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Author Topic: Building an RV Garage  (Read 679 times)

Mpyre

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Building an RV Garage
« on: September 16, 2017, 04:31:54 PM »
I am having an RV garage built!  Very excited and a little nervous to have this done and want to be sure to do it right the fist time.  Any tips from people who have done this would be appreciated.  It will double as a shop and RV parking place.  Electrical will start with 240V 100A.  I am planning for a bathroom and to be able to dump the RV tanks in to my septic system.  Is there some standard specification for RV sani-dump plumbing?  Should it be in the building or can I make a small door with the pipe just outside?
1998 Fleetwood Flair 25'

kdbgoat

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Re: Building an RV Garage
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2017, 04:37:06 PM »
There are a few threads on this site about RV garages. Let the "search" button be your friend! ;D
As far as the RV dump to the septic, local codes will be your guide for that. Some locales don't allow it, but folks have been creative in their description of their proposed system IE: system clean out plug etc.
I know you believe you understand what you think I said,
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2016 Leprechaun 319DS

ArdraF

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Re: Building an RV Garage
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2017, 06:21:53 PM »
Here's one of the discussions in which Jerry and I posted.  We were lucky to be able to build one attached to the house and our builder did a great job.  For that matter, so did the architect who made it look like part of the house structure.

http://www.rvforum.net/SMF_forum/index.php/topic,79742.msg722447.html#msg722447

ArdraF
ArdraF
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grashley

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  • Western KY for now.
Re: Building an RV Garage
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2017, 07:05:41 PM »
Some of the comments that I liked were

Place the lights along the walls, not above the RV.
A floor drain to handle a wet RV or allow washing it inside.
Since you will have a bathroom, include hot and cold water spigots in the garage.
Leave room to extend slides and still have room to walk around.

My thought on the dump station is to install a clean out in a tapered concrete pad by the back of the garage, and install a small pet door at the same place.
Preacher Gordon
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Mpyre

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Re: Building an RV Garage
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2017, 07:10:34 PM »
Thanks for the link Ardra.  Lots of good info in that thread.

Grashly, I totally agree on the lighting and the floor drain.  I am looking into the spigots in the garage but they may not be allowed(CA regs).  :(

 
1998 Fleetwood Flair 25'

HueyPilotVN

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Re: Building an RV Garage
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2017, 07:59:45 PM »
When I was looking for a home with an RV garage the builder told me that because hose bibs are not allowed in the garage in Arizona, they wait until after the final inspection and just add them to the supply line for the water heater in the garage.

The house I finally bought has them in the garage where I wanted them and a stainless work sink with hot and cold water.

I would make a few other suggestions. 

You might plan on also putting  a 50 Amp service on the outside wall of your RV garage for another full hookup.

Plan your subpanel to handle both 50 amp outlets and lots of 110 outlets along the inside walls and at least one waterproof GFI on the outside.

I would also add water and a sewer cleanout on the outside.

Mine has the overhead tubes close to the walls in the ceiling and it makes all the difference in seeing and waxing the sides of the coach.  Directly overhead would be blocked by the coach.

One other thing is that I have high overhead doors at both ends and it really helps with the cooling breeze.

Good Luck with your project.
Bill Waugh
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Larry N.

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Re: Building an RV Garage
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2017, 08:54:31 PM »
I'd caution you to be certain your rig will fit in the planned building. Just down the street from me a guy built a very nice garage for his RV (with a couple more doors for vehicles), and after it was complete he found he couldn't get his Monaco Knight into it. Apparently he made the door just a very few inches higher than his rig, and with the climb from the street into the garage, the angle left it unable to quite clear the top of the door. I also understand that there was just barely enough room for the width IF the mirrors were folded in.

So his RV still sits outside -- nice looking garage, though.
Larry and Mary Ann N.
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Isaac-1

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Re: Building an RV Garage
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2017, 10:19:44 PM »
I store my motorhome in a pre-existing shed with roll up door on the family farm, however if I were to build a dedicated garage some of the things I would do include, better ventilation for summertime heat buildup, side wall mounted lighting vs overhead lighting.  The big one though would be the addition of a partial service pit, maybe half the length of the motorhome (so it could be pulled in forward to work on one end, or backwards to work on the other, maybe 4 ft wide and 12 - 18 inches deep, just deep enough to be comfortable rolling around on a mechanics creeper with angled back support.   Another important thing is build in enough space to walk all the way around the motorhome, and access the various compartments, so at least 5 ft the sides, having space on the ends helps too, but is not as important.  A floor drain to hose down might be nice too.  As to your dump station / water fill and local code issues, you might just want to install a utility sink, many of these have hose bib connectors on the faucets.
2002 Safari Trek 2830

AlanS Travels

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Re: Building an RV Garage
« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2017, 10:38:10 PM »
You mention wiring with 240V and 100A, and others have suggested having many circuits and outlets.
Great.  But be certain to go over the requirements of your motor home with the general and electrical contractors.
A friend handed his RV plug to the electrician, who wired the receptacle for what the cable's plug looked like to him, which was 240.  You can imagine what happened, it was a disaster.

