RV Covers The Why's, The What's & The How's
My name is Mike. I grew up in a family of RV enthusiasts in the suburbs of Los Angeles. We had a 1960 Airstream Ambassador when I was a kid. The finish was like a mirror—and I knew it personally—having spent the better part of my youth washing this trailer in the driveway. When my daughter was born in the early 1980’s, I couldn’t help but reacquaint myself with the RV lifestyle and I spent a good portion of my savings on a modern day Class A. And every 5 or 6 years since, well, you know the deal… I’ve traded that RV in for the next bigger and better coach.
As I sit here today, I have become a go-to-guy when it comes to RVs and RV products. I was approached by ADCO at the Good Sam Rally to share some RV cover related Q & A that has come my way over the years.
Q: Mike, I’ve always been on the fence about spending the money to buy an RV cover. Does it really pay off?
—Rick G., Santa Paula, California
A: Rick, I’ve got to admit that I was skeptical the first time I considered covering my RV. It took me about four years to finally realize that my coach was suffering from environmental damage. I was at my local dealership discussing trading-up when they started pointing out the problems. The roof was a mess. A section of side decals was peeling off. The rubber seals around the windows were cracked. And the list went on from there. I learned a valuable lesson that day and have used a cover ever since.
Q: Mike, Is it hard to install a cover on my RV?
— David P., Mishawaka, Indiana
A: David, let me put it to youlike this. Installing a cover is a lot easier than washing and waxing your RV and having it look dirty again two weeks later. I can install my cover in about 15 minutes. If my daughter is over, we can do it in ten minutes. The key is to fold the cover inside out so that once the cover is on the roof, it literally falls into place under its own weight. Have a friend help you.
Q: Mike, What’s your advice on measuring my RV to ensure that I buy the best fitting
—Alex M. Tampa, Florida
A: Alex, my best advice is to ignore whatever instinct or knowledge you have about your RV’s length and get out the old tape measure. You will want to
measure the RV from end to end, including bumpers, spare tire and ladder. You will want to exclude hitches and propane tanks.
Q: Mike, I’ve had a cover in the past and it didn’t last as long as I had hoped. Can you recommend a brand that
—Ian R., Portland, Oregon
A: Ian, this is a common problem. Unfortunately, many so-called brands are fly-by-night and offer inferior fabrics and horrible customer service. If you look around the marketplace, ADCO is the only brand that I would recommend. Not many companies have been around since 1955—let alone in the cover business.
Q: Mike, I want a cover that will last at least two storage seasons. We get decent snowfall in the winter and high temps during the summer. What do
—Janet F., Omaha, Nebraska
A: Janet, you’ve got two options. The off-the-shelf model, which ranges between $250 and $500, is ADCO’s Designer Series RV Cover. Hands down this cover offers the most features and best bang for the buck. You get zipper door access, strap and buckle cinching systems on the bottom, front and back—and the cover boasts a very cool fabric by DuPont called Tyvek RV. It also includes vents for high-moisture climates, weighted buckles for ease-of-use, and a storage bag.
Your other option is to step up to the plate and go custom-fit. Let’s face it, you will probably own that RV for a while. Why mess with covers that last two or three years? Buy a custom-fit cover that fits your RV perfectly for just a little bit more money. These custom-fits last at least four to five years. Check out ADCO’s custom-fit Tyvek covers since they seem to be a crowd favorite.
Q: Mike, can I expect mold, mildew or abrasion from using an RV Cover?
—Steven R., Orchard, Washington
A: Steve, mold and mildew are the result of poor circulation under the cover. Therefore, when choosing a cover it’s very important to select a breathable fabric. If vents are available, they will help as well. As far as abrasion goes, I’ve never had a problem with ADCO product. I recommend that you put the RV away clean and make sure you have a good fit from the cover. This is the only way to guarantee that when you retrieve your RV from storage it will be black streak-free and in the same shape you left it in.
Happy Camping and safe travel, folks. I’ll see you at the Good Sam Daytona Rally in November.