During cold weather conditions, RV owners need to prepare their rigs to help combat freezing. When certain parts and components of your rig freeze over, it could mean some serious damage and render your trailer unusable until costly repairs are done.
One such precautionary measure before winter comes is RV skirting. And today we’ll tell you exactly what this is about in this article. Read on and have all your questions regarding RV skirting answered.
What is RV Skirting?
RV skirting is a protective barrier that you place at the bottom of your rig to shield it from cold weather. By putting an RV skirting from the bottom of your RV to the ground, you are able to prevent the bitterly cold air and wind from flowing underneath your camper which could freeze the components located there particularly your RV plumbing system.
How Does RV Skirting work?
To be effective, your RV skirting should be able to enclose your RV’s underbelly so that the temperature inside can be regulated. Once you’re able to do this, you can provide a heat source under your rig which can protect your plumbing system from freezing during colder weather.
Is RV Skirting Worthwhile?
If you are a fulltime RVer or love to go winter camping in your RV or enjoy going to colder regions, then it is worthwhile to skirt your RV. This is a wise move because you are making sure that your RV plumbing system will still function efficiently and effectively even under freezing weather.
Skirting your RV will give you peace of mind that your pipes and hoses won’t crack or burst. You can always use running water inside your rig whether you’ll use it for drinking, washing, taking a shower, or fulfilling other bathroom needs. You won’t have to spend on costly repairs for a damaged plumbing system and deal with the dangers and inconveniences that come with it.
RV skirting will also help you keep the interior of your rig warmer by making the floor easier to heat. It promotes efficient use of energy by preventing the cold air from getting inside the rig’s underbelly and floors. This way, your heating system doesn’t have to work overtime in keeping the interior of your trailer warm.
Of course, skirting your RV is an investment in terms of time, money, and effort. So, if you’re still thinking if you’ll go for it, you can ask yourself these questions:
- Will you be camping in a cold area? If you’re the type who loves warm and sunny places, then you don’t need RV skirting. If you’re traveling to a cold place, how cold does it get? If the temperature does not usually reach below freezing point, then you can get by without skirting your RV.
- Do you have a four-season camper? These trailers are already equipped to handle different weather conditions. The plumbing system has been constructed to withstand colder temperatures. There are features that would help protect it from freezing.
- Is your RV’s underbelly enclosed? If your rig comes with an enclosed underbelly and you’re not camping in a super cold place, then you can take your rig as it is.
- Will you be traveling often? As we said earlier, it is worth it to install RV skirting if you’ll be staying in one place for quite some time. But if you’re the type who loves to travel from one place to another, then you can with an RV skirt that’s easy to remove in case you decide to go to a warmer place. This is also true if you’re still undecided about RV skirting. You can get one those ready made RV skirts and store them in your rig so that you’re always prepared in case you find yourself in a snow camping destination.
Types of RV Skirting
There are different types of RV skirting. There’s one that would suit every budget and need. Here are some of the RV skirting solutions that you can consider for your rig:
Fabric or Vinyl Skirting
The RV skirt is made of vinyl, vinyl with a sewn-in backing, insulated vinyl, canvas, tarp, and similar products. You want fabric material that can endure the harsh weather conditions. Fabric or vinyl skirting is less permanent. They are usually easy to install when the situation requires for you to have an RV skirt and they are easy to remove once the weather gets warmer.
Plywood is usually used for wood skirting. This type of RV skirt is more permanent. It used when you stay in one particular place for a long time. You put plywood sheets that have been cut to fit the underside of your trailer. Because of the wooden material, it is more effective in blocking cold air. However, they are harder to set up and the materials would cost more. Wood skirting is also more difficult to remove and store inside your rig when you’re not using it anymore.
Foam Board Skirting
This type of RV skirting makes use of foam boards. Foam is a good material because it acts as an insulator to help you control the temperature inside your RV’s underbelly. It is lightweight and affordable. Once you’ve cut and prepared the foam board panels according to the fit of your rig, you need to attach them securely so they won’t be blown away by the wind.
