Question for all of you who live in "snow country"

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New member
Aug 27, 2005

We recently purchased a  1993 Damon Challenger 5th wheel (30') in super condition.  We will be storing and using this mostly at our recreational property, where it gets heavy snow.  My question is, are 5th wheel roofs designed to support all of that snow weight?  Does it have to have some kind of covering to keep the snow off of it?  I have seen people make wooden structures that sit on the roof and then they cover it with a tarp (ugly) at steep angles so no know sticks.  Is this necessary?  What are your experiences?  Anybody have a roof cave in?  Sorry if this is a dumb question!  Thank  you in advance for any advice you have for me.



Well-known member
Mar 11, 2005
wherever we are parked

I have never had a 5th wheel but had a trailer and now have a motorhome.  We plan to have the MH run and hide if the temperature drops below 70, so that will not be an issue.  :D

But when I had a trailer, the first year I built a wood structure for the roof and tarped it.  Turned out to be more trouble than it was worth.

The next year all I did was use a snow blower whenever it snowed.  I missed one snowfall when I was out of town and had about 6 inches and nothing went wrong.

If you are going to leave your 5th wheel in an unattended area, my experience likely will not apply.  I am sure others here can offer other kinds of experience.


Well-known member
Apr 9, 2005
Benson , AZ.
I have a truckcamper and for the first couple years did the frame and tarp thing.? I think it caused more problem than it avoided.? Have to be real careful the grommets don't rub, have to watch how the frame sits, if the wind really picks up, need to check everything again.? I then went thru many years with no cover and had no problems.?

Will this be stored where you can keep an eye on it, or will it be a ways away?


Do what we did to winterize,  MOVE SOUTH!  (G).  We just moved to FL full-time.  No more snow for us.  (OK, OK, there are hurricanes, but...)


Active member
Mar 12, 2005
The first couple of years after we purchased our old Motor Home we put it inside for the winter here in Iowa. Then we tried the tarp thing. that worked but, if it comes loose anywhere it tends to make marks on the sides.  after that we just left it out in the weather.  After all the ones on the RV sales lots sit out all winterNever had a problem.  Now we have bought a Travel Trailer and once again we are pondering wheather to store it inside or leave it out.  We are leaning toward leaving it out and hoping for a mild winter.  I guess it's gonna have to be up to you which way you go with this.


Gary RV_Wizard

Site Team
Feb 2, 2005
West Palm Beach, FL
How much snow on the roof are we talking about? Inches or feet?  Wet snow or dry )big weight difference)?  Probably 18 or so inches is OK, but beyond that I would worry.  People I know who leave their trailers in NY's Adirondack Mtn snowbelt usually plan on shoveling off the roof a couple times during the winter. I've also heard reports that the skylight vents are more vulnerable than the roof itself, i.e. may crack under the weight.  The suggested solution is to build a simple frame of 2x6 that fits around the 14x14 skylight and cover that with plywood to take the weight. Don't know if that is folklore or good poop, but it is simple enough to do.

If in an area where it will freeze and thaw repeatedly, ice build-up under the snow could be a concern.  Ditto if the rig will be heated at anytime while there is snow on the roof.  There are lots of seams on an Rv roof (plumbing vents, skylights, front & rear cap, a/c unit(s), etc.) and ice expansion and contraction could damage those seams.
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