How to Choose the Perfect Cover for Your Travel Trailer [Read This First]


How to Choose the Perfect Cover for Your Travel Trailer

When it comes to choosing the perfect cover for your travel trailer, there are several different factors you need to take into consideration before committing to one. From the design to the price, you’ll find a wide range of covers that could potentially meet your needs.

So how do you choose the perfect cover for your travel trailer? Choosing the perfect cover for your travel trailer involves determining the following:

  • The style of travel trailer involved
  • The measurements of the travel trailer
  • The kind of storage available for the travel trailer
  • The cover design you prefer
  • The cover price (and your budget)

There are lots of covers available for travel trailers, which can make finding the perfect one a daunting task. However, there are plenty of ways to narrow down the search. Read on to find out more about how to choose a perfect cover for your travel trailer.

Choosing a Perfect Cover for Your Travel Trailer

The first thing you will need to do when deciding what cover to buy for your travel trailer is to determine what style of travel trailer you have. This will help you narrow down your search for the best cover for your trailer.

Here are some of the factors you need to look at to determine your travel trailer style:

  • Type: There are many different types of travel trailers available, and knowing which type yours is will help you figure out what kind of cover to look for.

  • Size: Measuring your travel trailer or RV for size is one of the most important determinations you’ll need to make in your search for a cover. If you get a cover that is too large, it will allow moisture or pests to get underneath it and nest, and if you get a cover that is too small, it won’t fit the travel trailer at all.

  • Color: When looking at the color of travel trailer and RV covers, you’ll want to take both the color of the travel trailer and the storage climate into consideration. In hot climates, a lighter-colored cover will help deflect heat and reduce heat-related damage, while darker-colored covers will help protect items in cold weather. Covers can also be matched to the trailer itself.

Once you’ve determined these factors and what you’re looking for in a travel trailer cover, you’re ready to start narrowing down your search. If you are not sure about the type or dimensions of your travel trailer, taking it to an RV sales lot can help you find someone more knowledgeable about what cover size and trailer model you might be dealing with.

Related reading: How to Choose the Right Size Travel Trailer: An In-Depth Guide

Are RV Covers Good for Travel Trailers or do they Cause Damage?

The reason that RV covers are controversial to use is that there is some debate on whether they inevitably cause damage to an RV. Some people claim that no matter how good an RV cover is, it will eventually become stretched out by wind billowing and environmental stressors.

RV covers are also notorious for accidentally breaking off antennae, mirrors, and other accessories on the exterior of the RV if they are not taken into account when the RV cover is installed. That’s one of the reasons it’s so important that RV owners are careful while installing the RV cover and that they get a couple of extra hands on deck to ensure that the cover doesn’t accidentally snag and break anything. 

There are several ways to install an RV cover that can help prevent it from eventually causing damage to the RV. Follow these tips to ensure that an RV cover installation goes as smoothly as possible without causing potential damage:

  • Clean the RV cover between uses. If you store the RV cover during the traveling season and only install it on the RV during the off-season, be sure to clean the RV cover carefully before folding and storing it away in a dry place. Otherwise, mold and mildew can begin to form on the cover or between its folds and be transferred to the RV itself. 

  • Fold down all antennae and mirrors before putting the cover on your RV. It’s very easy to forget to do this prep work during the installation process, but all it takes is one moment of carelessness to have to replace hundreds of dollars’ worth of equipment on the RV. Once it’s been broken, it’s too late, so don’t get in a rush.

  • Make sure that the RV cover is appropriately fitted and secured tightly. The leading cause of damage in RV covers is lack of a proper fit—this neglect allows moisture to get up underneath the cover to cause damage and allows wind to flap the cover against the finish of the RV, causing scratches and wear.

RV covers have a bit of a bad reputation for causing damage to RVs, but much of this damage is easily avoided by choosing the right RV cover for your rig and making sure that it is installed correctly.

Pros and Cons of Covering an RV

Here are some of the benefits of covering your RV with a cover:

  • Environmental protection: For RVs that are not kept in an enclosed garage or barn, covers can provide valuable protection from environmental factors such as rain, wind, and snow.
    These environmental factors can cause wear and even damage over several years when an RV is left uncovered.