Inflatable skirts are the most advanced way of skirting your RV. It makes use of inflatable tubes made from durable, heavy duty materials and military grade valves. It makes use of the natural insulating property of air to give adequate protection from the cold weather. It is a cost-effective way of protecting your rig from weather damage. Inflatable skirts are very easy to setup. There’s no need to fasten them to your rig. They are able to maintain their position because of the pressure inside the tubes. It’ll just take less than an hour to skirt your rig.
Many RV owners are ingenious and resourceful. They love doing DIY projects for their rigs and this includes their RV skirting. They can use any material discussed above that can give proper protection from the cold such as vinyl, foam boards, plywood, or hay bales.
These are the most common types of RV skirting solutions. You can choose which one will work best in your camper in relation to your situation, budget, and travel needs. The important thing is that you protect your rig from the cold weather to reduce the risk of damages and more expenses.
How do you attach skirting to an RV?
There are different ways of attaching the skirt of your RV. Here are some of them:
- Snap or twist-lock fastener. One end of the snap is installed on the rig while the other end is attached to the skirting material. You snap he ends together to attach the RV skirting.
- Velcro or adhesive tape. This is an easier way of attaching the RV skirt but may not be the most durable solution.
- Channel system. You attach the channels or tubes along the bottom of your rig and just slide the panels of your skirting material into the channels.
You should check which kind of attachment and fasteners would work effectively for your rig. It is also important that your RV skirt is secured to the ground so that the cold air won’t be able to pass through. You can use loops and stakes or put some weighted material along the bottom of your RV skirt so that it will stay down.
There are RV skirting companies who can attach the RV skirting for you or you can do it yourself. There’s also a middle ground wherein the company that made your RV skirting will provide you with all the materials you need for the installation and all you have to do is assemble everything according to instructions.
RV Skirting Cost
The cost of skirting your RV would depend on the the type of material you choose and whether you’ll have your RV skirting customized by a service professional or you’ll go the DIY route.
Custom skirting is the most expensive option. There are different RV skirting companies and service professionals who can provide you with RV skirting solutions. They will provide all the materials and do all the work for you. It usually takes a few days to get done as they have to make the necessary measurements and install the materials properly. The rate usually ranges between $1,500 and $2,500 depending also on the size of your rig. If you have a large fifth wheel, then expect to pay more. This rate includes the materials and labor.
You can also go with ready-made RV skirting kits such as those offered by EZ Snap Skirting. They will send you the materials and hardware that you need and you have to do the installation by yourself. You can expect to spend not more than $1,000 for this.
But if money is an issue or you have the skills to make your own RV skirting, then you can save a lot of bucks when you make the RV skirt yourself. You would only spend around $200 for the materials so that’s a lot of savings!
If you love to go winter camping, then you should get your camper a good quality RV skirting. This will not only prevent your plumbing system from freezing during the cold weather but also help keep the inside of your rig comfortable and cozy by ensuring that the floors and walls are warm.
There are various RV skirting solutions out there and you just have to choose which one will suit you best. You can go with custom RV skirting, buy a ready-made kit, or take the DIY route. What’s important is that you’re prepared for the cold weather so that your rig won’t incur any damages when you use it during winter.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you need RV skirting if you have an enclosed underbelly?
It depends on two things: the location of your RV plumbing and the material used for enclosing the underbelly.
This is why it is important for you to be aware where your plumbing is located. It can be above floor level, below floor level, or somewhere in between. Plumbing that is below the floor level is susceptible to freezing if there’s no heat source.
You might think that since your camper comes with an enclosed underbelly, you can get by without an RV skirt. But the question is, what material in the enclosure made of? Can it provide sufficient insulation to the bottom portion of your rig? You have to understand this because there are some manufacturers who use a thin material to enclose the underbelly. If this is the case, then you still need to skirt your RV to help ensure that it can withstand the cold weather and won’t cause your plumbing system to freeze.
