Is a trailer cover waterproof?

Most trailer covers are marked as water-resistant by their manufacturers. However, being water resistant does not guarantee it to be waterproof.

Over time, water pooling on the cover can degrade it enough and begin to seep through and pose a danger to cargo that needs to be kept away from moisture. Therefore, you must pay close attention to the material and specs of the trailer cover before deciding to purchase one.

Why use a trailer cover?

Besides keeping the contents of the trailer away from the public's prying eyes, a trailer cover also protects the trailer's contents from the weather and harmful UV rays. That is why, when purchasing a trailer cage cover, you should endeavour to get one which will give adequate protection from the elements.

Rainy weather is not favoured for transporting cargo in the open especially with inadequate protection. Rain can damage your goods, so it is best to be prepared and with a good trailer cover that protects your cargo from this moisture and the elements.

Furthermore, aside from protecting your cargo from the elements, it also secures it in place, decreasing the chances of loose items escaping from the enclosure.

What material are trailer covers made of?

There are four major materials trailer covers are made from.

Polyvinyl chloride (Vinyl or PVC)

Vinyl-based trailer covers are considered the best due to their high durability and waterproof properties. Because of these qualities, vinyl is extensively used in producing items whose design relies heavily on their water resistance, materials such as boots, raincoats and shower curtains.

Despite their excellence, they are not commonly used as trailer covers due to their cost. They are more expensive than the other materials available, which is why it is not a common sight on most trailers.


Canvas tarps were once a popular option for trailer covers. It is tough, water-resistant and breathable. However, its durability is under question, and despite its water-resistant properties, the material is not waterproof. It was mainly its waterproofing problem that kept most people from using it, even though it was then considered the best option.


Mesh tarps are the cheapest trailer cover you can find but also the most inefficient and unproductive. Apart from not having water-resistant or waterproofing abilities, the material provides little to no protection against UV rays, proving that it is not a good option even in dry weather.


Polyethylene mimics vinyl in many ways while being a less expensive but durable option. Most of the covers you see anywhere have polyethylene or some other material similar to it as the base material. Although the material has flaws, it gains ground as the popular option due to its inexpensiveness.


Polypropylene and polyethylene have very similar physical properties, but the simple difference in their structure makes one better.

Polypropylene-based trailer covers are second best after vinyl covers. They are better than polyethylene due to their stiffer nature and higher resistance to organic solvents and other compounds, including water. They are stronger, more durable and more reliable than all other covers except vinyl.

Polypropylene covers are the second most expensive covers after vinyl covers. They are more affordable and a worthy investment as the years pass.

Which trailer cover is waterproof?

Trailer covers made from vinyl, polyethylene and polypropylene are waterproof. They are also more durable than canvas and mesh covers put together.

The best trailer cover you can get is one made from vinyl. However, if its high cost puts you off, your second most affordable option is one made from polypropylene. Not only will it protect your cargo from the elements and moisture, but it also lasts longer and does not tear easily.

What trailer cage cover should I avoid?

Trailer covers you should avoid if you seek to save money in the long run or use your trailer regularly are tarps.

Tarps, short for tarpaulins, are familiar inexpensive covers used for various activities like camping. They are also commonly used as temporary trailer cage covers but have a series of drawbacks. 

Large trailers sometimes require more than one tarp at a time. Such an arrangement makes it easy for leakages which prove detrimental to the purpose of installing the cover.

However, if you are not a frequent user of trailers and are looking for a very inexpensive option, you can get tarps made from polyethylene. They are inexpensive but very inefficient covers.

Why are vinyl covers more waterproof?

Polyethylene, polypropylene and vinyl covers are all hydrophobic substances, which is why they are waterproof. However, due to their chemical composition, vinyl covers are much more hydrophobic and tough. The bonds in the vinyl material are more stoic and withstanding.

What is the trailer cover bow used for?

Trailer cover bows are great additions to a trailer set up as they extend the cover's life by providing a smooth surface for the cover to roll over. They make it easier to install and remove covers and also help prevent them from sagging quickly.

How to keep to the law with your trailer cargo

While the trailer cover plays a significant role in securing cargo, you should still endeavour to take other safety measures to stay safe in the eyes of the law. Drivers who disobey the below rules while driving with a trailer will be persecuted when caught:

  • Exceed weight limit.
  • Transport dangerously overhanging cargo.
  • Drive a load that covers the number plate, indicators, lights and reflectors.
  • Drive with cargo not adequately restrained.

The first three issues are easy to spot with or without a cover. However, the last one is tricky with a cover since a cover often prevents anyone from knowing if the load inside is appropriately secured.

However, not properly securing your cargo with a cover on could damage both cargo and cover, or lead to some contents of your trailer coming loose falling out of the trailer..

Therefore, before packing any cargo into a trailer, consider the resources available to secure it, its weight and composition, your vehicle's capacity and the road you will be travelling.

At Trailers 2000 Parts, our trailer covers all come with a bow and are durable, reliable, and waterproof. You can choose from the available options to suit your needs and pocket. You can also get replacement fittings such as tonneau cover buttons and and bow clips. Shop our range of products or contact us to get started today.

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