Best RV Covers: What is The Best Material To Cover Your Rig With in 2017?
"To cover your RV or not to cover" That is the question!
Ask more than one RV owner if they think you should cover your RV... or go to an RV forum on the subject... and you will get a half and half answer. Half say yes, half say no.
The points of view are all valid, and we address those points below. Be advised- we are not going to paint a shiny picture story about RV covers. We cover the benefits AND the drawbacks of this product.
Warning: this article might make you not want an RV cover.
Whether you are looking for a 5th wheel RV cover, a camper cover, or a motorhome cover, you have come to the right place. We are not going to candy coat the idea of getting an RV cover. We cover travel trailer cover reviews, motorhome cover reviews, RV cover reviews and more all on one page. (Pun intended!)
Best RV Covers Compared
Best RV Cover Reviews
Note: In the below RV cover reviews we show you what RV cover material is the best for a particular climate situation (or budgetary concerns). We then tell you what manufacturer makes the best cover with the particular material. Happy shopping!
RV Cover Guide
Reasons To Not Cover Your RV
Conventional thinking (and RV dealers) will tell you that you need to cover your RV when it's not in use to save the paint and such from the damaging UV rays of the sun, etc, etc, etc. Here's why you might want to re-think that idea.
- UV Light Damage
Yes, UV light will eventually damage unkept or untreated paint and other exposed parts of your RV. However, keeping up with waxing your RV also goes a long way for sun protection.
Some owners keep their rigs under the cover of a building. Of course, this isn't possible for everyone, so some choose to use a cover.
- Billowing Covers Can Scratch the Paint
One big argument against covering your RV is that in windy conditions, some RV covers have been known to rub and/or scratch the paint. In such a case, a cover does more harm than good. Though most of the above-reviewed RV covers have wind vents that are supposed to help with this billowing issue.
- Not Truly Waterproof
Then there's snow and rain. Some people argue that rain will cause the black streaks on the side of your rig, and they tell you to get a waterproof RV cover or water-resistant RV cover.
Is any cover really totally waterproof? How can they be, without risking mold issues, inside and outside of your RV? This is why most are breathable (water-resistant), except for maybe on the roof area. To keep your rig completely dry, the only 100% solution is to keep it indoors.
- It Adds an Extra Chore
Don't be fooled, putting on an RV cover is quite a process. It usually involves two people. It's possible to do with just one, but it's a heck of a lot harder and it takes twice as long. We have even heard of couples who get along flawlessly... until it comes to putting the RV cover on their rig. They almost kill each other during the process! How's that for a 'no' vote?
However, if you are going to keep it covered for half of the year, then you really only have to do this once a year. If you plan on taking short trips once a month or less, you may want to reconsider getting a camper cover.
Installing an RV Cover - This Look Like Fun?
- You Might Fall Off Your RV or Break Stuff
Which opens up a whole other mess of issues to consider- you have to walk on top of your roof while standing ON the cover- now you can't see what you are stepping on. You could end up stepping on a vent cover and breaking it. Same way, you could break a solar panel.
You could fall if the cover slides while you are walking on it, and you could potentially fall off of the rig. Just sayin'! It could happen. Is a broken leg (or a dead you) worth that kind of risk?
- Rain and Moisture Issues
What if your, say, travel trailer cover or fifth wheel cover is wet when you need to take it off? It's going to be ten times heavier and that much harder to get off. Not to mention getting it dried out again if you aren't putting it back on your rig. Where and how are you going to store your travel trailer cover or fifth wheel cover without it getting moldy? Ugh.
- Something MORE to Store
ALSO- storage. Depending on the size of your rig, you might need a VERY LARGE garbage can to store it in. (Most of the storage bags that the companies include with their covers are almost always impossible to get the cover back into the bag. Best to use a large garbage can.) Do you have space for this?
- RV Covers Are Not Long For This World
Most companies, due to the extreme elements of UV light and wind/rain that can damage their product, have only a 2-3 year warranty on their covers. They know that the chances of a cover lasting longer than that are slim to none. That doesn't speak of having much confidence in their product.
