Are RV Covers Worth The Money?

Camper van parked for the season

Disclosure: Some of the links in the article below may be affiliate links. This means that I may earn a small commission if you click on them and make a purchase.

One of the best ways to protect your expensive RV is to keep it covered when not in use. Many people have large garages for this but this can be a huge expense and most RV owners aren’t going to drop that kind of money just to cover their RV.

One alternative is to use an RV cover. You often see RV covers on motorhomes or campers during the off-season. In the wintertime, RV owners cover their RVs in gray or reflective colored covers that are supposed to protect them during the months when they are not using them.

When I drive through my town during the winter, I see lots of campers covered up. Not only that but even in the summertime, I see these as well.

I used to work for a company in the RV industry that sold RV covers. They were a very popular item and many people depended on them to take care of their RV. Not everyone has a full-sized garage or a 12-foot garage door opening to be able to store their RV inside.

Out of all the other options available, RV covers are the cheapest option for you to cover your camper in some fashion. Although not the same as a garage, it does have its benefits and can keep your RV protected from harsh weather.

The question that one might ask is, “does it really protect it that much or is it just another gimmicky item to spend money on?”

Is it worth having an RV cover for your RV?

An RV cover is a great way to cover your RV and protect it if you do not have access to a garage or other covering that keeps the harsh weather off of it. Since they are not very expensive, it is worth having one to cover your RV if you leave it sitting out in the elements at all times.

Whether it’s the hot sun beaming down in the summer or winter weather making an impact, an RV cover can help to protect your RV and add longevity to some of the main components.

How Does An RV Cover Protect Your RV?

An RV cover protects an RV by shielding it from various bad weather situations like rain, snow, sleet, hail, wind, and other weather conditions that could affect the RV and some of the components attached to it.

RV parked in snow

It also helps protect it from the sun so that the damaging UV rays will not damage the seals and caulking that may be on top of the roof and other areas. These seals may be used to waterproof fans, air conditioners, vents and other items that you may have installed.

Premature aging from these types of seals could cause leaks in your RV and cause you to have to spend more money in the long run. If you cover your RV, you might not run into these issues as soon as you will if you choose to keep it exposed to the elements at all times.

RV covers will also help to protect your solar panels if you have these installed on your roof. Solar panels have a lifespan on them and if you are not using them, you can keep them covered with an RV cover and then you don’t have to worry about your solar panels overheating in the sun.

The RV cover will reflect the sunlight and not allow the Solar panels to heat up as much as they normally would when the full sun is shining down on them.

What An RV Cover Is Good For

If you don’t have access to a large garage, which most people don’t, an RV cover makes sense if the only option is to leave your camper outdoors all the time.

A standard garage can hold some of the standard small campers such as teardrop trailers or pop-up trailers. However, a full-sized RV or even a class B van will not fit in a standard garage door opening. An RV cover may be the only option you have to keep your camper protected.

It’s not absolutely necessary to keep it covered as long as you stay up on maintenance and know the condition of seals and components on your RV. A vehicle is designed to withstand an outdoor environment so it will hold up to most weather conditions.

However, would it maintain its condition for a longer period of time if you were to keep it covered? Is the benefit that you would gain worth the price of buying an RV cover?

I have to keep my camper van outdoors at all times because I don’t have a large enough garage to store it in. I would rather it be covered under a structure but I just don’t currently have that option.

I would benefit from having an RV cover since I could purchase a cover for my van for less than $200.

This would be a good purchase because, in the long run, it would save me from having to perform so much maintenance on seals and rooftop components. It would also give me more peace of mind knowing that it is shielded better from the elements.

It would keep it in great condition and also bring better resale value when I am ready to part ways with it.

A cover like this will last for many years as long as you take care of it so the $200 is a minimal amount to spend to protect an expensive motorhome.

If you own a larger motorhome like a Class A or C type, a fifth-wheel or other large travel trailer, you can expect to pay a little more than that for an effective cover. However, the benefits will outweigh the costs.

The following table will give you an idea of what type of cover you will need for your RV. Click on the link to see the current price on Amazon.

RV TypeSize In LengthExample
Class A Motorhome25′ – 43′Adco Class A Motorhome Cover
Class B Motorhome20′ – 27′Classic Accessories Cover
Class C Motorhome20′ – 36′SavvyCraft Class C Cover
Large Travel Trailer27′ – 33′King Bird Cover
Medium Travel Trailer22′ – 26.5′King Bird Cover
Small Travel Trailer18′ – 22′King Bird Cover
Teardrop Trailer8′ – 10′Classic Accessories Cover
Popup Trailer8′ – 20′Classic Accessories Cover
Fifth Wheel26′ – 41′King Bird Cover
Truck Camper6′ – 12′Classic Accessories Cover

Anything like this that can help me to extend the life of my van and protect it from the weather, I would consider being worth the price that you pay. Especially when we are talking about such a minimal amount of money.

RVs and campers are not cheap items so if you can use something like an RV cover to help you get more life out of your purchase then why not?

I use my camper van year-round so having it sit for a few months never really happens for me. It can be quite cumbersome to install and remove an RV cover so you don’t want to be doing it every time you use and then park your RV.

If you have the cover installed on your RV and you want to use it to go somewhere, it isn’t just a simple on and off. Taking it off requires some effort and then putting it back on is also a challenge.

It can be a pain in the butt if you have to do it a lot.

However, if you are the type of RVer who uses your RV during a certain season like summer, spring or fall and then lets it sit during the winter, an RV cover is perfect.

Are RV Covers Waterproof

Many RV covers are waterproof and they help to keep out the water completely so that it doesn’t have a chance to cause any problems on your RV. However, many others are only water-resistant or water repellent.

This means that they will resist or repel the majority of water but not all of it. There may be water that penetrates a water-resistant membrane whereas a waterproof one should not allow water to penetrate at all.

These covers generally do a good job of repelling water and protect the important areas of the RV that may be more prone to leakage. If you have components installed and mounted on top of your rig, these areas could become weak spots for water.

A waterproof cover isn’t a necessity but it is nice to have. A breathable, water-resistant cover will do the job and keep most water out.

Conclusion

RV covers are worth it and they help to maintain the value of your vehicle. They also help to maintain the condition of seals and accessories that may be installed on top of the RV.

They also help to protect the paint and help it to stay in pristine condition. Another benefit is that your rig will stay clean during the times when you are not using it.

They provide a good cheap way to keep your RV protected when you don’t have any other means of doing so.

For those who do not have a garage large enough to house their motorhome or camper, an RV cover can be a great solution to help protect their high-priced toy.

Dan Collins

I consider myself an outdoor enthusiast. I love to travel and go to places that most people don't get a chance to go. I want to see it all and live life to the fullest while I'm alive. My camper van is helping me to do just that. I write about my experiences to help inspire others to do the same.

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