What You Should Know About RV Covers and Resale Value

Do you own a motorhome or camping trailer? If so, how would you determine the price if you decided to put it up for sale? A lot of people use something like the Kelly Blue Book or NADA Guide, but is that the best way to go? Maybe not. To understand why, we will talk about RV covers and how they affect resale value.

Official guides can give you a baseline to start with. But the people who write those guides have never seen your RV. They haven’t seen the RVs of any owners who might use their guides to determine price. So how do they come up with their numbers? The estimate value based on best case scenarios.

The problem is that there are a lot of different things that can affect resale value. In the end, the true value of a used RV is what someone else is willing to pay for it. If the market will only support a price of $20,000 for unit, you are wasting your time listing it for $35,000. What the market is willing to pay is the actual value.

Value and Overall Condition

With that understood, let us get to RV covers and how they affect resale value. After mileage, the second most important thing buyers tend to look at is the overall condition of an RV. And when you are talking overall condition, understand that the first thing any buyer is going to see is the exterior. It is no different than buying and selling houses.

If the exterior of your RV is in pretty poor condition, it will create a perception in the buyer’s mind that suggests the rest of the RV is in poor condition – even if it’s not. The interior could be pristine; the mechanics could be sound; the engine could be meticulously maintained. But if a buyer sees a faded finish and dried out seals around the windows, the value of your unit could fall by thousands in his mind.

What the Buyer Cannot See

The other thing to consider is that there are things a buyer cannot see without a detailed inspection, things that could be influenced by how you store the unit when it isn’t being used. For example, consider the air-conditioning unit on the roof.

Assuming your RV is stored with a cover, you are keeping the sun and other elements at bay while your unit is in storage. If it’s left uncovered, the air-conditioner spends every off-season exposed to sun, wind, precipitation, and perhaps even the winter freeze-thaw cycle. The inside of the air-conditioner could be prematurely worn due to this exposure.

The fact remains that RV covers protect the units underneath from the elements. They also protect against dirt, airborne debris, animals, and other not so kind forces. Covering your RV protects it against things that could harm it both aesthetically and mechanically.

Maintain Your RV’s Resale Value

When it all comes down to it, the reality is that RV covers help to maintain the value of motorhomes and camping trailers. It’s a lot like storing a classic car in the garage and keeping it covered when not in use. The more you can do to keep the car from exposure to things that can harm it, the more valuable that car will be on the open market. The same is true for your motorhome or trailer.

It is worth the investment in a good RV cover if you intend to sell your RV someday. It will more than pay for itself when it comes time to negotiate price.


Used Parachutes or New Parachute Fabric Tarps?

Not long ago we ran across a post asking opinions about purchasing old parachutes from an army surplus store and converting them into truck tarps. The poster wanted to know if it was a good idea and, if so, what drawbacks there might be.

So, is it okay to convert used parachutes into truck tarps, or should you buy new parachute fabric tarps from a company like Mytee? Sure, it’s okay. But there are some definite benefits to going new instead of trying to cobble together a few old parachutes just to save some money.

Fabric Weight

As far as the weight of the parachute fabric is concerned, it is a wash whether you utilize used parachutes or buy new tarps. Parachute fabric is generally ripstop nylon of very low weight. That’s what you want for your truck tarps anyway. A 1-ounce parachute fabric is the same weight whether it is found in a used parachute or a new truck tarp.

Water Resistance

Depending on how the parachute was used during its normal life, the fabric may or may not have been treated for water resistance. This matters to truckers for the simple fact that standing water will almost always leak through parachute fabric at some point. That is why even new parachute fabric tarps purchased from Mytee are constructed only with parachute fabric on the sides, back, and front. Manufacturers use a standard vinyl material on the top to keep water out.

Even if you were to construct a few truck tarps out of used parachutes, you would have to do something about the top. So that means purchasing vinyl tarp material or utilizing discarded tarps with enough usable fabric. Is it worth the trouble?

