Complete Guide to Picking the Right Garage Door for SUVs, RVs, or Any Other Large Vehicle

You've recently purchased a new truck, SUV, or RV, and now you need a garage that will hold your pride and joy. Knowing about standard garage door sizes, you are fairly certain that you will have a more difficult time selecting the ideal garage door for your large vehicle.

A standard garage door of seven feet tall and nine feet wide just doesn't seem large enough. You're in luck! Custom-made garage doors are available in various sizes. Let's look at the 4-step process for choosing the correct garage door for your unique garage.

A garage with different garage door sizes to fit a car, an SUV and an RV.

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Our first consideration is your daily driver SUV or pickup truck VS your garage door choice

1- An SUV or truck is quite a bit bigger than my car. Do I need a special size garage door for them to fit inside my garage?

According to JD Power, a typical SUV is about 5 feet 5 inches to about 6 feet 4 inches tall, depending on if you get a small or large SUV. Your standard car that hasn't been modified can easily fit into a garage with those height dimensions.

A pickup is tall, but most of them are less than 6'5" tall. Of course, if you've used a lift kit on your truck it will be taller. A 7-foot-high garage door should be tall enough for a standard pickup or SUV. If you want more room, you can get a 7 ½- or 8-foot garage door. When you're thinking about the width of the opening, an 9-foot-wide garage door should be wide enough for most cars or trucks.

Knowing the sizes of garage doors to look at, you can start looking at the different garage door models that are available. Our image gallery gives you an idea of the different colors we offer as well as designs we've done on past projects.

Do you have an attached garage or a detached garage? It does make a difference as to the type of garage door you purchase. For an attached garage, your best choice is an insulated garage door. These will help keep the environment inside the garage warmer in winter and cooler in summer. The bonus to that is reduced energy bills!

The R-value you need for your garage will help determine the kind of insulation you have within your garage door. The insulation you need doesn't change the exterior appearance of your garage door. Several garage door models are available with various R-value levels for insulation. The modern Vog or the rustic North Hatley LP are two examples of garage doors available in the high insulation R-16 category for garage doors.

Garage door Standard+ Vog, 9'  x 7', Charcoal, window layout: Left-side Harmony

The Standard+ Vog garage door design, in Charcoal, with a Left-side Harmony window layout, is shown in this picture. Notice the 9' x 7' height on these beautiful garage doors. Your SUV or pickup should fit perfectly in a garage with doors of this size!

What look do you want? Are you a fan of the large double garage door, or would you rather have two single garage doors?

Do you need a standard double garage door, or is there a special garage door size you should choose?

Choosing a double garage door size depends on how skilled you are in parking 2 cars side-by-side within a small space. For some homeowners, a 12' garage door is plenty of space for parking two vehicles. However, some people find a 16' garage door to be a tight squeeze. The most popular double garage door size is 16' wide and 8' tall. The good news is you don't have to choose the most popular garage door size! Get the dimensions that fit your garage, decide what you feel comfortable with, and select a custom-made garage door.

Garage door Standard+ North Hatley LP, 16' x 8', Moka Brown, 4 vertical lite Orion windows

This Standard+ North Hatley LP design garage door is designed for parking 2 cars side by side. Notice at the top of the 16' x 9' door there are 4 vertical lite Orion windows to allow a little light into the space.

2- A garage door needs a lift installed. What is the best choice for a large garage door?

A standard lift is the most popular type of lift. For this style garage door lift, you need at least 12 inches of free space above the garage door. Your clearance needs to be adjusted by another 2 inches if you plan to install a garage door opener that mounts to the ceiling.

Standard lift garage door elevation

What happens if you don't have enough space to fit a standard lift? There are low front headroom lift options for spaces that are less than 10 inches.

Low headroom lift garage door

An inclined track is a great option for garages with cathedral ceilings. These tracks follow the angle of the roof.

Inclined garage door track

3- Let's talk about hardware. Do you need special hardware for this kind of garage door?

Usually, a garage door for a garage that houses an SUV or a pickup is less than 8'1" high. So, you can use residential hardware with these doors. With our garage doors, you can select one of two types of residential hardware: Dura+ and bolted hardware.

This chart shows the main characteristics of the hardware:

Picture describing the main differences between the Dura+ hardware system and the bolted hardware system for a garage door.

Ask your garage door expert which type of hardware is included with your garage door. Some models feature Dura+ hardware, but others have bolted hardware. Luckily, if you prefer one over the other, you can replace one kind of hardware with the other, so talk to your garage door dealer about the hardware systems to determine which one you should choose.

4- Do I need a special garage door opener when the garage houses an SUV or pickup truck?

