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Old 10-28-2021, 08:48 PM   #1
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Question RV garage door size - width?

Hi - I've read a bunch of posts re RV garage sizes including doors. My question is very specific to the width of the main door.

I have a 2003 Dutch Star which is mostly 8.5' wide but 10' with the mirrors. It seems that a 12' wide door would be more than good enough but I've read a few posts from people with 12' doors wishing that had 14' wide doors and I'm trying to figure out why. Sure bigger is mostly always better but due to structural issues, jumping from a 12' door to 14' will incur a huge cost increase and I'm trying to figure if its worth it. Any comments would be appreciated - thanks!

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Old 10-28-2021, 08:55 PM   #2
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The number one reason to have 14' doors is the fact that you can't always be lined up perfectly straight.

Any angle and that 12" on the sides is gone. 14' gives you a margin of error, so to speak.

Next is the ability to see in the building around the RV. When the RV fills up that much of the door opening it can cut the amount of light getting into the building, making it harder to see what you are close to.
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Old 10-28-2021, 09:01 PM   #3
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I think it depends on the approach to the door. Before I built my hangar, I parked in a pole barn with 10 clearance between poles for 4 years. I had a straight approach and drove very slowly and only scratched a mirror on a nail I didnt know was there. 12 feet is OK but Id be careful.

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Old 10-29-2021, 04:45 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by gday View Post
............................ I'm trying to figure if its worth it. Any comments would be appreciated - thanks!

Guys with 10' doors wish they had 12' doors.
Guys with 12' doors wish they had 14' doors.
Guys with 14' doors wish they had 16' doors..........................

Is a wide(r) door nice to have? Sure.

Is it worth it?
How many times a year are you moving your rig in and out of the garage?

IMHO - Even once a month would not justify the expense of making structural changes if you can park your rig safely with a 12' door.
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Old 10-29-2021, 06:01 AM   #5
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If you are building a new storage building you'd be wise to go a minimum of 14'. Wider is better. It gives you some wiggle room and you can move over some to provide storage for other items and still be able to back in and drive out more easily and safely. Actually depending on the width of an existing building it won't cost that much more to replace the headers etc. to accommodate a wider door and still have adequate support for the walls. I would go as wide as I could.
When I built my pole barn in 2009 I didn't own an RV and had no intentions of buying one even though I have had RV's since 1976. My 40' W X 60' L building has 12' X 12' doors with a ceiling height of 14'. While my Class A will fit I only have 7" to spare height wise going in and out. A larger coach wouldn't fit. I could install "low headroom doors" and increase the height but it would be a major project and I would still be limited on how high a door could be. An odd size custom door is expensive too. If I had to do it all over again the building would have 16' ceilings with 14' X 14' doors on each end. I have plenty of room to drive straight through where my barn sits.
As it stands now I store my tractors, farm implements, ATV's, snowmobiles and my pick up in my barn along with other items. I rent a space in a storage barn 10 miles from home to store my coach in from early October until early May. It's a whole lot cheaper than constructing a new building or modifying my existing building. There is quite a lot of movement in and out of my building with all my equipment and toys so there is a lesser chance of damage to my coach or anything else parked in my barn.
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Old 10-29-2021, 06:26 AM   #6
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I ran into the same problem with my local building department. It would have been overly expensive to build in the special shear wall they required to do a 14' door. I went with 12' and got along just fine. The door was centered and by approaching at a slight angle I was able to tuck the coach tight to either side wall. I had about 12' excess maneuver room length wise to work with. Take it slow and easy and use a spotter the first time or two.
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Old 10-29-2021, 06:35 AM   #7
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Go for the 14 ft door. It will give you a little extra room on the sides just in case you are not perfectly straight on your approach.
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Old 10-29-2021, 07:31 AM   #8
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I just built a garage, I had limited space on my property to build it and as a result I have to back into the garage at an angle. I went with a 14' wide door and glad I did. I probably could have gotten by with a 12' door but it would have been a chore every time I backed into the garage. As of now, after several month of practice I can line up and pretty much get it on the first try.

Also, I went with a 14' high door also, my rig is less then 12 ft but never know if I'll upgrade to a higher coach.

I also went with window panes on one panel and positioned it high enough so that when in the coach I can see out and it provides light.
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Old 10-29-2021, 09:20 AM   #9
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Appreciate all the replies. For a bit more info, I'm looking at adding onto an existing garage but its length-wise on the side of a hill / slope. Length would be 50', height would be 16' with a 14' foot high door. All those dimensions are no issue. There would be a normal roll up door at the other end that would allow me to drive a tractor or something through and to my back yard - access that I don't have right now. The width is being dictated by the hill/slope. I'm already needed a serious retailing wall and widening further just causes a non linear cost issue. Cost says that the garage would be 16' max wide but a 14' wide door creates a shear wall issue and that's my problem. I have no trouble backing up trailers, boats, RVs into tight spots but the comments above about coming in at angles starts to answer my initial question - gives me something to think over so thanks for that and all the other comments.

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Old 10-29-2021, 10:49 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by gday View Post
...It seems that a 12' wide door would be more than good enough but I've read a few posts from people with 12' doors wishing that had 14' wide doors and I'm trying to figure out why...
I have a 12' x 14' door with no regrets. 90' straight driveway is lined up perfectly with the door, though, so backing in straight is a relative breeze. Wish I'd gone a bit wider than 20' bay width, though.
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Old 10-29-2021, 11:26 AM   #11
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Something I learned at my company that was very helpful was once you figured out the exact route to take to get into your building, paint a white stripe on the concrete that you can follow when backing in. If you keep the driver side tire on the line, youll be perfect every time and never have to be concerned about hitting anything on the blind side.
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Old 10-29-2021, 01:59 PM   #12
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16 wide door for me.
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Old 10-29-2021, 02:26 PM   #13
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My door is 12 foot. Thats the same width as most lanes in roads. Have about 70 feet to get straight before backing in.
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Old 10-29-2021, 07:13 PM   #14
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26x52. With a 14H. 16W door. With a wider door you can scoot the coach over to have more room on one side or the other for storage. In our case with winter approaching I dont have to move the coach out to get the golf cart or the razor in there. We put power on both ends so I can pull in or back in depending on my needs. We stored off site for years at a place with a 12 wide 14 high door. I vowed never to thread the needle again.
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