At some point, most RVers have to consider putting their rig away for storage. Seasonal changes, employment, family gatherings, etc., all happen, and we can't always take our RV along for the ride. But when you do decide to store your RV, whether at home in the driveway or in a storage facility, it's a wise decision to invest in an RV cover.
An RV sitting in the driveway or the side yard is subject to the best (and worst) that Mother Nature has to offer, and not giving it any protection can be a recipe for expensive wear and tear, not to mention the affect on the exterior aesthetics.
"If you're going to
get a cover product,
get a brand."
says Skip Mckee
CEO of Eevelle Covers.
"UV degradation is probably one of the biggest problems facing RV owners today," say industry experts. "The UV light will essentially destroy everything in its path." And that UV exposure goes beyond simply fading the RV's color; it can lead to much more expensive repairs. "Not only does covering your RV preserve its appearance, but you must remember that the paint itself is a protective barrier used to keep metal and plastic components from breaking down. If an RV's paint is not protected, the components underneath will eventually be exposed and begin to show signs of damage."
Paint is not the only subject of damaging exposure. Gel-coated fiberglass can oxidize over time, losing its luster and looking dull and chalky. This damage can greatly affect an RV's resale value. And since an RV is an investment, it should be protected as such. It's no secret that, when buying a used RV, the first thing that grabs a buyer's eye is the overall condition of the exterior surface. Faded decals, chalky front/end caps and sun-damaged roofs can seriously impact the selling price.
But the sun isn't the only element that's hard on an RV. "Tree sap can also be very damaging to the paint, causing staining and erosion to the finish RV covers are also designed to protect vehicles from bird droppings and acid-rain situations, and obviously help keep the exterior clean -- especially EPDM roofs. "If you use an RV cover, it's very easy to see that you'll spend less time washing it and more time enjoying it.
So now that we have established the need for an RV cover, it's time to do a bit of research. Remember, an RV cover is protection for your investment, so it's not always wise to pick the cheapest option at the local warehouse store. "If you're going to get a product, get a brand," says Skip Mckee, CEO of Eevelle Covers that makes brands such as the Goldline RV Cover, Expedition RV Cover. "We've seen an onslaught of overseas covers being produced, and shipped here with the promise of a lifetime warranty. There's no way you'd get a lifetime warranty on an RV cover."
Generally, an RV cover is made from polypropylene fabric or polyester, with varying methods of doubling or even tripling the layers for additional protection on the roof section. The fabrics are sometimes treated (or formulated) with different water and UV repellants, and also must allow water and moisture to evaporate to avoid mold and mildew forming beneath. There are, of course, higher-end and custom covers that contain different construction materials (see roundup). Essentially, the more expensive options offer more protection (don't they always?), and custom covers tend to billow less in the wind than universal covers due to their tighter fit.
Once the covers are in place (see sidebar), they are generally connected with straps beneath the belly of the RV. Good-quality covers will feature vents to reduce billowing, and some offer zippered panels to allow access to the doors and compartments, which come in handy when loading for a trip. Also, the better quality covers may be lighter, which makes handling -- and storage while the RV is in use -- much easier.
Next comes the decision to buy a universal or a custom-fit cover. Custom covers are indeed more expensive, but their exact fit can mean a longer lifespan for both cover and RV finish. And they fit better, usually requiring fewer tie-downs, if any. When selecting a cover based on the RV size, measure it yourself; don't rely on the model numbers or the registration paperwork. "Measure end to end, bike rack to ladder," says McKee. "That is the key."
Covering an RV is a wise choice to protect your invest-ment. You likely have a cover on the grill in your backyard;
why not your home on wheels? To help you with your search, we've listed some of the top companies in the RV cover field. Many also offer tire covers, which we do recommend you purchase even if the cover appears to conceal most of the tires.
Eevelle offers three universal covers at varying price points designed for the RV market. All covers feature straps every 3-4 feet for securing to the RV, and vents in the fabric work to allow moisture to pass through to help fight mold and mildew. The covers are treated with a No. 8 UV finish to minimize sun damage.
The entry-level Traveler is a lightweight polypropylene cover that doesn't have any zippers. It is recommended for light use and carries a one-year warranty.
The midline Expedition covers are Eevelle's most popular selling brand. They are also made of lightweight polypropylene and feature straps and roof vents, but offer the additional feature of a zippered side entry. Expedition covers are designed to be a bit more durable and thus carry a three-year warranty.
The top-of-the-line Goldline covers are made of a marine fabric and offer all the features of the Expedition. Goldline covers are semi-custom in that the sizing pattern comes within 18-24 inches of the actual RV make/model. Visit the website for more info and pricing. We are here to help you find the perfect sized cover for your RV!