Can You Cover an RV in the Rain? 

A black & white photo of an RV camper in the rain.

I can’t stand the rain, against my RV’s window… That’s how that famous tune would’ve sounded if Tina Turner chose to live the RV lifestyle. To be completely honest, we don’t have any type of info that would either confirm or deny that. Anyway, one might wonder: with such a lame intro, should I really trust this article that will eventually tell me whether or not can I cover an RV in the rain? 

To answer that last question: absolutely, without a doubt. Here at Outdoor Is Home, we’re dedicated to answering every single one of frequently asked questions that somehow weren’t given proper attention and this article’s no exception. Read it to find out can if it’s possible to cover an RV in the rain!

If the RV cover’s breathable, you’ll be able to do this without much hassle since the water will pass through the material this way or another. However, know that there are some RV experts that suggest you should at least wait for the rain to stop, remove the excess water (by using a leafblower), and then put the cover. 

Only reading the preview and thinking: well, I’ve got this is the same as watching a movie trailer and saying: now, what a flick that was! In simpler words: read the whole article!

Is it worth it to cover an RV? (and related info)

Okay, one might wonder: why should one cover their RV in the first place? What are the benefits of such an action? Here we’ve gathered a little list of all advantages of covering an RV:

  • It’ll give you RV’s paint, finish, and other parts the much-needed protection from UV damage. 
  • Additionally, it will also prevent rust or dirt, or even bird droppings (what a euphemism!) from doing some harm to your RV. 
  • A water-resistant cover will help repel rain and snow while, at the same time, allowing moisture to escape. 
  • Covering your RV will help reduce the so-called black streaks (accumulated debris that runs down the RV’s side) and you’ll have to wash it less often. 
  • Lastly, by covering your RV – you’ll preserve its resale value (if, of course, you choose to sell it one day). 

There are many other benefits of covering your RV we haven’t mentioned. However, we think this is more than enough to convince anyone that obtaining an RV cover is definitely worth it! Also, if you’re wondering whether it’s possible to park your RV on gravel, simply follow the highlighted link.

Can you use a tarp to cover an RV?

Some folks might get the idea that covering an RV with a regular blue polyethylene tarp is a good thing. They’re cheap and available to most folks (and here’s how to find the right one), so what could be so wrong? Well, you’ll want to know that this kind of tarp can actually damage your trusty RV, and here’s why that’s so:

  • Blue polyethylene tarps could be abrasive to your dear RV because of the rough texture of the material. Combined with movement, that very same texture can act like sandpaper and harm your RV.
  • Blue polyethylene tarps aren’t breathable. The thing is: moisture will get trapped beneath the tarp and result in the appearance of the so-called greenhouse effect that will “inspire” the always-unwelcome duo of mold and mildew to go wild.
  • Blue polyethylene tarps aren’t made with the intention to fit an RV. On the other side, RV covers are, without any doubt, made with that very same intention.

All in all: you should clearly avoid covering your RV with a blue polyethylene tarp even if that sounds like the least-troubling, cheapest solution. There’s a good reason why RV covers exist in the first place.

What are RV covers made of?

If polyethylene doesn’t get the job done here, what does? You’ll want to know that most RV covers (and here’s where you’ll find a lot of them) are made of materials such as polyester or polypropylene. Additionally, some RV covers even have double or, sometimes, triple layers for maximum strength and durability.

Should I cover my RV in the winter?

As you could’ve assumed, covering your RV in the winter is most definitely a good thing to do. Unless, of course, you don’t have a garage or a rental unit large enough to accommodate the vehicle. The thing is: you want to keep your RV away from snow, ice, wind, and other weather-related phenomena that could cause some damage to your RV during the coldest months of the year.

Okay, so that should’ve done it for the introductory section. Now it’s time we dive deeper into the what’s our main subject for today: can you cover an RV in the rain?

A woman standing next to an RV with a rolled-up cover.

