Portable Carport – Benefits, Types, and Costs

A portable carport may be a quick and inexpensive storage solution for homes lacking a garage. Portable carports have many benefits, there is a type for any need, and carport prices are a fraction of what an enclosed garage might cost, especially if the stored items do not need to be completely protected from the weather.

Simply put, vehicles such as RVs, trailered boats, and larger riding mowers simply look less obtrusive if parked under a carport. In fact, many home owners associations have regulations which prohibit parking exposed RVs and boats – at minimum, many HOAs require at least a carport covering. Thus, reducing visual clutter in a neighborhood is a benefit.  Blown yard debris, heavy rainfall, and hail damage can also all be deflected with a portable carport over a homeowner’s favorite expensive toy.  As for maintenance, a portable carport can be hosed down and scrubbed as needed.  Maintenance is virtually nonexistent since the materials from which they are made (fiberglass, aluminum, brushed steel) do not require paint or constant care (as might be required with a wood garage).

prefab carport

Aluminum or steel prefab carports are very popular.

Installation is easy. These storage units can be purchased in portable carport kits, complete with instructions that arrive in easy to assemble panels. All that is necessary to complete a prefab carport is a few tools and a little elbow grease. Carport building kits can be transported in a large pickup because they are sectional. These can be purchased in almost any size imaginable. Shapes can range from a truncated A-frame, to the most common peak-roof style, to a Quonset hut shape, to an igloo frame. The roof and walls can be a polyvinyl, made of canvas, or of sturdier fiberglass or aluminum sectional pieces. Almost all use a pole framework as a skeleton. Although many portable carports come in what can be considered a shelter style (with short walls or no walls) many carport building kits exist that allow for a completely enclosed structure. Most carports have open faces; however, some can be bought with zippered cloth doors or hinged metal ones.

portable carport

Shelter Logic makes a popular portable RV carport

Costs on these units vary according to size and construction materials.  Cloth or other forms of “soft” covered carports are the least expensive. Small, 8’-high fabric-walled carports (offering UV protection) can run as little as $180.  Moving up in size, for a reflective-fabric covered unit (suitable for storing ATVs, motorcycles, or small cars) the carport cost can increase to about $350. If there are tractors or a couple of RVs needing a place to bunk down, a 30’x20’ lightweight tent-cloth covered waterproof shelter will do the job with and cost roughly $3000 – still a far cheaper solution than a garage.

For the money, a portable carport fills an intermediate niche between a weather-tight garage and the great outdoors for storing infrequently used recreational vehicles, boats, and light farm equipment. They also help cover unsightly clutter in a close neighborhood (homeowners should check with local planning and zoning before erecting anything on their property, though).  These structures are attractive, lightweight, durable, easy to install, and inexpensive and offer a great space for additional storage.

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