Is EZ Snap RV skirting a quality product?
Yes, EZ Snap RV Skirting is one of the most trusted RV skirting companies out there. They provide the RV community a more affordable RV skirting solution without having to sacrifice the quality of the product. The fabric that they use has been tested to endure negative 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
They will send you the skirting material and hardware that you need for your RV skirting. You can check their website for the prices of their kits. They have a calculator to help you determine the size of your RV skirt.
Another great thing about EZ Snap RV Skirting is that it is easy to install. Anyone can do it regardless of their skill level. There’s no drilling involved.
There are many options for RV skirting solutions. For example, you can put a plywood structure around the bottom of your rig. This is recommended for those who are staying in just one place for several months. Wood can provide a good insulation for your RV’s underbelly.
You can also use tarps, plastic sheets, canvas, foam insulation board, or even stacked hay bales to skirt your RV. This is recommended for those who enjoy going on occasional winter RV camping.
You can make it yourself, buy a ready-made RV skirt, or ask to have one customized for your rig. No matter how you want to get it done, there’s an RV skirting solution out there for your specific needs.
How can I increase the insulation in my RV?
Aside from RV skirting, there are various options to increase your rig’s insulation so that you will surely stay warm and cozy during the winter.
- Insulate your RV doors and windows. Make sure you surround your door with high quality weather stripping. This will ensure that no air or snow can pass through your door. For your windows, you can use reflective insulation or plastic insulating film. Place them over your windows to prevent cold drafts. If you have the budget, you can also upgrade your doors and windows to models which have been specifically designed to offer better insulation.
- Keep all your RV compartments properly sealed. The cold air can pass through the hinges and cracks of your exterior compartments. You can seal them off by using quality weather stripping or applying caulking all around the compartment areas.
- Block the vents. These openings can let the outside air get inside your rig. You can use a vent cover to avoid cold drafts.
- Upgrade the insulation of your RV walls. There are RVs that come with a standard insulation system but usually this isn’t enough to keep you really warm and comfy when the cold season begins. You can level up your rig’s insulation by installing fiberglass or foam panels on your rig’s walls.
It is best if you can combine two or more of these insulation ideas so that you won’t be bothered by the cold inside your trailer even if it’s freezing outside.
Do you still have to winterize your RV if you use RV skirting?
It depends on your situation. If the inside of your rig is properly heated all the time especially during cold weather, then there is no need to winterize your RV plumbing system. But there is a risk here. If your heating system fails, then the cold weather can cause your pipes and hoses to freeze and would cause major damages in your rig.
To be on the safe side, it is wise to winterize your RV even when you use RV skirting so that your plumbing system is protected all the time.
What is the best RV skirting for winter?
You should look for an RV skirt that’s made of high quality material and is able to fully enclose the underside of your rig. Otherwise, it won’t be able to perform its job of blocking the cold air from flowing underneath your trailer.
Since RV skirts are seasonal, meaning you only use them during winter, you want them to be easy to store, easy to install, and easy to remove for a hassle-free experience.
The best RV skirting solutions come with these features so that you can rely on their performance to prevent your plumbing system from freezing by blocking the passage of cold air into your rig.
Can you make your own RV skirting?
Yes, you can make your own RV skirting. If you’re the type of person who loves making DIY projects, this should be fun to do. Not to mention that you’ll be saving a lot of bucks along the way. You can choose which skirting material you feel would suit your trailer the best. You may use foam boards, plywood, or tarps. Just make sure that the material you choose will effectively block the cold air from getting inside your rig’s underbelly.
Can I install RV skirting myself?
As we’ve been discussing earlier, yes you can install the RV skirt yourself. This will save you some bucks as you don’t have to pay for the installation service. It is relatively easy to do if you have the tools and basic skills. There are RV skirting kits which are available that already include everything you need for the installation.