Sunday, August 28, 2011

Ways to Cover your LD

Having made a major investment in a new or used LD, most owners want to do everything possible to protect it from the elements. There are a number of ways to do this, some much more effective than others, and of course, more expensive.

- Your basic plastic tarpaulin: This is NOT a recommended solution, especially if you have one large enough that it hangs down to the ground. The plastic does not breath and moisture will build up under it. A tarp would also have to be very securely folded and fastened in place to prevent flapping that can abrade that beautiful paint job. Est cost: 20x40 vinyl - $600, 20x40 blue poly - $56

- A specially-made RV cover: This is a lot better than a tarp in that it is made of a material that will breath and thus prevent moisture from building up. An RV cover is also specially shaped and sized for your vehicle; with the proper size and the built-in tensioning straps, a cover is less likely to flap like a tarp. You do have to be careful to get it properly fastened in place. Est Cost: 28' - $200-500

-- Various grades and materials are available at any RV supply source, such as Camping World and many other on-line vendors.

-- If you have solar panels, a number of owners have reported that enough light filters through the cover to keep the house batteries charged. If that is a major concern for you, you could install transparent plastic panels in the cover over the panels.

-- In using an RV cover, you'll need to fold down your radio and CB antennas, and you might consider putting something over any other roof-top objects that have sharp edges, such as a satellite dish, to prevent the cover from being torn.

-- Using an RV cover can be a pain if you need to put it on and take it off fairly often. A rolled-up cover is pretty hefty to carry up the ladder to the roof. There is a small hoist available that clamps on the roof rail and will lift the cover as you crank it.

-- A full RV cover makes access to the interior of the RV more difficult, although there are some available that have zippered openings where the RV door is located.

-- If you live where snow flies, you'll want to take into consideration that a snow-covered cover can be very difficult to remove without tearing it, especially if the snow has melted and then refrozen as ice.

-- An RV cover has a limited life-span, usually 2-4 years.

-- For a detailed account of one LD'ers experience with a cover, read the article "KoKo: To Cover or Not."

- A carport-like shed or lean-to: This is a much more convenient solution, although, of course, more expensive. You can merely drive the LD in and out of it. Est cost: $350 (tarp roof), $1500-2000 (metal roof)

-- The main disadvantage to a solid roof over your LD is it will render your solar panels ineffective; you'll need to have another means of keeping your house batteries charged.

- A step up from the carport is the free-standing material-covered shelter that can be completely enclosed. Est cost: $1500-2500

- A full RV garage or barn: This is the ultimate in protection.....and the most costly. Not only will you have a roof over the LD, but it will also be enclosed on all sides so that no matter how nasty and violent the weather gets, it won't get to the rig. A nicely-equipped RV barn would include a 30-amp hookup, a water source and a sewer connection, as well as a nice little shop area. Est cost: $6000 and up to "The Sky's the Limit".

Contributor: WxToad

28 Aug 2011