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Bouge RV cover

Glan gluaisne

Supporting Member
Sep 11, 2019
2,782
2,695
UK
My car has been attacked, several times, by one or more of our local cock pheasants, damaging the paintwork on both front lower corners enough to warrant getting the Chipsaway chap in to respray the damaged areas. The problem seems to be that the pheasant can see his reflection in the paintwork, and, because pheasants aren't exactly known for their intelligence, they assume it's a rival and so bang their beaks into the car.

Our garage is too full of stuff to put the car away, so I tried to buy an outdoor cover from Tesla (the outdoor one listed here: Model 3 Car Cover ). This not only isn't available in the UK, according to Tesla UK, who were very helpful, it cannot be imported into the UK, even as a special order. There are lots of car covers around, but a bit of research showed that the majority aren't suitable for use with a Model 3, even where the manufacturer lists it as such. The problem is that the Model 3 can fire up the cooling fans and air intake at the front at any time, to cool the battery or limit the cabin temperature, so the grill area at the front must be open enough to allow air in.

The only cover I found, apart from the genuine Tesla one, was one from Bouge RV. It's available from the usual online places. I bought one a few weeks ago, and thought I'd scribble a few words about it (this isn't a full review, nor has it been sponsored). There are some videos around showing this cover, so this should be read in conjunction with those if you're interested in getting one.

First impressions were that its a bit awkward to fit the first time, as it arrives packed inside out, effectively, so need to be unpacked somewhere clean and dry, and repacked so that the inside surface is facing outwards. Once the knack of packing it up is mastered (very easy, and this point has been made on at least one of the YouTube video reviews) then it is very quick and simple to put on, and only slightly less quick and easy to remove and roll up. The inside surface is a soft, non-woven, fabric, with no risk of damaging the paint. The outside surface is a silver coloured fairly heavy duty plastic, that seems durable and does reflect heat a fair bit (my car is black, and the cabin temperatures have been a lot lower in bright sunshine).

The cover does a good job at preventing pheasant attacks, but also keeps the car a lot cleaner. I've found that there is enough natural ventilation that there is never any condensation under the cover, so I suspect it would also provide a fair degree of frost and icing protection in very cold weather.

Overall the fit is reasonably good, although I feel the cover could do with being very slightly longer. With the elasticated front edge hooked under the lowest part of the front of the car, the cover isn't quite long enough to cover right down to the lowest edge at the rear. No amount of pulling and tweaking will fix this, and it tends to leave the rear strap running across the lower surface of the rear bumper, which isn't ideal.

The cover has three attached straps, but frankly they are not great. The fasteners are OK, but the straps themselves are flimsy and not well finished. The front and rear straps are very easy to fit, although they tend to come loose (as shown in the pictures) because the strap material is too thin to stay locked on the adjustment buckle. There's a centre strap that goes under the car, and that's just as flimsy, plus it's awkward to throw the strap across the underside of the car in order to fasten it. On the plus side, the centre strap doesn't tend to loosen at all.

One very useful feature is a zipped access panel over the charge port. This doesn't seem to leak when closed, and the access is large enough to make opening the charge port easy, as long as the cover is correctly positioned on the car. One less useful feature is the absence of wing mirror pockets. On the plus side this means the cover looks neater, but it does mean that the mirrors must be folded for the cover to fit, and that automatic fold on lock is disabled, as there isn't enough room under the cover for them to open (although they will try, and struggle a lot). I found this out the hard way, when I unlocked the car to charge it, and the mirrors struggled and pulled the cover drum tight as they tried to open.

Although removing the cover is easy, just fold each side lengthwise to the centre line of the car, then roll it up from one end, if the cover is wet then some thought needs to go into where best to stow it. When dry it can just go into the boot easily, and the cover comes with a neat storage bag for this purpose. However, when wet it can't easily go in the boot (even with a boot liner I found that doing this just mists up the inside of the car). I haven't yet solved this problem, although I may re-purpose a spare plastic dustbin, with some drainage holes added, as home storage.

I tried putting the cover on when the car was wet, more as an experiment than anything else. I was surprised to find that the car dried out under the cover, despite the fairly wet weather. The cover doesn't seem to be breathable, so I can only think that there's enough natural ventilation present to dry things out. The cover is heavy enough to not flap around in the wind, and it's had a good test in the strong winds over the weekend. All the wind does do is cause the front and rear straps to loosen. I think I may modify these, by adding some shock cord and a bit of heavier duty strap material at the clip-buckle end. I will also add some sleeves made from neoprene wet suit material to act as cushions for the buckles, where they might contact the body of the car.

