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Old 10-03-2013, 12:00 PM   #1
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Advice on building an RV Carport

Hello all -

It's been a long time coming for us, but we've finally contracted to have a carport built over our RV storage pad. (We just got the pad poured a couple months ago.) I know what I've asked to be built, but what I don't know is what I don't know.

So, before they dig for a footing, I'm interested in the experiences of those here who have done this before. What am I leaving out? What would you do differently if you were doing it again? Those kinds of things.

I've posted the plans, and some pictures of the area on our blog: Building the RV Carport

I know the first thing I'll be told is that I should have made it bigger. But due to where the area is in relation to property lines, easements, etc, it's as big as I could make it. I looked at the specs on about 20 motorhomes, and it's tall enough to fit anything that will fit underneath it lengthwise.

Anyway, interested in opinions. Let me know, and thanks in advance for the advice.

James
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Old 10-03-2013, 01:44 PM   #2
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James... I went one additional step in my storage area.... I wanted power in that location. There are times when I need to have guests in my home and I use the RV (sounds nuts...but the gal and I head out there ) so having power makes it a nicer time in winter.
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Old 10-03-2013, 01:58 PM   #3
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I'm a little confused , you said the pad was poured a couple months ago and then you talked about before they dig footings ? Are they going to dig along side of your existing slab ?
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Old 10-03-2013, 02:38 PM   #4
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Quote:
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I'm a little confused , you said the pad was poured a couple months ago and then you talked about before they dig footings ? Are they going to dig along side of your existing slab ?
Yes, you've got that right Tdog. They are going to dig alongside the existing slab. It will be sonotubes, basically, just to the outside of the slab. The slab is 10' wide, the carport will be 12'.

And Craig, yes, I've already negotiated the change to get some conduit embedded in the appropriate sonotube footer. The location is not far from where power enters the house. I would love to put the power in now, but I will also want water and a sewer cleanout. I just want to trench up the yard one time, so I'm going to wait and put them all in at once (at a later date).
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Old 10-03-2013, 03:10 PM   #5
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Should I consider the concrete slab in such situations a necessity?

In addition to an RV carport or roof structure, seeing the estimate on a concrete slab of around 20' x 43' gave me sticker shock pause. So I've considered creating a well-contained/bordered alternative of crushed limestone instead---which would keep the area drained/dry and save me a lot of money.

What do you think of that alternative to the OP? Or should I just consider the concrete cost a necessary foundation and do what the OP is doing?

[I'm dealing with a rural eastern Texas, permanent site where a fifth-wheel is my only option.]
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Old 10-03-2013, 03:19 PM   #6
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I built mine 16 wide and 45 long 12.6 high and I have plenty of room to open slides.
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Old 10-03-2013, 04:03 PM   #7
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I built mine 16 wide and 45 long 12.6 high and I have plenty of room to open slides.
Would have been awesome to be able to go that large! We just don't have the space. As it is, I'm going to have to take it slowly to get inside it.

I don't have any experience with crushed stone as an RV parking surface, so I can't help on that count.
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Old 10-03-2013, 04:09 PM   #8
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Asphalt is a lot cheaper than concrete.
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Old 10-03-2013, 04:25 PM   #9
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My MH pad/storage is along side my shop. It has a 14' ceiling, 44' long and 22' wide. The whole foot print for the shop and car port is 44'x44'. The shop is NOT big enough for the MH as it is only 24' long with a 10x10 door. There is a 20x20 cold storage area behind the shop. It is a gravel pad and has power from an outlet outside the shop. If you are still in the planning stage and can make 'changes' I would go higher then you think that you will need. Most mid level and up MH's are pushing 13' so 12+ might not be good. It is nice to have room to open the slides(if you have any) and work inside the MH. I do not have water/sewer, but with the size of my tanks, that is OK.
The main thing is to be able to get the MH out of the weather and somewhat protected. I would love to have heated storage but that is a lot of money that can be used for other things.
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Old 10-03-2013, 04:40 PM   #10
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My father and I built a steel barn by "Miracle Steel" with entry height of 14 ft. It had its' own breaker box and was wired for 110 and 50 amp. Also had underground tubes for cable TV, Satellite, lighting (inside & outside), and hard wire telephone. Having waterlines on inside and outside of building on both sides made getting and using water easier. We had space to add shelving on the back wall and one side for RV supplies not carried/needed for all trips. Adding solar to the roof can keep batteries charged when RV not plugged in to electricity. Sealing and painting the concrete slab makes cleaning a breeze.
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Old 10-03-2013, 04:45 PM   #11
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Solar on the roof! Now THAT'S something I hadn't thought of. (Wouldn't be much help in the winter though, as I imagine it would be covered with snow.)

I'll double check the heights on some of the other rigs that would fit. Making it taller now is cheaper than making it taller later.
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Old 10-03-2013, 06:23 PM   #12
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Have you given any thought to perhaps enclosing the end for storage ?
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Old 10-03-2013, 06:40 PM   #13
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I'm not sure how hard it is to back out as is, but I would try backing in and see if that works better for you. Put a couple cones or plastic trash cans where the carport poles will be and test this out - if backing in is a better parking and exiting solution, perfect your backing in skills prior to the roof build.
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Old 10-03-2013, 07:44 PM   #14
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Quote:
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Solar on the roof! Now THAT'S something I hadn't thought of. (Wouldn't be much help in the winter though, as I imagine it would be covered with snow.)

I'll double check the heights on some of the other rigs that would fit. Making it taller now is cheaper than making it taller later.

My Class A with roof Sat and Max Roof Vent Covers raised my clearance to 13 ft 4 inch.
With snow blocking solar then wind energy is another option.

Eolic: A Foldable, Portable Wind Turbine | Inhabitat - Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building
Portable Wind Generators
When entering a RV garage, painted lines work as a guide for tires and a plastic wheel stop ensures perfect parking every time. http://www.speedbumpsandhumps.com/pr...heel-Stops.cfm
If you expect any potential hazards when driving in or backing out of the drive you may want to change your RV Rear camera to one like mine that tilts up and down, and moves left and right to give 180 degree view. Nose and side cameras are also beneficial. A quality RV camera system costs less than repairs for RV body damage, insurance deductible, higher insurance rates, and bad memories of doing something that could of been prevented. http://www.totalvisionproducts.com/
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