The standard home garage door heights range from 7 feet tall to 8 feet tall. All small and lower cargo vans such as a Ford Transit Connect will fit in a standard garage; most mid-sized such a Mercedes Metris one will, but usually a large cargo van such as a Mercedes Benz Sprinter won’t.
An example of a tall cargo van is the popular Ford Transit. The van comes in three sizes of varying heights; low roof, medium roof, and high roof. The low top is 6.85 feet tall, the medium roof is 8.4 feet high, and the high roof is 9.2 feet high.
If you have a 7 or 8 feet high garage, you’ll be able to park the low roof Ford Transit alone.
Additional roof racks, solar panels, or vents make cargo vans taller. As such, you may have to go for an even taller garage and garage door.
Deciding on the choice of a cargo van is pretty challenging when the height and size of your garage are the deciding factors.
I often relate the situation to buying yourself a bed. If you’re six feet and taller, you should go for a mattress that’s six feet or longer. It would help if you don’t compromise on comfort by settling on a smaller bed, but going for an eight-foot bed is wasteful.
The same applies to cargo vans; go for a garage with enough space to house your cargo van and leave some room for accessibility. Also, don’t compromise on the size of your cargo van if you feel that it might not fit in your garage or through your garage door.
I don’t believe there should be a standard for garage dimensions as every individual has their preference. On average, a 12 feet wide, 22 feet long, and 7 feet tall garage is pretty common in most homes.
Such a garage will house a great majority of vehicles but not for all cargo vans.
Popular Cargo Vans Heights
The height of cargo vans is dependent on the manufacturer and varies greatly amongst the vans. However, the heights range from 66.3 inches to 110.4 inches for the taller cargo vans.
Listed below are the heights of the most popular cargo vans and whether they can fit in your garage.
|Cargo Van||Height in Inches||Height in Feet||Does the CV Fit in a Standard 7-Foot Garage?|
|Ford Transit||82.2 to 110.4||6.85 to 9.2||YES/NO|
|Nissan NV2500||74.5 to 83.9||6.2 to 6.99||YES|
|Freightliner Sprinter||95.5 to 109.1||7.96 to 9.1||NO|
|Mercedes Benz Sprinter||96.3 to 107.5||8.03 to 8.96||NO|
|RAM ProMaster||66.3 to 77.1||5.5 to 6.4||YES|
|Ford Transit Connect||72||6||YES|
|RAM ProMaster City||74||6.2||YES|
|Mercedes Benz Metris||75.2||6.3||YES|
|Dodge Grand Caravan||67.9||5.66||YES|
A garage should be wide enough to permit the opening of the cargo van’s out-swinging doors fully. You should also be able to walk around the truck comfortably.
A minimum distance of one meter (approximately 40 inches) on either side of the car is sufficient. The extra spacing is important, especially during emergency purposes when you need to access your van quickly.
Secondly, a congested garage is a death trap if an engine is left running and the carbon monoxide buildup is undetected. Ensure your garage is well ventilated too.
Parking a Cargo Van in a Residential Area
Whether you can park a cargo van in a residential area or not is dependent on your local authority or jurisdiction .
According to the state of Florida, Statute 320.01 (26), a commercial vehicle is any non-government vehicle that has three or more axles, or with a gross weight of 26,001 lbs, or is used with a trailer with both weights summing up to more than 26,001 lbs.
Most cargo vans don’t qualify as commercial vehicles based solely on their weight classification, as they’re lighter. As a result, you can park your cargo van in a residential area without any repercussions.
However, if you register your cargo van as a commercial vehicle, the laws prohibiting the parking of commercial vehicles in residential areas applies to you.
In New York, a commercial vehicle is any vehicle whose primary task is transporting property or commercial service provision and bearing commercial plates. The classification of vehicles as commercial depends on state jurisdictions; check with yours to know where your cargo van falls.
In the commercial vehicle classification, there’s a catch that you need to know. You are prohibited from parking a cargo van registered under a company name in a residential area, whether privately owned or not.
