Key Features to Look for in Your RV Cover

In your quest for an RV or trailer cover, note this: the features you choose are important. An RV or trailer cover is not just a piece of canvas you throw over the top of your rig at the end of the season. It is a tool for protecting your RV or trailer whenever it’s not in use. The better the tool, the better job it will do.

You can purchase generic RV and trailer covers or covers custom-made for your particular make and model. Whether generic or custom, you should be looking for certain features. Those listed below are the ones we believe are most important.

1. Adequate UV Protection

We assume you are purchasing an RV or trailer cover because you will be storing your rig outside. As such, we recommend not settling for something that doesn’t offer adequate UV protection. Ultraviolet rays can damage seals around windows and doors. They can be harmful to your AC unit and fade the finish.

A good cover offers adequate UV protection, especially on the top panel. If you do not understand how UV protection is rated, do some online research before you buy. You will do better with a cover that has a higher UV rating.

2. Built-In Air Vents

One reason for using a cover is to keep out moisture that would otherwise promote mold and mildew growth. As such, look for a cover with built-in air vents. A cover with no vents will allow moisture to be trapped inside. And yes, you can end up with trapped moisture due solely to condensation. You need vents that promote air circulation and allow moisture to evaporate.

3. Zipper Access to Doors and Windows

From a practical standpoint, a good RV or trailer cover offers zippered access to at least the rig’s a side door. Access to windows – and motor compartments on RVs – doesn’t hurt either. Zippered access lets you get into the unit without having to remove the entire cover.

A lot of generic trailer and RV covers offer multiple access points on the sides. That way, you don’t necessarily have to measure exactly where doors and windows are. You have access all the way around the unit.

4. Reinforced Seams and Corners

An RV or trailer cover without reinforced seams and corners is one that is more likely to tear. Need we say more?

5. Adjustable Tension Panels and Elastic Corners

An RV cover is only as good as its fit. As such, look for one with two key features: adjustable tension panels on the front and rear and elastic corners.

The adjustable panels allow you to apply the appropriate tension at the front and rear of your rig in order to keep the cover securely in place. You do not want it flapping in the wind. As for the elastic corners, they tuck around the bottom of the rig the same way a fitted sheet tucks under the bottom of a mattress. Elastic corners keep everything in place.

We personally recommend RV and trailer covers made with ripstop polyester fabric. Others prefer canvas, but ripstop polyester is lighter and easier to deploy. It is also easier to keep clean.

Mytee Products is proud to carry multiple models of RV and trailer covers. Once you know the measurements of your rig, feel free to browse our inventory of covers suitable for your particular setup. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us before you purchase. Our goal is to make sure you get the right cover for your RV or trailer.


Parachute Tarps: The Fuzzy History of Ripstop Nylon

Sometimes, knowing the history of a product helps us to utilize it to its fullest potential. As such, we tried to figure out the history of ripstop nylon as it relates to the parachute tarps we sell. Unfortunately, that history is somewhat fuzzy. What we do know tells us just what makes ripstop nylon such a great material for truck tarps.

For the record, ripstop fabric does not have to nylon. You can buy ripstop fabric as canvas, polyester, and even silk. Nylon is the preferred choice for ripstop fabric because of its unique properties relating to weatherproofing and weight. With all that said, let us talk a little bit about history.

Ripstop and WWII

As best as we can tell from our research, the idea behind ripstop fabric was first proposed during World War II. Those in charge of making combat uniforms and parachutes wanted a material that would be more resistant to rips and tears on the battlefield. They also wanted a material that was lighter.

A year before the start of the war, DuPont introduced a revolutionary synthetic thread it called nylon. This revolutionary thread turned out to be the first commercially successful synthetic thread despite its predecessor, rayon, having been pushed as a replacement for expensive silk.

DuPont’s original plan for nylon did not involve military applications. Instead, it was thought that nylon revolutionized the fashion industry. That didn’t stop the military from looking at it as an option for parachutes.

Parachutes but Not Uniforms

Nylon did end up taking off as material for parachutes during the war. Parachute designers came up with a new ripstop weave that became the precursor of modern ripstop, but nylon fabric would largely disappear from the fashion scene following World War II. It was never seriously considered as a material for uniforms.

At the same time, DuPont really wanted nylon thread to be its mainstay for women’s hosiery. That was their original plan for nylon. So they began pitching the thread, eventually deciding to license it to third-party producers in 1951. Although it enjoyed fairly good success in the hosiery market, nylon thread wasn’t seen as practical or attractive for the rest of the fashion industry.

Nylon’s use as an industrial material continued through the 1950s, 60s and 70s, until the outdoor industry brought it back to front and center as a material for all sorts of camping gear. By the late 1970s, nylon was everywhere.

