RV Shelters - Protecting
RV shelters are made to protect what may be one of the most expensive items you will ever buy. There are a several different types available. These include purpose-built garages, stand-alone RV carports (called RV ports), portable shelters, and RV shed additions built onto an existing garage or barn. Which one is the best option for you?
If you can afford it, a purpose-built garage or RV barn is ideal. This type of structure offers the most protection and security. It also gives you a place to do service work or repairs without having to be out in the weather. If the temperature in the barn or garage is kept above freezing, you don't have to worry so much about draining your pipes and water tank in the wintertime.
Building the RV barn or garage with one or more car-sized bays will greatly increase the versatility and usefulness of the space. If you tow a boat or runabout vehicle behind your motor home, this gives you a place to store it. The additional car-size garage bays will also make the building more attractive and less out-of-proportion from being so tall and deep.
A pole building design is often used for an RV shelter due to the relatively low cost and ease of construction. Pole buildings do not require a concrete floor, but offer the same security and weather protection as a regular garage. They are usually built with wood posts and steel siding, although with some designs you can use whatever material you like to make it match your home.
RV ports are basically just really tall metal carports that are wide and deep enough to cover a motor home or travel trailer. Some have sides that extend to the ground, and some only have one end open. They can be wide enough to park a car or boat beside a camper or motor home, and if deep enough you can park two cars end-to-end under it. These are one of the least expensive and most popular options.
Portable RV shelters are made of durable fabric stretched over a metal frame. They are useful for storing a motor home, camper or boat during the winter, and can be moved more easily than an all-metal carport because the fabric can be rolled up. Generally speaking, they are a little less expensive than a metal cover, but the fabric cover (which is replaceable) will not last as long as metal. You also have to be aware of nearby trees that could lose a branch and poke a hole in the fabric.
If you already have a 1-1/2 or two story garage or barn, you may be able to easily add an RV shed on one side. Adding an RV shed to a single story garage will be more challenging, but it can be done. It will be better to add a shed to an existing garage than to build a separate detached oversize garage. It will be less expensive, too. If you don't enclose it and you build it yourself, the cost can rival that of the RV port.
Of all the options, if you can afford a purpose-built RV Garage or barn, that is the way to go. RV ports however, are the most popular type of shelters due to the relatively low cost and ease of assembly. They can easily be built in a day, and cost far less than a completely enclosed structure.
Portable RV shelters offer, ummm, portability that none of the others have. Adding a shed to an existing garage is a smart way to go, if that is an option. No matter what type of RV shelter you choose, it is smart to protect what may be one of the largest purchases you will ever make.
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