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Old 10-24-2019, 11:09 AM   #1
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2014 19' International
Camp Hill , Pennsylvania
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Pre-fab steel garage for our Airstream

I'm in the early stages of planning to erect a garage to store our Airstream. I'm curious if anyone has gone the pre-fab steel route. I came across a company (Alan's Factory Outlet) that has stock units but will also custom build a storage garage. The price includes shipping and installation. I plan on placing it on a concrete pad with electric. No water, sewer, heat or insulation, just a bare bones garage to protect our beloved AS from the elements. Consequently, I'm looking to be as frugal as possible without compromising quality and durability.

I'd appreciate any and all comments regarding steel structures and/or alternative building options from those who have gone through this same process.

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Old 10-24-2019, 12:17 PM   #2
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We did a lot of research on the subject of pre-engineered metal buildings and found that it is a "You get what you pay for" industry. Not there aren't exceptions, but sellers are going to make a profit. Cost cuts typically come at the buyer's expense usually in the form of lighter gauge materials, up charges for extras, coatings thickness, etc..

We ultimately went with Worldwide Steel Buildings which was not the least expensive option, but we wanted a fully functioning shop/garage with a mezzanine, and shed roofs on both sides, we will be adding full utilities and a temporary living quarters which sounds like far more than you seek, so YMMV.

Something else to take into consideration with steel buildings though. Does your building cost include insulation? Your building may not be climate controlled, but you'll likely still need to insulate the structure as condensation is a real issue in the world of steel buildings. As such you should do your research and talk with others/or builders in your area.

Here is a good video outlining some things to consider when you are working your way through the research and purchase process.

Best of luck,



"One of the best lessons I've learned is that you don't worry about criticism from people you wouldn't seek advice from."

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Old 10-24-2019, 01:37 PM   #3
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Baileys Harbor , Wisconsin
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I put up a Cleary Pole Barn (steel building). I have it ventilated to take care of any condensation. Our temperatures are cold in the winter, but not that hot in the summer. We live on a Peninsula in Door County with Green Bay and Lake Michigan not far from us. So the humidity is fairly high (though not like in Florida by any means). I built a 18x36 on slab with 12x12 door and 14' side walls. Remember to make it bigger than just the basics for your AS for resale purposes. Total cost was about $28,000 (includes excavation, etc). Not sure what your costs are. But I'm a real estate appraiser and deal with costs all the time, and Cleary was very competitive with other builders. I went with them more because they could get it done instead of waiting a year.

There is nothing wrong with modular or pre-fab construction as long as it meets code and snow load issues. I think it is a great idea if you save some money. I use to own a business where we sold modular homes. I live in a modular home. (By the way don't confuse modular construction to a manufacture HUD home. BIG DIFFEFRENCE.) Just as good as an on site built house. In some ways better. So you shouldn't be afraid of "modular" or "pre-fab.' Just make sure that the specs are similar with regard to construction standards.

We also put up "pre-fab" basements by the way. They were really well engineered.
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Old 10-24-2019, 01:48 PM   #4
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2014 20' Flying Cloud
Long Island , New York
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Good advice so far, with plenty more yet to come.

These "metal building" search results should reveal other helpful threads and posts here on

I remember following Ron's project in Utah a few years ago:

Good luck,

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Old 10-25-2019, 01:25 PM   #5
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2018 26' Flying Cloud
Oriental , North Carolina
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I ddid not build, but rather bought a small piece of land with a steel building already there. My FC 26U fits nicely with room for two other vehicles. I am glad our AirStream is protected. The building has power so I can have heat and light. We considered a metal carport but decided to go with the enclosed building. Very glad I went this route. No regrets.
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Old 10-25-2019, 02:44 PM   #6
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2005 30' Land Yacht 30 SL
St. Germain , Wisconsin
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I have a 32’x40’ Cleary steel building with no modifications for my 31’ Landyacht, Jeep toad and two “summer cars”. I live in northern Wi. with temperature ranges from -20 to 90 degrees. I never bring winter moisture (road salt) into the building. In 12 plus years I have never had a rusting problem.
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Old 10-25-2019, 06:49 PM   #7
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1976 24' Argosy 24
Milford , New Jersey
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I know you're looking for a steel building but seeing as your from PA I thought I would chime in.
We did a 30x40 pole barn with a 12ft x 40 open enclosure on the side.
It was done by Armada Buildings in PA. Total cost with delivery and construction was 26,000 +/-.
Now. I need to tell you that total cost came in close to 45K, with a concrete floor, insulation, site prep (not much level ground around here), wood stove chimney, and me doing the wiring.
Good Luck. G

Good luck
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Old 10-25-2019, 08:02 PM   #8
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Copper Hill , Virginia
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I had someone build a pole barn 24x36 roof , poles and concrete pad. I then put the sides on myself. Right now I adding a 16x36 shed roof out the left side.

