One of the most common questions we get asked by customers this time of year has to do with whether or not to cover their trailer during winter or long term storage (a few months or more). The answer is yes, you should. Also, what kind of cover would be the best? Well, I’ll give you some pointers of what to look for in a cover as well.
Why should I?
There are a lot of reasons that it is beneficial to cover your trailer during long periods of disuse. I will highlight a few:
First of all, the sun is always out, and we all know the dangers of UV light on our skin. These ultra-violet rays are also damaging to the plastics and caulks we use on our trailers. Things like A/C shrouds, Plumbing vents, and skylights can all get yellow and brittle under harsh sunlight, creating a potential for leaks, cracks, and high repair costs over time. Covers block the UV light and make your trailer stand up better to the elements.
In the Winter months (at least here in the Northern US and Canada) you can expect snow. Some places get really a lot of snow. If you have been keeping up on the manufacturers recommendations about checking your caulk seals every 90 days, good for you. But let’s face it, the vast majority of people get up on their roof about once or twice a year. That being said, it is very much possible that cracks and areas of caulk can develop over time (see the part about UV light).
When snow sits on top of your trailer, no matter how cold it is, on sunny days, the bottom layer of snow or ice can melt slowly, creating a situation where a small amount of water can leak into the cracks or gaps in your caulk making a perfect environment for damaging water problems that your insurance company will not cover.
It will keep the trailer cleaner over the winter, so you have less maintenance to do in the spring. It is hard enough to keep your trailer black-streak and shiny without having to worry about those stains sitting on the finish of your trailer all winter, in some cases never to be rubbed out.
An RV cover will create a barrier between your roof and the snow, so that even though a little water will still get through, you aren’t getting anywhere near the problems you might get if left uncovered.
What should I look for?
There are a couple of different styles and price ranges for covers, starting at $50-$75 for small pop up campers, all the way up to $450 to $550 for larger units, and fancier covers. I like the mid-range covers, because they usually have a heartier top panel, and good strap systems. The straps are key, you want to make sure it isn’t too large a cover for your trailer, because wind can make the side panels flap, and wear holes through the cover fairly quickly. Make sure that the cover you buy is BREATHABLE. This means that the water vapor isn’t going to get trapped under the cover, making a good environment for mold or mildew to grow on the side of the trailer, for you to clean off in the spring.
I hope this clarifies a little bit why covers are a good idea. Come in and see us about ordering the cover that fits your trailer and your budget the best.