Review of the ADCO Custom Truck Camper Cover

We’ve owned our truck and camper for several years and have hated not having some kind of cover to protect them from the elements. Things like ultraviolet rays, dirt, bird droppings, and tree sap can really take a toll on the aesthetics of a rig, especially on the paint and on the decals. We considered building an aluminum shelter, but didn’t like how it would look in the neighborhood where we live. We also looked into building an RV garage, but the cost was too prohibitive. For us, buying an RV cover was the best option. It provides long-term protection from the elements and is much more affordable than a permanent structure. After researching several options, we decided to go with a cover made by ADCO, the most trusted name in the industry. This is a Review of the ADCO Custom Truck Camper Cover we purchased for our Ram 3500 SRW truck and Northstar Laredo truck camper.

The Product

ADCO is an American company based out of Valencia, California. ADCO makes covers for all types of RV’s, including truck campers. We considered buying a ready-made, universal cover for just our camper, but we also wanted to protect the truck, so we decided to go with a custom-made cover instead. ADCO’s Sunbrella RV covers come with a five-year warranty, though they typically last a lot longer. ADCO reports that their Sunbrella covers last seven to 10 years in cold climates and seven years in sunny climates. If you plan on keeping your rig for several years then getting a custom, Sunbrella cover is worth the cost.

Ordering a custom RV cover through ADCO is easy. All you need to do is contact the company through their website or call them at 800-541-2326. ADCO will send you a special form that you will need to fill out with measurements taken of your rig. When measuring, care must be taken to include the front and rear bumpers of your rig and the truck camper’s tie-downs and jacks. Don’t forget about things like roof top air conditioners and vent covers that add additional height. It typically takes four weeks for ADCO to make a custom RV cover after your form is received. Custom covers are shipped in a large box and come wrapped in a protective plastic. Each order also includes a large bag to carry and store the cover when not in use.

ADCO’s custom covers can be ordered in gray, tan or white depending on the type fabric you select. The company offers two choices in fabric for their custom covers: Sunbrella and the more expensive Dupont Tyvek. We opted to go with Sunbrella, a durable, high quality fabric made from woven acrylic. Sunbrella is both fade-resistant and resistant to cold-cracking. This makes it an excellent choice for anyone who plans on owning their truck camper for many years. The cost for a custom Sunbrella cover is $34.99 per linear foot. This means you’ll pay about $700 for a hard-side truck camper rig, but the cost is well worth it when you consider how much you’ve invested in your truck and camper. Many owners have over $100,000 invested in their rigs.

Installation

Installing an ADCO custom truck camper cover is fairly easy, though you’ll need an extra pair of hands to do it. You’ll need to get on the roof to install it so if you have an issue with heights or mobility, then you’ll need to get a friend or family member to help install it for you (ADCO makes several instructional videos on how to install their covers, which can be found on their website and on YouTube). Proper preparation of the cover before installing it is key. This involves folding the sides of the cover in and on top of the cover when it’s first laid on the roof. Once the cover is centered and in place, the sides of the cover can be unfolded and draped over the sides. For RV’s like motorhomes and fifth wheels that have large roofs, installing an RV cover is a piece of cake. For truck camper roofs covered with solar panels, however, getting around on the roof can be a bit of a challenge. Fortunately, we left enough room on the roof of our camper to allow us to walk around. If your camper roof is covered in solar panels your only real option is to use a step-ladder and a long pole to install the cover.

A few issues with the cover were encountered during installation though neither is what we would call a showstopper. One of the straps that secures the cover underneath ripped away when we were using it to pull the side of the cover down from the roof. This was completely our fault as this is not what the strap is designed to do. Don’t make the same mistake. Fortunately, we were able to repair the broken strap with a patch and nylon thread. Another issue we encountered was with our rooftop solar panels. The aluminum frames on the solar panels have sharp corners, which snagged the cover in two locations when we tried to pull the cover into position. Fortunately, we were able to see (and hear) the problem before we ripped holes in the cover. If you buy an RV cover, we recommend taking a metal file to any sharp edges before you try to install it. Other than these two minor issues, we encountered no other problems with the cover. Overall, it took about 30 minutes to install it the first time we did it.

While protecting your rig from the elements serves an important purpose, you do have to take the good with the bad when it comes to using an RV cover. Unfortunately, covering your rig means you won’t be able to use your roof top solar panels to keep your batteries maintained while your rig is in storage (a portable trickle charger solar panel might work for you if theft isn’t a concern). This isn’t a big deal if you have access to shore power and are able to plug-in your truck camper instead, but it is something that can be an issue if your storage facility has no power. Again, this isn’t a showstopper, but it is something you need to be aware of beforehand when considering a purchase.

The Verdict

Overall, we’re thrilled with the quality and looks of our custom ADCO RV cover. Installing the cover is easy and the zippered door makes getting in and out of the camper a breeze. When you consider how much we’ve all invested in our truck campers and trucks, it makes sense to spend a little more to protect them from the elements. The harmful effects of the sun are particularly worrisome. Indeed, the effects that the sun has on a vehicle’s paint job and on a truck camper’s caulking and sealing are well documented. An ADCO cover effectively prevents deterioration of your rig and protects your rig’s resale value. This concludes our Review of the ADCO Custom Truck Camper Cover. On a scale of 1 to 5, what would we rate it? Without hesitation, we’d give it an enthusiastic rating of 5 stars. The ADCO custom truck camper cover is a winner.

About Mello Mike 731 Articles
Mello Mike is an Arizona native, author, and the founder of Truck Camper Adventure. He's been RV'ing since 2002, is a certified RVIA Level 1 RV Technician, and has restored several Airstream travel trailers. A communications expert and licensed ham radio operator, he retired from the U.S. Navy in 2004 as a CWO3 after 24 years, worked in project management, and now runs Truck Camper Adventure full-time. He also does some RV consulting, repairs, and inspections on the side. He currently rolls in a 4WD Ram 3500 outfitted with a SherpTek truck bed with a Bundutec Roadrunner mounted on top. - KK7TCA