Protecting Your Motorhome Is Easy With A Quality Cover From One Of These Manufacturers
When buying a new motorhome, the fact that youll likely have to store it for long periods of time is far from your mind. In the heat of the purchasing process, you are no doubt blinded by visions of leaving your stick home behind and traveling the open road quite often. But, try as we might, over the years most of us are faced with having to store our favorite motorhomes at some point and return to our residential homes.
When the time does come, the ideal setup is a nearby climate-controlled storage facility with 24/7 surveillance and security. But here in the real world, that may not be a viable option, so we are forced to select the nearest open-air parking-lot style facility, carport or, if allowed, our very own pad or driveway. All of which is fine, but results in our prized investment being exposed to the elements. Things like UV rays, rain, snow and bird droppings all add up to an accelerated deterioration of the motorhomes roof, side walls, seams and tires, and even the interior furnishings that are exposed to the reach of the sun.In order to help slow down the motorhomes aging process and help retain resale value, youll need to purchase a quality cover. And while it may seem like a considerable chunk of change up front, even the most expensive cover will likely set you back only the same amount that a few months rent in a storage facility would.
Regular Tarps Wear Out Quickly
If youve used a blue tarp to cover a pile of fire wood or a piece of machinery before, you know they fall apart quickly. In less than a summer, your tarp might start to look faded and frayed.
Many blue tarps are only 6 mil thick and last anywhere from three to five years in full sun. Some companies make special UV-rated tarps that are up to 12 mil thick and can last for over a decade. Though your tarp may stay together for a few years, it will quickly degrade at a microscopic level, and water will eventually leak through.
Canvas tarps tend to last longer than plastic tarps but they arent waterproof, only water-resistant.
When covering your RV, its essential that you keep your RV dry. You dont want water seeping through the outer covering and pooling on your RVs roof or against slide out seals.
Some folks have wondered if its still OK to use a blue tarp on your trailer or motorhome. I live in the midwest and notice a few RVers who cover their RV with a simple blue tarp . While your run-of-the-mill blue tarp might afford some protection, you might want to consider a tarp made just for your RV.
How To Prepare Before Installing An Adco Rv Cover
Before you throw your cover on, perform these pre-checks. Theyll help ensure proper installation and protect your RV and cover from potential damage.
- Make sure you have the correct size cover. Measure your RV front to back, including mirrors in front of the front bumper and any accessories extending beyond the rear bumper. Consult ADCOs website for more sizing tips.
- Wash your RV. Clean your RV from top to bottom to minimize the risk of black streaks developing once your cover is installed. Learn how to wash your RV properly if you arent already familiar.
- Pad sharp edges. Minimize the risk of tears or punctures by padding rain gutters, steps, ladders, and other abrasive corners. Some covers come with padding, while others require padding to be purchased separately. Cover your RV ladder last so you can use it during installation.
Note: Climbing onto your RVs roof is NOT required for cover installation. A step ladder can be used, but climbing onto the roof is the fastest way to install an ADCO RV cover if your roof is fully walkable.
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Why is an RV cover necessary?
RVs are not cheap to purchase and maintain. A quality RV cover will protect your investment from damage caused by:
The ADCO Designer Series SFS Aqua Shed Travel Trailer Cover gives your RV three layers of protection from the elements.
The sleek design not only looks good but keeps rain and moisture away to avoid mold and mildew while you store your RV. The precise fit covers vents and air conditioners with ease, and the snug strapping system prevents the fabric from flapping around.
Customers love the size ranges available, and the weighted strap that tosses under the RV to the other side, so they dont have to crawl. Another bonus is how effective it is against fading from UV rays and how lightweight, yet durable the cover is.
On the downside, read all information about protection carefully and install the cover properly for best results. The manufacturer does not suggest this for prolonged use in climate extremes.
- Some complaints of tears
The Camco Ultraguard Class C Travel Trailer Cover is a top choice for travel trailers and toy haulers that need protection during storage.
From the adjustable tension panels on the front and rear to the elasticized hem corners, this RV cover provides a close fit. Air vents aid in moisture reduction and keeps the cover from lifting during high winds.
