Can a pop-up camper fit in a garage?

In this blog post, we will answer the following question: Can a pop-up camper fit in a garage? We will see what are the standard measures of a garage and those of a pop-up camper. We will also give you a few ideas on where you can park a pop-up camper long or short-term. 

Can a pop-up camper fit in a garage?

Yes, a pop-up camper can fit in a garage. The majority of them measure between 7’ and 7’6’’ width and between 4’6’’ and 5’ height. In the table below you can see the average car garage sizes in the US. 

Average car garage size

Garage typeWidthDepthDoor Width
1 car garage12’20’-24’8’
2 cars garage18’-20’20’-24’16’
3 cars garage26’-28’20’-24’8’-16’
4 cars garage34’-36’20’-24’16’

There are many advantages to keeping your pop-up camper in a garage at home, as long as you have enough space. The first benefit is that it remains accessible at any time of the year. At the slightest glimmer of good weather, it is close at hand to improvise a getaway. The only rule for keeping your pop-up camper in a garage is to protect it, especially if it is only used in the summer.

The ideal dimensions of a garage for pop-up campers

Campers are generally longer, narrower, but above all taller than a traditional vehicle. As a result, the volume of the garage is rectangular.

The area also depends on the use of the room. Indeed, the garage expansion can also be an opportunity to create a workshop, a laundry room, a storeroom or even a DIY space. The more functionality your extension has, the larger the surface will be.

The space in the garage to house the camper must be at least 180 sq ft. It can reach an area of ​​at least 320 sq ft if the garage also serves as a laundry room, storage or even a workshop.

The important thing is that there are enough gaps on the sides to fully open the doors.

Do I need a building permit for the garage?

Due to the size of the garage, it is subject to administrative procedures. It is therefore necessary to obtain authorization from the town hall before building the structure. The garage is considered an annexe since it does not have the destination of accommodation, whether it is independent or attached. It is also subject to town planning rules. They are defined by the local urban plan.

Depending on the size of the garage, if you plan on building one for your motorhome, a prior declaration of work or a building permit must be used.

If the floor area exceeds 200 sq ft in an urban area subject to the local urban plan, a building permit must be sent to the town hall. On the other hand, if the surface is less than 200 sq ft, a simple prior declaration of work is sufficient.

How much does it cost to build a garage for a pop-up camper?

To best assess the price of your garage extension, we have listed the criteria to take into account:

  • Frame materials: wood has a higher cost than cinder block or brick;
  • The roof and its cover: a flat roof in steel trough, a roof with several slopes in slate or tiles;
  • Manual or motorized garage door;
  • The presence of joinery or a service door to connect the house to the garage;
  • Interior fittings: lighting, wall or floor covering, etc. 

Depending on the area you live, where you outsource the materials and if it is a DIY project or you have to pay someone else to do it, it can cost you around $24,000 to build a garage for a camper. 

Some alternative places to parking a pop-up camper

Of course, not everyone has an empty garage to park their pop-up camper, especially long term. In this section of the article, we are going to cover some alternative places to park your camper and also answer a few common questions regarding the legality of parking a pop-up camper. 

Can I park a pop-up camper in my backyard?

You can park a pop-up camper in your backyard as long as you comply with the following rules forwarded by HOAs and City Councils: 

  • You owe/lease both the camper and the property/land it is parked on. 
  • If another person is parking their camper in your backyard, they are allowed to do it for a maximum of 14 days only.
  • The camper must be parked in the backyard behind a line established by the front building line farthest from the street.
  • The distance between the camper and the rear property line must be at least 10 feet. 

Some HOAs restrict homeowners from parking trailers of any type (RVs, flatbed, cattle, or camper, for example) in plain sight on the property, which is understandable. Otherwise, people could store their trailers on the curb in front of their house or in your driveway, which can be unsightly or restrict the flow of traffic. 

Can I park a pop-up on the street?

The code of the road traffic, cell of urbanism and cell of territorial collectives governing the stationing of camper vans on the route are published. So, just like cars, these recreational vehicles can park in the street, if they are vines and if they do not stay more than 7 consecutive days in the same place.

It is subject to the restriction of local regulations, and other restrictions may apply to other adjustments, including the prohibition of stationers at night, to certain events (for example during the march) or to certain places. 

Likewise, motorhomes may be prohibited from driving on certain roads. And once parked, you of course do not leave the awning, table or jack again, because then you are in violation.

Can you park a pop-up camper on private land?

You are fully entitled to park your pop-up camper on private land or in your garage if you are willing to seek prior authorization from the town hall. In addition, the municipality can add conditions such as not parking near neighbouring lots, hide the vehicle with hedges, etc.

Can I park a pop-up camper in my driveway?

Yes, you can park your RV in your driveway, but there is a catch. Although it seems normal and that you have the right to do it – it is ultimately your house – parking and blocking the driveway for more than 72 hours is against the law in most states.

Here are other places where you cannot park an RV:

  • In front of a hydrant, or in any way that makes access to the hydrant difficult in the event of a fire. Generally, the gutter is painted red in these areas, but that is not always the case.
  • In alleys, unless it is to unload passengers or cargo.
  • On a corner or crosswalk.
  • Next to a parked car (double parking).
  • In front of a bus stopped in a tunnel.
  • On a bridge.
  • In one place for more than 72 hours.

The Traffic Law in the US establishes that it is prohibited to park your car in your driveway since it is actually owned by the city. You also can’t park and block the sidewalk. This is because it violates the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. That is, it does not allow the passage of a wheelchair or walkers.

Protect your pop-up camper if it is not in use

Whether you decide to store your pop-up camper in a garage, on the street or in the backyard of a friend, it is essential that you protect the camper with a cover, especially if you plan on living there long-term. 

There are many camper covers and tarps currently on the market. The best of them allow moisture to evaporate and are tough. Some even have zippers that allow you to enter the vehicle without having to remove the protective sheet. Others are tailor-made.

Without a doubt, a tarp protects your vehicle from the elements. In areas where it snows, it prevents water from melting accumulated snow from entering the camper through the solder joints. Leaves, pine needles, branches and the like will also not find their way inside. In the spring, your vehicle should, in principle, be as clean as the day you covered it. Lots of commercial tarps like this help protect your pop-up camper in the winter!

Conclusions

Whenever deciding to park your RV long-term, make sure you follow the laws for the state you reside in. It wouldn’t hurt checking with the City Council and the HOA in your area, as well. 

If you want to know how to find free RV parking in your state, click here.

Please let us know if you have any comments or questions about the content. 

FAQ on Can a pop-up camper fit in a garage?

Do you store a pop-up caravan with the top up or down?

The correct way to store a pop-up caravan is with the top down to prevent sun and wind damage. Extreme temperatures and adverse weather will affect a pop-top caravan more than other RVs and campers. 

Should I store my camper water tanks empty or full?

You should store your camper with empty water tanks. If you leave water in the tanks for a long period, your tank is likely to fill with viruses and bacteria that can affect health. 

What are the best brands of camper covers?

If you know for sure that a particular tarp is perfectly compatible with your camper and wallet, buy it without worrying about its manufacturer. However, as with any other purchase, it is strongly recommended that you purchase your tarpaulins from reputable brands such as Hindermann, Roc Line, Tyvek, 1PLUS.

Where can I park an RV?

An RV is perfectly entitled to park in the parking spaces along the roadway. However, its size must allow it, it must not interfere with road traffic or pedestrians. However, due to its size, the motorhome cannot park everywhere.

References