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Common vehicle heights

Designing the perfect lifestyle shed can be daunting, especially when it needs to be able to store multiple vehicles. In addition to thinking about the size, security, and materials used, you’ll have to make sure your shed is the correct height for your vehicles to be stored comfortably and safely. That’s why we’ve gone and researched the most common vehicle heights to help you get started with knowing how high your shed might need to be to store your prized possessions.

Lifestyle vehicles and how to store them

Shed height for vehicle storage

Lifestyle tractors

Many New Zealanders invest in medium-sized tractors for landscaping, property maintenance, and animal care. These tractors tend to have from 50-100 horsepower and are much smaller than commercial tractors, but there are a few key things to know when fitting them into your shed. First of all, think about if your tractor will have a cab or roll bar and how high it is. Then consider any additional features like a front loader or a forklift, will these have enough room to lift and lower in the shed without hitting anything?

Compact lifestyle tractors usually range from 2-2.5 metres from the ground to the top of the cab, so depending on which model you have, we recommend allowing your shed roof and door to be at least 2.5-3 metres high. Of course, it is worth thinking ahead to any future machinery you might wish to acquire so raising the clearance height even more is definitely worth doing.

Tradie vans

If you’re a tradesman with a work van, chances are you’ve thought about storing it in a garage or shed. A shed can offer protection from the weather, provide a space to unload tools/materials, as well as provide additional security. The most common tradie vans are in the medium range because they offer a good load size and are economical to run, but some opt for high-tops or larger vans such as the Ford Transit.

Heights for these vans can range from 1.7 to 2.8 metres depending on the body style. Another thing to consider is whether or not you’ll have space for additional features on top of your van. For example, some tradies add roof racks to maximise storage capacity or add rooftop tents or surfboard racks for personal use. If you want to store your van for years to come, make sure your storage shed is high enough to cater to any future needs.

Utes and pickup trucks

Utes are a popular option for many kiwis because they’re versatile, reliable, durable, and have powerful motors. Utes are popular for their high towing capacity, 4WD and hard-wearing trays which all come together to make the ultimate lifestyle vehicle.

The most popular utes in New Zealand are the Mitsubishi Triton, Toyota Hilux, Ford Ranger and Nissan Navara which range from 1.69 metres to 1.96 metres high. Since these vehicles are so versatile, it’s wise to plan for future modifications you might make when designing your shed. For example, you might decide to add floodlights, roof racks, or tray canopies at a later date, and therefore your shed height should have clearance to suit that.

Motor homes and caravans

If you have a motorhome or caravan, it’s likely to spend a significant amount of time stored up while you’re not using it, especially in winter. To avoid rust, UV damage, and expensive repairs, campers should be kept away from the elements whenever they’re not in use. Storing campers in a shed also makes it a lot easier to maintain your camper throughout the year and protects features like awnings or canopies.

The maximum height for campers in New Zealand is 4.3 metres, so allowing clearance for that will ensure you have the best shed height for your current camper and any future camper upgrades. There are smaller campers on the market, with roof heights of less than 2 metres, but these ones are difficult to stand in and aren’t suited to everyone. When designing your shed, measure the highest point on your camper and factor in any solar panels, aerials, awnings, and roof vents to ensure everything can fit comfortably.


Recreational boating is a popular pastime in New Zealand and boats can range from small kayaks all the way to large luxury yachts. If you enjoy boating, whether for fishing, lake sports, sailing or otherwise, keeping your boat well cared for is sure to be a priority.

Storing boats out of the weather is key, as well as having a designated space to maintain them. If you are designing a lifestyle shed to store your boat, it’s worth ensuring there’s enough room for all your accessories, cleaning gear, and towing equipment as well.

As for the height of your boat, you’ll need to cater for lights, rod holders, aerials, and canopies. A 4-metre garage door should fit most recreational boats, including the trailer so that you have enough space to manoeuvre it in and out. You can discuss this with your shed designers to guarantee the door and roof height will be suitable.

What to consider for your shed height

Vehicle storage

Once you know the heights of your vehicles, there are several other things to bear in mind when designing your shed. With a range of shed designs on the market, there are many heights and customisations available. But how do you know which option is the strongest, most versatile, and best height all in one handy package?

A good lifestyle shed should be multifunctional and easy to update as your lifestyle changes. Most lifestyle sheds serve several purposes, from boat storage to workshop space to a home brewery, so they need to meet a series of requirements. The roof height is a huge part of this because it will determine what can fit inside, how much room there is to move, and how easy it is to manoeuvre vehicles in and out.

Variables for roof heights:

  • Is there enough room to accommodate any fixtures on top of your vehicles, such as aerials, roof vents or fishing rod holders?
  • Does the driveway to the shed have an incline? This could mean the vehicle enters at an angle and may need extra clearance to enter.
  • Remember to factor in the trailer height for a boat or jetski.
  • Is there enough room for the roller doors to open?
  • Is there room for other vehicles you may want to acquire in the future?

Why are clearspan sheds ideal for lifestyle sheds?

Not all sheds are made equal, and your design can have a massive impact on what you can store inside. At Alpine Buildings, our sheds are engineered to be robust, birdproof, secure, and adaptable without compromising storage space. Clearspan sheds are self-supporting with large bays and no internal columns which means you can store more of your treasured lifestyle tools with no obstructions. The clearspan design is also birdproof because there is nowhere for birds to perch, which means your vehicles are kept safe from their corrosive droppings.

If you have one or more lifestyle vehicles and are looking for the ideal shed to store them in, why not look at the functional designs from Alpine Buildings? You’re guaranteed to find a shed big enough to fit your needs and our expert team is with you every step of the way.

To make an enquiry about your next shed, contact us today.


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