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Old 09-25-2019, 12:05 PM   #1
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2019 27' Tommy Bahama
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Does a cover actually damage the exterior?

We live in Michigan and we have a new TB 27'. This winter will be it's first. I had reserved an indoor storage garage for it and learned yesterday it's not actually available. Nor is anything else for less than $325/month, which is too much. We have a new fitted Tyvek trailer cover that was used one year on our previous unit and I am strongly tempted to use it on the AS. So the question is, would a relatively tight fitting cover damage the exterior, more than snow, ice, falling leaves, sticks, pine-cones acorns, etc.? The unit would be stored at our cottage on a concrete pad with electric hookup. There are many Oak and Pine trees in the area which is a big reason I want to cover it - the pitch can be pretty bad.

Thanks - I appreciate your input and apologize for asking what is probably an old question once again.
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Old 09-25-2019, 12:36 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobnGayl View Post
We have a new fitted Tyvek trailer cover that was used one year on our previous unit and I am strongly tempted to use it on the AS. So the question is, would a relatively tight fitting cover damage the exterior, more than snow, ice, falling leaves, sticks, pine-cones acorns, etc.?
Basically, the fabric/Tyvek cover moves in the wind and weather which abrades through the clearcoat leaving raw aluminum to oxidize differently than that which is still coated with the clearcoat. The result is black splotches that are oxidized raw aluminum. The stiffer/rougher the fabric, the quicker it happens and any grit that gets underneath the cover exasperates the problem, as do tree branches rubbing against your trailer. Over time they will all do the same thing. You may not see it right away, but if the clearcoat is compromised it will either start to peel more or the aluminum will oxidize over time.

We have a vintage trailer, so it's a different kind of aluminum - but the effect is similar. Below is attached a picture of the oxidized abrasions (black splotches) on ours before we polished it.

Shari
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Old 09-25-2019, 12:49 PM   #3
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Hi

Why cover up? You reduce the wear and tear on the roof sealing material. You also may keep "critters" out of the A/C units. Half of that can be taken care of by simply wrapping the A/C's.

Why not cover? As mentioned above, the clear coat on the aluminum is pretty thin stuff. It does not take a lot to grind it off the surface of the trailer. It also is not very obvious *where* it has been ground off at first. Wait a while and indeed the oxidation of the aluminum will be pretty obvious. A simple cover does not take care of snow / ice loads on the trailer. Depending on just where you are storing this may not be a concern. It also may not protect you from hail ....

We pay $100 a month for indoor storage. Indeed we had to wait quite a while for it to become available. There was a pretty long waiting list and no real way to know just when we would come out on the top of the list. For quite a bit more we could drive a bit further / pay a lot more / have a fancier storage slot. For us, the state police impound lot (yes, that's its other function ) works fine.

Bob
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Old 09-25-2019, 04:58 PM   #4
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Rather than a cover, you might try tenting over it. You can buy a carport-sized canopy on Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/Tangkula-Carp.../dp/B07DS9VXB5) that should cover the trailer completely without touching it. If the cover doesn't touch the trailer, it can't abrade the finish.
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Old 09-25-2019, 07:47 PM   #5
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We have used a trailer cover the last four years. It has not caused any noticeable damage to the clear-coat, it keeps the UV at our high altitude from damaging the clear coat, it keeps the tree sap off the trailer and keeps the bird poop off the trailer. We also have very high winds in our area on a regular basis which the cover handles well. The Cover is from ADCO. They fit well and last four to five years in our environment. I would recommend a trailer cover like this.
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Old 09-25-2019, 08:33 PM   #6
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We have used a trailer cover for a few years. from callmark cover
https://calmarkcovers.com/custom-cov...railer-covers/
it is the same materiel as the sun shade
they make it custom for YOUR trailer

no issues, no wear, no sun UV rays to wear down the exterier

it does keep all the snow & ice off the roof.

ours has a access opening by the door

that way we can go in during the winter
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Old 09-26-2019, 10:26 AM   #7
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It might be worth expanding your search for indoor storage. I pay about $100 per month of indoor storage at DC Storage in Hudsonville MI. They are an excellent company to work with and move the camper in/out whenever I need it. My camper is safe from weather and sun and it stays cleaner too.
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Old 09-26-2019, 11:08 AM   #8
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We store in Dexter, MI (near Ann Arbor) in a covered but not indoor facility. It’s clean and safe. It’s about $110.00/month.
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Old 09-26-2019, 02:27 PM   #9
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I ended up hiring an awning company to custom make an RV/carport. Heavy duty steel posts embedded in concrete with durable weblon (a heavy duty vinyl material) for the cover. Pricey but worth it. Those canopies you can buy on Amazon or at Harbor Freight are junk and won't last beyond the first storm. Picture below
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Old 09-26-2019, 02:39 PM   #10
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Old 09-26-2019, 06:21 PM   #11
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Thank you!

