Best RV Shelters: Reviewed and Buying Guide

Last Updated on

Many families settle for Recreational Vehicles for their vacations and trips. RV comes with lots of benefits, the main ones being that they give you the freedom to explore the country and do it on a budget as you eliminate hotel bills. Also, there is some fun that comes in roaming around places where you wouldn’t find hotels.

RVs and motorhomes are usually the second most significant investment made by most RV users. Usually, your home is your most significant investment, the second is your RV, and the next is your car, so naturally, you need to protect it. Recreational vehicles are expensive, so you need to protect your investment from elements and keep maintenance costs down. For this reason, you must invest in an RV shelter for your camper.

Unless you are living in your RV all year round, you will need to park it for the time you are not using it. Parking it outside your home is an option, but a poor one. Just like you need to protect your car from sun, hail, rain, and snow, you need to make sure that your camper is well protected from the elements. The most cost-effective solution is an RV shelter that is sturdy and durable.

RVs are made of many parts that work together. If exposed to rain, water can leak inside, damaging many relevant and expensive parts that will cost you an arm to repair. Water could also cause mold, which can cause health issues.

FACTORS TO CONSIDER BEFORE PURCHASING A MOTORHOME SHELTER

THE SIZE OF YOUR MOTORHOME

It goes without saying that the shelter you choose should be able to house your motor home. What is the size of your camper? RVs come in different classes, based on their sizes:

Class A motorhomes are the largest and most expensive. They can sleep up to 10 people. Class B is a mid-size camper that can sleep a family of five. Class C camper is the smallest and made for two people.Class C campers can easily fit in your home garage, but class A and B motorhomes need a custom shelter due to their large sizes. Before you purchase an RV shelter, take measurements of your trailer and settle for one that can house your camper well.

Carports come in standard widths of between 12 and 40 feet. For reference, if your trailer is 8 feet wide and 35 feet long, a 12 feet wide carport is more than sufficient as long as it can extend to at least 40 feet long to accommodate the RV.

PRIMARY USE OF THE RV SHELTER

What is the primary use of the RV shelter? This is one question that you should be able to answer prior to making your purchase. Are you sheltering your RV from the elements, or are you looking for security? If you are looking for a shelter to protect your camper from harsh external elements, then a shelter with a sturdy frame and a roof will do just fine. However, if you are looking for a shelter to protect your precious RV from intruders, you are better off with a fully enclosed shelter that has locks and sensors.

WHERE ARE YOU INSTALLING THE RV SHELTER?

How much space can you spare for your shelter? You’ll need to have enough level space for the carport cover itself, as well as room for the installation team to access and install it. The size and style should fit the space. If you are living in a rented home, you may not be able to install a permanent shelter; instead, go for the portable type that is easy to dismantle when you move.

Depending on the size and design of the shelter, you may need to hire a contractor to build it for you.  It’s easy to install a small shelter without needing extra labor.

CERTIFICATION FOR INSTALLATION

Depending on where you live, you may have to write to the authorities to get authorization to put up the structure. Many local building regulations also require that the metal carports be certified when installed to ensure they can handle wind and snow without being compromised.

A local inspector will review the building site and building plans and inspect it once done to check if it’s up to code.

THE AREA’S CLIMATE

If you experience extreme weather, you may want to choose an RV shelter that can withstand both extreme cold and hot weather. Does your area get strong winds and heavy snow? These factors will play a significant role in your choice. In severe weather, its recommended you get a fully enclosed shelter that is well anchored on concrete slabs. If you experience a mild climate, a partially enclosed shelter will be great.

STYLE PREFERENCES

Would you like an A-frame, regular, or vertical roof style? What color would you like your motorhome carport to be? What type of custom RV carport would you prefer—agricultural cover, RV cover, or standard? What width and height will you need to shelter your vehicle adequately? Would you like to include a lean-to in your custom metal carport design? Will you be building onto or expanding your carport later on? Would you prefer 12- or 14-gauge steel? There are quite a few customization options to consider when choosing your custom RV carport.

PRICE

It all boils down to your budget. How much are you willing to invest in a quality shelter without breaking the bank. The amount of money you are willing to invest in that project will determine the size, quality, and design of the RV carport.

TYPES OF RV CARPORTS

There are three types of RV shelters – regular roof, vertical roof, and a frame roof. The most common materials used for carports are vinyl and metal.

