How effective are covers? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-12-2019, 02:56 PM   #1
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Name: Bob
Trailer: Bigfoot 17G
Oregon
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How effective are covers?

I live on the OR coast where it is cold and wet and, often, windy almost all winter and I don't have an inside storage option available. I am considering using a cover but am concerned about how well one will hold up as well as how well it will keep out moisture.

I know covers for my trailer range from about $200 for an entry level to around $600 for a Callmark

I'd appreciate any knowledge about this gained from real world experiences.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 12-12-2019, 03:06 PM   #2
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Name: Glenn ( second 'n' is silent )
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British Columbia
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I live in Vancouver, B.C. which is at least as wet as you. My trailer has sat outside, under a cedar tree for ten years. All it needs is a good coat of wax to stay bright. In between waxing ( once or twice a year ), I wash with Simonize Wash 'N' Wax.

It will get grungy, but a bit of a wash and polish will take care of that.
I think those who live where the sun shines have an issue with UV, but we don't have that problem.
And, I always ask, "how do you clean your cover"?
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Old 12-12-2019, 03:52 PM   #3
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Name: Al
Trailer: Scamp
North Carolina
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Northeastern NC - We've had a Calmark on our 01 Scamp 19 since purchasing it back in 2010. The cover is still in good shape and seems to do a reasonable job of protectcting the camper. I'd buy again.

Edit - Our lot is heavily wooded and the Scamp is parked under several large oaks and loblolly pine.
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Old 12-12-2019, 06:09 PM   #4
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Name: Gordon
Trailer: 2015 Scamp (16 Std Layout 4) with '15 Toyota Sienna LE Tug
North Carolina
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I am often bemused when I see so many people in the far north who seem to think they absolutely must cover their camper in winter, and keep the snow off as well.

IMHO a cover is much more beneficial where the sunlight (UV) is intense. The less sunlight, the less UV damage is done. So a cover is not as helpful in the far north in winter as it would be the south in summer (assuming the same length of storage). Sunlight will degrade the gel coat and age the plastic and rubber, including the tires. After leaks, its the sunlight that tends to damage these campers the most (IMHO). Again, IMHO, that is the protection that a FBRV really needs - from sunlight.

Also a bad cover is clearly worse than none at all. Loose fitting ones abrade the finish, trap moisture, etc. A good one fits well and breathes. A garage is best, carport is almost as good, and after there we can have a debate. Of course if its parked under a pine tree with dripping sap, or the like, then a cover sounds like a necessity.

As for snow, there is the concern about the weight on the roof.. but a little snow wont hurt and might even protect the finish some from UV rays.
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Old 12-12-2019, 06:22 PM   #5
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Trailer: casita
Washington
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Gotta agree with Glenn. I live a few miles north of the Columbia River on the coast...lots of rain. Our Casita sits outside and has since 2013. It does get a little grubby but....a good wash and a good yearly wax keeps her looking good. I think a cover would be of little help....don't recommend it.
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Old 12-12-2019, 06:29 PM   #6
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Name: Gordon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al and Cindy K View Post
Northeastern NC - We've had a Calmark on our 01 Scamp 19 since purchasing it back in 2010. ....
Gee.. you should really consider removing the cover for a short time and taking the camper on a trip! Nine years is a long time to be in storage

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Old 12-12-2019, 06:45 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by gordon2 View Post
Gee.. you should really consider removing the cover for a short time and taking the camper on a trip! Nine years is a long time to be in storage


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Old 12-14-2019, 07:57 AM   #8
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Name: bill
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19; 1977 Trillium 1300
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+10 Its the damage from the sun (assuming your trailer does not have leaks).

Here in the SE, under cover is important. I much prefer a carport or garage, as covers can wear spots on a trailer if you are not careful. When I met a fellow Escape 19 owner with a 2014 (mine is 2013), his was badly oxidized, mine looks like new. He asked what I used to polish my trailer. A carport. His has been sitting outside when not in use. Huge difference.