Be absolutely certain that the electrician knows that you need 110/120V with that type of receptacle.  While you are at it, have outlets for both 30A and 50A installed side-by-side.  You never know what your next rig might need, or what the buyer of your property might need.  Installation during the build is always a ton cheaper than retrofitting.  No adapters needed, how cool would that be?

Another thing which just came to mind: Regarding the ability to dump your holding tanks into your septic system, be VERY careful!  You should consult with a septic specialist regarding your system, and whether it would have the capacity to handle the sudden influx of very many gallons of waste water and solids in a single shot.  Home systems are designed for smaller quantities of waste over the course of a day.  The largest single shot might be from a washing machine, at what, 10 gallons?  Suddenly adding 60 or more gallons might cause problems which will hit your bank account hard, and compromise the function for the house.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2017, 10:47:36 PM by AlanS Travels »
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Graycat

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Re: Building an RV Garage
« Reply #9 on: September 17, 2017, 12:05:18 AM »
We built an rv garage this year and love it. I agree that lights should be on sides not over the rv.

We put our dump station outside with a 5" PVC threaded coupler through the wall.  We thought about a pet door but didn't want to worry about any water coming through when it rains. We thought about putting the dump inside but decided out would be easier for guests if it was outside. (We've got a guest rv pad with hookups beside the garage). We're glad we didn't put it inside now because there is an odor when we dump the tanks even with a fitted connection. 

Speaking of connections, we bought our dump station lid at rvparksupplies. We bought the plastic one and it was easy to attach to the PVC sewer pipe. Some people just use a threaded PVC coupler.

We also put doors on each end of the garage so we can pull through. A bonus is he side that we get a nice breeze. I made screens for the garage doors so we get the breeze without the bugs.

I wish we had a drain in the floor for the occasional overflow or a\c condensation.

I also wish we had put a power vent in the ceiling over the rv. We plan on adding that but it would have been easier and cheaper to do it with the build.

We also planned windows in the garage so they would line up with windows in the rv. Not an issue unless you plan on using the rv as a guest room. We are living in our rv while we build our house so that was important to me.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2017, 12:09:16 AM by Graycat »
Marti, Lee, and an old gray cat named Buddy

blw2

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Re: Building an RV Garage
« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2017, 07:23:50 AM »
My wife and I were discussing this one...what-iffing.  IN our context we were talking more about a garage for teh RV not at the house, but on some offsite location..... a different lot.

We talked about sliding glass doors or windows ...or perhaps a solid sliding barn door would give better protection when closed......on the patio side of the garage...so we could in theory stay in the RV as a destination of sorts without pulling it out of the garage.  I pictured with the rv parked, stepping out onto a deck that passes through a sliding door onto an outside deck complete with nice landscaping, maybe a place for a grille, etc....

Regardless. a way to let in natural light I would think would be valuable so it doesn't feel like you're in a cave within a cave.

I'd guess future proofing something like this would be hard.  I'd be tempted to put the water, sewer, electric strategically placed for shortest runs possible for hook-up....but all that falls apart for a different rig.  I guessing planning the length and hieight for future proofing would be the most critical...
Brad (DW + 3 kids)
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lavarock1210

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Re: Building an RV Garage
« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2017, 10:05:28 AM »
Be sure to check local codes about the floor drain.

A sump system may be required that will separate oils etc from the water.

If you are in snow country I would recommend not having any sloped roofs above door openings that can dump snow in front of the openings.

Rene T

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Re: Building an RV Garage
« Reply #12 on: September 17, 2017, 10:36:08 AM »
Be sure to check local codes about the floor drain.

Stuff the drain with paper then concrete right over the hole. Then once the inspector leavers, bust out the concrete.   ;D :D ;)
« Last Edit: September 17, 2017, 10:38:28 AM by Rene T »
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Mpyre

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Re: Building an RV Garage
« Reply #13 on: September 17, 2017, 04:07:14 PM »
Thanks for all the great suggestions and info.  Keep them coming.

Lighting:  Natural light should be good.  There will be three large clear panels in the South facing roof.  There will also be two large windows on the North side that line up with the dinning table windows in the RV. 

