Posted by: Mark Polk | 5:00 am

Should I Cover My RV?

I get asked this question a lot. What are the pros and cons of covering your RV? My answer is always, the pros outweigh the cons 10 to 1. The only real cons I can think of is putting the cover on and taking it off.

I am extremely fortunate because we have a garage large enough to store our RV in when we aren’t using it. Prior to building the garage I always kept the RV covered when it sat idle for a couple months at a time. Mother Nature can wreak havoc on materials made of plastic, fiberglass, rubber and vinyl, which is basically the exterior of your RV.

The sun is the primary threat to an uncovered RV, but wind, rain and snow aren’t far behind when it comes to damaging the RV’s exterior. It doesn’t take long for ozone and ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun to damage an RV. Early signs are when the paint on the exterior begins to fade. Eventually you start to notice other products like rubber, vinyl and plastic drying out and cracking.

Another problem is black streaks on the sidewalls of the RV. When it rains dirt and debris from the RV roof runs down the sides of the RV leaving those notorious black streaks. If you ever tried to clean black streaks from the side of a RV, especially one with corrugated aluminum siding, you know how difficult it can be. If you don’t get the black streaks off of the surface in a timely manner, it gets embedded in the paint and is nearly impossible to remove.

Covering the RV may not prevent all of this, but it helps slow the aging process down. A good quality RV cover also helps protect the RV from possible water damage when it is in storage. Anywhere the RV manufacturer cut an opening in the RV has the potential to leak, especially if the sealants have not been inspected and resealed on a periodic basis. An RV exposed to the elements for months on end can have a water leak you are not aware of, resulting in thousands of dollars in damage the following spring.

This equates to recouping the cost of a good RV cover over one winter.

I mentioned “a good cover” a couple times, and this is important. You not only want a cover that properly fits the type and size of your RV, but you want it constructed from material that can withstand the elements. You also want a fabric that is breathable. This lets air circulate and keep surfaces dry which helps prevent mold and mildew. Never cover your RV with one of those blue plastic tarps. Tarps or covers similar to that promote mold and mildew, and keep moisture and water in rather than allowing it to evaporate and stay dry.

With a little preventive maintenance and a good quality RV cover you can keep your RV looking like new and in better condition for many years to come.



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