If you live in your RV full time, there’s a good chance you’ll experience some cold temperatures if you travel to certain parts of the country during winter.
If you leave the undercarriage of your RV is exposed to cold winds, you’ll notice that it draws the heat away from your otherwise cozy home. One of the best ways to protect the bottom of your RV is to add a barrier, trapping the heat underneath.
And the best way to create that barrier is by skirting your RV. We reviewed tons of options to see what worked and what didn’t, and we want to share our results with you. (Spoiler: AirSkirts Inflatable RV Skirting made the top of our list because it’s so ridiculously simple to use!)
If you’re getting ready for winter RV living, read on to learn more about RV skirts and see our top picks for the best RV skirting for winter for your camper.
What is RV Skirting?
RV skirting refers to protective materials that you install around your RV to enclose its underbelly. It’s a must for winter RV trips as it helps maintain a consistent temperature under your camper by trapping heat, protecting the plumbing system. The insulation also works to keep the inside of the vehicle at a comfortable temperature.
You can have camper skirting custom-made if you’re willing to pay for it. Alternatively, you can purchase skirting kits from specialist companies. If you’re willing to take on a DIY project, you can even make your own travel trailer skirting.
What Difference Does RV Skirting Make?
An RV skirt creates a heat barrier around the underbelly of your RV, protecting it in extreme weather. For maximum benefit, your skirting needs to enclose the bottom of the RV completely.
While some RVs have an insulated underbelly, this may not be enough to prevent problems in freezing temperatures.
Preventing cold air from entering your RV’s undercarriage protects your water pipes. It also helps maintain a comfortable temperature inside the vehicle so that you can keep your heating bills down during the winter months.
In hot weather, the RV winter skirting will also help keep a comfortable temperature inside your RV and make your energy use more efficient. You can find skirting for any kind of RV, such as a motorhome, fifth wheel, or travel trailer.
The Best RV Skirting for Winter
If you often travel to regions with freezing temperatures, you definitely need to invest in an RV skirting kit. While vinyl skirting can be a somewhat pricey investment, it will save you money in the long run as it protects you from frozen pipes and helps you maintain steady temps within your vehicle. Here are our top picks for the best RV skirting for winter.
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Non-permanent camper skirting that’s easy to install in minutes
AirSkirts offers an innovative, high-quality RV skirting solution that requires no tools for installation and takes just minutes to set up. The secret lies in a set of inflatable tubes that use pressure to remain in place and create an enclosed underbelly for your RV.
The skirt tubes are made of heavy-duty, puncture-resistant vinyl, so you can count on them to stand up against rocks, rough terrain, and the moving around that comes with installation. Each RV skirt kit includes the inflatable tubes, an electric air pump, and a patch kit. You’ll also receive an RV skirting storage bag to create a neat package when it’s time to head out.
AirSkirts offers a range of options to fit any RV model, including travel trailers, 5th wheels, campervans, and motorhomes. When you’re ready to make your purchase, you’ll just provide your RV’s total length and floor level, and the company will suggest the most suitable kit for you.
When it comes to installation, it really couldn’t be easier, making this an excellent option for travelers who are constantly on the go. During our tests with a campervan, we were able to get the travel trailer skirting laid out and inflated in about 15 minutes. You just position each piece where it belongs around your RV, plug in the air pump, and fill up each tube. When you’re ready to go, just deflate the tubes and pack them away.
As far as insulation, these skirt tubes did a really good job. We traveled to Yellowstone in February, and this system definitely kept our pipes from freezing and helped us maintain our toasty temps within the vehicle. If you drive something larger and are worried about sewer drainage and other pipes and hoses, you’ll find that these flexible tubes actually conform around protrusions to allow for access.
AirSkirt trailer skirting is super easy to use and extremely versatile, but we have to admit, it’s not the most affordable option. However, we were able to justify the higher price tag because each set comes with a five-year warranty and a 30-day free returns policy — if it’s not right for you, just send it back, no explanation necessary.
What I Like
- Fast and easy to install: Just position and inflate — no tools necessary
- Skirting options compatible with a variety of vehicles, including 5th wheel campers
- Removal and storage is equally easy for those constantly on the go
What I Didn’t Like
- More expensive than other equally-effective solutions
- Requires electricity for installation
Quality vinyl RV skirting kit that insulates against freezing temperatures
The founders of RV Skirting Pros created their reliable, high-quality RV skirting solution after getting disapproving looks from their RV dealership when they tried to trade in a fifth-wheel riddled with screw holes from a previous skirt system. To address the problem, the company developed an RV skirting solution that relies on a rail and channel system with significantly less drilling.
