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Old 03-17-2017, 09:03 AM   #1
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Default How big of a Garage should I build

Hi Guys,

Im new to this fourm. We curently oun a 36' super C. We are looking to up grade to a conversion. We live in Southern California so the sun is our worst enemy. I am in the planning process of building an RV storage garage and stuck on how big to build it. My 1st design had the building at 18 wide by 55 long. Door at 12 wide by 13 high. The contractor says that is over kill. Any advice would be great.

Thank You
Steve
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Old 03-17-2017, 01:11 PM   #2
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Ha! Southern California... I would say city building permits are your worst enemy! I'm just kidding... sort of... I would put the door height at 14' (that's what our shop is) because the legal limit (in many states) is 13'6, and things can happen to cause you to be over that... (air bag valve, entering at an up/down angle, jacking up the rig under the door when you have other stuff in the shop... whatever).

The 12' width door is standard, and unless you have a straight shot at the door, you still have to watch what you're doing with mirrors, etc on on a 40' conversion.

We recently put up a new building and I had the same strange fight with several building manufacturers (we have some large construction equipment that is 13') not wanting to go that high. I couldn't figure out why they were so resistant to putting up a taller structure until I learned that the structures they are erecting are not engineered for a height that would allow 14' openings. (I seem to also recall that they had to have some sort of reinforcing member that prevented it) They were basically building glorified carports. We had to go with a real steel building manufacturer and use "red iron" I beams instead of the galvanized, formed metal used in the car port type structures. This doubled the cost.

I'm don't know how much room you have, but by using the I-beams you can also get wider widths than 18' which is really nice too

I hope that helps...
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Old 03-17-2017, 01:28 PM   #3
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You are really limiting yourself. Go 40 x 55 with double 14' tall doors. You know you will fill it up.
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Old 03-18-2017, 09:57 AM   #4
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Way too small. Mine is 18' by 90'. And it's too small. 16' high ceiling. I think the door is 14' high? I've got a door at each end. Works great that way. I wish I had 24' wide though. It's actually a bit shy of 18' so not wide enough to park something next to my rig. You don't actually need a 50 amp plug inside because you're not going to use your two a/c units, I wouldn't think. But, you might get a large air compressor or welder in there so you'll need juice for those. I've got two 60 amp sub panels in mine and glad I do. Install a couple large ceiling fans to keep the air circulating. You can kind of see the two I have. I leave them on all the time. Get some nice used pallet racking to store all the junk on. This is going to be fun!
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Old 03-18-2017, 10:15 AM   #5
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More problems getting the picture to show up. I wish I had a teenage kid around.
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Old 03-18-2017, 10:53 AM   #6
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Im limited to 18 wide due to easment on the property line. I want to stay with a enclosed car port type building that way no permit to build I just have to make sure the neighbors are ok with it. I live in an unincorporated section of Orange County so it should be ok. I have a 30x35 on the property allready for my work shop. Just want to keep the sun off my rig. The building contractor thinks a 13 foot high door is ok. Its looking like I need a 14 for most comversions? I guess that is my question is door height. Im considering going down to 48' long from 55' as well.
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Old 03-18-2017, 04:34 PM   #7
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Build the biggest doggone building you can, with a 14' x 14' door! No one ever regrets building too large a building, or too large a door.

Fifteen years ago I built a 30X60 building with a 12 x 12 door. I thought it was the biggest thing I would ever need. Now I have a boat and an RV that won't fit in the shed! I'm paying for storage for the boat, and have a Clearspan Structure in the yard for the RV!

Keep in mind that if you want to polish or perform repairs where you are comfortable and out of the weather, the building needs to be well insulated, well ventilated, well lit, and afford enough room to move around the rig. Invariably you will also have RV stuff you will want to store. My tow bar, toad stuff, home cords, polishing stuff, pending project parts, etc are stored in the back of my RV shed. I wish we had room for the toad too.
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Old 03-18-2017, 08:21 PM   #8
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Whatever size you think you need, add 50% or you will be kicking yourself in 10 years. Or less.
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Old 03-18-2017, 09:53 PM   #9
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Guys,

Door height? how high are most of these conversion units?

Im limited to 18' wide and 48' long. That is all the room I have to work with. If you saw my neighborhood you would understand. Im lucky as I have a double lot on a culdesac.
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Old 03-18-2017, 10:07 PM   #10
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Mine is about 13'4" tall
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Old 03-18-2017, 10:17 PM   #11
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That settles it, Im going 14. Looks to be the safest bet.

Thanks Guys
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Old 03-19-2017, 03:16 PM   #12
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14' is safe. Mine is 13'1" with the bags at ride height.

I couldn't find any of the carport type buildings that would accommodate a 14' opening. I finally talked one of them into agreeing to put his shorter building on a stem-wall to get the 14'... We didn't end up going that direction, however as I recall that was the only way to get the height.
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Old 03-20-2017, 11:30 AM   #13
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build it big enough that one day you can put a 14' roll up door on it.
our storage bay is 15x50 - w/ 50a connection....If it were 20' wide I would be able to get the slide out all the way.

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Old 04-11-2017, 11:33 PM   #14
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I am going to be retiring and moving, and building a new large detached garage at the new house. My plan is for a 60 wide x 50 deep x 16 high building. One large 12 wide x 14 high door for the RV storage. Then two 16 wide x 10 high doors for the regular vehicles. I know the 50 ft depth is going to be near the limits at each end of my truck conversion. That's fine, main purpose is to get it out of the weather like I am stuck with now. I also plan to add an RV dump outside the detached garage that will be hooked up to the septic system for the house. Be nice to have ability to dump and clean out tanks at home.
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