The past few weeks we have been testing and reviewing carports, car shelters, car tents and portable garages. We don't have a garage ourselve's and our car park spot is covered by a large tree, so a car tent could be perfect for doing small jobs out of the rain.
The reason for testing these is that we needed something that we could cover our car with in bad weather, to clean our car as it's always raining where we live and even for other things. We can maintain our bicycles underneath which we use frequently, we don't have a large garden so an extra space would be perfect for doing outside jobs in under cover.
Temporary Car Garage or Permanent Carport
So which route to go? Which type of carport should you choose? Well, this is something only you can decide, but hopefully with the reviews below can we help you.
The main question would be why are you using it? Could you get continuous use out of a car shelter, would it be used in high winds or bad weather? Do you mind putting it up and dis-assembling it every few weeks? Can you fit a new permanent fixture outside your house?
With a permanent fixture, like the Palrams, are you able to put this up yourself or can you get somebody to help you? We would recommend at least 2 people assembling all of the carports.
DIY or Hire a Professional?
You may need to hire a professional for the Palram Arcadia 5000 because it is so big and concrete fittings are recommended for you to secure the legs to. You can still fit this and the others by yourself but having another person with you will definitely help.
Fitting In Tight Spaces
We had loads of space (a small car park) to build ours up and just did all of them in our main car parking spot. If you have a tight spot and will be using it between two other buildings or a fence and a building, we recommend building all of the carports we have reviewed below in an open space and then transporting it to the place where it will be fitted.
Building Your Carport Tips
- If you need to remove a section which you have already fitted to add another part, get another person to hold the parts or sections which have been removed so they don't fall or move out of place.
- If they require things to be hand tightened, hand tighten them and don't use a spanner or wrench. You may cause future problems with parts seizing because you have made them too tight. This is especially important for when different alloys like aluminium and steel are connected together.
- Check you have all of the parts first before starting your build and construction, there is nothing worse than getting half way through after a few hours and you have a missing part which is important to the build.
Anchoring To The Ground
We highly recommend anchoring all of the shelters to the ground, even if they are just temporary. It is quite simple and there are plenty of guides online showing how and which footings you should create. Even with a temporary fabric/plastic shelter, with the footings already in place, you can bolt or fix in to position and remove in just a few minutes.
Other options include leg weights which sit around the poles and you fill with water or sand, there are plenty of different options for you to look in to. If you have chosen a larger carport and live in a bad weather location, you may require larger weights which can wrap around the shelter and hold them down.
If you are building a large carport, you may be able to get away without fixing it down, but only if you live in a calm location without any wind. The two palrams we have reviewed are quite heavy and will hold themselve's down in considerable wind, the last thing you would want is for them to move in a heavy wind and hit you car underneath. If you are going for one of these it would probably be worth while finishing the job off properly with proper cemented footings.
It is actually very hard to compare the two Palrams against the Foxhunter and the Shelter Logic because of their finished build state. The Palram Carports are definitely more suited to being permanent fixtures and will look great in any place around your home.
The difference in products means the comparison is quite simple though if you break it down in to a temporary fixture or a permanent one.
If you are after a permanent, both the Palrams will be great, if you want a bigger one, go for the Arcadia 5000 and a slightly smaller, quicker build, then the Vitoria 5000 will still be great. If you are thinking of parking a van underneath, the Arcadia will be the one for you. They are both really pretty structures and could even be used in a side garden or as a garden patio.
Regarding the two sheeted carports, they are both similarly priced and of similar sizes too. If you are after a temporary structure then these two are great contenders.
|1||Review of Palram Vitoria 5000 Carport Roof||5/5||£££|
|2||Review of Palram Arcadia 5000 Carport Shelter||5/5||££££|
|3||Review of Fox Hunter Carport Car Canopy||4.1/5||£|
|4||Review of Sealer ShelterLogic Carport Shelter||3.5/5||££|
Review of Palram Vitoria 5000 Carport Roof
A solid carport made from aluminium framing and polycarbonate roofing. We have tested this to protect our little car as we live in a very weathered part of the world and underneath a tree. We think it looks terrific and bring up its good and bad points below.
The Vitoria 5000 by Palram is a great looking and really robust carport. Once erected, the carport will definitely protect your car from the worst of the weather. It doesn't have any side walls, but if you are building this next to a building or your own home, this will help protect it as well.
It's just under 3 metres (9 feet) wide and 5 metres in length, so even the biggest of cars fit underneath, including trucks and MPV's. It has 7 ½ feet of overhead clearance, which means the tallest of people and cars are fin There are only 4 main vertical standing struts and these don't get in the way of your car doors when opening and closing them. We think it was a great way to build this carport, perfect for cleaning and taking care of your car even in bad weather, you can freely walk around the outside of your vehicle, wash and wax it and more, without any obstructions from the carport shelter.
We managed to fit this carport together in less than 3 hours with two of us working on it. We would still recommend getting this if it was just yourself building it, but would take a little bit longer, roughly 4 hours and when fitting the 2nd set of legs it could prove a small problem because the structure needs lifting and legs fitting at the same time.
