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Old 03-01-2013, 11:16 AM   #1
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Question Covering my RV with No Help

I store my motorhome next to our house. The coach is shaded most of the day by trees, my house and a block wall. The driver’s side gets late afternoon sun. Despite this, I have always tried to keep the motorhome covered, as the California sun can be brutal. It is a two man job. I will climb on the roof and lay on my stomach over the side, while my son shimmies the cover up the sidewall of the motorhome, with the cover rolled up like a giant burrito. I grab it and pull it up to the roof. This process has worked well for many years.

My son is now married and has moved into his own home, so I’ve lost my helper. My wife doesn’t have the brute strength to shimmy the cover up or lay on the roof and pull it up, so my RV now goes uncovered.

We will be moving soon and I’ve made sure the new place has room for the motorhome. Like our current home, I will have to pour a lot of concrete. Only problem is, there will be absolutely nothing to shade the coach, so I’m trying to come up with ideas on how I could install the cover myself. Physically getting the cover to the roof of the coach is the problem. The wife can help with the rest.

I tried one of the Ezee RV Cover Lifts from Camping World, but it wasn’t up to the task. The cable wasn’t long enough to reach the ground from the top of the RV ladder, so I used one of my big roll away trash cans to support the cover and tried to crank it up. The cover got caught on the edge of one of the RV ladder steps and tore a big hole. I packed the device up and returned it.

I’ve been trying to think of alternative ideas. I’m thinking about possibly purchasing a rolling ladder stand as pictured below, and walking the cover up to the roof with the cover over my shoulder. The ladder would cost me $800 with shipping, so this would be an expensive proposition if it didn’t work!



There must be a better way. Has anyone come up with any good one-person cover installation methods?

Thanks!

Craig
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Old 03-01-2013, 11:30 AM   #2
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I, too, have similar situation and have been trying to find a method for getting the cover to the roof of the MH. I haven't as yet purchased a cover, but I plan to get the lightest, but most durable cover available. I'm thinking that once the cover is "rolled into the burrito" configuration, it may be feasible, and safe, to pull the cover onto the roof with attached ropes. An ideal hoist would be one that could be lifted to the roof and have an arm extended over the side of the MH in order to winch the cover to the roof. I think one could be designed that would not harm the roof surface, and yet be strong enough to lift the cover efficiently. I bet that one of the Forum members who has some mechanical design experience could easily come up with plans for a useable hoist mechanism.

Calling all mechanical engineers/designers!!

Bronk
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Old 03-01-2013, 11:55 AM   #3
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Just a suggestion make 2 PVC A-frames secure two rope falls or chain falls tie rope from rope falls to cover lift to above RV roof and drive under it, get on roof to lower and install cover.

When done remove two A-frames and store.

Good luck, James
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Old 03-01-2013, 01:59 PM   #4
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Maybe a tubing and tarp RV-port? These folks provide the tarp, connectors, and sizing. You provide the tubing (common chain link fence components).

KMTS1230DW | Medium Gable Peak Canopy with Tarp over 2 sides
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Old 03-01-2013, 05:23 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimooo View Post
Just a suggestion make 2 PVC A-frames secure two rope falls or chain falls tie rope from rope falls to cover lift to above RV roof and drive under it, get on roof to lower and install cover.
James,

I'm trying to picture your idea in my head, but I can't envision what it would look like.



Quote:
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Maybe a tubing and tarp RV-port?
That was actually my first idea. The reason the DW and I decided against it, is because the new house sits higher than the house immediately to our north. The RV will be parked along our bordering property lines. They have a beautiful view of the mountains, and a large RV tarp or structure would block it. I don’t want to move in and immediately create enemies, so we decided to just go with just a cover.

Thanks.

