RV covers are really important to the lifespan of your vehicle. They help protect your baby when it’s not in use and keep the elements where they should be – outside.
While most RV covers are waterproof, not all of them are. Some are water resistant, which we’ll explain more down below. This means that you should carefully read what you buy to avoid a wet or damaged RV.
Below you’ll find all the information you need to know before buying a new RV cover.
What Are RV Covers And Why Do I Need One?
In short, RV covers are the barrier between your vehicle and the elements. If you (like most of us) don’t have a massive garage or shed in which to store your baby, you’ll want one of these. So let’s start off with why they’re important, shall we?
UV light, wind, moisture, and dirt can all damage your RV.
Be it the paint, some sensitive gadgets like slide-outs, or the fancy solar panels you just installed, it’s important to protect your baby. Problems can be compounded in the winter when things start to freeze – so going the cheap route can end up being costly.
This means that the obvious cheap solution of the blue tarp in your garage is definitely not going to cut it. I mean, you can gamble on it if you’re feeling dangerous, but why take the risk? RV covers are explicitly designed to protect the whole package, not just what’s easily covered.
A real RV cover will do a few things. First, it’ll likely be thermally insulated – protecting your RV from extreme changes in temperature. They’ll also be either water resistant or waterproof, meaning that moisture won’t be as big of an issue. Also, obviously, because it’s covered, UV light won’t be an issue.
One seldom-considered benefit of using a real RV cover is that it can help deter thieves. You can easily pop a lock (or three) onto the zippers of the cover. While this won’t make it impossible to break into, it’ll make it less appealing. You’ll also be able to get a better idea of whether or not it’s been attempted by the condition of your cover in the morning.
Finally, a good cover will absolutely save you money in the long run. Damage to the exterior as well as your RV’s electronics can get very expensive very quickly. So it’s best to be proactive here.
Water Resistant Vs. Repellent Vs. Waterproof
While the name seems to say it all, you’d be surprised how often this gets overlooked. If something is water resistant, that means it’s able to resist water to some degree. If you live in a very wet climate like the Pacific Northwest, it’s likely this won’t cut it.
Water repellent covers are generally treated with a hydrophobic solution to make it less likely for water to penetrate the cover. This means that they’re a step above water resistant covers, but they’re not infallible. Finally, waterproof covers are, well, pretty much impervious to water. Obviously this is barring damage or catastrophic failure due to manufacturing defects, but they’re generally going to keep your stuff super dry.
What To Look For In An RV Cover
The first and most clear step is to find a cover that fits your RV. You’re looking for a Goldilocks situation here – not too tight, not too loose, but juuuust right. If it’s too loose, animals and moisture can make their way in between the cover and the RV. That’s not great – you don’t want to find mildew, mold, or baby mice (though they’re cute) when you pop the cover.
The next objective is to find the right material. You want something breathable that’ll still keep moisture out. This is important because accidents happen – even if your cover is entirely waterproof. If you miss a spot or don’t zip it all the way, you want the moisture to evaporate rather than sit. Generally multilayered polyester or polypropylene will do the trick here.
Elastic sections and vent flaps are equally important here. Since wind can easily screw up the most perfectly-attached of covers, it’s important to have some wiggle room. Elastic allows the cover to stretch without tearing or breaking tie-downs. And vents allow wind a place to escape if it does make it in.
- If you can find a spot with shade or cover to store your RV, that’s your best bet. Covers work best when they’re not the only line of defense.
- Be sure to take into account the climate you live in. Heat and cold are very different factors, so you may need a different cover than Joe in Oregon needed.
- Especially if you’re in a cold climate, make sure your windows are fully covered and sealed before storage. Unsealed, uncovered windows equal damaged interiors.
- Fold in mirrors, antennae and the like that extrude. Remove sensitive parts (like a battery or battery bank) and store them in dry, temperate areas. If they come with storage recommendations – follow them.
RV covers are a vital tool in any hobbyist’s arsenal. They keep your machine clean, lean, and in good fighting condition. This isn’t really something you should consider “extra,” but rather a necessary investment to save money in the future. By following the tips above, you’ll be sure to have a beautiful RV ready to go come summer.
What Types Of RV Covers Are There?
Rv covers usually come in three types – polyester, polypropylene, and polyethylene. The former is best for hot conditions, the middle for cold, and the latter is suited to varied conditions.
RV covers aren’t too expensive considering what they do. They usually range between $300-500, with high end ones coming closer to $1000+. You can also buy a makeshift carport for a bigger investment, though these shouldn’t replace covers.
Most covers last between 3-5 years, with warranties rarely going beyond that. It’s best to replace covers when they’re showing wear rather than waiting for failure.