  • UV protection: Ultraviolet exposure can cause the finish on an RV to fade and age prematurely and can also cause dry rotting in both plastic and rubber components of the RV. Not only can UV light damage the cosmetic aspects of an RV, but it (and the high levels of heat that often accompany it in summer months) can also cause mechanical damage to hoses and other mechanisms as well.
  • Moisture protection: One of the most significant things that RV covers can protect RVs from is moisture. Moisture can cause mold and mildew to build up on the surfaces of the RV if it isn’t kept clean during the off-season, and it can eventually leak into the cabin of the RV to cause damage to electronics and fabrics.  

Here are some of the problems encountered by people with cheaply constructed or ill-fitting travel trailer covers:

  • Billowing: Billowing happens when the wind can get underneath the surface of the cover, causing it to flap on the roof of the travel trailer. Not only can this potentially cause damage to the RV roof, but the friction of this motion also causes the RV cover to become frayed or shredded from the constant battering.

  • Rips and tears: If you choose a cover that is too tight or short for your travel trailer, you take the risk of causing the sharp edges of the travel trailer’s roof or roof accessories to come poking through the cover. Once the cover is no longer waterproof, it can lead to issues such as pest infestation or mold and mildew as a result of leaks.

  • Broken roof accessories: Travel trailer covers that do not fit well can accidentally damage or snap delicate components and accessories on the trailer’s roof. This can add thousands of dollars in repair costs to an otherwise simple cover installation.

  • Mold and mildew: Mold and mildew are one of the biggest adversaries of RV and travel trailer owners since they can not only cause unsightly damage to the exterior and interior of a travel trailer, but some types of mold can be dangerous for human health. A bad mold infestation may cost thousands of dollars to repair, so it is better prevented and avoided entirely.

  • Pest infestation: If a travel trailer is left undisturbed for several months with an ill-fitting cover or one with holes in it, this can allow mice, chipmunks, hornets, and other pests to set up shop underneath the RV cover. While pest infestations are usually just an annoying problem to resolve, some pets such as rodents can cause lasting damage to a trailer’s electrical and mechanical systems.

What Size RV Cover Do You Need?

There are many different reasons you should have a general idea of the dimensions of your travel trailer. Knowing the measurements of your travel trailer allows you to:

  • Know the height of your trailer to determine whether you can access a bridge or tunnel.
  • Know the length of your trailer, so you will be aware of where you can safely park.

Along with these reasons, you will need to know the exact dimensions of the trailer to buy the best-fitting cover for your trailer. Once you know how big the trailer is, you can search for a cover matching those dimensions and filter out your results for other design details such as cover color and material quality.

Taking Measurements on your Travel Trailer

Taking an accurate measure of your travel trailer’s dimensions is a two-person job, so be sure to grab someone to help out. A tape measure can be challenging to use for a job like this because of the lengths involved—a laser distance meter is a better option for accuracy.  

To accurately measure your travel trailer with a laser distance meter, follow these steps:

  • Hold the first end to the farthest protruding section of the rear bumper (should be the center of the bumper if the bumper is curved)

  • Bring the measure down the length of the travel trailer to make a second measuring point at the farthest protruding section of the front bumper (should be the center of the bumper if the bumper is curved). This measurement from the rear bumper to the front bumper is the length. Note: The length of the trailer as it pertains to a cover does not typically include the hitch.

  • The trailer will also have to be measured for width. This is done by measuring from the farthest protruding left side of the trailer to the right. While you can also measure for how much further side view mirrors and other standard accessories such as awnings stick out from the trailer, many commercial travel trailer covers that are standard to the model will take these accessories into account.

  • Measure the trailer for height. This is measured from the top of the exterior trailer roof to the bottom of the trailer’s frame. You should not have to measure any existing AC unit, as these units typically come standard, and most covers are made to fit them.

Here are some notes to keep in mind when taking measurements for a trailer cover:

  • Most commercial travel trailer covers are designed to accommodate model standard awnings, AC units, and mirrors. Most will not, however, guarantee to cover any auxiliary equipment installed on the top of the trailer, such as satellite dishes.

