What is a Portable Garage?

S. Gonzales
S. Gonzales
Man with hands on his hips
Man with hands on his hips

A portable garage is a movable and often temporary shelter for vehicles or other valuable investments. Portable garages are commonly bought by those needing extra storage space. They may also be purchased if the owner does not want to invest in an expensive and permanent fixture on their property. Part of their attractiveness is in their mobility, as it means that they can be uprooted and used in different locations later.

The most popular item protected by a portable garage is a vehicle. While protection of a car or truck is usually at the top of a purchaser's priorities, a portable garage can also house other types of vehicles like RVs, campers, motorcycles, boats and various work or leisure vehicles like tractors or watercraft. A portable garage can shield any type of vehicle from weather elements, vandalism and pilfering as long as the vehicle can completely fit inside it.

In addition, portable garage shelters can be used as storage facilities. Work equipment and tools, sand and salt piles, and hay can be found in rural portable garages. For the resourceful rural dweller, a portable garage can even function a greenhouse, extra workspace or a shelter for livestock like horses or cattle.

The garages can be custom built to specification or purchased from stock designs. Materials used to increase the durability of a portable garage include aluminum, powder-coated or galvanized steel for frames and polyethylene for covers. Despite the use of rigid steel, portable garages may come in a wide variety of colors, sizes and styles to suit the needs or preferences of the buyer. A benefit of polyethylene is that the material is waterproof, but does not trap water. This means that mold and mildew accumulation is minimized during rainy or cold weather when ice may build up and on vehicles before being driven into the garage.

Extras that may be offered during a portable garage construction or purchase include surface anchors or attachments, double-layering of polyethylene and choice of "rip stop" material. Ultraviolet (UV) light protection and an inner black scrim can also be implemented into garage materials. Where UV protection is sought, all sides of a garage can be designed so as not to allow UV rays to penetrate the garage from any angle. Portable garages may also be purchased as kits so that the buyer can set up the garage himself. These garages can last for several years after the initial set up without the need for significant modification.

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Discussion Comments


@Soulfox -- That may have a lot to do with the cost of adding on to a garage or building a separate one. People used to use carports are inexpensive things to store cars and other things under, but those can't be used to conceal what's inside them so vandalism was in issue for some folks.

A portable garage, then, offers that inexpensive protection and can conceal things. It's a lot cheaper than building a new garage or adding to an existing one and offers more protection from prying eyes than a carport. It's the best of both worlds for some people.


I see a lot more of these in use as permanent structures these days. The term "portable garage" is becoming something of a misnomer. People tend to buy them, set them up and then use them as permanent, stationary structures.

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