Temporary garage

I’m going to need shelter for my MGB in the coming months. The idea is to extend the driveway to the end of where the travel trailer used to be (it’s concrete to about half the length of the trailer) with compacted gravel, and then put up a 10 x 20 metal shed. A neighbour has one of those for his '68 Galaxie 500, and he loves it. But none of that is in the budget right now.

Instead, I’m considering a canopy shelter. The neighbour had one, and decided it ‘wouldn’t last another Winter’, so he got the metal one. It does snow here, and sometimes it snows heavily. But this is only going to be a temporary garage, so it just needs to last ‘long enough’.

The other option would be to build an A-frame out of 2 x 4s and cover it with tarps. The steeper sides would shed rain and snow better, but it wouldn’t look as good and, given my motto is ‘If it’s worth doing, it’s worth overdoing’, it would probably be more expensive.

Your thoughts?

Do the canopy shelter, if it’s truly short term (year or less)

Park it next to the house–as close as you can–and construct a lean-to off your roof. Just a thought.

I’m not going to attach anything to the house.

As far as anchoring a canopy shelter: I’d like to park the car on the concrete. How do I secure the tent? There’s some dirt next to the house, and on the other side of the driveway. I’ve considered auger anchors. Where do they attach? Do the lines go between the walls and the roof, and just tie onto the tubes?

Tying the tubes down won’t keep the tarp from flying away. I’ve seen clips on the tarp corners and edges for some. How wide is the concrete in relation to the cover? 3-5’ out from the poles would still work. Set the tent up as low as possible to minimize wind.

I had something similar. Lasted about a year and a half. The wind is your main enemy, it can tear the material and/or bend the frame. Mine got crushed by a heavy snow. It was shedding snow pretty well before that but the material was was stretched and started sagging so snow collected on the roof.

A wooden A-frame is a good approach, the frame will be a lot sturdier than most of the products and you can just use a rectangular tarp to cover it with, inexpensive and easy to replace.

A friend of mine had one with arches instead of house-like construction. He recovered with common plastic tarps a couple of times but the frame held up well. Instead of staking the arches to the ground he laid out a rectangular base of 2x8 pressure laid flat and bolted the arches to that, then weighted down the boards. He used some wood cut for door sills to make a little ramp to drive over the 2x8s, although if you’re not taking a car in an out a lot you wouldn’t even need that.

I installed one of those canopy ones that use canvas and steel poles. I think it was around $500. The wind destroyed it in less than 6 months.

Between wind and snow and freezing rain here I’ve never seen one last for a winter.

I’ve ordered the tent. I don’t know if the local hardware store has 2x8s, but I know they have pressure-treated 2x6s. I’m thinking of putting down a couple of 12-foot boards (cut down to a total of 20 feet) on each side, then screwing the feet to them. I’ll get some cinder blocks to lay along the length of the boards to weigh them down, and probably get some auger anchors and ratchet straps to tie down the windward side. (The other side will only be about three feet from the house.) Since we have not extended the driveway yet, the shelter will be situated between two houses. I think (Hope!) this will protect it from too much wind.

It just needs to last until we can get the metal shed.

Drive it down to my place,** Johnny**. I just opened up a spot inside for her. Don’t worry. I’ll keep the battery charged. :wink:

I’ve used ShelterLogic instant sheds for various applications for years. Current one is sheltering a little camper trailer and I think it’s about five years old. It’s not really anchored down much, I put a few strategic cinder blocks on the corner poles to keep it anchored and have to go out and adjust it all a few times a winter when the winds have been really nuts. I get Gorge winds so gusts of 60mph are not uncommon.

Friend lives out in Tigard and has one of the big ones cuddled in between his garage and a retaining wall–his old 1960 Cadillac has been living out there for some years and the canopy is doing fine. He used buckets filled with QuikCrete as anchors to keep it from going airborne.

If you don’t have a proper stick build garage, the canopies are a perfectly reasonable alternative and most of them you can reorder just the canvas parts if they get too tattered over time, saves a few bucks.

The tent arrived yesterday (a day early). I haven’t opened it yet, but I did have a look at the .pdf ‘instructions’. There are only eight bolts, which hold the legs into the bases. :dubious: It appears that the rest of it just slides together. :dubious: :dubious: :dubious:

I saw this comment (edited to correct misspellings to make it easier to read):

50-70 mph are not unheard of up here; though as I said, the tent will be between two houses. I might get some pipe clamps to attach plywood walls to the uprights. I also have the auger anchors in my amazon shopping cart.

Yep. It just slides together. It fell apart when I tried to put the uprights on. I’m going out to duct tape the joints.

I’m going to add to the voices suggesting that the canopy shelter won’t last though the winter.

Is there a reason you can’t rent a commercial storage unit and keep it there for the winter? It may cost a little more than your shelter, but it is aubstantially less likely to collapse on the car from showpack or be blown away by the wind. If you have a big enough windstorm to rip up a commercial building you have more to worry about than your car.


Stranger: While high winds are not unheard of up here, we haven’t had any too damaging in a few years. Since the shelter is between two houses, that will mitigate the breeze quite a bit. As for the snow, we’re like 65 feet above sea level. Accumulation is usually less than a foot. Sometimes we only get a few inches that stays for a few days. (Yeah, we do have snow that sticks around for a while though.) I should be able to keep it from piling up on the shelter by using a broom. As I said, this is a temporary solution, and I hope to have concrete down and a metal shed up next year. (Fingers crossed!) A neighbour had a canopy shed, and it lasted him three years.

I taped all of the joints with duct tape to keep the pipes from falling out. A neighbour was next door, power-washing the next-door neighbour’s house. He helped me put the uprights on. It’s much easier with two people. He also helped me spread the top ‘canvas’. I’ve got the top all tied down. Either I was optimistic as to the width of the existing concrete, or the canopy-maker was pessimistic about the width of their product. I’m definitely going to have to get the 2x6s before I put the side curtains on. And I may have to get blocks to support an end off of the concrete. As it is, it’s looking very nice.

Make use of the snow when it does come and build an igloo over the car. :slight_smile: