RV skirting is a great investment for any RV owner looking to maximize their comfort and efficiency. With RV skirting, you can improve your RV’s insulation, keep out unwanted pests and debris, and reduce your energy bills. In this guide, we will explore the benefits of RV skirting and provide you with everything you need to know to choose the right skirting for your RV.
If you’re looking to use your RV this winter, it’s a good idea to consider installing RV skirting to ensure you and your vehicle can withstand the drop in temperature. RV skirting is a type of “skirt” that attaches around the bottom of your vehicle and extends to the ground. There are many types of RV skirting, including hard-sided, soft-sided, and DIY. RV skirting can benefit those who are looking to decrease costs associated with operating their camper year-round, improve comfort and insulation, and keep out unwanted critters and pests. Find out below what type of RV skirting is right for you.
Benefits of RV Skirting
If you look around a campground during the cold winter months, you’ll see that all the well-prepared campers have some type of skirting installed around the bottom of their RVs. Installing RV skirting comes with a number of benefits, including:
Improved insulation. The undercarriage of your RV is at risk in cold temperatures, as wind and dissipation of heat can lead to pipes freezing and even cracking in extreme situations. An RV skirt improves insulation in two ways. First, it blocks the wind from traveling through the gap between the ground and the bottom of your vehicle, preventing it from carrying away necessary heat. Second, RV skirting is made of insulating materials due to their density and ability to block out moisture.
Reduced energy bills. Many people put their RVs into storage and avoid camping in the winter due to the high cost of heating their vehicles. By installing skirting, you can ensure that there is less of a financial barrier to enjoying your camper year-round. RV skirting can help you save money on energy bills by preventing heat from escaping through the undercarriage of your vehicle. Additionally, you’ll save on maintenance costs associated with exposing your vehicle to extreme temperatures.
Protection from pests and debris. Skirting is also great for protecting your vehicle from pests and debris. Because RV skirting needs to completely enclose the underside to work properly, small pests like rodents, mice, squirrels, and other pests will be kept from entering your plumbing system or vehicle. If you’re planning to stay somewhere longer term, installing skirting can also protect the undercarriage from the elements and debris.
Increased comfort and living space. RV skirting can increase the comfort of your living space by keeping your floors heated. When the undercarriage of the vehicle stays insulated in the cold winter months it helps retain heat under the floorboards. Whether you’re in the RV for a weekend or want to stay in it long-term, warmer floors are always appreciated in the cold winter months. Also, since the insulation of RV skirting helps protect the plumbing system, there is a reduced risk of pipes freezing or cracking in extreme temperatures. This allows you peace of mind, so you can enjoy the comfort of your camper all season long.
Types of RV Skirting
There are a few different types of RV skirting, and the one that is right for you will depend on a few factors. First, you need to consider whether you want to DIY the installation or hire a professional to put skirting on your vehicle. Second, you need to consider how long you are intending to use your vehicle. If you’re only camping short term, you’ll need something easier to put up and take down. Finally, if your RV lacks an enclosed undercarriage certain types of skirting will be more suitable than others. The three main types of RV skirting are:
Hard-sided skirting. Hard-sided skirting is a longer-term solution for protecting your plumbing system and ensuring you live in comfort throughout the cold winter months. This type of skirting is usually made of some type of wood or foam board and can be installed in a DIY manner or by a professional.
- Pros: Good for long-term stays, does a great job at keeping your plumbing insulated throughout the cold months
- Cons: Takes longer to install, can be more expensive
Soft-sided skirting. Soft-sided RV skirting is popular among campers and people who want to use their vehicle to visit a cold climate for a shorter period of time. Soft-sided skirting can be made of many different materials, like canvas, tarp, and vinyl. Many people choose to purchase RV skirting kits to install soft-sided skirting, combining a DIY and professional approach. This is a great choice because it is cost-effective and portable to make installing skirting on the go nice and easy.
- Pros: RV skirting kits provide a high-quality option for short-term use, are budget-friendly, and also work well in extremely hot climates to keep pests and debris out of the undercarriage.
- Cons: Not as well-suited to living in your RV full time
DIY skirting. If you don’t want to go with a professional skirting installation or kit, you can always make your own RV skirting. DIY RV skirting is typically made of fabric (tarp, canvas, or vinyl), wood (plywood, particle board), or foam board with aluminum duct tape.
The installation process on DIY skirting can vary depending on the materials. To install fabric skirting you’ll want to use adhesive hooks and use a tool called a ‘tarp grommet’ to make holes in the top of the fabric. Hang the skirting around the underside of your vehicle and attach the bottom of the fabric to the ground using tent stakes or sandbags.
