Rich&Sylvia

RV garage structure planning help needed

41 posts in this topic

I'm hoping for helpful tips on what to plan for and/or what to avoid in building an RV garage. (in the desert - no snow)

The RV garage size should be big enough to accommodate a small class A motorhome, one vehicle and a small tractor at a minimum.

This is strictly a shelter - no electricity.

I'd like to keep it under $20K

 

What size building recommended?

Gravel floor okay?

Steel or aluminum or ?

Venting?

Windows - more, less, good, bad?

Gutters?

Have you had one?

 

Something like this is what I hope for:

big-rv-garage.jpg

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think that I'd want dirt or gravel floor as both will need maintenance in time due to compression from driving in and out. The one in the picture also needs to be modified so that your door is wide enough for both vehicles to use it. You probably don't need as much structural as we have but do consider wind loads as that can happen even if you don't experience snow. I'd talk to several different dealers around to see what they have to offer and the sort of warranty that each one has.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Insulated and whatever needs to be done to handle desert heat, concrete floor, and as big as you can possibly build because you will never have enough room. Make door opening/rafter height at least 14 high. I highly recommend a drive through arrangement with doors on both ends, makes it much easier to go in and out as well as open it up for air flow when working inside. Most everything else depends on building code and needs for your location.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Consider calculating the roof for solar panels. Might be a good addition in the future. Without having power in there then it really wont be a workshop. I have a 3000SF metal building as my shop and the plan is to build one around 8-10000SF to do what you are considering but also to have a loft apartment, so we can spread out a bit when we come "home". I have lots of tools and equipment, and want to be able to still use them as long as I can.

Solar could work well to provide lighting and convenience power but a generator or line power might be necessary for other functions, tools and equipment for instance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd strongly urge you to put power into it. It is basically of little value without power. Poer is not all that expensive to run if you have power on the lot. Now, if you are off-grid that is a different story.

 

You will want a concrete pad. You will regret it if you do not do that. IMO. Yes, it will add expense, but it will be worth it for cleanliness, and the ability to work off the floor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's going to be tough to keep it under 20K unless you go really small.I just added 40x40 to my 40x60 and the add on was 32K for the building, the permit, the concrete and putting it up.

 

As suggested go as big as you can, you never have enough room. 14' tall door is a must, 12' wide makes getting things in and out a lot easier. I would definitely add electrical and concrete floors. I would go with a good pitch on the roof and standing seam for future solar. The standard 1 in 12 only gives you a 5* slant for panels. I would insulate as well or you will be in an oven during the summer and an icebox in the winter in the desert. The lowest I have seen inside my building is 40* in the high desert of California.I have 4" of insulation in the roof and walls with insulated sectional doors. I wouldn't install roll up doors they make a lot of noise in the wind.

 

post-31377-0-14450400-1483432089_thumb.jpg

 

Edited by Double-Trouble

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Instead of 1 large door, think of putting in 2 doors in the front. Helps to eleminate needing to jockey vehicles to get them in or out. That means putting the man door on the side of the building. Also making the RV stall a drive through is a very good idea. Eve's should be at least 16 feet so your doors can be 14 feet tall. I do think your budget figure is low though, even for Pole construction.

Oh, I would also figure out what size I think would work well and then add 25% to it.

 

Joe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Power or at least enough solar to charge batteries. If there are facilities close I would add a dump pipe. Our attached garage is a little over 2000 sq ft and tall enough for our rig. We use the dump set up often and keep our RV plugged in to keep the batteries charged. It also has water which we also use frequently. I also use it as a shop so it is heated and cooled which is nice but it is not as big as I would like. My suggestion is to build bigger than you think you need and at least plan for power, water and dump. An evaporative cooler is an inexpensive way to add some cooling in the desert until it gets real hot. We had a get by building for awhile with a road base floor. It protected the rig but offered only limited use for anything else but it was cheap. The road base was compacted and it held up well. A building with large 14' doors would easily facilitate pouring concrete later if that was planned for initially.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Get at least a 12' wide door 14' high. We had a 10' wide and had to climb on a ladder every time to loosen the mirrors on the motorhome and only had 3" to 4" each side at the side toppers. We replaced with a 12' wide door the widest that we could with our building size 16'x50'.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Go as high as you can as you never know what you may own in the future, same with the doors ,the bigger the better.

A concrete floor is also a must as you can use jacks on it with no problems and if you have access to power hook it up it is no fun working in a shed by hurricane lamp.

 

If you put gutters on you can direct the run off in to a tank , it also stops the water from undermining your frame footings.

 

over here you will often see sheds with whirlybird ventilators on the roof to get rid of hot air, they seem to work quite well.

 

mick

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I added a 42x14 stall on the end of my existing building for 6K including a 6in floor.

