Cover an RV in wet areas?

I’m looking for opinions about covering my new trailer for the winter. I live in the very damp Pacific Northwest and it is wet here all winter long. It will rain now till spring and we’ll probably get 2 weeks of snow.

If I put a cover on, it will keep the direct rain and snow off of it but the air is so damp that it could cause mold under the cover.

Do they have breathable covers? Maybe that would help. I had similar issues when I parked my motorcycle outdoors.

^ This.

It comports with my old m/c practice and understanding, and …

My FIL died a while back, leaving an RV. Central NY. Muggy. The family asked me about a cover. Conventional wisdom still says it had better be breathable or you’re buying lots more problems than you’re preventing.

Some would argue that some sort of erstwhile ‘canopy’ might be the best, keeping rain and sun off of the roof, but nothing else.

Any moisture that gets in (even high ambient humidity) needs a way out, or … big trouble.

It’s a spore subject for me. It also tends to remind me that I’mold :wink:

I have the original cover that it came with. I don’t know if it’s breathable but maybe because it’s meant for it, it is? I thought about waiting for a (rare) day without rain and taking my leaf blower to it to get it as dry as possible and then putting the cover on. I could also just get a big tarp and put that over it but we also get terrible wind storms here that would probably just rip it off.

If you try that original cover, I would think you could pretty quickly and easily determine if it’s breathable. On a dry day, after a day or three of humidity or a few hours of rain, peel that cover back.

If the RV surface is damp or wet underneath the cover, then the cover is probably not breathable enough.

I don’t know if there are actual metrics to evaluate breathability (of course there’s a test and a metric. See link below) but you just don’t want to trap water against the surface (meaning you’re also trapping it in the RV and probably letting the thing self-destruct) for any longer than you can possibly avoid.

I mean … surface issues aside … you could probably put a dehumidifier on the interior and run the drain hose out through some sort of aperture … if you wanted to put that much into it.

Rather than a “cover” I think what you want is more of a sunshade or a tent. Try this idea on for size, particularly the pix in the top row:

Keep the direct precipitation off it and keep the sun (yeah, what little there is) off it but promote near normal air circulation.

I think I’ll try this. Put the cover on and keep checking it for moisture issues. I do have those crystal things (Drizair) that dry the air in it. My dad always had them in his boats and he always swore by them.

A nickel’s worth of anecdotal …

I enjoy YouTube videos from a channel called Slim Potatohead. He’s an RV’er.

He says the canister/countertop dehumidifier products are shite, but that the ones that have a built-in clothes hanger and gather water in an attached plastic bag at the bottom … work really well.

Good luck !

I also live in the wettest corner of Oregon. You should cover your trailer, not necessarily from the rain but from the tree needles and other crap that will blow in and settle on the roof. This stuff will corrode the seams and paint much quicker than the rain. Unless you have plans to get up on the roof and clean it, wax or seal it, each year, you should cover it.

Yeah I live smack dab in the middle of the Vancouver Island rainforest and there are needles and crap galore!

Long time RV-er here. The sun and tree effluvia are probably more harmful than just water. How expensive is covered storage in your area? In my region it’s expensive in town, but 50-80 miles away it drops to $45.00/month. Even if you have an effective and breathable soft cover, it will begin deteriorating at some point and need replaced.

Having owned 6 campers so far, my opinion is that covered storage will usually pay for itself. The last camper I left out in the elements needed new vents, furnace/fridge outlet covers, along with patching the roof coating within 6 years (I bought it brand new). If you have a modern one with “skylights”, expect those to deteriorate rapidly as well.

It might be worth looking a ways out of town for cheap covered storage.

I live in Portland and have had an Adco cover on my RV every winter for the past 10 years. They are breathable, which means they don’t keep the water out, but they do provide debris and UV protection. Some dirt does get through, of course. The upside is that my RV looks nearly new.

I hadn’t even thought about this. I’m going to check it out right now.

Good luck. The cheapest I could find around Portland is about $300/mo for covered storage. The new cover I ordered this year is custom made for my rig and was $714. ADCO makes generic covers that are much cheaper than that, and it’s what I used to have. It finally rotted to pieces after ten years.

If you have a cover with a little extra room under it I’m sure you could find objects to use as standoff and keep air space underneath it. There might be a problem with wind though if the cover is light material.

I know that boats can be stretch wrapped for winter, but I think they lift it up on a crane to do that so probably not a practical approach for the homeowner.

I found a place nearby that does covered storage for $100 a month. I think I’ll use my cover this season and see how it goes. It’s not raining today and it’s supposed to not rain tomorrow. My plan is to take my leaf blower to it tomorrow and try to get it as dry as possible and then put the cover on. I’ll just keep checking it ever few days to see what happens.

It’s easy to just sort of have it in the yard and forget about it so I have to keep reminding myself that I paid $10,000 for it so I best be taking excellent care of it!

Done! Holy moly what a chore getting that thing on!


Looks good! Also, I like your alarm system, it looks effective too.