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RV Skirting Solutions for Any Budget

September 29, 2020
Julie B

If you want to RV in colder climates and freezing temperatures you will want to consider skirting your RV. There are skirting options for almost any budget, whether you like to do it yourself (DIY) or find a budget friendly solution… We’ve got you covered!

What Is an RV Skirt?

RV Skirting Kit Example

RV skirting is a kind of barrier that attaches to the bottom of your RV walls and wraps around the base of the vehicle removing the gap between the ground and your rig to provide improved insulation and stabilization. This skirting makes it possible to live in a camper full-time, no matter the season. It can even provide extra storage and undercarriage protection.

If you plan on being in a cold climate and staying stationary for a month or more in freezing temperatures, RV skirting is necessary. The small investment you make in skirting will make a huge return in your propane costs and water lines.

RV Skirting Installation Solutions to Consider

Installing RV skirting does require an investment of both time and money. What you pay could range from a couple hundred dollars to $1,000 or more. Custom skirting and kits are the most expensive options. But whether you want to DIY your RV skirt or find a paid solution, below you’ll find something to fit your circumstances and budget.

Skirting Materials

The material your skirt is made out of can make all the difference. There are many options available on the market today. Some of the popular ways to skirt an RV include vinyl, canvas, plywood, tarps, plastic sheeting, foam insulation board and even hay bales. There are pros and cons to all of these options.

  • Custom vinyl skirting is the most expensive option and it is the simplest to work with. Vinyl is a material that can be reused which makes it environmentally friendly. Vinyl can easily be folded which makes it easier to transport when traveling to a new destination. It can also be purchased with non-fray edges which means no hemming is necessary if you choose to do it yourself. Vinyl is time tested and the choice of most professional skirting companies.
  • Canvas skirts are also easy to work with, but they may not provide the best insulation.
  • Plastic is cheap, but not as sturdy. It is also not environmentally friendly.
  • Plywood is sturdy and warm, but it is not easy to install, remove or transport.
  • Foam board skirting is cheap and effective. It is sturdy and warm, but it can be difficult to install. It is bulky and looks tacky. Some RV parks do not allow it for this reason.
  • Hay bales are another cost effective solution, but can attract rats, mice, and other unwanted critters.

How to Attach an RV Skirt

Once you decide on the material you want for RV skirting, the next step is to consider how your skirt will be attached. The method of attachment determines the insulation effectiveness (potential energy loss), the strength of attachment, the ease of installation and the appearance. Attachment choices include channel systems, buttons and T-snaps, and suction cups. There are pros and cons to each of these options.

The Channel System

custom channel skirting example

The channel system uses a snug-fitting grove (called the channel) that adheres to the side of the RV. The top of the skirt is slid into the channel. This creates an airtight lock around the camper. It is easy to install and remove. It has a clean appearance with the skirting on or off. It allows for material expansion and contraction within the channel. A drawback to channels is that they are not easily shipped, so you will need to be close to a distributor to purchase these.

Watch the video above to see custom channel skirting in action.
Channel System Summary
Installation difficulty:High (typically done by local professionals)
Insulation effectiveness:High
Strength of attachment:High
Ease of attachment:High
Appearance:Excellent
Cost:High
Drawbacks:Expensive, not easily shipped, and most often needs to be a local, professional install.
Advantages:The channel system skirting is the best option for long-term RV living in extreme weather. If you can afford it, you’ll definitely be happy you made this investment.

Buttons and T-snaps

RV Wind Skirt Panels Install Example

Buttons and T-snaps utilize snap-on buttons and turnbuckle style snaps to hold the skirt to the side of the RV. These are easy for the manufacturer or yourself to install and they also have a nice look when installed. Colder temperatures may cause the skirting material to contract causing some snaps to pull out. The material contraction may also prevent attachments from lining up correctly making attachment difficult. These snaps sometimes leave gaps in the skirting which may contribute to energy costs.

Buttons and T-snaps Summary
Installation difficulty:Easy
Insulation effectiveness:Medium
Strength of attachment:Medium
Ease of attachment:Medium (can vary depending on the weather)
Appearance:Very nice
Cost:Medium-low
Drawbacks:Potential for gaps can cause heat loss, and buttons/snaps can pop off or break
Advantages:Online kits available and are more affordable (Satisfied customers have reported savings of 65%+ when using RV WindSkirt compared to custom channel installs.)

TIP: We recommend avoiding this option if planning on living in colder weather for extended periods where melting and freezing is frequent. This can often damage the connections and your rig.

