How to Tarp a Motorhome in 10 Simplified Steps

How to Tarp a Motorhome

It’s an exciting time to be a motorhome owner. You’re exploring foreign locations, living the good life, and soaking up the sights. But one accessory that many people overlook is their tarp. But this post covers how to tarp a motorhome in some simple steps.

Motorhomes get wet, that’s just a fact of life. If you’ve invested in your motorhome and plan on using it as more than a weekend getaway, you need to be prepared for the rain. The first step will be tarping your cover when you arrive at your destination.

Tarping is done for many reasons and when you’re traveling with a motorhome, it’s crucial to know how to do it whether you’re tarping in a harsh environment or simply want to keep your camper clean and look clean or how to tarp a camper for winter.

Some people simply carry hoses and drip irons, while others go the route of making their repairs with rope and duct tape. There is no doubt that this can be difficult when you are on the road and don’t have access to your workshop.

Over the years, I have been asked by many folks about this topic. So much so that I’ve decided to create this post to show you how it’s done in as few steps as possible.

10 Tips on How to Tarp a Motorhome

So, you’ve decided to add a motorhome to your family. Motorhomes are great vehicles to travel with because they provide shelter, protection, and comfort. They can also be very expensive, so you want to make sure that you take care of them properly.

Perhaps it’s been in your thoughts for a while, or maybe you’ve just recently purchased your new one and want to protect it from the elements with tarps. Tarping your motorhome is a great way to protect it from the elements.

Whether you’re traveling in a storm or just want to keep your rig looking nice and clean, tarps come in handy. Whatever the case may be, there are many RV roof cover ideas and ways to properly tarp an RV with these 10 tips.

1. Use large tarps to avoid mistakes that might spoil your trip. Make sure it’s large enough to cover the entire vehicle.

2. If you have air vents on your motorhome, make sure those are covered well enough so that they don’t get ripped open by the tarp.

3. Always use high-quality waterproof tarps for camping trips or long journeys because they will help keep moisture away from your stuff inside the vehicle.

4. Use sturdy ropes that are at least 25 feet long so that you do not end up straddling them while trying to secure them properly around your motorhome or camper van’s wheels (especially if they are driven by).

5. Clean the exterior of the RV. This will prevent water from getting inside the RV with your tarps, which can cause rust and other problems.

6. Remove all items that may be damaged by tarps, such as tires, battery boxes, etc, or anything that isn’t needed for your trip (i.e., furniture).

7. Place tarps down over the tires first before placing them on the bottom of the RV floor panels or sidewalls (if applicable). Use roofing tape or duct tape to secure the edges of your tarp in place, especially if you’re using a smaller one that might blow away in high winds.

8. When tarping a motorhome, use heavy-duty tarp material so that it will last longer and not tear as easily.

9. Attach the tarp over your entire vehicle with straps or bungee cords. These are designed to stretch across the entire length of your vehicle so they work great for covering carports too!

10. Keep tarps away from vents and other places where they could catch fire or melt under extreme heat, such as in an engine compartment or near exhaust pipes.

Should You Cover Your RV With a Tarp?

If you want an answer to the question “should you cover your RV with a tarp?”. The short answer is: it depends. A tarp can be used to cover an RV, but it’s not the best option for every situation.

If you’re planning to travel in inclement weather and are concerned about rain or snow, then a tarp might be right for you especially a breathable tarp for an RV.

The biggest benefit is that it can protect your investment from the elements and help keep it clean. When you travel with an RV, you’re right out in the open — exposed to the elements. This can cause damage to your vehicle if proper precautions aren’t taken.

The same goes for protection from harsh sun, heat, or cold temperatures (although the latter two are less common in the summer). For most other uses, however, there are better options available than a tent-like structure made of material that’s hard to maintain and even harder to store once it’s dirty.

They are especially important in areas where there is a lot of rain or snowfall as well as windy conditions. The sun’s rays can cause fading on the exterior of your RV as well as discoloring the paintwork inside and out.

This can happen even if you live in a warm climate because ultraviolet light still reaches through clouds and misty conditions during periods of bad weather.

