Most caravan owners know the importance of protecting their investment from the elements as much as possible. While the gel-coated fibreglass shell of a caravan is robust and weatherproof, it can be degraded over time by a number of things nature likes to throw at it, ranging from bright sunlight to tree sap. Needless to say, keeping your caravan under a protective winter cover in the off-season is a great precaution to take and may significantly extend the usable life of your caravan.
However, not all caravan covers are made equal, and choosing a caravan cover badly suited to your caravan can end up becoming more of a hindrance than a help. When shopping around for a new caravan cover, you should look out for the following qualities that tend to signify a quality cover:
Caravans come in a near-infinite variety of sizes and configurations, and finding an off-the-shelf cover that properly fits your caravan without billowing or over-stretching can be close to impossible. As such, you should make an extra investment if at all possible and choose a made-to-measure caravan cover. These can be purchased directly from caravan cover manufacturers, but many caravan and camping supply shops also offer tailored caravan covers.
An ideal caravan cover should be made of a material with the following properties:
- Waterproof - this protects the caravan from mould, mildew, and other damage caused by water.
- Durable - particularly against pulling and tearing forces (caravan covers should always be a snug fit.
- UV stable - perishing caused by UV exposure can significantly shorten the lifespan of non-UV stable covers.
- Breathable - without proper airflow beneath the cover, your caravan is vulnerable to mould and rot and may develop leaks caused by excessive condensation.
- Resistant to chemical damage - the corrosive chemicals in guano and tree sap can severely damage some cover materials.
- Covered seams - exposed stitching and seams can do a number on your caravan's gel coat.
Synthetic fibres are generally the most well suited to this task, and a number of variants are available. If possible, you should also choose a material that is lightweight, as this will make taking the cover on and off much easier. A non-abrasive inner liner can protect your caravan against accidental scratches.
Although a winter cover is mostly suited for periods when your caravan is not in use, you should still be inspecting its interior periodically to check for condensation and mildew. Choose a cover that allows access through at least one door without having to remove the whole cover. These openings are usually fixed with zips (make sure they are shielded by fabric to prevent accidental damage) or Velcro (which will eventually need to be replaced).
It might seem like the least important factor in choosing a caravan cover, but wherever possible, you should go for a darker coloured cover. White and other brightly coloured covers not only make your caravan more visible to thieves but tend to attract insects and their droppings in the summer and will show stains and marks more vividly.
For more information about covers and other camper trailer accessories, contact a local retailer or caravan dealer.