How to Choose the Best Cover for your RV: Travel Trailer, Motorhome, Fifth Wheel, or Camper

How to Choose the Best Cover for your RV: Travel Trailer, Motorhome, Fifth Wheel, or Camper

For many of us, there is a time when we are out using our recreational vehicles and there is a time when we need to put our RVs away for storage. Of course we take care of our RV or camper when we are using it - it's at the top of our minds - but what about when we're not? The way we treat our RVs when we're not using them is just as important as when we are in order to protect and get the most out of our investments.

Part of good RV husbandry during the off season is covering our campers properly. In this article we'll go over a number of topics to ensure you choose the best RV cover for your favorite home-away-from-home: types of covers, sizing covers, cover materials, and cover features.

Types of Covers

Format

Cover FormatsRV covers can be categorized in a couple of different ways. You need to think about the type of RV you are covering and the different approaches to doing so.

First, and probably most obviously, you need to select the correct cover for the format of trailer or RV you're covering. If you've got a Fifth Wheel Trailer, it doesn't make sense to get a Motorhome RV cover; be sure to get a cover that corresponds to your RV configuration.

Type

There are a few different options when it comes to cover type. The simplest is the ol' plastic tarp. While this option may be the cheapest, it's also by far the worst. Plastic tarps break down quickly in the sun, easily tear or the grommets rust out, don't fit well, don't breath, and frankly look terrible. They will do in a pinch, but you're much better off with shrink wrap. However, shrink wrap has its own disadvantages: it is difficult or impossible to get into your trailer, it doesn't breath well, and it's wasteful.

RV Cover TypesThe best choice for an RV cover is either a semi-custom or custom RV cover. If you have the budget, you can't go wrong with a RV cover custom designed and fit to your RV. For most of us however, we can get an excellent fit and quality from a reasonably priced semi-custom cover.

Sizing

Here's the most important thing to remember when choosing the right size of RV cover for your trailer or camper: measure it yourself! Don't rely on model numbers or manufacturer's specs. The actual measurement may differ from the spec. Measure bumper to bumper with your own tape.

The other thing to remember when sizing is that semi-custom covers come in size ranges, such as 30-33'. If you are at the maximum size recommended, it's often best to go a size up. You can cinch up extra room with straps but can't do anything about a cover that's too small.

Material

RV storage covers can be constructed of several different materials and treated with a wide range of different products to make them stronger and more weather resistant. You'll see polypropylene, polyester, woven, unwoven, 300D, 600 denier, single-layer, multi-layer, UV treated, anti-tear treated, water resistant, waterproof, etc. Additionally, manufacturers often have their own lingo for the various technologies they use to arrive at their final composites, and this can often confuse matters.

The guideline here is to get the right material properties in the right place, in a cover that's tough enough for the weather but light enough to handle. To achieve this, look for a lighter-weight and breathable fabrics on the sides of the cover and a heavier-weight waterproof fabric on the top. This provides the best balance of weather-proofing, ventilation, and material weight to keep your RV as dry and protected as possible.

Features

As mentioned regarding materials, marketers often come up with the names for RV cover features. You can disregard these. Focus on the features that matter (i.e. not things like "shape-retention"), and make sure the basics are covered. Below is a guideline to standard desirable features you'll want in a RV or trailer cover.

Cover Features

Conclusion

Wheel Covers
Don't forget those wheels! The sun wreaks havoc on exposed tires - cover 'em up!

If you've spoken with others who have experiences with RV covers, you may have heard some stories that put you off. There are some shoddy covers out there, or sometimes people try to put the cover on themselves and damage it or the RV (it's a two person job: bring a friend; it's more fun that way anyway), or sometimes a windstorm or a sharp edge shreds it. RV storage covers can give you some headaches; it's true. However, the benefits outweigh the costs: RV covers protect your trailer or motorhome from VERY costly water damage; they also protect it from UV rays, as the sun can at best cause color fading and at worst cause complete material breakdown, especially with plastics; finally, they also keep your RV clean - the amount of cleanup time and effort they save should not be underestimated.

