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Old 05-13-2009, 06:04 PM   #1
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How high to build workshop? Room to work? Need advice.

I'm getting ready to build a long planned work shop and storage building. Since I now have Aluminum Fever all previous plans are out the window and it will be designed around making our baby (unknown size but expect around 28 FT) comfortable. My lovely wife has said this building will get put up before we pull the trigger and buy our AS, so that's settled. HOA will not allow work in driveway even if it is an AS! Unbelievable!
I have an acre out back so if I had an unlimited checkbook I'd say about a 40,000 SQ FT 20 FT tall would work. I don't so I'm need to be a little creative and stick close to the original budget.
My question is has anyone built a shop and brought their AS in that might have pic's as to layout? I assume I need doors over 10 ft tall to clear the air conditioner, but how about the ceiling? Is just enough to crawl up enough?
Really appreciate everybody who shares their stories. You have already kept me from making tons of mistakes. I have studied this forum every day for a month so I can make the right choice for us. I went to look at one yesterday. The seller said after I had crawled over, under and poked just about everything that I must be some kind of inspector. I told him no thanks. Axles were great Andy,but floor in bath and back was mush and frame was rusted out. I will move on to the next one.
Thanks again everybody!
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Old 05-13-2009, 07:11 PM   #2
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AirHead,
What a luxury to build a space to hold an Airstream you don't even own yet!! I always seem to have my cart before the horse trying to make things work.

Some things that come to mind based storing our unit. It lives under our screened porch (house is elevated as we are in coastal SC) which is 12' wide by plenty long. Height is my issue--I have to let the air out of the tires down to 10 psi to get in its spot without tearing the AC off. Refill tires when in place. Ten feet clear would be perfect for your doors if you can do it. I would also think at least 12 feet in ceiling height ---would be nice to have 2 1/2 or 3 feet for access to the top of the trailer.

30 amp dedicated outlet to plug the camper into--will allow you to run your A/C without damaging the compressor.

If you are going to have plumbing in the building, it would be nice to have a floor level sewer cleanout to be able to empty/flush your waste tanks.

Good luck on the build and in finding the right Airstream.
Bill
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Old 05-13-2009, 07:42 PM   #3
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Yes, i agree the higher ceiling. You never know when you need to jack up the TT. Who knows, You might even come across a MH that you can't pass on.

Ricky
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Old 05-13-2009, 08:03 PM   #4
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I've got a 12' x 12' door on my trailer garage. The 12' high is great but I would like to have 14' wide. It's surprising how small that hole looks when aiming your Airstream at it in the dark. With the 12' high door you have lots of room over top for the rollup to come in.
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Old 05-13-2009, 08:10 PM   #5
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Good for you. I have dreams of one day being able to build an AS shop and area for storage. I drew up my concept in Google's SketchUp. The open area could be added at a later time if needed.

Brad
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Old 05-13-2009, 09:01 PM   #6
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I'd go for the biggest doors your wallet can stand. The side of our shop that the AS is kept in has a 14' high x 12' wide door , the 16' walls give plenty of room to work on things from up above. We got the AS and then went looking for a building . The guy we bought it from is an electrical contractor who also owns an RV (SOB) , so he put in some really nice touches like floor drains, an inside dump station, and inside/outside RV power hookups.
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Old 05-13-2009, 09:30 PM   #7
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We built our Airstream barn a few years ago and it's 40' deep x 30' wide. I cannot remember the height but it's wicked tall as the doors are 14' high and it has a storage loft above the bays. It was built to hold the largest Airstream MH at the time as my Parents were thinking of upgrading from their 30' Airstream MH to a bigger Airstream MH and to hold our beloved 25' Excella. It currently stores our 25' Excella and our 20' Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre. We have plans to expand so we can store my sister's 25' Airstream and our utility trailers - this is down the road due to $$$$.
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Old 05-14-2009, 04:52 AM   #8
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Thanks guys, some really great ideas. I had not thought about putting a inside dump but I might as well before the slab gets done. Should be able to pre plumb and wire for what ever might come down the road.
I saw a building in a brochure (attached), similar to what Brad had drawn up. The sales guy is coming out this morning, so I'll see what the options are. I like the idea of the big over hang, covered but not enclosed.
Leon, is your barn a drive thru or do you back in. I'd like a drive thru but it adds to the expense of another door and looses bench and storage area in the back.
Thanks again for your replies,
Joe
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Old 05-14-2009, 05:15 AM   #9
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10' high doors work great for an AS, to add future resale value go with 14' high then any SOB will fit. Just as a FYI typically your sidewall height will need to be 2' higher than your door height for the clearance of a roll up door, header and associated hardware. Also consider doors that hang on an outside track and slide to the side, frees up the door opening. Electrical and plumbing are great ideas and cost less to rough in now rather than later. Otherwise you plan looks great!

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Old 05-14-2009, 07:48 AM   #10
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Here's the proposed interior layout/floorplan. Having an interior dump connection is a great idea so I added one. The outside parking under cover would be used as a guest house or a staging spot. I can't decide about the skylights since I think they'd add to the interior heat factor.

Of course, this is all up in the air right now since it will take more $ than we can manage at the moment. Need to secure better employment for this to happen.

