To tarp or not to tarp? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-12-2016, 04:28 PM   #1
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To tarp or not to tarp?

I will be storing my boler on grass, should I put a tarp under it? Or should I just cut the grass really short?

The frame has been painted with rust inhibiting paint, so I am not too worried, but would like your opinions.
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Old 10-12-2016, 04:37 PM   #2
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I will be storing my boler on grass, should I put a tarp under it? Or should I just cut the grass really short?

The frame has been painted with rust inhibiting paint, so I am not too worried, but would like your opinions.
Well, the tarp will kill the grass so you won't have to worry about cutting it .
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Old 10-12-2016, 04:49 PM   #3
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If the tarp is the better option, I'm not to worried about the grass. I'd actually like to put interlocking stones there one day, but it isn't the season to start that project.
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Old 10-12-2016, 05:18 PM   #4
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If the frame has been painted, you say, with rust-inhibiting paint, I'd do nothing. Just inspect it in the spring for evidence of rust ( confident that you won't see any ). Cover any chipped paint with dabs of the same paint.
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Old 10-12-2016, 07:54 PM   #5
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Thanks, that's what I will do
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Old 10-13-2016, 07:18 AM   #6
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I learned in science that there is a water cycle. Rain falls and soaks in. Moisture in the ground evaporates.

A tarp blocks that cycle in both directions. Water will pool on top when it rains instead of soaking in. The underside of the tarp will collect and trap condensation from moisture in the soil.
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Old 10-13-2016, 07:51 AM   #7
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I would put it up on jackstands. You need to worry more about the tires than the frame! With the rubber sitting on the grass, it will cause them to deteriorate faster. My Scamp is on jackstands as I type. This keeps the tires off the ground. THIS winter for the first time, I'm pulling the wheels to keep the tires inside.
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Old 10-13-2016, 07:55 AM   #8
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I would put it up on jackstands. You need to worry more about the tires than the frame! With the rubber sitting on the grass, it will cause them to deteriorate faster. My Scamp is on jackstands as I type. This keeps the tires off the ground. THIS winter for the first time, I'm pulling the wheels to keep the tires inside.
For maximum longevity, you really should do a vacuum sealed UV resistant plastic wrap around each of your tires and store them in a temperature controlled environment.
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Old 10-13-2016, 10:21 AM   #9
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Park the unit on gravel if possible. Paving stones are better if you have them. Raise the unit on jack stands, the higher the better as it allows air the circulate under the unit so moisture doesn't accumulate. Never let the grass grow up under your unit, it will rust the suspension in just a few months. There is no such thing as rust proof paint, only rust inhibiting paint. Unless it was applied when the unit was new, it won't help much. Also, when the unit is towed the paint will be abraded exposing bare metal. Truck bed coating / gravel guard work better but must be applied to bare metal. Coating the metal with oil is a temporary solution. Direct sunlight (UV) is what rots your tires. Never tarp your unit unless you have a leak and fix the leak quickly so you can remove the tarp. A tarp won't keep moisture out but will trap it inside the unit, not only fostering rust but also mould.
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Old 10-13-2016, 10:24 AM   #10
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For maximum longevity, you really should do a vacuum sealed UV resistant plastic wrap around each of your tires and store them in a temperature controlled environment.
================================================== ===

Why not just do a vacuum wrap around the tires AND the trailer and store it in a temperature controlled environment ?

In Calif, I do the jacks, pavers under tires, covers over tires, light cover over trailer. AT 23 yrs old, it still looks pretty good.
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Old 10-13-2016, 03:57 PM   #11
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Keeping the area around and under the trailer free of long grass is essential. If you've ever seen an old vehicle that has been parked in a fence corner for a year or two, you'll know what I mean. Gravel, as has been said is probably best. Right now I'm not prepared to put gravel in my back yard. So I'll cut the grass really short, support the corners to take some weight off the wheels, and maybe put a tarp underneath this year. Because our Trillium is a hollow frame, I leave it a little bit nose down to be sure any moisture would drain.

Does the Boler have a hollow tube frame? If so, I'd say that the outside surface is your lessor concern. You can't paint the inside, but I had our Trillium frame Crown rust coated inside and out a few years ago and plan to do the same this. This is not an add and there are other choices. But it kept an old car of mine on the road and looking good years past its peers so I trust it.

Oh, if you do go the rustproofing route, bargain on price. Because you need only the frame done they should knock off at least 20%. Three years ago it cost me 70 dollars CDN.
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Old 10-13-2016, 06:02 PM   #12
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No tarp under/over trailer? Does this mean I shouldn't use the canvas trailer cover?
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Old 10-14-2016, 08:16 AM   #13
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I would NEVER EVER use a tarp OVER my Scamp. Why? They dont "breathe" and you can do more damage with a tarp than without.

Underneath? The reverse would apply. It would prevent moisture from the ground laying dormant beneath your trailer. I've never seen it done, but cant imagine what would be wrong with it...other than what's already been mentioned- it WILL kill the grass.

Where I store my trailer, the ground from side-to-side is slightly on a grade. I wound up digging out an area and filling it with gravel...just where the wheels sit. Now, when I back my Scamp in, it settles on the gravel and is automatically level side-to-side. I also use the 2" x 12 x 12 concrete "Stepping stones" (can get these at Lowe's, Home Depot, etc) under my jack stands. I did this when I was jacking up off the grass as well.

FWIW, dont worry about the tarp underneath...the RV alone will kill the grass anyway.

