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Old 04-02-2020, 06:03 PM   #1
crk112
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TT cover

"No way, we don't need a cover", I said. "It's parked indoors in the heat in winter and it's plugged in with A/C in the hot part of summer, when would I use a cover?", I said.

By last weekend we'd already hit 60 degrees here just outside Minneapolis, with no more freezing temps on the 10-day forecast. I had a great opportunity for some extra manpower to get the TT out of storage on Sunday, so I took it. I should have practiced what I preach... don't trust the forecast more than 2-3 days out, it's never accurate!


Just my luck, now the forecast says starting tonight we'll have rain, ice, sleet, snow through tomorrow night with the temps falling to about 20F.


I'm admittedly quite, er, careful (read: paranoid). I don't like exposing the camper to freezing temps more than I have to, especially when frozen precip will be involved.

So my anxiety is up a bit... combine that with a little bit of covid cabin fever, and I've now realized a use for all my tarps.

Today I decided I'll be buying a real TT cover this year.
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Old 04-02-2020, 09:06 PM   #2
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Trailer will be fine. I have camped in 0 degree weather with 5ft of snow in a week. Was fun!
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Old 04-02-2020, 09:07 PM   #3
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Just FYI they are designed to be used OUTDOORS!!!!
What do you do during camping season if it begins to rain?
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Old 04-03-2020, 02:13 AM   #4
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I would say that a tarp moves much more than a soft RV cover. I had a seam on my roof rubbed raw from a tarp in the wind and gave me a leak from my roof. I would rather leave uncovered vs. using a tarp ever again!
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Old 04-03-2020, 06:04 AM   #5
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Using a plastic tarp is a no no on an rv. As mentioned they are abrasive but they also are impermeable so they trap moisture IN as well as keep rain out. Wrap a bowl of food in plastic wrap and stick it in the fridge, remember the condensation the forms?

Heat can also be an issue. You can build a "green house" with those plastic tarps and in full sun they can absorb and retain a lot of heat.

Personally I think the RV we have was built to be used outside. If I was going to use it undercover then I'd buy a condo somewhere. It's not a valuable rare automobile that may increase in value. It's an RV that rapidly depreciates in value from the moment you sign the papers so in a few you years you could have a perfectly preserved "worthless" RV that will only be appreciated by you and the person that buys it from you for little more than an RV that is well used.

JMHO
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Old 04-03-2020, 07:37 AM   #6
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Blue plastic tarps are "the worst idea yet" for any RV protection. The forum is filled with posts describing how the brass grommets wore paint off the sides of the RV, how tarps "billowing in the wind" destroyed the TPO roof, how trying to tie down the tarp to prevent billowing actually broke the plastic components on the roof, how the tarp caught the TV antenna and the wind ripped it out of the roof, leaving holes that allowed rain to flow into the trailer.....

Those are just a few "quickies that come to mind" that have been posted in the past. There are hundreds of other situations detailed on this forum. THEN, there's every other forum that addresses "covering RV's with blue tarps"... They all reach the same conclusion....

Looking at your photos, it's apparent that your drip spouts are not protected and that the tarp is already "billowing" which sets up the real probability of greater damage from using the tarp than from leaving the trailer outside "unprotected by good intentions" that will probably "go way wrong"...…

If you can't tell from the above, I'm "hard over on the DON'T USE A TARP" list.....
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Old 04-03-2020, 12:52 PM   #7
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I guess I should have been clearer... this was a 48 hour solution to keep the abundance of water off the roof before it freezes into ice... inside all the cracks and crevices. Water expands when it freezes into ice, turning the tiniest of "nonissue" cracks into a big problem. Up north if you look at the roads, watch how the cracks get bigger and bigger every year... water getting in, freezing, expanding, pushing them out. Do you want that happening to your TT?



Obviously I don't care about water touching the camper. I love being out in the rain with it. But I'll take every precaution I can to avoid ice and snow on it. Ice and snow destroys everything else we leave outside up here, and from what I understand the water seals are critical on these.



The bottom line of my post was "oh rats I got caught with my pants down because I never bought a cover, now I have to resort to a tarp to get me through the next 48 hours, and this year I'm buying a cover so I never have to do it again". DW and I got a kick out of it.
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Old 04-03-2020, 04:35 PM   #8
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Our first winter in northern Michigan, I covered our trailer with a commercial RV cover. As the snow/ice formed on the cover, it essentially "locked the RV under it". In the spring, there was no way to remove the "frozen to the TPO/roof structures" without either breaking something or ripping the roof off the trailer along with the cover....

Your "good intentions" of protecting it for 48 hours" likely would freeze that ice on top of the tarp, the condensation under the tarp would freeze it to the TPO and if you got "lucky" it would all defrost before you tried to remove the tarp. Otherwise, the water that turns to ice is still "condensing under the tarp" and doing the same type damage you're trying to avoid...

Take a drive some rainy day, count the number of RV's you find around your neighborhood and at every RV dealership in your area that have any protection at all. If there was a "potential for problems based on history and experience of owners and dealers" then every one of them would be "protected during freezing rain"... They aren't, because it's not the problem you imagine it to be.
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Old 04-05-2020, 06:48 AM   #9
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I appreciate everyone's input and (I think) willingness to help... constructive criticism is still constructive, so I will swallow my pride and just try to learn from this.
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Old 04-05-2020, 08:32 AM   #10
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If you want to "protect something" from condensation, freezing rain, water intrusion, you'd probably be money ahead by focusing on the "A frame electrical stuff". Between the 7 pin umbilical connector wired into a galvanized box full of holes, the break away connector wired with crimp on connectors, those "not water resistant" 12 VDC mini-breakers and ground cables "screwed into the front bulkhead (behind the propane tanks), there's enough "built to fail" electrical wiring that's ripe for corrosion and failure to keep you busy for days.....

When that's done, crawl under your trailer, look at the wheelwells. If they're covered with DARCO (cheap plastic tarp) you're "ripe for floor rot"....

Spend your money on things that will make a difference in trailer longevity. A "high tech canvas cover" isn't really a part of that loop......
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Old 04-05-2020, 12:11 PM   #11
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From AK I have had up to 18" of snow and ice on the roof of my TT I try to keep as much snow off as possible during the Alaskan winter. 3 years and no leaks inspect in the spring and fall make sure there are no leaks. The only leak I have had was at a gutter joint right above the door not due to ice and snow. See my albums. What John said I would be more worried about the A frame area and wiring. Consider yourself fortunate to have heated storage for the winter.
BTW my son works for the local Winnebago dealer here and they have about 200 rental units that sit outside all winter and are not covered
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