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1978 W200
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I don't think I'll get a garage built here before this winter, and I'm looking into car covers. There's also these tent/garage/shelter things on ebay for about the same as a custom cover. Maybe a bit more, but I could use a shelter like that for building materials and such later.

Anyone had experience with one of these things or similar? Are they worth it? This truck looks to have been garage kept its whole life, and I don't want to leave an old man out in the weather like I've been doing for my poor little CR-V.

tent thinger
 

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My father-in-law has something similar that he modified so he can back his racer car on a flatbed trailer under it and keep it mostly out of the sun. At first, I figured it'd last like a year tops, but it's going on 6 or so and other than aesthetics, it's still doing its job.

Most people around here buy the metal carports that you put together yourself and everything is pre-cut and pre-bent. The only thing that destroys them is hurricane's and what not.

This style - Texas Steel Carports and Metal Sheds Online

I have no opinion of that particular site or seller, but 5 years ago the basic 18x20 was $700 delivered and $1100 delivered/built....
 

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I’d go for a high end car cover. The tent garages do have advantages but ya don’t have to surf long to find lots of instances of the material failing in under a year, especially the harbor frieght grade ones.Some people manage to extend the life span by covering them with a sacrificial tarp. I looked in to metal carports earlier this year and while the product might be worth the coin, the companies selling them are straight up scum. Maybe stash it in a 10x20 u-store-it for the winter?
 

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sitting on damp ground will rot the auto in jig time covered or not .
 

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'79 Dodge Power Wagon Macho
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I've had both and I like the portable garage better but they have their limits also. If you get a car cover, get one that blocks rain and breathes. The problem with covers is that they wear the paint down from rubbing and the don't protect against damage. The shelter allows you to walk around the truck while being sheltered and has good ventilation and provides a bit better protection. The downside to the shelter is that wind can beat them up especially a storm.
 

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I am personally on my second one. It's a cover for my boat. First one lasted 2 years before being shredded by the wind and the snow was a constant battle to clean off. (If you have snow to worry about)
I now have a second which is more rounded than the first and hopefully it will last longer. I have old elevator belting on the ground to keep it off the dirt and prevent organic growth.
Oh and they get HOT in the summer.
I wouldn't expect one to last even 5 years to be honest.
(Oh the brand I have now is Shelterlogic)
 

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1978 W200
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
sitting on damp ground will rot the auto in jig time covered or not .
That worries me as well. I do have some heavy billboard vinyl tarps. Maybe put one of those down?
 

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l have TWO ShelterLogic | Outdoor Shelter, Tent Shed & Storage Canopy a round top and a peak roof and both 12 x 20 to fit a full size dodge , l would HIGHLY recommend the Round top if you have snow as it sheds the snow all by it's self , it also has more head room than the peak roof shed , l also made a 2 x 4 pressure treated base with lap joints that the shed feet are screwed to [ it also helps square the shed up , then l bought thick Mil plastic sheeting for the ground and YES l have a Harbor freight tarp over the top [ you only need the cover if your garage is in direct sunlight ]
 

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I was given one of the canvas car garages as pictured less windows. It has lasted three very hot Florida summers, but this is its last. They are not air tight so no condensation forms inside of it. I have even moved it several times. So I think the temp garages have good uses over car covers.



I also have a large metal carport with 3/4 sides, and white stone floor. And my garage is 1000 sq ft. I can fit four vehicles at times. Five if I park a car under the car on the lift.
 

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1978 W200
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
l have TWO ShelterLogic | Outdoor Shelter, Tent Shed & Storage Canopy a round top and a peak roof and both 12 x 20 to fit a full size dodge , l would HIGHLY recommend the Round top if you have snow as it sheds the snow all by it's self , it also has more head room than the peak roof shed , l also made a 2 x 4 pressure treated base with lap joints that the shed feet are screwed to [ it also helps square the shed up , then l bought thick Mil plastic sheeting for the ground and YES l have a Harbor freight tarp over the top [ you only need the cover if your garage is in direct sunlight ]
Now that sounds like a plan.
 

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I recently came across this guys video on YouTube. Not perfect for our winters but may be good for you.

 

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I have used the Harbor freight version for a about a year after the wife got her Durango. It took up a garage spot the Journey had and I wanted to keep Journey out of the elements since we are only the 2nd owner and paint/body is pretty flawless. Sun is hard on the interiors of these things too.

