My Search for a GREAT RV SKIRTING Solution

After 6+ years “on the road”, you’d think I’d have this “winter camping thing” with RV Skirting down, right?

Note: I originally posted this in Nov. 2017, I’m updating it today (Sept. 2018) after using my skirting (detailed below) for a full season AND breaking it down in late February when parts of it were “melded” to the pavement with ice acting as adhesion – this story is detailed farther into the post.

You see… I’m a full timer AND a skier and I work at ski areas (instructing) for the winter to help fund my addiction! As a full time traveler in a 5th wheel (and now a REALLY GOOD fifth wheel!) I KNEW from the first winter in Steamboat in 2012 I’d need skirting as a way to keep my plumbing (and entire underbelly!) from freezing up and my propane budget from going through the roof!

My initial solution (with my 2011 Crossroads Seville) was blue-board (insulation board). Effective and inexpensive BUT bulky, VERY labor intensive (see my old videos/posts when I talk about this approach) and virtually impossible to transport once you break it down in the spring.

Custom RV Skirting
Custom RV Skirting is a core component that can lead to a successful winter camping experience.

With a new trailer came a desire to do RV Skirting right

This led me to a search of companies that provide custom RV skirts as well as “do it yourself” kits. Acknowledging that I am “mechanically challenged”, I rejected all the do-it-yourself options for a variety of reasons – starting with the challenge of ordering the right amount of material and connectors. Significant mistakes at the outset of a do-it-yourself project will quickly erase any savings of time and money over a custom skirting company. I was also reasonably concerned about damaging my RV if I were to attempt screw-in snaps, and had real concerns about the effectiveness of suction cup strategies touted by some do-it-yourself companies.

Even among custom RV Skirting companies, there’s a wide disparity over how they do it

While costs are fairly uniform; I received quotes ranging from 1900. to 2500. for my trailer, the approach among custom RV skirting companies varies. Some use just snaps, some use a combination of turn buckles & snaps (the videos I share below help to explain this) and some use a channel (or rail) system.

Channel or rail systems are not widely used and I know of some rv’ers having problems with them, so I passed on this approach. As to snaps vs. snaps and turn-buckles, I learned in my research that the turn-buckles, when used strategically (at high stress points) are better than just snaps – which when over-stressed can (and will) fail.

Ok, enough commentary! Allow me to share a few videos that were created largely as my rv skirting was being constructed. This first video illustrates the process of measuring and planning out the two day project. The technician’s name is Zach, and the business I used is Extreme Covers.

Considering RV Skirting for YOUR Camper?

If you decide to get RV skirting for your camper and you like the approach you see in the videos below, contact me and I’ll get you a very competitive quote. I’ve negotiated a discount with the owner for all my readers! Use the contact (reply) box below – or – email me directly at traveler@rvacrossamerica.net.

Zach worked diligently through the balance of the first day and this second video shows continued progress…

Late on the 2nd day, Zach’s work is nearly done. In this next video, he is instructing me on various aspects of the skirting. Take note of the features built into the rv skirt and in particular how small it is when it is folded up.

Video 4 below introduces you to Dave – owner of Extreme Covers. As you’ll see, he’s quite a character, and the demo he has me do with the skirting was neither planned nor staged!

rv skirting for winter
My RV Skirting… I’m ready for winter! (Also – note the sewer hose, it has heat tape wrapped inside.

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The only thing really left to show you is the finished product – which can be seen in the 5th and final video in this post.

Summary of my experience

Extreme Covers does a first rate job creating & installing RV skirting. The work required 2 full days (and Dave tells me that some trailers / motorhomes require 3 days) – you CAN stay in your RV while the work is being done, and they will do the work onsite in Boise, Idaho OR anywhere in parts of the adjoining states. They will charge a travel fee if you opt to have the skirting done off-site. For me, I opted to come to them and save the travel fee. I found it easy to get in/out of Boise (they’re less than a mile off the “Connector” (Interstate 184) and their lot is easy to navigate and is secured. While there I took a couple of bike rides along the Boise bike path that runs adjacent to their property. (Remember – my readers get a break on the price – so, contact me directly for a quote – traveler@rvacrossamerica.net)

best rv accessories
Click the image to see my recommendations for important RV Accessories

As I mentioned earlier, if you’re looking for a RV skirt for your camper, contact me and I’ll be glad to get you a quote – as one of my readers, you’re going to receive a discounted rate.

While you’re here, there are a number of posts where I talk about preparing for the winter months (if you camp in colder weather). You can find an index to my winter in a RV posts HERE.

***Just a thought… have you considered an “extended service contract”? Click HERE for my thoughts.***

May I suggest… Looking for a great navigating and trip planning tool?