- Not suitable for locations with strong sun exposure
- Protects from rain, wind, dust, snow
- Heavy duty stitching for long wear
Rv Covers Save You From Costly Repair Expenses
Proactively protecting the roof and body of your RV before any damage sets in can save you money. RV body repairs and replacement can be expensive and a painstaking process. By providing your RVs roof and body protection at the very beginning, you are not only protecting the roof of your RV. Youre protecting a valuable and expensive investment. An RC roof cover is much like a screen protector for your tablet. It is much easier and cheaper to replace a damaged cover than taking a damaged RV for repair to your RV dealership center. RV covers may save you hundreds to thousands of dollars from roof repairs and replacement.
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Neglecting Rv Roof Seals
Check roof seals twice a year. This is to ensure there are no cracks, tears, or anything else. Even a hairline crack can spell disaster! I havent made this mistake yet in my first year, but as Ive looked at other RVs , its the mistake that others have made that has ruined many RVs.
Lesson learned: Have the people at the dealership do the checking. They are financially incentivized to find something. They will tell you if theres any potential for water intrusion.
Why You Should Cover Your Rv
Heres why covering your RV when its not in use is so important:
- UV rays beat down on your RV, causing heat to build up on the surface, which can result in UV damage to paint, decals, seals, and other RV components.
- Your RV can reach interior temperatures of up to 144°F.
- If heavy snow builds up on your RV and melts as warmer weather approaches, water will be left on top of the roof. Pooling water stresses your RVs structure and, if left unattended, can require a complete roof repair.
- Harmful weather like snow, sleet, and rain can leave an unprotected RV vulnerable to leaks.
- The RVs paint, graphics, and trim will fade, crack, and deteriorate.
- Dirt and debris collect on your RVs roof, leaving black streaks when rain rinses it off.
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How To Install A New Adco Rv Cover
If you do pick an ADCO RV cover, use these step-by-step instructions to install it properly:
Establish Your Rv Roof Type
An RV will have either a walkable or non-walkable roof. This will determine whether the roof is rated to hold a persons body weight. As for the interior construction, RV roofs are fortified by trusses and decking that form the structural skeleton of the roof. Further inside, insulation is used for retaining heat or cold within the camper itself.
Usually, an RV roof membrane is a single layer of material stretched tightly over the decking. Its attached with a heavy adhesive between the membranes underside and decking, then secured with mechanical fasteners along the edges.
For the exterior membrane, RVs can utilize EPDM, TPO, PVC, fiberglass, aluminum alloy, or galvanized sheet metal. Heres a quick breakdown of those three initial acronyms:
- EPDM Roof = Ethylene propylene diene monomer
- TPO Roof = Thermoplastic polyolefin
- PVC Roof = Polyvinyl chloride
Theres no unanimous choice for the best roof membrane, not to mention the pros and cons of a fiberglass roof versus aluminum alloy or galvanized sheet metal. For the purposes of your RV roof inspection, youll simply need to know which RV roof type youre working with.
With roof membranes, you generally cant tell the difference between the two most common brands by looking at it. The best and easiest way to tell the difference is by asking the RV dealership or RV manufacturer. They will let you know which brand was used based on the year and model of your RV.
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Neglecting To Winterize The Rv
Your RV holds a lot of water. You really do need to winterize, BEFORE the temperatures at night hit 32 degrees .
Lesson learned: Even when tanks are empty a small amount of leftover water at the end of the camping season can cause trouble in the winter.
Learn how to store an RV in the winter without causing damage.
Leader Accessories Travel Trailer Rv Cover
This popular cover fits most RVs and campers that measure anywhere from 14 to 30 ft. long. They are available in multiple-covers such as beige, blue, grey, and green.
The covers consist of highly breathable material, triple-layered polypropylene fabric. Weather is no match for this RV cover, be it rain, snow, sleet, or even hail .
For added safety, there are reflective safety panels built right into the fabric in just the right places to make you feel more comfortable having your rig covered while parking nearby traffic. It also includes built-in air vents which cut back on the amount of blowing-around that your cover does as well as keeping the moisture out and off of your RV or camper.
The corners of the cover are extra-reinforced by the manufacturer with elastic hems. This helps to give a custom fit to each rig as well as preventing tearing from covering odd-sized rigs. The material of the cover is also highly UV-resistant, so you dont have to worry about leaving your RV or camper somewhere with no shade.
