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Old 08-04-2022, 08:15 AM   #1
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Trailer: U-Haul
SE Pennsylvania
Posts: 170
Carport

I want to set up a carport / shed to protect my trailer when not on the road. The most practical location on my property is at the rear corner or my property, at the end of my driveway.

It needs to be closer to the property line than code permits for a permanent structure, so it must to be a "temporary" structure to avoid applying for a variance & permit.

There are trees nearby so ideally it would have some reasonable strength to protect against falling branches. A metal roof would be preferred. Metal wall enclosure would be nice but tarps for side protection would be ok.

There are many companies that sell many varieties of such structures. Are there any brands that you folks have found that work especially well?

To be "temporary" presumably there would not be any footings. How are these structures secured down? Big stakes?
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Old 08-04-2022, 10:09 AM   #2
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Name: bob
Trailer: 1996 Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe; 1946 Modernistic teardrop
New York
Posts: 5,338
We looked into buying one of those metal carports to store our Casita 17. Since we are in the Northeast and it snows here the advice was to get what they call "certified" roof, which has the ridges running vertically to allow snow to slide off. Yet almost every one I see around here has the horizontal ridged roofing, probably because it is cheaper. We debated about full sides, half sides, and back wall, all extra cost options. Also should we go bigger to allow parking something else in it.Height had to be considered when ordering. Yes they stake it down. The end result, it was October, they couldn't guarantee delivery before winter, so we built a shelter ourselves. It has no sides, a back wall because there is a row of pine trees there. Works great to keep the snow off the trailer. Total cost, including a load of pea stone was $1700. That is pre pandemic lumber prices.
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Old 08-04-2022, 03:19 PM   #3
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Name: Kenneth
Trailer: Scamp
Wisconsin
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Round top?

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Originally Posted by Craig D. Thompson View Post
To be "temporary" presumably there would not be any footings. How are these structures secured down? Big stakes?
I use a "Round Top". Depending on the cover they can be a few hundred $ or a couple of thousand $. Note also that I feel the need to remove snow from mine here in Wisconsin. I also added more screw in earth anchors than came with it. When mine was new, a seam failed in the hot sun and they sent me a free replacement cover but I never installed it. I sold both the failed and new covers and installed a heaver cover that they offer for about 1200$.
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Old 08-07-2022, 05:42 AM   #4
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Thanks for the input.

Mary and bob, is your carport scratch built? Are the posts attached to footings? That would look and work well for me. Although it likely could not be considered a "temporary" structure.

A round top might work. Does it look strong enough to protect the trailer from falling branches?
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Old 08-07-2022, 06:13 AM   #5
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Name: bob
Trailer: 1996 Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe; 1946 Modernistic teardrop
New York
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Originally Posted by Craig D. Thompson View Post
Thanks for the input.

Mary and bob, is your carport scratch built? Are the posts attached to footings? That would look and work well for me. Although it likely could not be considered a "temporary" structure.

A round top might work. Does it look strong enough to protect the trailer from falling branches?
Yes, scratch built, more of a figure it out as you go rather than much of a plan. The posts are 3 feet or so in the ground with concrete around them. I dug down until I hit shale bedrock, so that was as far as I could go. Built the roof trusses on the floor of our storage shed, used our old Case loader / backhoe tractor as a scaffold to put the metal roof on.
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Old 08-07-2022, 08:39 AM   #6
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Name: Dave
Trailer: 2013Escape 21
Iowa
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Why not apply for a permit and a variance and build a pole building for complete protection? Are they impossible to get? Hard to beat a pole building with a metal roof and metal siding with an overhead door and an electrical service for keeping batteries charged, maintenance work and a place to store off season items out of the weather. Plus the security and vermin protection and no tree sap, leaves and dirt.
Iowa Dave
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Old 08-07-2022, 11:33 AM   #7
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Name: bill
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19
The Mountains of North Carolina
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I talked to my local building department, they are proud that they have NEVER issued a variance. It really depends on the town for sure.

I had a "Carolina Carport" installed on my lot. They just need a level surface, mine has long spikes holding it to the ground. Paid extra for vertical roof and half side walls. Highly recommend those options.