Parachutes, hang glider wings, etc. were dominated by ripstop nylon. And by the 1980s, ripstop weaves had been perfected. The same weaves preventing rips and tears in parachutes were making tents, backpacks, lean-tos, and camping chairs lightweight and strong. It was only a matter of time before ripstop nylon became a favorite material for tarps.

Modern Ripstop Nylon

Fast-forward to 2019 and the modern ripstop nylon we use today is the best iteration of the product ever. Not only is ripstop nylon still the material of choice for parachutes, it is also used heavily throughout multiple industries, ranging from outdoor gear to logistics.

Ripstop nylon is changing the way we do things in the trucking industry as well. For the longest time, truck drivers have been looking for a tarp material that is lighter and easier to deploy under a variety of weather conditions. Ripstop nylon is that material. It is more durable than vinyl and significantly lighter than canvas. It offers the best of both worlds.

How fascinating that a thread originally intended for the fashion world evolved to become a fabric used in parachutes and truck tarps. And now you know.


Drip Diverters: A Smart Solution to a Big Problem

A drip diverter is a purpose-built device intended to capture leaking water and divert it away from sensitive areas. Drip diverters come in many different forms, including the tarps we sell here at Mytee Products. Our drip diverter tarps are ideal for truck drivers, farmers, RV owners, and others.

The most important thing to know about the drip diverter is that it is offered only as a temporary solution to a potentially big problem. Relying on diversion for too long, rather than addressing the root of the problem, only leads to bigger problems down the road.

Drip Diverters on the Farm

We sell a lot of drip diverters to farmers. It turns out that these highly utilitarian products have plenty of great uses ranging from keeping tractor seats dry to making sure feeding areas are not deluged by summer rains. We have even worked with farmers who want drip diverters to protect their hay.

Imagine a barn filled with hay for the winter. Much to the farmer’s delight, the hay stays dry – unless the roof suddenly springs a leak. The last thing that farmer wants to do is climb on top of the barn in the middle of winter to affect repairs. Enter the drip diverting tarp.

The diverter can be hung from the ceiling directly underneath the leak. Then it can be angled in such a way as to divert the water away from the hay. This is not a solution we would recommend long-term, but it will get the farmer through until nicer spring weather allows for roof repairs.

Truck Drivers and Drip Diverters

If you think truck drivers do not have any use for drip diverting tarps, think again. Truck drivers are known for doing all sorts of ingenious things with limited resources. There is a lot they can do with a drip diverter.

For example, you might have a truck driver who likes to sit outside his rig at the end of a long day. A drip diverter makes a perfect canopy so that he’s not stuck inside the cab if it’s raining. That same drip diverter can be used as a temporary solution if the sleeper cab springs a leak in the middle of a trip. It will do the trick until the driver can get his rig in for repair.

We have seen truck drivers use their drip diverters as impromptu sun blockers as well. In the right position, a folded drip diverter can block portions of the side window, thus keeping the sun at bay without affecting the driver’s ability to view side mirrors.

The All-Purpose Tarp

Most of the customers we sell drip diverters to are farmers and truck drivers. But really, this is an all-purpose tarp that has plenty of uses beyond what has been described here. RV owners use drip diverters to keep rain off their picnic tables and grills. They use them to cover their gas tanks during travel.

At home, drip converters can be used in the garage the same way a farmer would use one in the barn. In short, drip diverters are a temporary solution to a big problem. By catching water and the diverting it away from sensitive areas, a drip-diverting tarp can save you a ton of money and a lot of hard work by preventing a minor leak from becoming a major disaster.

We invite you to check out our inventory of drip diverters. We offer three sizes: 10′ x 10′, 7′ x 7′, and 5′ x 5′. Each one is constructed with vinyl-coated material and heavy-duty grommets in the corners.


Safe Lifting Practices with Slings and Shackles

There are times when forklifts, pallets, and loading ramps are not sufficient for moving cargo around. That’s when you need slings and shackles. Lifting a load with slings and shackles also involves some sort of boom, be it from a boom truck or crane. Needless to say that there are a whole host of safety considerations when engaging in this sort of lifting operation.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued its own guidelines dealing with safe lifting practices. They mention a number of very specific things having to do with slings and shackles. For the benefit of our readers, we have summarized OSHA guidelines below. You can go to the OSHA website and search ‘safe lifting practices’ for more details.

Choosing the Right Kind of Sling

OSHA’s guidance begins with a discussion about choosing the right kind of sling. They discuss slings made from chain, wire rope, fiber rope, and synthetic webbing. The needs of most of our customers are sufficiently met with webbing slings. However, it is always important to assess each load before choosing the right sling for the lift.

