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Old 10-27-2016, 07:01 AM   #1
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Shrinkwrapping TT for Winter Storage

Looking to get opinions on shrinkwrapping the TT for winter storage. Does anyone do this? If so, did it work well? I have all the tools to do shrinkwrapping since I do our boat every year. Just wondering the pros and cons to shrinkwrapping a TT.
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Old 10-27-2016, 07:05 AM   #2
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Looking to get opinions on shrinkwrapping the TT for winter storage. Does anyone do this? If so, did it work well? I have all the tools to do shrinkwrapping since I do our boat every year. Just wondering the pros and cons to shrinkwrapping a TT.
Never heard of doing an RV with shrink wrap, neither.

What are the reasons behind doing it for boats? Do those reasons hold true for RV's?

How does the cost of shrink wrap (materials + labor) compare to a good cover that gets used 2 or 3 times?
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Old 10-27-2016, 07:21 AM   #3
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Well, for the boat, it creates a cover that protects the interior as well as most of the hull from winter weather and withstands any storms or wind that are thrown at it. Also preserves my boat cover from the harsh winter elements since I can take the summer boat cover and put it in the basement for the winter. As far as the camper, It would also keep the winter weather off of it. I have already purchased the shrinkwrappoing tools years ago so those are paid for. A roll of shrinkwrap costs me about $200 and according to my calculations should last for 3 times covering the RV (3 years) so end cost would be about $75 per season (including propane for the heat gun). I think it should be OK to do as long as there is ample venting in the shrinkwrap? Just wondering why I haven't run into more people doing this?
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Old 10-27-2016, 07:50 AM   #4
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If I had to leave my RV outdoors over the winter it would be shrink wrapped but I am lucky to have indoor storage. But I have my boat shrink wrapped every fall, wish I had the time and my own equipment to install it instead of paying $400. Once its done I don't have to worry about a tarp ripping under a snow load or the wind getting to it, ventilation is great and everything stays nice and dry.
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Old 10-27-2016, 07:58 AM   #5
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Venting....


There's the rub! IIRC the bottom 1/2 of a boat is weathertight already. When one shrinkwraps a boat, you've created a pretty-much sealed unit.


Unfortunately, the bottom of an RV is not particularly water resistant. So moisture WILL work it's way in through the floor (and the holes for plumbing and electrical).


So, you will have to provide a path for moisture to leave the RV before it builds up.


That's why covers made of breathable fabrics are used on RV's: Allow some moisture to pass through (both in and out), but keep the damaging effects of running water and ice at bay.


Thinking about it, unless you can completely encase your RV inside a shrink wrap cocoon, use a fabric cover.
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Old 10-27-2016, 08:14 AM   #6
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Venting....


There's the rub! IIRC the bottom 1/2 of a boat is weathertight already. When one shrinkwraps a boat, you've created a pretty-much sealed unit.


Unfortunately, the bottom of an RV is not particularly water resistant. So moisture WILL work it's way in through the floor (and the holes for plumbing and electrical).


So, you will have to provide a path for moisture to leave the RV before it builds up.


That's why covers made of breathable fabrics are used on RV's: Allow some moisture to pass through (both in and out), but keep the damaging effects of running water and ice at bay.


Thinking about it, unless you can completely encase your RV inside a shrink wrap cocoon, use a fabric cover.
Unless you have watched the process of shrinkwrapping this is what most people think. When actually the plastic doesn't touch much of the boat, they use a nylon strap about a 1/2" wide and some 2x4s to build a frame where needed. Vents are also cut into the plastic which help create air flow but doesn't let water in so its far from a sealed unit. If you wrapped a RV 100% it would become a condensation sweat box. When used to wrap an RV they use 4x4 foam blocks on the roof and sidewall areas to keep the material off the unit which allows air flow, when the material is heated with a torch it shrinks and becomes tight and doesn't move, so no rub.
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Old 10-27-2016, 08:34 AM   #7
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I've seen this done but for the life of me I can't see any advantages to doing so. You'd be better off with a good quality breathable cover, but I'm not a fan of those either. I only cover my AC and wheels.
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Old 10-27-2016, 08:52 AM   #8
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Unless you have watched the process of shrinkwrapping this is what most people think. When actually the plastic doesn't touch much of the boat, they use a nylon strap about a 1/2" wide and some 2x4s to build a frame where needed. Vents are also cut into the plastic which help create air flow but doesn't let water in so its far from a sealed unit. If you wrapped a RV 100% it would become a condensation sweat box. When used to wrap an RV they use 4x4 foam blocks on the roof and sidewall areas to keep the material off the unit which allows air flow, when the material is heated with a torch it shrinks and becomes tight and doesn't move, so no rub.
Yes, I am one of those 'most folks". I presumed that the wrapping process was as weather-tight as the hull.

