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Old 10-12-2019, 06:30 PM   #1
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Question Recommendation: Van Cover and Desiccant

Hi all
I am considering getting a cover over a Ford E-250 2001 SMB RB50, and preferably still have easy access to the side doors.

My intention for the cover is possibly keep it dryer and clearer (the exterior does mold) during the cold and wet winter months where it resides in our driveway north of Seattle. Every winter, to keep it dry, I have been using desiccant. Will providing a cover keep the van dryer?

Thanks for any suggestions what outfit sells the best cover, as well as suggestions not to cover because it will trap more moisture in the van requiring more frequent changes of the desiccant.
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Old 10-12-2019, 10:48 PM   #2
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Our property in Oregon City has lots of fir trees that keep the driveway shaded in winter. We cover the van with a brown/silver 16x12 tarp from Home Depot. This helps keep it dry and also keeps the fir needles off it. Am thinking about getting a longer one to keep the needles out of the windshield cowl. Bungee cords hold the tarp in place.

We put a 1500 watt electric heater in the van connected to a thermostat set to 40 degrees. This keeps the interior from freezing and also prevents condensation. Have used desiccant pellets in the past and feel that the heater does a better job at preventing condensation. An added advantage of the heater is that when I work on the van interior in the winter I just crank up the heat.
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Old 10-13-2019, 12:46 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larrie View Post
...We cover the van with a brown/silver 16x12 tarp from Home Depot. This helps keep it dry and also keeps the fir needles off it...
Thank you, I total agree with your suggestion, cheap and easy to manage. Unfortunately, my close proximity neighbors would not like the tarp. They are fairly judgmental and would consider anything tarped as an eyesore.

While replying to your response, I just thought of using a non-permeant canopy. More costly, but easier enter the side doors:
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Old 10-13-2019, 01:49 PM   #4
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I made my own (teardrop) camper awning cover using junctions from this place, and then I purchase electrical metal conduit (EMT) from Home Depot. Still not cheap, but at least you can be sure it will fit your camper and fit your space.

On mine, I set each leg into a small bucket that I then filled with concrete to reduce the chance of wind lifting the structure.

https://creativeshelters.com/fitting...ak_definitions


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Old 10-13-2019, 06:53 PM   #5
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I have thought of a canopy like that as well.
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Old 10-18-2019, 11:56 AM   #6
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If your interested in a fitted cover, I have one that came with my 2002 RB. I've never tried it, so it's still rolled up in the bag I got it in. It looks like it's in good condition, but to be sure of the condition and fit, you would have to try it on your van. $50, and it's yours. It's located in Anacortes.
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Old 10-20-2019, 04:05 PM   #7
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SMB EB50 Awning

I also had the issue with mold, hickory nuts and wanting to keep it dry while storing my SMB. I purchased a 12'x12'x26 carport awning and it works great. I even matched the roof to my garage and house. I found the prices for them from $1600 to $2000. I have to offset just a tad to the left so I can open the side doors without worry but it is only a few inches left. I do wish I would have went with a little bit longer one to match the length of the garage and give me a little more coverage on the ends when I want to leave my bikes on the back.
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Old 10-20-2019, 05:38 PM   #8
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Accessories Classic cover

A few years back I purchased an "Accessories Classic" cover. I live in north central MN so it is covered with snow, sometimes heavy, from November to March, sometimes later, and it has held up well and no damage to vehicle when I remove it in the spring. It has cords that secure it underneath the van that takes care of the wind, and it also has zippered access panels for doors; side, front and rear. I have used them in previous winters. Now I just winter prep and let the van sit until spring. The only damage is someone, I think squirrels, chewed some lower material, but nothing that affects its use.
It holds up in heavy rain as well. Been good for me.
1993 Ford e250 high top; cargo converted to minimalist camping van.



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