All about my temporary carport / shelter for my Scamp - Fiberglass RV
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Old 07-11-2021, 12:28 PM   #1
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Name: Gordon
Trailer: 2015 Scamp (16 Std Layout 4) with '15 Toyota Sienna LE Tug
North Carolina
Posts: 5,136
All about my temporary carport / shelter for my Scamp

Sunlight ages a fiberglass trailer more than any other factor (IMHO). One of the best things you can do to maintain the gel-coat finish and the condition of rubber, plastics, and the entire camper, is to store it under a carport or similar shelter. If you don’t have a shelter than at least wax it frequently, treat the rubber components with a proper protectant, and use partial covers on tires, A/C shroud, etc. A good fabric cover such as one from CalMark can work also, but if a cover is not breathable and well fitting it can actually do more damage than it prevents. And a good cover is not inexpensive. Furthermore, a cover is simply a pain in the posterior to take on and off, and a cover can make it hard to get access to the camper. A carport will allow good ventilation which will help to prevent condensation and mold, and allow easy access.

So a carport shelter is best. But what if zoning laws or financial considerations preclude the installation of a proper carport? Harbor Freight and other stores sell a couple of different temporary carport shelters for as little as $99 (on sale with coupon). I bought one in 2015 and it has been in use at two different locations, roughly 90% of the time. It substantially reduces the UV damage and reduces the number of times I need to wash and wax the camper. As a bonus the camper stays cooler in summer. If the temporary carport gets damaged or is declared illegal and I need to get rid of it, my financial loss is under $150 total! At that rate I could replace it once a year for ten to twenty years for the cost of a real carport. If you wish to spend some more money, there are other temporary vehicle shelters that are supposed to handle more wind and snow but I am going to discuss the cheapest 10 x 20 foot one which is listed for sale here.

Important:

1. These temporary carports are just that.. TEMPORARY! They are not designed to withstand snow or high winds, or to hold up for 20 years. They are sometimes called portable carports, and if the wind kicks up enough you will see it become portable!
While this one is not appropriate when or where high winds or snow is expected, where I live it can be used most of the year if it is well reinforced, and if the canopy is removed when conditions threaten. The carport helps more in summer anyway, so removing the canopy in winter would not be so bad. Depending on location, a temporary carport might or might not be a reasonable option.

2. Monitor the weather forecast and weather conditions, and remove the canopy if weather threatens. YMMV but with the modifications that I have made, I consider a forecast of more than inch snow or winds over 20-25 MPH good reason to remove the canopy. Note that its easier for two people to do this but I have done it alone a few times. And its easier to do it before the weather gets bad. It takes 30-40 minutes. Or just take your chances.
My intent was to make the frame so strong and well anchored that in high winds the canopy would rip off before the frame breaks apart. That way damage to the camper from the metal poles is less likely. I might get to test the frame strength because after six years of use I have a few tears in the canopy, which I patched to a degree. But its about time to replace it, so I think I will leave it in place until it comes apart – one way or another. It has already survived some pretty scary wind a couple of times.

The following describes what I have done to get years of protection for my camper with a $100 shelter (~$150 with improvements):

1. While assembling the frame add a single self-taping screw (after drilling a pilot hole) at each point where the tubing joins. The only exception is the legs because the tie-downs will hold them together. A second screw might be helpful but one seems to be sufficient.

2. Take the four ground anchors that come with the carport and throw them in the recycle bin. Or use them at the base of the legs instead. Purchase and use a minimum of seven good quality ground anchors – one at each leg and one at the rear roof peak.

3. For the guy lines run UV resistant rope from top of all six legs to ground anchors evenly spaced from the sides, and a distance out from the border of the carport (on the ground) that is a little less than half the height of the sides. Also run a guy rope from the rear roof peak to an anchor at the back, again about half the height to the peak from the back border. Option: use two ground anchors at the four corners, each 90 degrees from the side and in line with the second sideline.

Whenever the camper is under the carport run UV resistant rope from front roof peak and tie it off at the trailer’s tongue. You might also want to have a ground anchor in the front to tie off the front roof peak when the camper is not present, but be sure you can drive over it without damage to trailer or tug.