Electrical:  I am just having the panel put in for now I will complete most of the lighting and outlets myself.

Drain:  I will want to be sure not to dump oil anywhere, certainly not into the septic.  I will look into a sump/oil separator.

RV cleanout:  This is still unclear to me as how best to implement it.  Maybe just outside the front would be best.  I sure hope the Septic system can handle it.  Dumping both the Black and Grey water will add a huge volume to the system all at once.

Ingress\Egress:  Our current Rig is pretty small(25') and maneuverable.  The property is fairly sloped though and there are many large trees every where.  The main door is supposed to be 14' tall but I will ask the contracter about the max vertical clearance.   

Cheers, Rick
1998 Fleetwood Flair 25'

Roy M

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Re: Building an RV Garage
« Reply #14 on: September 17, 2017, 04:16:14 PM »
Stuff the drain with paper then concrete right over the hole. Then once the inspector leavers, bust out the concrete.   ;D :D ;)
;D A friend did that with plywood for a grease pit, he was allowed to build a garage but not a shop. The inspector also didn't see the 240 wiring in the walls. The problem arose when the tax assessor showed up and determined the building was illegal. Make sure the building is big enough for future needs especially if and when you upgrade the RV.

Graycat

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Re: Building an RV Garage
« Reply #15 on: September 17, 2017, 05:21:25 PM »
RV cleanout:  This is still unclear to me as how best to implement it.  Maybe just outside the front would be best.  I sure hope the Septic system can handle it.  Dumping both the Black and Grey water will add a huge volume to the system all at once.

Ingress\Egress:  Our current Rig is pretty small(25') and maneuverable.  The property is fairly sloped though and there are many large trees every where.  The main door is supposed to be 14' tall but I will ask the contracter about the max vertical clearance.   


Our cleanout is a 4" pipe (I think) that runs under the full length of our 80' building before going into the septic tank.

Our 21' TT had a 30 gal black and 30 gal gray.  They both dumped fast and other than a whoosh of odor at the outdoor connection, we never had a problem with too much water.  I don't know the size of our tanks in our new trailer, but they both drain really slow so no issue there as far as too much water.  There might be an issue for them not draining completely, but that's a subject for a different thread.
Marti, Lee, and an old gray cat named Buddy

ArdraF

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Re: Building an RV Garage
« Reply #16 on: September 17, 2017, 05:37:55 PM »
Don't forget that your overhead clearance should include roof air conditioner height, TV antenna, CB antenna, ham radio antenna or anything of that nature.  Also, it's amazing how many times Jerry gets on the roof to do something.  He can stand up on top of the motorhome which is good for going from one end to the other.  The door overhead track is in the middle and he can hold onto it for some length.

We have full hookups with 50 amp inside the garage.  It was really useful last year when we had a flood in the house and lived in the garage inside the RV for several months.  Except for being in the garage it was just like being in an RV park because we also have satellite TV.  Don't underestimate anything because it's easier to do it now than later!

ArdraF
ArdraF
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mralex

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Re: Building an RV Garage
« Reply #17 on: September 17, 2017, 07:28:55 PM »
I agree with Rene T pretty much.  Do the least you have to do to get it inspected and approved and get rid of the inspectors then go to town doing whatever you want to do in it. If you start asking "authorities" questions, they start making up answers because they assume if you're asking you don't know so they can tell you anything. I built a 42 X 80 Morton Building with 12 foot walls, Morton got the building permit for an equipment shed, when the building was built, they got a final inspection for the building, then I went to work wiring and plumbing and concrete work as I wanted, never saw an inspector. That was in 2002.
2014 Jayco Greyhawk 29MV, Van's RV9A, Cessna 150, Cessna 172 Skyhawk, '08 GL1800 Goldwing, '07 VTX 1300C, '06 VLX 600 Shadow, '15 F150, '16 Honda Pilot (toad)

Wi1dBill

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Re: Building an RV Garage
« Reply #18 on: September 17, 2017, 09:47:05 PM »
A friend had a macerator sewage pump/pit built into the floor of his building.  Works on float similar to a sump pump but much more HD.   This has the effect of metering the flow into the septic tank. 

That being said, on my personal campground I have an old septic system that I dump into maybe 6 to 7 times a season.  After 7 years I haven't notice any problems.   I have also use my macerator pump to dump with a 5/8 hose.  That will reduce the flow.

Wi1dBi11

 

AlanS Travels

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Re: Building an RV Garage
« Reply #19 on: September 17, 2017, 10:01:32 PM »

RV cleanout:  This is still unclear to me as how best to implement it.  Maybe just outside the front would be best.  I sure hope the Septic system can handle it.  Dumping both the Black and Grey water will add a huge volume to the system all at once.


