View Full Version : How to cover a TM in storage

10-03-2005, 03:30 PM
An often-asked question on this board is “Can I get a cover to put over my TM when it is in storage? What size should I get?” Here is a starting point.

Retailers like Camping World carry a number of covers, but they do a poor job of identifying the style and size of each one. Should you buy a “travel trailer cover”, a “Hi-Lo cover”, a “pop-up cover”? Should it be specified for a trailer length of 12-14’, 14’-16’, 16-20’, 22-26’, or maybe 28-32’? Should I include the propane tanks in the length? The hitch? Or just the trailer body? You could have a custom cover made, of course, but that is expensive, and most people would prefer to get one of the standard-size covers. Here is a good method for choosing the right off-the-shelf cover.

There are three important items to consider when choosing a cover. First and most obvious, the cover must be big enough to fit down over the trailer body. However, it shouldn’t be wildly oversize, since the excess material will be hard to secure, and no matter how well you tie it down, the wind will catch the excess material and shred it. Second, it should come down over the trailer far enough to protect it – but it shouldn’t come down so far that it drapes all over the ground. Again, if there is a lot of excess material on the bottom, the wind will catch it and shred it. Third, you must choose an appropriate material.To get a handle on sizing, the first step is to determine the distance around your trailer’s box body (circumference, in other words). This is what you would measure if you wrapped a flexible measuring tape around the biggest part of the trailer body. The easiest way to do this is to measure the max width of the trailer including the awning, and double it. Then measure the max length of the trailer, and double it. Add the two numbers together, and you have the circumference. By the way, when measuring the length of the body, you should include the window covers front and rear, but do not include the propane tanks or any part of the hitch.

Finally, measure the height of the trailer, from the top of the roof to the bottom of the body (not all the way to the ground).

You now have a set of minimum size requirements. A bigger cover will fit; a smaller one most likely will not.

Now go to a manufacturer’s web site. Many people (including me) have had good luck with ADCO covers, so using that as an example, go to http://www.adcoprod.com and look around. Since we are avoiding a custom-made cover, click “Universal Fit RV Covers”. You immediately see that you have a choice of three materials – Tyvek, AquaShed (an ADCO material), and polypropylene. They tell you that all three are breathable, meaning they will let water (and water vapor) out, rather than trapping it against the trailer. This is a good thing.

Tyvek is great, but it is expensive, and ADCO’s Tyvek covers are all too tall to fit a collapsible trailer.

Polypropylene is the least expensive, and passes water well in both the inward and outward directions. That means that in a rainstorm, water will pass through the top of the polypropylene cover and pool on the roof of the TM, but will later evaporate back out through the fabric. If you live in an area where it seldom rains, poly is probably fine. But if it rains a lot, the puddle on top of the TM may not have time to evaporate before the next rainstorm comes.

An AquaShed cover is apparently a polypropylene cover, with a more water-resistant fabric added to the top to keep out most liquid water. AquaShed covers also come in a wider variety of sizes. This was my choice.

Clicking on Aqua Shed, we see a list of styles. “Folding Trailer Style” and “Hi-Lo Style” are the ones that appear to be of interest to TM owners, but a quick click on “Hi-Lo Style” shows that at 60”, they are too tall, and the material will drape on the ground. The 42” height of the Folding Trailer Style is probably more appropriate to the TM.

For final selection of the size, go back to the circumference you measured earlier. Determine the circumference of each candidate cover (again, twice the length plus twice the width), and choose the cover with a circumference just larger than the trailer. For my 2720SL, the circumference of the ADCO model 12295 (602”) was plenty large. It is actually a little too big, but the slack covers the propane tanks, and even the jack if I swing the tongue around. The next-smaller cover would not have fit over the trailer body.

It is my observation that most RV stores carry (or can order) ADCO covers, but other covers are available on-line from a number of sources. The sizing method outlined here will work for any of them, provided you can determine the cover’s actual measurements. But beware – there are some cheap covers that are made of a non-breathable fabric. These should be avoided – they will trap moisture, and probably result in mildew problems.

This TM discussion board has several discussions of covers, including one at http://www.trailmanorowners.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2046. Comments and replies to this tutorial should be posted there.