Choosing an electric garage door opener is relatively simple since most trucks and SUVs fit into a garage with a garage door that is 7' or 8'. Select a garage door opener from the residential line of openers.

Choose your garage door opener based on the unique features you find most beneficial.

  • The LiftMaster 87504-267 opener works on a belt-drive system. It's a quiet opener with an HD camera and a 2-way microphone. You can use your cell phone to monitor what is going on within your garage.
  • The LiftMaster 8500W opener can open garage doors that are up to 14 feet tall. It features a 24V DC motor. This garage door opener is wall-mounted which is ideal for those who need to keep the ceiling free If you have high lift elevation hardware.
  • The LiftMaster 87802 garage door opener is less quiet than other LiftMaster units. The garage door opener uses a chain drive system to operate. There is no integrated camera with this model, so you won't be able to monitor the garage with your cell phone. This opener is excellent for detached garages where noise isn't an issue

The myQ app allows all of those models to be controlled from your phone! Do you need to be away from home? No problem! There's an app for that! Use it to keep an eye on your garage door from a distance.

LiftMaster garage door opener model 87504-267

The LiftMaster 87504-267 has a battery backup and an integrated camera along with other features. This model is one of the quietest in the entire line.

What about your RV? What kind of garage door do you need for your RV storage facility?

1- How do I choose the right size garage door for my RV?

Start with the height of your RV and add headroom above the height. You don't want your RV to be too close to the ceiling of your garage.

Garage door G-5000, 16' x 18', Ice White

Do you need a larger, wider garage door? For a motorhome, commercial door designs may be the ideal choice. This garage door is a G-5000, 16' x 18', Ice White.

If you think you might upgrade your RV, you won't want to rebuild it each time you get a new RV. Instead, you should plan for that eventuality by building a slightly larger garage door opening that you think you will need for the current motorhome.

A Class A RV is also called a motorhome.

The largest RVs are Class A RVs. These RVs have the most conveniences of any RV available. Image from Camper Report’s website.

Choosing the right garage door depends on the size of your RV.

Looking at the Camper Report website, you'll find 4 categories of RVs. These classifications are based on the size of the RV.

  • Class A – those motorhomes that look like buses fall into this category. They are the biggest RVs available, and they are also the most comfortable ones.
  • Class B – A class B RV might fit into a standard garage. This class is the smallest group available.
  • Class B+ – These are a little bigger than a Class B. Think of these like Class B and Class C combined to create a new RV.
  • Class C – You've seen those RVs that look like they are the size of a standard pickup truck, but taller. Those are Class C motorhomes.

An RV from Class C at night.

Notice the front of this RV looks like a truck, SUV, or van. This is an image of a Class C RV from Pixabay.

When you're building a garage specifically for your RV, you need to consider the class of RV you own. Each class has its own dimensions, and therefore the size must be factored into choosing your garage size and the overhead garage door.

The Jeffsetter Travel website takes the mystery out of the RV category sizes:

  • Class A – This is the tallest and reaches between 12 and 14 feet
  • Class B and B+ – You'd think this would be the middle class, but with a height between 7 and 10 feet, it's actually the smallest in height.
  • Class C – This one is stuck in the middle at between 10 and 12 feet.

You can discover beautiful landscape by traveling with an RV from Class B.

Image of a Class B RV from Unsplash. See how this RV is barely taller than a transport van? You might be able to fit it into your standard garage.

When you calculate the height of your RV don't forget that the A/C unit is on the roof, and that section will be taller than the rest of the vehicle. Use the class categories to get an approximate size for your garage door and add some space to leave room above the RV. Remember, if you plan to make modifications, like adding a roof rack, it's better to incorporate those measurements at the beginning rather than try to renovate for them later.

Your garage door needs to measure at least 10 feet wide for a Class A vehicle. We suggest using a 12-foot-wide garage door so you have more space to pull into the garage. An 8- or 9-foot-wide garage door will work for Class B, B+, and C vehicles.

Garage door Standard+ Shaker-Flat XL, 10' x 9', Chocolate Walnut, windows with Stockton Inserts

These garage doors are Standard+ Shaker-Flat XL, 10' x 9', Chocolate Walnut, windows with Stockton Inserts. Imagine parking your Class B or B+ RV inside this garage!

Calculating the size of your garage doors is much easier if you already own the RV. Use the dimensions for your current RV and order a custom garage door. It's a good idea to select a garage door that is larger than you need because you never know when you might decide to purchase a different RV.

This garage door found on Houzz would easily fit a Class A RV.

This Shaker-Flat CC garage door from Houzz is a great size for a Class A RV. Notice the design on the door, and the windows at the top of it.