Only commercial cargo vans registered under sole traders are allowed to park in residential areas.
These parking regulations vary a lot, with different states and localities having different rules that govern commercial vehicles’ parking.
Three Crucial Factors to Consider When Building/ Renovating a Garage
Your Cargo Van’s Weight
Cargo vans are heavier than most personal cars. As a result, you may find that most home garages cannot hold the extra load for protracted periods.
You might not notice any changes to the garage floor at first, but continuous overloading of non-reinforced concrete will cause the concrete floor to sink or shift. To avoid such a scenario, opt for reinforced 4-inch thick or more garage floor .
Secondly, make sure to know your van’s curb weight, the gross vehicle weight rating (GVMR), and the duration of parking in the garage.
Opt for a stronger floor if you deem that the concrete won’t sustain the van’s weight for extended periods.
Van Length and Width
Cargo vans have been increasingly getting longer with each given year.
It is because a residential garage is designed and built to house a smaller vehicle. A vast majority of pickup trucks and cargo vans
two listed cars are wider than the typical personal cars in most homes. To avoid such scenarios, you should look at the manufacturer’s manual to know a car’s length and width.
Alternatively, you can opt to measure its length using tape from bumper to bumper. To get an appropriate width, measure from one end of an extended mirror to the other end.
How To Increase Your Garage’s Vertical Clearance
What happens in a situation when you’ve determined that your cargo van can’t fit in your garage or get through the garage door? You can raise your garage by raising the roof.
A cheaper alternative for a garage to house taller cargo vans is to increase the garage door clearance. However, in some cases, the door is pretty much attached to the roof’s tie beam.
For such a garage, you have no further room to raise your door, and so the only option is to increase the roof. To comfortably house a cargo van, you’ll need a garage that has a roof and door clearance of more than 9 feet in height.
Three Ways to Raise a Garage Roof/Door
Raising a garage roof or door is a tough job that might require a professional to execute. Furthermore, some localities require homeowners to seek permits before altering the original designs of their garages.
Raising a garage roof is an expensive job that might need you to spend $10,000 to $20,000 to finish the job perfectly.
However, don’t let the cost scare you. If you’re on a limited budget, then read on.
Listed below are methods you can employ to raise your garage.
Raise the Whole Garage
Raising your garage is an easy task as you require just two jacks and a properly sized beam of wood firmly nailed all around your garage. The beam’s job is to hold the garage walls firmly to avoid distortion.
If your garage has metallic pillars or walls, weld a strong piece of metal around the room for this task.
Put diagonal bracing across the garage to support it when you raise it, as any imbalance will be disastrous. Add further bracing three meters apart from the bottom end of each wall to the roof to prevent the walls from folding out.
Brace the garage door in an X fashion as well to prevent racking. Finally, if you’re satisfied that your garage is rigid, wedge the two jacks under the beam and raise every wall 4 inches at a time.
The primary concern with raising your whole garage is that you might distort your garage and, in the process, tarnish its structural integrity. To avoid making such a mistake, you should consult a local building professional to help you out.
The cost that you’ll be spending shall be lower than building a new garage.
Raise Just the Roof
You’ll require a hydraulic lift to jack up your garage roof. If your roof’s structure is shaky, run a strong beam five inches below the roof tie beam for additional support. Detach the top from the beam and raise it.
When raising your garage, consult local authorities to determine if you need any special permits before commencing.
Raise the Door Height
Raising a garage door is only viable for garages that have extra inches to the beam. It is cheaper than raising your garage or roof and doesn’t require much expertise. However, you might have to detach your garage door and frame to reposition it to fit the new door space.
You can also opt to buy a new door, but a better and cheaper alternative is adding additional material to the door to cover the new door space fully.
Two Best Alternatives to Garages
A vast majority of larger cargo vans wouldn’t fit in most home garages. And if your cargo van happens to fall under this grouping, you might opt for a shorter cargo van.
