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If you want to protect your vehicle, trailer, or boat from the sun, rain, and snow – and you don’t have a garage – you will benefit from a heavy-duty portable carport. The mobility of a portable garage allows you the added convenience of taking it with you when you move house. You want the best value for your money, of course, and this guide will help you in selecting the best heavy-duty portable carport that works for you, your needs, and your budget.
By the way, if you’re looking for something that provides more protection for your car than an open-sided carport, you may want to look at our guide to buying a portable garage.
Here’s what’s in this article on portable carports:
- 4 Key Factors When Shopping for a Heavy-Duty Portable Carport
- Our Pick of The Heavy Duty Portable Carports
- Final Thoughts
But, first things first. Be clear about what you need the heavy-duty portable carport for and how you intend to use it over the next 10 to 20 years, as they can last this long. This will guide your decision when it’s time for you to select which one to buy after considering the following essential criteria.
Take note of these 4 key factors when shopping for your heavy-duty portable carport: structural strength and durability, ability to withstand high winds and inclement weather, product versatility, and price for value.
Read on below for the specifics of what each of these factors involves, but first here are our top three Heavy Duty Portable Carports:
4 Key Factors When Shopping for a Heavy-Duty Portable Carport
(1) Structural Strength and Durability
Examine the frame material. Frames made of galvanized steel are stronger and rust-resistant. Pay attention to where the steel was manufactured, as not all steel is of equal quality. Ideally, it should be of structural grade steel.
Aluminum frames have longer lives than steel but are also more expensive. They are easy to put up, though, as they are light and often come in a box you can easily transport.
Examine the pipe frame. The size and thickness of the pipe frame will impact the load — like high winds and snow load — it can handle. Pipe frames should be at least 38mm (1.5-inches) in diameter and 0.8mm (0.3-inch) thick steel or aluminum.
Ideally, there should be a ground bar of steel or aluminum pipe connecting the vertical frame. This strengthens the whole frame and improves its resistance to twisting in strong wind conditions.
Check the covering. Most portable carports have a polyethylene (PE) cover because PE is tough and does not easily tear. The weight of the PE, expressed in grams, indicates its resistance to tearing, so the heavier the weight, the more resistant it is, but it should not also be too heavy. Ideally, it should be at least 160 grams.
How is the anchoring? Steel cables and ground pegs help anchor the portable garage’s frame to the ground. This aids stability, especially in extremely windy weather. Some brands have weights of up to 50lbs attached to the legs for stronger anchoring.
What is the roof angle? If it has a steep angle, it will allow snow and ice to slide off easily, which reduces snow accumulation and snow weight. If you live in an area with frequent heavy snow, avoid buying a structure with a flat roof, as this will increase its snow burden.
(2) Ability to Withstand High Winds and Inclement Weather
Check their wind and snow ratings. There are standard and certified ratings. Both ratings mean the material is strong and made to withstand the elements, but a certified rating means it is made of premium quality material and has enhanced durability.
Check their warranty. Brands usually offer one- to two-year warranties. Check the best warranty terms for you.
The Quictent 10ftx20ft heavy duty car canopy, for example, meets many of these criteria for structural strength and durability. It has reinforced steel cables, 38mm-diameter 0.8mm-thick anti-rust galvanized tubes, a 180g. reinforced tear-resistant ultraviolet (UV)-protected and waterproof PE covering, an additional set of four anchoring sandbags for canopy durability, and an angled roof.
It has a lifetime warranty replacement for connectors, pegs, ropes, elastic ropes, and other accessories, while it has a one-year warranty for cover and poles. Rated 4.4 out of 5 in Amazon, people laud it for the brand’s overall quality and great customer service, ease of installation, and quality canopy. Someone in Arizona rated it poorly, though, for not being good in the sun and wind, although 22 others highly recommend it.
