RV Cover - Greenhouse Effect? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-20-2009, 08:25 PM   #1
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Trailer: Bigfoot 21 ft Rear Bed
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I recently purchased an RV cover for our trailer but I'm afraid that it's doing more harm than good. It does a good job keeping bird droppings and other debris off but the temperature inside the trailer is really warm, much warmer than outside. Even the space between the outside of the trailer and cover is very warm. I think the cover is preventing the heat from escaping. I put a thermometer inside the trailer today and found that the temperature is almost 30 degrees warmer than the outside even with the vents and windows open. Does this make any sense? Should I get rid of the cover and opt instead for a shelter that allows air to circulate around the trailer?
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Old 07-20-2009, 09:32 PM   #2
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Steve,
I have a cover on my Casita and it's 101 the last few days and I went in the trailer and it was 118 inside with the vents open. I was wandering the something as you are, maybe someone will tell us how there trailer is holding up with those hi temperatures inside. I am going to leave the cover off until I here different or until it cools off.
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Old 07-20-2009, 11:00 PM   #3
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has anyone thought to contact casita directly about this?
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Old 07-21-2009, 08:21 AM   #4
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I don't own an RV yet, but I was under the impression that these covers are for when you store your RV for the winter, or even summer, outside (or inside a garage/covered area), to keep it clean and scratch-free, to protect the finish on it from UV rays, etc. (kind of like buying those little wheel/tire covers).

They're not meant to be used while camping or being inside the RV... you're not trying to use the RV for camping while it's covered, are you? I'm sorry for the dumb question, but to me it sounds like you're worried about slightly higher temps while trying to use the RV, not just store it. The higher temperatures are to be expected when wrapping up an RV like that for storage.... but you're not going to be in it so I wouldn't worry too much about it.

RV's are meant to withstand high temps, like Arizona. I'm sure plenty of RVs have been in the full sun at the Quartzsite grounds without any ill effects.
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Old 07-21-2009, 08:54 AM   #5
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David - The cover is being used while the trailer is stored. You got a chuckle out of me this morning imagining the trailer being occupied with the cover over it.

There's been a lot of discussion about using covers, both pros and cons. However, I don't recall anyone mentioning a possible greenhouse effect taking place. That was the impetus for my post. The cover as stated earlier actually generates more heat inside and/or under the cover than if left unprotected. Yes, molded fiberglass trailers hold up quite well in direct sunlight, even in Arizona. But one of the side effects of direct exposure is oxidation, which is the reason I chose a cover.
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Old 07-21-2009, 10:08 AM   #6
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Steve, I must have misunderstood your post then, because I was confused why you'd be worried about higher temps from the cover if you're simply storing it. I thought maybe (big maybe) you were trying to walk inside it, just like some of the photos show for the covers in the link you posted....

It only makes sense to me that with a cover, the temps will get higher. It's like wearing a jacket in the summer sun.

I've seen many RVs around this area parked in driveways. and I live really close to two RV storage facilities (both out in the open). None of the RVs have been covered, even during winter storage....

And they all look faded and rusted as a result.

If I had an RV and had to store it, I'd probably cover it up!
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Old 07-21-2009, 10:21 AM   #7
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I cover my 25 bigfoot all the time when in storage and have no problems with heat. I don't think heat in itself will cause any problems. However, I have a poly-tent/garage that I keep the TV in. This spring I had water laying in it for a few weeks and during the day time it was like the tropics inside of it. Every little pin hole and exposed metal started to rust. That was a wake up. Now I vent the tent. This might also be a problem with the RV cover as it is not 100% waterproof and water can get between it and the RV. If we had lots of rain and very hot weather I might experience the same problems as with the TV.
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Old 07-21-2009, 11:40 AM   #8
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Quote:
It only makes sense to me that with a cover, the temps will get higher. It's like wearing a jacket in the summer sun.
I suspect it's a little more complicated than a blanket retaining heat. While the cover is advertised as UV resistant I think a fair amount of it seeps through. The white exterior of the trailer does a good job reflecting the radiation, which in turn is mostly trapped by the underside of the cover. The heat builds with limited air circulation between the cover and trailer. That's my rationale FWIW. I rolled up the sides of the cover this morning to see if it makes a difference.
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Old 07-21-2009, 12:17 PM   #9
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I know shelters are not possible for everyone, but we built a very simple frame with a corrugated plastic roof (could be more attractive with other material but no one sees it, not even us as it is behind some trees) and stored our Burro there for 12 years and now our Escape. I am biased toward this arrangement as it allows good air circulation, important in the NW where dampness and mold is a concern. Our Burro came with a mold problem we had to deal with but it never got any new mold as we could keep the vent open and windows cracked in all kinds of weather. I think the heat you are concerned about could really cause some mold problems, that's what mold likes. When talking with Reace at Escape Trailers he confirmed that air circulation is the most critical factor in storing a trailer.

If you have the option of a shelter you might consider it.



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Old 07-22-2009, 11:50 AM   #10
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I rolled up portions of the cover exposing the sides yesterday and experienced at least a 15 degree temperature drop inside the trailer. The outside temperature was just a bit higher than the days before. I'm beginning to think that a shelter is a much better way to go in our sunny SoCal climate.
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Old 07-22-2009, 12:09 PM   #11
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See my post below.
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Old 07-22-2009, 12:09 PM   #12
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South Carolina is not known for moderate temperatures in the summer. I have kept our Casita 2005 always covered when not in use since we purchased in 2004. The temperature in the interior is always significantly higher than the outside any time I have checked. Even on a sunny day with outside temperatures in the 50 to 60 degree range the inside will rise to mid 80 or low 90 degrees. Our egg looks like new inside and out and i have noticed no adverse effects from the high inside temp.

Covering negates outside deterioration with no negatives on our inside materials in five years.

Basically, covering or not seems to be solution looking for a problem that does not exist, at least in my experience in five years of covering.
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Old 07-22-2009, 01:26 PM   #13
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South Carolina is not known for moderate temperatures in the summer. I have kept our Casita 2005 always covered when not in use since we purchased in 2004. The temperature in the interior is always significantly higher than the outside any time I have checked. Even on a sunny day with outside temperatures in the 50 to 60 degree range the inside will rise to mid 80 or low 90 degrees. Our egg looks like new inside and out and i have noticed no adverse effects from the high inside temp.

Covering negates outside deterioration with no negatives on our inside materials in five years.

Basically, covering or not seems to be solution looking for a problem that does not exist, at least in my experience in five years of covering.
Thanks for the feedback. Based on my limited online search it seems that LCD TVs begin to experience problems when stored at temperatures around 120 degrees. We just added one to our trailer and that's one of the reasons I became concerned.
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Old 07-22-2009, 02:21 PM   #14
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Steve, possibly the LCD could incur a problem but despite outside temperature in the low 100's my interior never seems to exceed 112. It never is indicated on my temp device which keeps a record of the highest temp since the last reset.

I open a side window several inches and open the top vent about 33% and with the billowing of the cover in even the slightest breeze it provides some reasonable circulation which may mitigate the high temps. In my opinion circulation is more important than temperature. I use a Cover Giant Silvertech cover which is extremely light weight. It is silver in color and it seems to reflect at least some of the infrared heat. A heavier dark cover such as Sunbrella dark blue may/could cause a substantial increase in heat inside the unit. As I mentioned mine billows in the wind. Even the LCD would be a surprise to me if it were to affected. Many automobiles use LCDs and their interior temps can easily exceed !40 degs. I see nothing else in a fiberglass rv that should be problematic in regard to high temp.

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