However, this may not seem wise as the van might not serve the intended purpose. A second alternative would be to build a new garage, but that might be too costly with the average cost of doing so being $24,000. And we haven’t mentioned that you might need more space for the new garage.
On the bright side, if you’re not ready to part with a large sum of money, I’ve got what you need.
Listed below are some cheap alternatives to keep your cargo van away from elements.
Cargo Van Covers
Cargo van covers protect your van from all kinds of elements such as snow, ultraviolet rays, rain, hail, or even wind. They’re pretty durable, and do not cost a lot.
Most cargo van covers have lifetime warranties. That’s how good they’re at very pocket-friendly prices. To show how cheap they are, Carcovers.com sells perfect-fitting Ford Transit covers at just $344.
Metal / Portable Carport Shelters
Carport covers/shelters are other alternatives that offer awesome shielding against weather elements for your cargo van. Although they’re not as durable as brick garages, they’re pretty long-lasting.
Another advantage that comes with carport covers is that they’re cheap and portable. The common price range for the covers falls between $500 and $2,000. They also have excellent resale values as the are quite long lasting .
You can buy a preassembled one, or you can assemble yours. I had one, it took me two hours to set up, and I was impressed by its effectiveness and durability. Install your cover so that wind flows through and not against it, especially if you live in an area with strong winds or during storms.
6 Benefits of Having Your Cargo Van Covered
Protects Your Cargo Van From Weather Hazards
If you live in an area with extreme fluctuations in weather conditions, winters and summers will take a big toll on your cargo van if it is continuously parked outside.
A combination of rain, hail, ice, and heavy winds will wear down your van at a rate that will shock you. Prevent such a case from occurring by sheltering your cargo van.
Protects Your Cargo Van From Leaks
Like we with old cars, cargo vans will develop rust if left to weather elements for prolonged periods.
Rust gradually eats away metal resulting in leaking parts, especially the roof. A leaking roof will deteriorate the quality of the cargo van interior very quickly.
It Helps Cool Your Cargo Van
A covered cargo van is cooler than one that is exposed to weather hazards during summer. Vehicles parked in the shade are 16 degrees Fahrenheit cooler than those left out in the sun.
Furthermore, the interior temperatures of cars left in the sun are 1.5 times more than the normal external temperature. High internal temperatures and exposure to ultraviolet radiations lead to cracked dashboards and deteriorating interiors.
Keeps Your Engine in Good Condition
A cargo van that is left out in the sun periodically will tend to suffer from engine failure more than one that is covered.
Engine oils cool the engines at certain engine temperatures. Extra external addition of heat thins the oil, thereby increasing chances of engine failure.
Protects Your Cargo Van from Scratches and Dents
We all know of a case where an exposed car was hit by a stone, or scratched and vandalized. We can avoid such incidences if a vehicle owner decides to safeguard their vehicle in a garage.
Protects the Equipment on the Van Roof
Cargo vans will often have air conditioners, solar panels, Flettner vents, or even fans. Some of this equipment can’t tolerate tough conditions that cars can withstand.
Keeping them covered will save you a lot of money which you would then invest elsewhere.
Whether it is for personal or business reasons, full-size cargo vans are the best options to consider. They’re spacious, reliable, fuel-efficient, comfortable, and very versatile.
Cargo vans are also customizable to meet the owner’s needs as businesses’ requirements vary with different businesses.
However, regardless of their size or importance, cargo vans are still vans and need to be treated with care. They’re not as robust as tractors or trailers that can withstand all types of weather elements.
If you’re purchasing a cargo van, you have to consider its size plus the size of your garage. It’s better to go for a cargo van that fits well in the garage. Sadly, a vast majority of cargo vans are taller than most 7 foot or 8-foot garage doors.
Don’t compromise on the functionality of a cargo van so that it can fit in your garage.
Buy a cargo van that will suit your personal needs and preferences.
I’ve discussed several ways in which you can protect your van from elements. Apply either of the options that you deem fitting and prolong the lifespan of your cargo van.