Save yourself time and money while protecting your investment over the off-season: do a little research and get the right RV storage cover for your motorhome, trailer or camper. You'll be better off in the long run.

Published

Recent Posts

Best Boating and Fishing Mobile Apps of 2020
Best Boating and Fishing Mobile Apps of 2020
In today's modern world, there are a plethora of apps available to help us navigate our everyday lives. In recent years the boating world has benefited greatly from a variety of helpful apps that can help take your boating experience to the next level. Boaters today can download apps to help them log their trips, download nautical charts, reserve a slip, and even learn to tie essential boating knots. We have reviewed many of the apps on the market today and are sharing our best boating and fishing apps.
Tips for Monitoring and Avoiding Anchor Drag
Tips for Monitoring and Avoiding Anchor Drag
Anchor drag can send your boat unexpectedly veering out to sea, or worse, the rocks. Today there are a variety of tools boaters can use to alert themselves of unexpected drag and avoid the costly repercussions of drifting into the unknown.
Common Windlass and Anchor Line Snags and How to Prevent Them
Common Windlass and Anchor Line Snags and How to Prevent Them
If you use a windlass to help lower and retrieve the anchor on your boat, chances are that you've experienced the occasional snag, jam, or bind as your rode passes through the windlass. In this article, we will be covering the most common hang-ups that people experience and tips and tricks on how to avoid these mishaps in the future.
Tips and Tricks for Using a Windlass
Tips and Tricks for Using a Windlass
The windlass is a wonderful back-saving device that retrieves your anchor with just the push of a button. A properly maintained windlass is the key component of a well-functioning anchoring system. Do yourself a favor by following these tips and tricks to keep your windlass (and your back) operating smoothly for years to come.
How to Identify and Eliminate the Source of Boat Odor
How to Identify and Eliminate the Source of Boat Odor
Boat odors can come from a variety of sources. It's important to know where and what to look for to completely eliminate the source of the smell. Once you have an idea of where these odor hot spots might be, you can be better prepared to eliminate the odor and prevent them in the future.
Best Fuel Saving Tips For Boaters
Best Fuel Saving Tips For Boaters
With the warm summer months at our doorstep, boaters everywhere are looking for ways to take full advantage of a fun and relaxing boating season without draining their wallets. No boaters are immune to the sting of fuel prices, but there are a number of things we can do to significantly reduce the pain at the pumps.
How to Choose the Best Galleyware for your Boat
How to Choose the Best Galleyware for your Boat
Compared to your kitchen at home, your boat’s galley requires a little extra thought when it comes to dinnerware. Your kitchen does not rock or sway (unless there is an earthquake – oh my!), and likely has a lot more room than your galley. Galleyware needs to be purchased with the limited space and dynamic environs of your boat in mind. In this article we will go over the most common galleyware options to help you choose the best dishes for your boat.
How to Choose the Best Rod Holders for Your Boat
How to Choose the Best Rod Holders for Your Boat
Rod holders are an often overlooked yet extremely useful tool for fishing. A well-planned array of rod holders on your boat can eliminate some of the frustrations of fishing by keeping you organized and focused on finding the fish.
How to Install a Boat Bimini Top
How to Install a Boat Bimini Top
Installing a boat bimini top on your boat is an inexpensive and easy way to make your time on the water more comfortable. Boat biminis provide shade from the sun and cover from the rain. Best of all, installation is easy. In this article we will show you how to choose the correct size bimini for your boat, how to assemble your bimini, and how to install it.
Make The Most of Your Bimini Top
Make The Most of Your Bimini Top
When shopping for a Bimini Top, it's easy to become overwhelmed trying to find the best match for your boat. Bimini tops offer many customizable features such as tube types, bow numbers, thread counts and color options to fit almost any boat. Which one is right for you?