Can you cover an RV in the rain?

Okay, so let’s imagine this unfortunate scenario: heavy rain has fallen down and you’ve forgotten to cover your RV. What do you do? Do you:

  • wait for the rain to stop to put on the cover? 
  • cover your RV regardless of the fact that it’s raining?

Well, we’ll try to provide you with the answer you deserve! Here’s a little hint: you’ll be happy about it.

Here’s the thing: if the cover’s breathable, you’re able to cover your RV in the rain without much hassle (except for the fact that it’s raining and all). The water will pass through the cover anyway, so there’s no point in wondering whether or not it’s alright to cover your RV in the rain. However, there are some folks that mention this “method” might help the growth of mold and mildew. If there’s a chance, if rain has stopped and you’ve got your leafblower stored somewhere near, utilize it to blow off the excess water and then put the RV cover on.

Oh, and speaking of the relationship between water and your RV, check out this article on our blog. Okay, now that we’ve covered the main issue of today’s article, it’s time to see exactly how should install an RV cover!

How to install an RV cover?

Here we’ll show you how to install an RV cover without having to climb onto your RV roof. We’ve made a little step-by-step guide on how to do this with ease. So, shall we begin?

#0: Things you’ll need

To handle the task of installing an RV cover, you’re going to need:

  • A step ladder. You’ll need some extra height.
  • An RV cover. No need to explain this one, right?
  • Some rope (with a knob/handle at one end). You’ll want it to be twice the length of your RV
  • A stick. Approximately 2.5-3 ft. long.

#1: Put the cover on the ground

The first thing you’ll want to do is to lay the RV cover out on the ground. See that you do it somewhere near your RV. Also, the cover should be fully stretched out.

#2: It’s folding time

The next task on the list is to fold the sides of your RV cover over each other. Here’s a little suggestion: fold the cover into thirds. You might want to begin with a single side of the cover that will be the long side, the side that will drape down over your RV’s sides. Fold it into thirds. Afterward, simply fold the other side over on top of that one. Once you’ve finished folding the side, you’ll want to fold just a couple of feet on the ends since those will be the parts that’ll cover your RV’s front and rear sides.

#3: It’s folding time (once again)

Part two of the whole folding process. Once again, you’ll want to begin with folding one side of the cover into thirds. Afterward, you’ll fold the other side over on top of that and you’re good.

#4: Now we’re rolling

Before you continue, make sure you’ve attached the rope to the stick. Roll the cover up, with the stick inside it, and make sure that the rope finds its place centered in the middle of the cover as you’re rolling it up.

#5: Where’s that ladder?

Next up, you’ll want to employ your trusty ladder. Prop it up on the one end of your RV and use it to climb just enough so you can place the cover you’ve previously rolled up on the roof. You’ll want to make sure that you put it right in the center of your RV’s roofline. Take the end of your rope that has the knob/handle attached to it and throw it down the opposite end of your vehicle.

#6: Unroll

Arrange your step ladder on the other side of your RV. Climb it just enough to have a clear view of the other roof end and the cover, then grab the rope and pull it towards yourself with great care and patience. Therefore, you’ll unfold the RV cover down the middle of the roofline. 

#7: Unfold

Once you’ve got the cover totally unrolled all over your roof, it’s absolutely fine to start unfolding it. Here’s a friendly suggestion: unfold the cover on the ends first, then proceed to unfold it on the sides.

#8: Secure the cover and you’re done

The last step in this guide is concerned with securing your RV cover. How you’ll work your way around this will probably depend on the cover type. For instance, certain cover models zip down the sides. Others, however, possess these long belly straps that go underneath your RV. Your best bet is to check the owner’s manual. 

Final thoughts

And that’s about it, dear folks! Now you’re well aware of the fact that you can actually cover your RV in the rain. For more tips on RVs, RVing, and lots of RV-related stuff, follow this link.

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