Outdoor storage suggestions

August 1, 2017 | By Staff


I am not sure if it was an Auto Restorer article, but I saw a story about an individual who placed his car in a sort of winter storage. I think he couldn’t afford to store it in a storage facility, and didn’t have a home garage. He stored his car outdoors by making a makeshift garage for the car. How would you go about doing that? It has to be protected in all kinds of weather including snow, cold, ice, and harsh sun, and it needs protection from cats, dogs, tree sap, etc.

Obviously you would start by buying an all-weather car cover. However, some cities have ordinances against those 10x20-foot pop-ups, so in that case you would assume you could only cover the car directly.

The individual in the article took PVC tubes (I think) and made a skeletal outline of the car and then attached weather-resistant material, basically almost cocooning the car. He still had a way to open one end and drive the car out of his “poor boy” makeshift storage. So, how would one go about doing this?


I am not sure there is a good answer to your problem. Assuming you are looking for something that is impervious to any kind of weather, I doubt anything short of a heated, well-constructed garage would be totally effective for long-term storage. Moisture in its various forms, e.g. ice, liquid or vapor, would be the main challenge to overcome, followed by heat and direct sunlight.

There is a company that advertises an enormous breathable plastic bag for $225 called a Rhino Storage Bag into which you can drive your car and then seal it up. It has the advantage of providing a moisture-proof floor under your classic and it comes with desiccant to absorb moisture. Their products are highly recommended, but I doubt if such a thing would be much protection under extreme weather. You can reach them at:

Rhino Shelters 105 Woodmont Road Milford, CT 06460 | rhinoshelters.com

You must consider that no matter what youput over the car, if it is on a dirt floor it will rust from the bottom up anyway, and even a concrete floor will absorb moisture and emit water vapor in wet climates. That’s why in my garage the floor is coated with waterproof epoxy paint with a little sand in it for traction, even though I live in a dry environment.

I suppose a structure made of PVC and covered in canvas or plastic would do a reasonable job for most purposes, but it would not prevent snow from building up on the vehicle during a storm nor would it stop those softballsize hailstones I have heard about in your part of the country. Perhaps you could clad the top of your structure with plywood before adding the plastic or canvas. Also, you need to take into account that most PVC will not hold up long in direct sunlight.

An ordinary breathable, open car cover is fine if you live in a mild climate, but it would not be suitable in Montana or Nebraska.

In your situation I would look around the neighborhood for an elderly non-driver who would be willing to rent their garage to you for a nominal fee or perhaps try a commercial paint and body shop or garage to see if they will let you store your car in the back of their facility for a small fee.