While I am on the steep end of the learning curve about RV's, I do know more than most about houses, including water systems.  For that reason, I'd never just hope that something would be all right, especially when a negative outcome could cost thousands of dollars.

I am not a fan of unnecessary government intrusion into people's dwelling design and use (as others here also appear to not be), except for safety reasons.  My municipality does not allow for any type of ongoing connection between a RV and the house, with a "temporary connection" for charging batteries being the exception.  That grates me, I'd like a buried cable with a box and the appropriate connection at the RV parking site.  Instead, they insist on an extension cord?  Duh.
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richardhufford

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Re: Building an RV Garage
« Reply #20 on: September 17, 2017, 10:47:49 PM »
I'm no expert, so this is not an informed opinion.  When we replaced our illegal cesspool with a legal septic system in rural SE Arizona, we were required to install a minimum 1000 gal. septic tank.  I have a hard time believing that 50 gal. of the same stuff that we flush down the toilet will overload our system.
San Jose, AZ
1991 Thor Establishment M275
1959 Willys Station Wagon

Robert K

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Re: Building an RV Garage
« Reply #21 on: September 18, 2017, 03:43:45 AM »
It doesn't overload the system it stirs up the solids. The drain to the leach field extends down in the tank to take water out and solids float above as a cap slowly breaking down and settling to the bottom.
You don't want to break up the cap of solids and hae it going out to leach field..
Bob&Sandy
96 Safari Serengeti
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Western New York

Boonieman

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Re: Building an RV Garage
« Reply #22 on: September 18, 2017, 05:47:32 AM »
Congrats! We we through this process last year and I know the excitement you feel. We have a fifth wheel, but same difference as far as storing. We have a metal "pole barn" style building, but we live in a rural area so it fits in with the surroundings. It is 30x50 feet dimensionally, 6" concrete floor, 16 walls. We installed a 14 foot door, an 8 foot door, and a man door all on the same end. I considered a door on each end, but because of the configuration of the property (sloped) it would have required. Lot more excavation work....$$$$$$, plus you lose any potential storage along a wall with a door. We put in two skylights, which is awesome for lighting, but during periods of the years with big temperature swings they will sweat and drip water to the floor. No biggie for us, but I could be for some. I had a 200 amp panel installed and I'm doing the internal wiring. The price for my situation between 100 and 200 amp panels was negligible. I mostly went with 200 amp because we are planning to have a well drilled and feed the power from this building, and I have a welder. I bought a pre-wired RV panel on line. It included  50 amp, a 30 amp, and a 125v ground fault receptacle. I wish I had installed a vent fan of some sort while the building was being built. Now I have to deal with these 16 foot walls, insulation, wiring. I also wish I had made provisions for a vent line for the generator exhaust. I like to run the generator occasionally during the winter, but it's a pain to pull it outside and I haven't had time to figure a good way to get exhaust gas thru the wall. I don't have a CO monitor installed in the building yet anyway. We have enough room to get the slides and awnings out, which makes it nice for maintenance of being able to be inside for various reasons. I chose to use overhead style doors so that I can install an opener in the future. Also, I have had plenty of experience with slider doors and I want no part of them. Between birds and wasps building nests in that exterior rolling hardware, and the need for adjusting the rollers occasionally, and again I have never had good experience with that style door. They are cheaper though. No water inside the building intentionally. I will use a hose from a yard hydrant outside when I need water. Wasn't planning on heating the building full time, so I didn't want busted pipe issues inside the building. I just wanted to pass along what we did, and didn't do. Good luck with your build!!
« Last Edit: September 18, 2017, 05:49:32 AM by Boonieman »
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kdbgoat

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Re: Building an RV Garage
« Reply #23 on: September 18, 2017, 05:56:56 AM »
How much water does a garden tub or Jacuzzi hold? Just sayin'

It doesn't overload the system it stirs up the solids. The drain to the leach field extends down in the tank to take water out and solids float above as a cap slowly breaking down and settling to the bottom.
You don't want to break up the cap of solids and hae it going out to leach field..

The inlet from the dwelling should be below that cap.

http://www.kingcounty.gov/depts/health/environmental-health/piping/onsite-sewage-systems/maintenance/how-OSS-works.aspx
I know you believe you understand what you think I said,
But I am not sure you realize what you heard is not what I meant


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Robert K

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Re: Building an RV Garage
« Reply #24 on: September 18, 2017, 04:30:12 PM »
Nice illustration of what I was trying to say
Thank you
Bob&Sandy
96 Safari Serengeti
2011 jeep wrangler
Western New York

 

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