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Old 09-21-2021, 07:14 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2020
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Winter Storage - Cover vs. No Cover ?

This is our first winter in Madison, Wisconsin (we were full timers for the last year), and we now need to put our 2019 30' Keystone Cougar TT in outdoor storage soon. I am planning to get the roof cleaned and re-sealed at a dealership prior to storage and I am fairly confident with my own skills to winterize the unit (water systems, batteries, varmints....) When we purchased the unit used, it came with a cover, that we have never used. I have been told to expect prolonged below freezing temps and "permanent" snow coverage for six months or more here in the Madison area.

My questions: What are the Pros / Cons for using a cover? What do most folk do? What is recommended by the Mfg? Any other tips for long term cold storage?
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Old 09-21-2021, 07:27 AM   #2
travelin texans
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This topic has been discussed at length several times, a search for "rv covers" should pull up at least one.
I will say that I've never read anything by any manufacturer about using, or not using, a cover & have NEVER seen a RV covered at a dealership or at any of the factories we've toured.
Personally my opinion is NO COVER, too much expense, trouble & danger of a fall.
Danny & Linda
Full-timed 10+ years
Sold '13 Redwood FB
Traded '13 GMC Denali DRW D/A
Currently rv & truckless
Replacement undetermined
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Old 09-21-2021, 07:32 AM   #3
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We live in a "similar climate in northern Michigan. In 2009 we bought a small fifth wheel and stored it "under a canvas cover" the first winter. In the spring, we delayed our planned trip to south Texas because we couldn't get the cover off the trailer. It was frozen around everything on the roof until all the snow/ice melted. So, if you have plans for the spring that include the trailer, either don't cover it or change your reservations. You won't be towing until the ice melts.

The second - fifth years, I contracted to store it indoors in an old abandoned manufacturing plant. Cost was $10 per foot for 6 months. That worked out to aroun $250-260 per year. Then, in the sixth year, we built a pole barn specifically to store the boat and the trailer. It's been stored at home, inside every winter since.

If you plan to use the trailer in the spring, don't cover it. If the cover is not a "well fitting, undamaged cover, don't cover it. If you do cover it, keep a close eye on the cover to keep it tight so the wind doesn't blow the loose flaps against the roof and sidewalls. That movement is just like sand paper and will damage/destroy the roof and sidewalls.

Then, there's the "homeless vermin" that will take advantage of the "warm, dry tent" you provided them for their winter retreat..... They'll love you so much that they likely will leave you lots of spare food for your first trip, maybe even some extra bedding and of course, the residue from their winter long party.....

If you haven't guessed, my "vote" is to leave it uncovered with a good coat of wax and a "springtime wash" to restore the "luster".

2015 F250 6.7l 4x4
2014 Cougar X Lite 27RKS
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Old 09-21-2021, 04:00 PM   #4
Ronnie Ro
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Camper cover

I also need to cover my camper because of trees an turning the roof black . Only problem is I have to be careful walking on it and it's will be hard putting the cover on without getting up there. Saying that, will a cover hurt or damage the roof or anything?
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Old 09-21-2021, 06:20 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Ronnie Ro View Post
I also need to cover my camper because of trees an turning the roof black . Only problem is I have to be careful walking on it and it's will be hard putting the cover on without getting up there. Saying that, will a cover hurt or damage the roof or anything?
If the cover is secure to the roof so it doesn't billow or move/scrape the roof and sidewalls, if the cover is padded or the plastic projections on the roof (gutter extensions, etc) are protected so they don't puncture the cover and the cover doesn't break them when the wind blows, if the cover is properly secured so the wind can't get under it and billow it, if there is no need to get into the trailer where there's no "zippered access" and if the cover is not touching the ground (no direct access for mice, voles and other critters) to access your trailer, then you should be OK.

Remember, the roof does not support mold or mildew, but the cover does.

2015 F250 6.7l 4x4
2014 Cougar X Lite 27RKS
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Old 09-23-2021, 08:47 AM   #6
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Personally I’m not fond of RV covers.. we’ve owned several different brands since 1975 and never cover them..

Our current Alpine is now 8 years old and has been through some stout winters with temps down to -12 at times.

I do keep the kitchen window cracked open to allow for exchange of air and on a sunny day even with snow on the ground I open the RV up, extend the slides and lower the awning to dry off to prevent mildew..

We do keep the tires covered when stored at the house to minimize UV deterioration of the tires

2007 GMC Classic club cab 4x4 Duramax LBZ
2014 Alpine 3010 RE. 34 foot fifth wheel
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Old 09-23-2021, 09:22 AM   #7
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Well I’m gonna be the odd man out here…maybe to my regret…I purchased a “RV Masking” brand fifth wheel 5 or 6 layer cover…it was around $450 I believe.
I got tired of seeing the sun beat down on my rv.. put it on a couple of weeks ago.

I have a pretty good layer of wax on it but I figure even if I use it between trips when the days are longer and the sun is hotter I may be able to keep my fifth wheel looking good.
I hate the thought of it fading
It fit pretty good and seems good quality
Will cover it at least until Christmas

Will probably take it off January thru March …days are pretty short and the sun isn’t as brutal… so it won’t freeze to it preventing a last minute getaway …will experiment with it…going on a trip next month so I will know how it is working so far.
It was pretty easy to install …took me and dw about 30 min for the first time

Plan on building onto my garage for a carport next year
2020 Cougar 315 RLS
2020 Ram 3500 6.7HO 4.10 Dually Aisin
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Old 09-23-2021, 09:32 AM   #8
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JRTJH hit every nail right on the head!

If you are still planning on using the cover, you need to make sure it's prepped before hoisting it up on the roof.

Lay it down flat on the ground, outside roof facing up.
Now, pull one side over the roof so side is actually inside out laying on the roof.
Now, pull the other side over the roof and the other side already inside out, so now, the second side is inside out.
Now, tuck both ends over inside out sides and top.
Now, fold the cover in 3rds, starting on one side. Fold 1/3 (long way) over.
Now, fold the other side over the side you just folded. It is also 1/3 long way.
What you have now is everything folded up long way 1/3rd of 8 feet (wide).
Now, either start from the "front" of the cover, or start from the rear of the cover and begin rolling it up to the other end. Just remember where you actually ended up. The end of roll will either be the front or back.
Now, you are ready to hoist the cover on the roof.

Depending on how you rolled it, either front to back, or back to front, lay the end on the appropriate end and place the roll in the middle of the roof.
Now, unroll it, either front to back, or back to front.
Once it is unrolled completely, drop both ends over the ends.
What you are now doing is unfolding it from it's reversed position to its normal position.
Once unrolled, front and rear lowered, lower the last side folded and drop it over the side of the trailer. Now, do the same on the other side. All the sides will drop in place.

At the end of the Winter season, you can fold the cover back up again (inside out) on the roof the camper. Simply pull one side up at at time, then the other, then fold both sides to the middle in 1/3rds again and roll up front to back, or back to front. Just remember which way you do it, so you'll know where to place it next year.

I always rolled mine back to front, so I knew to always start from the front. But that was just me.

Just for what it's worth, I don't cover any more. We use the camper too much in the Winter months and removing that beast with frozen ice IS impossible. Replacing it back again in sub-zero weather is a hospital visit waiting to happen.

This was 2 campers ago. Our last 2 trailers simply got too long. Way too much work to put covers on them, especially my current fifth wheel... way too long, way too tall.

2019 Montana High Country 375FL Fifth Wheel
2014 Chevy Duramax HD 6.6 - 3500 Diesel Dully Long bed Crew Cab
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cover, storage, winter

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