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Old 09-07-2011, 03:17 AM   #1
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RV covers: Good or Bad?

I am very particular about my vehicles and my RV is no exception. I have been considering the idea of purchasing a cover. It is stored inside over the winter so I am not so concerned with that. However, I like to keep it clean and free of bird droppings ..tree sap...etc. Is it a good thing to keep them covered when not in use? Do they breathe well enough so the moisture isn't trapped underneath? Another concern I have is that it is parked in somewhat shady spot. Will the cover dry out enough without direct sunlight? Also, is there a cover that is better than another? It is 38' so I can imagine how fun it will be to to take the cover on and off.
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Old 09-07-2011, 11:16 AM   #2
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If you use your coach very much it would be a real pain putting a cover on/off all the time. I would think the installation and removal of a cover very often would cause more wear and leave more possibilities for damaging something than the environment ever would. Personally I would spend my money on a good coat of wax a couple times a year especially since you store it indoors in the winter anyway.
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Old 09-07-2011, 11:43 AM   #3
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I will cover mine before weather gets too bad, maybe in early Nov. and won't uncover until sometime around April or May. Wouldn't want to do it too often if your using it every so often in the winter. Ours sits for 5 to 6 months, so not too bad puting it on and taking it off. Have never had any damage from it, and it gives me piece of mind during the time it's covered. Wash and dry before covering and it stays clean.
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Old 09-07-2011, 11:50 AM   #4
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I'm not a big fan of the covers. I bought a cover for a previous MH and used it in the winter here in Tucson. It was a real pain to lug up and down the ladder as well as get it fasten at the bottom. The present MH was bought used and came with a cover that I will not use. If they would make a cover that would go over the top and down the sides a couple of feet I would be interested.
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Old 09-07-2011, 11:51 AM   #5
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I have found only one maker of covers other than one from an upholstery shop made to order. They seem to breath ok. One problem I have had is rubbing caused by the wind. This makes holes in the cover as well as surface damage to the camper. The cords that hold the cover in place, if left to dangle on the ground can freeze to the ground making removal nearly impossible until thaw or a big knife is available. Snow or frozen moisture on the top makes it close to impossible to remove the cover if that happens. I have found that the cover will last about 4 years with some patching before needing replacement. It can also be difficult to access the camper with the cover on. It seems they sew in a zipper for the door but since the cover is "universal", finding one the happens to fit exactly where the door is may be hard to do. Covering the camper can be difficult to do with the smallest of a breeze. It wil not take much of a wind to catch a corner and for it to attempt to toss you off with the cover! Sneaking up on it may be the only answer!
The good part, in My belief, is the sun will do as much or more damage to the campers surface than the rain etc. The rubbing can be minimized some with padding and extra lines placed in problem areas. Keeping them covered will stop the moisture from entering into seams and cracks and freezing causing the seams to expand.
I used covers for about 8 years and am still on the fence about them! Yet I still have not found a good reason not to use them except inside storage! (That is what I am doing now) However having inside storage is costing me about the same as replacing the cover about every other month!
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Old 09-07-2011, 12:52 PM   #6
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In a word...bad.
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Old 09-07-2011, 01:06 PM   #7
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I have used a cover for the full time I have owned my rig. This is my third one in ten years and the best one. Purchased @ CW---it is the ADCO brand---the designer series (I think they call it that)---it has a nice pattern on the side. Gold/Cream Colored

There have been improvements since the first ones I bought. The Tyvek cover now drapes about a foot over each side; preventing the seam from splitting due to stress of cinching it up tightly. There are more side vents for ventilation. The material is nicer and I think it will last longer.

I am 69 years old and it is not a major task for me to get it on and off even by myself. Less time consuming if there are two people. I only do this about four times per year however. If it was more I might tire of the routine and work. I am a seasonal traveler---so I store then go, not a lot of in and out of storage.

Even though I am in Seattle I store in the summer so the humidity and rain etc are not winter like. But I have not experienced any moisture build up with this cover ---it seems to breath fine.

I do have some chafing but it buffs out---the Dicor on my rear cap seam gets rubbed off on the corners. Kind of messy but it cleans up.

