6 Essential Tips for Covering Your RV

If you own an RV or rent an RV, you'll want to know the best tips and tricks for covering the RV. What type of material should be used? Where should the fabric be placed? And what tools are needed?

You have just finished enjoying another tremendous and fun-filled outdoor season with your recreational vehicle (RV), and now it is too cold to be camping anywhere. It is time to store the RV safely until spring, when the weather will be nice again. But the big question is; how do you cover your baby to ensure it is ready to hit the road again when the sun comes out. Remember that covering your RV during wintertime is an excellent idea and promotes a longer life for your car.

So, what are the essential tips for covering RV? The most important thing you need to do is secure your cover properly using ropes or bungee cords. While covering your RV, ensure you create a crown at the top of the RV so that the cover isn’t lying flat on the vehicle’s roof. Be sure to check the overall condition of the cover, beware of abrasion, and ensure you are using the right size cover.

This blog post discusses some of the essential tips for covering RV and why it is essential to do so. Read on to find out everything you need to know.

Should You Cover Your RV?

The simple answer is “yes.”  The truth is that your RV is highly susceptible to extreme weather conditions, and it is your responsibility to take good care of it.

Some of the things you can do to extend the lifespan of your RV include keeping it clean and free of water damage, inspecting your roof sealants to guard against leakage, observing a routine maintenance schedule,  and ensuring everything is in excellent condition.

A RV Covered
The continual exposure to harsh weather conditions is the biggest enemy of an RV exterior.

The other thing you can always do to protect your RV’s exterior from the extreme weather conditions is to cover it properly during the cold season.  Keep in mind that continual exposure to harsh weather conditions is the biggest enemy of an RV exterior.

Therefore, covering your unit properly protects it from extreme cold and strong UV lights and helps to stop ozone damage, which can cause your vinyl and rubber components to dry out and crack.

Do RV Covers Cause Damage?

One of the biggest arguments against RV covers is the idea that they can cause damage to your car. But is it true? If you are buying a fabric RV cover, you must remember that you only get what you pay for. Therefore, skimping on an RV cover and being too tight with your budget can sometimes do more harm than good.

Relatively cheaper RV covers are known to cause damage to the exterior of RVs if they are not designed well. Furthermore, they don’t take strong winds into account apart from being manufactured with weaker, non-breathable fabrics.

Such RV covers are also known for promoting mold and algae growth on the inside, outside, and beneath your RV.

Tarps are a relatively easy and cheap option to make if there is a huge storm and your rig’s roof starts to leak. But the bad thing is that most tarps aren’t ideal to use over a long period since their durability isn’t reliable.

Additionally, tarps are often made of metal grommets with a moisture-trapping plastic material that can ruin your car’s exterior quite fast. In fact, tarps are the #1 cover option that can easily cause damage to your RV.

A Covered RV.
You must remember that you only get what you pay for.

If your RV cover is improperly installed, it can still cause damage even if it is of the highest quality. For instance, a loose cover can easily flap in the heavy winds, leading to extensive scratching or denting your RV.

A significant number of higher quality flaps usually include wind flaps to facilitate wind passing through the cover without issues, but proper installation is critical. You must keep your cover tight and as close to the RV body as possible to help secure it even in the big wind storms.

What Are the Essential Tips for Covering an RV?

Now that you know why it is essential to cover your RV and whether RV covers cause damage to your vehicle or not, let us discuss some of the critical tips that can make your job relatively easy.

1. Order the Right Size Cover

The first step to covering your RV correctly is ordering the right size cover. While it may sound like a no-brainer, it is a little bit more complicated than it seems.

When most people want to purchase their RV cover, they will only have the model number or the specs from the manufacturer. Ask them the exact measurements of the cover they want, and they won’t have an answer.

While it is possible to order your cover using those specs, we highly recommend measuring the unit yourself to ensure you get the right cover for your car storage. This is because manufacturer specifications won’t include things such as the bumper and other items that may require covering.

So, before you order your cover, take time to measure the exact length of your RV, including anything you want to cover. Ensure the cover isn’t too larger because when it is too large, the excess material will keep blowing around, which can cause tear and wear, cutting down on its lifespan.

Part of the covered part of the RV.
Ensure yours isn’t too large or too small for your RV.

On the flip side, while a too-big cover is a nuisance, it is still better than a too-small cover. So, to be on the safe side of things, ensure yours isn’t too large or too small for your RV.

You can get a cover that is just right for your RV size by taking the exact measurement of your RV before ordering.

2. Put the Cover On, the Right Way

Sometimes, wrangling a bulky RV cover can be a big challenge. Getting it on top of your RV’s roof is even more challenging. The larger your RV is, the harder the process.

To make things a little bit easier, start by positioning the cover near the camper’s front and unpack it on the ground.

Now carefully hook a long strap to the corresponding clip and get onto the RV roof while still holding the strap.

Once you are on the roof, use the strap to pull the cover to you. Now connect the rest of the straps and clips to secure the RV cover fully.

3. Check the Cover Condition

Unless you are using a brand new RV cover right out of the box, it is always a great idea to inspect it before putting it on. Check for holes that may allow moisture in and any visible signs of tear and wear.

Moisture trapped under the cover can cause a wide range of problems. The caulking could easily become moldy, while aluminum parts could start rusting.

Therefore, you want the surface underneath your RV cover to remain as dry as possible throughout the cold winter months.

4. Create a Crown

It is a good idea to create a small crown across the top of your RV so that the cover isn’t resting flat on the roof of your car. Most modern RVs have an air conditioning unit that makes it relatively easier to create a crown.

You can also use winter swimming pool inflatables or foam blocks to accomplish this task. The primary objective here is to create a relatively curved surface that will allow water, leaves, and debris to run off the top to the ground other than collecting on the roof of your RV.

5. Beware of Abrasion

RV covers rarely suffer tears and wears under normal conditions. The biggest enemy of these covers is abrasion. You can get the most out of your cover and prolong its lifespan by reducing exposure to abrasive surfaces such as antennas, mirrors, and roof vents.

A RV Exterior damaged.
Consider reducing friction using electrical tape or foam padding on any potentially abrasive surfaces around your RV doors and windows.

If there are any potentially abrasive surfaces around your RV doors and windows, consider reducing friction using electrical tape or foam padding.

6. Secure the Cover, Appropriately

Once you have ordered your RV cover and received it, and are ready to protect your RV, be sure to secure it. Some manufacturers make it easy to secure your cover by including a good number of tie-down straps in the packaging.

If you find straps in your packaging, they will most likely be straps that go underneath the cover from side to side and a few more that can be wrapped all the way around the unit.

A RV Properly covered.
The cover is more prone to developing tear and wear when moving around, securing it properly can help extend its lifespan.

The use of straps ensures that the cover is securely fastened to the RV and won’t be blown away even in strong storms. It also ensures the cover isn’t moving around.

An RV cover that isn’t properly securely can easily billow in strong winds. As mentioned earlier, the cover is more prone to developing tear and wear when moving around. So, securing it properly can help extend its lifespan.


Taking care of your RV makes a significant difference in its lifespan. Since your cover is your vehicle’s #1 defense mechanism against rapid deterioration, taking proper care of it can really pay off in the long run.

Ensure you order the right size cover and secure it appropriately to avoid causing damage. When measuring the length of your RV, measure from the tail to the nose and the height from the roofline to the bottom of the chassis. Don’t measure down to the ground. Now that you know how to cover your RV, it is time to step out and protect your baby until the sun comes out again.

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