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Should I cover my RV?

Folks often ask about a cover for their RV. From the responses they get it's obvious that some folks love them and many hate them. Here are some pros and cons of covering an RV, extracted from various forum messages. The following apply to "soft, removable" covers, not to fixed/rigid car-type ports.

Reasons for covering an RV include:

  • Keeping it out of the sun to protect the outer surfaces.
  • Keeping it cool.
  • Protecting it from rain and snow which could accumulate on the roof and/or contribute to leaks.
    • Some of the reported issues/disadvantages of using a cover are:

      • You can't run the furnace or water heater to keep things from freezing (a problem in climates where it only freezes a couple times a winter).
      • You can't use the roof vents to reduce humidity (damp climates).
      • It's very dark inside.
      • If you don't get a custom fit, the door opening in the cover probably won't line up with the entry door.
      • Small antennae (radio, cell phone, GPS, satellite radio, etc) can poke holes in the cover.
      • You have to store the cover somewhere when not on the RV - it is big and bulky once out of the original shipping carton.
      • Many will trap moisture and create problems with mold and rust.
      • If the cover is loose it can chafe the RV's finish which creates additional problems.

      Some first-hand reports from forum members who have used covers:

      Forum member kevfra said:

      "I haul the darn heavy thing up to the roof and walk around draping it and pulling it right. This requires me to walk on it very carefully feeling where I have vents and whatever before breaking something. The opportunity for falling off is there with even a little lack of focus. Not fun, and equally a circus with removing it."

      Forum member rbell said:

      "They are pretty difficult to put on as they are fairly heavy and bulky. You have to drag it over all the stuff on top, vents, AC etc. Then water and ice puddle around everything so it has to be blocked up so it'll drain. When they are wet they are really heavy also. In the wind they flop around and chafe the paint. The one I had was Tyvek and it held up very well. Some areas on the roof would freeze down from moisture and I had to pour hot water on it to get it off in the winter."