Vinyl carports are canopies that affix to a steel frame. Metal shelters are of higher quality and made of steel.

REGULAR ROOF

This roof style is the most economical. In the regular style roof carport, the metal sheet ridges run horizontally from end to end. This type of roofing lies flat on top of the frame. It doesn’t hold up well to strong winds and rain. It is best suited for areas that experience mild weather for protecting your vehicles from sunshine and damage from exposure to the sun.

THE VERTICAL ROOF

The panels on the roof run vertically or up and down.  It stays cleaner and lasts longer than panels oriented horizontally. Debris, leaves, and snow easily wash off the roof with rain. Also, snow moves better off the vertical roof system. With the additional steel and trim components used to create the vertical roof, the downside of owning this roof system is that it is quite pricy.

THE BOXED EAVE ROOF

This roof type has the A-Frame appearance of the vertical roof, but the panels run horizontally. Horizontal panels tend to trap leaves and debris on the roof. The roof will not stay as clean as the vertical roof, and the panels will not last as long. This roof type is the most common and is less expensive than the vertical roof system.

A motorhome carport can be turned into a garage easily by just adding walls and doors to the structure. Adding side panels to cover the sides of the carport for increasesprotection from elements and make the structure more secure since it can be locked.

BENEFITS OF PURCHASING AN RV SHELTER

PROTECTION FROM RAIN AND SNOW

Rain, snow, and winds can damage the paint surface. Winds carry tiny particles of dust that erode the polished surface, making it lose its shine. Protecting your RV from the elements slows down the aging process so that you can use your RV for a longer time.

Heavy downpours can cause severe damage. If water gets in the camper, it can cause damage to the delicate parts. If you live in a location where hailstorms and strong windsare common, protecting your RV with a steel constructed carport is recommended.

PRESERVES THE INTERIOR

If you leave your RV in direct sunlight for extended periods, the sunlight will fade and age the interior. Seats, fabrics, and other fixtures are exposed to repeated heating and cooling, which fades them and, at worst, causes damage. This damage can extend to adhesives that come loose, letting water in. If left unattended for long, this damage can be extensive and would need expensive repairs. A shelter protects the vehicle from direct sun, thus preserving the interior look.

SECURITY

Your RV probably costs you a lot of money. It’s a significant investment and, when taken care of, will last for a long time. By acquiring an enclosed RV shelter, you will be able to keep your trailer away from intruders.  Replacing stolen parts can be very expensive, so the best cause of action is to lock it up.

SAVES MONEY ON STORAGE

An RV storage facility is an option for RV owners. However, renting storage space can be expensive. If you have your own space, having a carport can save you an ongoing storage fee.

Best RV Shelters Comparison Table

IMAGE

PRODUCT

DETAILS

SHOP

Highly Portable

Abba Patio 10 x 20 ft Heavy Duty Beige...
Abba Patio 10 x 20 ft Heavy Duty Beige...
  • Highly portable
  • Strong framing made with powder-coated steel

Highly Durable

Arrow 20' x 24' 29-Gauge Metal Carport with...
Arrow 20' x 24' 29-Gauge Metal Carport with...
  • Highly durable
  • All-weather protection

Enclosed Shelter

Duramax Imperial Metal Garage, 12 x 20, Off...
Duramax Imperial Metal Garage, 12 x 20, Off...
  • Heavy-duty frame
  • All-weather shelter

Customizable

ShelterLogic Garage-in-a-Box SUV/Truck...
ShelterLogic Garage-in-a-Box SUV/Truck...
  • Highly customizable
  • Made to withstand all types of bad weather

Easy Installation

No products found.
No products found.
  • Easy to anchor to the ground
  • Rust-resistant framing
No products found.

Protects Small to Large Vehicles

beewert car Port Canopy Gazebo Tent Cover...
beewert car Port Canopy Gazebo Tent Cover...
  • Long-lasting materials
  • Permanent structure

REVIEWS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

CONCLUSION

We’ve come to the end of our guide, and we’re sure that we have provided you with all the important info that you require. Remember, investing in a quality carport for your motorhome is crucial for the protection of your asset. There are many options for people looking to protect their vehicles from the elements to those who want enclosed structures that offer more security.

There is no wrong choice. Regardless of the type of shelter you get, it should be strong and sturdy to withstand high winds and snow for maximum protection, be spacious to house your vehicle. Now that you know more about RV shelters and what they offer, you are sure to find one that suits your needs.