Keep Your RV From Getting Sun Damaged
Ah, the sun… it’s beautiful, bright, warm, and we rely on it for life. However, the sun can create some harmful effects over time, especially on manufactured products like RVs. That’s why you need to know how to protect your RV from sun damage.
UV radiation is an everyday part of life. Most people can just wear sunscreen and a hat and go about their day as usual. But vehicles don’t have that option! They need different types of protection from sun damage. An unprotected RV can become faded and damaged after constant exposure to sunny conditions.
Once severe sun damage has set in, it’s hard to repair unless you’re willing to replace large sections of your RV. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent or slow this process from happening. It is possible to protect your RV from sun damage, so read on to find out how!
Regularly inspect the RV
First things first, you can prevent a lot of problems by being vigilant about the condition of your RV. There are a lot of issues that can creep up on you if you’re not paying attention. This is why it’s a good idea to perform regular inspections of your RV.
Sun damage will take the heaviest toll on the exterior parts of your RV, but you should check up on everything while you’re at it. Watch for any peeling, fading, or cracking on the exterior. Check the roof as well because problems up here aren’t always evident from the ground.
Try to perform an inspection before every major trip you take and before you put the RV into storage.
Make sure you keep track of all your RV maintenance and repairs with an online tool such as RV LIFE Maintenance. Not only can you keep all of your documents in one place, but you’ll also receive timely reminders when maintenance is due to help you avoid costly repairs and potentially serious accidents.
Clean/protect the roof
As mentioned earlier, the roof is an important part of the RV. It’s also the area that’s most often exposed to the sun. The sides will have rotating levels of exposure, but the roof will almost always be directly lit. This makes it one of the most vulnerable parts when it comes to sun damage.
When you perform your inspections, pay extra close attention to the roof. Double-check the seams and apply sealant/caulk if there are any rips or cracks. Using a protective roof coating will also go a long way toward protecting the vehicle.
If you need a good all-around product to protect your roof, try RV Roof Magic. This works for a variety of roof materials and has built-in UV resistance. It also creates a seamless layer that is harder to break down.
Use an RV cover
Next up, an RV cover is your best friend if you want to protect your RV from sun damage. These covers will form a protective layer between the vehicle and the UV radiation coming from the sun. Plus, they’re perfect for protecting your RV from dirt, pollen, sap, and other debris that might make it dirty.
An RV cover is a great investment for anyone who stores their RV outdoors when it’s not in use. You’ll find that it makes the cleaning and storage process so much easier because it creates a protective shell.
The best RV covers will vary depending on your RV length, type, and environment. However, a great overall option is the KING BIRD Upgraded Travel Trailer RV Cover. It’s waterproof, breathable, UV resistant, and comes with tire covers.
Wax the RV
Wax is like sunscreen for your RV. Most of them have UV-resistant qualities and will dull the impact of the sun on your RV exterior. They will also protect the base from water damage, dirt, and anything else that may harm the outer shell.
There are tons of great RV waxes on the market, but some of the best include STAR BRITE Premium RV Polish, Ethos Resist, and Wet or Waterless Car Wash Wax Kit.
Park in covered areas
One easy way to avoid sun damage is to stay out of the sun! Of course, there’s no way to cover your RV while you’re traveling, but you can look for protected areas to park when you set up camp or put the RV into storage. Indoor storage solutions will keep it safe and temperature-regulated.
Parking under trees or shade pavilions is an easy solution when you’re on the road. Unfortunately, you can’t always guarantee that you’ll find a shady spot that’s big enough for your RV. Try to find shady RV parks or campgrounds if you can. You can learn more about campgrounds and their amount of foliage by reading RV LIFE Campground Reviews.
When you park at home, it’s smart to invest in a carport so you’ll always have shade for your vehicle. You can also park under trees, but this could pose a risk to your RV if branches fall or sap drops on the roof.
Protect your RV tires
Tires are one of the most important things to protect from sun damage. If tires are exposed to too much UV damage, they can become weak and cracked. This isn’t an issue when the RV is parked, but it’s a major danger when you’re on the road. Weakened tires can blow out at highway speeds, leaving drivers in a very dangerous situation.
Luckily, you can protect your RV tires from sun damage by using RV tire covers. These fit over the tires and provide a layer of protection against the sun.
Protect the interior
Don’t overlook the RV interior when you’re fighting against sun damage! If you have a lot of sun coming into the windows, your interior walls, floors, and furniture can become cracked and faded. This isn’t dangerous to the inhabitants, but it can lower your resale value and ruin the aesthetic.
There’s an easy solution to this problem, though! Just use curtains or window covers when you’re not using the RV. These will deflect or absorb the majority of the sun’s rays before they make it into the RV.
How can sun damage affect your RV?
Sun damage may sound like a minor inconvenience, but it can seriously degrade your RV over time. This results in a variety of problems, such as:
If you leave the roof unprotected, it can develop cracks. These will let in dirt, bugs, and worst of all, water. A leaky roof can cause damage that spread throughout your whole RV. It’s hard to fix and dangerous to the overall structure.
As mentioned above, heat-damaged tires are a serious road hazard. They can disintegrate without warning, putting you and everyone around you at risk.
More maintenance over time
If you don’t put in the effort to protect your RV from sun damage, you’ll have to pay much more money over time. UV radiation will cause damage to many parts of the vehicle, and it will be expensive to repair or replace them.
Lower resale value
A sun-damaged RV is worth less on the resale market. Buyers can see that it hasn’t been properly maintained; plus, it looks old and worn down. If the interior has sustained damage, this is also a dead giveaway.
Finally, sun exposure can fade the colors of your RV paint and interior. This isn’t a huge deal compared to the other problems, but it makes your RV look bad. Some materials will crack and peel when they’re exposed to the sun as well, so you may have to deal with damaged furniture and flooring.
Overall, it’s best to get ahead of these issues and protect your RV from sun damage before it sets in.
RVers looking for valuable how-to information have learned to go to the experts. Forums such as iRV2.com and blog sites like RV LIFE, Do It Yourself RV, and Camper Report provide all the information you need to enjoy your RV. You’ll also find brand-specific information on additional forums like Air Forums, Forest River Forums, and Jayco Owners Forum.
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