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Old 10-28-2019, 06:25 PM   #1
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Covering a 22M

Here is how I cover my Minnie Winnie 22M.
I use the lightest-weight 12'x30' green tarp I can buy (7 mil) to keep the expensive fabric cover dry. I use bungee cords and small rope to secure it. Because the green tarp is lightweight, I can easily get it up over the motorhome from the ground using a small auto-washing brush. I store this lightweight green tarp in my garage. I also use four waterproof wheel covers.


The bungee cord (hooked on the left-edge of the awning support) which I use to hold the fabric cover zip-up door out-of-the-way, I use again to keep the main cover wrapped-up.


The main cover wrapped and ready to go.


This simple cardboard box kept under the fabric cover eliminates a low-spot which would pool rain water. It also stores my blue tarp.


I put the blue tarp down on my porch roof, then the main cover cradles in that. The Snow Guards keep it from sliding-off the standing seam roof. By keeping the heavy main cover at roof-level, the overall job is MUCH easier!


I use three 3-pound lead weights to keep the blue tarp securely wrapped over the main cover.
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Old 11-07-2019, 06:01 PM   #2
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I am getting ready to winterize my Minnie. I see that you are covering it up completely . I keep going back and forth on covering it up or not. Your not concerned about running the generator, starting the MH and moving it around during the winter. I was thinking more like doing the blowout of all water lines, putting stabilizer in gas, maybe just covering the AC unit and things like max out tire pressure etc..... I am even struggling with the pro’s and con’s about pumping in pink anti freeze.
One question I do have is, my manual states in bold letters, it is not recommended to leave the MH plugged into shore power. Am I wrong in believing shore power and generator will charge house batteries while engine alternator will charge chassis battery. Not sure why they don’t want it left plugged in unless this particular MH (Minnie 22M) does not have the correct battery tender installed from factory. Wasn’t thinking I would have to go out and buy another battery tender similar to the unit I use on my Harley for the winter
All summer long when not traveling, the MH is parked in my yard and plugged in.

Interested to hear from fellow rv’rs
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Old 11-07-2019, 06:05 PM   #3
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It only takes me about 30 minutes to either cover, or uncover the Eagle5, so I cover it between uses; Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall. It rains so much here.
I checked the voltage on my house batteries after the system had been plugged-in overnight, but without any load. I was running about 13.05 volts, which is the maintenance voltage. I was told by Roy Robinson that it is OK to leave it plugged-in year-round.
I use a separate maintenance charger for the main motor battery, plugged-into the cigarette lighter on the 12 VDC side, and into the house outlet on the 120 VAC side.
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Old 11-11-2019, 08:56 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lance View Post
I am getting ready to winterize my Minnie. Snip
...
One question I do have is, my manual states in bold letters, it is not recommended to leave the MH plugged into shore power. Am I wrong in believing shore power and generator will charge house batteries while engine alternator will charge chassis battery.

Snip...

Interested to hear from fellow rv’rs
You can easily discover if you have an aux charger already installed on your batteries by plugging in, and then using a DVM measure the voltage across both sets. They should both be over 13 volts. If the chassis set is down in the 12 volt range, than no, you don't have one. Need to add that.

Since the manufacturer says to leave it unplugged, that's what I'd do. But first...

Just service, clean and check water, than disconnect the battery grounds from each battery set before storage and you can leave it unplugged all winter, no problem. A healthy battery can withstand -76 F. Next spring you will want to plug in the RV to get them charged up (so make sure you do have the aux charger for the chassis batts). Removing the grounds from the batteries prevents phantom draws from depleting the batteries over the winter. And there's a lot of them in a modern RV. I keep gloves and a wrench in the battery compartment so I can do that job quickly if necessary, like if I need to drive it NOW.

In general, I always disconnect the grounds if I'm going to leave the RV for 3 or more days. And if I'm traveling and need to leave it for several days, I add a small battery float charger to power the refer circuit, running an extension cord to it. During the winter, wood under the tires and jacks (so they won't freeze to the ground), jacks extended a bit taking some of the weight off the tires.

Stayed up in Fairbanks, Alaska for 3 winters and that's all I did. Cleaned out the refer of course since it was going to be 7-8 months in storage.

