It provides protection from water.
- Water damage can be devastating. As your RV sits there, sometimes for months on end, water can wreak havoc on numerous systems. Snow is even worse because water expands when it freezes, and when the spring thaw comes, it can create an even bigger mess.
- It provides protection from damaging UV rays.
- UV rays will deteriorate plastic. At the same time, rubber, latex and calking can dry out and deteriorate in the sun. Fiberglass will oxidize causing your exterior to fade. All of this can be traced back to UV damage. The sun, shining through a window and into the RV, can also fade your furniture. A carport protects your RV from damage due to heat buildup, as they keep the RV cool.
- It keeps the RV clean.
- Parking your RV under an RV carport will go a long way toward keeping it free from dust, leaves, bird droppings, and anything else that might land nearby.
Basically, if you own any vehicles large enough to be impractical in a garage or barn, and you don’t have another option readily available for keeping it protected from the worst of the elements, then you need an RV carport.
On the other hand, if your chief concern is security, an RV carport isn’t the best choice. Since it’s not enclosed, there’s no way to protect your RV from theft or vandalism. Likewise, if you need to make sure what you’re storing is completely out of the weather, including temperature and humidity extremes, an RV carport won’t accomplish that for you. You may want to consider a large barn or garage instead.
What are the different kinds of RV carports available?
The basic RV carport design categories can be broken down as follows:
These two styles are very similar in appearance, and, really, the only difference is the orientation of the roof material: the vertical style does a better job shedding snow and ice as needed. Both styles are available in multiple sizes and colors.
To see all the different variations available in prefabricated RV carports, view our catalog!
How to choose the right RV carport
Choosing the right RV carport comes down to understanding what you want and need out of a prefabricated shelter or building. As noted above, if you’re just looking to protect your RV from the worst of the rain and snow, any RV carport will do that for you. You just need to determine what size you need, then consider color, style, and materials based on your preferences.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for a permanent shelter that’s able to provide complete protection from the elements and security for your RV, what you’re describing is a large storage shed, barn, or garage. No matter what options you choose among RV carports, you’re never going to find one that offers what you’re looking for.
Should you order a DIY RV carport kit or hire a professional?
While it is possible to save a little money ordering a do-it-yourself RV carport kit off of Amazon and having it shipped to your house, we’ve found that a lot of homeowners underestimate the labor required to properly construct a quality RV carport. Additionally, the cost of shipping is probably going to be substantial, since the kit you receive is going to be very heavy.
In our professional opinion, your best option is to let a team of professionals handle delivery and installation of your new RV carport for you. And, that’s not just because CarportUS offers some of the best installation services in the nation, absolutely FREE with your purchase of any RV carport. It’s also because we’ve been to many properties over the years where the owners have gotten a DIY kit partially erected before throwing in the towel and calling for help. Or, they’ve completed a DIY kit, but then needed to call us in to install the replacement that they had to buy when their “project RV carport” collapsed.
To get a high-quality RV carport on your property that’s going to stand the test of time and function well for the price, you should really have a professional install it for you.
What to look for in an RV carport provider
The most important factor you’ll want to consider when searching for an RV carport provider is experience.
And, that’s not just a matter of how many years a given contractor has been putting up RV carports. Years of general experience is important, but experience with the particular RV carport kits and materials you’ve selected is even more important to ensuring the success of a project.
If you hire an installer who’s put up a hundred RV carports, but hand him a design or set of materials he’s never worked with before, he only has a slight advantage over your mailman or hairdresser when it comes to constructing that RV carport. There’s bound to be a lot of trial and error and he’s not going to be as fast or efficient as usual.
On the other hand, a contractor who’s put up a hundred RV carports identical to the one you’ve ordered is going to be able to hit the ground running and not look back. You’ll have the best quality construction in the quickest turnaround time, and that means the highest customer satisfaction rating possible.
What makes CarportUS.com RV Carport kits the best in the business?
CarportUS.com may be a relatively new website, but the professionals behind it have decades of experience selling, installing, and maintaining steel storage buildings across the country. That’s why you can be confident that any RV Carport you purchase from CarportUS.com is going to be the very highest quality, delivered safely and securely, and installed by experts with loads of experience.
Our RV carports are rated to withstand winds up to 140 mph, and snow load up to 35 pounds per square foot. Additional leg bracing, upgraded anchors, and other optional enhancements can extend that level of stability even further.
14 gauge galvanized steel framing with 29 gauge metal roofing is standard on all our RV carports. All base units include double base-rails, 14’ double legs spaced 5’ on center or less, as well as center and leg bracing for added strength and stability. Concrete or mobile home/ground anchors included.
Our RV carports are available in sizes ranging from 6′ to 16′ high, and from 21′ to 51′ long. They range from single- to triple-width, or from 18′ to 30′ wide.
Both boxed eave and vertical roof styles are available on our RV carports, but standard roof styles are not available.
If you find an RV carport in our catalog that you like, we’d be honored to deliver and install it ourselves at no extra charge. We’ve put up hundreds of RV carports all over the east coast, and we’re highly experienced with every kit we sell. Contact us to discuss your options is you have any questions at all.