To cover or not to cover, that is my question?! - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-26-2002, 09:47 AM   #1
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To cover or not to cover, that is my question?!

That is my question? I can see benefits of covering your Casita with a cover i.e. no black streaks, cleaner, ect.
But does it matter if you cover it with an expensive cover or a big tarp from Walmarts? I mean really the big thing for me would be to keep the water and snow away from the Casita during summer and winter months. Especially winter when she won't be used much if at all. I live in New England and all kinds of people use the blue tarps we all know to cover their boats and I occasionally see them covering RV's. Is there really a difference between using an expensive cover or a blue tarp? I mean if they both can keep water and snow away and if you can then keep the bathroom window open and the bathroom door open for air to flow then I see no problem using a blue tarp to cover the Casita.

Does anyone use the Blue tarp here for protection of their Casita? If so please post here what you feel about it and if at all any problems that arose from using a blue tarp.

Anyway for you Casitains who keep their Casita's outside all year lets have a poll of how many keep no cover on their Casita, how many keep an expensive cover on their Casita, how many keep a tarp on their Casita, an how many keep their Casita under a garage type cover. Then comment how it has been working for you. How does that sound?

I will start... I don't have any over on my Casita and she is outside all the time. Only problem I see is black streaks and on the roof where you can see rain water puddles have dried up. No big deal after a really good cleaning but those black streaks are extremely hard to remove and it seems like they never totally come off!
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Old 09-26-2002, 09:55 AM   #2
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Tried it on a boat

Steven, We tried covering our sailboat with tarps once. Down here in hot, muggy central Texas we grew quite a crop of mildew. I decided on the sailboat it wasn't worth it; I'd just try to keep it clean and waxed, to minimize sun damage to the gel coat. Ditto with the travel trailer.

Don't have a garage...

Of course snow is not an issue here. (It hasn't snowed here in about, what, seventeen years!)
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Old 09-26-2002, 10:08 AM   #3
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Good question Steve!

Good question Steve!

When we got our first trailer, I looked high and low for some indoor heater storage. When I found it, I figured the annual storage expense in 10 years would cost more than the trailer.

So then I started thinking about a cover or tarp. But, as Mary says, Mildew can be a problem, as can chaffing from a flapping-piece of tarp.

In the end, just a good coat of wax, just before winter sets in.

But we also use our trailer year-round here in Illinois ... because as I've stated before, most Illinois State Parks keep the campgrounds open, with electricity at most sites ... so we love camping in the snow ... as long as the overnight low is about zero, we're good to go.

So, covering or tarping would just be something I have to continually put on/take off.

My answer is we use nothing!
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Old 09-26-2002, 06:27 PM   #4
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King Canopy

Steve,

We use a King Canopy. works good for keeping the sun off. Easy to back the trailer under too.

<img src=http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/uploads/3d93973f1fa6bKing.jpg/>
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Old 10-02-2002, 02:30 AM   #5
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blue tarp

I read on the bolerama site that a blue tarp holds in the moisture where an expensive tarp breathes. I get the idea that in parts of Canada mold is a very common problem. :wak I, on the other hand, am cleaning out the garage. I can heat it and work on the trailer for next spring and not wait until two weeks before I need it.
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Old 11-28-2002, 04:59 AM   #6
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Using a tarp to cover a fiberglass RV is a bad idea unless it is built like a garage as in photo at top of this thread. Your unit has to "sweat" to get rid of condinsation.By wrapping it up like a xmas parcel you will have some serious damage along the way.:)
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Old 11-28-2002, 05:16 AM   #7
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XL Commercial Van Covers

Someone at Casita told me that buying an off-the-shelf extra large commercial van cover at a department or auto store like Pep Boys would work fine for protecting the trailer from the elements. They are designed to breathe, eliminate moisture and tie down without scratching. More expensive than blue tarp, but less than building a garage. The canopy type covers aren't suitable for all climates or locations.

I think it was Dick. But it was so long ago, I honestly don't remember.

