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To cover or not?


Grizzwold
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When we purchased our last caravan we thought it was a good idea to buy a cover for it I can’t remember the actual make but it was a tailor-made one it was green on the outside and white on the inside it did mark the windows however  they cleaned up okay with a bit of car wax my main concern was that it appeared to create condensation inside the van so much so  one time I visited it in the winter and the walls inside the van were covered with condensation I have to admit that all the windows and doors were closed I’ve learnt since that it’s a good idea to leave the windows in the vent position The cover lasted for about four years before it seemed to degenerate and literally fall to bits we’ve recently bought a new to us  caravan and it has come with the same make cover I just can’t make my mind up as to whether I should put it on or not your thoughts? 

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From your experiences, I'd say No! 

Graham

Unless otherwise stated all posts are my personal opinion 

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Never used a cover.  Never had a condensation problem (and never use salt trays or dehumidifier).

 

 I do have to wash the caravan once or twice during the winter months as the front end tends to get a bit of mildew/algae if left for any length of time but a quick wash and brush up probably takes less time than fitting a cover.

 

We use the van during the winter too so I imagine a cover would be a bit of a faff.

 

 

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My storage yard has nearly 100 caravans. Most winters there are never more than 10 of them with covers.

So, in answer to your question, this rough survey appears to show that only about 1in 10 caravanners think a cover is worthwhile.

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Always used a cover never had any problems, one good clean and polish before being put away for winter. Helps keep caravan dry IMO.

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Caravan covers is another “Marmite” situation. You love ‘em or you don’t love ‘em. 

 

Those who have them reckon they are indispensable, well they have spent money on them so feel they have made a sensible decision, which can be said for most Caravan extras. Caravan specific sat-nave are another example, along with air or poled awnings, ATC or no ATC (the list is fairly lengthy!).

 

Only  you can make the decision as to whether they are a worthwhile investment or not, you need to make your own mind up by considering all of the advantages and disadvantages and ignore other people’s “advice” (of either view

point) 

 

My only comment would be that the vast majority of owners (me included) seem to manage perfectly well without them. That’s not saying they serve no useful purpose though. 

Edited by Mr Plodd

Experience is something you acquire after you have an urgent need for it.

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To get condensation on the inside walls of a caravan there needs to be labile water inside the caravan in the first place and a temperature gradient.  If the caravan interior is dry from the outset it shouldn’t make any difference to the inside of the caravan whether a cover is used or not.

 

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7 hours ago, -Jim- said:

My storage yard has nearly 100 caravans. Most winters there are never more than 10 of them with covers.

So, in answer to your question, this rough survey appears to show that only about 1in 10 caravanners think a cover is worthwhile.

I can agree with this in that where we store our caravan it has about 600  caravans and motor homes and only a handful use a cover. I think that the consensus is that if you do have a cover then have it made to measure as when the wind blows it can scratch the windows / paintwork. Also if you have a solar panel  , I think that you have to accommodate that as well. 

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6 minutes ago, ericfield said:

To get condensation on the inside walls of a caravan there needs to be labile water inside the caravan in the first place and a temperature gradient.  If the caravan interior is dry from the outset it shouldn’t make any difference to the inside of the caravan whether a cover is used or not.

 

 

True to a certain extent, but caravans are not sealed boxes, they are open to the atmosphere (gas drop vents being a prime example) Warm moisture laden air can get inside a caravan p, then when the temperature drops that moisture can condense out onto a cold surface. 

I have always ensured plenty of ventilation in all of my (uncovered) caravans and motorhomes and have never had any condensation problems. 

Experience is something you acquire after you have an urgent need for it.

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Used a Pro-tec cover on our last caravan a couple of years back.

 

Cleaned and waxed it before fitting the cover which was a great fit, left a couple of sky lights and windows on their first catches and there it stayed for 4 months and when we removed it it was nearly as when we fitted it.

 

I say nearly as after it was removed I could detect very feint marks on the body sides almost like leopard spots where it must have buffeted in the wind, perfect inside with no sign of mildrew etc,

 

Nothing major but visible in a certain light, did polish out though.

 

Because of that I would not bother with our current caravan.

 

 

Stay safe - Griff.  :ph34r:

Wheels at the front Green Oval Towing Machine

Wheels at the back Bessacarr 845

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3 hours ago, Mr Plodd said:

 

True to a certain extent, but caravans are not sealed boxes, they are open to the atmosphere (gas drop vents being a prime example) Warm moisture laden air can get inside a caravan p, then when the temperature drops that moisture can condense out onto a cold surface. 

I have always ensured plenty of ventilation in all of my (uncovered) caravans and motorhomes and have never had any condensation problems. 

I hear your argument but still cannot square that the small holes under the bunk will exchange moisture laden air sufficient to cause wall condensation, when larger open vents (covered by an external poly sheet) won’t allow exactly the same moist air exchange mechanism.
 

Like many people, I’ve left caravans outdoors without covers over many many years and never experienced internal condensation introduced through the floor vents. Provided cupboards and lockers are all left open to prevent cold spots, natural air temperature equilibration is sufficient..

 

 I don’t believe people who suffer from condensation inside caravans (covered or not) are starting with sufficiently dry interiors.

