9 Proper Ways To Insulate Your Trailer
If you are looking to insulate your trailer then you are in the right place. Proper insulation can keep the trailer cool during the warm days and warm during cold days.
Insulating your trailer is justified as they do not have facilities as motorhomes which makes them prone to cold or heat.
In both cases, you want to insulate the trailer so that you can spend a comfortable day or night inside it.
So, let’s see what are the 9 ways by which you can insulate your trailer.
1. Repair Any Damage
This is the first thing which you have to do before anything else. The reason is that small cracks and holes should be repaired for full and proper insulation.
So, without neglecting start inspecting your trailer very carefully, look for any damage and make a list so that you do not miss any spot.
Skipping this step will not save you during cold winter months and believe me during a cold night even a small hole becomes a cold wind blowing monster.
So, if there is a crack in the roof or a hole in the floor its time to fill it up.
2. Cover The Vents
Vents can be easily missed out because they remain higher up in the vehicle. For proper insulation, you have to cover them up.
Trailer vents are important as though them humidity and moisture escapes and prevent uncomfortable fogginess and build-up of mold and mildew inside the trailer.
On hot days they are perfect solutions for a comfortable interior environment but during cold weather they can shake teeth, so to avoid this you can use vent cushion. This one from Camco is the best, you get both option reflective and non-reflective.
There are two types of vent cushions reflective and non-reflective first, a non-reflective cushion which can be a little expensive and the second, reflective vent cushion which even offers UV protection.
You can easily place these cushions on the vents whenever you want or when it’s needed.
3. Skirting The Trailer
Are you probably asking what is skirting?
It is a layer of fabric that is wrapped around the bottom half of your vehicle that dangles the surface. This skirting prevents excess cold and heat coming from underneath the trailer.
Skirting is a popular choice for RVs than trailer but it is no exception. You can also try skirting your trailer.
RVSkirting.com is a specialist in designing RV skirts. If you have a fifth wheel then you can get a one for you. Otherwise, you may have to resize or trim it after buying for a good fit.
A skirt can control the interior temperature very well, this also saves your fuel as you do not have to use it as much as previously you have to keep the vehicle warm.
4. Insulate The Walls
If you really want to control the temperature of the interior then you have to reinsulate the walls of your trailer. The reason for this is simply the walls of most of the trailers are insulated by thin, flimsy fiberglass.
This is no good, for those cold days. For complete insulation, this is an important task which you have to accomplish.
One thing more, you should check the warranty guidelines of your vehicle and also try to call a professional for this job as this is tricky.
After sorting out the job you are ready to choose from a wide range of insulating materials. They are:
1. Rigid Foam
This type of insulating material comes with good R-value. This can be easily cut and sized by slicing it. To fix this on your trailer wall you may need chalk or tape. Some properties of rigid foam are durability, strength and moisture resistance.
2. Spray Foam
If you are doing the job on your own then spray foam is good. It has good R-value and comes in a handy container. These spray foam looks like the shaving cream when it comes out of the container. Apply it on the wall and you a ready.
3. Fiberglass Foam
If you do not want to replace the insulation then you can add more with fiberglass. It comes with a reasonable R-value and can keep the cool air inside the vehicle in summers.
But you have to be careful with it as you may have to remove it every few years because fiberglass expands with heat. Another problem is the mold that can grow on it.
5. Take Care Of Windows
There is mostly one single pane window in a trailer, which is not enough for insulation. Windows are thin and cheap which does not stop cold or warm air to do its job.
So, you are left with two options either change the window or insulate it further. Changing the window has some problems such as voiding the warranty and it is expensive too.
So, it’s better to insulate it even if it’s not so better as changing it but still, it will make a change.
I have tried to cover both options it’s up to you which one you choose.
1. Insulating The Windows
If you do not want to spend on a new window or do not want to void the warranty then try this.
- Plastic Insulating Film- plastic insulating film does not cost much. You have to cover the window from both sides and use double-sided adhesive tape to keep the film in the right place. Now, take a blow dryer and use it to make airtight seal across the film.
- Bubble Wrap- OK, I admit it will not look good but if you want to insulate the window then you have to do it. Spray some water on the window and cover the window with a bubble wrap and then use tape to fix it.
2. Replacing The Windows
First, you have to choose which kind of window you want in your trailer and you have a wide range to choose from.
- Awning Windows: it a great choice for a mid-size trailer as they have dual opening glass panes.
- Horizontal Sliders: they open and close sideways.
- Vertical Sliders: they are tall and also open through a slide on tracks.
- Jalousie Windows: they generally do not have a good sealing but looks great.