A tarp will also keep leaves and other debris off your roof so they don’t end up blowing into the ventilation system where they can cause blockages or damage other parts of your RV.

How Do You Cover a Motorhome with a Tarp?

The first step in covering your motorhome with a tarp is knowing what kind of tarp you should use. There are many different types of tarps on the market today, as well as many different uses for them.

For example, some tarps are made from canvas or other materials that can be sewn together, while others are made from vinyl or plastic and have no stitching at all.

The type of material that your tarp is made of will determine how heavy-duty it is and how much protection it offers against weather conditions such as rain or snow.

Then, you’ll need to find a tarp that is large enough to cover your motorhome. If it’s too small, you’ll have to fold the sides in and tape them down.

The next step is to cut it into pieces that will fit around the edges of your motorhome. For instance, if your motorhome has four sides and one door, then you should cut four pieces of tarp that are about 5 feet long by 2 feet wide.

Once these pieces have been cut, you can start folding them up around each side of your motorhome.  You’ll want to leave about 6 inches between each section so that it doesn’t bunch up when you roll it up.

If there are any gaps between sections, then you can use duct tape or other binding material to hold everything together once it’s rolled up.

How Do I Cover My Motorhome?

So, you’ve decided to add a motorhome to your family. Perhaps it’s been in your thoughts for a while, or maybe you’ve just recently purchased your new one and want to protect it from the elements with tarps. Whatever the case may be, there are many ways to properly tarp an RV.

Choose a quality cover that will last. Quality covers can be expensive but they’ll last longer and protect your motorhome better than cheaper ones. If you plan on keeping your RV for several years, it may be worth investing in a good cover now.

This is better than buying a cheap one later on when it starts to wear out or rip apart due to exposure to weather elements such as ultraviolet rays from the sun or rainwater damage from storms.

Decide on the size of your tarp. The best way to do this is by measuring the length and width of your motorhome in inches.

Purchase a tarp that fits this measurement. You can find these at almost any RV store or online. Make sure you get one that will cover all four sides of your vehicle, including the roof.

Attach the tarp to your vehicle using ropes or stakes. Tie off each corner at an angle so that it doesn’t flap around in the wind when you drive down the road.

RV Roof Cover Ideas

If you are looking for some ideas on how to use a tarp on your RV roof, here are some of the things that you might want to consider for RV roof cover ideas:

Use the Right Tarp for Your Motorhome

There are different types of tarps available. You need to ensure that you use the right kind of tarp for your specific needs.

Some people prefer using polyethylene tarps, while others prefer using vinyl tarps.

If you want something that will last longer and protect against UV rays as well as moisture, then it is best to go for vinyl tarps instead of polyethylene ones.

Select a Heavy Duty Tarp with Plenty of Coverage Area

You must select a heavy-duty tarp that has plenty of coverage area so that it can provide better protection against rain and other elements such as wind or snow.

You should also look at the weight limit of your tarp so that it does not rip off easily when there is too much pressure on it due to high winds or heavy rain.

Tips to Keep in Mind When Shopping for an RV Tarp

Consider Weight

Regardless of what type of material you choose, make sure it doesn’t weigh too much. Too much weight on your vehicle could cause problems when you’re traveling with it or cause other issues once installed on the roof.

Think About Size

You’ll want to think about how much space you need to be covered before purchasing a trap and how much coverage you want from it. Tarps come in varying sizes so that you can find one that fits perfectly around your RV’s body and roof area.

Look at Price Tags Closely

While some tarps may cost more than others, this doesn’t necessarily mean they will offer better protection or last longer than less expensive alternatives. Make sure you know what kind of tarp you are looking for.

So after all has been settled. The first step to tarping your RV is to make sure that everything inside is secure. If you have a lot of stuff in the back, you want to make sure that nothing can move around while you’re tarping it.

Once everything has been secured and locked down, go ahead and start tarping the roof of your RV. Start at the front and work your way backward. Make sure that there are no gaps between the tarp and the RV’s roof so water doesn’t get inside.

After you’ve finished tarping your roof, it’s time to move on to the sides of your RV. This process is similar to tarping the roof: start at one end and work your way towards the other end until you’ve completely covered every side of your RV with a tarp.