Another example is the GALSOAR 10ftx20ft outdoor heavy-duty car tent shelter which has six (6) steel legs and three (3) reinforced cables for safety and prevention of twisting during windy weather; with sunproof, rainproof, dustproof, snow-protective, and anti-UV industrial-grade PE tarpaulin for covering; 0.7mm-thick galvanized steel tubes with metal corner joints for stability and durability; with front and rear square frame protection, and an angled roof.
It has a 90-day, 100% money-back satisfaction guarantee, and a two-year warranty. Rated 4.3 out of 5 in Amazon, people praise it for ease of assembly and durability, sturdiness, and value for money. Some point out its flimsy covering and need for additional anchoring, like bolting the legs into concrete.
One thing that is common to all the heavy duty portable carports we reviewed was the need to bolster the way the carports are secured to the ground, either with stronger tie downs, or preferably bolted into the ground. This is particularly the case if you live in an area that has high winds and/or significant snow fall.
(3) Product Versatility
Is it easy to assemble and use? Ideally, you should be able to erect it on your own, with basic tools. and in a short period of time. It should also be single-standing and does not require any other support, like the wall of your house. If it’s a lean-to carport, it might require a building permit. If the lean-to carport has a flat roof and you live in a high snowfall area, it will put added strain on your walls.
Versatile purpose. Can you use it for other than your vehicle storage — like storing other adventure gear and other large items you cannot store in your house, or making a home gym out of it even? This would depend on the size. A 20-ft. by 10-ft. portable carport should be enough for a regular car or a class B camper van; a 45-ft. by 50-ft. one is needed for an RV.
The ADVANCE OUTDOOR 10ftx20ft canopy can not only be a portable carport but also a patio, horse shade, truck shade, boat shelter, party tent, flea market cover, camping tent, parking shade, flower shade, lawn and garden equipment shade, deck, pool, or barbeque shade, and a general storage shelter.
Ir has an adjustable peak height of from 9ft. to 10.5ft. The side height has four (4) options: 6ft., 6.5ft., 7ft., and 7.5ft. It has heat-sealed, triple-layer, 180g. anti-UV and waterproof PE fabric for covering, with 38mm (1.5-inch)-diameter galvanized steel poles, 41.91mm (1.61-inch)-diameter and 1.2mm-thick connectors, 16 steel pegs, 8 auger anchors, footpads, and a tool-free, easy-to-set-up frame. Two or more adults can set this up in 30 minutes.
It has a one-year warranty for poles and cover and a lifetime warranty for connectors, footpads, pegs, anchors or elastic bungees, and other accessories. Rated 4.5 out of 5 in Amazon, reviewers approve of its sturdiness, especially with the steel footpads, quality especially in enduring Michigan snow, and ease of assembly and installation. Some are not happy with its sides and poles, though.
The GALSOAR can be conveniently carried and covers 200 square feet, so it can also be used as a party, picnic, sporting event, or other events tent. It is not recommended to put additional weight on this, though, like attaching aerial dance equipment to the highest pole. Still, it’s considered as delivering good value for money.
Quictent is easy to assemble, lightweight and sturdy, and can withstand up to 50mph to 60mph winds if installed right with enough weights holding it down. A reviewer bought one for her wedding, which made the event look more professionally arranged, then now uses it as her carport.
(4) Price for Value
Price doesn’t always mean value, so make sure you’re getting more value than the price you pay for it. Value is what you get from it; price is what you pay for it. A cheaper shelter might cost you less money but cost you more aggravation in the long run.
Determine what you are willing to pay for for the value that you absolutely have to get from any shelter, regardless of price. This is where your initial clarification with yourself about what you need the structure for, not only now but in the next 10 or 20 years can help you decide. Then, from this list of values you need, search for and shortlist the heavy-duty carports that meet these criteria and compare their prices.
The price should be the last consideration, though, and only after you have carefully considered your needs and your intended uses for the structure, then shortlisted the ones that meet your needs and purposes and the recommended criteria above.
