Should You Cover Your RV In The Summer?

Storing an RV, whether it's in summer or winter, can be stressful. To avoid unwanted damage while RVing, you should cover it. The best cover will have breathable material that protects against damages from the sun and rain.

Your recreational vehicle is no doubt one of the most expensive investments you have. For that reason, you won’t want to handle it carelessly. One of the ways to take care of your RV is to properly store it when not in use. But should you cover your RV in summer? 

Yes, you should properly cover your RV in summer. Covering your RV is an effective way to protect it from the elements and keep its beauty for years to come. An RV cover will help protect the roof and the beautiful finish from sun damage when the motorhome is not in use. Not covering your RV will expose both the interior and exterior to harmful UV rays.

So, if you don’t want your expensive investment to get ruined pretty fast, you should cover it in summer. Read this article to learn more about why you should cover your RV and how to do it.

Reasons to Cover Your RV in Summer

1. Protect From Sun Damage

One reason to cover your RV in summer is to ensure the harmful sun rays don’t get to it.  The sun’s UV rays can damage your motorhome, and they can even fade its color and dry out the roofing material. 

A RV traveling on the desert.
They can even fade its color and dry out the roofing material. 

Not that the material used to make the RV is not as durable, and a little exposure to the sun won’t make it turn to dust, but using a cover will ensure it stays in good condition. If you think UV rays don’t affect the exterior of your RV, here’s a little experiment for you: leave a small item outside in summer and observe how long it takes for its color to fade.

2. Prevent Litter Problems

Whether you want to admit it or not, your spare tire too hangs outside in summer, exposed to the elements. And if it rains, there is a good chance that the water will seep into your RV’s underbody and rot away some of its hardware. 

If you think that is not a big deal, just check out the walls of any dumpster outside an RV park, and you’ll see that there is nothing pretty about it. That said, this problem doesn’t even exist if you cover your spare tire with a rubber mat.

3. Keep RV Clean

If you store your RV for a long time, the chances are that it will gather dust and other particles. But this won’t be the case if you cover it. Covering your RV  will also prevent leaves and other debris from sticking onto it. So, even if you’re just packing it for a few days, covering will save you the trouble of cleaning when you need to take it back to the road.

4. Prevent Moisture Build-Up

If you have ever gone for a vacation only to return home and discover that your RV has developed mold, then there is a big chance that you left it exposed to the elements. If you cover it, the chances of moisture build-up will be minimized. So, if you are leaving your RV unattended for a long time, cover it. Or at least make use of an RV cover that has water-resistant backing.

Mold on the corner window.
If you cover it, the chances of moisture build-up will be minimized.

5. Retain Its Resale Value

When you are planning to purchase an RV, it is not enough that you factor in its affordability. You also need to consider how much you will get if and when the time comes that you sell it. If your RV has been used previously by others, then there is a big chance that its value has depreciated. But if you cover it well and store it properly, the chances are that it will retain its resale value.

Drawbacks of Covering Your RV in Summer

Even though covering your RV in summer is necessary, you have to do it carefully. Here are some potential drawbacks of covering RV in summer.

Trapped Moisture Can Cause Mold

There’s the possibility of your RV cover trapping moisture underneath, especially if you live in a humid, warm climate. If there is trapped moisture underneath your cover, the chances are that it will eventually lead to mold growth. You should ensure you use a breathable cover so it doesn’t trap moisture that can cause damage.

Degradation of Your RV’s Finish

Even if you don’t live in a humid, warm climate during summer, the chances are that the UV rays may still damage your RV’s finish over time. Make sure to remove the cover every now and then to let it bask under the sun for some time. Your RV needs to get some air from time to time, especially if you’re going to store it for a long time.

RV with mountains ahead,
Your RV needs to get some air from time to time.

Unpleasant Odors from the Cover

If you have been using your RV for a while and now you’re considering storing it, covering it makes sense. However, there’s a possibility that unpleasant odors from your RV may seep through the cover and make it hard for you to breathe. You don’t want to feel uncomfortable the moment you enter your RV to take it back to the road. Even if this isn’t a common problem, it’s better safe than sorry.

Covering Large RVs is Not Easy

Finding a big enough cover to suit a large RV is not easy.  There are some covers that are designed for large RVs, but they still don’t fit very well. You can risk this if it’s just for a short time, but finding the perfect cover for your RV is essential.

Covers Can Also Cause Damage

While covering your RV helps protect it,  you should know that it can also cause damage. If the cover is not a good fit for your RV, it can create pressure points that will cause damage in the long run. 

RV Covered on the foresst.
Ensure you consult experts when choosing an RV cover.

Also, you might not get the right cover for the RV and end up with a material that might expose your vehicle to damage. Ensure you consult experts when choosing an RV cover, especially if you’re going to store it for a long time.

Tips for Proper RV Storage in Summer

Get a Breathable Cover

Summer is super hot, and it can get sweaty inside the covers, exposing your vehicle to moisture in the process. You need to get a breathable cover to keep the sun out but not trap moisture. A breathable cover will allow moisture to escape instead of keeping it trapped inside. 

Size Matters

To get a proper RV cover, you should measure the length and height of your vehicle. Be sure to add an extra couple feet for each side because covers tend to shrink when they’re on the vehicle. If it’s too short, you will end up with gaps that allow rain or moisture to enter your RV. While too long could lead to excessive wear and tear.

Be Sure Your Cover is Right

Not all RV covers will guarantee 100% protection for your vehicle. Some covers may be made of cheaper materials that won’t give you the same protection that your vehicle needs for a long time cover. Be sure that the cover you get has a 90-day warranty offers one free replacement, plus free shipping both ways. 

Always Check on the Vehicle

Just because your RV is covered doesn’t mean it’s totally safe. There are still several things that can still cause damage even under the covers.  Check underneath the RV to make sure that nothing is protruding out and causing damage. Also, ensure the cover is still serving its purpose after several days of being in use.

Keep It Clean

Aside from checking for damages, it’s also important to keep your cover clean. Be sure to hose off dirt and debris sticking to the surface of the vehicle whenever you notice it. This will not only maintain its quality but also prevent corrosion.

Don’t Forget the Tires

Tires are part of your vehicle too. They come in contact with almost the same things as the exterior and should be maintained just as well. Wipe them down from time to time, especially if you have been driving through mud or sand.

A person checking the tires.
Wipe them down from time to time, especially if you have been driving through mud or sand.

Don’t Put a Tarp Over Your Vehicle

Many people have the misconception that tarping their vehicle will protect it from sun damage. However, tarping does not prevent UV rays or heat from damaging your paint job. It only covers the outside so it’s still exposed to the harsh elements of the environment. Moreover, a tarp is not a breathable cover so it’s not a good idea to use it in summer.

Summary

As you can see, you not only need to cover your RV in winter. Summer also calls for some extra protection for your vehicle. Remember, UV rays are just as damaging as snow. So if you’re not traveling in summer, definitely consider protecting your vehicle whenever possible.

And remember, it’s not just about covering your RV and forgetting about it. You have to learn how to do it right because your RV can still be exposed to damage even under the covers. Choose the right covers, check on your vehicle, and ensure it’s clean, among other safety tips.

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