October 19, 2018

Tips for Choosing the Right Garage Door Size for SUVs and RVs

Garage size

When it comes to residential garage door sizes, most of us have a pretty good estimate in mind. Single doors generally measure about nine feet wide by eight feet tall at the maximum. Double doors are usually 16 feet wide, but may be up to 18 feet wide. However, are those large enough for sports utility vehicles (SUVs)? What about recreational vehicles (RVs)?

With SUVs, the question is really more about height, as the widths of these vehicles tend to be pretty standard. However, with RVs, there’s an excellent chance that a standard height garage door is just not going to cut it.

In this post, we will explore txhe available options and considerations you’ll need to make. We recommend bearing this in mind if you are in the process of building a new garage, whether you’re going with a detached garage or an attached garage. We also recommend keeping these tips in mind if you’re planning to buy an SUV or RV in the near future.

SUV Considerations

You’ll find that SUVs can vary in size a great deal, whether you’re talking about compact, mid-size, full-size, or crossover models. So, we need to start by establishing something of a baseline. For instance, they can be as short as 5.5 feet (1.675 m) or as tall as 6.1 feet (1.845 m). The standard garage door is around 7.0 ft (2.1 m) which will probably be fine. However, what if your vehicle has a luggage rack, or you decide that you want to add one down the road? That will increase the vehicle’s height by a good 6.0 inches (15 cm). So, you would want to make sure that your garage door was at least 8.0 feet (2.4 m) tall.

In addition to height, you will need to make sure that your garage is able to hold the length of any SUV that you’re thinking about buying. These vehicles average 15.4 feet (4.7 m) long to 16.9 feet (5.1 m) long. While you’ve got your tape measure out, make sure you measure for door clearance – you don’t want to find that you cannot fully open any of the doors once you park in the garage.

RV Considerations

Thinking about buying an RV? Perhaps you already have one and you’re building a new garage to suit. These vehicles are truly massive. Even a small model is larger than an SUV. They generally stand about 9.5 feet (2.9 m) tall, and there is usually an air conditioner on top that adds between 8 and 12 inches of height. There may also be a satellite dish or other type of antenna that stands even taller. Just driving these on the road can be a challenge, as the lowest clearance for bridges and underpasses is around 13.5 feet. That doesn’t count things like hitting the drive-through at a fast food restaurant, or going to the bank teller.

With RVs, you’ll want a garage door that stands about 12 feet (3.6 m) tall. You will also want to make sure that it is wide enough to accommodate your vehicle – go for one that is at least 10 feet wide, but preferably 12 feet wide (3 to 3.6 m). This will give you more than ample room to get in and out of the garage. As a note, most RV-specific garages are detached from the house because the roof height is usually dramatically different, and it can cause problems with water flow.

You may be thinking about a travel trailer/fifth wheel, rather than a conventional RV. Here, you’ll need to think about height, certainly, but length is the greater issue, as these can measure from 22 feet (6.7 m) to 40 feet (12.2 m).

Measuring Your Garage Door

Not entirely sure how big your garage door is? Measuring it is important, but it is not difficult to do. You’ll need to measure from the floor to the lintel, and then from side to side. The door should be as large as your garage door opening – there’s a direct correlation. Don’t forget to measure headroom on the interior. This is the amount of space from the floor to the first obstruction that you’ll encounter. If you are building a new garage, headroom is also important to consider. Make sure there’s ample space for the garage door, door track, and opener, plus your vehicle.

Not Sure How to Get Started?

Need a helping hand? Contact us today before buying an SUV or RV, and building a new garage. We have decades of experience and would love the opportunity to help ensure you get the perfect solution. Call us, stop by the showroom, or get an email quote to get started.

You can also visit our Design Centre to see your garage door options. We recommend taking a tour through our image gallery as well, as this highlights the results we’ve been able to achieve for other customers.

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