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Using Rv Stabilizers As Leveling Jacks
I didnt make this big RV mistake this year, but I learned about it. I asked the repair guy at Camping World:
What is the most common RV repair that could be easily avoided?
His answer: people using the stabilizers to raise up the trailer to change a flat, or just generally cranking them too high.
Lesson Learned: The stabilizers on your RV are not leveling jacks.
RV leveling jacks should lightly touch the ground to keep the RV from bouncing as you walk around, and thats it. If you continue cranking them to raise the RV a little, they are likely to break.
Taking Curves Too Fast
I didnt necessarily make this mistake this year, but its a mistake that I saw a fellow RVer make. Unfortunately it resulted in their entire rig flipping over into the ditch beside the road. Nobody was hurt but it didnt look like the camper trailer survived.
Lesson Learned: Don take curves too fast. You have a much higher center of gravity in an RV.
This type of accident usually happens for one or all of these reasons:
You know all those road signs about sharp curves that you usually ignore when driving a car? When driving a motorhome or towing a trailer, those signs become extremely important.
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This Question Came In Via Our Rv Podcast Voicemail Number 586
Hi, good morning. This is Lee Gutierez calling from Phoenix Arizona. I just wanted to say how much I appreciate your podcast and your information that you give on your podcast.
I have one question though. Im an over-the-road driver and Im getting ready to retire next year. Im looking at The Wonder versus the Unity.
Are there any chances of the Unity having the Ford body style or chassis in the future that youre aware of?
Im absolutely in love with the Wonder. I like the fact of the no slide out and the room that it has. Im very much interested in corner bed and the front living area.
And I just want to say thank you so much for making my Sunday so much better last night. I listened to your podcast as I was coming back in California. As I said, I drive over the road and I really enjoy your sessions.
That was all I really wanted to say and just to find out if the chassis from the Ford would be something that they would do in the future for the Unity.
Thank you. Have a wonderful day and blessed day. Looking forward to seeing you out here on the road someday.
ANSWER: We dont see Leisure Travel Vans ever making the Unity on the Ford Transit Chassis. The Unity is made on the Mercedes Benz Sprinter cutaway chassis and comes in different floor plans, some without a slideout.
That said, there are several different floor plans for the Wonder, which is made on the Ford Transit cutaway chassis. It, too, has several different floor plans none of which have floor plans.
Full Disclosure This Article Might Make You Not Want An Rv Cover
It’s a testy subject. Go ahead. Ask more than one RV owner if they think you should get an RV cover. Or go to any RV forum on the subject.
You will get about half and half answers. Half say yes, get a cover. The other half say no RV cover.
Their points of view are all valid, and we address those points below. Be advised- we are not going to paint a shiny story about RV covers.
We will cover the benefits AND the drawbacks of this product.
Whether you are looking for a 5th wheel RV cover, a camper cover, or a motorhome cover, you have come to the right place.
Here are travel trailer cover reviews, motorhome cover reviews, RV cover reviews and more all on one page.
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Different Sized Rv Covers
Mike Wendland: So lets say I have a 31-foot travel trailer. And I dont know what size they come in, but I might have one or even two air conditioners up there on the roof. There might be an antenna or two up there on the roof. That is going to take up some of that length. So are there some hints about making allowances for that? You said by a little bigger than you need, but do you take the antennas off for example? What do you do about the roof?
Ian Baker: Mike, a lot of that does depend on the cover manufacturer. And one of the other reasons that Chris and I talk about Camco a lot is they actually build in for that so thats one of the big things. Most of your units that youre going to be covering up will have the roof-mounted AC. So when they say youre going to measure it from the very front to the very back, and that includes if you have a rear ladder or a spare tire on the back, you want to make sure you include that in the length. But if thats 31 foot and the cover goes from 30 to 32, that is already going to account for that roof-mounted AC unit. You will still if you do have a rear ladder, you want to make sure you put some guards on there. Thats one of the big things people dont do, is on the gutters and on the ladder, they forget to put guards on. So you want to make sure you do that so you dont tear the cover. But as far as accounting for that space, again, some of the manufacturers do already account for that.