To install wood skirting you’ll need to remove the wheel well covers and measure the exposed area between the RV and the ground. Next, cut the wood to size and screw each piece to one another around the perimeter of the RV. You can use standard 2x4s to fill in any gaps, and pack soil around the bottom of the wood to create an enclosed space. For foam board skirting, you’ll want to use the same technique.
- Pros: Budget-friendly, easily customized to fit your RV no matter the model
- Cons: Can be time-consuming, some materials (like canvas or tarp) aren’t as good at insulating the undercarriage in extreme climates
Choosing the Right RV Skirting
Because the plumbing system is a delicate part of your vehicle, it is important to choose the right skirting for your RV and circumstance. It’ll make the installation process a lot easier if you order the correct skirting and materials the first time around. Here are a couple of factors you should consider when choosing RV skirting for your RV:
Climate. The best RV skirting for cold weather is a soft-sided skirting made of durable vinyl or a hard-sided skirting made of wood and/or foam panels. Vinyl is a good choice for extreme climates because it insulates the undercarriage well but is still lightweight enough to bring on a shorter trip. Wood and foam panels are a good long-term option if you want to install hard-sided skirting.
Budget. Of course, budget is an important factor for many people when looking to do any work or modifications on their RV. Professional installation is convenient but can be very expensive. Kit options like the EZ snap or DIY solutions are great if you don’t want to break the budget but need something to protect your vehicle.
Material quality. It is important to choose RV skirting with high-quality materials. While lighter materials like tarp or canvas may be acceptable for the warmer months, you really want to invest in something with good insulation.
RV type. The type of RV you have also matters when it comes to how much protection you need. If you have an enclosed undercarriage, you don’t need as much insulation as if your plumbing is exposed to the elements.
When it comes to RV skirting brands, some of the highest quality products are by EZ Snap Direct. EZ Snap is a type of RV soft-skirting kit made of a special diamond-weave material. Some of the recommended models of the EZ snap kit include:
–Standard RV Skirting Kit. The EZ snap standard RV skirting kit is flexible and fits all types of RVs, with options ranging from 10 to 150 feet in length. There are multiple height options depending on the distance between the ground and the underside of your vehicle. There are multiple color options for a fashionable look, and three snap fastener options provide ease of installation.
-5th Wheel Hitch Enclosure. For proper insulation, it’s important for skirting to completely enclose the perimeter of your RV. That’s when a product like the 5th wheel hitch enclosure comes in. This kit attaches to the side skirting and creates a reliable barrier against the elements.
Of course, if you’re looking for an even more affordable type of RV skirting you might want to go the DIY route. If you’re planning to use your vehicle for short-term camping and aren’t going to areas with extreme freezing temperatures, a simple fabric skirting might be right for you. You can even recycle old tarp or canvas to make the skirting if you want to save money and be environmentally conscious.
Installation and Maintenance
If you want to install your own RV skirting, you should first order a skirting kit or DIY materials. Remember that you need to create a seal around the undercarriage of your vehicle to fully protect the plumbing and maintain warmth, so be on the lookout for gaps in the material during the installation. Be sure to thoroughly measure the area you need to cover before placing your order.
If you order a skirting kit like the EZ snap, it will come with fasteners to easily attach the material to the bottom of your RV. If you choose the option with 3M adhesive studs, you’ll want to clean the area with isopropyl alcohol before applying and allow the studs to set for 24 hours after putting them on. EZ snap’s pins easily attach the skirting material to the adhesive studs. Once you have the skirting all around your vehicle, you may need to trim the excess fabric for a cleaner fit. Thankfully, the vinyl fabric is a non-fraying material that will not need to be hemmed after it is cut. Finally, you’ll install caps to lock the pins in place and secure the bottom of the fabric against the wind using a pipe frame or Velcro. Check out this comprehensive guide for more information on how to install an EZ snap RV skirting kit.
To ensure the longevity of your RV’s skirting, you’ll want to maintain it regularly. Depending on the material of your skirting, keep duct tape, aluminum tape, or spare 2x4s to repair any gaps or holes you spot throughout the season. You’ll also want to check and make sure your RV skirting maintains proper clearance from any heat exhaust or external venting on your vehicle. It’s also a good idea to deep clean the fabric of the skirting between seasons. Try using the hose to wash away any excess dirt allowing the material to dry in the sun on a warm day.
To wrap things up, RV skirting is a useful preventative measure to consider for your vehicle in the coming winter. Whether you’re planning to stay in the vehicle short-term or long-term, RV skirting is a worthwhile investment for protecting your plumbing system, living space, and budget. RV skirting can make your vehicle more comfortable by keeping pests and debris from infiltrating the undercarriage, heating your floors, and giving you peace of mind throughout any extreme temperatures you may face. You can hire a professional to install skirting, purchase a kit like an EZ snap, or source materials for a DIY project.
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