How to choose a vehicle cover?
Everyone knows that leaving the car in the open sun, especially in the summer heat, is not good for it. And the thing is not even that it is very hot and inside the cabin, it becomes hot as hades. The front torpedo burns out, the upholstery material gets damaged. However, putting a car under the trees is also fraught with problems in the form of dripping tree juice that corrodes the varnish. To prevent such problems, it is worth getting durable car covers or tarps.
What is a tarp or a vehicle cover?
A practical tarp a car is a large piece of fabric that completely covers the car from above and protects it from sunlight, dirt, water and other things. It is a very useful car accessory when traveling, when you have to leave the car in the sun, for example on the beach, in the country or even just in the parking lot.
Car tarps differ among themselves in several ways:
- variety of material;
- the presence of cords, elastic bands along the edge, and so on.
We’ll clarify right away: we are talking about covers for cars and small trucks no larger than the usual GAZelle. For buses and large trucks, such a cover is not used – it is extremely inconvenient to put on, and it is difficult to fold it. The usual tarp is lightweight, folds up to the dimensions of a small bag and does not take up much space either in the trunk, in the garage or on the balcony, where it is usually stored.
How to choose a tarp for a car?
It is very rare to find a fancy tarp, except for cars from the premium class and above. Such products are usually of good quality, exactly match the dimensions of the machine and serve for a long time. But keep in mind that their price is high, at least twice as much as the regular ones. The protective properties remain the same.
To protect the car from the sun and foreign substances, a regular car cover will be more than enough. They are available in three sizes – large, medium and small, which allows them to be selected depending on the external dimensions of the car. For example, for small cars with dimensions comparable to Nissan Micra, as well as many hatchbacks, the smallest cover will work. Medium is the most common size for passenger cars and is suitable for most of them. The big one is designed for SUVs and long station wagons. The dimensions of your particular car model are easy to find on the Internet if you do not have its passport at hand when buying a cover. It is not worth taking a tarp bigger than your car – it does not shrink over time, and the cover that is hanging down quickly gets dirty in the rain, and you will have to wash it so as not to get the car dirty with it.
Protective car cover: materials
The most important characteristic of a tarp is the material from which it is made. It directly depends on how long and well it will last you. Here are some of the most common materials.
Polyester. The most budget option, very thin, light and affordable. The disadvantage of this option is that it does not have a lining, it quickly gets wet and sticks strongly to the car, and at freezing temperatures, it freezes to the roof, and it is impossible to remove it without ripping it. Also, it is easily destroyed by ultraviolet radiation, and with constant use, such a tarp will last for a couple of years, no more than that.
Polyurethane, aka PEVA. This material is more durable and dense. It retains water well, gets wet just a little, allows air to pass through, and a cotton lining allows it not to stick to the surface of the car and it is easy to remove and put it on even in the rain. It can withstand scratches from animal claws – traces will remain, but the car itself will be unharmed. The disadvantages are that is bigger, dries longer and is more expensive. But it has a great price and quality.
Tarpaulin. Very rarely used for passenger cars due to the high cost and heaviness. But it is a great option for flatbed trucks or trailers – resistant to wear, stretches onto the car frame and forms a full-fledged roomy body. It is tightened with lace, for which there should be rings or other loops sewn on it. We do not recommend it for a passenger car though.
To make it convenient to use a vehicle cover, take the one that has a zipper to open the front door without removing the entire cover, and the one that has pockets for mirrors. This is optional but so convenient. The important points are also double seams and elastic at the bottom.
In conclusion, the purchase of a protective vehicle cover is, for the most part, a long-term investment, and you will appreciate that the interior will remain cool on your first vacation in the heat, and there will be no signs of corrosion from the tree juice after parking under the trees. You will not regret such a purchase!