Brad
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Old 05-14-2009, 08:34 AM   #11
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In 2003, before I had my Airstream, I built my garage to be able to store a 25' Airstream, my F250SD CC and a car. Due to extremely limited lot space, the garage is 28' deep by 31' wide. The RV door is 10' X 10' which is barely wide and tall enough for the newer wide body AS. If lot space was not an issue, I would have built a 40' deep by 36' wide building with a 12 X 12 door and a ceiling height of 14' just in case I decided to get anything I wanted that was larger. I insulated the garage so I never need to winterize the AS without adding any heat, even with outside temps down to 15 degrees. I do wish I had put a dump station in the driveway just outside the door.
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Old 05-14-2009, 09:05 AM   #12
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Hi Brad,

I like your plan! I only wish I had the lot size/money to build something like this my self.

May I offer a couple of minor sugestions?

- I would include another man door back by the steps. I just feel safer if something bad happens to block you way out of the shop.

- Move the compressor as far away from where you will be working as possible. I hate compressor noise.

- Swap the toilet room and kitchen area. Although it will be difficult, it may stay a little less "sawdusty" over there

- When you have extra money, perhaps enclose the "lounge"? I guess that need really depends on how much woodworking your planning.

- Enlarge the toilet room a tad, this is a shop, not a cruise ship. (unless you really like the way airstream bathrooms feel!) Maybe add a urinal.....

- In an ideal space I would find room to store bulk supplies like 4X8 sheets and 8' lumber
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Old 05-14-2009, 10:14 AM   #13
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Hi all,
Just met with the sales guy for the building. After our discussion, we are thinking a 36X45,(15.9 tall on inside) without the covered 12' over hang. After looking at Brad's floor plan, it makes sense to put it back in, but will have to work into budget someway.
The doors will be sliders so will have almost the full 15 ft for clearance. All the plumbing and electrical will be easy to add in once the final size is determined. I'm basically getting a build shell that I can finish like I want on the inside. Sales guy is e-mailing me the proposal later today and I'll post the pic's if I can.
Thanks to all,
Joe
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Old 05-14-2009, 10:56 AM   #14
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Brad,

What I like most about your plan is there are two '59 Tadewinds.
I'll even be happy with the outside berth.

You should add a Penguin AC on top of mine, though.
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Old 05-14-2009, 11:31 AM   #15
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That's right Mr. Doane, two TradeWinds. I had to use something as a model and I have mine memorized.

Dan ~ thanks for the suggestions. I especially like the thought of moving the compressor so now it'll now go under the stairs. I will rethink the area that includes the kitchen, lounge and bathroom as your thoughts on wood shavings and airborne particles is right on. I hadn't considered another man sized entry door in the back since this will be close to the property line where there is an unrestricted bridal path behind the property. My thinking was that I wouldn't be able to see it from the house and I didn't want to provide an access point for prowlers but an extra escape is always a good thing. I'll just need to secure it really well. I am planning on having some low ceiling storage space above the right parking pad and a place where I could slide full sheets of plywood under the railing from below so I won't have to carry them up the crooked staircase.

Keep these ideas coming, they'll help us all. Much appreciated.

Brad
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Old 05-14-2009, 12:05 PM   #16
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I've got a separate shed next to my shop. I'd suggest a dedicated 30 amp circuit for each trailer stall. I plumbed my trailer shed with a dump site as well..plumbed to house sewer.

For the shop: I recommend a small attached shed for your air compressor and adequate sized shop vac...all plumbed into the shop area quite easily. It really cuts down on the noise. You'll be glad you did. FWIW.
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Old 05-14-2009, 12:21 PM   #17
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Thanks for the suggestions Scott. I'm downloading the Google Sketchup program that Brad drew his up to start plugging things in. I never knew that was out there. Make me wonder what else I don't know!
Along with the outside air compressor, I'm also going to make a place for a very noisy generator.
Joe
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Old 05-14-2009, 01:00 PM   #18
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Just don't bury your compressor too much or you will forget to drain the condensation! Could be an expensive mistake. Ask me how I know.....

Also note that you could put in a rear door without any outside hardware. No locks, handles or anything to grab on to.
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Old 05-14-2009, 01:02 PM   #19
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heights

I have a 60' x 40' pole barn for my little stuff. It is amazing to me that it was full one week after we got it up!!! I am glad it is not bigger and I'm glad its not smaller, but that is for me and our stuff.

My biggest concern is the door height, my neighbor had a barn built and he had a fiver that fit in it quite well. Later he decided to purchase a class a pusher... guess what... it wouldn't fit through the door by 3".

Not that anyone of us is going that route but... ensure the opening is at least 13'6" tall, as that is the legal height limit to all RV's.

As someone else said "14' at the least, as you need at least 6" for rollup door hardware."

Good luck
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Old 05-14-2009, 01:10 PM   #20
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This is the plan we're using - hope to start on it later this summer. Not huge but large enough for the trailer and a work area/mower storage. The rear lift door will move to the left side wall and that man door will be eliminated. I think the plan for this one was $35.00 or so.

Garage Plans - 28' x 36' - pl18
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