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Old 07-10-2015, 07:49 AM   #1
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Location: Upstate, SC
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Question Direct sun protection in the South

Hey everyone - been reading many threads and there still isnt a "straight" answer and I would guess this may end up the same way but wanted to ask.

We live in northern SC. The camper is parked on the side of our home facing West. From about 1:00PM until sundown it is in direct sun with zero shade. Little wind since it is right up against the house but if we get a storm it channels wind enough to blow our big trash can out into the yard.

Currently have a 2012 Surveyor out there and in 3 years the west facing side of it has taken a beating. The black plastic trim that covers all the screws along the gutter and around the slide - gone. They just split and fell off. The black plastic that covers the cable connection? The cover hinge just disintegrated when opened one day. The black aluminum trim around the windows - it is oxidizing and fading.

Granted this is our first long term TT (had a PUP prior) so we didnt do much other than wash it now and then and waxed it once. We also washed the roof once a year but I didnt put anything on it. It actually looks decent but I am not sure how to tell when it could be going bad before it actually leaks.

Fast forward to today and we are trading it in on a 2015 XLR Hyper Lite 27 toy hauler. We want to protect this one better!

Thoughts? Cant put a metal car port in, not enough room. Covers seem to have a love or hate it type of following. We camp about 4-5 times a year, some for just a couple days. The idea of taking an hour plus to prep the roof (covering down spouts, making sure stuff is out of the way, etc) and then cover and uncover it a lot doesnt sound fun but if it protects our camper the best so be it.

Would washing, waxing and spraying down the plastics with something like Aerospace 303 work well enough to protect against that much UV damage? How often? Same with the roof, wash and spray down with protectant...

Just trying to make it last. Our PUP was 7 years old and looked really good but that was an easy wash and wax job! Our 3 yr old Surveyor looks way worse.

'15 XLR 27HFS
'15 Nissan NVP 3500 SL
Campers - Me, DW, 3 - DS (7, 5, 3), 2 large dogs
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Old 07-10-2015, 08:52 AM   #2
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I have the same questions and did much research but still have not came to a good conclusion. Seems every thing that protects from the sun is destroyed by the sun in 3 months.

Are you anywhere near the big peach?

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Old 07-10-2015, 09:12 AM   #3
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Using 303 is one of the best things you cn use. I have used it now for about 3 years and My trailer is park like CHD Dad trailer. Almost Identical condensations.

I do wash mine every every trip and the roof usually twice a year. At the end of my camping season I totally clean the camper then I do use a TT cover to cover it. Yes may be a pain but it sure helps to keep it from getting totally dirty from sitting and also protects from the UV rays. The last trailer I had was 4 years old and looked like new when traded in. I even met the guy that bought it (That was a fluke) and he commented that he thought it was new when he was looking at it.

Good PM makes all the difference in the world as to how things are going to last and that includes the washing, waxing and awning cleaning and taking care of Pastic and rubber components with the proper cleaning products. Later RJD
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Old 07-10-2015, 09:19 AM   #4
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Location: Eastern North Carolina
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I'm east of you and face the same issue with full sun exposure. I've only had the camper for a little over a year but I wipe down all stickers, plastics and well....I guess the whole darn thing with 303 after washing it (probably 2-3 times a year). For the roof I just spray it on and let it careful it gets VERY slippery!!!

The reason I use 303 is because of the success I've had using it on my boat, which is subjected to massive UV! It is 7 years old and all of the cushions, stickers, plastics all look brand new. The red stripes on the cushions are still nice bright reds....not pink!

So hopefully I will get similar results with the camper!

Good Luck!

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Old 07-10-2015, 11:06 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by harderd View Post
I have the same questions and did much research but still have not came to a good conclusion. Seems every thing that protects from the sun is destroyed by the sun in 3 months.

Are you anywhere near the big peach?
I know the big peach well! I am closer to Greenville though.
'15 XLR 27HFS
'15 Nissan NVP 3500 SL
Campers - Me, DW, 3 - DS (7, 5, 3), 2 large dogs
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Old 07-10-2015, 12:21 PM   #6
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Something you should know about decals on your RV. Do NOT wax decals!
They are designed to "breathe" (porous) and wax clogs their pores. It results in decal delaminating over time.
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Old 07-10-2015, 12:56 PM   #7
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Moisture and ultra-violet rays are the enemy... and prevention is key... but once these two culprits have done their damage, it's done. The only cure is to replace those parts that have deteriorated beyond the point of salvage. You can spray all kinds of stuff on a sun-damaged part, but it's still a sun-damaged part. I'm not a believer in spray products for prevention. Boat makers have finally gone to plastics and gel coats that are formulated to last longer in the sun, but the RV industry hasn't, and probably never will. People think covered storage is too costly, but I'd bet that if you had everything replaced that had deteriorated on your previous TT, it would come to more than I have paid for storing mine out of the sun and rain... and, mine's a 2012, too. It doesn't look brand new because we use it a lot, but the finish still shines up good when washed, and nothing is turning to rust or powder because of constant sun and rain. Another thing I learned from owning boats... for everything you can see that's deteriorating, there are other things turning to rust or powder that you're not seeing or noticing. They will collaborate to ruin your fun on subsequent camping trips.

I know this is not what you wanted to hear, but you asked for a straight answer. In my opinion, prevention is key, and doesn't come in a spray can, and a cure for sun and moisture damage doesn't exist.
J & D in Lovely Weatherford, TX
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Old 07-10-2015, 10:29 PM   #8
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We had the same problem with our motorhome. It only took a few months for the south-facing side to show the effects of the sun. Our only option was a cover. Although it was a pain to put on and take off, it did a good job of protecting the finish from further damage. It also kept the dirt off. I used tennis balls and swimming pool noodles to cover the sharp pointy stuff.
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Old 07-11-2015, 07:29 AM   #9
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I use 303 on all plastic/rubber parts, and love it. It is not cheap, but in the long run, worth it. We keep our motorhome inside when not in use, so it is in great shape. However, we previously had a 5er from Montana that had taken a one side sun beating, and once I started using 303 the slide rubbers returned to being soft, flexible, and not sticking to the slide. I apply it a couple of times a year. It is also great on your car's dashboard and plastic/rubber parts-MUCH better than Armour All.
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Old 07-13-2015, 01:32 PM   #10
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I keep mine covered with Adco cover. Only takes about 15 minutes to put it on or take it off a 35 foot trailer once you get the hang of it. Just throw it on the roof, unroll it, drop sides and ends down, then climb down and tighten straps. Removal is the reverse. Oh I put cut up pool noodle pieces on the rain spouts first.

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