IMO The framing is pretty good on the Harbor Freight version, but I recommend over engineering it to the ground if you want it to stay up. Anchor it good the way they say too then drill into the ground (Preferably solid ground like blacktop or concrete) for the middle support legs to keep it in place. I used self tapping screws at all of the link points as well even though they only give you enough for a "few" of the junctions. The tarp is the weak link, keep the ratchet straps down tight and try to keep the snow off of it. We had a pretty decent winter this year and it held up well. The only weak link I foresee just because it is used frequently is the zippers for the door they seem to be wanting to separate at this point, but if you don't care about the door being up it works great to keep things off your vehicle.

Final thought, The harbor freight ones are a little small for one of our rigs though. My 14 Journey barely fits. But I only paid 175 bucks for it too.

Neil
 
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My first Shelter Logic lasted just over two years. My second one looked great 2 years later (and looked like it was going to be good for another 2 years) but I had my accident and sold everything. A concrete foundation and covering the canvas like DODGEBOYS said really helped making it last longer for sure in both summer and winter. The rounder the roof the better. Thankfully we don't get much snow around here but it only takes one bad snowfall. One year we got dumped on out of nowhere for 2 or three days and then nothing but on the second night, it toppled down on to his '68 340 4 speed Formula S Cuda notch back and scratched the heck out of the paint unfortunately. Turned out that he assembled it poorly - one of those guys that don't need no stinkin' instructions kinda guy.
I didn't really say much about my experience with car covers earlier but I will say that they last about as long as a portable shelter, maybe a bit longer, but not much longer, anyways, if you get a car cover get one that can breathe and blocks water because if it can't breathe the paint may sweat and cause rust because ones that can't breathe trap moisture and they really do scratch the paint if left on for long periods from the wind. It's 6 of one or a half dozen of the other, either way a more solid structure is always best.
 

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The two bad things for any of those, is wind & sun.

To defeat the wind, you want the cover tight so it does not flap in the wind, Thats what breaks down the coating.

To defeat the sun, you want shade. Some put a tarp over the top to keep the sun off the cover, but then you are back to wind flapping things around.

I have two HF ones for several years. one sits behind the garage, pointing more or less north and south, and in the shade of the house most of the day. It has small holes, but a tarp on top has been ok. The other is in the sun, and sits east and west, The south side of it is torn and shredded from the sun and wind. Even the tarp covering the tent needs replaced before winter.
 

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1978 W200
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
After reading all of these responses (thanks very much) I'm thinking I may put a shelter over a heavy ground tarp, and anchor it to some treated 4x4s. Then maybe even some straps and another heavy tarp on top of it all. It gets windy here. Snow isn't too bad. Maybe a couple times in the winter. Mostly, it's just soggy and cold.

Other option is an insecure equipment barn down the road. I could pull out the Jeep, sell it, and take that spot. I'd do that, but there's a lot of f*ckery that happens by that barn. Old farm road in the middle of nowhere attracts people up to no good, and there's been a rash of petty thievery going through the area. I'd really like to to keep this truck where I can watch it.
 

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1978 W200
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
l have TWO ShelterLogic | Outdoor Shelter, Tent Shed & Storage Canopy a round top and a peak roof and both 12 x 20 to fit a full size dodge , l would HIGHLY recommend the Round top if you have snow as it sheds the snow all by it's self , it also has more head room than the peak roof shed , l also made a 2 x 4 pressure treated base with lap joints that the shed feet are screwed to [ it also helps square the shed up , then l bought thick Mil plastic sheeting for the ground and YES l have a Harbor freight tarp over the top [ you only need the cover if your garage is in direct sunlight ]
There's quite a selection available. Which do you have (or similar)? I don't want to spend too much, but am equally concerned about spending too little and getting something too light. shelter logic garage tents
 

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I've had the 10x20 portable carport from Costco. The material held up for awhile, but there was a windy night where I woke up the next morning to find the carport about 2 acres down the property. I'm not sure if 4x4's would hold it down in a good wind. Mine has actually torn t-posts out of the ground. If I was to do it again I'd probably use deep stakes to anchor the legs from going sideways, and then anchor it down to the RC so it can't take off vertically.
 
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1978 W200
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I've had the 10x20 portable carport from Costco. The material held up for awhile, but there was a windy night where I woke up the next morning to find the carport about 2 acres down the property. I'm not sure if 4x4's would hold it down in a good wind. Mine has actually torn t-posts out of the ground. If I was to do it again I'd probably use deep stakes to anchor the legs from going sideways, and then anchor it down to the RC so it can't take off vertically.
Dang. Well... I guess I could dig a few holes and actually sink some posts. I don't particularly care for post hole digging and avoid it like the plague, but I'd do it for this truck.
 

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Get some 10 foot 2x6's, and drive on top of them, and anchor the tent to the ends.
 
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