My procedure the first winter I owned an RV was with the pink stuff. Boy, did I hate that. Tasted it in my coffee for months after emptying and filling, emptying and filling several times along with running water through all the faucets...so I've done the drain and blow out with air ever since. Using 25 - 55 PSI air to blow out the lines only takes 30-40 minutes. Never had a pipe crack when I did that and newer RV's, from the late '90s on, all use that newer PEX plumbing, milky white stuff. Much more tolerant to freezing than the older grey type PEX. And then I add pink stuff to all the drains, and toilet, remove and drain the water filter under the sink, and if I used my ice maker (I don't), I would drain that 1/4" hose before and after the solenoid.
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Old 11-14-2019, 02:05 AM   #5
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Hi Eagle5. With all my respect, I would never cover my RV like that. The risk of causing more damage due to condensation etc. than effectively protecting the vehicle would be too big for me.

Before we built a heated garage (lucky us), I always used a "portable" rv-shelter/carport with a fabric roof made of breathable material but open on all sides (cost about $400-$500 at Amazon, $200 at Alibaba and what I did, I built it myself for about $200). This protects the roof, ac, front screen and wipers quite well from heavy rain and snow etc., but let the vehicle breathe and the risk of condensation, moisture, mold, rust etc. is massively reduced. And you always have easy access to the inside of your rv. So you can open the windows on a sunny dry day etc.

It should not be forgotten that RVs are built to withstand all sorts of bad weather (that's why you have an RV and not only a newspaper on the bench in the park). In addition, ice or snow are less bad for the vehicle than condensed water due to low temperatures slow down chemical reactions. But especially during the warmer seasons condensation is quite aggressive and strongly increases rust etc. even on galvanized materials (like in the air-conditioners) or some sorts of "stainless-steel" due to condensed water is not mineralised. By the way: That's the reason why condensed water is lethal(!) and "eating" snow makes you thirsty.

It is even better to leave the vehicle unprotected in the rain than to cover it up like you do, because with your method, the rv takes a lot longer to dry and let condensation occur. And don't forget: Mold loves humid and warm environments and lives quite well on silicone or rubber materials.

It took me about 1hr to install my rv-shelter. Well that's not that much longer than your 30 minutes for your cover, but normally I spend a good day to winterize our rv, even it is now in the garage (clean it, flush the tanks, maintain the rubber parts, control the liquids, grease the chassis etc. etc.). I think this "invested" time is really necessary for a long life of the vehicle and helps to prevent annoying problems on the next trip.

Regarding the winterization I always followed the owners manual; it's quite easy.

Concerning the batteries, I would not let the vehicle plugged in if it's parked for more than one month. For a long life, lead-acid batteries need to be "busy" and let the vehicle plugged in charge the batteries but do not keep them "busy" (ok, let the vehicle plugged in is better than do nothing with the batteries). I always disconnect the batteries and connect a smart battery-charger (cost about $25) as I do with the batteries of my motorcycle and vintage cars. Some of those batteries are 12 years old and still do a good job.
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Old 11-14-2019, 07:49 PM   #6
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When you cover your RV with this type of cover it will not breath properly causing a mold issue on your roof. Your better off leaving it uncovered.
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Old 11-15-2019, 08:31 PM   #7
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If one were to totally encase the motorhome in a waterproof cover, then yes, it would mold under same. The combination of a semi-breathable cloth cover with the waterproof tarp over just the roof still allows air to circulate and remove moisture. As the wind blows, that waterproof tarp slightly puffs up; allowing airflow and drying. I do not have a molding problem the way I am doing it.
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Old 01-12-2020, 12:30 AM   #8
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One oversight that I didn't anticipate with this covering method was heavy rain splashing off the roof of the motorhome and onto my dry front porch. I purchased a clear tarp and cut it to be just 25" wide. I used cup-hooks to hang this on the fascia board to deflect the rain splash from the motorhome away from the dry deck. The clear material, while expensive, is less garish than an opaque or colored tarp:
Tarps Industrial Grade Clear PVC Tarpaulin


I also placed two additional small cardboard boxes under the motorhome cover at these locations, to prevent a slight pooling of the water:
  • On the top of the air conditioner
  • At the front-right corner
The fairly sizable cardboard box placed at the rear center of the roof is still used as well.
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Old 09-23-2020, 06:00 PM   #9
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An article today from Do It Yourself RV, with which I agree:
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Old 09-24-2020, 03:48 PM   #10
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In my opinion, the best way to store an RV - not counting storing it in a temperature and humidity controlled inside environment (which is the ultimate storage) - is under a large enough outside roof coverring, with no walls, such that ... outside air can circulate all around it, water/snow/hail can't fall on it, and the sun can't shine on it.

The most damaging culprit is the sun shining on it. The sun's UV rays can eventually destroy all component parts of the outside of an RV (except for probably metal parts).
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