How to Insulate an RV

4 areas you can insulate your RV and save time, money, and energy

rvskirting
••• Skirting an RV is a great way to keep cold out and trap heat. RVSkirting.com

We like to push the limits of our RVs, whether it be taking them to isolated camping spots to seeing the different kinds of climates they can handle. If you find yourself pushing your RV into high or low-temperature extremes, you may want to double check your RV’s insulation. Proper insulation can both keep the RV cool during the warm months and warm during the cooler months.

Some RV’s stock insulation may leave you wanting, but luckily there are ways to improve the RV’s insulation.

Here is some advice on how to insulate an RV in four key areas that’ll make your RV more energy efficient and save you money on propane, generator use, and electric hookups.

RV Windows and Doors 

If your RV is a bit older or not quite the highest quality you may notice that it can get rather drafty around the windows or doors. These areas are less protected than most of your RV’s exterior and they may need some help in upping their insulation value. If you’re looking for low-cost solutions consider re-caulking your windows, adding solar curtains, or replacing the weather stripping around your RV’s door. A beat-up weather strip on the sides of your RV’s door will let the air between the inside and out mingle together without putting up a big fight. 

If you want to revamp your windows and doors and get some excellent insulation consider upgrading them. There are many different doors and windows whose high quality provides excellent insulation and security.

When shopping keeps an eye out for energy-efficient labels as energy efficient is just a fancier way of saying high insulation value. 

Consider Skirting Your RV

One underutilized option for upping your RV’s insulation value is in skirting the RV. RV skirting is exactly what it sounds like, putting a giant skirt around the belly of your RV that puts a barrier between the outside elements and the underside of your RV.

Think of it like a bed skirt for the RV. 

RV skirting has been shown to reduce temperature swings within the interior of the RV, especially during the winter. RVers who use skirts also report that they use much less propane to keep their rig warm during the winter months. Skirts provide other added benefits, but the number one benefit is in their insulating value. Skirts are customizable so they can fit many different types of RVs. 

Work with Your RV Vents 

Warm air loves to rise into the vents of your RV where it won’t do much good in keeping your RV cabin’s warm. During the winter months, consider stuffing the vents with insulating materials like foam board. There are vent covers available you can buy over the internet or at a big box home improvement store that can keep air from entering and exiting giving them the nickname draft shields.

Look at Your RV’s Exterior 

An RV skirt will do a good job of keeping drafts from entering underneath your RV, but you can take it a step further. Buy a can of aerosol foam, a flashlight and set up shop underneath your RV’s belly. You might be surprised to find large gaps where hoses, pipes and other connections enter the RV. Try using foam insulation to reduce the size of these spaces but take extra care to not put a squeeze on any connections, you’re reducing, not eliminating.

If you’re driving a motorhome, there’s also a good chance that cool or hot air is entering through your storage compartments and ending up in the RV’s cabin. Make sure that the doors to any storage compartments are sealed up with weather stripping just like the RV’s door. Even a few rips or cracks in weather stripping or like an open-door party for outside air. 

Depending on your rig there may be other convenient ways for you to improve the insulation. Windows, doors, the undercarriage, vents, and storage compartments are the most likely to allow air from the outside into your controlled cabin climate so take a good look at these first. Just a few simple fixes or adjustments can make a big difference when insulating your RV.