Finally, if you have an open-air entryway on either side of your RV, you need to cover those as well so water doesn’t seep in through them when it rains or snows.

Benefits of Motorhome Roof Covers

Protects against sun damage and fading from prolonged exposure to sunlight.

Prevents water damage from rain or snow accumulation on top of the fabric.

Helps keep out dust and dirt that can contaminate interiors with mold and mildew.

Keeps out insects such as bees, wasps, and hornets that could cause an issue to passengers if allowed inside the vehicle.

Is It Good to Cover a Motorhome?

If you are considering covering your motorhome, the first thing you should do is consider the climate where you will be traveling.

Then the short answer to the question “is it good to cover a motorhome?” is yes. A motorhome cover is a valuable investment, not only for keeping your motorhome safe and dry but also to protect your favorite gear from the elements and damage.

If your home is located in an area with extreme heat, then it is a good idea to cover your motorhome because it will protect against damage caused by extreme temperatures.

A cover will protect the exterior from UV rays, which can fade paint and decals and cause cracking in vinyl graphics. It also protects from mildew and dirt that can accumulate on the outside of your RV.

It is important to cover a motorhome, especially if you are going to store it for an extended period. If you do not cover it, the elements will harm your vehicle.

The sun can damage the paint and other parts of your RV. Rain can cause mildew and rust to develop on the exterior.

If you want to protect your motorhome from these problems, you should consider purchasing one of the many covers available on the market today.

Should I Put a Tarp on My RV For Winter?

This is a question that I get asked quite often, and the answer is yes. Yes, you should put a tarp on top of your RV for winter.

Winter can be a fun time of year but it also has its downsides including bitterly cold temperatures and the degradation of those contaminants that settled on your RV canvas during the Summer — you know what I’m talking about if you own a motorhome or camper.

One of the worst issues with motorhomes and campers is that they’re not always fitted with large storage areas making them tricky to completely clean before Winter.

If you live in an area where it snows, there’s also the risk of getting snow on your roof and then on top of your canvas, which can lead to water damage.

The best material for an RV tarp is polypropylene plastic. This type of material is easy to work with and can be purchased in different sizes to fit your needs.

It can also be cut into pieces if necessary. Another advantage of this type of plastic is that it won’t tear easily or snag on branches or other objects like cotton tarps do.


How long can you leave a tarp on a roof?

It’s best to leave it on for as short a time as possible. If you have to leave it on for an extended period of time, be sure to take it off every few days and check for problems.

If you see any signs of leaks or damage, remove the tarp immediately and repair your RV.

How do I protect my fiberglass RV?

If you have a fiberglass RV, you can use a wax that contains silicone or another sealant to protect it from UV rays and moisture.

You’ll want to wax the entire vehicle at least twice per year; once in the spring before it gets wet and again in the fall when it’s dry enough to handle without getting dirty again right away.

How long does a fiberglass roof last on a motorhome?

A good rule of thumb is that if your motorhome has been properly maintained with regular waxing, cleaning, and polishing, then expect your roof to last 15 years or more before needing replacement.

If you neglect this part of keeping your RV clean and shiny, then expect your roof otherwise.

What’s the best wax to use on a motorhome?

The best wax for your RV is the one that suits your needs. If you want something that lasts for longer than a few days, then you should choose a high-quality brand like Meguiar’s or Turtle Wax.

If you just want something cheap and easy to apply, then try some off-brand stuff from your local auto parts store.

There are many different waxes and polishes available for use on RVs, but we recommend using Meguiar’s Ultimate Wax or Collinite 845 Marine Paste Wax to protect your RV’s paint job and give it that extra shine.

Final Thought

As I’ve stated earlier, there are ways you can tarp your motorhome and you should reflect on them before embarking on their travels with your motorhome. It’s always best to be well-prepared for camping with your motorhome, no matter where you’re going.

Did you learn something new about tarping your motorhome? Did it help you with any ideas to make tarping your motorhome easier?

Either way, a post like this is meant to be read and shared with others, so if you would be kind enough to do so, then you’ll help me in my goal of reaching everyone. Happy camping.

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