September 29, 2011
Ripstop is a method of weaving fabric that makes it harder for tears to occur and spread compared with traditional weaving techniques. Basically, threads are woven in a cross-hatch pattern with thicker threads interspersed with the thinner base material. Ripstop techniques are used in fabrics intended for hard use, like battle dress uniforms and protective clothing for firefighters, or those with tear characteristics are critical to functionality, like parachutes, hot air balloons and parasails.
Now on to covers. Large covers in particular are prone to tearing due to the increased surface area that is exposed to exterior forces like wind and rain water weight. RV covers in particular are greatly at risk of tearing due to the surface area issues, their relatively high weight and the risk of snagging on ladders, bumpers, AC units, etc.
Polypropylene and Tyvek covers were among the first types of materials used to make RV covers due to their low cost; unfortunately, these materials tear relatively easily and are difficult to repair after doing so. Polyesters and Sunbrella came next, woven materials that are much stronger than polypropylenes and capabable of being repaired with needle and thread. But, they are made of a standard weave in that once a tear is made, it is likely to increase in size quickly due to the natural stresses on any RV cover.
Enter Ripstop. Ripstop RV covers are much more tear-resistant than standard polyesters with increased durability and tensile strength. Small tears will not become big ones should you snag the cover on something. The cover will be able to support its own weight indefinitely, even with a weakened panel. It’s really pretty cool, actually. Anyone who has replaced their RV cover every season can tell you that!
I think they’ll be out in six months or so, but I’ll keep the blog updated. Thanks for checking it out!