Suction Cups

Suction cups do not leave any holes in the RV and can be easily taken off when not in use. This means that you will have to reattach the cups each time you use the skirt. Colder weather can cause the skirting to contract and potentially pull off the cups. Suction cups may not hold as secure in high winds and colder temperatures. They are also hard to attach to the curves on an RV, but can be a useful temporary solution.

Channel System Summary
Installation difficulty:N/A
Insulation effectiveness:Medium-low
Strength of attachment:Low
Ease of attachment:Medium
Appearance:Good
Cost:Low
Drawbacks:Gaps can cause heat loss. Less secure hold. Sometimes difficult to attach and suction cups can lose effectiveness over time.
Advantages:This is the most affordable and easy (no prior hardware to install) if considering a temporary DIY solution.

DIY Tip: Suction cups should be spaced no more than 6 inches apart and be able to support the weight of your chosen material. We recommend going with a solid mid-tier brand like LUXEAR Suction Cups. They come in affordable six packs, can support 6+ pounds (3 kg) and have a 2 year warranty.

Ways to Attach your RV Skirt to the Ground

Using a method of attaching the skirt to the ground is critical for anchoring the system and holding it securely in place no matter what the weather. The skirt you buy should have more material at the bottom of the skirt to allow for coverage on uneven lots. An extra 8 to 12 inches should allow for enough coverage on most lots. Some of the ways to attach a skirt on an RV include a loop system, a single trap system, a grommet system, PVC pipe system, chains, contoured panels and straight panels with zippers. There are pros and cons to all these options.

  • Loop system: Much like a tent, the loop system uses loops at the bottom of the skirt where stakes can be placed through and secured to the ground. These can adjust to inconsistent ground and it will hold the skirting in place no matter what direction outside forces come from. The negative is that they can rip if the material is not strong enough and possibly pose a tripping hazard.
  • Single Strap system: The most common type of ground attachment is the single strap system. This system utilizes a strap either on the inside or the outside of the shirt which holds the skirt in place. To attach the skirt you drive a spike straight through the material. This system can adjust to inconsistent ground and it is easy to install. The downside of this system is that it does not hold both sides of the skirting in place.
  • Grommet system: The grommet system uses a series of grommets placed every few feet apart and often at different heights allowing for consistent ground attachment. This system is secure and gives a clean look. However, a system without several rows can create slack or insecure attachment.
  • PVC pipe system: A PVC pipe system includes wrapping the skirting material around PVC pipes that are set in the ground. This offers clean lines and easy installation. The downfall is that PVC piping is lightweight and cannot hold the RV skirt in place during windy weather. This method is prone to breaking during bad weather conditions.
  • Weights system: Chains or weights can be inserted in skirt pouches or sewn into the skirt. They are long lasting and heavy. However, because of their weight they can be difficult to transport. These types of skirts are especially useful for RVs parked on cement slabs, rocky terrain or sandy areas.

Editor's Choice RV Skirting Kit

RV with Skirt Kit Installed

Looking for a kit? We recommend looking at RV Wind Skirting's solution. Their individual panels and scrunchy form-fitting design rival the custom channel system in ease of attachment and insulation at a steep discount when compared to custom channel skirts. The skirting is comprized of 3 button-up basic panels with bags to insert rocks or weights to hold the skirt down. This is a well-reviewed kit that can work for most RVs out there.

Bumper panels: 48 inches by 120 inches

rv wind skirting bumper panel

5th wheel panels: 72 inches by 120 inches

5th Wheel RV Wind Skirt Panels

Door panels: 48 inches X 48 inches (allows for steps to come out.)

Stair or Door Panel by RV Wind Skirting

>>Check product availability on Amazon

RV Skirting & Storage

Depending on the type of skirt you choose, you will want to make sure you have easy access to the compartments around your RV. If you’d like to use the area within the skirt for storage, then you need to consider how easily that area can be accessed when the skirt is in place. This is particularly useful for 5th wheel RVs.

More RV Insulation Areas Worth Considering

If you plan on living in a cold climate for an extended period of time, RV skirting is highly recommended. There are many options to consider when choosing the best skirt for your RV. We covered the use of materials, fasteners and ground attachments that best fit your needs and your budget. Beyond that there are simple and convenient options for insulating your RV windows, air vents and hoses to help keep everything and everyone snug and warm during those winter months.

Julie B
There's so much more to RVing than what meets the eye. Behind every one of my articles are hours of research and care to create a comprehensive, easy-to-read guide. I hope this becomes a resource you can come to again and again as you're on the road to becoming an RVing expert.
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About Julie
I'm Julie, the gal behind RVing Accessories. It all started when we wanted to start RVing and began learning as much as I could about it. I wanted to create a resource to help others who are either just starting in RVing or wanting to make their next RV trip the best one yet have a great resource to turn to. 
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