My Search for a GREAT RV SKIRTING Solution

After 8 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.

2nd Note: 10-31-19 – They’re running a SALE on their skirting – for a SHORT time only – read on for more info.

You see… I’m a full timer AND a skier and I work at ski areas (instructing) for the winter to help fund my travel 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 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.

RV Skirting UPDATE – Autumn 2019

Folks often ask me “hows it holding up?” Well, after two ROUGH winters, its holding up VERY WELL. Remember – its not just the skirting, its the snaps and turnbuckles. If they fail, they can damage your camper – mine are doing JUST FINE.

Further, towards the end of my first winter (February 2018), I elected to leave McCall, Idaho early. I struggled to free the skirting from the pavement as ice had “glued” the skirting to the pavement! It took LOTS of force to separate the two (the skirt and the pavement) – I succeeded at freeing up the skirting and there was virtually NO damage despite using massive amounts of elbow grease to free up the skirting.

Bottom line… this skirting is GOOD STUFF and while these guys are NOT cheap, they are THAT good!

Winter RV Camping

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.

Considering a NEW (or “new to you”) CAMPER?

I now offer a Concierge RV Buying (and Selling) Service. The goal? To save YOU time, money, and aggravation – and get you the RIGHT camper at the BEST price.

Discount RV Campground Memberships – TWO worth having…

As a full time traveler, I’ve found two memberships worth having. One is about to raise their prices, but they have an interesting offer to remain at the old, lower rate for life – see HERE for details on both.

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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70 thoughts on “My Search for a GREAT RV SKIRTING Solution”

  1. Great info. My wife and I are traveling medical workers and are currently in Meridian at the KOA, we just finished our assignment here and we are leaving on the 24th of this month. We have a 2016 keystone montana 3402rl we may want skirting done for. Who do I contact for a quote?

    Reply
    • Brandon,

      Thanks for reaching out. Your skirt will cost $3470. complete (plus sales tax) assuming its done in Boise at their facility. Call me ASAP (307 269 2546) to see if there’s any chance of getting the work done in the next week. I know that they’re scheduling into December at this point – so we can hope for an opening in their schedule for you. The work will require 2 full days, you can stay overnight at their facility and they can provide you with 15A electric power.

      Reply
  2. What is the R rating on this wrap.?
    All says its good but will it keep pipes from freezing like , stiraphome insulation. Its an r10.

    Reply
    • Alice,

      You’re looking at this issue the wrong way. There can’t be an R rating on ANY skirting. I’ll go one step further… Anyone who places a R-rating on skirting is a scam artist. Why? Simple – there are FAR too many variables. Allow me to explain – YES, blue-board block insulation MAY be a better insulator than a skirt (any skirt) – BUT – that’s true ONLY if it is “precision applied” to the camper with NO spots where air can pass through (ie – cracks between blocks). Most people who apply blue board, are not so meticulous. Further, when spring comes, if you plan to travel, what do you do with the blue board? It takes up MASSIVE amounts of space. AND – at best – you’ll get about 3 seasons out of blue board – if you’re removing it each spring.

      In contrast, skirting is a far more “elegant” solution – it is applied EASILY and removed just as easily – and transporting it requires far less space than blue board. Ultimately – if you get skirting (and the folks I recommend and can quote you for do a particularly great job), you’ll have a real solution for your camper to survive winter virtually anywhere IF your camper has a heated underbelly and you heat it with your furnace and maintain plenty of propane all winter.

      I hope this helps. Feel free to call me at 307 269 2546 if you have further questions or wish to get a quote for your camper.

      Reply
  3. Hello Al,
    I am interested in a quote for skirting our 2017 Forest River Tracer Air 300 Travel Trailer. It is a 30′ with one slide.

    Reply
    • Linda,

      Based upon the actual length 0f 32.67 ft – you’re looking at $2187. if you come to Boise, Id. to have it done. Their techs can travel, but there’s added cost. If this is of interest to you, call me at 307 269 2546 or email me at rvacrossamerica@gmail.com and I’ll help you get the work scheduled.

