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Tips for Using RV and Trailer Covers

Now that the autumn season is upon us, RV and travel trailer owners are putting their vehicles away for the winter. Many of them will use an RV or trailer cover to protect their units from the weather. There are pros and cons to this strategy, as evidenced by the fair amount of disagreement that exists among RV and trailer owners. We will let you decide whether it’s the right strategy for you or not.

With that said, we do have some helpful tips should you decide to cover your RV or trailer with a winter cover. The tips are designed to make sure your cover does not damage your vehicle during the winter months. We want you to be able to uncover and go next spring without any problems.

1. Properly Secure Your Cover

Make sure to properly secure your cover with bungee cords or ropes. You do not want any portion of the cover to be loose enough to flap in the wind. Any flapping can cause cosmetic damage to the outside of your vehicle by way of grommets striking the surface. Continual striking can even loosen the grommets.

2. Create a Crown

It is a good idea to create a slight crown across the top of your vehicle so that the cover is not laying flat on the roof. Modern vehicles have air-conditioning units that make this task easier. You can also use things such as foam blocks and winter swimming pool inflatables to create the crown. The point is to create a surface that will allow precipitation and leaves to run off the top rather than collecting on the roof of your vehicle.

3. Check Cover Condition

Unless you are using a brand-new cover right out-of-the-box, it is a good idea to inspect your cover before putting it on. You are looking primarily for holes that can allow moisture in. The problem with moisture is that if it becomes trapped under the cover, it could cause a number of problems. Caulking could become moldy, aluminum parts could start to rust, and so on. You want the surface underneath to remain completely free of moisture throughout the winter months.

4. Beware of Abrasion

RV and trailer covers will not usually suffer rips and tears under normal conditions. The enemy of these covers is abrasion. You can get the most life out of your cover by reducing exposure to abrasive surfaces such as mirrors (fold them in), antennas (retract them), and roof vents (close them). If there are any potentially abrasive surfaces around windows or doors, you can reduce the friction by using foam padding or electrical tape.

Ordering a new RV or trailer cover is a matter of getting the right size. Although you do not want a cover that is excessively large, having one that is slightly too big is definitely better than purchasing one that is too small. The good news is that covers come in standard sizes. You just need to measure the length, width, and height of your unit to know what to order.

For RVs, measure the length from tail to nose and the height from the roofline down to the bottom of the chassis. Do not measure down to the ground. Also, there is no need to account for air-conditioning units. Manufacturers already take them into consideration when designing their covers.

For trailers, measure the height the same way. For length, there is no need to account for the tongue. You only need to measure the actual size of the trailer shell. Width measurements are pretty straightforward regardless of the RV or trailer unit you have.

Why You Should Consider Covering Your RV or Travel Trailer

With summer now in bloom across most of the country, America’s RV and travel trailer owners are out on the roads in full force. Most are not even thinking about what they plan to do when it comes time to store their rigs in the fall. Nonetheless, now is the time to start thinking about it, especially if you plan to use an RV or trailer cover.

There is plenty of debate over whether or not to use recreational vehicles (RV) and trailer covers. Those against the practice site numerous problems including moisture damage, mold, damaged finishes, and bent framing. Those in favor of covers will insist they have never had a problem. So here’s the question: should you cover your RV or trailer, or should you leave it to the elements over the winter?

We believe covering your rig is the better option. Here are four reasons why:

1.Sun Damage – The roof on your RV is certainly not as durable as the one on your home. Constant exposure to the sun wears down the roof material, ultimately drying out the caulking used to seal vents and air conditioning units. While a cover does not provide 100% protection, it can cover can significantly slow down sun damage.

2.Moisture Potential – Moisture is the enemy of the typical RV or travel trailer. Water can pool on the roof due to sags or dimples, or it can be collected and absorbed by pine needles, leaves, grass, and other sorts of debris. During the hot summer months, this is usually not a problem. However, during the fall and winter, any moisture on the roof may not evaporate. This can lead to mold and mildew come spring.


3.Snow Damage – RV owners that live in northern environments have to think long and hard about the snow. Just a couple inches of accumulated snow on your rig could cause pretty significant damage. It is especially problematic if you have a couple of quick thaw/freeze cycles during the season.

4.Window SealsA good RV or trailer cover will be large enough to cover all of your windows as well. Keeping them covered during the off-season protects the seals around the windows from dry rot and thaw/freeze cycles. You will get longer life from your seals and caulking.

We should note that we favor covering your rig with a specially designed cover that fits well. We do not endorse the use of generic poly tarps. Why? Because tarps and improperly fitting covers can cause more problems than they solve.

Tips for Using Covers Properly

Any type of cover you use for your RV or travel trailer has the potential to damage the vehicle if not used properly. Here is what you need to know about using covers properly:

  • Sizing – You need to choose a cover for your rig that matches its size. Covers need to fit snugly in order to keep out moisture, bugs, and debris. Your cover should be large enough to protect the entire unit, from top to bottom, but not so large that it moves freely in the wind.
  • Securing – The most important thing you can do to protect your rig is to make sure the cover is tightly secured. If the cover is not tight, it can cause damage by flapping in the wind, allowing moisture underneath, and even allowing precipitation to pool in various locations. This is a good way to damage your RV or trailer.

When a cover is sized appropriately and used properly, it offers you maximum protection for your RV or travel trailer. A good quality cover from Mytee Products is an excellent investment that will extend the life of your rig.