Lots of people do not like covers and I understand----I do like mine and my rig looks very good @ ten years old---I wax it and cover it.
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Old 09-07-2011, 01:20 PM   #8
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I can't answer your question directly but I had a sailboat that I covered the first year I owned it because I had some minor deck work and extensive rewiring to do below. I would run a small electric heater that would make it comfortable in temps down to the mid 20's. When the spring came and preparing the boat for launch I started noticing a lot of mold and mildew and the cushions and fabrics had a musty odor. I never covered the boat again. I think I was a contributor to the mold by working on the boat but the cover retains enough moisture that it would be there regardless.
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Old 09-07-2011, 04:15 PM   #9
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We have a 35' 5er and usually cover it (after repairing the previous years tears - which reminds me). Last year due to several reasons I never got around to doing it - then the snows came and it was too late. It took me several days to get the roof at least presentable - and it still isn't super clean. The side walls - another several days to clean and wax. Now, with that said, I intensely dislike putting that cover on. It's heavy to shove up that extension ladder(no way will I use that awkward flimsy unit ladder - my 200# plus the 50# or so for the cover), the roof is cluttered with 5 vents, a shower skylight, tank vents, the a/c, a roof rack and two big 80 watt solar panels. All of which are over 12 feet off of the ground and with no guard rail. Does it do the job - yep, but at a cost to my 'sanity'
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Old 09-08-2011, 11:19 AM   #10
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Wow, Dave.. Love your street rod.. that's a dream of mine that'll likely never happen.
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Old 09-08-2011, 12:39 PM   #11
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Wow, Dave.. Love your street rod.. that's a dream of mine that'll likely never happen.
Thanks Bill - that car was a dream of mine and had been for more years then I want to think about. Only took 9 years to build

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Old 09-11-2011, 11:53 AM   #12
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I am on my second rv and used a cover so far on both of them. I think the covers are simple enough to put on and take off and protected the exterior of the rv's well with little to no damage (far less damage than the suns UV rays). I have always had the zippered access hatches and they seem to give the needed access to the rv. The roof section of the cover on mine is water proof and the accessories mounted on the motorhomes roof give adequate clearance for air circulation, the sides of the cover are a more breathable fabric and allow air circulation through the fabric. I would not want to leave mine outdoors for an extended period of time without one.(Anything over two weeks between uses and it's covered). There is also different type of covers to accommodate different climates. Ranging from completely waterproof to just a basic sun cover.
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Old 09-11-2011, 12:05 PM   #13
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Thing of it as this...
Picture a 40 cubic yard drag on dumpster, (like you see at a construction site)
Now think of having to put a Tarp over it before you load it on the truck. Then drag it up on the truck.
Now picture having the tarp come undone while you are driving to the dump and then having to put it back on the Dumpster on the side of the interstate.

Bottom line Bad.

Sorry I just had to say that about the RV covers, the windshield cover is bad enough.
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Old 09-11-2011, 12:28 PM   #14
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Thing of it as this...
Picture a 40 cubic yard drag on dumpster, (like you see at a construction site)
Now think of having to put a Tarp over it before you load it on the truck. Then drag it up on the truck.
Now picture having the tarp come undone while you are driving to the dump and then having to put it back on the Dumpster on the side of the interstate.

Bottom line Bad.

Sorry I just had to say that about the RV covers, the windshield cover is bad enough.
No "dragging" involved, just a little premeditated thought. After installing the cover for the first time, you have to think about it. What would be the easiest way for me to put this cover back on. Then you remove the cover in the exact opposite way that you would want to re-install it. When I install mine I stand on the roof of the motorhome at the rear and firmly hold the rolled up cover in my arms. Next, with a quick movement of my arms I roll the cover away from me. This will send the cover spirally away from me and generally make its way at least half way towards the front of the motorhome. At this point I am about 5 minutes into this project. Now I walk across the roof and roll the cover the rest of the way to the front till it is completely unrolled. After this I unfold the driver side side panel down the left side of the motorhome. Now the front and rear panels and finally the passenger side panels. At this point I have relied mainly on the weight and momentum of the cover to do most of the work for me. The last thing to do is to throw the straps under the motorhome to the opposite side and fasten and tighten them so the cover is secure.
The first time I covered mine it took 30-45 minutes, but once I put some thought into it and removed it to allow the next install to be easier. I would say that install is about 15 minutes and removal is about 20. I do agree that wind is your enemy though, solution don't install or remove on windy days if you can avoid it. COVERS GOOD.....NO.... GREAT!
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