      Al

      Reply
  4. Hi 👋 new to your videos very interested in skirting for my camper for this upcoming Winter 2020 heartland prowler 276RE-G with 1 slide out and around 28’ long

    Reply
  5. We have a 2016 Keystone Montana 5th wheel 3402RL. The total length is about 40′. I believe there are 3 slides that would need to be skirted. The 4th one above the hitch would not need skirting. We would also want the area under the front hitch to be enclosed. We live in Bellingham, WA but could probably travel to Boise later this spring. Are you still making cost estimates?
    Thanks
    Rollie

    Reply
    • Rollie,

      Yes, I can assist and get you a quote. How soon are you looking to do the skirting work? I spoke with the owner in Boise and since its been a slow month, if you can get there in January, he’s prepared to make you a great offer if you want it done now. Please email me at rvacrossamerica@gmail.com so we can continue this privately. You can also call me at 307 269 2546. Alan Sills

      Reply
  6. Alan,

    Our appointment with Dave at Extream Covers went off without a hitch! Got back home late Friday, washed 5th Wheel on Saturday (to get off the bugs and road grim), and installed skirting on Sunday. I have attached a few photos of the quality product provided.

    Thanks again for your post that certainly provided a solid solution for the exact product that we were searching for. Happy RV lifestyle living😎!

    Thanks Again,
    Tod Taylor

    Thanks again,
    Tod Taylor

    Reply
    • Tod,

      Thanks so much for your feedback. I’m glad you were satisfied with Dave’s work. I’m going to take your photos and upload them somehow – either with your comments or towards the bottom of the existing article that your comment appears below.

      Reply
  7. my questions are about the fridge .The Freon will turn to gel. I see one of your videos uses a light bulb I will do that as well. Thanks

    Reply
    • Kevin,

      Its not freon, its an ammonia mixture and yes, it can and does gel. Run it on propane when temperatures drop below 0F and use a light bulb – you should be ok. BE CAREFUL to insure the light bulb does NOT melt any wiring!!

      Reply
  8. same as yours 30 RLS titanium 2017 love my unit, Someone told me that the propane will freeze up in extreme cold have you ever had that happen.

    Reply
    • Yes, propane can “freeze up” (actually liquify) at temperatures BELOW MINUS 40… VERY FEW PEOPLE will EVER experience this! I never have. In fact, I have a bbq grill and a 15# tank sitting in the snow outside all winter and it has yet to fail to serve me well! Al

      Reply
  9. Hi Al I have a couple questions In winter weather would you use propane or elect. power for the fridge ? Also wold you cover part of vents if extreme cold or all ? Thanks Kevin

    Reply
    • Kevin,

      Propane helps heat the underbelly of your camper IF it is designed to do so in that camper. The underbelly is where the plumbing is. So…if you plan to winter where it gets below freezing you’d best have a camper that has a sealed and heated (by the furnace) underbelly. I use elec heat to supplement – or – as my sole source of heat IF its above freezing and IF i’m not paying for the electric! As to covering the vents, sure, why not? Do you currently have a camper? If so, what type and make is it? Al

      Reply
  10. Al,

    We would like to move forward with scheduling this install. A Thursday/Friday time slot would work great for our schedule. Let me know what is needed to get us on the books.

    Thanks,
    Tod

    Reply
  11. Hello Al,

    My wife and I are interested in obtaining a quote for skirting our 5th Wheel. We have a 2011 Cameo by Carriage. It is model 35SB3. It is listed at 36′ 10″ (not including rear ladder or front kingpin). We have two slides that would get skirted in and would like the extra room enclosed as well. We currently are staying in Ephrata WA and would bring our rig to the Boise shop location for install.

    Thanks,
    Tod Taylor

    Reply
    • Hey Tod,

      Thanks for reaching out – and nice camper! To do the complete job, you’re looking at $2606 – including the “spare room” under your overhang. I know that Dave is already scheduling into mid-October, so if you wish to move forward, let me know asap and I’ll get you with him to schedule in.

      Al

      Reply

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