Step 1: first measure the size of the window. It can happen that you may not find the right window size in your hardware store, so you have to give the measurement and get one accordingly.
Step 2: now try to open the old window, sometimes it is all about opening some screws. If you have a metal or vinyl siding then take them off first.
Step 3: there can be some chalk or putty on the sides which you have to scrape it away for a perfect fit.
Step 4: fit the window in the right place a seal it with some sealant. Use new screws if the old ones are in bad shape.
3. Blackout Curtains
Other possible ways to insulate your trailer windows are blackout curtains. They can be useful in insulating the trailer both in heat and cold.
Buy blackout curtain and cut them to fit your trailer windows.
You can also use window shields, like this one from Camco, they can protect you from the sun and also keep the trailer warm in winters.
6. Do Not Forget The Doors
Your effort of insulating the trailer largely depends on the door because a poorly sealed door is of no use. It is the next thing after the window which you should take care of.
Like the wall, most of the trailer doors are not insulated well.
The first thing you have to look at is the weatherstripping. You can get it on any home improvement shop or you can also order online. Weatherstripping is a bulky fabric that sticks beneath the door to prevent air entry.
You can also add some extra sealing to improve the insulation. For this, you have to seal the area which is near your door frame inside by using a foam insulation tape, like this one.
Carefully look at the door and find possible cracks or holes from which air can escape. Use chalk to fill those unwanted things.
Lastly, DIY door insulators are great as you can make them at home and use them whenever you need them. Cut an insulation sheet of your choice and fit it over your door.
You can use them when you need them, and when not in use keep it safely somewhere. Always cut the insulation sheet a bit larger than the actual door size as it will also cover the taps.
7. Trailer Underbelly
If you have already insulated the floor still you may need to do something for the trailer underbelly. During harsh weather, proper insulation will protect you from the cold and heat.
You can insulate the underbelly by skirting as this is the cheapest and best method. You can get a custom made skirt for your trailer from this company.
In winter you do not want frozen pipes or black waste tanks. It can be a real mess if pipe freezes. Insulating your trailer underbelly will not solve the problem as you have to insulate all exposed pipes and tanks.
For the pipes, you can tape the insulation around the pipes which solves the problem. And for the tanks, you have to buy heating pads or use antifreeze.
With this, you also want to insulate the hose. Another option is to buy hose which can withstand freezing temperatures such as this product from Camco.
9. Prevent Humidity
Proper insulation means blocking outside and inside air. If you have done a good job then a problem may arise due to very good insulation that is humidity.
This is worst in winter than is summers because in summers you may use vents or open the windows, but during winter you will close even the smallest hole.
If there are some people in a closed insulated trailer, inside it can quickly become humid.
Moisture and humidity makes lots of damage including the uncomfortable interior environment.
For this, you can use a dehumidifier, especially which can automatically shut down when the environment is perfect or not humid. You can try this one which should comfortably fit inside your trailer.
You can also open the vent or window to get relief from it but dehumidifier is the best solution overall.
The wall, windows, door, floor, and vents are the main place where you should focus on.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the best insulation for an RV?
There are generally three types of insulation for RV or trailers. The best insulation will depend upon your needs and climate. Let look at the three types of insulation.
- Fiberglass Insulation
Pros: fiberglass insulation is cheap, easy to install or replace and come with high R-value.
Cons: whereas it also has some cons such as it can be damaged by moisture and can wear down over time.
Best Suited for: single climate RV, trailer users.
You should avoid using fiberglass insulation if you travel in different climates or spend more time in a place that has high humid conditions.
- Spray Foam insulation
Pros: it is lightweight, not so expensive and resistant to moisture.
Cons: it has low R-value and according to some people difficult to install, so you may have to call a professional.
Best Suited For: it is best for people who stay in one type of climate.
Another thing you should remember is that avoid using it if you spend a lot of time in extreme cold and hot weather.
3. Rigid Foam Insulation
Pros: it has a long life and is also moisture resistant.
Cons: it has a medium to low R-value and is also difficult to install.
Best suited for: it can be used by RVers who travel in different climates often.
It is difficult to find a trailer or RV with this insulation so you may have to install it on your own or by professional.
2. What is R-Value for Insulation?
R-Value is used for building and construction where R-value denotes the measurement of how well a two-dimensional barrier like insulation material can resist the conductive flow of heat. The higher the value means better the insulator.
Yes, it is true that trailers have fewer features than a motorhome but that should not stop you to make it comfortable.
There are many ways by which you can make it a perfect traveling home for yourself. It only needs some adjustments so you can insulate your trailer properly.
Yes, trailers are not considered good for winters, but with proper insulation, you can spend a good time in your trailer.
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