Overall, I'm pleased with the thing. It was around £90, and seems good value. The strap shortcomings should be fairly easy to sort out, leaving my main gripe about the cover being just slightly too short. Here are some photos showing what it looks like on the car:

Bouge RV cover front.JPG



Bouge RV cover rear.JPG

Bouge RV cover charge port.JPG

Bouge RV cover centre tie.JPG
 

GRiLLA

Member
Jul 5, 2020
461
446
UK
If the car isn't completely clean are you not expecting to get abrasion to the paint on the contact points from the cover moving in the wind? I thought these were for putting a car away in an indoor storage facility.
 

Glan gluaisne

Supporting Member
Sep 11, 2019
2,782
2,695
UK
If the car isn't completely clean are you not expecting to get abrasion to the paint on the contact points from the cover moving in the wind? I thought these were for putting a car away in an indoor storage facility.

It was a concern, and I did wash, dry and polish the car before using it for the first time. However, from what I've seen over the past couple of weeks or so that I've been using it, the cover doesn't seem to move around in the wind, or at least it doesn't slide over the car paintwork when if it does move.

I put the cover on after a drive of around 120 miles last week, so the car wasn't 100% clean, and checked it a day or so later and there seemed to be no sign of any marks anywhere. Black tends to show the slightest swirl marks, so if there was a risk of paint damage I think it should show fairly easily, hopefully before any damage gets to be beyond the quick polish out stage.

I'll keep an eye on it, and see how it goes, but right now the only areas I think may be at risk of damage are where the straps fit. Not only do the straps loosen and move, but they are over parts of the car that tend to get dirty very quickly, so improving them is on my list of things to do fairly quickly.
 

Neilman

Member
Mar 27, 2020
251
144
Southampton, UK
Over the summer my previous car was acquiring sticky stuff from nearby trees plus falling leaves.
I did wonder whether a cover would be a good idea for my new Tesla but further worried about what you do with a cover that now has sticky stuff on it instead of the car?
Similarly in the depths of winter, if we get much white stuff, what do you do with a cover that's coated in ice and snow then when you get home again do you really want to put a soggy cover back on the car which may now have splashed salty stuff on it too?

For now I'll try to clean it occasionally (or rather let a hand car wash do it for me).
 

Glan gluaisne

Supporting Member
Sep 11, 2019
2,782
2,695
UK
Would getting a dog or some cats be a sensible investment?

The cats around here seem to get chased off by the cock pheasants. The pheasants start to get aggressive in late winter, with the cocks regularly fighting each other, as well as their own reflection. They also attack the glazed doors in the house, constantly head-butting their own reflection, almost always in the very early morning, perhaps something to do with the low angle of the sun.

I did think of trying to rig some sort of barrier around the car, so the pheasants can't see their reflection, but reckon that'd be more faff to rig and de-rig than the cover.

Over the summer my previous car was acquiring sticky stuff from nearby trees plus falling leaves.
I did wonder whether a cover would be a good idea for my new Tesla but further worried about what you do with a cover that now has sticky stuff on it instead of the car?
Similarly in the depths of winter, if we get much white stuff, what do you do with a cover that's coated in ice and snow then when you get home again do you really want to put a soggy cover back on the car which may now have splashed salty stuff on it too?

For now I'll try to clean it occasionally (or rather let a hand car wash do it for me).

The cover doesn't seem to get soggy. I took it off when it was very wet one morning last week, rolled it up and stored it in the shed whilst we were out for the day. When I came to put it back on when we came home that evening, there were still puddles of water in the cover, but the inner fibre surface was still dry (although I wasn't afterwards, all the water stowed in the cover ended up on me).

Getting the cover off if it's covered with snow is probably damned difficult, but we can't get out of our drive, or up the lane, if there's more than a couple of inches of snow, anyway, so the car wouldn't be going anywhere. I'll experiment with the effect preconditioning has when there's a bit of ice about, as I suspect that the cover might help the car warm up more quickly, and that may mean that the cover defrosts OK.

Stowing the cover when wet, dirty or sticky is something that I need to think about, as my experience from stowing it wet last week wasn't ideal. The way you fold it inwards from either side, then roll it, means that the dirty side only ever touches itself, and the bit you handle is the clean inner surface. The best way to clean the cover is probably to wash it whilst on the car, then rinse it off with a hose. Should be easy enough.
 
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Glan gluaisne

Supporting Member
Sep 11, 2019
2,782
2,695
UK

Jason71

Active Member
May 8, 2019
2,469
2,214
Shropshire
My car has been attacked, several times, by one or more of our local cock pheasants, damaging the paintwork on both front lower corners enough to warrant getting the Chipsaway chap in to respray the damaged areas. The problem seems to be that the pheasant can see his reflection in the paintwork, and, because pheasants aren't exactly known for their intelligence, they assume it's a rival and so bang their beaks into the car.]
This is a bit unfortunate for you I'm afraid but looking at the bigger picture.
If I have added this up correctly I think that makes the score now
Pheasants: 1 Cars: 351,436
 

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