With this system, your vinyl skirting panels attaches to awning tracks, and then those tracks attach to your RV by way of adhesive strips. Where needed — most typically on slideouts — the tracks are reinforced with screws and snap studs. When you’re ready to attach your travel trailer skirting, you’ll just slide the panels onto the tracks or snap them into the studs. Removal is equally as easy — just slide the panels off. The awning track stays in place for next time.
So as you can see, this system still requires screw holes in some areas, but it’s nothing like similar RV skirting solutions. This means you don’t have to worry about damaging your camper and watching as its value diminishes.
When you order a kit, you can choose a DIY option where you install it yourself, or you can have the company install it — you’ll either drive to a facility close to its headquarters or have a trained tech come to you.
Obviously, it will be cheaper if you install the RV skirting yourself, but if you aren’t handy with tools or don’t have the time to do it yourself, it’s a relief to know that there are pros that can handle it for you. Aside from the cost (several hundred dollars, in addition to the cost of the skirting), the only other issue with professional installation is that it’s only available in a few states surrounding Indiana.
When we reviewed this product, we chose the DIY option, using a friend’s RV as our guinea pig. The installation process took considerable time, but it wasn’t overly hard. The company offers both insulated and non-insulated skirting panels. We chose the former, which offers six layers of material and is black in color. Our friend joked that it looked like a quilted comforter; we agree, but that’s not to say that it’s overly unattractive.
Our buddy took his RV to Virginia when nighttime temps were in the 20s, and he reported that the RV skirt performed as well as he hoped.
What I Like
- Doesn’t require as many screw holes as other types of skirting for RVs
- Easy to remove the insulated RV panels for travel
- Kept the underbelly warm enough to prevent pipe freezing
What I Didn’t Like
- Installation takes know-how and considerable effort
- The RV skirting’s quilted design might not be for everyone
Winterize your RV with a custom kit that qualifies for free shipping
If you’ve got a uniquely shaped camper or like hands-on projects, EZ Snap Direct has you covered. The company offers RV skirting solutions for all types of recreational vehicles, from camper vans to fifth-wheels.
To get started, you’ll estimate how much camper skirting you need using the EZ Snap website’s convenient calculator and then place your order. In return, you’ll receive the raw materials to install your own custom RV skirting panels.
Now, when we say raw materials, we’re talking rolls of insulated RV skirting, adhesive studs, and EZ Snap fasteners. While you’ll receive enough RV skirting to get the job done, the task of measuring and cutting the vinyl to create panels falls squarely on you.
Cutting fabric can be a tricky thing because it tends to fray. However, that’s not a problem with this skirting for RVs because it’s made from a Diamond Weave material that features encapsulated threads. When you cut, the yarn is sealed so that it doesn’t tatter. We weren’t sure we believed in this feature at first, but it lived up to its claim.
Other benefits of Diamond Weave technology from EZ Snap are that it’s fire-retardant and rated to withstand freezing temperatures as low as -40 degrees. We couldn’t put this RV skirting to that test, but we did get close: We installed the EZ Snap skirting on the camper of some friends, and they took it to North Dakota over Christmas. It was very cold, with lows in the single digits, and in addition to no ice under the RV, they also noticed that the interior stayed warmer than usual (they head up north every winter, so the difference was quite apparent).
Overall, we were satisfied with how the installation went. We really liked that we were able to customize the skirting to accommodate slideouts, exhaust, and other pipes, but we sure did feel guilty about all the waste at the end of the process. We knew that would be the reality with custom RV skirting, but we still didn’t like it. (Don’t worry: We kept the scraps for future use.)
The fact that there was no drilling involved was also a huge plus. The EZ Snap clips really held on despite only using adhesive, and we’re sure that they won’t be going anywhere for at least several seasons.
What I Like
- EZ Snap skirting kit allows for complete customization
- Diamond Weave material doesn’t fray when cut
- EZ Snap offers free shipping with a low minimum purchase
What I Didn’t Like
- Could be a lot of vinyl waste depending on the configuration of your camper
- RV skirting kit requires that you measure and cut the vinyl yourself
How to Choose the Best RV Skirting Kit
We love AirSkirts Inflatable RV Skirting because it’s easily the fastest, simplest way to protect your undercarriage from freezing temperatures. We’re sure you’ll agree, but we also understand if you want to explore other options when it comes to skirting your RV. To help you decide on the best cold-weather camper skirting, we’ve come up with a list of things to consider when shopping around.