 

Denny

post-3603-0-34902800-1483564748_thumb.jpg

post-3603-0-81342100-1483564767_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I added a 42x14 stall on the end of my existing building for 6K including a 6in floor.

 

Denny

WOW, really? You must have done the work yourself.....that is a good price.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I added a 42x14 stall on the end of my existing building for 6K including a 6in floor.

 

Denny

Is a 6 inch floor really necessary? Or just a wide safety margin over a 4 inch floor?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

4" floor under an RV is NOT recommended. I dont use 4" for much of anything except patios. 6" is good value for what you are doing. Just the thermal expansion seen without any weight will cause 4" to crack at times. And for a bit of an upcharge, go with 2500-3000PSI concrete. Its takes the same amount of work to do all of it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use 5.5 to 6" concrete with rebar. Depending on the soil I also prefer to pour over road base. Labor is a big part of the expense and a little deeper pour only adds a little. I think it is worth it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

WOW, really? You must have done the work yourself.....that is a good price.

We did all the work ourselves including the concrete, the floor has rebar two foot on center with a little extra where the trailer tires set and thicker concrete. The steel on the back wall is material I took off the end wall of the existing building. I got a good deal on a whole bundle of 2 x 6 x 14 boards that I bought at a lumber yard auction so that saved a lot of $. I wish I could have made it wider but we were to close to the property line.

 

We only use it for 4 mounths a year in the summer when we are there but all winter the whole building is used for boat storage.

 

Denny

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a 60'x40'x14' pole barn built. It has a 20'x14' sliding door on one side of the 40' front, a walk-in door beside the sliding door. If you install overhead doors, make sure you allow for its required clearances.

It has a 4" concrete-fiber floor with rebar and wire reinforcement. Yes it has some small spider cracks, If anyone tells you they can pour a concrete floor that will never crack,watch for their nose to grow; just ask any professional concrete pouring company. Rebar and wire will not stop spiderweb cracks, it will prevent the cracks from widening or creating an unlevel surface.

I do wish I would have placed a moisture barrier atop the gravel-bed then poured the concrete. Without the barrier my concrete floor shows moisture when temps go from cold to warm quickly, but you shouldn't have that problem where you live.

I didn't install a remote door opener, just because I'm cheap and manually sliding the door may be accomplished with one finger once it is moving.

I'm planning to install a chain-operated vent in the back gable-end for ventilation. When the big door is open, the vent and door should provide all the air movement I require to make it comfortable for working inside.

I park our MH on the side with the sliding door, the other side is for my "stuff"; including my 1932 Chevrolet, my pickup and workshop. I build a 20'x20' loft above that side of the building 8' above the floor for storage.

I used to have pics of everything about the garage, but lost them when my previous computer died.

This website may give you some ideas to include in your final building plans: https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/extension-aben/buildingplans/

Edited by RayIN

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, good food for thought here. I had not thought of provisions for solar and like that idea. 6-inch slab instead of 4-inch is good. Interior clearances and door types - all will be given considerations.

Electric; I was thinking of using a generator. The local power company will require too much modernization (Big $$$) if I run lines out to the garage.

I may have to add the concrete slab sometime after the building is up. I'm not sure it that is a practical idea.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I may have to add the concrete slab sometime after the building is up. I'm not sure it that is a practical idea.

 

For what it is worth, a friend replaced his driveway and he decided that since the new drive was going to be colored and stamped he wanted the colored cement carried into his garage. The contractor doubled the price per square foot for the garage since the cement had to wheeled in manually so there was a lot of added labor. It will likely be more cost effective if you pour the slab first.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know what desert you are in so I can only comment here in Southern Arizona. You won't get more than a slightly oversize double car garage for $20K. When I was checking into it for my 5th wheel, the best structure I came up with was an all steel building at 40x40 that cost about $42K not including permits and inspections. That quote included a 14' door, a 10' door and a man door on the side as well as two skylights for light. No utilites at all and a 6 inch concrete floor. A quonset hut type will be the cheapest, but you lose a lot of room with the rounded sides and you need to assemble it yourself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sometimes you can rent a portable man lift that you can use as a lifting device. I did that when I built my garage. Something like this is what I am thinking: https://www.google.com/search?q=towable+man+lift&biw=1600&bih=767&site=webhp&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&sqi=2&ved=0ahUKEwi0loCJ57LRAhUJ9YMKHb6QCL0Q_AUIBygC I can't get a picture to paste on here.......

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For what it is worth, when I build my setup I'm going to want clear span and not trusses....so the steel buildings look very good for that. It will add some cost, but you have nothing up in the rafters to interfere with things. And I'd want full insulation as well. Otherwise it can be pretty miserable in all but ideal weather.

 

Cost, of course, is always a factor. But building something that really does not work for you is always disappointing, and costs more to fix later.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Insulating a steel building is a problem. The spray on insulation seems to be much superior to other methods but is pricey. I am wondering how others approach this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now