Everything You Need to Know About RV Covers

As winter looms people are asking if they should get an RV cover. While there is no one answer to this, it can help protect against the damages from winter weather but the wrong cover can actually damage your RV! Here are some tips to getting the right cover that will protect your RV.

If you want to keep your RV in a condition that is great for camping travel, some of the top reasons for getting an RV-specific cover are:

1: The finish on your RV, including paint, decals, and clear coat can be damaged or faded by the sun's UV rays, as can awning fabrics, vent domes, etc.

2: While RV Covers are Water-resistant to repel moisture, they are not waterproof. That is a good thing you want the cover to breathe to allow moisture to evaporate.

3: Reducing the number of times you need to wash your RV. The black streaks caused by rain or melting snow or ice mixing with dirt and residue from the roof will not happen with a cover installed.

4: RV covers are built and specifically sized to fit a certain RV and length. They also have built-in cinches and buckles so that you can easily tighten the cover onto the RV, without the use of additional straps. They also have built-in vents to allow air to flow through when you want the moisture to escape.

5: All covers have multiple zippered panels on the passenger side of the RV, allowing to access the RV's interior while the cover is installed.

6: Your RV will look newer longer, so you will retain a higher resale value.

The extra barrier helps to make sure your interior remains free from contamination  

7: and prevents larger physical damage to your roof and interior due to an undetected leak.

8: Dust, dirt, sap, or bird droppings from above can damage your roof and sidewall finishes as well.

9: Covers left on when it is sunny, even in the summer, will stop the premature deterioration of your RV's roof, including both the main RV roof membrane and the caulking/sealant used to seal at the edges of the membrane.

What is an RV cover?

RV covers are generally made from woven polypropylene or polyester. On the roof they often have additional layers or other materials to help with UV and water resistance. The fabrics are treated with water or UV repellant. They are also woven in such a way that they are able to breathe, so that moisture can evaporate and doesn’t get caught under the cover, where it can trap mildew.

Custom RV covers have a tighter fit, and feature vents to prevent billowing. The cover is usually secured in place beneath the RV, with some covers having zippered access to the RV's door. The better the quality, the lighter the cover will be, making it easier to handle. Custom covers are more expensive, but they provide better protection than universal fit covers.

To get the RV cover on you’ll need to climb up on the roof of the RV and that can be a deal breaker. Furthermore you’re going to have to avoid antennae, roof vents, plumbing vents and other things up there while dragging a cover around so it’s no easy task putting these on. And, the larger the RV, the larger the cover. So there are some people who absolutely won’t put a cover on their RV because of the difficulties of doing so.

Are RV covers waterproof?

Generally, yes, high-quality RV covers are waterproof. In fact, that’s one of the principal reasons for covering an RV. Along with helping you prevent water damage inside your rig, RV covers also provide protection from UV rays, bird droppings, debris from trees and plants, dust, and other potentially damaging substances.

A few tips

If you want to go for an RV cover, most recommend doing the added cost of a cover custom designed for your rig. In that way you can be assured that the cover will not block access to your door so you’ll be able to get into the rig without pulling the cover loose. Make sure you tighten the cover carefully, and make checks over the storage term: If a cover gets loose in the wind it will easily chafe the finish, and can even rub the paint off.

Alternatives to RV covers range from relatively inexpensive – be sure to give your rig a good bath and wax job before winter to help prevent finish damage – to the more spendy alternatives: Construct a “pole barn”-style RV cover that prevents rain and snow from dumping down on the rig, while less expensive than a walled structure. Others bite the bullet and pay for inside storage from a suitable storage facility.

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