What we really love about this carport shelter is that once you have assembled it, it is not fixed to the ground permanantely, which means, if you move home, you can also take this with you, Palram call it the 're-assembly' option and we really liked it, we actually had to dismantle ours so that we could test others and was very straight forward.
We have attached a build video below which you can watch, it shows how simple it is to put together. One thing we should mention is that it recommends making reinforced footings, or using a solidground (concrete, tiles, etc). We didn't do this as our car space is on gravel/grass mix and a part of a small country car park. We feel that it should be fine without bolting it in to the ground which wouldn't take much work either, we just left it free standing. It got quite windy once we had constructed it and didn't move an inch, nor did it look like it would move anywhere, even in severe winds.
We were really impressed with the build quality of this car shelter, it is made from what looks like really strong materials, which includes the roof panels. They are advertised as twin-wall polycarbonate panels and we believe will stop even big objects falling through.
One of the main reasons we were really impressed is that we keep our car under a large tree, it often has branches falling from it and we wanted to protect our car from this, as well as other bad weather, we've had a few branches fall on it and the roof really is solid and strong and would probably stop even more from hitting your car, like hailstones, roof tiles, bird poo, etc. The panels are 6mm thick and virtually unbreakable. An added bonus is they block up to 99.9% harmful UV radiation too.
The framing is made from galvanized steel (which is rust resistant) and aluminium. They are all light enough to handle by yourself and fit together and look really good. The framing is powder coated as well, which gives it a great robust finish, so this should look great for years and importantly it keeps the worst of the weather away from the metals and helps it last longer.
It also comes fitted with integrated guttering, this is great for when its pouring down, the rain doesn't run off the sides and you can get underneath without getting soaked.
This definitely is a multi-purpose car shelter and carport and we actually used it for more than keeping our car dry and safe.
We had ours fitted in front of our house in a small car park, our spot is in the corner with walls on two sides. When we fitted it, it meant that we could use this space for other things as well. One of the things we did was attach a bicycle wall anchor to the wall at the end and we could keep our bicycles outside but out of the bad weather and protected by the carport. This has helped us a lot, because we have a small garden and no space in the house, nor a garage, we could utilise this car cover for other things, like keeping bicycles dry and safe.
Another great use is for parties, we live in Britain and it rains quite a lot, even in summer. Because our car parking space is at the end of our garden, we could even use this for parties or eating outside under cover. You could use it as a patio cover too.
- More than just a carport, is a multi-purpose outdoor car shelter and patio cover
- Easy to build, even by yourself
- Very very robust and secure roof and metal framing
- Waterproof roof which stops UV rays as well, so great for really sunny climates and you don't want your car getting bleached by the sun
- Can be taken down and re-assembled in your new home if you move house
- Can stop big objects, small trees and branches damaging your car
- Can take a long time to assemble if doing it by yourself, make sure you have at least half a day put a side to build it
An amazing car shelter and cover you could use for your car, in your back garden in a patio area and have freestanding or bolted in to the ground. We think it isn't that much to pay for something of this quality and for something so functional. You can assemble it by yourself in just a few hours, but two people doing it would help, especially with the roof panels and lifting it up on to the 2nd set of legs you add.
Review of Palram Arcadia 5000 Carport Shelter
After something bigger, with better feature and a more finished look than the Palram Vitoria? Look no further, as we delve in to this Palram carport and see how it compares to it's smaller brother and other car shelters on the market.
First and foremost, because this carport is much bigger, having more parts and connections than the others, do not ignore the instructions. The Palram Arcadia 500 has some of the best instructions for a product that need fitting together we've ever built, this includes plenty of IKEA and Costco products from over the years. The steps are very detailed and at points it mentions that you will even need 2 people to carry out certain parts of the build, do not ignore the instructions, no matter how capable you think you are. With these, me and my partner, we managed to set this carport up in one full day, we started about 10am and finished in the rain at 7pm.
Regards fitting it in to the ground, our car park space is on soft earth with gravel and grass on top. We had already set small square footings for the concrete a few days before. Because of the soft earth car park spot, we found it very hard to make all the footings level and at the same height. Two of the concrete footings were lower than the other 4 so we added some slate pieces underneath to make them all level and then bolted it down like the others.
Looks & Styling
We just had to make a section just about how good this carport looks, it's the best we have put our car under, it actually looks too good for our countryside setting. We are constantly getting told by neighbours and family and friends how good it looks and what manufacturer it is, how much it cost, etc.
This is an incredibly solid piece of kit, will withstand high winds, even without being bolted down and has some great features as well. It comes with inbuilt side gutters, because the roof is sloping from the centre, the rain will drain towards the longest sides of the carport and in to the gutters.
As you can see, the gutter sits along the side of the carport and has vertical poles for you to fit your own. We fitted a water butt to our gutters and drainage at the end of the carport and you can do what you want with yours.
