Portable shelters exist for a wide variety of purposes, including automobile storage, boat storage, greenhouses, animal shelters and recreation. Portable shelters are also used in disaster relief situations to provide temporary housing to the homeless.
In the absence of a garage, portable shelters provide protection from the elements for cars, trucks, motorcycles and boats. Some are even large enough to house airplanes and RVs. Garage shelters can be simple canopies or dome shapes that are entirely enclosed. The shelters usually consist of a metal frame covered with vinyl or canvas fabric treated with sun protection.
Greenhouse kits use the same metal frame, but are covered with a clear or white fabric that allows light to penetrate. They trap heat and moisture inside, and typically allow gardeners to extend the natural growing season.
Portable shelters serve as temporary livestock housing as well. Smaller shelters provide shade and wind protection in pastures. They also store animal feed, such as hay and grain.
Screen houses are portable shelters that have a solid fabric roof and screen walls, allowing access to the outdoors while providing protection from insects. These are often used by campers as portable kitchens to store food or other items when not in use.