The erected on site carports can be had for about $1000 and up depending on size, etc. You can put them directly on dirt or gravel, so in some localities they are not considered a permanent structure due to no foundation. Depends on where you live.
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Old 12-14-2019, 09:30 AM   #9
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Name: Harry
Trailer: Parkliner
Virginia
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I have and use a cover for my Parkliner here in Virginia. The cover came with the camper unused as the widow seller could not get it on by herself. My first try at putting it over the camper took three people. Now I can do it by myself and a long rope. I start at the front so the tongue holds that end. The rope is tied to the rear of the cover and thrown over the roof from front to back in the middle. Then I pull the cover up and over the camper in the middle. Once the rear end is at the back, I tie off the rope to the bumper and pull the sides down over the camper.
That said, is it worth it? I have no control to compare to, but I have noticed the following: The camper still gets dirty underneath the cover. Heat still comes through enough that the aluminum frame of the escape hatch gets hot. In warm weather, I leave the windows cracked. Bottom line, I will continue to use the cover, but probably would not buy one if I did not have one already.
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Old 12-18-2019, 11:10 AM   #10
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Name: Scott
Indiana
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Gordon touched on a great point. Make sure you get a breathable cover. Compare it to a non-breathable jacket,,,you'll sweat,,,same with your camper. We offer covers for just the roof as well as covers for complete coverage. Merry Christmas, Scott, Northwest Indiana
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Old 12-18-2019, 12:04 PM   #11
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Name: George
Trailer: Scamp 13 '
OH
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The key is keeping the sun off the bugger. Sun will do more damage to fiberglass than rain or snow. I purchased the cover for my 13 foot Scamp when I bought the thing, they took $100 off the price, and I am very pleased with it.
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Old 12-18-2019, 12:14 PM   #12
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Name: Wayne
Trailer: Casita
Connecticut
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Hi All,
I purchased a used Calmark cover for my 2014 Casita. The gentleman from Texas I purchased it from said he used his trailer so often it was a pain putting it on and taking it off so often. I am most concerned with UV damage. I found the Calmark to be a quality cover and I am happy with its quality and performance. I leave a couple of windows cracked and the roof vent open slightly.
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Old 12-18-2019, 12:49 PM   #13
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Name: Greg
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If you use one of those cloth trailer covers, be careful to pad the "rub spots" and also to weigh it down in several places around the bottom, or you'll get chafing damage on the gel coat where the cover rubs on it, especially if you live in a windy area. After a while, with the airborne grit and dust in the air that you can't keep out, that fabric starts to act more like sandpaper than protection. And, as others have said, I also keep mine under a metal carport cover when not travelling, but by Spring, it still looks like it was parked under a tree all Winter from all the stuff that blows into the carport with all the stormy windy weather. Keep it waxed, and, come Spring, just give it a good wash job. I fully agree that the sun will do more damage to the fiberglass than the winter weather will.
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Old 12-19-2019, 08:21 AM   #14
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Name: richard
Trailer: "In the market"
South Carolina
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shelter logic

For just a touch more than a cover, I purchased a 'garage' from shelter logic. Quick to set up, keeps things dry, and so far, has stood up to some pretty stout wind storms. Just make sure to firmly anchor to the ground.
https://www.northerntool.com/shop/to...6690_200596690
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Old 12-19-2019, 10:06 AM   #15
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Name: Steve
Trailer: Lite House
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tarpkir View Post
For just a touch more than a cover, I purchased a 'garage' from shelter logic. Quick to set up, keeps things dry, and so far, has stood up to some pretty stout wind storms. Just make sure to firmly anchor to the ground.
https://www.northerntool.com/shop/to...6690_200596690
That's cheap... if you can get even a few years out of it I think it is worth it. Unfortunately I don't have room for that.
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Old 12-19-2019, 12:32 PM   #16
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Name: Ed
Trailer: Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe
Washington
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobblangley View Post
I live on the OR coast where it is cold and wet and, often, windy almost all winter and I don't have an inside storage option available. I am considering using a cover but am concerned about how well one will hold up as well as how well it will keep out moisture.

I know covers for my trailer range from about $200 for an entry level to around $600 for a Callmark

I'd appreciate any knowledge about this gained from real world experiences.

Thanks in advance.
From Seattle here. We have a Casita 17SD and because we cannot have a carport covering our Casita and we park under power lines, we use a Calmark Cover since we bought ours in 2010. Between the tree pollen and the overhead power wires, our trailer can get pretty dirty just sitting. So every fall we put the cover on and then remove it in the spring. For us, it reduces the amount of washing and waxing we have to do. Our Casita looks showroom shiny in part because of it. We tent our cover over the top of our Casita utilizing an 8 foot board centered along the top, so it sheds water very well. We wax once a year and wash after extensive trips. Works for us, your results may vary.

Given your location on the Oregon Coast, you might be interested in coming to the Bandon Gathering of fiberglass trailers organized through this website and the Casita Forum. This coming year 2020, it is the weekend of July 25th and 26th. It will be held at Bullards Beach State Park. This is a well attended outing so it gets booked pretty early. You might have to go to the Oregon State Park website and check often for a cancellation if you are interested.
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