Some of us can assure you, our units will never be waxed.
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Old 11-28-2002, 05:35 AM   #8
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Benita
I have been told many things on this subject. I have a friend who is a RV teck, recommends if you can;t find a garage or some other type of cover just leave it be. Like other folks said is to make sure it is cleaned/winterized(in my case)waxed etc. Check unit once in a while for leaks or whatever, or remove snow load from roof.:wave
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Old 12-03-2002, 04:45 PM   #9
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My tarp theory

Steve, I understand your concern about our New England winters, snow cover, etc. This is my first winter storing my Scamp. I chose to cover it with a "blue" (although mine is grey) plastic tarp for this reason...Once it snows up here, it's here to stay until April. At the moment my Scamp looks as if it's grown a foot higher. I was concerned that the snow which melts slightly on warm days and then may freeze the next day may, in it's watery stage find its way into seams around the vents and rivets. So I've covered it with a 16' by 20' tarp that covers the top down to below the windows on the side (16' dimension) and over the propane tanks and tongue in front and the aluminum storage box on the back bumper (20' dimension). So my trailer isn't wrapped up tight. It still has room to breathe. But I feel confident that I've avoided any possible water damage from snow sitting on top for 6 months.

Also, I've anchored the tarp by rope to cinder blocks placed all around and away from the trailer so that there are no ropes or grommets flapping against the fiberglass and to allow for more ventilation.

As I said, this is my first winter doing this, so...talk to me this spring when I uncover it to see how my system worked, OK?
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Old 12-03-2002, 04:58 PM   #10
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stick

Jean, :wave are you knocking the snow off or putting post inside? course maybe a Scamp doesn't need post, I heard some Bolers do.
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Old 12-04-2002, 09:42 AM   #11
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Putting post inside?

Jana, by "putting post inside" do you mean inside the trailer or on top to create a peak for the snow to slide off? I've done neither and so far I haven't knocked any snow off either, but I intend to. Looking at how the fiberglass is molded on the roof (the Scamp has a two ridges that are about two feet apart that run down the center of the roof) I feel confident that that structure is strong enough to withstand some weight on top. I don't have an air conditioner, and don't know how much one weighs, but the roof must be designed to hold THAT weight.

I don't know much about the structure of a Boler. Does it have a flat roof?
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Old 12-04-2002, 10:35 AM   #12
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Winter storage

We currently have the Boler in the Garage. It's undeniably the best way to do things - if that's an option.

However - That may be changing in a couple months as there's a new toy that'll be crying even more for garage space. At that point it'll be a debate between the Boler and the convertable. If the Boler ends up finding its way out into the driveway, I haven't quite decided yet what to do. It'll definatly be covered. The quicky answer MAY be just to wrap it with a tarp and leave it at that. Not my favored option for all the reasons given by others above. I'm also concerned about snow load on the roof. I don't think I want to go to the expense of buying a prefab tarp 'garage' like above - but I might look into rigging some sort of support system for the tarp. I'm a big fan of PVC. Something that attached to the trailer itself (bumper and toungue), but held the tarp 6-12 inches off the trailer and had a pitch at the top for snow and ice. It would have to be torn down to actually MOVE the camper (well... to tow it - it could be MOVED in the driveway without touching it. :)

Mike
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Old 12-04-2002, 10:55 AM   #13
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Arched top to tarp

Mike, I also have been struggling with temp ideas. I put the tarp on when icing is a possiblity (like now), but leave the max air vent open on top and the side over the door is held up with tent stakes (awning style) this allows for circulation. Once the danger of snow and/or ice is over, I take it off.

I'm working on an idea to take two 2 x 4's and hinge them (one set for each end of the trailer) then take another 2x4 to use as a cross beam for the top (I'm working on an idea how to attach the pieces. What you would end up with is a giant saw horse (as we use to call them) that is secure but temporary. Easily put up and taken down.
It would touch the roof sides, but if an old blanket or such was used (it wouldn't be exposed to the elements) it would prevent chaffing, keep any weight off the roof, and would allow for ventilation.

Does that make sense?
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Old 12-04-2002, 11:32 AM   #14
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covering

Jean, I think a Bolers is not ridged on top like the Scamp. your probably right on that ridge adding strength for holding the load. I had read a post on another group where a Boler collapsed from snow load. I don't know how thick the snow or how old the trailer. it could have been in bad shape and cracking already or not. some one else said they saw a Boler with a post inside holding up the roof and questioned why. and It was to support snow loads when you can't get to it to clean it off every once in awhile. I have never heard of any other brand having a snow load problem, but it doesn't hurt to know and be aware. right? didn't mean to panic anyone. :red
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