  • Most new trailers will come with a user’s manual that should give clear-cut dimensions of the vehicle to seek out covers and other related accessories. If you’re buying a travel trailer secondhand and weren’t given a user’s manual, check the trailer’s glove box and other storage compartments to see if one may have been left behind.

  • If you can’t find the specifications for the RV or trailer in a user’s manual, you can check for the dimensions of the trailer on the manufacturer’s website. Many travel trailer manufacturers list detailed specifications of every model they sell or have this information available upon request.

  • Mark any recorded measurements down together on a single notepad in a grouping so that when you go to seek out trailer covers, you’ll have all of your necessary information together in one place. Also, take down your trailer model, aftermarket accessory measurements, and any other pertinent information that may affect your search.

  • Be sure to take every measurement twice to double-check your work. It is essential to have accurate measurements to get the right size cover for the trailer.

  • Aftermarket accessories such as bike racks, satellite antennae, and other accessories on the roof will likely not fit under most standard trailer covers. They will usually have to be uninstalled before the cover is installed.

Taking accurate measurements of your travel trailer or RV is crucial to make sure that you end up with a cover that fits properly.

Choosing Design and Construction Elements for Your Travel Trailer Cover


When you hit the market looking for a travel trailer cover, there are several aspects of trailer cover design that you should take into consideration to get the best bang for your buck.

These are some of the crucial design aspects you should look for when you’re searching for a travel trailer cover:

  • Breathability: Breathability is an important quality to look for in a travel trailer cover since lack of ventilation can cause a build-up of mold or mildew beneath the top and even inside the travel trailer itself. Not only can mold and mildew create unpleasant stains and smells, they can also be hazardous to human health.

  • Layering: The more layers a travel trailer cover has, the more likely it is to be constructed out of high-quality materials. You can figure out how many layers a trailer cover has by reading its product description, as those with multiple layers often advertise the fact. 

  • UV protection: UV protection is vital in a travel trailer cover since sun exposure is one of the major damaging elements that trailers in storage are exposed to. Sun exposure over weeks or months can dry out mechanical seals and fade the paint job on the trailer.

  • Rip-stop construction: One of the major complaints that consumers have about travel trailer covers is that they tend to rip easily, especially after years of exposure to the elements. Rip-stop construction means a travel trailer cover is made of a uniquely durable material that makes rips less likely to occur. Once a rip starts in a trailer cover, it is often difficult to fix.

  • Vents: Vents in a travel trailer cover not only allow ventilation and prevent the build-up of mold and mildew, but they also prevent the cover from billowing in the wind. Since vents can be one of the first places for leaks and other problems as the cover ages, it’s important to look for covers that have a well-constructed ventilation system.

  • Water protection: Most RV covers are treated with a water repellent chemical that makes them an effective outdoor fabric. Since the whole point of covering a travel trailer is to prevent drenching rain and other outdoor elements from landing on the trailer roof, water protection is a significant design aspect in travel trailer covers.

  • Accessibility: Some travel trailer covers are designed to be easy access so that, even if the vehicle is in storage, people can still get in and out of it to access the interior of the trailer. Some trailer owners may need easy access as a design element, while others will be less concerned with getting into their travel trailer during the off-season.

After looking at several different travel trailer covers, you’ll be more experienced in the different design elements that are common among different brands and can make side-by-side comparisons between them. Because they look somewhat similar on their face, it’s essential to dig a little deeper in researching your purchase of a travel trailer cover to find the perfect one.  

What to Look for in a Travel Trailer Cover

Once you’re ready to start looking for the perfect travel trailer cover, there are several things you need to keep on the lookout for in your search. These are some of the things you should be looking into and asking about to find the perfect travel trailer cover:

  • You need a durable cover. Once a travel trailer cover rips, it can allow moisture and other outdoor elements access to the vehicle. This is even worse than the travel trailer being left out in the open since trapped moisture can do more damage if it can’t adequately evaporate. This means you need to look for a cover that is not only made of a sturdy material that resists wear, but also one that is protected against tearing and UV exposure.