Just like the Vitoria 5000 it is made of strong and light aluminium and galvanized steel connections. You shouldn't have any rust, rot or mold problems for years and years as it is also powder coated, which also adds to it's great finished look. The roof panels are also completely solid, which is why we have tested this out as we park our car under a large tree. We want it to be protected through winter if any branches fall off in strong winds and if a lot of snow fall, this will keep most of the snowfall off of the car and for easy entry to the car doors. We don't really have much sun here in the UK, but the UV protection will help make the cars paint finish last longer.
Below is a detailed image of the dimensions of the finished product.
- Solid build quality that will protect your car and last years (if not decades)
- Looks beautiful, not just a car shelter
- Possible to build and fit together with 2 people
- Will easily fit extra large cars underneath
- Great customer service and after purchase care from Palram
- Need 2 people to build and can take a full day, if not more
A solid yet beautiful carport by Palram. Will protect your car from bad weather, snow, hail and more. If you are after a serious car shelter, this could be the one.
Review of Fox Hunter Carport Car Canopy
A fully waterproof carport car shelter which could be used as a temporary cover for your car when doing work on it or cleaning it in bad weather.
A great carport that we erected in less than 2 hours together, the instructions weren't the clearest, definitely not as good as the Palram carport instructions but we have plenty of tent and gazebo experience and got it up rather easily.
Really simple product and will do exactly what you want, cover and protect your car, or even use for parties and gatherings as it can be moved around easily. Once erected, you can move it around, over your car, in to a parking space, even with just 2 people, it isn't that heavy. We recommend using some latex, gardening gloves or other type of glove as some of the pole framing came with grease on it, maybe to stop it rusting, but it got on our hands as we erected it.
It has 2 doors, front and back, so you can seal it up if this is required. It is made of steel and bolts together which makes it super strong. It's not heavy enough to withstand really heavy winds, we'd recommend some leg weights which you can fill with sand or water and attach to the steel legs of this shelter to hold it in place. You can also bolt it down, there are holes to attach bolts too if you want to make it more of a permanent carport.
Above yu can see the bolts holding it together and how the outer shelter straps on to the framing.
Once you have fitted all of the steel tubing together and created the frame its as simple as pulling the sheeting over and fitting it to the frame. You'll end up with the cover just touching the ground all the way around and a complete car shelter for you ready to use.
Once we had erected it, one problem we realised is that although it seems fully waterproof, it is not breatheable, which means that condensation builds up on the inside of the shelter.
- Easy to build, can be done by yourself
- Built and set up within a couple of hours
- Fully waterproof
- Can be a permanent or temporary fixture, bolted down or put away
- Great price
- Can be used for garden parties as well as a car shelter
- Condensation builds up inside
- Doesn't look as good as other permanent carports and shelters, like the Palrams
A great, simple carport. Build it up in no time and park your car inside. Great for temporary use if you are fixing your car or doing work on it over a few days, or even protecting it from bad weather and debris from trees.
Review of Sealer ShelterLogic Carport Shelter
Another simple carport shelter that you can put up in a couple of hours by yourself and protect your car permanantley or even as a temporary shelter for working on your car.
So this carport took a little bit longer to put up than the other temporary, foxhunter car shelter. Even though we have put up plenty of gazebos, tents and the other carports before.
We set up and mounted the Shelter Logic carport on rough ground, we had fitted others down before to the ground but just placed this one on the grass/gravel mix as we would be using it for a night or two to store bicycles and a small car when we have family and friends visiting and they bring their bikes. We really don't have the space in our house and prefer to keep all bicycles dry when we can. It's also perfect for storing multiple bikes and being able to work and clean them. Keeping your bikes maintained is important and doing that in the dry, under a car shelter is even better.
Another reason to use a shelter like this is as a portable garage and also if the weather gets really bad for few days, you can set this up and protect your car from snow, tree branches falling from above or even bird poo.
This probably wouldn't be the best permanent carport as once we had assembled it, the cover sagged a bit on top. If you live in an area that has a lot of snow or rain, this will collect on top. The good thing is that it doesn't end up on your car but it will need knocking off at least once a day.
Comparing it to the other temp shelter, the FoxHunter, this one has pockets at the bottom of each front and back door panel flaps. You can place in these extra weight to help hold them down and when rolling up to have open entrances if you are working under it or using it.
If you are after instructions and a guide for buidling and setting up your ShelterLogic Auto Shelter then watch the video below. This actually gave us a clearer view of how to assemble the carport garage than the written instructions which came with the product when it was delivered.
- Waterproof, windproof and very sturdy temporary structure you can use for keeping your car safe
- Can be built in less than a day and easier to do so if you watch the instructional video below on how to build and put together.
- Really good price, quarter of the price compared to the more heavy duty carports.
- Found it hard to get the sheeting and cover really tight
- Don't like the colour, its a greyish yellow, would have preferred a green one, but there are other options online by ShelterLogic and other companies
Overall, a good shelter if you use it as a temporary structure, if you want something more permanant and live in a bad weather location, maybe it's not the one for you. If you will be using it for a few days at a time then this could be perfect for you.