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In the summer months, a combination of UV rays and extreme heat inside your RV can cause serious damage to the body and interior of the vehicle.
One popular piece of advice is to use an RV cover to help protect your camper from these harmful rays.
But that may do more harm than good!
There are pros and cons to covering your RV this time of year, so let’s look at these in more detail and decide if you should cover your RV in summer or find a better option.
Should You Cover Your RV in Summer?
As mentioned, there are pros and cons to covering your RV, especially if you are covering it in the hot summer months.
In extremely hot climates, an RV cover can cause damage by allowing excessive heat to build up underneath the cover, causing paint “checking” and even melting vent covers. Not to mention what the extreme temperatures can do to your dashboard and other interior elements.
Certain RV manufacturers may even void the warranty if you cover your camper in summer, citing that improper maintenance led to damage to the RV.
Ok, but what if I live in a relatively mild climate? Should I cover my RV in the summer?
While you may not run the same risks that you would in extremely hot climates, there are still potential drawbacks. For example, an RV cover flapping in the wind can cause damage to the exterior of your RV, trapped moisture can cause mold damage, they can be extremely difficult and dangerous to put on, etc.
But it’s not all doom and gloom. Covers have their purpose, and they may make sense in certain instances.
Here’s a quick rundown of the pros and cons of RV covers to help you decide if they are right for you.
Tips for Storing an RV in Hot Weather
Ideally, you should store your RV in a climate-controlled RV storage facility, a garage, a barn, a shed, or under a canopy. Basically, in a non-touching type of shelter.
Of course, that’s a best-case scenario, and not everybody has access to or the financial means to protect their RV in this way.
This is often why people turn to RV covers.
So, here are a few tips to help protect your RV (and yourself) if you do decide to cover it in summer:
- Use a quality, breathable RV cover. You do not want your cover to trap excessive heat and moisture (which can cause mold). An RV cover made with breathable material should allow moisture and heat to escape while blocking the sun’s potentially harmful rays.
- Check your vehicle often! Especially on extremely hot days to check for signs of damage. Vent or remove the cover if you feel like it’s getting too hot underneath.
- Do not put a tarp over your camper. A properly fitted RV cover will reduce the chances of the fabric flapping in the wind and damaging your RV (and the cover itself). Plus, they are designed to breathe and allow heat and trapped moisture to escape.
- Be careful when covering your RV. Large 5th wheels, travel trailers, and motorhomes can be very difficult and dangerous to cover! Always be careful if you must get on the roof of your recreational vehicle and ask a friend for help if needed. Check out our video on installing an RV cover without getting on the roof for our preferred installation method.
And don’t overlook your final option – not using a cover at all.
Many RV owners do not cover their campers at all. In fact, a lot of them swear against it.
So, whether it’s better to cover a camper or not boils down to personal preference. If you decide not to cover your RV, you may want to:
- Thoroughly wash and wax the camper before storing it to help protect the exterior. And then periodically washing it while in storage to help keep it clean.
- Store your RV in the shade. The longer your RV is shaded from the sunlight throughout the day, the better. Especially mid-day when the sun’s UV rays are the strongest. An example of this would be storing it next to a large shed so it’s at least partially shaded throughout the day. This will help keep your RV cool in summer and block the sun’s damaging rays.
- Use 303 UV Protectant on the dashboard, front seats, and other interior elements to help protect them from fading and cracking associated with UV rays.
- You can safely cover your tires with RV tire covers for added protection from the sun.
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