  • You need a waterproof cover. Moisture is one of the biggest enemies of a vehicle in storage, especially one that tends to have a lot of holes drilled in the roof, such as an RV or travel trailer. If moisture makes it under the trailer cover, it can cause mold and mildew problems on the surface of the trailer. If moisture manages to make it inside the trailer, it can affect carpeting and electronics, too.

  • You need a tight-fitting cover. More expensive travel trailer covers tend to be tighter-fitting, and this is because the tighter a cover fits across the trailer, the less chance there is of moisture or other things getting trapped underneath it. One of the best ways to get a tight fit on a trailer cover is to go through the manufacturer and buy a cover that is built specifically for that travel trailer model.

  • You need a cover that fits. This is why measuring for an RV cover is so crucial for finding the perfect one. If you get a cover that is too large, it will not adequately protect the trailer because water and other things will be able to get underneath it. If you get a cover that isn’t large enough, you won’t be able to get it on the trailer at all.

  • You need a cover with a good reputation. It’s always a good idea to check customer reviews online for a company to see some objective pros and cons associated with each individual cover. Companies are good at presenting themselves in a strong light, but consumers are much better at pointing out criticisms that may make or break your decision to buy from a manufacturer.

Knowing what you’re looking for ahead of time when you’re shopping for a travel trailer cover can take you a long way toward finding the best one for your rig.

How Do You Put on a Camper Cover?

You must be careful when installing a camper cover since it involves climbing onto the roof of the RV. If you are on top of the RV trying to maneuver a heavy RV cover, it’s crucial to install the RV cover in low wind conditions, as the billowing of the camper cover can inadvertently throw the installer off the roof and onto the asphalt below. Ideally, several people should be helping with the installation.

Here are the steps for installing a camper cover:

  • Lay the RV cover on the ground at the rear of the RV and find the front end of the cover.
     
  • Before pulling the RV cover up over the roof, be sure to lay all antennae on the RV flat and pad any protruding corners on the RV that will rub through the RV cover after prolonged exposure in environmental conditions. Any area that is pushing outwards on the RV cover should be padded to prevent the cover from tearing under pressure.

  • Pull the RV cover up the rear ladder of the RV with you, being careful while climbing since you will have one hand otherwise occupied. Once standing on the RV roof, pull as much of the RV cover up onto the roof as possible.

  • Pull the RV cover over the corners of the RV roof, working from the front towards the back. Drape the edges off either side of the RV on the right and the left. If the RV cover includes a ladder cap, place the latter cap before pulling the RV cover over the rear of the RV.

  • After the RV cover has been pushed down onto all sides of the RV, climb down and adjust it on every side, making sure that the RV cover is pulled tightly down against the RV surface before securing it. It is vital to ensure that no air or moisture can get beneath the RV cover.

Any RV cover you buy for your RV should come with specific instructions according to the model of your RV, so be sure to read any written directions carefully before attempting an RV cover installation to make sure you don’t end up having to backtrack and do it more than once. (Source: National RV Covers)

RV COVER TIPS to Make It EASIER >> Check out the video below

Why Is It Important to Look for the Perfect Travel Trailer Cover?


Are travel trailer covers worth it? Yes, and it is very important. If you do not have a proper place to store your RV, you should think about rv coverage. That way you can protect your rv.

There are several risks involved with choosing a cheap or ill-fitting travel trailer cover. While it might seem like an excellent bargain to obtain a secondhand travel trailer cover, if it’s not one that is designed for your size or style of trailer, you can end up causing more problems than you prevent.

Here are some of the issues encountered by people with cheaply constructed or ill-fitting travel trailer covers:

  • Billowing: Billowing is a problem where the wind can get underneath the surface of the cover, causing it to flap on the roof of the travel trailer. Not only can this potentially cause damage to the RV roof, but the friction of this motion also causes the RV cover to become frayed or shredded from the constant battering.

