How to build a cheap RV carport?

In this blog post, we will answer the question: “How to build a cheap RV carport?” We will discuss the steps to build a cheap RV carport right from scratch. We will also discuss the types of material and measurements that can be used for the RV carport. Additionally, we will touch upon the alternative roof options for the RV carport.

How to build a cheap RV carport?

To build a cheap RV carport, you need to follow the steps described below.

  • Measure and level the area
  • Design a layout
  • Dig the post holes
  • Make notches on the post
  • Fill the concrete
  • Install the posts
  • Add the support beams
  • Build the rafters
  • Add the trusses
  • Install the roof sheets
  • Install the roof trims 
  • Install the felt 
  • Install shingles

Measure and level the area

  • First, you need to measure the area where you plan on building the RV carport. To build a cheap RV carport, you will need to consider the space and material. The smaller the carport the cheaper the price. Hence, the measurements play an important role.
  • Measure the available area according to the dimensions of the RV. Make sure to construct an RV port that has sufficient space to move around the RV while parked. A minimum of half a foot on each side should be good enough.
  • Measure the length and width and make sure to measure the height. The RV carport should be a little bigger than the RV with a minimum gap of one foot. This will give you good clearance above and it will make it easy while parking.
  • Remove all stones or obstructions in around the area and start leveling it. Remember that you are planning on parking your RV and you will need to have a flat surface to build an RV carport.

Design a layout

  • Designing the layout is going to play an important role as well. To build a cheap RV carport, you will need to consider using wood. There are various options like steel and aluminum carports, but they are expensive. Wood is one of the best options to consider.
  • Design a layout of the RV port based on the measurements. You can draw the layout with a pen and paper. While designing the layout, remember to consider the space for the rafters, trusses, and support beams.

Dig the post holes

  • Next, you will be required to dig the post holes to bury the posts. Dig one foot deep into the ground to place the posts and make sure that the radius of the hole is at a minimum of 15 inches. You can use a post-hole digger to dig the postholes.

Make notches on the post

  • Make notches on the post at the top end to help fit the support beams. You can make these notches with the help of a circular saw. Make the parallel cuts around 1 ½ inches on the post to act as a grip for the support beams. Use sandpaper to smooth the surface.
  • Before making the notches, make sure to cut the posts to the right height as per the measurements. Remember, that you will be burying a part of the post in the ground. Hence, it is wise to cut the wood a little more than the usual height.

Fill the concrete

  • You must bury the posts to a minimum of six inches deep into the concrete. Set the posts into the concrete and pour a two-inch layer of concrete on the bottom of the holes to level the ground before placing the posts.

Install the posts

  • You will be using 6 x 6 posts for this project since they are the best option. While installing the posts, make sure that they are straight and all the same height. This is a crucial step and you will be required to get help from another person to check if the posts are straight.
  • Once you set the posts, you will need to wait for a day for the concrete to secure them properly.

Add the support beams

  • The next step is to add the support beams to the posts. For the support beams, you will be required to use 2 x 8 beams. Make sure that the corners of the beams are square. To attach the beams, you must add pilot holes through the beams and the posts.
  • Ensure that the beams run horizontally across the vertical beams on top. Make sure that these beams are straight.
  • You will be required to insert six-inch carriage bolts. It is also recommended to use at least two bolts for each joint.  Cut 3 x 6 lumber and use them as braces at the corners of the carport frame.

Build the rafters

  • Next, you must build the rafters with the help of 2 x 6 lumber. This is an important step since the roof of the RV carport needs to be on a slant. You must make angle cuts to the rafters to install them onto the support beams.
  • The easiest way to go about this project is by getting everything together and then installing them on the support beams.
  • Build the rafters according to the size of the support beams and make sure that they extend outwards to prevent rainwater from falling.

Add the trusses

  • Add the middle truss support to align the rafters. Use 2 x 4 lumber for the middle truss support. Make sure to work on this on a level surface. You will need help from at least two people to add the raters on the top of the support beams. Ensure that they are aligned properly while installing them.

Install the roof sheets

  • Next, you must install the roof sheets over the trusses that you installed. They are various types of roof sheets that can be used, but if you plan on building a cheap RV carport, plywood is one of the best options. Plywood is cheaper than steel or fiberglass sheets.
  • Cut the plywood to the right measurements of the roof.  Start installing them in sections and work cautiously. Try not to leave any gaps in between while installing the sheets. You can cut these sheets into small panels to make the installation process easier.
  • Secure the sheets with the help of a 1 5/8 inch screw every eight inches. Align the edges properly and make sure that you insert two-inch nails to lock them in the right place.  

Install the roof trims

  • You must install the roof trims at the back and the front of the roof. The trims look great and they also add some extra protection from the rain. Cut plywood strips and add the trims from the top of the roof to the trusses. 1 x 8 lumber is the best option for trims. 
  • Use two-inch screws to secure them in place. However, make sure to drill pilot holes before inserting the screws.

Install the felt

  • You need to protect the plywood on the roof from rain and extreme climatic conditions. Add felt onto the roof for extra protection. Start working from the bottom at one corner and work your up to the top. 
  • Secure the felt with a stapler and make sure that it overlaps at least two inches. You must cover the top ridge with a 14-inch strip of paper.

Install shingles

  • Add shingles with a full tab first and then 2 ½ tabs the second time. For the third time, you can add shingles with two tabs. This is not mandatory as you can still consider using tin sheets if they work cheaper. At the end of the day, you need to build a cheap RV carport. Be sure to consider the materials first and fix a budget for the carport.


In this blog post, we have answered the question: “How to build a cheap RV carport?” We have discussed the steps to build a cheap RV carport right from scratch. We have also discussed the types of material and measurements that can be used for the RV carport. Additionally, we have touched upon the alternative roof options for the RV carport.


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