Covered RV Storage vs Motorhome Covers: What’s Best?
For many RVers, the time has come to winterize their RVs and put them in storage for the cold season. While some do leave their rigs sitting out in the open all winter, it’s a much better idea to cover it in some way. This helps prevent damage from the sun, wind, rain, and other elements, and ensures your RV is in tip-top shape when spring rolls around and it’s time to go camping once again.
There’s no question that covering your motorhome when it’s being stored is the best practice. That said, there is debate about the best way to go about it. While some find it’s most practical to use a motorhome cover of some sort, others feel it’s a much better idea to park under some sort of covered RV storage area.
Wondering which of these options is ideal? Read on to learn the pros and cons of each so you can make the best possible decision for you and your rig.
Let’s start by discussing RV and motorhome covers. There is an enormous number of choices, but when it comes down to it, they are all essentially the same thing. These covers are made using weather-proof material, and they come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so you can find one that fits your RV correctly.
The pros of motorhome covers
There are many reasons to choose a motorhome cover when storing your RV. These include the following:
The first and most compelling argument in favor of motorhome covers is the fact that they can be had for so little money. A quality cover can cost as little as $200, meaning you can have protection for an entire season (or longer) for a fraction of the cost of building a shelter or renting covered storage space.
Keep the RV on your land
If you aren’t willing or able to build a whole shelter for your RV but want to store the RV on your own land, a cover is the best way to go. This gives your rig protection from the outside world while still allowing you to park it right next to your home.
Easy to put away in the summer
Finally, we really like that a cover is so easy to put away and store for the summer months. Unlike a shelter on your land—which will always be there—a cover will stay out of the way until you really need it again.
The cons of motorhome covers
Wondering about the drawbacks of using a motorhome cover? There are a couple of important ones that all RV owners should know about before picking this storage option:
Difficult to put on
The number one complaint about RV covers is the fact that they are so hard to put on. It’s nearly impossible for a single person to put the cover on by themselves, and depending on the cover, the task can be challenging even with a couple of people working together.
Won’t protect against everything
Another big drawback is the fact that a cover won’t offer protection from everything. Hail can still damage an RV wearing a cover, and snow can still accumulate and dent or break the roof.
Additionally, water can occasionally make its way through these covers when they are damaged or low quality, leading to mold and other problems related to trapped moisture, so you will need to keep an eye on that.
Covered RV storage
So what about covered storage? Why would somebody choose covered RV storage over a motorhome cover, or vice versa? As you might imagine, this form of storage has its own pros and cons that should be taken into consideration when making your choice.
The pros of covered RV storage
There are a few key benefits of deciding to store your RV under a carport or in its own garage. Let’s touch on those so you have an idea of what to expect:
Better weather protection
The biggest benefit of choosing covered storage is the amount of protection this type of storage provides. Not only will your RV be protected from UV rays and huge rainstorms, but you can also say goodbye to the task of shoveling snow off the roof of your rig. On top of that, hail is no match for a covered storage space.
May be climate-controlled
If you’re willing to seek it out and pay for it, it is possible to find climate-controlled RV storage facilities. Of course, you could also build one yourself. Either way, this would remove the need to fully winterize your rig, making it easy to pull back out and use again as soon as the first signs of spring roll around.
Easy to use
The final major benefit to covered storage is the ease of use. While putting a cover on your RV is a huge chore that many people dread, using a covered storage unit is as easy as pulling in and putting the motorhome in park.
The cons of covered storage
Of course, those pros are met with a couple of cons that should also be thought about before any decision is made. These are as follows:
The first and most obvious reason people don’t choose covered storage is the cost. Whether you build your own shed or rent a covered storage space, you will be paying a lot more than you would for a spot out in the open.
Might require offsite storage
Some people don’t have the land or skills to build a shed on their own land. In these cases, having covered storage will mean storing your RV away from home. Some people are uncomfortable with this notion.
If we had to choose one method, we would prefer covered RV storage over the cover, just because it’s so much easier in so many ways. That said, both choices are perfectly valid and help you reach the end goal of keeping your RV protected from the elements.
That said, it is important to keep in mind that no matter which option you pick, you should still check on your home-on-wheels from time to time. Neither a cover nor covered storage will protect your rig from mice and other pests, and the generator should be run about once a month, even when the RV isn’t in use.
Additionally, you will likely want to ensure the batteries aren’t being drained, and generally have a look around to be sure your RV is safe and secure.
Another option is to rent out your RV, so you do not even need to worry about putting your RV in storage. Learn more about the benefits of renting out your RV here.
Keep track of all your RV maintenance with an online tool such as Maintain My RV. Not only can you keep all your maintenance records and documents in one place, you’ll receive timely reminders via email when maintenance is due and potentially avoid a costly repair or serious accident.