Let’s face it. The majority of RVs aren’t used most days out of the year. They generally sit in the driveway or backyard for weeks or even months. What this means is that the vehicle is going to be affected by the sun, rain, and wind.
Leaving a vehicle sitting out in the elements poses a few issues that cause damage. They include sun damage, moisture penetration, rusting, and snow adding weight and moisture.
Your RV is not protected from much if it is sitting out in the elements. Often, people will cover then with anspecially designed RV cover. But is an RV cover worth it or should you invest in another option? Some store theirs under a roof/in a building. Which option is going to be best for you?
Will an RV cover be your best bet to keep your RV protected? It’s possible, but there are some things you should consider before pulling out your wallet and laying down some big ones.
The first and biggest issue is that RV covers are notorious for ripping. Even the best-made covers still have issues with tears. This is why most manufacturers don’t offer a true 100% money-back guarantee.
If they do, it’s only for 2-3 years (Up to 6 with by the most expensive company). No companies will guarantee that their product won’t tear. They know better than that.
RV covers are like big sails. If the wind whips it around on an even remotely sharp corner of your RV, well, you figure it out.
Second, they are not going to be waterproof. They are water-resistant at best. The roof part may be waterproof, but that doesn’t make the whole thing waterproof.
You also have to have a place to put that huge cover when you are on the road. Make sure you have the room in your garage or in a shed or attic. It may take up more space than you think.
RV covers aren’t cheap. They are quite expensive for something that is only guaranteed (if guaranteed at all) for a few years. However, they are cheaper than buying a storage space for your RV. Even a couple of months of storing an RV in a storage space can equal the cost of an RV cover.
Adding and removing the cover can be a dangerous job. It requires you getting on the roof and moving around the components that stick out the top of your roof while also maneuvering the heavy cover. It may also be difficult to heave it up to the top of your RV.
If you have limited mobility, this chore can especially be an issue. Getting inside of your RV and using it will be harder if it’s covered. Some have door zippers which help. But it’s not going to have window zippers. It also won’t have vent zippers. If you live in a humid climate, it will be a challenge (or impossible) to air it out.
Good things about a cover? It will keep the sun off your RV, reducing fading from UV light. It should also keep leaves off your rig. And, depending on the cover it can help control moisture.
However, this is one you need to be careful about. Some RV covers don’t breathe enough and can block in too, much moisture. This can result in mold and other issues. If you’re going to get an RV cover, make sure it’s made of a breathable material and designed specifically for your RV.
I’m not a huge fan of RV covers because of the negatives outweigh the positives in my eyes. Still, they may help your RV not lose its luster. And they do have some other protection benefits, especially if you live in a particularly harsh environment.
What About Tire Covers?
Even if you don’t cover your RV, tire covers are a good investment. They don’t cover a large area. Therefore the wind won’t damage them. Your tires will be safe from deteriorating prematurely from UV light.
You may only have to get tire covers for one side of your RV if the other side is protected from the sun by a building or other shade. However, many of the tire covers you find on Camping World’s website will be sold in sets of four, so it makes sense to just buy them that way and put them all on.
Tire covers often come with wrap-around cables or bungees that keep the wind from blowing the cover off.
Covers are a good idea as you typically keep RV tires longer than your daily driver does. This is due to the limited number of miles put on them each year. If you keep them protected from UV light, tires’ biggest deteriorator, you can keep them much longer.
If possible, it’s much better to store your RV under a roof of some sort. This could be as simple as parking it under a tall carport. Or you can go with a four-wall enclosure such as a garage. You can also set up a temporary canopy or garage for your RV if you can find one big enough.
This way you have zero moisture issues. Little to no UV damage. No leaves getting into your rooftop components. Your tires are safe from weathering. You can access it without zipping and unzipping a cover.
It can breathe, not being under a giant cover. There will be less molding issues since you can keep it ventilated. Snow cannot accumulate on top of or around your RV either. The only thing you’ll have to look out for are small critters trying to use your RV as shelter.
A building is the best choice available for storage and protection. If you cannot install such protection on your property, look into keeping it at a commercial storage facility that has covered parking.
This will cost you a monthly fee of course. An RV cover will likely be cheaper, even if you have to buy multiple covers.
Depending on your budget, an RV cover may or may not be a good solution for protecting your RV. They will offer some protection from moisture, leaves, and UV damage.
Storing your RV under a building or carport is a surefire way to keep it fully protected. For DIY’ers, there are plenty of temporary canopy and garage options available at Camping World.
If you go with an RV cover, I don’t suggest buying the cheapest RV cover. Instead, invest in high-quality cover material. For this, I’d suggest looking Classic Accessories Covers at Camping World.
Your RV probably wasn’t cheap. You should invest something into keeping it as well maintained and protected as possible. You can cover it with an RV cover or a building. The choice is yours!
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