Durability

Another thing to consider is durability. You can bet that the seams on both your used parachutes and new tarps are going to be pretty strong. But if you’re making your own tarps, you will be sewing multiple pieces of fabric together. Can you make the seams strong enough to withstand the punishment of the open road?

If you own a commercial sewing machine that is up to the task, you have nothing to worry about. But we suspect most truck drivers are not equipped with that kind of machinery. As such, constructing your own tarps is risky business. You’re probably better off buying new parachute tarps instead.

Usable Life

One last consideration is the usable life of homemade tarps. Unless you find used parachutes in excellent condition and you have the right equipment to construct your tarps, they are probably not going to last as long as professionally made tarps. So while you may save money in the short term, you’ll probably spend more over the long term simply because you have to replace your tarps more often.

New is a Better Choice

We understand the trucker’s desire to save money wherever possible. These days, margins are tight for both carriers and independent contractors alike. Unfortunately, attempting to save money by skimping on tarps is one of the worst decisions a trucker can make.

It is our belief that going new is the better choice. Brand-new tarps are constructed by industry professionals who know what they are doing. The products they make are intended to last, offering years of reliable service under all kinds of driving and weather conditions. Should you opt to make your own tarps of used parachutes instead, you’re probably not going to get the same kind of quality.


Cohesion and Adhesion: The Chemistry of Drip Diverters

There are some people in this world who like to explore beyond the basic or expected functions of any object. They want to know how and why it works as well. If you belong in that specific group of knowledge seekers, we want to talk to you about drip diverter tarps. Also known more simply as drip diverters, these are small vinyl tarps that are deployed to divert water away from sensitive areas.

We have customers who buy drip diverters to protect hay or equipment stored in a barn with a leaky roof. We have sold them to commercial property owners looking to protect sensitive equipment while maintenance crews are trying to figure out why an air-conditioning unit is leaking. We have even sold them to truck drivers dealing with leaky trailers and sleeper cabs.

In terms of the science behind what makes drip diverters effective for task, it is all about chemistry. In fact, it is all based on two properties that water possesses: cohesion and adhesion. If not for these two properties, a drip diverter tarp would be a useless piece of vinyl suspended from the ceiling.

Water Molecules and Cohesion

In chemistry, the property of cohesion is the ability of identical molecules to attract one another. One water molecule sticks to another water molecule to form a drop because of this property. Indeed, cohesion is what makes a water drop a drop.

Water’s cohesive properties are found in the way the two hydrogen atoms are aligned in relation to the single oxygen atom. Opposite charges keep the molecule together. As an added bonus, those same charges also attract other water molecules. Why does this matter when using drip diverters? Because it is cohesion, combined with gravity, that causes water to run off a drip diverter.

Gravity begins the process before cohesion takes over. It is a lot like a siphon. Once water molecules start flowing out of the drip diverter and down its tubing, each water molecule flowing in a downward motion pulls other molecules along with it. This is what prevents water from pooling inside the diverter.

Water Molecules and Adhesion

In chemistry, the property of adhesion is the ability of different molecules to attract one another. Have you ever seen a drop of water stuck to the edge of a pine needle? That happens because the surface of the water is attracted to the surface of the pine needle due to the alignment of electrical charges. That is adhesion. The two surfaces attract one another.

Adhesion plays a role in drip diverters inasmuch as water does not adhere to vinyl tarp material as well as it does to other surfaces. In fact, water tends to bead up and run off as long as there is an outlet. That’s because the cohesive bond between water molecules is stronger than the adhesive bond between water and vinyl.

This is not to say that water does not adhere to vinyl surfaces. It can and does. It’s just that it is not so easy. Compare vinyl to other fabrics – like cotton. Water will run off vinyl a lot more readily than it will cotton. In fact, the adhesion between water and cotton is such that a cotton cloth will absorb more water than it repels.

Now you know how cohesion and adhesion work together to make drip diverter tarps useful. Isn’t science fascinating? Perhaps you don’t care, and that’s okay. The most important take away here is that Mytee Products carries drip diverters. If you need to temporarily divert water away from something until permanent repairs can be affected, a drip diverter is one option.