Shipping containers are used to transport so many different items.  The containers are durable, sturdy and can handle a lot of weight. The size of the shipping container will determine what can be carried, how much it can hold, and how heavier these items should be.  Even an automobile!

It's not surprising to know that these containers ship automobiles from one place to another.  In fact, when cars are shipped across seas, a 20-foot container can hold up to four cars depending on their sizes, with space still available. 

Weight Limits For Transporting

A 20-foot shipping container can hold roughly forty four thousand pounds, which is 22 tons.  

A larger 40-foot container can hold forty four thousand five hundred pounds or 22.25 tons of weight.  

This is a tremendous amount of weight for these containers to carry.

Movers are capable of stuffing an entire household of goods into any of these containers as long as the container doesn’t exceed a weight limit.  

These weight restrictions only apply to shipping conditions.  When a shipping container is docked at its buyer’s destination, it will be able to handle more weight as it’s planted.

Internal Specs of Containers

To get a better idea of what automobiles can fit into a container, we’d need to consider that a single container might be harder for medium to large vehicles to fit in and for it’s driver to be able to get out of the mobile.

Here are the dimensions of the interior of the common containers that people use as home containers:

*20-foot container:

        *Length: 19-feet 3-inches

        *Width: 7-feet 8-inches

        *Height:  7-feet 9-inches

    

*30-foot long container:

        *Length: 29-feet 4-inches

        *Width:  7-feet 8-inches

        *Height: 7-feet 9 inches

*40-foot container:

        *Length:  39-feet 5 inches

        *Width:  7-feet 8-inches

        *Height:  7-feet 9-inches

Now based off of these specs we can find out what size vehicle can fit in a transformed container garage.  Will your car be able to fit in a modified single container garage or does it need two container configuration.  

Will My Auto Fit?

I have a 2016 Toyota Tacoma and its spec is:

    *Length:  17-feet 6-inches

    *Width:  6-feet 5-inches

    *5-feet 9-inches

Taking a look at these specs my Tacoma can fit into a 20-foot container.  But, I wouldn’t be able to get out of the truck without dinging the door against the interior of the container.  

The recommended room space needed to open a persons automobile is 2-feet 6-inches.  

Looking at the specs, the Tacoma will fit in the container, however, it is not very practical because there won’t be any room to open its doors.  It would have less than 12-inches of opening space.

Therefore, the best solution for a car or truck this size is to opt for 2 20-foot modulated containers that will offer more space for doors to open comfortably.  This may also be necessary for those who have 2 vehicles.

Modularity 


The awesome thing about containers is that they are modular.  

Modifications, such as cutting a part of the side wall to allow for more room or making a drop gate to allow for an exit space, are just a few solutions.

No more dinging the doors, your locked vehicle is safe and sound enclosed within the container.    

As mentioned before, if a family has more than one vehicle, they may choose to combine two 20-foot containers to fit their autos.  

What about larger vehicles?  If someone had a truck larger than a Tacoma, what size would you need?

Large Trucks

Some people prefer to have a heavy-duty truck such as, the Dodge Ram, or it’s larger industrial models, the Dually.  These trucks are meant to handle a lot of workload, and usually have 4 pair of rear tires to support heavy loads. 

That would mean that the Dually would have a wider rear end than a truck like the Toyota Tacoma.  

Here are the specs of the 3 types of Dodge Ram Duallys:

Regular Cab:

        *Length:  19-feet 3-inches

        *Width:  6-feet 5-inches

        *Height:  6-feet 6-inches

Crew Cab:

        *Length:  19-feet 7-inches

        *Width: 6-feet 5-inches

        *Height:  6-feet 5-inches

Mega Cab:

        *Height:  20-feet 8-inches

        *Width:  6-feet 5-inches

        *Height:  6-feet 5-inches

Looking at the specs for the different Dodge Ram trucks, none of them would fit in a 20-foot container.  Those who have a Dually will need to upgrade to a 30 or 40-foot container and have it’s sides turned into a lift gate for door swing clearance.  

So anything with larger specs than the specs of the containers listed can have their containers altered to allow door swing space.  One such example is they could remove the sides of the shipping container and leave the roof in tact to use the container as a cover for their automobile.  Or the previous method of turning the sides into drop gates.  

Roof Modifications For Larger Vehicles

Another great option for those who own multiple large trucks such as the Ram Dually, is stacking containers. This will allow trucks to drive into the container garage and have enough space for door swing.  

If the owner wants privacy of their vehicles, they can have a drop gate put in at the entrance to lock their property garage.

In fact there are several ways shipping containers can be stacked to create an opening as a garage: (All examples will have two containers, the list will consist of what types of roofing is used.)  

*Gable= V-roof connecting the containers.  

*Gambrel= V-roof with a slope on each side to connect the inner edges of the containers.  

*Inner Mount= V-shaped roof that rests on the inner edge of the containers.  

*Outer Mount= V-shaped rests on outer edge of containers.  

*Offset Mount= V-shaped roof that is resting offset on the containers.  One edge of the roof will rest on the outer edge of one container while the other side will rest on the inner edge of the container.  

What To Choose?

There’s an array of automobiles people choose to own and hopefully with some of the information I’ve gathered, you’ll have a better idea of what to expect or what you can make when making a shipping container into a garage.  

Always look at the specs before making a final decision. Last but not least, be creative with your container home garage, so your car or truck will be safe and comfortable in it’s space.

About the Author Gail K.

Gail is an avid outdoor enthusiast who currently lives in her own Tiny Home travelling across the U.S. She stays month to month in random states, parking her Tiny Home on campground friendly locations and picks up Wi-Fi to contribute to our blog weekly!

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