In general, a carport or portable garage is the most economical shelter for protecting your boat, RV, or equipment in winter. But, what if you own such a vehicle and live in an area that has restrictive ordinances and zoning laws for portable shelters or that makes setting up such structures illegal? While a boat can stay near a dock and an RV kept in an RV lot, the vehicle can still be covered with a tarp.
For long-term storage, at least six months in the case of seasonal vehicles, heavy-duty poly tarps are ideal. Made out of rip-stop polyethylene, such tarps are treated to be UV resistant, waterproof, rot proof, and mildew resistant. As a result, the material, when surrounding a boat or RV, blocks out the sunlight and keeps the water from accumulating directly on the surface.
If you own such a vehicle, know that these elements can damage the surface – and even internal parts – over time. UV rays fade and crack a vehicle’s surface and can even damage internal parts. Water that accumulates wears away the surface and attracts mold, mildew, and dry rot, which further damage the vehicle. Because such a vehicle was a significant investment, don’t you want to get all you can out of it?
To cover your boat or RV with a poly tarp, find material that’s the right size. Before purchasing any tarp, measure the height, length, and width of a vehicle, and include all add-ons and appendages in your dimensions. A tarp should be able to cover all of this. For RVs, additionally, manufacturers also make tarps specifically shaped for the vehicle. But, no matter the size, shape, or vehicle being stored, the tarp needs to be secured. To prevent the tarp from blowing away or moving in the winter, secure it with bungee cords or clips.