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No tarp under/over trailer? Does this mean I shouldn't use the canvas trailer cover?
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Old 10-14-2016, 08:34 AM   #14
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Place your trailer tires on some wooden planks to get them off the ground. I put a tarp over my trailer in the winter. The tarp covers the roof area and only comes down to the top of the windows / door . The tarp keeps leaves and pine needles off the roof and stops them from staining the gel coat plus I can easily
push the snow off the roof with a push broom without scratching up the gel coat. Never had a moisture problem.
The climate varies so much across the US that there is not one answer for everyone. I do give my entire trailer two coats of wax before winter to give it some protection from the weather.
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Old 10-14-2016, 09:49 AM   #15
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Whew - didn't think this would get so complex! Over: I picked up a "breathable" trailer cover some years ago. I leave a window and the roof vent open a crack. Never use poli-tarps to completely cover it or the inside will mold. I suspect the same might happen if you had it plastic wrapped. As for under, poli is probably okay. The key thing is minimum ground cover and plenty of ventilation. And rust proofing seems a good idea. Don't forget that these trailers have lasted for 40 or so years, probably in less than perfect conditions, so I'd say do what you can and what seems sensible and stop worrying about it!
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Old 10-14-2016, 09:57 AM   #16
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Randy- BIG difference in a "breathable" cover than a plain-ole plastic Tarp (non-breathing). Maybe it's complicated, but people that have never done this needs to know what can and HAS happened to trailers in the past. Many will complain of mold. I leave my windows/vent cracked on my Scamp under my Carport and I live in the cold in the winter and hot/humid in the summer south. I've NEVER had a hint of "mold/mildew" in my Scamp.

As far as a basic "tarp", has anyone ever been under one in southern sun?? For what it's worth, I too used a "cover" before I had my carport installed. It was aggravating enough that I made up my mind to put up a carport or I was selling my Scamp. That still applies.

Steve, what do you use to retain the tarp? I've seen campers use tarps and pull them down tight around the perimeter of the RV. I still WOULD NOT do that.

Also, with a cover, the RV needs to be THOROUGHLY cleaned or you can get some major scratching going on!



Quote:
Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
Place your trailer tires on some wooden planks to get them off the ground. I put a tarp over my trailer in the winter. The tarp covers the roof area and only comes down to the top of the windows / door . The tarp keeps leaves and pine needles off the roof and stops them from staining the gel coat plus I can easily
push the snow off the roof with a push broom without scratching up the gel coat. Never had a moisture problem.
The climate varies so much across the US that there is not one answer for everyone. I do give my entire trailer two coats of wax before winter to give it some protection from the weather.
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Old 10-14-2016, 10:15 AM   #17
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...these trailers have lasted for 40 or so years, probably in less than perfect conditions, so I'd say do what you can and what seems sensible and stop worrying about it!
Hear, hear!

Best thing you can do for your trailer in storage is to check on it regularly, so if anything does go awry, you can deal with it promptly.
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Old 10-14-2016, 10:34 AM   #18
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You don't want to trap moisture inside your unit. A trailer cover that breathes will keep debris off your unit and protect it from UV which is bad for fiber glass. That will work. A polymer tarp (plastic) may trap moisture which could cause corrosion and mould. This is not a good choice.
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Old 10-14-2016, 10:37 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Darral T. View Post
Randy- BIG difference in a "breathable" cover than a plain-ole plastic Tarp (non-breathing). Maybe it's complicated, but people that have never done this needs to know what can and HAS happened to trailers in the past. Many will complain of mold. I leave my windows/vent cracked on my Scamp under my Carport and I live in the cold in the winter and hot/humid in the summer south. I've NEVER had a hint of "mold/mildew" in my Scamp.

As far as a basic "tarp", has anyone ever been under one in southern sun?? For what it's worth, I too used a "cover" before I had my carport installed. It was aggravating enough that I made up my mind to put up a carport or I was selling my Scamp. That still applies.

Steve, what do you use to retain the tarp? I've seen campers use tarps and pull them down tight around the perimeter of the RV. I still WOULD NOT do that.

Also, with a cover, the RV needs to be THOROUGHLY cleaned or you can get some major scratching going on!
I hold the tarp in place by tying with soft nylon cords ,gallon plastic jugs filled with sand to the grommets on the tarp. This method allows the tarp to tent away from the sides of the trailer . The ropes are not tied to nor contact the trailer. I wash and put two coats of wax on the whole trailer before I install the tarp .
Due to space limitations, I can not construct a car port to shelter my trailer. I wash and wax my trailer in the Spring , Fall and once a month in the summer to protect the gel coat.
I am retired so I have the time to do regular maintenance .
I looked into renting a garage to store my trailer but rental facilities with 10 ft doors are rare in my area and expensive ($1000 / anum.)
I do what I need to do to protect my investment as best I can.
My 1999 Scamp was never waxed or covered by the previous owner and the gel coat definitely showed this lack of care and proper maintenance.
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Old 10-14-2016, 01:55 PM   #20
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I figured you write this back because you know how to do it. Keeping the tarp from "sealing" itself to the camper does let it "breathe" by air passing underneath to an extent! Good job!

While some choose not to "worry" about, I happen to be one that DOES and want to keep my Scamp looking as new as I can as long as I can. Your last line proves there IS a difference Steve...if you choose for it to be. So I consider it more of a concern for caring than "worry". When I go to campgrounds- and this happened about 3 weeks ago- and people say "I thought it was new.", then I know my efforts are paying off. If my Scamp ever starts to look "trashy" because of my lack of care/concern or what have you, it's history. But that's just me .

Quote:
Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
I hold the tarp in place by tying with soft nylon cords ,gallon plastic jugs filled with sand to the grommets on the tarp. This method allows the tarp to tent away from the sides of the trailer .

My 1999 Scamp was never waxed or covered by the previous owner and the gel coat definitely showed this lack of care and proper maintenance.
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