The RV skirting material you choose must be high-quality and durable; otherwise, it simply won’t last against cold weather, varying terrain, and regular use. When shopping, look for vinyl skirting that’s heavy-duty, tear-resistant, and fire-retardant.
Another thing to keep in mind when exploring RV skirting options is installation. This includes the initial install and mounting method, as well as the difficulty of putting up and removing your skirting when necessary.
As far as mounting methods, there are several, but the most common include screws, adhesive, or a combination of the two. Screws are definitely more secure than adhesives, but they also require that you drill into your RV for the install, something you may not be willing to do.
When skirting your RV, you have to ensure that the skirt panels wrap around the whole bottom of the vehicle. You don’t want to leave any gaps at all; otherwise, it will be a constant battle against heat loss.
Also remember that your skirting will probably be seasonal, so you’ll want to consider how easy it is to store. Does it fold easily? Does it have a big footprint?
Budget is another big consideration RV owners have to keep in mind when shopping for insulated travel trailer skirting. The short of it: High-quality skirting can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars.
However, if you live in your RV full-time or use it in extreme weather conditions, the investment might be worthwhile. Remember that skirting can save you money on heating costs and repairs to your RV plumbing system.
Another thing to keep in mind while crunching RV skirting costs is shipping. Vinyl skirting can be bulky and heavy depending on the size and type of RV for which you’re making the purchase, resulting in expensive delivery fees. Whenever possible, look for free shipping offers to save money.
How Much Does RV Skirting Cost, and Is It Worth It?
RV skirting for winter can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to several thousand, depending on the type of skirting you choose. At the low end of that range are DIY options.
You can buy materials such as a Styrofoam board at your local hardware store, and then cut and install it yourself.
However, this kind of skirting probably won’t be sufficient for freezing weather. You’ll also only get one use out of each skirting, so that the costs will build over time.
Custom skirting, where a company customizes the skirting to your exact type of RV, is at the other extreme. While it’s expensive, it may be worth it if you live full-time in your RV or regularly use it in freezing weather conditions.
Between these extremes, specialist companies such as AirSkirts, RV Skirting Pros, and EZ Snap Direct provide quality, reliable skirting kits to install yourself. You provide the dimensions of your trailer or choose from an existing kit, and the company will ship the materials directly to you (sometimes with free shipping to boot).
Ultimately, whichever method you choose, RV skirting is worthwhile. It prevents potential problems such as frozen pipes, and it saves you money on repairs and heating expenses, such as propane costs, by maintaining a comfortable temperature in all weather conditions.
Custom RV Skirting
If you regularly use your RV in extreme weather conditions, custom skirting may be something to consider. Providers will custom fit material such as heavy-duty vinyl for your vehicle and will usually install the skirting for you.
Keep in mind that custom skirting for RVs is an expensive option, often running from $2,000 to $3,000 or more.
It has some significant advantages that will benefit people who live full-time in their RV, move it frequently, or use it often in extreme weather conditions.
Custom-made skirting will last for years, even in harsh conditions. It guarantees complete protection for your plumbing system.
It also reduces your heating and cooling costs by helping you to maintain a comfortable temperature inside the RV. It’s easier to install and remove than many other options too.
While DIY options are significantly cheaper, you’ll probably need to make new skirting each year. This can end up costing a significant amount over time, reducing the cost-benefit to some extent.
Reusing custom-made skirting every year also makes it an environmentally friendly option. It also looks great. It’s worth noting that some RV parks only allow custom-made skirting.
Arranging custom-made skirting can be complicated. You may have to travel to a provider.
Ultimately, custom-made skirting is probably only worth the extra expense for RV owners who will be using their RVs very frequently and in wide-ranging conditions. (Even then, we still think that buying insulated RV skirting from a company like AirSkirts or EZ Snap is a smart, more affordable, and even better overall option).
DIY RV Skirting Ideas
There are many DIY options for RV skirting. Some RV users use temporary options such as tarps, hay bales, or even snow! Below are a few options for more durable DIY skirting.
