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Old 10-02-2019, 05:46 AM   #1
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Plastic covering outside panels for winter?

I was thinking about using duct tape and plastic to cover the furnace/fridge/water heater/AC/roof vents for the long winter slumber.

We have stink bugs and the lady bug looking things that invade everything during the fall and then live in any found shelter all winter. So my thought is that I can seal up the unit with plastic and 3M duct tape to prevent or limit entry of the insects.

Is there any argument against doing something like this? I do know that I will need to use WD-40 to clean off the residual adhesive in the spring. But I really think that keeping the pests out would be a good idea.

I've already soaked the entire camper down with TalStar Pro broad spectrum insecticide, so that means that in the spring I will need to scrub the white residue off of the paint and glass. This stuff is about the best killer of insects that I have found. If it creeps, crawls or flies.... it dies. I mix at 2oz per gallon. I also sprayed the underside to make sure any insects going for cover get dead.
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Old 10-02-2019, 06:49 AM   #2
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At the storage area where we stay, many campers are covered that way. Don't know if good/bad, but many are.
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Old 10-02-2019, 07:01 AM   #3
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I'd think that with the winter temps in Pitt, anything that made it inside would still freeze to death. I put a full trailer cover on mine in the winter and find a few dead flies or dead spider in the spring, but that's about it. Shouldn't hurt anything covering those areas.
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Old 10-02-2019, 07:39 AM   #4
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I'd think that with the winter temps in Pitt, anything that made it inside would still freeze to death. I put a full trailer cover on mine in the winter and find a few dead flies or dead spider in the spring, but that's about it. Shouldn't hurt anything covering those areas.
I thought that I had read from various posts that a full cover was not often recommended due to paint abrasion and tapped humidity? Have you observed any negative issues with buying and using a full cover similar to a car cover?
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Old 10-02-2019, 01:31 PM   #5
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Larry0071,

I think the recommendation is to not use plastic, non-breathable, tarps to cover RVs. I have used an Elements cover for 3 years and have not had any issues with it. The top is Tyvek and the sides are polypropylene so it is a soft fabric that does not scratch. It doesn't keep bugs out but it helps protect the roof and sides from the "elements."
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Old 10-02-2019, 02:16 PM   #6
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I thought that I had read from various posts that a full cover was not often recommended due to paint abrasion and tapped humidity? Have you observed any negative issues with buying and using a full cover similar to a car cover?
DON'T USE A TARP. I've used ADCO covers since 2008. Never had issues outside of they only last about 3-4 years if the winter isn't too bad. I put foam on all sharp points (gutter extensions) and have large container that sits over the OMNI antenna perfectly. RV covers are designed to "Breath" and have vents on them to control billowing in high winds. A Tarp will cause abrasion, trap humidity which you don't want.
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Old 10-02-2019, 03:37 PM   #7
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Your question is about selectively using plastic film to cover openings. This shouldn't be an issue, as the rig itself can still breathe.
I prefer an RV cover for this purpose, because it will also protect against dust and other issues along with excluding insects.

You mention your use of Talstar Pro (Talstar P).
Active ingredient is Bifenthrin.

I would recommend against this. The product is toxic to humans and unintended species of wildlife in a number of ways.
Source: https://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/s...0and%20tremors.

In sum:
~ It's a neurotoxin;
~ It attacks skin, breathing, eyes;
~ There a a few documented cases of cardiac issues;
~ It can cause asthma;
~ It can cause gastrointestinal problems include nausea and diarrhea;
~ It's a group C possible human carcinogen;
~ It can interfere with the endocrine (hormone) system;
~ It can provoke the immune system into an unwarranted immune response (e.g. asthma).
~ It's highly toxic to both freshwater and marine species - relates to the effluent from your washdown making it into storm drains, streams, etc.
~ It's highly toxic to bees - already in severe distress from many chemical assaults.

Perhaps you can find an alternative to this product. It may not affect you, but children are generally far more susceptible to most chemicals, and adult females are as well. (there are no studies on the subject specifically with Bifenthrin.) Vulnerability can be dramatically different from individual to individual. Your exposure may be greatest, but others can exposed in many ways, from "drift" during application, to direct contact with the treated camper, to residue on your clothes (and in the laundry), and in the inevitable wastewater from the wash-down. It binds with soil and has a very long "half-life" in the environment...exacerbating the risk of exposure long after application.