The carport comes with bungee cords to secure the canopy to the frame. These must be tight to prevent rain water from collecting in pockets inside the frame. I had to replace them after 2-3 years. The new ones that I bought are not good. After stretching they lose elasticity and they will need to be replaced sooner than the original ones.

Option: Install rope or wooded boards as rafter supports from the ridge pole to the top sides of the frame. This will help the carport support very light snow loads. In the photo you can see I added four ropes along the 20 foot length (four feet apart). That is the minimum I think is needed to be at all effective. More would not hurt.

Adjustments I made for my specific locations:

My carport has been used at two places where part of the anchor system was on concrete. For the guy rope anchors I used fully recessed Red Head drop-in anchors with threaded eye-bolts. This is very strong. If needed I can simply untie the guy rope, unscrew the eye-bolts, and have a flat surface to drive over. When the carport is no longer needed, a little concrete patching material can fill the hole and cover the anchor so one would never even know it was there. By the way, to drill the few holes for the anchors a few years ago, I bought a hammer drill at Harbor Freight for less than I could rent one. And its still going strong.

My camper is now on concrete which is higher than than ground where four of the six legs are placed. To make the carport the same height all around and level with the concrete (necessary to get the door open), and to secure the legs from lateral movement, for each leg not on concrete I embedded a one foot piece of 4x4 fence post in the ground so that the top of the post was level with the concrete. This creates a very secure base where I screwed down the plastic leg foot supports.

The back of my carport currently is at a fence so I used the fence to tie down the rear guy lines instead of using ground anchors.


I'm not to worried about zoning laws or restrictions where I am now so I might upgrade to a more expensive temporary carport. Feel free to add suggestions for my current setup, or for a similar replacement or upgrade.

Disclaimer: It is possible that high winds or snow will cause the carport to fail and damage the camper or other objects, or cause injury to people from wind driven objects. By describing what I have done I make no claims about the suitability or safety of the carport or its components. You are informed that there has been no engineering study or research and I take no responsibility for your use of this information.
Attached Thumbnails
ConcreteAnchor1.jpg   FencyGuyRopes.jpg  

NewLocationDriveway.jpg   NewLocationPreDriveway.jpg  

OriginalLocation-Shelter.jpg   OrignalLocation-Roof Off.jpg  

PostLegBase.jpg   RafterRopes.jpg  

ScrewCorner.jpg   screw-midsection.jpg  

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Old 07-12-2021, 11:00 AM   #2
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Name: Terry
Trailer: 1971 Hunter compact Jr, 1979 Terry 19', 2003 Scamp 16'
California
Posts: 191
I prefer the canopies from costco. They are more substantial at a slightly higher price, $240.00. With 4 legs on each side and cross members and heavier material the 2 have little have sag after 2 years in california's Central Valley sun, 110 today. I use the as a shop and as a storage building. My 16 is raised and would barely fit under. I consider making 6" leg extensions which when I would make it easier to park under one . The roof cover replacements aren expensive.
Either canopy will protect your trailer and the 1st will be easier relocated.
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Old 07-12-2021, 11:52 AM   #3
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Name: Gordon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry in Fowler View Post
I prefer the canopies from costco. ..
I cant find it at the Costco website.. would you have a link?
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Old 07-12-2021, 11:55 AM   #4
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So, the way to make it high enough to accommodate our 19 foot Scamp, which is almost 11 feet tall in front, is to raise the legs onto blocks, I suppose?
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Old 07-12-2021, 12:14 PM   #5
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Name: Gordon
Trailer: 2015 Scamp (16 Std Layout 4) with '15 Toyota Sienna LE Tug
North Carolina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nancyrnfit View Post
So, the way to make it high enough to accommodate our 19 foot Scamp, which is almost 11 feet tall in front, is to raise the legs onto blocks, I suppose?
Sounds challenging...

