How to Choose the Right Tarp for Covering Your RV or Trailer During the Off-Season

Posted on: 17 April 2017

When you own a motor home, ATV, caravan, or any type of utility trailer, and you store it outside during the off-season, you'll want to cover it with a tarp of some sort. This will protect it from potential water damage due to snow and ice and from being damaged by falling icicles, hail and other such inclement weather. When you are ready to choose that tarp, note a few tips before you shop so you get the best one for your caravan.

Choose the material

First consider the amount of protection you might need for your caravan. If you live in an area with lots of snowfall, you'll want maximum waterproofing. This will mean a heavy-duty vinyl, plastic or PVC tarp. These may be the most expensive, so you might opt for a more lightweight canvas if you live in the tropics or any area with milder weather and less risk of snow and ice piling up on your caravan.

Consider, too, if you might use the tarp for other purposes. A vinyl or plastic tarp might work as a makeshift shelter when you're on holiday and need to protect your grill and other outdoor items from rainfall. Canvas material with a looser weave is good for when you want to use the tarp as an awning, as it allows for more air circulation and greater comfort.

Note the thickness

While a vinyl, plastic or PVC tarp will be strong no matter its thickness, note that a thicker tarp will be easier to tie down and less likely to start flapping in high winds. It is also less likely to shred and tear in those winds or get damaged from hail, falling ice and other such hazards. If you live in an area with very inclement weather, look for the actual thickness and don't rely on advertising lines like 'heavy duty' or 'commercial quality'.

Choose something specific for the vehicle being covered

It can be good to choose a tarp meant specifically for a caravan, a utility trailer and so on. Product-specific tarps will have grommets placed along the edges for the easiest tie down; for example, these grommets will be spaced to work around tyres of a larger caravan versus a smaller utility trailer. A caravan tarp may also have added spacing in the back to accommodate the size of a spare tyre that is often attached to the back of a caravan.