Fabric RV Skirting
You can make your own RV skirting with fabrics such as vinyl, billboard, or canvas. You don’t necessarily need to use an insulated fabric, but you do need a durable material.
Vinyl is a reliable fabric option. It’s often used for custom-made skirting, so it’s the DIY option most similar to custom alternatives. Self-installed vinyl skirting is a good intermediary option.
A company provides you with high-quality material, but you install it yourself.
Using fabric for your skirting is relatively cheap compared to custom options. It’s also easy to source options such as vinyl, which are easy to cut. If you intend to move your RV frequently, the fabric is a good option.
You can also consider using recycled fabric for environmental sustainability.
Making your own skirting with fabric does take a lot of work. You probably won’t reuse the same skirting many times, so expect to remake it at least every couple of years unless you’re a master of the sewing machine.
You can secure fabric skirting with tools such as adhesive tape, Velcro strips, suction cups, or grommets.
Check out this video for how to make DIY vinyl skirting and save a LOT of money.
Foam Board Skirting
Foam board panels are the most popular DIY skirting option. They’re easy to find, and they’re an extremely cost-effective option. You can probably source the necessary materials for between $100 and $200.
It’s also easy to cut foam to fit your RV. Foam is an effective insulating material that can preserve heat around the underside of your RV, even in freezing temperatures.
It’s also very light, so it’s easy to transport and store, but you’ll have to attach it to the RV very securely to prevent it from blowing away. You can use plywood or tape to do this. Make sure to use plenty.
The main drawback of using foam for your skirting is that you’ll probably only get one use out of it. It’s a good option if you’ll stay in place, but it may not be the best choice if you intend to move frequently.
Replacing foam skirting regularly also makes it less environmentally friendly. However, if your RV will mostly be stationary, foam skirting is a good option for cost and usability.
Check out this video for how to make DIY foam board skirting.
Wood Skirting for RVs
Plywood is a popular DIY option for skirting and can be very effective. However, it takes a lot of work. Sourcing suitable materials may also require some effort.
One of the advantages of this method is that it is adaptable to any RV model. Wood is also very effective in blocking cold air. However, plywood skirting is generally a more permanent option.
If you intend to move your RV regularly, it may not be the best choice.
Attaching and removing the skirting requires a lot of work. Wooden skirting is also difficult to store as it’s inflexible and requires a lot of space.
Despite these caveats, plywood skirting can be a great option for RVs that will mostly remain stationary. It’s effective against wind and cold, cheaper than many alternatives, and can last for years.
In extreme cold, you can also reinforce plywood skirting with foam board or other insulating materials.
How Do You Attach Skirting to an RV?
Your RV winter skirting needs to be attached very securely. While the type of material you use matters, the way it’s attached is perhaps even more important. If there are any small gaps, it becomes less effective.
If you’re using a DIY option such as foam, your skirting may also blow away if it’s not held securely.
The best method for securing your skirting depends on the material you’re using. Custom-made options will come with tools for attachment.
As discussed, AirSkirts’ inflatable skirting uses pressure to hold it in place, EZ Snap uses adhesive tape and Velcro, and RV Skirting Pros use a channel and rail system.
For DIY skirting, many people use a lock and fastener. This is an effective option. Others use weighty objects to hold down the bottom of the skirting.
We’ve mainly discussed RV skirting for winter. However, it can also help you to maintain a comfortable temperature in warm weather. A skirt creates a barrier between your RV’s underbelly and the warm air outside it. This helps to keep the temperature inside cool.
Skirting helps the underbelly of your RV from losing too much heat, even in freezing conditions. However, you also need to ensure that the temperature doesn’t drop too low inside the vehicle. Winterizing your camper to live in will help prevent issues with your plumbing system and make sure your heating is up to the job of keeping you warm and comfortable all winter.
Insulated RV skirting is worthwhile for anyone using an RV in harsh weather conditions. It helps to maintain a comfortable temperature and protects your water lines in cold weather.
It also saves you money by lowering your expenditure on temperature control and protecting your RV from damage.
When considering which might be the best RV skirt we’ve reviewed, we think the title has to go to AirSkirts Inflatable RV Skirting. It installs in just minutes, and it doesn’t require any tools. Plus, it fits all RVs types, from campervans to 5th wheel vehicles.
Heading toward cold weather? We’ve got 10 tips for living in a camper in the winter to help you survive frigid temps!
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