OSHA recommends synthetic web slings when practical due to their strength, convenience, shock absorbency, temperature resistance, and safety. Synthetic webbing slings should be used with caution when dealing with acids and other corrosive substances. They should never be used when they show signs of excessive wear, elongation, or distortion.

The Four Points of Safe Lifting

The OSHA guidance goes on to discuss how to lift safely using four points of reference. Those four points are as follows:

1. Size, Weight, and Center of Gravity

The safest way to lift with a sling is to ensure that the hook is located directly over the center of gravity. Slight variations are workable but getting too far off center can cause big problems. The heavier the weight and the larger the size, the more critical center of gravity is.

2. Lift Angle and Number of Legs

A lift angle is formed between each sling leg and its horizontal line. The smaller that angle is, the more stress is put on the sling legs. It is important to know this angle in relation to the amount of weight being lifted. Smaller angles dictate less weight per lift. Larger angles can tolerate heavier loads.

3. Sling Load Limit

Just like webbing straps and chains used to tie down cargo, slings have working load limits. Each sling has a rated capacity calculated by considering the type and size of the sling and the type of hook being used. It is critical that operators know the rated capacity of their slings before attempting a lift. Manufacturers generally mark slings at the factory.

4. Usage, Care, and Handling

OSHA’s fourth point of reference for safe lifting involves the proper usage, care, and handling of slings and shackles. Their guidance suggests that a history of improper usage increases the risk of accidents with every subsequent lift. In simple terms, bad habits are hard to break.

For each lift, proper care and handling of slings is essential. Slings should be cared for to prevent even minor damage. They should be inspected prior to and following every lift. And they should always be used according to manufacturer instructions and OSHA guidelines.

This concludes our basic summary of OSHA guidelines for safe lifting with slings and shackles. If you ever have a question about safe lifting practices, find the answer before you attempt a lift. Remember that lifting with slings and shackles is always dangerous no matter how many safety precautions you take.

 


The Differences Between a Bull Bar and Grille Guard

You may run across bull bars in your search for a good grille guard for your truck. Note that bull bars and grille guards are not the same thing. Furthermore, bull bars are hard to find for big rigs because they really aren’t appropriate for large, commercial vehicles.

We want you to be familiar with the differences between bull bars and grille guards so that you don’t buy the wrong thing for your truck. If you are in the market for grille guard, we have several models for you to choose from. Please take a few minutes and check out our inventory.

The Basics of Bull Bars

We are not quite sure where the name of ‘bull bar’ came from, but it really doesn’t matter in the context of this discussion. A bull bar is generally an A-shaped guard the affixes to a vehicle via the front of the frame. It has an outer frame, a single crossbar, and a skid plate at the bottom.

Bull bars are relatively small in comparison to the vehicles they are fitted to. They are intended only to protect the immediate front and center of the vehicle during a collision with an animal. A bull bar will protect the radiator, grille, and front bumper, but little else.

The biggest difference between a bull bar and grille guard is the fact that the former does very little to protect beyond the immediate center of the front end. There is no protection for headlights or turn signals. In the event of an off-center collision, a bull bar is rendered practically useless.

Their small size and lack of full protection makes a bull bar inappropriate for commercial vehicles. They are fine for pickup trucks and SUVs where owners are looking for minimal protection against damage from animal collisions.

The Basics of Grille Guards

Where bull bars are normally found only on SUVs and pickups, grille guards are found on trucks of all sizes. Big rigs fitted with grille guards are more readily seen these days, thanks to growing popularity within the trucking industry.

A good grille guard provides full coverage across the lower half of a truck’s grille area. The smallest of guards fully protects the front bumper and the truck’s grille and radiator. Larger guards extend fully upward to protect lights as well.

Made from tough, tubular stainless steel, a grille guard is intended to provide maximum protection during collisions with either animals or other vehicles. A good grille guard can leave a truck virtually unscathed following an accident.

Protecting Your Truck

Any desire to protect the front end of your truck should be met with a grille guard rather than a bull bar. Even if you can find a cheaper bull bar for your rig, it is not worth the investment. Bull bars might be great for pickups and SUVs, but they are a waste of money for big rigs.

Buy a grille guard and get maximum protection at the same time. Note that grille guards and trucks do have compatibility issues, so you need to make sure that the guard you buy will fit your truck. Also note that you should be able to purchase a guard that doesn’t require any drilling or welding. It should attach to the front of your truck very easily with the appropriate brackets.

Mytee Products carries several different models of grille guards at this time. If you don’t see what you need, please give us a call anyway. We still might be able to help you find and acquire the right grille guard for your truck.