The one I have is about 6'6" at the sides and 9' 3" at the peak. Extension poles might work but also might make it weaker. My Scamp 16 with high profile A/C only has about 1-2 inches clearance, assuming I back it in centered.
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Old 07-12-2021, 02:25 PM   #6
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Name: Terry
Trailer: 1971 Hunter compact Jr, 1979 Terry 19', 2003 Scamp 16'
California
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The height of costco's unit could be increased using 2" inside diameter heavy tubing (fence post) or pipe. You would need to reduced back down to fit the feet. If the legeg were ran in to the tubing a couple of feet and boted through it should wobble considerably. I wouldn't use blocks. Hardware stores will usually cut pipe to lenghth and tubing can be cut with a reciprocating saw or even a hacksaw with a new blade.
The interior deminsions of mine are 9' 11" at the peak, 9' 8" wide and 6' 8" side height to the angle. Going up the roof line to where there is about 6' 8" clearence between rafters there is a height of about 7' 5". These measurements ate approximate.
Unfortunately Costco only has the canopy roof replacements online now. They sell the hole unit in the warehouses. They usually only carry them seasonally (fall and sometimes spring), but this past year they have had them in stock the whole year. It is possible the don't carry them in the East. In the warehouse have them search canopy. And the may find it. There are a lot of items carried in house that are not on line. The one in the picture has been in place 2 years.
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Old 07-12-2021, 02:47 PM   #7
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There are definite advantages with a temporary carport and advantages for a permanent carport too. I had a permanent 18'x25' carport built. It's an asset to the property. IF I was to sell my home, having a permanent carport is desirable. Replacing a temporary carport, even occasionally is adding to the landfills. The permanent carport did not increase my property taxes as it's free-standing. Either carport is better than just wax and IMHO waaay better than a trailer cover.
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Old 07-12-2021, 03:27 PM   #8
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Name: Gordon
Trailer: 2015 Scamp (16 Std Layout 4) with '15 Toyota Sienna LE Tug
North Carolina
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Thanks Terry.

Agree with Donna.. the problem here is minimum zoning setback distance from the side property line, and requirement to be 25 feet from the well... yes, even for a carport. Sooo... I'm doing the best I can to maintain the Scamp (and to keep IT out of the landfill also )
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Old 07-12-2021, 07:20 PM   #9
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Name: Terry
Trailer: 1971 Hunter compact Jr, 1979 Terry 19', 2003 Scamp 16'
California
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A well built permanent structure is a better long term investment where it can be built, the funds are available and it suites your needs. I would modify a canopy if needed. I use my canopies as long term temporary structures (from 3 to 5 years). I have a tractor port for the Scamp.
One of my canopies is on concrete the other on dirt. I buried concrete anchor blocks for the second.
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Old 07-16-2021, 04:35 PM   #10
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Name: Pat
Trailer: 2006 Scamp 19 Deluxe
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And then there is snow load! Nasty word!!! I keep thinking about raising the trusses and installing a larger door on my pole barn. It was built with a garden tractor in mind.
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Old 07-17-2021, 10:28 AM   #11
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Name: Dave
Trailer: 2020 19' Escape (was 05 16' Scamp) /2019 Ford Ranger/2017 Dodge Durango
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nancyrnfit View Post
So, the way to make it high enough to accommodate our 19 foot Scamp, which is almost 11 feet tall in front, is to raise the legs onto blocks, I suppose?
I placed my legs on top of railroad ties, and that got it plenty high for our 16' Scamp
Our 19' Escape with lift was a bit higher, so I ground the ends of some wooden dowels so they would fit in the poles as extensions, and that raised it high enough to fit our Escape under. Unfortunately that only got the center to 10' 1", so you would need longer extensions for your 19' Scamp, which would make it even higher.
Ours has lasted pretty well so far, we've had several wind storms in our area, heavy rains, but in Central GA we don't see much snow.
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Old 07-17-2021, 10:03 PM   #12
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Name: Darrell
Trailer: Scamp 16ft
Alabama
Posts: 281
Temp carport

Back when I lived near Savannah GA I bought one of the H.F. portable garage's aka canopy with sides. I used it for a few years, no problems with it. Then I loaned it to someone to use it for a wedding 😒 it came back bent poles and torn.... I've been thinking about getting another one for just the same thing or just getting a carport for mine. No zoning problem for me now. A year or so ago I poured two chunks of concrete for the Scamp to set on out of the dirt. I need to finish with it to keep water from pooling under it when it's raining.
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