We all have a good idea of the size of a residential garage door. When we talk about single doors, they are most often 8 or 9 ft. wide by 7 or 8 ft. high. For a double garage door, the width can vary between 14 to 16 or even 18 ft. wide. However, is this sufficient for a sports utility vehicle (SUV) or a recreational vehicle (RV)? As widths are fairly standard for SUVs, it is a question of height for them, while for an RV, there is a good chance that an 8′-high door might not be enough.
This blog explains what your best option is based on the size of your vehicle. It’s strongly suggested to keep the following information in mind, especially if you are building a new garage whether attached or detached, or you are planning on buying an SUV or RV that will reside in your current garage.
What about SUVs?
SUVs come in various sizes so let’s start by establishing a range: the height can vary between 5.5 ft. (1.675 m) and 6.1 ft. (1.845 m). So now you think that a 7-ft. (2.1 m) door will be sufficient, but there is at least one important point to take into consideration: do you have or would you like to add a luggage carrier on the roof of your car? Bear in mind that this could represent an addition of 6 in. (15 cm) to the height. For this situation, the wise choice would be an 8-ft. (2.4 m) door.
As well, we recommend adding the length of the vehicle to your equation. If you already have a garage, the length of the SUV shouldn’t be a problem, but measure it anyway to be sure. On average, SUVs are between 15.4 ft. (4.7 m) and 16.9 ft. (5.1 m) long. Also keep in mind the maximum width with the car doors open. You don’t want the kids dinging the doors against things each time they get in or out of the car. Rearranging the contents of your garage to have enough room may be necessary.
…and those big RVs?
On the market you can find RVs measuring up to 9 ½ ft. (2.9 m) high. On top of that, don’t forget to add an air conditioning unit, if you have or plan to have one, as well as a satellite dish or even a system of solar panels. Depending on the roads you take, height restrictions may come into play. However, let’s say that 13 ½ ft. seems to be the most often seen lowest limit, meaning definitely stay well below that. And we are just talking about highway height restrictions, not those of old covered bridges, fast food drive-thrus and other low clearance structures.
Since we are talking about higher vehicles, we frequently see 12-ft.-high (3.6 m) garage doors. As for the width, a 10 to 12-ft. (3 to 3.6 m) door should be enough. And lastly, most all garages used for RVs are detached from the house and often build in the backyard.
To this category, we can add trailers of the “fifth wheel” type pulled by pickup trucks like the F-150. Once again, the height isn’t really the problem although again, roof add-ons must be considered. However, the length could definitely come into play for your garage size. Lengths may vary between 22 ft. (12.2 m) to a considerable 40 ft. (12.2 m)!
How is a garage door measured?
Before going ahead with the purchase of an RV, you should measure the width and length of the current garage you want to use. To measure it, it’s relatively simple: with a measuring tape, note the distance from the interior of one door jamb to the other. For the height (also called the lintel), it’s the same thing. This means your garage door is the same size as this opening.
If you are building a brand new garage, the most critical dimension is the clearance or headroom over the head of the door. Another way of thinking about it is the distance from the floor to the first obstruction. This could be a truss or even ducts or tanks installed in the ceiling. It is important to always take measurements including any interior elements.
Then contact us toll free at 1-877-794-4223 before you build your garage or buy an SUV or RV. We know garage doors better than anyone else. We are fully able to advise you and explain the best choice to make based on your specific needs while also respecting your budget. We will gladly provide you with a quotation by email.
Alternatively, stop by and meet us at our showroom. From the comfort of your home, use our Design Centre to choose the garage door style that best suits you. For inspiration, take a look at our image gallery for numerous beautiful examples.