I appreciate all of you who took the time to answer my question and provide info on storage and options. If we can't find indoor storage I like the custom tent option the best and may look into getting something like that. I checked out the Amazon tent suggested and while it looks interesting, we get quite a bit of snow here and I have doubts it would hold the load, even for one season. The custom tent on the other hand looks pretty substantial.

My question remains though as two people stated they had no issue with covers, and one is using a cover that sounds like mine, made by Adco. So I'm a bit torn - I already have the cover so no money out of pocket with that approach, but if it damages the exterior, that's a serious problem and I won't know for several years it seems. The custom tent idea sounds great if I can find someone to build it for me. Indoor storage would still be my first choice, but the places suggested are a long way from here. I hate to have my trailer so remote.

Anyway, thanks again for all the help - we really appreciate it.

Bob
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Old 09-26-2019, 07:59 PM   #12
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I wonder why they don’t shrink wrap RVs the way they do boats. That shrinkwrap is not going to move against the side of the RV; I’d imagine boat owners are just as (if not more) fussy about the finish on their boats.

Was just thinking about this as I saw a shrinkwrapped boat pass me on the Interstate the other day. I have covered storage, so if someone wants to try it, please report back
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Old 09-26-2019, 08:00 PM   #13
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Steel carport.

The crew put mine up in about 4 hrs and itís wide enough I can have awnings out to dry. Itís about 7 yrs old.

Possibly one of the best things Iíve done to protect AS.
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Old 09-26-2019, 08:04 PM   #14
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I have often wondered about this as well. With foam standoffs and vents, I would think this a viable option.
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I wonder why they donít shrink wrap RVs the way they do boats. That shrinkwrap is not going to move against the side of the RV; Iíd imagine boat owners are just as (if not more) fussy about the finish on their boats.

Was just thinking about this as I saw a shrinkwrapped boat pass me on the Interstate the other day. I have covered storage, so if someone wants to try it, please report back
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Old 09-26-2019, 08:18 PM   #15
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Easy explanation from my perspective....cost. A 21 ft. boat in the North East cost me $550 (for one years wrap) to shrink wrap 3 years ago. And there was still moisture issues from weird rain blowing up the vents.
And I have damage to the gel coat from stuff blowing under the shrink wrap and getting abraded by wind.

As a side note.... a lot of new airstreams do have the shrink wrap on the front end when being delivered to the west coast these days. So maybe things have changed.
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Old 09-26-2019, 08:30 PM   #16
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Airstream clearly says donít cover your trailer so why would you want to cover it? Iím sure airstream could have made a ton of extra money by selling covers for their fleet
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Old 09-26-2019, 09:39 PM   #17
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Black mold

My Airstream dealer said you donít need to cover it. However at least in New England between the moisture, the leaves, the acorns, the roof becomes a mess. Literally covered with a black mold/slime that takes days to clean off and it makes its way down the sides, into the roof vents, under the AC. So I had to cover it.

Steve
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Old 09-26-2019, 10:02 PM   #18
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i agree with steven

in northern areas , the covers helps to protect the top and sides from winter and spring damage
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Old 09-27-2019, 08:15 AM   #19
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Hi

Tent wise, there *are* tent like garage replacements that do hold up in winter storms. You see plenty of them on farms in New England clear out to Montana. Exactly who makes the good ones no idea. I do suspect they cost a bit.

The coating on an Airstream is pretty close to Teflon, that's not what they use on boats.

Bob
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Old 09-27-2019, 09:41 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobnGayl View Post
I appreciate all of you who took the time to answer my question and provide info on storage and options. If we can't find indoor storage I like the custom tent option the best and may look into getting something like that. I checked out the Amazon tent suggested and while it looks interesting, we get quite a bit of snow here and I have doubts it would hold the load, even for one season. The custom tent on the other hand looks pretty substantial.

My question remains though as two people stated they had no issue with covers, and one is using a cover that sounds like mine, made by Adco. So I'm a bit torn - I already have the cover so no money out of pocket with that approach, but if it damages the exterior, that's a serious problem and I won't know for several years it seems. The custom tent idea sounds great if I can find someone to build it for me. Indoor storage would still be my first choice, but the places suggested are a long way from here. I hate to have my trailer so remote.

Anyway, thanks again for all the help - we really appreciate it.

Bob

Re custom tent if you are referring to my RV carport remember I live in South Florida so I can't tell you anything about snow. You may want to look into a more rigid canopy like metal. I can't do metal roofs because of hurricane issues. When we had the last hurricane scare the company came out and removed the cover and then reinstalled it. Took 4 guys to do that and was not cheap. Then again there's nothing cheap about an Airstream.
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