As far as protection from falling objects, depending on the size of the branch, I've seen large branches do major damage to houses. Nothing beats a good insurance policy.

Do make sure that one setting on the ground with no foundation does not require a permit.
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Old 08-07-2022, 12:19 PM   #8
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Name: Dave
Trailer: 2013Escape 21
Iowa
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I had a maintenance man who had a dream of building a pretty good sized pole building in the back of a deep lot. A “friend” had told him that the building department would not issue a permit for several reasons. Too big, not compatible with his house appearance etc. He hated the building department for their policies for years. One day he was asked to pick up some paper work for an electrical renovation we had contracted for a shop. He got the paper work from the senior building official and was about to leave his office when the guy asked him if there was anything else he could do for him.
Jerry said, “you won’t let me build a building so no.”
The official pursued the comment. It turned out that the “friends” opinion turned out to be totally not true, Jerry got his permit and for a few years he enjoyed a building he could have had for many years. That’s why I made the comment about asking for a variance. I always went by “you never know unless you ask”.
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Old 08-10-2022, 10:23 AM   #9
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Name: Steve
Trailer: Casita 17
Florida
Posts: 27
Very Nice Work

Quote:
Originally Posted by mary and bob View Post
We looked into buying one of those metal carports to store our Casita 17. Since we are in the Northeast and it snows here the advice was to get what they call "certified" roof, which has the ridges running vertically to allow snow to slide off. Yet almost every one I see around here has the horizontal ridged roofing, probably because it is cheaper. We debated about full sides, half sides, and back wall, all extra cost options. Also should we go bigger to allow parking something else in it.Height had to be considered when ordering. Yes they stake it down. The end result, it was October, they couldn't guarantee delivery before winter, so we built a shelter ourselves. It has no sides, a back wall because there is a row of pine trees there. Works great to keep the snow off the trailer. Total cost, including a load of pea stone was $1700. That is pre pandemic lumber prices.
I must say very nice work. You should be proud.
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Old 08-10-2022, 05:09 PM   #10
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Name: bob
Trailer: 1996 Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe; 1946 Modernistic teardrop
New York
Posts: 5,338
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Originally Posted by oldsteve View Post
I must say very nice work. You should be proud.
I'm not a professional carpenter, my main trade was truck mechanic. A friend who is a carpenter (and had no involvement at all in the project) said I did a good job. Wife was my assistant, she helped get the roof trusses up, helped get the metal roof panels on, held a ladder, and operated the loader on my tractor that I used as a scaffold. Bob
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Old 08-11-2022, 11:48 AM   #11
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Name: Pat
Trailer: 2006 Scamp 19 Deluxe
Enchanted Mountains of Western New York State on the Amish Trail in Cattaraugus County!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iowa Dave View Post
I had a maintenance man who had a dream of building a pretty good sized pole building in the back of a deep lot. A “friend” had told him that the building department would not issue a permit for several reasons. Too big, not compatible with his house appearance etc. He hated the building department for their policies for years. One day he was asked to pick up some paper work for an electrical renovation we had contracted for a shop. He got the paper work from the senior building official and was about to leave his office when the guy asked him if there was anything else he could do for him.
Jerry said, “you won’t let me build a building so no.”
The official pursued the comment. It turned out that the “friends” opinion turned out to be totally not true, Jerry got his permit and for a few years he enjoyed a building he could have had for many years. That’s why I made the comment about asking for a variance. I always went by “you never know unless you ask”.
Iowa Dave
A variance is only required when your proposed structure would be in violation of your communities zoning code, such as the structure being to close to the property line or to close to another building. Often there is a restriction on the percentage of the property that can be built on. It is good to know the zoning officer and to inquire about this stuff before you start building!! If you need a variance, you will need to fill out the proper paperwork and appear before the Zoning Board of Appeals. The board consist of your neighbors who have been appointed to the board by the mayor or what ever.
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Old 08-15-2022, 03:09 PM   #12
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Trailer: U-Haul
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Good point about finding out if a variance would be difficul to get or not. If the pole barn had to be setback from the property line per code it would be difficult to maneuver the trailer into it.

It costs several hundred dollars to apply so I want to be fairly confident it would be approved before applying.

I will chat with the building inspector, he might have some insights.
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