Are RV Carports Worth It?

Are RV Carports Worth It

Good RV storage options are increasingly challenging to find. If you’re an RV weekend warrior, you need to have someplace to park your RV between trips. Storing an RV at your home may not be an option. Commercial RV storage options have challenges as well. I started to wonder if purchasing and installing an RV carport was worth it. I did some research, and here is what I found.

Are RV carports worth it? Yes, investing in an RV carport is worth it. A reasonably priced RV carport can help protect your RV from the elements, and it is also cheaper than commercial RV storage over the life of your RV. It can help the RV hold it’s value if you intend to sell it in the future, and reduce maintenance and repairs on the vehicle. 

Just because it is a good investment, it doesn’t mean that you should run out and buy any random RV carport. There are several items to consider before you purchase one. 

What Is The Point Of An RV Carport

RV carports designs protect your RV from the elements. They are particularly useful if you need to store your RV for more extended periods. Parking your RV under an RV carport can protect your RV or camper from damage caused by rain, ice, or snow, but can also protect against hail and tree limbs. 

In colder climates, you may need the carport’s support to handle the weight of heavy snowfalls. 

If you live in warmer climates and ice and snow are not a significant concern, an RV carport can also protect against the sun’s damaging effects and UV rays. UV rays can destroy tires like I found out the hard way. I detailed my experience in a blog article

While a high-quality RV cover, like this class C cover on Amazon, can provide similar weather protection as an RV carport, RV covers can be challenging to use. They have a shorter useful life, and they provide little protection against heavier objects like hail or tree limbs. It is not an apple to apple comparison. 

Here is a video of an RV Cover review we did for our travel trailer.

How much does it cost to build an RV carport?

Depending on the required size, a quality RV carport can cost $2000 to over $10,000. Most seem to fall in the $3500 range. The price is affected by:

  • Installation: DIY vs. professional
  • Size: smaller is generally cheaper
  • Options: Walls, doors, garage doors, windows, or other features will add cost
  • Building materials: Typically wood vs. metal 
  • Flooring: Dirt, gravel, or concrete pad

If you want professional installation or want to explore options like walls and garage doors, look for a quality online retailer. If you are looking to build a fully enclosed RV carport, with walls, doors, and automatic garage doors, the cost will start to approach $10,000. 

To keep the cost down, installing the carport yourself may be an option. If that is something you would consider, maybe this 29 foot RV carport on Amazon may be an excellent option for you. If you don’t need one that tall, this 29-footer on Amazon is fantastic for tow vehicles and ATVs.  

While some of these costs sound like a lot, consider the other items you will no longer have to pay. If you can even find it, covered concrete pad storage can cost $145 per month. Over just 24 months, that is about the same cost as purchasing your own $3500 RV carport. Hopefully, you’re going to have your RV for much longer than that, making the carport a good investment. 

Additionally, offsite storage can be inconvenient to access when you want.  It also runs the risk of damage caused by other vehicles crammed too close to your RV. 

How wide should an RV carport be?

Generally, you want your carport to be at least 12-feet wide and slightly longer than your RV is. This should give you enough room on the side to comfortably park your RV. There should be plenty of room to move around it and access storage compartments at this size. 

If you have slide-outs, you may want to consider a carport as wide as 18-feet. That would give plenty of room for slideouts and potentially room for a tow vehicle or extra storage. 

If you’re going to invest in an RV carport, don’t skimp at this point. You’ll be glad for the extra coverage for just the little more it will cost you. 

Conclusion

Buyers often fail to consider the added cost of RV storage when they make their purchase. It is a real and meaningful cost in the RV lifestyle and shouldn’t be overlooked. 

If storing your RV at home isn’t an option for any number of reasons, keeping your RV at a commercial storage facility is a decent alternative. Like renting anything, you’ll pay more over time and might be better off purchasing a permanent storage option. 

Here are some tips to consider when deciding if RV carports are worth it,

  • Make sure you have a location for an RV carport. If you can’t store your RV at your home, it is unlikely that you’ll be able to put an RV carport there. 
  • Cost matters, but make sure you compare the purchase cost to the cost of renting a storage space over an appropriate timeframe. 
  • When deciding on the size RV carport size you want, error on the side of too big, this gives you added flexibility to use the structure for other activities and getting more value out of it. 
  • Make sure to investigate DIY and professional options. DIY may be cheaper but professional installation my be faster and better quality. 

Hopefully, this information helped in your own research on RV carports. 


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    Featured image: “Colorado Steel Carport” by SteelMaster Buildings. Used Via CC BY-SA 4.0

    Andy Beckman

    Andy and his wife Niki had their twins Adilynn and Archer, in 2014. By 2017 the whole family was camping. It is a great way to unplug from the daily grind and focus on what it means to be a family. They started a YouTube channel in early 2020 and enjoyed creating content that new RVers find useful.

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