The government site (NIH) is written for professional applicators and scientists. This source is more easily digested, and it's a credible source for information on toxic chemicals - produced by the Oregon State University in coordination with the EPA. Bifenthrin General Fact Sheet
Here's Cornell University: Bifenthrin

I ran the New York Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides, and I trained pest control professionals, hospital facilities managers, school superintendents of buildings and grounds, and many other professionals on pest control and turf management. We were funded by the NYS Dept of Environmental Conservation to provide occupational safety and health continuing education.

Personally, I would not use this product at my home...especially in a DIY effort. If a pest control professional were to apply it, I would be less concerned, but I'd urge a substitute. Your comment, "...soaked the entire camper down..." may have been an exaggeration, but it provoked my response. Application at levels that leave a powdery residue that needs to be washed off the camper also raises concern.

You needn't defend or agree. This is not an accusation -- just an observation and recommendation...the choice is yours. I'd do this another way.
Good luck.
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Old 10-02-2019, 03:42 PM   #8
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How about the insect screens designed to keep bugs out? They worked on my rigs when I lived in pa plus they kept the bees out in summer.
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Old 10-02-2019, 04:10 PM   #9
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I've seen the insect screens, I do plan to grab them for next year since I've been told by some experienced campers about the propane fumes attracting stinging insects that you unhappily discover while removing an outside panel. Boo hiss.

I've moved the unit into the lower level driveway, this will be it's resting place until late spring. I think I will invest in a cover...

Should I go the $250-$300 Amazon route or is it actually worth paying 2 or more times more to buy a brand name that likely came from the same alley in China or Korea anyway?

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Old 10-02-2019, 07:02 PM   #10
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Larry0071,

I think the recommendation is to not use plastic, non-breathable, tarps to cover RVs. I have used an Elements cover for 3 years and have not had any issues with it. The top is Tyvek and the sides are polypropylene so it is a soft fabric that does not scratch. It doesn't keep bugs out but it helps protect the roof and sides from the "elements."
X2. There have been other posts about covers - the OP may want to use the search engine to view the wealth of information already shared on that topic. We also use the screens to cover the heater intake/vent, and an aluminum screen I got from HD to cover the hot water heater. We used screens for the refrigerator on the previous TT, but the current one has a residential fridge and doesn't need it. This gives us protection from the critters during the camping season, too, so we don't have issues with spiders getting into burner tubes, etc.
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Old 10-02-2019, 10:14 PM   #11
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Just some of my thoughts on whether or not to seal off the furnace and water heater outside access doors, for that matter the refrigerator too.

With the exception of the Refrigerator, both are sealed off from the inside of the vehicle. If you cover with plastic and tape that essentially traps any moisture in them until you remove covering in the spring. This moisture can condense on parts that you really don't want wet and cause corrosion.

If I were to do this (which I haven't for around 46 years now) I would obtain a few small desiccant packs like those little bags you always have to throw away when unpacking something made overseas. You can buy them on
Amazon in all sizes and shapes.
Before sealing up for the winter I'd put a couple in side the Hot Water Heater door and tape a couple (ends only) on the inside of the plastic covering for the furnace.

Seal well and in the spring just toss the packets along with the plastic sheeting and tape.

I don't bother as I don't have the bug issue others do and with my new TT I pretty much have it on the road one or two weeks a month year around.

Like I said, just my thoughts.
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Old 10-03-2019, 02:24 AM   #12
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Just some of my thoughts on whether or not to seal off the furnace and water heater outside access doors, for that matter the refrigerator too.

With the exception of the Refrigerator, both are sealed off from the inside of the vehicle. If you cover with plastic and tape that essentially traps any moisture in them until you remove covering in the spring. This moisture can condense on parts that you really don't want wet and cause corrosion.

If I were to do this (which I haven't for around 46 years now) I would obtain a few small desiccant packs like those little bags you always have to throw away when unpacking something made overseas. You can buy them on
Amazon in all sizes and shapes.
Before sealing up for the winter I'd put a couple in side the Hot Water Heater door and tape a couple (ends only) on the inside of the plastic covering for the furnace.

Seal well and in the spring just toss the packets along with the plastic sheeting and tape.

I don't bother as I don't have the bug issue others do and with my new TT I pretty much have it on the road one or two weeks a month year around.

