Wind, rain, snow and heat will take their toll on your RV. With these RV cover ideas however you can protect it from the elements and make it last. Even if your RV doesn't come with one it’s easy to make one.
Ideas for Making an RV Cover for Shade
As I’ll point out in the guide below, the process of using a cover is simple enough. Let’s take a look at your options.
1. Covering the Vehicle
There are some products designed to cover the entire RV while others cover only certain parts. It is better if the material covers your whole rig for maximum protection.
Canvas is one of the best materials as it is durable enough to withstand the elements. It will shield your RV interior from the heat of the sun. A canvas cover will also keep your RV warm during the winter.
To make a canvas cover you just buy canvas and canvas tape. Cut the material so it’s large enough to cover your rig. The seams and sewing measurements will be based on the size of your RV so make sure you’ve got the dimensions correct.
The canvas needs to be tailored according to the contours of your RV. You also have to factor in any pop outs that your RV may have. If you’re going to store your RV with the pop outs, your canvas has to account for that.
2. Pitching a Tent
You can also attach a tent to the side of your RV and you’ve got an instant awning. Connect the RV hooks onto the tent and open up the material. This provides cover from the heat and light rain.
3. Pop up Carports
An RV carport is like a tent designed for RVs but with large steel tubing. A carport is something to consider if you’re going to park for a while.
Why Use an RV Cover?
RVs are always being exposed to the elements, mobile or not. And just like a car, a cover will do a lot to preserve the finish. With a cover you’ll be able to protect your RV from weather fluctuations. I can add a number of other reasons, but those are the most important.
Choosing the Right Cover
First and foremost, do not put ordinary tarp on your RV. They’ll do if it’s just a short stop, but for long term protection you’ll have to use a cover that’s designed for RVs. There is no shortage of these available and they’re made of various material as well.You should look for RV covers that are a snug fit for your rig. Those with fortified elements are perfect for different types of weather. In addition you may also want to consider the following.
Prolonged exposure to UV rays is not only bad for your skin but for your RV. At the very least it leads to discoloration, but it also weakens the structure causing cracks to appear. With an UV ray proof cover your RV’s status will be preserved.Double and triple layered covers are the best as they have been designed to protect RV from UV specifically.
One of the reasons why you shouldn’t use a tarp is water can be trapped under it and lead to condensation. This can result in mildew and mold buildup. If the weather is too hot or cold the roof could crack.Look for RVs that are breathable yet waterproof. If you look at the fabrics of quality covers you’ll see there are pores which allow moisture to come through. While moisture evaporates water droplets don’t get in.
Strong winds may cause covers and tarps to fly around. Ropes or bungee cords may sway and hit your RV. Use elastic flaps to keep the cover tight on your rig. Vent flaps on the other hand, are used to prevent billowing. Either of these two will keep your cover from flying all over the place.
Another reason to get a cover is to keep dirt off your RV. If you don’t have the time to wash your RV regularly, a cover offers a good solution. The cover also prevents dust and dirt from accumulating and leads to faster cleanups.
Putting a cover on your RV means less dirt will accumulate. When it’s time to clean your RV there will be less bird droppings, muck, dirt and grime. You’ll finish your task faster too.
Benefits of RV Covers
If you’re still not convinced your RV needs a cover, keep in mind that weather plays a huge role in RV deterioration. With the right cover your RV is also shielded from the harsh effects of the rain, wind and sun. No matter how durable your RV is, it will never hurt to put a cover on.
Give Your RV a blanket and you get the following benefits.
- Preserve the resale value of your RV. In the event you decide to sell your RV, putting a cover keeps it in good condition and ensures you’ll get maximum value.
- There are covers which fit different types of RVs. No matter how big or small your RV is, there’s a cover for it.
- RV covers have reinforced edges, cinching and buckles that quickly connect. You can put the cover on your RV easily.
- Most RVs have zippers that allow for easy access even when the cover is on.
There are other reasons to get a cover for your RV. For one thing it prevents black streaks from forming. Black streaks are grime that usually appears on rubber RV roofs. With a cover you can prevent this.
Black streaks is a combination of dirt, dust, bird droppings and sap, plus moisture from rain dew or snow. As these accumulate the streaks appear on the sides of your RV. But using a cover can prevent this from happening.
These covers will also keep water from seeping into your RV. It also does the same to snow. At the same time the moisture is allowed to get out. What all of this means is your RV finish, fabrics and paint won’t be affected by rain, sun, wind or UV rays.
Why You Should Not Use a Tarp For An RV Cover
To this day there are still those who use tarps like polyethylene. These are low cost and provide some degree of protection but it’s not going to last. But apart from offering only short term protection, tarps may also cause other problems like the following.
- Tarps are not meant for use on RVs. They’re made from materials that could damage the RV’s finish.
- Tarps have a rough surface that could act like sandpaper on the RV.
- Tarps do not come in sizes specific to RVs. If you’re going to use a tarp you’ll need to cut the tarp to the required size. In comparison, covers for RVs are specifically for them.
- Tarp material is not breathable. This is going to be a problem if you keep the cover on for long periods.
How to Cover Your RV
Covering your RV is a straightforward process. Just put the cover on the same way you would a car cover. This will take more time since an RV is bigger, but overall the steps should be familiar to anyone who’s put covers on vehicles before. There may be zippers on some covers on some of these as well.
Sizing Up Your RV
Covers for RVs come in various sizes and shapes. You must get the exact measurement of your RV to find the appropriate cover. There are two ways to get the figures. The first – and easier – method is to check your owner’s manual.
Look up the measurements from front to back. Include the tires, ladders and pop outs in the measurement. Do not include the fifth wheel pin box or the travel trailer hitch. If you don’t have the manual you can look up the model online and find for the specs.
Tips on Installing Your RV Cover
If you’re going to install a cover, clean your RV first. Perform a thorough inspection. Look for signs of cracks, tears and other damage. If there are, have those repaired right away.
If there is no damage, clean debris and dirt. Wash your RV let it try. Once the RV has been cleaned, apply padding on the corners, spouts and all sharp edges.
When it is time to install the cover, get a ladder and climb on the roof. Be careful and if possible, have someone accompany you. Once you’ve got the cover follow these steps.
- Unpack the cover and find the front. There will be a label stating it is the front.
- Remove any weights on the buckles.
- Set the cover out so the exterior roof section faces up.
- Fold the sides to the middle. Start rolling the cover from the rear to the front.
- Put the cover onto the roof at your RV front. Start unrolling the cover along the back.
- If you can’t place the cover onto the roof while rolled, set it on the ground and start pulling over your rig.
- Allow the sides to fall down.
- Connect the weights on the buckles.
- Remove the weights and hook the buckles on.
- Connect the buckles on the rear and front.
- Eliminate the slacks from the buckles.
Even the best built RV is not going to last if constantly exposed to the elements. That lovely paint job and finish however, will last longer if you cover the RV when the vehicle is parked and not in use. It doesn’t cost a lot to get one of these and the benefits are huge, so it makes sense to get one.