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What Are the Different Types of RV Covers?

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  • Written By: Anna B. Smith
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 19 September 2016
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The different types of RV covers include fabric barriers, carports, and poll barns. Each structure adds an increased level of protection and security from damaging weather elements. Fabric barriers can be purchased from online suppliers and placed over the vehicle in a few hours. Carports may be purchased from local suppliers in a kit form and constructed over several days. Poll barns typically require professional assembly and may need several weeks to install and cure before using.

Motorhomes allow travelers to take the comforts and amenities of home with them onto the open road. They are available in four standard sizes ranging from Class A motorized carriages, which can be driven, to towing trailers which are hitched to the back of a truck or SUV with towing capabilities. Class B and C motorhomes are motorized, but sit on a van body and are lower in weight than Class A. The purchase of this type of vehicle often represents a large financial investment, and care and maintenance generally exceeds that required for a compact car. RV covers play a large role in prolonging the life of this type of investment by protecting the finish on the vehicle from sun and weather damage, and blocking water from seeping into the interior.

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The least expensive style of RV covers are fabric barriers. Owners can begin selecting the right size of cover by measuring their RV personally to determine its height, length, and width. Real RV dimensions often differ slightly from the manufacturer's specifications. Covers for Class B, C, and towing trailers are available in several universal sizes, and are pulled over the vehicle from end to end, similar to a compact car cover. Class A sized covers, which can protect campers over 30 feet (9 meters) long, are rolled across the roof of the structure and lowered over the sides in panels, which allow for air circulation around the motorhome when it is covered.

Fabric RV covers may be placed on the vehicle any time it is parked in one location for a period of several days or more. They are most commonly used when the motorhome is in storage outside the owner's full time house. Many covers also include door and window panels so that the vehicle may be used recreationally while covered. Sun and weather damage are minimized, and the interior temperature of the RV can be regulated without the use of air conditioning or artificial heat.

Canopy tarps and carports can also be utilized as RV covers. These structures provide a canvas, plastic, or galvanized steel roof that sits atop four to six posts. Pricing is based on the materials used, and tends to be higher than that of the canvas fabric barriers. This type of structure has the added benefit of allowing owners to drive their vehicles and RV directly beneath the structure and access any portion of the home without moving awkward and often heavy fabric. Protection from weathering elements is also greater than that which is achieved with fabric.

A fully enclosed shed or poll barn is the most secure type of protection and coverage available for motorhomes. The cost of installing the size of structure which can accommodate the long and tall body of an RV is significant in comparison with the pricing of a carport or fabric barrier. Poll barns are typically set on a professionally poured and cured concrete slab. Roofing and siding materials range from vinyl to galvanized steel depending on the owner's preference.

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