Our Pick of The Heavy Duty Portable Carports
Here we give some more detail of our pick of the best heavy-duty portable carports. We’ve summarised their features, and distilled the customer reviews into Pros and Cons boxes, so you can see at a glance the benefits and problems real users have experienced.
ADVANCE OUTDOOR Adjustable 10×20 ft Heavy-Duty Portable Carport
This heavy-duty carport canopy has a waterproof canvas cover and is ideal for protecting your vehicle and boat from the weather. With adjustable heights up to 10.5 feet high, it will suit any type of vehicle. Easy to assemble and take down, it’s perfect for outdoor storage and party tents.
•Adjustable height from 9.0ft - 10.5ft
•Made of durable lightweight aluminum alloy
•Waterproof canvas cover
•Easy to assemble and take down
•Suitable for cars, vans, trucks, RVs, motorcycles, ATVs, boats, jet skis, etc.
•Ideal for storing vehicles, boats, motorcycles, ATVs and other outdoor equipment
•Perfect for outdoor parties, weddings, BBQs, camping, tailgate events, family reunions, etc.
•Can be used as a tent, patio, gazebo, garage, backyard shed, garden pavilion, etc.
- Easy assembly
- Good customer service
- Robust if set up, and secured, correctly
- Additional tie downs recommended by users
GALSOAR 10x20FT Heavy-Duty Portable Carport
This tent is suitable for most private cars, providing full coverage protection from the hot sun, rain, snow, dust, and any other debris for cars, motorcycles, bicycles, and other vehicles, such as boats, RVs, trucks, and trailers. Spacious enough for parties, sporting events, picnics, etc.
- Rustproof galvanized pipe, 0.7mm thickness
- Heavy-duty galvanized steel tube for strong stability
- Metal corner joints make it more sturdy and longer life span
- Waterproof & Anti-UV tarpaulin, Extra thick PE fabric, anti-tear function. Industrial grade cover fabric for long-lasting durability
- Steel cable reinforcement structure, extra 3 high strength reinforced steel cables which make the whole structure much safer and firm, and prevent structural twisting
- 2 years warranty, 90 day money back and 100% refund guarantee.
- Easy assembly
- Good value
- Strong frame
- Steel cable tie-downs
- 2 year guarantee
- Additional tie-downs recommended by users
- Thin canopy
Here’s a video of a similar Galsoar carport being assembled by a user:
Quictent 10X20ft Upgraded Heavy-Duty Portable Carport
This upgraded heavy-duty carport provides your family with a safe place to park their vehicle. This carport has been upgraded with three high-strength steel cables to reinforce its entire structure, making it much stronger and more durable than previous models. The reinforced PE material is tear-proof, waterproof, and anti-UV. It is also an industrial-grade cover fabric for long-lasting durability and excellent protection. With a heavy-duty rust-resistant galvanized steel frame and metal corner joints, it is built to last.
- Stronger and sturdier construction.
- Three high-strength steel cables strengthen the entire structure.
- Reinforced PE material is tear-proof, waterproof, and anti- UV.
- Industrial grade cover fabric for long-lasting durability and protection.
- Heavy-duty rust-resistant galvanized steel frame and metal corner joint.
- Lifetime warranty replacement for connectors, pegs, ropes, elastic ropes, etc.
- One-year warranty for covers and poles.
- Great customer service
- Easy to assemble
- Strong frame
- Some reinforcement of the ground stakes and tie-downs may be required.
Here’s a video of this carport being erected and first impressions from a user:
Overall, if you want a heavy-duty carport, prioritize heavy-duty qualities in your list of key values to look for. This would be covered by the structural strength and durability and ability to withstand inclement weather considerations. Then, apply the product versatility criteria to those that have already passed your “heavy-duty” screening criteria. Only after they have met these first three (3) key criteria should they be submitted to the price for value criteria. When done in this manner, you can be assured that the heavy-duty carport you finally decide to buy works for you, your needs, and your budget.