All I've seen of shrink wrapped boats is the rows of them lined up in the marina, next to the stacks floating docks. All pulled out of The Hudson River for the winter.
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Old 10-27-2016, 10:19 AM   #9
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I have a seen a few shrink wrapped RVs here in Alaska. Believe it or not the most common cover a person would see when cruising neighborhoods and storage lots are the heavy duty blue (or grey) tarps.
Based on these observations, my two cents are to do what ever you feels makes the most sense for protecting your RV.


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Old 10-27-2016, 12:51 PM   #10
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Don't do it... shrink wrap will keep moisture inside the RV and start mildew and mold problems... that is why when you see adds for covers they all stress breathable fabric.
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Old 10-27-2016, 06:01 PM   #11
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Hot tip. Go South for the Winter and you don't have to worry about it.
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Old 10-27-2016, 06:37 PM   #12
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I can't see any reason why it would be a problem to shrink wrap an RV. Folks shrink wrap 1,000s of boats all over the country with no issues with condensation or moisture. I can't see any reason an RV would be different. All of the shrink wrapped boats I've seen have had plenty of ventilation and an RV would be no different. If you have the stuff I'd go for it.


http://www.doityourselfrv.com/mr-shr...-wrapping-kit/
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Old 10-27-2016, 07:05 PM   #13
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I've shrink wrapped my boats mostly to protect it from the snow and ice. During the day snow melts then re freezes at night. Water seeks it's on level and will inevitably find its way between fittings. On a boat it can create damage you won't find until later. I always had the guy install a zipper door for access and venting. One problem with shrink wrap is you can wrap too tight and loose air circulation. In the spring when you have arm days and cool nights the condensation build up can't dry out and will create mold.
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Old 10-27-2016, 08:25 PM   #14
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Why not just cover the top to the roof line similar to how boats are covered to the hull line?
Let us know what you decide to do and next spring how it worked out.
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Old 10-27-2016, 08:38 PM   #15
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Thanks for all the input. I think I might just give it a try. Seems like if I ventilate it like my boat, shouldn't be an issue. I think if I leave the roof vents cracked open and leave a window on each side cracked open and proper venting in those areas, should create enough air flow throughout the unit to keep the air dry. I'll let everyone know how it works out! We are trading our current TT in when our White Hawk is built (probably next April) so this winter will be a good test on a unit that we are just getting rid of anyhow (as long as it doesn't get totally destroyed by shrinkwrapping, which I doubt!)
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Old 10-27-2016, 10:45 PM   #16
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All the boats here I have seen shrink wrapped have framing to allow at least a little airspace and pitch to allow snow to slide off.

If you cant seal the whole unit and have the TT utterly dry before wrapping I'd say no.

We get a lot of snow here.

Shrink wrap is vented.. You probably know more than I do about how to do that.
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Old 10-27-2020, 12:57 PM   #17
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Thanks for all the input. I think I might just give it a try. Seems like if I ventilate it like my boat, shouldn't be an issue. I think if I leave the roof vents cracked open and leave a window on each side cracked open and proper venting in those areas, should create enough air flow throughout the unit to keep the air dry. I'll let everyone know how it works out! We are trading our current TT in when our White Hawk is built (probably next April) so this winter will be a good test on a unit that we are just getting rid of anyhow (as long as it doesn't get totally destroyed by shrinkwrapping, which I doubt!)
How did your trailer make out with the boat wrap? was their moisture inside? looking at doing mine, just need to make sure enough vents.
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Old 10-27-2020, 01:07 PM   #18
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In addition to the usual use of pool noodles and tennis balls, you should go to the local piggly wiggly type of store and either the meat dept or seafood dept, make a friend, and see if they will save for you the Styrofoam packs that much of their stuff come in. It may take three weeks worth of their shipments to fill your need, but it's cheap and easy. They are small enough, yet large enough to place on the roof and around the upper walls using two sided tape to act as air gap for venting and they won't damage your RV.
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Old 10-27-2020, 05:11 PM   #19
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While folks shrink wrap the tens of thousands of boats here ( we are a summer tourist are) there always seems to be a frame topside to allow some sort of airspace. Nothing on top seems to be in direct contact with the boat.
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Old 10-27-2020, 06:49 PM   #20
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In addition to the others concerns above, we've owned our TT for 3 years. There is always something that I want to do during the winter, upgrade something, check on any rodents, damage, etc. I like the fabric cover because it breathes and allows me access if we want.
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