Like I said, just my thoughts.
Not sure what you are intending to protect the RV from...cold...snow?
Comes down to a preference but personally don't think it's necessary.
Trust your 46 years.
We are at 30 years of Rving. Live in Northern Alberta, Canada...winters cold and lots of snow. Have never covered our RV's or sealed mentioned vents. Only thing we do is clear snow off the RV after a heavy snow fall. Have not had an issue with this practice.
Have bug screens installed on the water heater, furnace and fridge to keep bugs out in the summer.
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Old 10-03-2019, 05:57 AM   #13
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What I'm trying to protect from is the stink bugs and Chinese lady bugs from infesting it. I had a truck that sat unused for a couple months as the cold weather hit a couple years back. When I went to open the door to use it, the jams were solid with hundreds of stink bugs. They shove themselves into any crack or crevice. They get in behind the siding of the house, into the attic ridge vents and all winter they creep out of the recessed lighting and generally can't be stopped.

My goal is to lock it down and keep the insects sealed out.
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Old 10-03-2019, 06:27 AM   #14
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How about all the looks and crannies under your unit? We get them but not that bad and using tends to keep them down.
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Old 10-03-2019, 07:46 AM   #15
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The 289TBSS is a covered/sealed frame, the penetrations for water drains and such are all sprayed in with expanding foam. I've inspected it and saw one errant cut line in the black sheeting around a spring hanger that I covered with Gorilla Tape. Being brand new, at this point everything is pretty well closed up tight under it. There was also a hole where the battery cables went back into the sub floor at the very front of the frame that had a grommet and wires with gaps between them, I shot some Great Stuff expanding foam into that to block it off.
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Old 10-03-2019, 09:31 AM   #16
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No tape necessary

Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry0071 View Post
I was thinking about using duct tape and plastic to cover the furnace/fridge/water heater/AC/roof vents for the long winter slumber.

We have stink bugs and the lady bug looking things that invade everything during the fall and then live in any found shelter all winter. So my thought is that I can seal up the unit with plastic and 3M duct tape to prevent or limit entry of the insects.

Is there any argument against doing something like this? I do know that I will need to use WD-40 to clean off the residual adhesive in the spring. But I really think that keeping the pests out would be a good idea.

I've already soaked the entire camper down with TalStar Pro broad spectrum insecticide, so that means that in the spring I will need to scrub the white residue off of the paint and glass. This stuff is about the best killer of insects that I have found. If it creeps, crawls or flies.... it dies. I mix at 2oz per gallon. I also sprayed the underside to make sure any insects going for cover get dead.

Just open the outside grill for the fridge, lay a large white plastic trash bag over and insert the grill back at the bottom and close the top with the screw locks and done.



Do the same for the hot water heater and furnace. Just remove the outside covers, lay a bag over the opening and place the covers over the plastic bag and secure.



No fuss no muss and no tape.


Been camping for 45 plus years and have done it this way and still do.


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Old 10-03-2019, 09:41 AM   #17
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Just open the outside grill for the fridge, lay a large white plastic trash bag over and insert the grill back at the bottom and close the top with the screw locks and done.



Do the same for the hot water heater and furnace. Just remove the outside covers, lay a bag over the opening and place the covers over the plastic bag and secure.



No fuss no muss and no tape.


Been camping for 45 plus years and have done it this way and still do.


I think I love you! Your a freaking genius of simplicity and efficiency!

I'm going to take your teaching to heart and go this way. Then I don't have adhesive clean up to do in the spring.

You truly are a scholar and a gentleman! Thank you!
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Old 10-04-2019, 09:32 AM   #18
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Aw shucks.

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I think I love you! Your a freaking genius of simplicity and efficiency!

I'm going to take your teaching to heart and go this way. Then I don't have adhesive clean up to do in the spring.

You truly are a scholar and a gentleman! Thank you!

Aw shucks you say the nicest things.


Happy camping and glad to help.


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Old 10-04-2019, 10:05 AM   #19
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Just open the outside grill for the fridge, lay a large white plastic trash bag over and insert the grill back at the bottom and close the top with the screw locks and done.



Do the same for the hot water heater and furnace. Just remove the outside covers, lay a bag over the opening and place the covers over the plastic bag and secure.



No fuss no muss and no tape.


Been camping for 45 plus years and have done it this way and still do.


On my furnace, I'd have to scrape all the caulking off around the cover. Pry the cover off as there is caulking on the inside edge and then re-caulk everything when done. Pass on that one.
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Old 10-04-2019, 10:23 AM   #20
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It's a SHAME!

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On my furnace, I'd have to scrape all the caulking off around the cover. Pry the cover off as there is caulking on the inside edge and then re-caulk everything when done. Pass on that one.

That's a shame. Every one I have ever had has had 4 screws, 1 in each corner.
Unscrew then and bag it and screw them back in .


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