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 is 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.
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.
- Creates an airtight lock 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
- Need to be close to the 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.
- Easy for the manufacturer to install
- A traditional method of skirting
- Has a nice look when installed
- Leaves gaps in skirting and may contribute to energy loss
- Colder temperatures may cause skirting material to contract and pull out snaps
- The material contraction in cold temperatures may prevent attachments from lining up correctly making attachment difficult
Some methods use suctions cups to hold the skirting in place.
- Doesn’t leave any holes in RV
- Do-it-yourself installation
- Can take the cups off camper when not in use
- 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.
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.
- Adjusts to inconsistent ground
- 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
- Potential trip hazard
Single Strap System
The most common and most straightforward 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.
- Adjusts to inconsistent ground
- Easy to install
- 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.
- Many rows of grommets adjust to different heights
- Clean look
- 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.
- Clean lines
- Easy installation
- 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.
Another option is to sew chains into the skirt or have a passage where the chains can be inserted.
- Chains are heavy but keep RV skirt held in place
- Chains are long lasting
- Difficult to transport
- Limited 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.
- Custom look
- Decreased wear and tear on trailer and skirting
- Easier access to compartments
- Hard to find experienced help for custom panels
Straight Panels with Zippers as Needed
In this approach, the skirts are placed along a smooth straight line around the RV, and any compartments or gate valves are accessed by unzipping an opening in the skirt.
- Easy for the skirt manufacturer to create
- Easier to install and remove panels
- More work to access doors and gaskets
- Zippers can cause rub marks
Read More: RV Safety and Maintenance Checklists
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
- Easy to install
- High insulation value
- Clean look
- 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.
- Only use it when you need it
- Difficult to install
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.
Read More: Should I Cover My Camper Trailer with a Tarp?