October 26, 2018

If I Drive an SUV, What Size Garage Door Do I Need?

Garage size

Pretty much everyone can picture a standard garage door in their mind. In general, a single door is roughly 8 or 9 ft. wide and 7 or 8 ft wide tall. Double garage doors come in similar heights to the single doors, but the widths range from 14 ft all the way up to 18 ft wide. However, even if you have a garage door that is on the taller end of the spectrum, it may not be tall enough to fit a larger sports utility vehicle or SUV, and it most certainly won’t be tall enough to accommodate an RV or recreational vehicle. An 8 ft tall door just isn’t tall enough for most RVs.

In this article, we will explain the available garage door options and discuss which is best for the different vehicle sizes. We suggest keeping this information in mind if you are building a new garage, either attached or detached, or if you are planning on making an SUV or RV purchase in the near future. It will be especially important if you plan to keep your new vehicle in an existing garage.

Let’s Talk About SUVs

SUVs have become a very popular vehicle in recent years, but they do vary greatly in size and style. The height of a standard SUV can range from 5.5 ft all the way up to 6.1 ft. Seeing as how most garage doors are at least 7 ft tall, your vehicle should have enough clearance to get safely into the garage. However, if you have plans to add things to the roof of your SUV, bike racks or luggage racks, your 7 ft tall door may be cutting it a little too close making an 8 ft door a safer bet.

After you have the door height squared away, the next consideration is the length of the vehicle. Most SUVs are longer and wider than the average family sedan, so you will want to pay close attention to the clearance in front, behind, and to the sides of the vehicle. You may lose valuable garage storage space, or you may have to remind your children not to bang the vehicle doors into the walls every time they enter or exit the car.

Let’s Talk About RVs

While shopping around for an RV, you will find that on average, they measure 9‑10 ft high. Plus, some vehicles have an extra couple of feet of height due to the air conditioning unit sticking out above the roof of the vehicle. Other things that may affect the overall height of the vehicle are the addition of solar panels or satellite dishes. Even with the extras, most RVs will stay below 13.5 ft as that keeps it below the general highway height restrictions. (Tip: Even though it meets standard highway height restrictions, you will still need to be cautious of things like restaurant drive‑thrus and old covered bridges!)

Most garages built for RVs are detached either on the side or behind the house, and the doors run 10 ft to 12 ft wide. Due to the extra height on the RVs, the doors will need to be at least 12 ft tall.

If your RV is the type that is pulled by a truck, the “fifth wheel” type, height will not generally be the issue barring excessive roof add‑ons. However, the length is where you may run into issues as the trailers can run anywhere from 22 ft long to the quite considerable length of 40 ft.

How to Measure Your Garage Door?

Unless you plan to build your garage after your RV purchase, you should measure the width and length of your current garage door before purchasing your new vehicle. It is a relatively simple process just grab your measuring tape. First, you will want to measure the distance from the interior of one door jamb to the other, that gives you the width. Then, you will want to measure the height or lintel from the ground to the top of the opening.

Measuring your garage door

Don’t forget to consider the headroom within the garage, a critical dimension that is often forgotten. In some buildings, ducts or pipes can run along the ceiling of the garage that drops below the clearance level of the garage door. If your garage has something like this, make sure you measure the clearance to avoid a potentially devastating accident.

We are Here to Help!

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at 613-749-2138 before you build your garage or buy an SUV or RV. We know garage doors better than anyone else, and we are fully able to advise and explain your options while also considering your needs and respecting your budget. We will gladly provide you with a free quote.

If you happen to be in the area, please feel free to stop by and visit our showroom, but if you aren’t, you can visit from the comfort of your home using our Design Centre! We have plenty of inventory, so you are sure to find the garage door style that best suits you. Need inspiration? Take a look at our image gallery for numerous beautiful examples.

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