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If you are an adventure enthusiast and passionate about outdoors then there is no better way to get up close to nature than traveling in a travel trailer. But if you have to spend your winters inside it, you have to do something about making your trailer winterproof.
This can be done by skirting your travel trailer or RV. Skirting a travel trailer means putting material around the bottom of the RV to protect it from potentially damaging environments.
There are a lot of reasons why travel trailer skirting is gaining so much popularity. Extra storage, decreased energy bills, undercarriage protection, enhanced appearance, and a polished look are some of the advantages of skirting your RV.
During hot summer days, an RV skirt can also keep your floor cool and comfortable. You can go for an insulated or non-insulated skirting to meet your needs. Skirting an RV is imperative if you would be staying somewhere that gets very cold ( below freezing) for long periods.
Even if your travel trailer has a heater, having a skirt around your rig will keep it warmer inside, so that you don’t have to run the heater as much.
Need of Skirting for RV or travel trailer
Skirting prevents an RV from wear and tear from weather. A heavy skirting at the base of the travel trailer can make it stable. Even if you have a four-season RV that comes with extra insulation, it is still not sufficient for RVing in sub-zero temperatures.
A skirting can keep the plumbing and other components warm and make your winter RV journeys pleasurable, warm, and toasty. You can also store different things under the skirting while you are camping.
At some campgrounds, having a travel trailer skirting is mandatory for long-term camping. Skirting also gives a pleasant look to your trailer and hides everything you may store underneath your RV.
RV skirting also protects your trailer from the summer heat and keeps you warm in the winter months. So much of heat gets escaped through the floor of the RV during winters. Having the underneath sealed up traps the heat, keeping the floors warmer during winters.
An RV skirt can also protect tires from getting damaged from the UV rays, as it is installed from the outside. With a skirting at the base of your RV, the undercarriage also remains free of dirt and grime.
Types of RV skirts
An insulated RV skirting can be one of the most important investments for your RV because you won’t have to deal with frozen pipes every year.
Insulated RV skirtings can be a little expensive but you will be able to enjoy cost savings for as long as you have your RV. Besides, you will also be comfortable in both winter and summer.
The insulated travel trailer skirting kit can help the owners with the installation process and usually don’t require a lot of effort to insert.
Non-insulated skirts aren’t very good at keeping the cold out. They mainly protect from dust, wind, and rain. They are cheaper but you will have to add layers of styrofoam or fabric to it to compensate for its weakness.
Types of RV skirting material
Traditional travel trailer skirting is made of canvas, but you can skirt your RV with any material you want such as plywood, aluminum, vinyl, insulation boards, tarps, styrofoam, and even lattice. If the temperatures are below freezing then insulated skirting is advised. You can make the RV skirting yourself from scratch or get customized by professionals.
Tarps are thin and can easily rip. They are also time-consuming to install. But they still get the job done. They are cheap and easily available. Many tarps are waterproof but don’t do a very good job of keeping the heat in. If you use a plastic tarp skirting then you will have to bulk it out with some additional layers.
Plywood or particleboard
Plywood is sturdy and inexpensive. Plywoods are a little tricky to cut and also difficult to carry if you move.
With vinyl skirting you don’t have to worry about moving. You simply have to slide the panels off, fold them up, and carry them wherever you go. Vinyl is reusable also. It is tough and nearly impossible to tear.
Styrofoam is cheaper than plywood and can be easily cut with a regular knife. You just need a tape to attach the styrofoam boards to the trailer.
Foam boards are strong and warm and are easy to work with. They are easy to install also but are not very environmentally friendly. Choose a material that is suitable for your weather and fits into your budget.
Things to keep in mind when installing a travel trailer skirt
Many companies can custom-made your skirting. They are the best quality but also typically the most exorbitant. A good RV skirt should not blow away or fall apart either. Also when buying a skirt for your RV make sure it is the proper length, width, and height for your RV.
Your RV has to seal off the base! If you will be moving around a lot in the winter, then it will be better to purchase a proper RV skirt so that you can easily take it off and adjust it as required. If you are on a budget and are not up for purchasing a custom-made skirt then you can make your DIY RV skirt. So, if you plan to make a DIY skirt, you should keep in mind a few points:
What is your budget?
What is the material you are going to use for skirting?
Are you going to use the skirt only this season or do you intend to reuse it in the future?
How to fix the skirt to the RV and the ground?
Different methods of skirting your RV
Lets quickly walk through different methods one can use to install skirting for a RV or travel trailer
1. Button and t-snap system
This method entails using buttons and turnbuckle style snaps to fix the skirting to the side of the travel trailer. This a common method of installing a skirt to your RV and is quite easy to do. However, there are some downsides to this system.
Firstly, you will not get an airtight fixture with this type of skirt. Secondly, lining up the snaps can be difficult especially when the skirt material wears out or shrinks in cold weather.
2. Channel attachment
This system involves having an aluminum channel fitted to the lower outside wall of your RV. The top of the skirt easily slides into the groove and is fitted firmly in place. This system creates an airtight fixture along the length of the skirt. It is easy to slide the skirt in and out of place.
3. Suction cups RV skirting attachments
Suction cups are also used to attach skirting to the side of your travel trailer. There are small suction buttons that are pressed against the side of your RV to attach the skirting.
Suction cup RV skirting can be done yourself and requires no drilling of holes into the side of the RV. The skirting can also be pulled away easily when not needed. But there are lots of disadvantages of using suction cups for attaching skirting to your RV. Bad weather can cause suction cups to move or fall.
The cups cannot attach properly over the curved surfaces of the RV. If you are planning to store your belongings underneath, then probably this is not the safest method to do it.
Different methods to attach your travel trailer skirt to the ground
1. The strap system
This is the most common method used to attach the skirting to the ground and is the easiest to do. The strap system uses straps that are fitted to the base or side of the skirting which is then held to the ground through metal spikes quite akin to camping pegs. This system allows the skirt to work on different ground levels. But the straps can come unattached on a windy day.
2. Loop ground attachment
To use this method to attach the skirting to the ground, the skirt should have small loops along the base. You then put stakes through the holes into the ground. This system allows the skirt to fit on varying ground heights. However, the stakes can trip you over.
3. Grommet style or D-ring style attachment
You can buy skirts which have d-rings or grommets placed along the length of the skirt. The d-rings or grommets are placed at different heights in case the ground levels are inconsistent. However, the different attachment heights can make the skirting slack.
A travel trailer skirting can be made out of different materials, and there many methods that go into making a good skirt. So, prepare your RV for a one-of-kind winter adventure. RV skirting is important especially if you are setting up your winter home in it.
The skirting will maintain the heat inside the travel trailer and keep everything protected from the elements, and even animals like rodents, snakes, raccoons, critters, etc. But the most important of all, the skirting will keep your RV in a good condition for longer. Travel trailer skirting can be used year after year for many seasons. So, they are a worthwhile investment!