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Thread: Tarpaulin garages, BEWARE!

  1. #1

    Tarpaulin garages, BEWARE!

    I thought I'd better share this experience and perhaps save someone else a costly mistake.

    I live in a conservation area, in a fairly wild part of West Yorkshire, so once your garage is full the only options are build another one to satisfy the local planning department (i e build a small brick house for c. £20K), car covers (never found one that worked) or various "temporary" shelters that fall outside of the planning laws.

    I've used Dancover and Protech portable shelters for nearly 5 years. They are brilliant, shrugging off wind, snow and driving rain with aplomb. The airspace is well ventilated so dampness doesn't accumulate and after years of storage the cars remain bone dry. The point here is that some temporary garages can work extremely well for prolonged periods in adverse weather conditions.

    Recently, I needed more storage, haven fallen into the trap of acquiring a couple too many "unmissable" parts and projects. Feeling reasonably confident with the whole concept of PVC and tarpaulin garages, and, after a chat with the local planning officer, I decided to move a little up market and try some thing a bit bigger.

    Inexplicably, rather than go back to a company that I trusted and had faith in, I bought a storage tent form a company that advertises on ebay from outside of the UK. To be clear, this was advertised as a heavy duty tent that was suitable for year round use, and it was the company's intent to provide 24/7 Germanic build quality. (An ebay search might reveal that I've given a bit too much away there...!)

    Please, don't do the same thing! After a few weeks eight of the tube joiners in the tent frame had failed (the welds hadn't penetrated into the base material to any real extent) and the tent almost collapsed. The company concerned eventually replaced the failed connectors, and I wasted my time rebuilding the tent, because a month later in the recent snow it collapsed completely. Sadly a rather nice Fiat X1/9 and an even nicer Alfa GTV were underneath it. Both have been extensively damaged.

    According to the company concerned all year round doesn't mean in winter or in snow. Apparently in winter the correct procedure is to take whatever is being stored in the shelter and leave it out in the snow, to rot. Then the tent should be dismantled and stored somewhere safe. In one of their competitors shelters perhaps? This advice is in incredibly small print on the last page of the instructions. Unsuprisingly, it's not mentioned in the advertising blurb.

    Please learn from my mistake. There are some excellent temporary garages out there, but this lot are selling a defective product in a devious and dishonourable fashion.



  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Guildford, Surrey, England

    Re: Tarpaulin garages, BEWARE!

    Sorry to hear of your bad decision. I wonder how much snow it would take before the Dancover and Protech collapses though? Surely any fabric roof wrapped around a metal tube structure could only take so much.


  3. #3

    Re: Tarpaulin garages, BEWARE!

    I think the Protech and Dancover are just a fundamentally better design, backed up with better construction. They both got through the winter of 2010 with around a foot of snow balanced on their roof quite happily. It's almost insulting to call them temporary!

    Really struggling to remember why I went elsewhere....


  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2011

    Re: Tarpaulin garages, BEWARE!

    Hi all.

    That's very bad new ed & sorry to hear it.

    It's also fair to say you've done what most people would have done when they've run out of space on a build or two by tying to protect your projects for a short period of time.

    They seem to take up a lot of room when there in bits & the last thing anyone needs is more work & cost to be added.

    “A plan is only a means of measuring where things went wrong”

  5. #5

    Re: Tarpaulin garages, BEWARE!

    If I find a decent product and it was to protect something you cherish, why go to a different product that has yet to be proved. If it's cost then wait until it's available for your pocket. We all fall for this at sometime in our life even me, your time came when you parted with your well earned cash.
    Club Nova / avante membership 031

  6. #6

    Re: Tarpaulin garages, BEWARE!

    Sorry to see that wreck of a tent but as you say, why did you change? I also love to keep to what I find good and reliable (the wife for instance), Snap-on tools, VW engines, H&K MP5. '80s BMWs and Mercs. I had a Haltrek hoist and lost it, do you think I could find one the same? No, found a smaller one though but at a price. They just don't make stuff like they used to that's for sure.

    The opinions expressed in my posts may not be made in a sound mind and should be taken in the spirit intended, Jack Daniels is fine.
    Some people see things as they are and ask why? I dream things that never were and ask, why not?” JFK

  7. #7

    Re: Tarpaulin garages, BEWARE!

    Agreed, it was a bad call. I think I was swayed by the promise of German engineering. Bit like people who bought Mercedes in the early 2000's and then bitterly regretted it.

    Anyway, slimmed down the fleet a bit so I only need 2 shelters. The Marcos has gone to Australia. This is just about far enough away. I donated the non-running Corvette to the Corvette Club UK who are going to raffle it to raise money for a children's cancer charity.

    So all is fine until the Nova is mobile. Hopefully moved house by then!


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