What Smart RVers Know About RV Covers

Feb 26 2015

Winter weather is not kind to RVs, and harsh Iowa winters have been known to turn a luxurious camper into a wind-beaten clunker. Even in the summer or spring, there can be mountains of pollen, leaves and twigs to scuff up a nice paint job.

Ever notice how nice garage-kept cars look compared to cars stored outside? Same goes with your RV.

The ideal answer to this dilemma is to store your RV inside, but that’s an impossibility for many RV owners. If you have a huge camper and only a tiny one-car garage, you’re going to be out of luck.

Still, it’s possible (and safe) to store your camper outside in the elements, but only if you take the proper precautions. Here’s how to use a cover to keep your RV safe.

WHEN YOU NEED A COVER

Your RV can be your second home, and it’s not an investment to take lightly. And since RVs can be enormous, you have to put extra time and effort into keeping them looking clean, running smoothly and operating safely.

To put it lightly, every RV needs a cover. From pop-up campers to 40-foot motorhomes, a cover is the only way to keep the elements out when it’s not in use – which, for most RVers, is the majority of the time. A good cover can keep your RV clean and ready for its next use, and prevents damage from natural debris.

QUALITY COUNTS

While buying a cover is one of the best ways to protect your RV, a leading cause of RV damage is cheap covers. Discount, cut-rate RV covers can blow in the wind, scratch your trailer, break apart and let natural elements in. Often, a mediocre RV cover is worse than not having one at all.

When it comes to RV covers, quality counts. A good cover is made of a strong, breathable material like Tyvek. A good cover is soft enough to limit damage on your RV but strong enough to take a beating, even during the harshest winter weather.

When you invest in a quality RV cover, you’re really purchasing an inexpensive insurance policy for your RV. And that’s nothing to skimp on.

COSTS OF QUALITY

Like anything, quality rarely comes cheap. While you can find a cut-rate cover for your RV for very little money, it’s not recommended.

A good-quality RV cover will set you back from $300 to $800, depending on the size of your RV, how harsh your seasons are and how long you keep your RV outside.

PRECAUTIONS

Installing an RV cover can be a precarious thing to do. If you have a trailer or motorhome, you’ll need to get on the roof to properly lay the cover out. Putting a cover on is a bit like putting a fitted bedsheet on.

The roof of your RV has a number of sharp corners: the corners of the trailer, the air conditioning unit, gutters, the ladder and many other things can poke out and damage your cover.

While many RV covers come prepared with extra padding and insulation in these weak spots, some don’t. When in doubt, reinforce these spots with some foam padding, carpet samples or other durable, soft material.

Photo courtesy Calmark Covers