There are a few companies who offer 3-6 year warranties, but the cost is much higher. NO companies guarantee that their product will not tear. One company (Safeguard) has a 5-year guarantee, but in small print, they declare that you may only get ONE replacement with that warranty, no matter what. (What kind of crap is that?)
- They Seem to Tear Easily.
Time and time again, people have reported that their cover tore WHILE PUTTING IT ON THEIR RV. Even before it had a chance to tear due to the wind! Sure, some tears are caused by human carelessness during installation, but other times it's caused by cheap material.
You are encouraged to use something like a tennis ball on gutter spouts and other protruding parts around your RV. Use pipe insulation or a pool noodle to cover ladders, which are notorious for tearing RV cover fabric.
- Your RV Could Get Pretty Stuffy Under There. Even Moldy.
There are covers that have zippers which allow you to access your door(s) and get into your RV. But unless you have vent covers, you are going to have a hard time airing out your rig. Without a vent cover, you won't be able to open any vents. Windows? Probably. Still, it's not going to have much air flow and if you live in a very humid climate, you need to watch out for mold growth.
- It Won't Keep Out the Rodents
Yes, we have seen another site or two that ridiculously claim that covering your RV "will keep the critters out"- BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! What a stupid load of crap that is! Sorry but no... do not believe that covering your RV will prevent ANYTHING from getting into your rig!
You're not saran-wrapping the thing. Even that wouldn't keep them out. Plugging up any holes from the outside, however, will. Pretty much. They are determined little boogers.
Thoughts on RV Covers
Camp Addict Co-Founder
I live in my travel trailer full-time so I have absolutely zero need for an RV cover. I mean, can you imagine putting it on every time I move? And it would slightly block the view.
But seriously, I can see a need for a travel trailer cover. Despite what might have seemed like nothing but doom and gloom in the above section, there are situations where a cover might be the best thing.
Let's face it, in an ideal world, your RV would be stored in a garage or under some sort of permanent shade structure. But that's not practical for most of us, so an RV cover comes in handy for long-term storage.
Just be aware that you get what you pay for. And depending on where you live, the environment won't be kind to your cover. It's life expectancy isn't going to be stellar.
Just make sure you have your eyes open when you make the purchase. A cheap RV cover is just that. The best RV covers cost money. And not even the best RV cover is a match for the true force of Mother Nature.
RV Cover Benefits
Ok, RV covers are not all THAT bad. There are positives to having one.
- Reduced Maintenance
If you park your rig under trees, a cover is going to reduce your maintenance of having to blow or sweep the leaves off of your rig periodically. It will also keep sap and bird droppings from damaging your RV.
- Protect From UV Damage
Most materials will help keep the UV light off of your rig to help preserve all parts and paint. Some covers also come with tire covers, which we highly recommend that you use if you are storing your rig most of the time.
Many RVs have rubber roofs that are susceptible to UV damage. An RV cover can prolong the life of these rubber roofs. Also, roofs have caulking that seals all "holes" caused by the installation of RV roof vents, skylights, antennas, and anything else RV manufacturers stick up on top. A cover can help preserve the life of this caulking as well.
If you live in the extreme Southeast or Southwest, a good travel trailer cover or RV cover might be a good investment, especially if you live in an area that doesn't get much wind. These areas have higher UV exposure so it could help preserve your paint.
- Less Exposed
A cover can keep the nosy neighbors (or drive-by criminals) from knowing what you have under there. The less they know and the harder you make it for them to find out, the better. No, we are not saying that an RV cover is a theft-proof device. Not what we are saying at all.
- More for Saving the Paint
Used properly, they do keep your camper protected from leaves, UV light, bird droppings, sap, sandstorms, and whatever else you may come up with that could be damaging to your rig.
However, as you can tell if you have read this far, cover or no cover will always be debated and for good reasons on both sides. We understand that for some owners, a camper cover is right. Because of this, and despite the negatives mentioned above, we still decided to show you the best of what's available to purchase. We are giving you RV cover reviews for picking the right material to cover your needs.
There you have it. Do you still want to get an RV cover? It may be the right thing for your situation. The sun is harsh, whether it's harsh on your RV or on your cover. Something will eventually give! If you get one, enjoy. Just know that you have the knowledge now to pick the right one for you.
Camp on, Addicts!