  • Rips and tears: If you choose a cover that is too tight or short for your travel trailer, you take the risk of causing the sharp edges of the travel trailer’s roof or roof accessories to come poking through the cover. Once the cover is no longer waterproof, it can lead to issues such as pest infestation or mold and mildew as a result of leaks.

  • Broken roof accessories: Travel trailer covers that don’t fit well can accidentally damage or snap delicate components and accessories on the trailer’s roof. This can add thousands of dollars in repair costs to an otherwise simple cover installation.

  • Mold and mildew: Mold and mildew are one of the biggest enemies of RV and travel trailer owners since they can not only cause unsightly damage to the exterior and interior of a travel trailer, but some types of mold can actually be dangerous for human health. A bad mold infestation may cost thousands of dollars to repair, so it’s better prevented and avoided entirely.

  • Pest infestation: If a travel trailer is left undisturbed for several months with an ill-fitting cover or one with holes in it, this can allow mice, chipmunks, hornets, and other pests to set up shop underneath the RV cover. While pest infestations are usually just an annoying problem to resolve, some pets such as rodents can cause lasting damage to a trailer’s electrical and mechanical systems.

Along with the risks involved with using an inadequate travel trailer cover, there are also risks involved with not using a travel trailer cover at all. Here are some of the reasons why you don’t want to leave your travel trailer without a cover:

  • UV exposure: Without a travel trailer cover, the trailer is exposed to harmful UV rays that not only fade the trailer’s paint job, they can also slowly dry rot any plastic and rubber components on the vehicle. This can lead to cosmetic damage as well as mechanical breakdowns.
     
  • Elemental exposure: Exposure of the trailer to extreme heat and cold can take a severe toll on both the vehicle’s appearance and its ability to function correctly. It causes deterioration of rubber, plastic, and latex-based pieces on the trailer and heat build-up can also cause interior damage such as melting.

  • Debris: Most people don’t consider how many things fall onto the roof of their travel trailer because the roof is higher than they’re able to see without climbing up. However, years of accumulated grime, bird droppings, dead leaves, and other debris can cause serious cosmetic damage to the roof of a travel trailer, greatly diminishing its resale value, as well.

Top 3 RV Covers You Need This Year [Reviewed & Updated]

When it comes to purchasing a travel trailer, it is essential to know the high-quality aftermarket RV covers that are available on the market.

These are some of the best travel trailer covers to choose from, with some of the best customer feedback available:

  • ADCO:ADCO has been around for over sixty-five years, and carries covers for a vast selection of different models and travel trailer types. ADCO covers feature a slip-stream strap system to reduce wind resistance, air vents to prevent the build-up of moisture, and a sleek contemporary sidewall design.

  • RVMasking:RVMasking features a range of slate gray RV and travel trailer covers made out of durable rip-resistant material. For those campers who are also water enthusiasts, RVMasking also manufactures a range of covers for boats as well. RVMasking covers feature zippered engine access for off-season maintenance as well as a weighted buckle toss-under to facilitate easy installation.

  • Classic Accessories:Classic Accessories constructs many different outdoor and home accessories out of a large variety of materials and designs. Classic Accessories RV and travel trailer covers are designed to fit several different models per cover—while they are not exactly universal, they do have a bit more versatility than some other covers.

Aftermarket travel trailer covers can be a little more difficult to fit than model-specific covers that are available from the travel trailer manufacturer. Still, they can often be much cheaper and are made of comparable materials. The challenge is making sure that you get an aftermarket cover that is well-suited for your vehicle.

Regardless of which company you decide to buy a travel trailer cover from, it’s essential to research the company carefully to make sure that their products high quality and reasonably priced and that you’re able to secure a replacement via a warranty or return system if the cover arrives damaged or doesn’t fit.

What Is the Best RV Cover for Sun?

Getting an RV cover that protects well against the sun is half of the battle when it comes to choosing the right RV cover for your rig.

The Extra-Thick 5-Ply Top Classic RV Cover by RVMasking is an excellent choice for sun protection because the multiple layers prevent UV rays from reaching the RV’s finish. This ensures that the paint job on your RV stays as fresh as it looked the day you bought it no matter how many years you have it.

What Is the Best RV Cover for Winter?