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Old 10-25-2019, 08:27 PM   #9
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I bought a kit from Olympia Steel Buildings and assembled it myself (with help from friends). Quality of materials, directions, and support while in construction stage were excellent. Salesman was Victor Gutierrez. Good guy. 412 250 2157 It was a few years ago but I was very happy with the whole project. Good luck
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Old 10-25-2019, 10:32 PM   #10
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1973 21' Globetrotter
1975 26' Argosy 26
Vista , California
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I doubt you can ever have enough covered space. A wise man said “ given a space you will find something to fill it with”.
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Old 10-25-2019, 11:12 PM   #11
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Waco , Texas
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We just completed a metal prefabricated RV port for our Airstream, which is a FC25FB. It's a 20' x 40' port, to mainly reduce UV damage and eliminate potential damage from Texas hailstones. A concrete pad with 1/2" rebar and welded wire was poured to about 4" thickness. This was added for overall enjoyment and to help provide a 42,000 lb anchor to the RV port.

I also added an outside water supply and had a local electrical contractor add an RV power box with usual 30A connection and two 20A connections. You can purchase the RV power box from either Ebay or Amazon. Click image for larger version

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Old 10-27-2019, 09:23 AM   #12
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1976 24' Argosy 24
Milford , New Jersey
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If you're planning an overhang definetly go 15 or 16ft. This 12ft overhang is a tight fit.
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Old 10-27-2019, 11:58 AM   #13
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2017 30' Classic
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
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The trailer starts out at 8.5' wide. If you can back it +/- 1' that's doing quite well after a long day's drive. You are now at 10.5' (or more). Indeed I find a 12' garage door into a completely dark space a hassle.

If you flop down the side storage doors, that's about 18" each, you just added 3' and are at 13.5'. You now want to walk around everything, add another 2 to 3' for "aisle width". Poof! You are into the 17 to 19 foot range. All of a sudden 20' does not sound very wide at all

Never enough room

If you are going for water and electric, how about a pipe into the home's sewage system? Then you are pretty much 100% set up for anything you might need to do.

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Old 10-27-2019, 04:06 PM   #14
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I'm so blessed to have a garage for our airstream. The width from the right wall to the center cut in the concrete is 11 1/2 feet. There's 30 inches between the wall and the street side of the unit, which is enough to get a ladder in there and do whatever else might be necessary. I could park it in the middle but then I wouldn't be able to get the truck in there too. It's a tight fit for both the airstream and the ford, but doable.
The overhead door is 18 feet wide.

If I were to be ordering a metal building I think I'd go at least 16 feet wide (could probably do 14 feet wide but it would be tight) and plan on a 12-foot wide door.
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Old 10-30-2019, 01:14 PM   #15
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Colorado Springs , Colorado
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Here is my shed in the storage lot. They allow you to erect sheds if you want. 12x36 shed in a 40' spot. It has held up to 1" hail and 90mph winds here in Colorado plus any snowloads these last 2 yrs. Closed on back end and open on bottom 4' of sides to allow circulation.
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Don & Karen
2016 AS Flying Cloud 28'
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Old 10-30-2019, 01:15 PM   #16
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Woodinville , Washington
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A Versatube carport is a good solution

I went with a VersaTube 12' x 30' x 10' prefab carport, for our 20' x 8' Airstream. It is just the right size for what we need, but would recommend a 14' wide unit if you have the area available and meet county codes. We had restrictions on the width of the site and access lane, and a 400 sq. ft. limit for the structure. You also need a couple of feet extra on each side to put a ladder.

The steel carport replaced a 12' x 25' x 10' steel pole and tarp structure that almost collapsed in a freak snow storm last winter. We live near Seattle, and get a heavy snow maybe once in 10 or 15 years. Except for putting in the gravel pad (mostly recycled concrete), I built the whole thing myself over last summer. I put in concrete piers with tube forms every 5' under the base rails, which is a lot less expensive than a concrete pad. My total cost was about $4400 for the carport kit, and $1200 for the gravel pad and simple retaining wall on one side of the pad.

The VersaTube company recommends three people are needed for some of the construction, such as raising the ribs and putting on the sheet metal sides and roof. I created a simple hoist with a pulley and leftover steel poles from the previous structure, and made a simple wood brace to help hold the side sheets in place while attaching them. A couple of years previously, I had run a 30-amp extension down to the area from the house.
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Old 10-30-2019, 02:09 PM   #17
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1973 31' Sovereign
Mantua , Ohio
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So many great ideas! We had a little carport on our property for our smaller camper. Now that the airstream is nearing completion, we're discussing an arched cabin. They come in steel and wood variants. They both have pro's and cons. You can put one up by yourself in a solid weekend and they'll handle high winds and snow load and protect your airstream well. We've had small 3-4" tree branches falling on our smaller camper canopy and it makes me really want something more robust. Cheers!
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Old 10-31-2019, 12:28 PM   #18
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2016 27' Flying Cloud
Chico , California
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We went with one from Future Steel for our FC 27FB and got it at 15' x 30' x 12' 6". My neighbor and I put it up. No walls, but I'm putting a roller shade on the front for UV protection.
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Old 10-31-2019, 02:08 PM   #19
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New Market , Alabama
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I have an SOB under a larger version of the metal car ports. It seems like it is plenty strong. Mine is 20x35 ft. I think it was around $4k which is not bad.

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Old 11-14-2019, 07:10 PM   #20
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