To cover, or not to cover - that is the question... - Dutchmen Owners

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Old 10-18-2012, 05:07 PM   #1
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Unhappy To cover, or not to cover - that is the question...

We just bought our first TT this summer - 2012 Aspen Trail 2710BH and we LOVE it! Much nicer than the Fleetwood Utah PUP we started with.

Now that we've invested in a brand new toy and winter is approaching, we're getting inundated with flyers from Camping World regarding sales on covers. We didn't cover the PUP and did end up having water damage, but I think that had more to do with whatever the previous owner backed the trailer into at that specific corner.

So back to my question - cover or not? My thought process is this - I live in Northern Illinois and NONE of the dealers cover their inventory for the winter. They've got hundreds of thousands invested and don't protect it - why should I?

I'm open to any and all feedback as I truly want to protect my investment. Thanks!
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Old 10-18-2012, 06:34 PM   #2
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Re: To cover, or not to cover - that is the question...

Good question, and one that I'm sure will illicit much pro and con dialogue.

Personally, I have never covered mine. I live in a very wet climate with rain almost every day of the winter. My feeling. and that of most dealers, is that the rubber membrane that is used to roof trailers is the same as that which roofs many houses. It is UV protected and waterproof.

RV dealers don't need to cover their inventory because simply, they won't have it long enough for a problem to occur. The unit have not been bouncing around on the highway or down gravel roads so all the caulking will (should) be intact.

The only difference between a house roof and an RV roof is the movement breaking the sealants. If you properly maintain these seals you should not have to cover your RV.

That being said, there are other reasons to cover. If you or your neighbours use a wood burning stove you will be protecting your RV from the black streaks caused when the wood smoke condenses in cool, humid air and settles on your RV. Covering will keep algae growth down on your roof and all covers such as vents, AC, fridge, etc. In areas of high snow covers may also help to keep snow/water penetration into said vents.

So, I too will watch this thread with interest to see other viewpoints on this topic.
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Old 10-18-2012, 09:49 PM   #3
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Re: To cover, or not to cover - that is the question...

I have had 5ers for many years and never have covered. I live in Northwest Ohio and we get bad winter weather also. I know there are pros and cons, but I was told it isn't the weather as much as the UV which is worse in the summer. I also have seen where moisture gets under covers and you get mildew. This happened to two TT next to me. I do cover the tires and have been told if you Re parking on grass to use wood. If on gravel or pavement, you don't need it.
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Old 10-18-2012, 11:11 PM   #4
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Re: To cover, or not to cover - that is the question...

We live in Southern BC about 4 hours North of Washington State and BC border. Personally we have never covered our trailer as I see no reason to. . It will interesting to see what others do.

Take care

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Old 10-19-2012, 12:29 AM   #5
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Re: To cover, or not to cover - that is the question...

I'm not covering mine,but i am going to park it on wood because it's in a grass storage lot. Will also put covers on the Tire's & a cover on the AC unit on the roof if i can find one..

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Old 10-19-2012, 01:47 AM   #6
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Re: To cover, or not to cover - that is the question...

A friend of mine covered his last year by our shed. The wind caused the 4 corners of the cover to tear where the roof meets the sidewalls. And the only place he had mice was under one of the tire covers. I, on the other hand, put mine in our shed... But up until I had the shed I never covered our trailer. I figure the dealers don't cover all of theirs...
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Old 10-19-2012, 01:47 PM   #7
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Re: To cover, or not to cover - that is the question...

Just an addendum to my comment.

Don't use a tarp to cover your RV as the wind lufting under it will cause wear on the rubber membrane roof. If you do cover be sure to buy a properly made, fitted cover.
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Old 10-19-2012, 03:42 PM   #8
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Re: To cover, or not to cover - that is the question...

We had an Adco cover for our previous rig but we used it to keep the sun off the roof and caulking. They aren't waterproof, so I really don't see the need to cover in the winter.

The membrane is usually good for 12 years without doing anything to it but cleaning occasionally. The big thing is checking on the caulking around all the seems.
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Old 10-19-2012, 07:54 PM   #9
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Re: To cover, or not to cover - that is the question...

Thanks for all of the great feedback. I already have wheel covers - I happen to work for Weber so our 18" charcoal grill covers work great as tire covers too! Sounds like tire covers & AC cover are all I need. I extended our concrete drive to accomodate our PUP so she has a concrete bed for the winter months. Gonna try to get one more trip in before the snow flies. Thanks again everyone!
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Old 01-25-2013, 05:51 PM   #10
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Hi.
We have a 2012 261BH Denali, and it currently wears a cover for the down time in the winter months. I agree with both sides of this discussion. Dealers don't cover inventory mainly because covering 50 - 100 RVs just isn't realistic, they will not have the inventory long (in their thinking) so why cover them. I do feel that covering your RV with a roof structure is the best case, but a fabric cover that is intended for storage of your TT, has alot of benefits. I check on our trailer frequently and find that it is as clean now as the day I put the cover on. The rain water beads off the fabric very well and I have found no amount of moisture under it worth mentioning. The dust and dirt in the air is not streaking on the outside surface, and leaves etc. don't stain. The proper covers from Adco for instance breathe very well and are intended to be used to combat UV and environmental damage. I would ultimately like to have a roof structure over ours along with the cover, but for now just the cover seems to be working well. IMO of course.
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Old 01-28-2013, 08:25 PM   #11
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Congrats on the TT, we own the exact same one. I don't cover it, the dealer recommended against it. He said he sees more damage from covers than any protection. Plus I've got solar panels on the roof so I want them uncovered.
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Old 01-30-2013, 01:05 AM   #12
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hey ralphie boy welcome im from south il new lenox actually ,me and wife bought new dutchmen came with covers for air cond propane etc. but my wife wanted in storage anyways better safe than sorry. where do you live in il.
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Old 01-31-2013, 03:28 AM   #13
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We used to cover our hybrid but with our new 33 foot Aspen Trail we decided not to cover. I have a good friend who used to sell RVs and he said to not cover them. Just cover the wheels and cover the AC unit. None of his service guys covered their units either. Actually they saw more units come in with damage from being covered than units coming in from damage from not being covered. RVs are designed to be outside. We don't cover our houses in the winter why cover the RV.
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Old 02-05-2013, 04:24 AM   #14
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We cover ours

We have a 2007 Aerolite 30BHSS and keep ours covered most of the time. Reason? The only place we can park it is under a pine tree which drips sap most of the year, and especially in the summer. Also, I like keeping the graphics looking nice (they flaked off of our last TT) and this is a simple way of keeping the sun off them.

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Old 02-05-2013, 05:56 PM   #15
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I had a 1998 King of the Road Royalite 5er that I bought a cover for. It was such a hassle to get on and off, I put it away and never used it. So I left my 5er to the elements. The big problem was chalking of the roof, the skylights got brittle and the AC covers were destoyed. Those are the visible damages. Where the hidden damages come in, are the trim strips around roof edges of the roof and slides. The tracks the vinyl strips fit in to cover the screws. These are not waterproof. water gets behind the vinyl and rusts out the screw heads. Eventually water leaks into the sidewalls and will rot them out.
My fix was to replace all these screws with stainless steel screws caulking each one.
I bought a Dutchmen Komfort last year and replaced all outside screws with stainless. I also had a carport erected to park my new 5er under with sides that came down 4 feet. The sun here on the Gulf Coast is brutal and it's worth the extra cost to protect my investment.
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