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I have a well fitting cover that was manufactured for my van including special sizing for air con unit and roof mounted sun canopy etc. In addition to the good strapping provided that tightens the cover across the underside of the van I additionally use 3 long straps that each completely encircle the van on top of the cover to ensure no excess 'flapping'. I wash and wax before putting away for winter and have not suffered any 'damage' at all. The van is pristine when unwrapped and ready to go.

Inside I leave all cupboard doors opened and sofa cushions raised to allow free air circulation. No dampness or condensation experienced.

Each to their own but I wouldn't be without a cover now.

Life is not a rehearsal . . .:)

Porsche Cayenne S Diesel & Knaus StarClass 695. Previously Audi S4 Avant & Elddis Super Sirocco

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On 16/10/2021 at 08:24, Grizzwold said:

When we purchased our last caravan we thought it was a good idea to buy a cover for it I can’t remember the actual make but it was a tailor-made one it was green on the outside and white on the inside it did mark the windows however  they cleaned up okay with a bit of car wax my main concern was that it appeared to create condensation inside the van so much so  one time I visited it in the winter and the walls inside the van were covered with condensation I have to admit that all the windows and doors were closed I’ve learnt since that it’s a good idea to leave the windows in the vent position The cover lasted for about four years before it seemed to degenerate and literally fall to bits we’ve recently bought a new to us  caravan and it has come with the same make cover I just can’t make my mind up as to whether I should put it on or not your thoughts? 

I think you'll find the condensation was probably caused by damp in the caravan to begin with. Where I store my van it's under trees so a cover is essential on my Swift. Never had a condensation problem. 

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19 hours ago, Mr Plodd said:

Caravan covers is another “Marmite” situation. You love ‘em or you don’t love ‘em. 

 

Those who have them reckon they are indispensable, well they have spent money on them so feel they have made a sensible decision, which can be said for most Caravan extras. Caravan specific sat-nave are another example, along with air or poled awnings, ATC or no ATC (the list is fairly lengthy!).

 

Only  you can make the decision as to whether they are a worthwhile investment or not, you need to make your own mind up by considering all of the advantages and disadvantages and ignore other people’s “advice” (of either view

point) 

 

My only comment would be that the vast majority of owners (me included) seem to manage perfectly well without them. That’s not saying they serve no useful purpose though. 

 

14 hours ago, KnausCol said:

I have a well fitting cover that was manufactured for my van including special sizing for air con unit and roof mounted sun canopy etc. In addition to the good strapping provided that tightens the cover across the underside of the van I additionally use 3 long straps that each completely encircle the van on top of the cover to ensure no excess 'flapping'. I wash and wax before putting away for winter and have not suffered any 'damage' at all. The van is pristine when unwrapped and ready to go.

Inside I leave all cupboard doors opened and sofa cushions raised to allow free air circulation. No dampness or condensation experienced.

Each to their own but I wouldn't be without a cover now.

:goodpost:

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Great at keeping the van clean (possibly dry if leaking) but on our previous 2 vans it has created a lot of marks on the windows and corners of the roof to the point the paint wire off. This was mostly down to wind buffeting and rubbing and this was on a Specialised covers  tailored made cover so hardly a cheap one. New van which is completely GRP will not be having a cover anywhere near it.

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I recall speaking to a dealer about a cover when we purchased our last caravan. He said hated the things because they rub, albeit very gently (against the windows especially) and cause marks which take a lot of time and effort to polish out.  I appreciate many say they don’t do that, I am just passing on what I was told by someone who probably has a lot of experience of the effect covers can (but not necessarily do) have on Caravan bodywork and Windows.

 

If I had to store mine under a tree then I certainly would use a (good quality) cover. 

Experience is something you acquire after you have an urgent need for it.

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Our previous caravan was stored on our drive.

We used a cover all the time unless going away on consecutive weekends. So covered most of the time.

 

My first hand observational pros and cons and conclusions....

Our Pros:

  • Plastics all look like new due to very little UV degradation, so when cleaned whole van looked like new (for us this is a major plus and the deciding factor - it also wowed the buyers!).
  • No black streaks (removing these can sometimes involve more abrading than a cover).
  • No regular "maintenance" washing required.
  • Hard for passing caravan thieves to assess model/desirability.
  • Green cover "softer" visual impact on house when viewed from the road.

Our Cons:

  • Putting the cover on takes about 20 min (including strapping) and it takes two to put it on.
  • Really needs to be a dry day for putting on/taking off.
  • I did find one small patch of haze on one of the front windows after one Winter lay up.

My Conclusions:

  • I did get one case of hazing, but it polished out easily. The front windows never stay visibly new as the angle highlights the surface (unlike side windows) and every wash and trip will cause some surface effects.
  • The corners are all gel coat and not painted so no visible effects.
  • Never any condensation.
  • So, on balance, will we cough up for a Specialised cover for our new Inos? Yes. There is no generic right/wrong here, just what works for you.

 

 

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Mine is stored in and exposed position and the marks on mine were inevitably caused by buffeting in strong winds.

 

Being a large caravan it took quite a while to polish out the marks.

Stay safe - Griff.  :ph34r:

Wheels at the front Green Oval Towing Machine

Wheels at the back Bessacarr 845

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