Should Your RV Wear a Skirt?

Everything you need to know about RV skirting

RV skirting
••• RV skirting is more popular than ever among RV and trailer owners. CustomSkirting.com

RV skirting has been around for a while but is gaining popularity among RVers. The comfort and convenience of extra storage, decreased heating and cooling costs, improved appearance, and undercarriage protection makes adding RV skirting a wise decision. Here are the top considerations to make when deciding what RV skirting system to put on your vehicle. 

How Does RV Skirting Work?

Types of RV Skirting Systems

When looking at RV skirting, one of the most important things to consider is how the skirt it attached.

The method of attachment determines potential energy loss, the strength of attachment, ease of installation, tightness of fit, and the appearance of the RV with skirting both on and off. 

Channel System

The channel system uses a channel, usually composed of aluminum, that adheres to the side of your ​RV. The top of the skirt is slid into the channel. 

Pros

  • Creates an airtight lock all the way around the camper. 
  • Easy to install and remove 
  • Has a clean appearance with the skirting on or off
  • Silicone can be applied behind channel to seal any screw holes and to help bond the channel to your RV
  • Allows for material expansion and contraction within the channel

Cons

  • Need to be close to distributor as it is not easily shipped

Buttons and T-Snaps 

A button or t-snap system utilizes buttons and turnbuckle style snaps to hold the skirt to the side of the RV.

Pros

  • Easy for manufacturer to install
  • Traditional method of skirting
  • Has a nice look when installed

Cons

  • Leaves gaps in skirting and may contribute to energy loss
  • Colder temperatures may cause skirting material to contract and pull out snaps
  • Material contraction in cold temperatures may prevent attachments from lining up correctly making attachment difficult

Suction Cups 

There are some methods that use suctions cups to hold the skirting in place.

Pros

  • Doesn’t leave any holes in RV
  • Do-it-yourself installation
  • Can take the cups off camper when not in use

Cons

  • Less secure attachment
  • Must reattach the cups each time you use the skirt
  • Colder weather can cause skirting to contract and potentially reposition or pull off cups
  • Will not hold as secure in high winds and colder temps
  • Hard to attach cups to curves

Method of Skirt to Ground Attachment

Second in importance only to the attachment to the RV is the method of attaching the skirt to the ground. This is critical to anchoring the system and holding it securely in place no matter what Mother Nature throws at you.

Pro Tip: Any skirt you buy should have more material at the bottom of the skirt to allow for coverage on uneven lots. An extra eight to 12 inches should allow for enough coverage on most lots. A skirt that only touches the ground should be considered with caution.

Here are a few options when looking at the ground attachment.

Loop System

This system uses loops at the bottom of the skirt where stakes can be placed through and secured to the ground. A significant advantage to loops is that it will hold the skirting in place no matter what direction outside forces come from. They can also be put on the inside or outside of the skirt depending on how you would like the skirt to look.

Pros

  • Adjusts to inconsistent ground
  • Secure
  • Can easily double strength
  • Wood or water tubes can be used on concrete pads
  • An inside strap helps resist the wind from curling the skirt under

Cons

  • Potential trip hazard 

Single Strap System

The most common and simplest of ground attachment system for RV skirting. Utilizes a strap either on the outside or inside of the skirt which holds the skirt in place. To attach the skirt, you drive the spike straight through the material, and yes, the material can handle it. ​

Pros

  • Adjusts to inconsistent ground
  • Easy to install

Cons

  • Does not hold both sides of the skirting in place

D-ring or Grommet System

This system uses a series of D-rings or grommets placed every few feet and often at different heights allowing for consistent ground attachment.

Pros

  • Many rows of grommets adjust to different heights
  • Secure
  • Clean look

Cons

  • Systems without several rows can create slack or insecure attachment

PVC Pipe System

This system employs PVC pipes that the skirting material wraps around and is then set on the ground.

Pros

  • Clean lines
  • Easy installation

Cons

  • Can't hold RV skirt in place when windy
  • Easily breakable due to weather

PVC alone lacks enough weight to hold the skirting in significant wind. This can cause movement of the base of the skirt that can rub a hole in the skirting.

Chains 

Another option is to sew chains into the skirt or have a passage where the chains can be inserted. 

Pros

  • Chains are heavy but keep ​RV skirt held in place
  • Chains are long lasting

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Difficult to transport

Access to High Use Areas

The key to the skirting is that it does not hinder your ability to access the compartments around the RV. There are a couple of approaches to access.

Contoured Panels Around Compartments

This approach is much more custom and requires a skilled skirting crew to perform. 

Pros

  • Custom look
  • Decreased wear and tear on trailer and skirting
  • Easier access to compartments

Cons

  • Hard to find experienced help for custom panels

Straight Panels with Zippers as Needed

In this approach, the skirts are placed along a uniform straight line around the RV, and any compartments or gate valves are accessed by unzipping an opening in the skirt.

Pros

  • Easy for the skirt manufacturer to create
  • Easier to install and remove panels

Cons

  • More work to access doors and gaskets
  • Zippers can cause rub marks

RV Skirting Material

The makeup of the material is a critical piece when deciding what RV skirting to use. There are different pros and cons with each material along with things to consider when it comes to color selection. 

Insulated vs. Non-Insulated RV Skirting

Insulation depends on what type of attachment you are using and conditions you will be RVing in. There is no arguing that insulation will keep you warmer but given the increased expense (usually, doubles the price) a long look should be given to insulation. Here are a couple of options for insulation if you decide you need it.

Insulation Sewn into the Skirt

Pros

  • Easy to install
  • High insulation value
  • Clean look

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Heavy, difficult to transport

Foam Board Insulation 

This method is used for those that may want some extra insulation in conjunction with a non-insulated skirting. It involves placing insulation behind the skirting material.

Pros

  • Cheap 
  • Effective
  • Only use it when you need it

Cons

  • Difficult to install
  • Bulky 

Connecting Panels Together

There are a few ways to connect the panels that surround your skirt. They usually involve either zippers or Velcro. Both work well, and they are listed here as an explanation of options only. 

As you can see, there are many things to think about when looking at RV skirting and a variety of choices to consider. All the best when hunting for the best skirting for your RV.