When you are looking for an RV cover for snowy weather, it’s crucial to find a cover that is weatherproof and waterproof.

The Camco 56126 Ultraguard Supreme Weatherproof RV Cover is a fantastic choice for an RV that is stored in areas that get a lot of snow since it is both weatherproof and waterproof. This extremely durable RV cover is manufactured with three layers of non-woven polypropylene. It also features covered air vents, which prevents the build-up of mildew from moist conditions and billowing in a blizzard.

How to Cover Your Camper for Winter >> Check out the video below

Choosing the Right RV Cover and Installing It Right is Vital to Preventing RV Damage


It might take a little extra legwork on your part to find the perfect travel trailer cover for your vehicle and install it properly, but the benefits of having a cover that is both durable and easy to install are invaluable. Not only do you protect the trailer from any cosmetic damage that might depreciate its resale value or make it unpleasant to look at, but it can also prevent maintenance issues that can cause the trailer to perform inadequately.

Whether you go through the RV manufacturer or seek out a quality aftermarket cover, you will need to do some research and take some measurements to end up with a quality cover.

Buying a Model Specific Travel Trailer Cover


If you’re not sure about getting an aftermarket RV or travel trailer cover, you always have the option of going through the RV manufacturer to buy a cover that is made specifically for that model of trailer.

There are several significant advantages to this:

  • Fit: You’re not going to get a better fit for a cover than a cover that was made for your specific RV or travel trailer. Covers from the manufacturer also account for model deviations, such as protrusions (AC units, side view mirrors, etc.).

  • Warranty: Many manufacturers’ covers come with a strong warranty to back them up, and these warranties can sometimes be a bit easier to enforce than those offered by aftermarket companies.

  • Discount: If you’re in the process of buying a travel trailer, you can get a cover for the vehicle (or other accessories) thrown in at a discount during the negotiations process. This can be a great way to save a little on your cover.

  • Brick-and-mortar locations: For some consumers, being able to buy their cover at the same physical location where they purchased their vehicle can be reassuring in case something goes wrong with the cover, and it has to be returned. Physical store locations also help consumers find face-to-face help for troubleshooting any potential problems with their RV cover.

It can be a little more expensive to go with a cover from the RV manufacturer (just as it can be more expensive to obtain OEM parts to repair a vehicle versus aftermarket), but there is not usually a significant gain in quality to be had by going this route with your RV cover purchase.

Many aftermarket manufacturers create their covers from the same materials and with the same primary design considerations (ventilation, durability, and so on).

Buying the Perfect Travel Trailer or RV Cover is Worth the Money (and the Search)


It might take a little extra legwork on your part to find the perfect travel trailer cover for your vehicle, but the benefits of having a cover that is both durable and easy to install are significant. Not only do you protect the trailer from any cosmetic damage that might depreciate its resale value or make it unsightly to look at, but it can also prevent maintenance issues that can cause the trailer to perform inadequately.

Whether you go through the RV manufacturer or seek out a quality aftermarket cover, you’ll need to do some research and take some measurements to end up with a quality cover.

Sources:
https://www.nationalrvcovers.com/a/how-to-measure-rv-covers.html
https://thenewswheel.com/what-to-consider-when-buying-an-rv-cover/
https://blog.campingworld.com/at-the-campsite/tips-tricks/why-use-an-rv-cover/#:~:text=But%20when%20your%20RV%20is,that%20will%20block%20UV%20rays.
https://www.rvupgradestore.com/Consider-Using-An-RV-Cover-s/773.htm

Recommended reading

For more helpful articles about travel trailers please check out our articles below:

How To Repair Travel Trailer Walls [Must-Read]

How to Use a Generator with a Travel Trailer: Complete Guide

Does Your Auto Insurance Cover a Travel Trailer?

Mike Gilmour

Hi, I'm Mike, co-founder, and editor of RV and Playa. My passion is traveling (with my RV) and enjoying the day at the beach (Playa)! Well, I originally created this blog as a way to share what I've learned by experimenting with the RV lifestyle, and I want to help others develop in life through new skills and opportunities.

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