2- How do you match your lift with your garage door?

The larger size of an RV garage means the roof is configured incorrectly for a standard lift. Luckily, other lift options are available.

The wall of your RV garage may reach high above the garage door. For situations where the wall is that high, a high lift track or a full vertical lift track is recommended. This kind of track gives you the needed room above your RV for the track installation.

A technical drawing of a High Garage Door Lift

An inclined track is designed to follow the angle of the roof. This design leaves space above your RV and is an excellent choice for garages with cathedral ceilings.

Image of an inclined garage door track

A low front headroom lift is an excellent choice for a space where there are less than 10 inches above the garage door. These lifts are ideal for spaces where there isn't enough space between the ceiling and the top of the door opening.

Image of a low-headroom garage door track

3- Do we need special hardware to support the large size of an RV garage door?

Once a garage door is more than 8 feet tall, commercial hardware replaces the residential hardware. That means you can be confident that the hardware will hold and remain solid.

There are 3 kinds of commercial hardware available. You choose the hardware based on the use of your garage door.

We divide our commercial garage door hardware into 3 categories: Light Duty, Heavy Duty and Super Heavy Duty

This chart shows you the three kinds of garage door hardware. We suggest you choose your hardware based on the weight of the garage door.

4- Now you need a garage door opener!

You've chosen your garage door. You have decided on the hardware to get the door installed. Now, there's one more thing to consider. You need a garage door opener! Opening a 14' garage door by hand is an impossibility, so you need an industrial-strength LiftMaster garage door opener.

A wall-mounted opener is what we recommend for you if you own a Class A RV.

An industrial door opener like the LiftMaster H has advantages. Here are some of them:

LiftMaster H wall-mounted commercial garage door opener

There's an app for that! The myQ app lets you control the LiftMaster H garage door opener from anywhere!

  • You don't have to calculate the extra space on the ceiling for your garage door opener.
  • If you ever need to reprogram your garage door opener, you won't have to get above the RV to do it.
  • Less vibration and noise.
  • Use the myQ app to monitor and operate the door.

Peace of mind is what you will have when you install a LiftMaster garage door opener!

Have you ever gotten a few miles from home and had the sinking feeling that you forgot something? When you are rushing to get you and the entire family packed and on the road, it's easy to feel rushed and forget to check to ensure you closed your garage door.

There's no need to worry! Simply use your cell phone to access your myQ app. The app will let you check to see if you closed the garage door or not. It will even let you close it remotely from wherever you are on your journey!

A woman checking if her garage door is locked on her smartphone by using the free MyQ app.

The myQ app is an ingenious tool to take the worry out of owning a garage. You can use it to monitor the garage door status from anywhere!

If the garage door didn't even cross your mind on the road, the myQ app still has you covered. If your garage door is standing open for longer than normal, the app notifies you!

The homeowner gets a notification on his smart phone “Alert Occurred – The garage door remains open" and sees that the neighbor who walks the dog as the last to come out from the garage door.

Your garage door has been open for quite a while, but don't worry! The myQ app associated with your garage door opener will notify you, and you can simply use the app to close the door!

Now for the fun part. Let's shop for a new garage door!

Whether you are looking for a garage door for your RV or one for your garden shed, we have choices for you.

You simply bring us your measurements, and we can make the right garage door for you. Every garage door we make is custom built. No matter the width and height you need, we've got you covered.

Are you unsure about how to measure the opening for your garage door? Here's how you can do it. Or you can contact us. One of our experts will come to take the measurements for you. While we're there we can answer your questions and help you fully plan your garage door project.

Garage door Eastman E-11, 16' x 8', Black door and overlays, 4 vertical lite Panoramic windows

Do you like the style and color of this garage door? The black adds a certain sophistication, don't you think? This is an Eastman E-11, 16' x 8', Black garage door and overlays, 4 vertical lite Panoramic windows.

The best is still to come! You can be your own garage door designer!

We've given you access to our favorite garage door design app: the Design Centre! The app is free, and you can experiment until you find the look you want for your new garage door. The interactive app has 10 colors and more than 35 garage door designs for you to choose from. You can even choose the windows and hardware! Be creative! This is your chance to shine as a designer!

The app is available on your phone too! In the middle of the Arizona desert camping in the RV? No problem! You can still design your garage door for your RV!

Do you need a visual before you get a free quote by email? That's not a problem either! Upload a picture of your house or garage, and you can see what the garage door will look like once it's installed. Don't like the look? No problem. Go back to the Design Centre drawing board.

You can also call 508-875-3508 and a member of Door Systems Metro Boston will be glad to help you from step one of your garage door design through the step where you see your garage door skillfully installed.

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