RV Skirting and Tire Covers: Do You Really Need Them?
Go shopping for a brand-new RV and you are likely to be offered a lengthy list of options. It is no different than shopping for a car. You buy the base package on the lot and then add options based on whatever your dealer offers. You might be offered both RV skirting and tire covers, among other things. Do you really need them?
From a purely technical standpoint, no. You can get by without both. There are ways to protect your pipes from freezing without investing in RV skirting. As for your tires, covers don’t add a whole lot of value if you’re already picky about taking care of them.
All that said, plenty of people still buy skirting and tire covers. There are very valid reasons for doing so. Let us discuss each one in more detail.
AirSkirts is a Connecticut company that sells an inflatable RV skirting product. They say the number one reason for investing in skirting is to protect against frozen pipes. That makes sense. The underside of your RV isn’t designed to withstand extremely cold temperatures. As such, it doesn’t take much to end up with frozen pipes that could burst and cause significant damage.
It is important to know that insurance companies do not typically cover this sort of thing. They consider not protecting your pipes against freezing a form of neglect. As such, you’re on your own if it happens. That’s all the more reason to invest in skirting.
As a side note, a good skirting product that creates an insulating barrier also makes your AC more efficient during the summer months. Insulating the underside of your rig reduces energy loss whether you are cooling or heating your RV. As a side note, skirting is easier to use than hay bales.
Some would say that tire covers are purely an aesthetic thing. You may disagree. Regardless, there are plenty of avid RV owners who swear by their tire covers. They tend to cite three reasons:
- UV Rays – Even the best tires are susceptible to damage from UV rays. Let your motorhome or trailer sit out in the sun long enough and you’ll see for yourself. Tires dry out and crack if they are left unprotected for too long. Tire covers solve that problem.
- Longer Life – RV owners who swear by tire covers insist that they extend tire life. This makes sense in terms of the UV issue. However, any concerns about exposing tires to the elements seems unreasonable. Tires are designed to stand up to snow, ice, road debris, etc.
- Good Looks – There are those RV owners who use tire covers because they don’t like what unprotected tires look like. Their tires pick up dirt and debris on the road. If they cannot wash their rigs at a campsite, they would rather cover the tires than let people see them dirty.
Ultimately, investing in tire covers and RV skirting is a personal choice. Neither product is absolutely necessary to safely operate a motor home, fifth wheel, or travel trailer. In fact, plenty of RV owners enjoyed their units long before either one made it to market. Still, both are accessories you might be interested in.
If so, at least consider buying aftermarket parts rather than getting RV skirting and tire covers as dealer extras. Your dealer is going to charge you and awful lot more. You are better off doing some shopping after you drive away from the lot. You’ll find equally good prices and quality buying direct from manufacturers.