RV Skirting for Winter – How To Skirt Your RV On The Cheap

This afternoon I finished installing my RV skirting for winter. It was pretty easy and I was able to do it entirely on my own in just two afternoons.

Why Skirt Your RV For Winter?

Skirting your RV for winter is a means of keeping out cold air and collecting any warmth that radiates from your RV. As temperatures drop it gets harder and harder to keep your RV warm inside. All that cold air blowing across the bottom of your RV only increases the challenge.

It’s imperative to keep your plumbing system from freezing. Having no water is a major inconvenience but the damage caused by freezing water lines and tanks can cost thousands in repairs.

RV Skirting Solutions

When I started looking at RV skirting solutions for my Airstream the main thing that stood out to me was the price. Options I explored and priced out include;

  • Airskirts would be nearly $2000
  • EZ Snap – roughly $900
  • Foam insulation board, while far less expensive at about $150, would be very difficult to install due the rounded shape of my RV. I also felt I would have needed help with installation.
  • Bales of straw, while more affordable, also attract rodents and nobody wants that.

All the options I looked at were either too expensive or had some other drawback. I spent hours searching the web for an inexpensive DIY RV skirting option then I found billboard vinyl.

RV skirting for winter

I choose billboard vinyl because the cost is very reasonable (read super cheap), it’s flexible for Bridget’s (my Airstream) curves. I purchased my vinyl from Billboardtarps.com. I purchased a 4′ x 65′ piece of heavy black vinyl. The cost for my vinyl was $43 plus tax and shipping for a grand total of $69.

If you choose vinyl as your DIY RV skirting solution, make sure to check the shipping rates. One site wanted more for shipping than the cost of the vinyl. Billboardtarps.com was great. They shipped fast via FedEx and their shipping charge was very reasonable.

Determining How Much Vinyl To Order

My Airstream is 25′ long to the end of the A-frame so the actual length of the living space is about 22′. The width is 8 1/2′. I estimated I needed a total of 63 linear feet of vinyl. In hindsight, I cut it really close and if I had it to do over again, I’d order a few extra feet. I have a small piece, roughly 2′ x 2′ leftover. I was lucky.

My trailer is parked on a slope and it is about a foot off the ground at the front end and two feet at the back. I wanted to make sure I had enough vinyl to tuck under the trailer to keep any drafts out so 4′ seemed the perfect drop.

How to Install Vinyl DIY RV Skirting

My first step was to lay the vinyl out around the trailer.

Aside from the vinyl, I used a 3″ Cold Weather Aluminum Foil Tape, a utility knife, and a tape measure. Before I got started, I cut a bunch of roughly 2′ sections of foil tape. I’m told this type of tape not only holds well in cold, wet weather but leaves less residue than other tapes. I opted to tape the skirting to the lower painted panel on my Airstream rather than the shiny aluminum finish. I was concerned about discoloring the aluminum but the painted area will clean up well with Goof Off when I remove the skirting.

DIY RV skirting

To get started, I began by taping one end of the vinyl to the trailer at a random spot. There really wasn’t a good starting point so I just started at one back corner. I applied a small section of tape every three feet or so along on side of the trailer. The reason I did this was so I could adjust the vinyl if needed. I did take a soft cloth and wipe any dirt off the trailer so the tape would adhere better.

I didn’t want to cut the nice straight edge along the length of the vinyl so I opted to add a section later to enclose the wheel wells.

Nooks and Crannies at the Front

My DIY RV skirting went fast until I got to the front end and had to start working around the trailer’s A-frame. There were a lot of cuts and notches needed to work around the wiring, battery box, and other parts located there. This took a lot of patience and tape.

RV Skirting solutions
Door Side Wheel Well

I continued along the other side and behind the entry stairs. Once it had the vinyl placed the way I wanted it, I began applying long strips of tape just beneath the silver trim. Then I started on the door side wheel well. I’m pretty happy with the way the wheel wells turned out.

The stairs were just about as tricky as the front end but I think I got it all sealed up with no gaps. Again, I used lots of tape and even more after I took this photo. This is where I stopped the first afternoon as the sun was setting. I’d been working on it for about four hours.

We had three days of rain and wind after the first installation day and I was pleased to see how well it all stayed in place even where I had only attached the vinyl with small strips of tape. When we finally had a dry day with some sun, I went out to tackle the rest.

The first area I needed to figure out was the back end of the trailer. My concern was there was no vertical surface to tape the vinyl to and I wasn’t sure if the tape would hold applied horizontally to the underside of the bumper. I gathered up all of my supplies and got on the ground under the rear of the Airstream where I promptly cut my finger with the aluminum tape.

It was one of those cuts you can’t feel but it won’t stop bleeding. There was blood everywhere and I had to go in for a bandage. Use caution with the tape!

The underside of the bumper and trailer is covered with a piece of smooth sheet metal. I decided to try taping the vinyl in place as I had done with the rest of the trailer. If I find it’s not staying put I’ll figure out another way to secure it. I have a friend who has some “500 Knots Airspeed Tape”. I’m thinking that would do the trick.

At that point, I had made it completely around the trailer. I cut away the extra vinyl leaving an overlap of several inches, then taped the seam and adjusted the bottom edge of the vinyl to make sure there are no gaps for air to enter.

The extra section of vinyl is what I’m using to make an access point for my sewer connections. I made an opening for the sewer hose and put it back in place then taped the flap into position. I’ve ordered some outdoor self-adhesive hook and loop closure to make it easy to open and close when I need to dump my tanks. I plan to put it along the top edge so the flap will drop down for easy access.

You might also like; 7 Easy Ways To Keep Cozy and Warm in Your RV Through Winter

Other than adjusting the vinyl to close any gaps and adding some weight here and there to hold it in place, this job is done. This morning, we woke up to some very strong wind gusts and everything is still in place. Hopefully, it’ll all stay put through the winter.

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4 thoughts on “RV Skirting for Winter – How To Skirt Your RV On The Cheap”

  1. That sounds very hard dragging the billboard vinyl around and taping in place. It looks like a very neat job. You do good work.
    Very interested in this post. Arkansas temps seldom fall lower than the 20’s and my Casita is ok as long as it is above freezing the next day. Last year I was in Benson Az waiting out the Big Freeze and Snow. Waiting on Texas to thaw out and replenish gas stations on interstate. South Arkansas was -5 degrees! Happy my trailer missed that but I was envious when I saw the beautiful pictures. As I was about to get on I-10 to start home I find out we had been only a few miles apart that week. I would have enjoyed meeting you-maybe this winter.
    This winter I plan to have the rv antifreeze ready but not winterize until I need too. I hope for a mild winter until my February month long trip to Arizona. Maybe I will be fortunate and miss the really cold temperatures again.

    1. juley.torkomian

      Thanks Glenda!
      In all my years of RVing, I’ve never had to winterize with antifreeze. I’ve been full-time from the beginning. I usually run from winter temperatures.

      I’m hoping for a miracle so I can head out early next year but I’m not holding my breath. One day we will meet up somewhere along the way.

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