I use something called AllStays – how I use AllStays is illustrated in this post about camping in the Helena Montana region. When I start my planning process, I always start with AllStays to see what campgrounds are in the region I’m considering. The database is interactive so I can learn more about the campgrounds AND other aspects about the region I’m planning to visit.

allstays

2018 RV Skirting Update…

The winter of 2017-18 (last winter) was my 3rd in the McCall, Idaho region. Each winter develops its own character – some are cold, some are colder; some are wet, some are wetter! I found this winter I used about 1/2 the propane I’ve used in the two prior winters, and it was not particularly mild for much of the winter. Some of these savings inevitably can be attributed to the new camper (Glacier Peak’s are better insulated than Crossroad’s), but I’m sure part of it can be attributed to the skirting.

The skirting itself held up extremely well. Unintentionally I put it to a test – one that I could not have planned on. By early February, I had decided I was going to leave the McCall area around Feb. 23rd. I was pleased to see a mid-February thaw develop. I believed that would make it far easier for me to break camp as early February snow depths around my camper were around three feet.

The thaw came – and despite forecasts for it to continue, the thaw went. I was hoping to remove my skirting as close to my departure as possible as most nights were still in the 10’s even during the thaw. Luck was not to be in my favor. About a week before my planned departure, the weather pattern changed and temperatures plummeted and I had not yet removed my skirting.

Now I had skirting that was “cemented” to the pavement below as melted snow (water) had frozen as ice and formed an adhesive layer between the skirting and the ground that felt as strong as super glue! With the assistance of a hair dryer (to melt the ice), I succeeded at breaking the bond between the skirt and pavement (at times inch by inch), but there were a couple of stretches where you just couldn’t get in to do this work. So… it came down to “elbow grease” – that is, pulling on the skirting frozen to the ground until something gave! Fortunately, and to the credit of the quality of the material used, it was ALWAYS the adhesion that gave way before the skirting did. Yes, there are a couple of small areas where the skirting looks “scraped”, but in no way is the integrity of the skirting compromised. I continue to feel real good about my decision to go with this product and the company that installed it!

My anticipation is this winter, I will settle someplace and NOT move until the REAL thaw!

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17 thoughts on “My Search for a GREAT RV SKIRTING Solution

  1. Alan, just watched all 5 videos, and I wanted to let you know that there is no sound in the last minute or so of video #4.

    Thanks for the great info. I look forward to more posts.

  2. thats the only way to winter RV ing they are not cheap but compared to freezing up its cheap.
    we used tarps company on 93 north going to glacier park, outside of Missoula Montana

  3. do you make a kit from factory specs to ship for customer instilation . im on fixed income and need to save if i can .i can install snaps on my fifthwheel myself

    • Don, I don’t work for the company I had my skirting done through, but I do know this – they do not sell a kit. They only do custom skirting that is fit precisely to a trailer or camper and employs a mix of snaps and turnbuckles. After observing the work they do, I am certain it can not be duplicated via a kit. I observed the tech (Zach) return to the sewing and cutting room several times over the course of the 2 days where I had my work done to make the skirt “just right” for my trailer. There are companies who do offer kits, but frankly, I’d go with blue board as some of my videos illustrate if cost is a real factor.

  4. I’m full-time in my 5th wheel & not able to move unless I hire a transport company (which I really can’t afford as I”m saving for skirting). Can you suggest a company in the Pocatello/McCammon area that can do an on site job. Video was great, thanks.

    • The same company I used and highly recommend will come to you to do the job on site where you are. They are based in Boise, so, I’d need to get you a quote for your trailer and for the travel to Pocatello/McCammon area. I will need the year/make/model of your trailer to get you a quote.

    • it depends upon the size of your camper. generally 1500 – 2500$. please provide the year/make/model of your camper and whether you can travel to boise idaho – or if you need the installer to come to you (generally within 300 miles or so of boise) and I can quote you. Al

  5. Hi Al, I’m interested in a quote for a full skirt for my 5th wheel. It’s a Highland Ridge Open Range Roamer 348RLS. I’m South of Reno NV, in Yerington. I’d like a quote for a Boise install and one for them traveling to me, if they will. I’ll be moving to Winnemucca in September, so that’s an option too. Thanks for your time and your help.

    • Wynonna, With my discounted price – $2110. if done in boise; to do it in yerington, add about $1340. (I’ll have to check with the owner – and frankly if you want it soon, as its still warm and business has not yet picked up, he may come off that figure a bit, but there may also be an overnight fee charge due to the distance); to Winnemucca, about $640. Let me know if you wish to proceed and I’ll get you with the owner to get scheduled in. Al

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