When buying a camper van, you may wonder if it will fit into your garage. This was a question I had during my initial research to buy a van to convert to a camper.
I keep my personal vehicles in my garage so I didn’t want to keep my van in the garage full-time. I was only interested in keeping it in the garage as I was working on it.
Once I got to looking at various Class B vans and standard cargo vans to convert, I had my answer as to whether or not it would fit in the garage.
Most camper vans will not fit into a standard 7-foot garage door opening. High roof vans typically rise to the height of about 9 feet while low roof vans may be between 7 and 8 feet high. Camper vans may also have fans, vents, roof-racks, solar panels and other items that make them even taller.
Once I realized that a high roof van would not fit into my standard garage, I began to look at the options that I had. The most obvious option would be to not worry about it and park it outside, which is what I ended up doing.
The other option would be to go with a low roof van so that it would fit in my garage and be easier to work on. I could work on the conversion during times of bad weather and get it done quicker.
However, after my research, I learned that even a low roof van would be too tall for my garage door opening. Even if it had fit, I didn’t want to settle for a small solution that I couldn’t even stand up and walk around in.
If fitting your van into a garage is important, you will probably have to have a taller garage opening.
How Tall Is A Camper Van (12 Examples)
Camper vans come in various sizes but most of the Class B motorhomes on the market today use the same few vehicle chassis’s so all are similar in size.
However, there are additional items that vans may have on top that could make them even taller. The list below contains some of the popular Class B vans and their sizes and whether or not they will fit in a standard 7 ft garage opening.
|Model||Exterior Height||Fits in Standard 7 ft Garage door?|
|Coachmen Nova||9′ 4″||NO|
|Leisure Free Spirit||9′ 9″||NO|
|Pleasure Way Ascent TS||9′ 7″||NO|
|Roadtrek Zion||9′ 5″||NO|
|Regency National Traveler Explore||9′ 8″||NO|
|ModVans CV1||7′ 6″||NO|
|Pleasure Way Tofino||8′ 2″||NO|
|Winnebago Solis||8′ 11″||NO|
|Winnebago Travato||9′ 4″||NO|
|Thor Sequence||9′ 5″||NO|
|Ram Promaster High Roof||8′ 5″||NO|
|Ford Transit High Roof||9′ 1″||NO|
The point here is that most options on the market are probably too tall to fit into your garage opening. You would need to have a door opening with more height on it if you wanted to store your van inside your garage.
Even the shortest van on the list won’t fit into my standard garage opening of 7 feet.
Many people build garages specifically for their RVs and these garages have a high door, typically around 12 feet tall, which allows a large motorhome to be pulled into.
This is an expensive undertaking and is only an option for those who want the convenience of keeping their RV in a garage.
If you are concerned that your RV should always stay in an enclosed area, don’t worry, other options on the market will allow you to do this.
Where To Store A Camper Van
As shown above, there aren’t any options for camper vans that will fit into a standard garage opening. You would need a taller garage opening than the standard 7 feet that most homes have.
Some homes do have 8-foot garage openings so you could find a van that would fit if this is the case for you.
If you are like me, your camper van can be stored just fine outdoors in a designated spot. In my case, I have mine parked on my driveway and that’s where it stays.
I performed the entire conversion in this location and it stays parked there at all times when not in use.
If you would like your camper van to be more protected from the elements, there are a few options you have. These options can cover your van and help keep it safe from damaging weather.
1. Metal RV Carport
A metal RV carport is a good way to keep your RV out of the weather and covered and at least provide some protection from the elements.
Although these typically have sides that only partially cover the structure, they do protect the top so that sunlight, rain, hail, snow and other inclement weather conditions do not get to your RV.
These are a less costly way to protect your RV than building a full garage. Depending on the size that you purchase, you can expect to pay anywhere from $1000 to $4000 for one that will cover most camper vans.
The video below shows an example of what you might expect a metal carport to look like.
These types of carports come in different sizes and can be customized for your needs so no matter the size of your rig, it is possible to build a carport sized perfectly for what you need.
2. Portable Carport Shelter
If you are looking for an even cheaper way to store your RV, a portable carport may be the answer. These are not as sturdy as a metal carport would be but can still provide some level of protection for your motorhome.
Companies like Shelterlogic create large-sized portable carports made to cover large vehicles like RVs. The following video shows a portable carport installed to park an RV in.
Although these make a good temporary solution, I would not suggest using them for long-term RV storage. You would be better off spending the extra money to install a metal carport than to rely on this type of solution long-term.
3. RV Cover
If you are looking to store your camper van in a garage simply for protection, perhaps the best way for you to protect your RV is with an RV cover.
An RV cover will cover your camper van and keep it protected when not in use by not allowing weather and sun damage to occur.
Although not as good as a sturdy garage, an RV cover can be great if you just want to keep your RV in your driveway or at another location out in the weather.
One problem with an RV cover is that it is more inconvenient than other ways that you could cover your RV. It isn’t something that you can easily install and remove.
In the case of a camper van, you may be driving it throughout the year so an RV cover can be difficult as you may need to remove and install it often.
I use my camper van year-round so an RV cover would make it more of a challenge and more inconvenient each time I wanted to use it. They work great for those RVers who keep their RVs sitting throughout the off-season.
Benefits Of Keeping Your RV Covered
After looking at various ways that you might cover your RV, you may wonder if it’s even necessary? Are there any benefits?
There are definitely benefits but you have to decide if the cost of building a large enough garage or purchasing a different solution is worth it for you.
Below is a list of some of the benefits you might expect from keeping your RV covered.
- Protects your RV from sun damage. The sun beats down on your RV all day long in the hot summers and this can cause various damage and premature deterioration from the harmful UV rays. Keeping it covered can circumvent this from happening.
- Your RV will stay cooler. Your RV can feel like a sauna inside if left out in the hot sun all day long. Keeping it covered will allow your RV to maintain a more consistent temperature.
- Protects equipment on roof. Your van or RV may have solar panels, fans, air conditioners, and other accessories on top. Keeping these items covered can help to extend their lives.
- Protects from leaks. If left to weather, your roof could develop leaks from caulking that might deteriorate more rapidly in the weather. This could lead to leaks around seals if not properly maintained.
- Helps protect your expensive purchase. A camper van or other type of RV isn’t cheap so keeping it covered and protected seems logical and a good idea if you have the means to do it.
- Keeps your RV cleaner. My camper van sits out in the weather and it stays dirty from the weather. If it were in a garage, I wouldn’t have to wash it as much to keep it looking good.
If you have a standard-sized garage with a standard sized door opening, you can probably forget about storing a camper van inside.
It would be nice to be able to put your van inside the garage so that you can keep it out of the weather and be able to access it even when the weather is bad.
It would have been great to have been inside a garage during my van conversion. It would have allowed me to stay on target better even when the weather wasn’t cooperating.
A garage is not needed to take care of your RV and keep it well maintained. Vehicles are designed to be outside and the weather shouldn’t affect it as long as you take proper precautions.
Keeping your RV covered or, at a bare minimum, keeping your tires covered will go a long way towards helping you take care of your RV.