Craig
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Old 03-01-2013, 05:46 PM   #6
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Look at the pic in the link below. I've had one of these davits and they work quite well and have more capacity than you would need. They can rotate on their mount to swing the load within the arc of their reach. You would need something substantial to mount it to. Typically a wooden piling about 6" diameter is used but I'm sure you could also use a pipe. A vertical telescope could also be added so that you could lower it when not in use. I'm thinking you could get this done for around the same price as the stairs you suggested but the davit would be a lot safer IMHO. good luck

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Old 03-02-2013, 08:03 AM   #7
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Log on to Northern Tool and look at a drywall hoist. They make extensions designed to lift drywall sheets to ten feet. Lay a piece of plywood on the hoist, set your cover on the plywood and crank it up next to the MH. Once on the roof, you should be able to grab it from the hoist and pull it to the MH roof. It will stow much easier than the rolling stairs and you can buy it for a couple hundred bucks.
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Old 03-02-2013, 09:08 AM   #8
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Unroll the cover on the ground in front or in back but keep it bunched together (skinny) and tie a rope to the end closest to your coach, throw rope on roof , climb up and slowly pull it up while walking back, or stay on end and gather it all up on top. You don't have the weight of the whole cover this way and your wife can help a little on ground if needed. That's how I do mine. One key is to roll it up the same way every time so when you set on ground and roll it out its always the right way (front/back). Covers might be a hassle but its more of a hassle working to pay for something ruined by the sun.
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Old 03-02-2013, 09:14 AM   #9
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I used a stick.

Had a 12 foot stick to lift the edge of the cover up and lean it there. Then up the ladder and pull.
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Old 03-02-2013, 05:18 PM   #10
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Picture an inverted "A" , pivot at the bottom, one on each side, cover on one leg, rope on the other.

Pull role, device pivots, cover lifted.

Would need some cross bracing but you get the idea.

Can be made with bolts and pins for quick tear down, set up
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Old 03-02-2013, 10:37 PM   #11
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I'm sort of thinking outside of the box here.

Do you have an extension ladder?

I think you could place the extension ladder against the side of the motorhome and push the bundled and tied cover up the ladder ahead of you until you get to the roof. Once the bundle is on the roof, then you can spread it into place.

If the bundle is too heavy or too big to simply push up the ladder, maybe you could build a simple wood platform that would straddle the ladder sides so that you could pull the platform with cover up the ramp of the ladder from the roof....or maybe temporarily mount a boat winch to the top of the extension ladder to give you some leverage to wind up a rope pulling the cover/platform up the angled ladder.

It would not be too hard to fabricate a bracket for the top of the extension ladder to mount a 12 volt winch ($60 at harbor freight) that would do the heavy pulling for you. With the addition of a pulley at the top of the ladder, the winch could be located at the bottom of the ladder, which would be more stable.

Let us know what your real solution turns out to be.

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Old 03-03-2013, 10:01 AM   #12
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Thanks for the ideas folks!

We have a couple of months before we actually move, so keep the ideas coming!

Craig
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Old 03-03-2013, 10:28 AM   #13
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I have the ADCO Cover from CW..I suspect it weighs 30 lbs or so. I tie line around it...the DW lifts it up as high as she can and then I pull it on up. The real key is folding up correctly for re-deployment. Assuming you have it on your Rv...pull up each side and lay it across the roof...you have to be careful on not stepping on things in the roof so you don't break them. Then I start in the rear of the coach roof and start rolling up towards the front of the coach...roll it up as tight as you can get it...tie line around it and lower it down...the key is rolling up like I describe above...when you put it back on simply reverse the process...I can do it in 15 minutes...also roll up all the straps and tie them up with a rubber band so they don't snag on things and irritate you :-)
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Old 03-07-2013, 11:40 AM   #14
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Quote:
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Log on to Northern Tool and look at a drywall hoist. They make extensions designed to lift drywall sheets to ten feet. Lay a piece of plywood on the hoist, set your cover on the plywood and crank it up next to the MH. Once on the roof, you should be able to grab it from the hoist and pull it to the MH roof. It will stow much easier than the rolling stairs and you can buy it for a couple hundred bucks.
I like this idea.
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