RVs and freezing weather don’t exactly go hand in hand. But with the right preparations, it can still be a successful and enjoyable experience.
Skirting an RV means putting material around the bottom of the rig to keep its nether regions protected from the cold.
This is one of the most important things to do if you’re staying somewhere that gets below freezing (don’t forget wind chill) for long periods of time. Especially if your rig doesn’t come with a winterized set-up that includes a covered and sometimes heated underbelly, heated tanks, etc. Even if your rig does come ready to survive the winter weather, it’s still smart to skirt your rig because it helps keep it warmer inside the rig, which means you don’t have to run the heater as much.
While you can skirt an RV with any material you want, these are the popular ones with RVers…
- Vinyl material that snaps around the RV
- Thick plastic sheet
- Styrofoam boards
We decided to spend the winter season in the snowy mountains of Washington and this meant we had to skirt our fifth-wheel.
We chose 1-inch thick R-Tech, which is a foil faced Styrofoam board, and then piled snow on top of that. The snow actually increases the underbelly temperatures by several degrees (it plugs in any gaps). We also purchased a 500-watt light to use under the rig when temperatures drop below 20 degrees. The light has been effective in keeping our under carriage from freezing into single digit temperatures.
The leftover cut pieces of R-Tech were used to plug directly into the gap around the outside of the slide for insulation.
Styrofoam boards are a lot easier to manage and work with than plywood.
You don’t need a saw to cut Styrofoam, just a regular knife. It’s also cheaper than plywood, and only tape is necessary to attach the boards to an RV.
Vinyl material is a better choice than Styrofoam, mainly because it’s reusable – but it’s expensive, heavy, and takes up valuable space that we don’t have, especially if we aren’t traveling somewhere cold.
Skirting an RV isn’t very hard to do, and it only requires a handful of tools. Here’s what we used:
- R-Tech Styrofoam 1-inch thick boards
- 3M Silver Foil Tape
- Long straight edge
- Blow dryer (weather dependent)
- Umbrella (weather dependent)
And here’s how we did it:
What do you think? Would you like to skirt your RV – or have you already done so for the winter? We’d love to hear your thoughts and comments below.
For more winterizing RV tips, click here.