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Old 11-29-2014, 10:06 AM   #1
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Covers - What's the real scoop???

Folks - I live in Tucson Arizona. Got my motorhome exactly one year ago. The sun damage is depressing! I think the PO kept it outside, but in a shady area. In Tucson, we have 340 days of intense sunshine. I would LOVE to build a cover, but I do not have the $$$ to that now. I have about $40k into my rig, so it is not a dream machine, but I feel in another year it will be pretty much fried outside, inside is fine. I see covers on-line for around $300, but I am worried about two things.... first, how hard is it to put a cover on a 35 foot rig that has two roof AC units, seems it would be very hard to do. second, would the cover last long in our sun and wind, we have plenty of both. Lastly, do people who use these find it a pain in the butt to have them in place? We usually go a couple of months between uses, but I generally go in and fire the motor and generator every couple of weeks at the longest.


2007 Itasca Sunova 35J - Ford Chassis
Tucson, Arizona
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Old 11-29-2014, 11:06 AM   #2
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There are 2 schools on iRV2 about this...but everyone agrees that a shed is better than a cover.

We are in a similar situation to the OP and use a cover because despite the effort it requires, a cover will protect the exterior (most importantly the roofing material) from the harsh southwestern sun...that means $$$ we don't have to spend in repairs later.

The trick for us is to create a folding method to allow the cover to be removed and installed more easily and safely. We fold it up like a burrito then roll it so it is about the size of a large suitcase. It goes on and off the same way everytime.

In that shape, the cover can be pulled up and lowered from the roof with a lightweight rope. Then we simply unroll it, close the zippered corners and strap the bottom edge. This is done with 1 person on the roof.

We avoid the less expensive covers with no corner zippers. And in SoCal, the cover lasts about 3-4 years as long as the sharp edges of the rooftop equipment are covered to prevent tearing the cover.

See more here:
OUTLAW Mods and Easy Fixes

Best luck

Kim and Steve, Mustang LCDR (Ret), '07 Damon Outlaw #1193
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Old 11-29-2014, 02:06 PM   #3
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I'm not traveling this Christmas so I've covered mine as well. The main issue would be it rubbing the paint if not cinched tight. I also add a few wraps of para-cord to keep it from billowing in the wind.
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Old 11-30-2014, 05:16 AM   #4
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To see an instillation video go to adcoprod.com, its a one man job. Just take your time and take each step slowly to not step on any vents or covers. I do run my generator by unhooking two straps and pulling the cover away from just the generator exhaust. Also check out "303 Aerospace spray" to shield from the suns rays..
I am having a problem giving you much sympathy for all your sunshine.. I am at 30 degrees, windy and rainy this morning.
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retired. Now What?
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Old 11-30-2014, 05:40 AM   #5
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Seems to me it would get very very hot under that cover all cinched down in AZ and be hard on furniture, leather, and electronics. You might put a couple of gallons of water inside to add some moisture.
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Old 11-30-2014, 07:06 AM   #6
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X2 on a pan of water inside to have at least some moisture. Put the cover on my 35' once, pretty tough job. The steel building place on miricale mile put up a 12x36 awning for $2200 in 2000.
I share your pain. Every single part on the outside gets cooked. Venting the inside during summer helps keep the inside cooler.
Good luck
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Old 11-30-2014, 08:07 AM   #7
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I stored my MH in Tucson for several summers, I stored it in Phoenix this summer. I've always used covered storage. In Tucson I used Park and Shade on Tangerine Road.

Tucson RV Storage Facility - 7935 W. Tangerine Road | Park 'N Shade RV

Covered storage is not cheap but it is worth it to protect your investment. Having the MH under cover will cost quite a bit more than using a fabric cover but if you figure in the hassle of putting the cover on and off, how long the cover will last (the sun will break down the fabric just like your MH exterior) keeping the interior cooler, etc, the added expense might make more sense. If you fall off the MH while your fooling with the cover the storage fee will be cheap at twice the price. Tangerine Road might be a bit out of the way for you but there are other covered storage places in Tucson.

Also, you mentioned that you start your MH engine and generator every couple of weeks. If your only letting the engines idle you might want to reconsider that strategy. Just idling the engines every few weeks will most likely do more harm than good. The engines need to be run at operating temperature for a half hour or so. The best thing to do is to drive the MH for 10 or 15 miles with the generator and one of the AC units running (to provide a load on the generator) every couple of weeks. That's something else that will be much easier to do if the MH is in covered storage rather than using a fabric cover.
John and Karen
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Old 11-30-2014, 05:07 PM   #8
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Thanks folks. After hearing all this, I am going to get an estimate to build a shade structure. I have 3.5 acres of land here, but some odd zoning rules, so wish me luck. I cannot live with paying for covered parking with this much acreage. I also did not know I should run it that far, will start doing that now.

Much appreciated

2007 Itasca Sunova 35J - Ford Chassis
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