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Old 10-18-2015, 08:48 PM   #1
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To skirt or not!

Full timing in NM. Be here for winter. All bottom of 5th wheel Montana is sealed. No exposed tanks. Any one have opinion on skirting around 5th. Water all with heat tape and insulation. Could get down in the 20's winter season. Would skirt with vinyl or tarp type materials. Any ideas? Thanks.
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Old 10-18-2015, 09:16 PM   #2
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Can't say with your unit but with any manufactured housing setups blocking the wind helps keep the floors warmer. I'd look for a low cost way to do it. At least part of your problem will be what the landlord allows. I'd start by talking to them.
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Old 10-18-2015, 10:16 PM   #3
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Girl I know who full times and moves around a bit has a huge fifth wheel they had the Amish make skirting with snaps came out nice but pricey she told me Click image for larger version

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Old 10-18-2015, 10:23 PM   #4
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A friend that winters in UT has canvas type material with snap fasteners. After one winter without skirting he said never again.
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Old 10-19-2015, 07:33 AM   #5
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I would go with the skirting option if the place you are staying allows it...anything to help maintain your heat and save propane is well worth it in my opinion. I might open it up for a few hours on some of those really nice winter afternoons for a bit of airing out to help with any condensation that may build up and then close it back before evening cold rolls back in.
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Old 10-19-2015, 07:42 AM   #6
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Try a bunch of Straw Bales! They're inexpensive, insulate well, and in the Spring, you can donate them to the campground for grounds keeping. They will make a tremendous difference in your comfort and heating bills!
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Old 10-19-2015, 08:23 AM   #7
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I have seen many trailers with skirting. Most use Styrofoam panels cut to fit. Read on this forum a few years ago that straw bales draw critters that will make their winter home in the straw. I have seen trouble lights used inside the skirting to help keep the underside warmer.

I have seen this in Central Ohio where winter temps sometime times get below zero.
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Old 10-19-2015, 07:19 PM   #8
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Thank you for all replies.
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Old 10-20-2015, 08:05 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by tuffr2 View Post
I have seen many trailers with skirting. Most use Styrofoam panels cut to fit. Read on this forum a few years ago that straw bales draw critters that will make their winter home in the straw. I have seen trouble lights used inside the skirting to help keep the underside warmer.

I have seen this in Central Ohio where winter temps sometime times get below zero.

Our experience, including building a Straw Bale Building in Southern Kentucky, is that the straw bales don't draw any more critters than any other warm dry space, which is what you are after anytime you skirt a trailer, so take precautionary measures for critters whatever you use for skirts.

On the trouble light, funny thing, I talked to a guy at a campground recently, who said he used the "trouble light" fix to keep his underbelly warm. Even showed me his setup. He was especially proud that he was using an LED trouble light in order to save energy! . . . . . . . . I tried to tactfully explain that he needed to find an old style incandescent 100 watt light bulb if he wanted to generate any heat . . . . . He stated that the LED put out just as much light as the 100 watt incandescent, and used only 17 watts (or thereabouts) of electricity, so that was what he was going to stick with . . . . then we talked about OTHER things . . .
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Old 10-20-2015, 08:16 AM   #10
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Funny! He wanted more light instead of more heat!
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Old 10-20-2015, 10:09 AM   #11
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All bottom of 5th wheel Montana is sealed. No exposed tanks. Any one have opinion on skirting around 5th.
In reality, most RVs are not fully insulated. The I-beams are exposed and while there is floor insulation plus insulation under the tanks, the sides of the I-beams have zero insulation. In addition, there are likely holes thru the I-beam for slide outs, etc. So, the I-beam becomes a significant source of heat loss, especially with strong winds blowing directly on it. Also the floor insulation claims by most manufacturers are totally deceitful as they quote the best R-value, and not the average R-value. While there is extra insulation packed between the I-beams, there is nothing but floor insulation from the I-beam out to the sidewall and this is roughly 25% of total floor area not counting the slide-out floors with very minimal insulation. Anyway, skirting will reduce fuel expenses and improve comfort.
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Old 10-20-2015, 12:09 PM   #12
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Yep...if you are using a trouble light for heat it needs to use the old fashion type of light bulbs. The lights that get too hot to touch. The lights that I think have been discontinue. I will be going to Home Depot later today. I will check to see if I can even find them.

If straw does not attract more critters then I would say it would make for very good skirting. I think I saw some countries (maybe even in parts of the US.) building homes with a special blend of straw / other adhesives.
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