It is vital that you keep your SUV, truck, or car clean and looking great. The best way to do this is proper storage. Having a durable vehicle cover is important, whether you are keeping your car in a carport, garage, or driveway. They act as a significant barrier against debris, rain, snow, dirt, scratches, and sunlight. However, searching for the right cover that fits your needs can be challenging. In this vehicle cover buying guide, we are going to explain all the details that you need to know so you can shop with confidence.
Outdoor or Indoor Vehicle Covers
With regards to deciding where to store your vehicle, the safest option would be indoor storage. Nevertheless, even if your vehicle is kept in your garage, it can still be exposed to possible damage from everyday elements that you might not even consider!
The fact is that family garages that contain more than one vehicle might even have a greater risk of damage. There are endless possibilities that you could dent or scratch your vehicle from contact with metal, accidental door dings, toys, etc. With indoor covers, you can have peace of mind knowing that your vehicle has extra protection.
While there are many indoor vehicles covers that can also be used outdoors, they usually cannot endure extended outdoor storage. Vehicles that are kept outdoors will require a specific type of heavy-duty cover that can withstand consistent punishment from all weather conditions without getting damaged. One of the most pertinent features that you must consider is water resistance. This is because the level of resistance could likely fluctuate depending on the quality of the cover. Hence, it is important that you check the features of the cover material.
When it comes to outdoor storage, wind could be an issue. Aside from getting your cover blown off, it could also cause damage to your paint caused by friction from the cover moving so quickly. It is important to ensure that your vehicle cover includes buckle straps, tie-downs, or Velcro so you can keep it in its place.
If you are having some doubts about whether to choose an outdoor or indoor vehicle cover, the best option is to go for the one designed for outdoor use. This way, you can store your vehicle safely wherever you want.
How Often Should Vehicle Covers Be Used?
If you want to preserve your vehicle, then the best thing that you can do is to use your vehicle cover whenever you are not using your car. This is applicable not only for more vintage vehicles, but also for everyday use vehicles. Don’t forget the phrase “better safe than sorry.” You should not forget to put your vehicle cover on since you will never know what will happen next. For everyday use vehicles, an excellent idea would be to go for a lightweight cover since it is very easy to put on and remove.
For additional protection, wash or dust your car before you return its cover. This can help in preventing dirt from getting trapped inside the cover and damaging your paint. When there is grime between your vehicle and the cover, then it could cause paint scratches when you remove the cover. In addition to this, always ensure that your car is completely dry before you cover it to prevent moisture from being trapped within and the development of rust.
Custom Fit or Contour Fit Vehicle Covers
Compared to contour-fit covers, custom-fit vehicle covers are more expensive and most often their performance is just the same. Nevertheless, if you have a special edition or a vintage vehicle, then you might want to invest in a custom vehicle cover so you can get the perfect fit.
The difference between contour and custom covers is their price and specific features. Typically, custom covers come with antenna and mirror pockets, however, these are not found in contour covers. Although custom covers offer a tighter fit, it has a longer delivery time and come at a higher cost. Unfortunately, custom covers do not have a flexible return policy, which could be risky if you ordered the wrong specifications.
On the other hand, contour-fit covers have a universal fit and offer the same protection for a lesser price. Also, contour covers are readily available, this means that they can be shipped within one to two business days, hence, your vehicle can obtain the protection it requires when needed.
Waterproof or Breathable
Why choose a water-resistant or breathable vehicle cover instead of a waterproof vehicle cover? With a completely waterproof vehicle cover, you can be assured that no moisture will get through the cover. Sounds great, right? However, it could also potentially trap moisture within and can cause the formation of mold, corrosion, and mildew. Perhaps, these are the worst silent threats that could damage the paint job of your car. On the opposite end of things, breathable vehicle covers permit condensation to evaporate immediately. This can lessen the time of exposure to moisture, preventing mildew or corrosion.
Harmful UV rays from the sun not only damages the clear exterior paint of your vehicle, but they can potentially damage your upholstery, dashboard, etc. Although all vehicle covers provide some shield against the sun, not all protection is created equal. When choosing a cover opt for the one that is rated for fade and sun resistance. Generally, this type of vehicle cover is created from a reflective material to keep your vehicle cooler on the inside while protecting your vehicle from harsh UV rays.
During the summer, the best option would be a heat-reflective car cover. Usually, this type of vehicle cover is lightweight, making them perfect for everyday use. You can simply store the cover inside your trunk and place it on your vehicle when you are working in the office or shopping for the whole day. This can keep your vehicle cool until the time that you return.
Resistance to Dirt
One of the major functions of any vehicle cover, whether it is outdoor or indoor is to keep the dust, debris, and dirt off your vehicle. While these particles might be harmless, their build-up can turn into sandpaper. Micro-scratches will be left on your car paint and over time, they will become more visible. Additionally, it is necessary that you clean the interior of your cover.
The grime from the inside of your cover could be transferred to your vehicle and will likely be a threat to your expensive paint. Keep in mind that a little care goes a long way. After cleaning your vehicle cover, you should fold and keep it inside a cover storage bag when not used for optimum protection.
Storage for Vehicle Cover
Most likely, your SUV, truck, or car will not remain covered 24/7. By keeping your cover away from sharp objects or harsh chemicals, you can extend the life of your cover. Car cover storage bags are the practical option that allows you to store your cover and easily reach it whenever you need it.
Putting on and removing your vehicle cover can be very challenging, particularly, if you have a large SUV or truck. If necessary, you can ask the help of someone in installing and removing your vehicle cover.
How to Prevent the Wind from Blowing Off Your Vehicle Cover
If you are experiencing high winds most of the time, then you might want to invest in additional protective measures. Be sure to choose a cover that has a buckle strap and elastic hems. This can keep your vehicle protected against winds if the cover fits your vehicle appropriately.
Investing in a good vehicle cover clamps can also be helpful. While these are not required for your everyday vehicle cover use, it’s always nice to have them on hand whenever there is a storm in your area. When using cover clamps, you need to affix the clips to the cover in front of the back wheels as well as behind the front wheels. Attach the bungee cord on the clip, then stretch it underneath your vehicle, and afterward, secure the clip on the opposite side.
Selecting the Right Vehicle Cover
Learning how to choose the appropriate vehicle cover can be overwhelming. We hope that this guide has provided you with some insights and helpful tips to help you in making the right decision. It is crucial that you should protect your vehicle from snow, rain, scratches, bird droppings, and anything else thrown your way.
When shopping for a vehicle cover, be sure to be wary of the following items:
- Fade, sun, and UV resistance,
- Water resistance,
- Warranty and return policy,
- And features such as tie-down loops, mirror pockets, secure seams, etc.
Finding the right vehicle cover may not be simple. Be sure that it matches the model and make of your vehicle.
At LCR Services, you can find high-quality vehicle covers, tire covers, cargo covers, roof liners, etc. We also offer tactical gear and accessories, as well as law enforcement gear and accessories. For more details, you may call us at 602-200-4277 or send us an email at [email protected]